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Thread: D800 lens advice sought

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    D800 lens advice sought

    Hi Folks,

    After shooting 35mm film, then APS-C Canons for many years, I have decided to treat myself to a full frame DSLR. Unfortunately the 5D3 has underwhelmed me, so I have put an order in for a D800. I am wondering where to put my money, as far as lenses are concerned?

    My most used lens on my 40D was the 17-55mm f2.8 IS, so the Nikon 24-70 seems like an obvious choice? I am also likely to get the 24mm PC-E later, for landscape and architectural use. I'd also like a fast, light lens for street photography. I have read that the 50mm and 85mm 1.8 are both extremely good, and much cheaper than the f1.4 versions.

    Does anyone have any of the above lenses, and care to comment on how they are on a D800 or D700?

    Thanks,

    Mike.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Based on your statement about shooting architecture etc, a good wide angle lens is worth considering. Remember that with FF the field of view is different. 17mm equates to about 12mm on a cropped camera, as a bit of a guide.

    The Nikon 17-35 f2.8 is good, as is the sigma 24-70 f2.8 (this is my sharpest lens), Having the 50mm f1.8 is sort of superfluous if you get something like the 24-70, in my opinion.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Thanks Rick,

    I was thinking of the 50 f 1.8 because when doing street photography I like to keep the weight down and appear less conspicuous. I also like to isolate the people from the backgrounds, and tend to shoot wide open.

    I also like to use a 10-stop filter when photographing architecture, which is frustrating, as Nikon seem to have such a large number of diameters in their range of lenses. One good thing I would say about Canon, is that they standardised on 77mm filter diameters for their better lenses.

    I'll check out the Sigma 24-70 - I believe Tamron have just released one too. I'm not sure whether some lenses which are great on a D700 may show their limitations on the D800 - there's a lot of conflicting reports on t'internet when it comes to the D800!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixor View Post
    One good thing I would say about Canon, is that they standardised on 77mm filter diameters for their better lenses.
    This is also true with Nikon lenses, at least the higher level zoom lenses. The 16-35, 17-35, 24-70 & 70-200 are all 77mm.

    The primes are a different matter with only the 85mm 1.4G is also 77 but the other lenses are as you said all over the place. Both the 50mm & 85mm 1.8 lenses are both wonderful lenses and certainly make a small profile on the D700.
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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    Id get the 50mm 1.8G over the 1.4G because of cost and everything ive read says its a tickle sharper in the centre and images I've seen in shoot outs look to have better saturation and contrast, but its build isn't as good as the 1.4 G ...


    but what I really want is a 50mm F1.2 AIS M/F ,






    http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Produc...f%252F1.2.html
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixor View Post

    I was thinking of the 50 f 1.8 because when doing street photography I like to keep the weight down and appear less conspicuous. I also like to isolate the people from the backgrounds, and tend to shoot wide open.

    I also like to use a 10-stop filter when photographing architecture, which is frustrating, as Nikon seem to have such a large number of diameters in their range of lenses. I'm not sure whether some lenses which are great on a D700 may show their limitations on the D800 - there's a lot of conflicting reports on t'internet when it comes to the D800!
    A few opinions on choices and some questions.

    The PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED is a first class lens at a price, accepts 77mm filters and will provide brilliant architectural results. It is listed as having limitations in use when mounted on the D700 or 800 but I believe they can be worked around.

    As for "street photography", are you interested in people or overall scenes in general?
    If overall scenes are your thing then a 24-70 zoom would be a good range of focal lengths for them. If you want people isolated from the scenery and they are to be 95% of the image then you need to consider whether you want to be capturing them unobtrusively from a distance or whether you want them to fill the frame from a close up perspective.
    If you want to capture more candid scenes then I would look at longer focal lengths again, the 70-200 range is the most obvious choice to me. If you want up close and personal images then I would head straight to the other end of the spectrum and look at the 24 or 28 mm range. The 24mm F/1.4 is the obvious choice there and Nikon have just released a 28mm F/1.8 which is a pretty well unknown quantity at the moment but from a few images taken with that lens off a display shelf that I have seen it looks very promising.
    I don't consider 50mm to be a particularly useful field of view for street photography, some may find it worthwhile but that range sits in between the practical limits to me.

    Unfortunately, I don't see any dslr and lens combination as ideal for appearing inconspicuous as by their very nature they are big heavy lumps of things that attract attention even when fitted with a "small" lens.

