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Thread: D600 start-up kit on a budget

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    D600 start-up kit on a budget

    OK, it seems I've made my mind up to jump ship to Nikon.

    I've looked at all the Nikon lens offerings, and what a fine line up it is.

    Did a quick tot up of what I'd like to start with, and the bottom line made my head spin. and my debit card cringe.

    A reality check was in order, and a rethink of what I really need and will use.

    So, to get me started, and at a price I can afford, I've come up with this selection.

    I've not considered any 'G' lens as I assume they have no aperture ring. I've also chosen to go with primes where possible, because I believe that they are optimised for their particular focal length, as opposed to a zoom which maybe tries to do too many things,and don't get me wrong because I'm sure there are zooms out there that can achieve excellent results.

    I should mention that because of my slightly shaky hands I shoot 90% with a tripod, so VR is not a big advantage for me.

    Wide Angle:
    Nikon +/- 20mm f2.8, or similar,
    Either AF or MF as I will mainly shoot old buildings and landscapes, and the hyper-focal distance on FX at f2.8 is 7m.

    Walk Around:
    Either a Nikon AF 50mm f1.4 or f1.8

    Mid Telephoto:
    Either the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, the non macro version (I have the original for my K5 and it is a cracker) or maybe the Nikon AF 80-200mm f2.8 which is about 1/2 the price of the Nikon 70-200 f2.8. Is the 70-200mm twice as good for twice the price other than the VR?

    For The Birds:
    Once again VR is not a big requirement here as I will use a gimbal head, and MF is not a deterrent.
    I'd like a 500mm, and in my googling I've come across lens like the Nikkor ED 500mm 1:4 P for around 2K. Any ideas of similar primes in this focal length that can be had for around the same money?

    OK, I've probably come up with the odd 'Dog' and this is why I'm posting, to try to avoid the pitfalls of ignorance.

    All help appreciated.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    First up, don't be afraid of the big bad G nomenclature!
    I'd be surprised to see if all the features that a non G lens allows on a camera body to be available on a D600 level camera. Although in saying that, if video is important to you then a non G lens may be a major factor in lens decision!! D600 doesn't allow the power operation of the aperture whilst shooting video! If variable aperture whilst shooting video is important(usually it's not!) then a non G lens is a must.
    Apart from that, there is no reason to not choose a non G lens equivalent, unless you regularly do stuff like lens reversal high magnification and so on. Any negative commentary you may have read about a lens not having an aperture ring, is almost certainly from people with a particular need.

    Quote Originally Posted by trublubiker View Post
    .....

    Wide Angle:
    Nikon +/- 20mm f2.8, or similar,
    Either AF or MF as I will mainly shoot old buildings and landscapes, and the hyper-focal distance on FX at f2.8 is 7m.
    Personally, I'd be inclined to avoid these 'old banger' lenses now. There are much better value for money lenses available for not too much more money nowadays.
    I don't mean old banger as in condition of the gear, I mean old banger designs. Remember they were designed for film, and way back how many years ago! You can still get some odd pearler lenses that still have the capacity to produce results on par with the newer designs, but these are rare and hard to find anyhow.
    From memory this lens usually retails for close to $600-700 or so .. for about $300-400 more you could have the super impressive 16-35/4 lens which is a better all rounder lens for tripod mounted landscape work.
    Almost all lens test results clearly indicate a lens such as this performs as good as or better at f/4 than the prime is at f/4.... if that's important to you.
    Only real advantage to the prime is size.... for architectural work it's a no brainer ... the zoom lens any day, as distortion on the prime is about 3x what the zoom produces at about 20mm!



    Walk Around:
    Either a Nikon AF 50mm f1.4 or f1.8
    Here I'd go with the new 50/1.8 AF-S, which is obviously a G lens too! The 50/1.8 D lens is good, and so is the 1.4 equivalent, but again, for all round general niceness the newer AF-S lenses of both aperture types work better.



