Picking a lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by MF06D, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. MF06D

    MF06D Guest

    normal AF
    I can reccomend this only for the focal length (50mm) and the "speed" (size of
    aperature opening), because I don't own this lens, but I own the Minolta
    equivalent, and love it. This is a great beginner lens.

    Good Luck.
    MF06D, Jul 25, 2003
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  2. MF06D

    Roy Schwartz Guest


    I'm just starting out in the field of photography, and am about to buy my
    first 35mm slr camera.

    As a beginner I chose the Nikon N65 after many recommendations on various
    web sites. I'm hoping it's good enought for a start and to match my budget.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't find a single unified opinion as to which lens to
    As I have no practice whatsoever: Which lens should I start with: a 50mm or
    a zoom?

    Also, the only ones in a "beginner's budget" I found (and found recommended)
    are the Nikon 28-100mm f3.5-5.6 g-af (for a zoom) and the Nikon normal AF
    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8d af lens (for a 50mm).
    Can any of you recommend any of them?

    Roy Schwartz
    Roy Schwartz, Jul 25, 2003
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  3. MF06D

    Bot-tastic Guest

    50mm or 35mm
    Bot-tastic, Jul 25, 2003
  4. MF06D

    Roger Guest


    IMO start with the 50mm f1.8D AF lens only. This lens is so good that
    you will never let it out of your kit. You may decide after using it
    for a while that your photographic style requires wider view or more
    telephoto views, but this lens will always be your low-light option. I
    can't personally comment on the 28-100 f3.5-5.6 AF G zoom, but some of
    G mount zoom lenses are better than others. Until you are ready for
    another lens, I'd recommend passing on the zoom right now.

    One of my many lenses is a 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 AF-S G lens, and I could
    heartily recommend this lens for it's focal length range, but not as
    an only lens over the 50mm f1.8D AF lens.

    Roger, Jul 25, 2003
  5. MF06D

    Alan Browne Guest

    I'll refrain from the typical knee-jerk chorus reaction to recommend a
    50mm f/1.8. There is nothing wrong with such a lens, and indeed it is
    great value for the price, and it is a traditional and valuable way to
    learn composition and photographic "seeing". Further it is "fast",
    crisp, light and compact.

    Having said that, I suggest you first write down what you want to
    photograph in your first year, when, where, why, etc. And then decide
    whether a 50mm, or a wider (35, 28mm) or longer lens will do the job for
    you. If you tend towards the "scenic" then a fixed 28, 35 or 50 will be
    close to the right thing. If you tend towards people and closeups of
    objects, then an 85 or 100mm will be right to begin. Nature? A 200 or
    300 is a good, but pricey start. If you want to explore, then none of
    these lenses is right for you.

    Indeed, if you are really exploring photograpy seriously for the first
    time, you may want to choose (gasp!) a zoom like the kit lens that Nikon
    sell (28-80) or perhaps a bit better at 28-105.

    I say these blasmephous things as I hope you enjoy photography and so I
    believe you should begin with a little flexibility. Later on when you
    realize the benefits of specific lenses and/or the limitations of the
    zoom, you will be ready to ditch the zoom and acquire the appropriate
    fixed lenses or higher end zooms.

    Also, consider offerings from Canon, Pentax and Minolta that are better
    than the F65 at comparable prices. In particular the Maxxum 5 is,
    dollar for dollar, much better than the F65. In the end, it is what
    fits your hands and understanding that is important.

    Alan Browne, Jul 25, 2003
  6. ANY Nikkor lens is going to be fine overall. But cost being a factor you
    want one that will do more than one thing, and zoom is the answer. The Nikon
    G series lenses are economical and great for the N65. They lack an aperture
    ring, but the N65 will not miss it since it doesn't need it. Optically they
    are equal to similar D series lenses. The 28-100mm model will be very
    versatile for you, if you can only afford one lens. If you can get two I
    would suggest 28-80, and 70-200.
    John Garrison, Jul 25, 2003
  7. I suggest you rethink that decision. The N65 has some real problems,
    chief among them being that you can't override the DX coding and set
    the film speed manually. This may not sound like a big deal, but if
    you become seriously involved in photography, you'll soon outgrow the
    N65 body.

    I suggest that you consider instead the N80. It's easier to use in
    manual mode, because it has two dials to alter shutter speed and
    aperture; you can override the DX coding, and it's got three different
    metering modes -- a 3D matrix meter, a center-weighted meter, and a
    spot meter. The N80 gives very high level functionality, and it's not
    a budget buster. It may be more expensive than the N65, but if you
    buy the good but inexpensive 50mm f/1.8, the total cost will be quite
    The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 is a great lens. Lightweight, fairly fast, and
    sharp. I have one, and at about $100, it's a great value.
    Pete McCutchen, Jul 25, 2003
  8. The N65 is a good camera. It's a good start. But before you buy anything,
    you should make same basic decisions on what you are going to photograph
    and how.

    For example, how many rolls of film will you shoot on the average over
    a year 52 (one a week) 100 (two a week) 1000 (20 a week)? What kind of film
    will you shoot i.e. color (transparency, color negative, b&w negative)?
    Who will process your film? Where will you be doing your photography?

    For example, if you plan to use the camera to document your family life,
    and plan to take photos of your family at home and on trips using color
    print film, then a zoom lens would be a good choice. You should look at
    the 28-85 vs 28-105, both take excelent pictures, the 28-105 gives you
    more range but is longer and heavier.

    If you plan to use the camera for "art" photographs (whatever they are),
    then I recommend the 50mm lens. It will give you less versatility
    in framing, but more in available light and flash range.

    I'd also suggest that you consider a used 8008 or 8008s. It is a little
    bigger and heavier, but it has some advantages.

    1. The viewfinder is the "high eyepoint", good for older people or eye-glass

    2. It takes AA batteries instead of expensive lithium ones. Important if
    you take lots of pictures.

    3. You can set the film speed, important if you bulk load or use lots
    of b&w film.

    4. It works with AF and AI lenses, of which there are many more around.
    So you can get lots of good glass for less. Note the G lenses don't
    work with it.

    Disadvantages are that the autofocus is much better on the N65, the
    G lenses don't work on it, and there is no built in flash.

    If you have less than perfect vision you might consider an N60 which
    is the predecessor of the N65. It has a few less features, but does
    have a high eyepoint finder.
    The 50mm f1.8 is a great lens. Very sharp.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jul 26, 2003
  9. One of the nice things about the N80 is that there's a very hand
    autofocus lock button on the back of the camera.
    Pete McCutchen, Jul 28, 2003
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