    As for the difference between the D700 and the D800, the D800 is new, so far from my experiences ( one day ) it is going to produce fantastic results and is ideally suited to large prints or liberal cropping with the resolution it has. If you are more interested in smaller prints or web based presentation then the D700 will never disappoint, costs less which allows for more $$$ towards lenses and is a proven performer.
    Last edited by I @ M; 29-04-2012 at 7:21am.
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    Thanks for the advice, guys. I think the 24-70 is definitely on the cards, with the 24 pc-e high on my wish list. The more I see the fees involved in buying a house in Australia, though, the further in my future that seems

    I'm highly tempted by the 50mm 1.8, because it looks like such a bargain. OTOH, the 85mm 1.8 might be more useful. Decisions, decisions!

    Mike.

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    Woohoo!

    Myer just 'phoned to tell me my D800 is in. Unfortunately I can't get there tonight, so I'm going to have to wait until late night opening tomorrow.

    It's like Christmas

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Do you really need a P/C lens? Post process can cure most issues with P/C nowadys, at least my RAW converter Capture One Pro 6 has this feature and is brilliant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixor View Post
    I'll check out the Sigma 24-70
    Typical of Sigma lenses, the QC is up and down. I had a Sigma 24-70/2.8 and it was a horrid, slow-to-focus flare machine. I had it back to Sigma service twice, still barely any better. When all my gear was stolen that was the only lens I had that I wasn't sorry to see go. I replaced with with the Nikkor and am still amazed at it's brilliance every time I use it.

    As for a wide-angle lens, I have the Nikkor 16-35/4 VR and it's great. Coming from a Sigma 10-20 (of which I owned two for similar reasons to the 24-70) it is chalk and cheese. Distortions are well controlled in the real world and VR is handy when it gets dark and you don't want to bump the ISO too far.

    Both these Nikkor lenses use a 77mm filter which is infinitely handy. I own a trio of CPL's (my 70-200/2.8 is 77mm also) which live on my lenses when shooting outdoors. I also have a pair of 77mm Cokin rings so I can more easily swap filters when swapping lenses while shooting landscapes.

    The ultimate wide angle is the Nikkor 12-24/2.8, but it's expensive and filter mounting can be tricky (and also expensive). The general consensus around here is the 16-35/4 is the next best thing in the Nikkor lineup.
    Adam.


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    Lenses are obviously a personal preference for many. As far as the 24mm PC-E 3.5 I can vouch for this lens as I have one and its my favorite.

    Many do push it by the wayside as its reasonably straightforward to "photoshop it" by pulling perspective straight. I agree this can and is often done, but until you have physically used one of these lenses and the creative freedoms they offer, one may be more inclined to think otherwise.

    The important thing to note about architectural work (my field) is your enevitably setting up with a tripod in a reasonably static position. by shifting the lens itself (horizontally or vertically - the lens rotates on its own axis for either) offers the photographer huge creative freedom while still maintaining the vertical perspective distortion. eg: Your standing across the road from a building, cars are on the street parked. By shifting the lens, you can crop out the cars in the foreground, while still maintaining the building verticallity. This also means file sizes are not compromised (when you rotate / distort an image you lose resolution) The other significant effect often overlooked is not only the shift but the swing of the lens - allowing you to take a photo at an angle of building / subject (eg field of flowers) and swing the lens to rotate the focal plane - thereby making the facade of the building all in focus or conversely, throwing everything out of focus to draw attention to your subject.

    Its an amazing piece of kit to use, focus is manual but due to its wide nature very easy to get sharp. They are very expensive - but have also been the recipient of a substantial RRP price drop (Down to around $2300 from $3100). Depending what your needs are - I can recommend these for anyone thats after some creative flair.
    24mmPC-E-3-5-1.jpg
    End rant.
    Last edited by Burnman; 08-06-2012 at 7:32pm.
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    QUOTE

    As for a wide-angle lens, I have the Nikkor 16-35/4 VR and it's great. Coming from a Sigma 10-20 (of which I owned two for similar reasons to the 24-70) it is chalk and cheese. Distortions are well controlled in the real world and VR is handy when it gets dark and you don't want to bump the ISO too far. <Quote<<<

    I bought a 16-36 and mint used 17-35 at the same time.
    For my use the f/2.8 was much more valuable than VR at f/4.
    I kept the 17-35.

    One thing that really surprised me was that when I got my first FullFrame Nikon, I went wild for wide.
    I thought I would be buying telephoto lens, but my favorite is the 14-24.
    I also have a lot of fun with my Sigma 8mm FishEye.

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