    Mid Telephoto:
    Either the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, the non macro version (I have the original for my K5 and it is a cracker) or maybe the Nikon AF 80-200mm f2.8 which is about 1/2 the price of the Nikon 70-200 f2.8. Is the 70-200mm twice as good for twice the price other than the VR?
    The OS version of the Siggy is a nice lens at a very good price. If optical stabilisation is not important to you then have a look at the very cheap Tammy version! Very nice lens, except for one focusing issue it has!
    Whilst it's true that the focus feels and acts slower than the ultrasonic focused lenses, that isn't the real problem. This lens can't seem to acquire focus when using live view.
    I used to think it was a big deal, and it is an issue, but it's never really stopped me from using liveview with the lens! I generally do it manually anyhow with this type of lens(ie. tele).
    Whereas with the UWA lenses, I use AF in liveview mode a lot!!

    For The Birds:
    Once again VR is not a big requirement here as I will use a gimbal head, and MF is not a deterrent.
    I'd like a 500mm, and in my googling I've come across lens like the Nikkor ED 500mm 1:4 P for around 2K. Any ideas of similar primes in this focal length that can be had for around the same money?
    Not 'the same money' but similarlish money is the Sigma 500 f/4.5. It has ultrasonic HSM focusing, and they generally sell for low 4K money.

    500 AiP is a well regarded lens, and is high on my priority of things to get before I die .. but only at a good price .. high 1K's or low 2's at most. Some can go for as much as $4K, but as they say in The Castle .. he's dream'n!!



    OK, I've probably come up with the odd 'Dog' and this is why I'm posting, to try to avoid the pitfalls of ignorance.

    All help appreciated.
    Lots of good Nikon gear around and as they say the Nikon stuff is absolutely top notch stuff, as Lance has already reiterated in the D600 thread. The stuff that is well regarded and highly coveted works at the peak end of how gear works .. but I still think, Nikon should have killed off the old AF-D prime range long ago and updated them to at least AF-S, but more importantly with better optical ability(mainly coatings and and lens aberrations).
    Those primes look to be too outdated in today's world of high Mp cameras ... as an example, the old 17-35/2.8 lens which is a zoom, generally produces nice images all round than the prime does, but has the extra versatility of being a zoom. If the prime was an f/1.8 lens(ie. such as the 28/1.8) then it'd be excusable, as it offers some advantage over the zoom lenses. But as it stands there really is very little advantage in choosing the prime, compared with the zoom, other than size.

    I dunno what your budget is in terms of both short terms and eventually long term, but a D600 with a 16-35VR would make for a great start up setup, add to that the relatively cheap 50/1.8 AF-S lens and a Sigma 70-200/2.8 OS to go with your order!

    All up outlay will come close to about $4.5K give or take a hundred and depending where you source all the gear from.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Thanks for the comprehensive reply Arthur.

    Firstly, I was confused about the 'G' lens, thinking they were a 'stripped down' model, and not Nikon's latest incarnation.

    The 16-35mm f4 seems like an ideal lens for my style of shooting. Thanks for the 'heads-up'.

    I concur with you about the 50mm f1.8. It seems better thought of than the f1.4 alternative.

    The Sigma 70-200 f2.8 seems the go in the mid-range sector.

    For long range I've had a re-think, particularly after checking what the DOF was on a 500mm lens at f8. Auto focus seems a necessity if I ever want a keeper. That Suzuki of mine is looking more like a Sigma 500mm every day.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    personally I'd go for the 50mm1.4D..the 50mm AFS lenses are shockingly slow to focus..the slot drive AF 50s are quite a bit quicker and as far as IQ and sharpness go the 50 1.4D is pretty good also a lot smaller ..the slowness of the 50mm 1.4 AFS stopped me buying one

    as far as the 70-200 goes..try and find a good used Vr1..they can be had for the same amount as a new sigma...
    Last edited by Tommo1965; 01-10-2012 at 5:26pm.
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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser Film Street's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommo1965 View Post
    personally I'd go for the 50mm1.4D..
    That is a great lens, I like it too. That would be a good choice also.

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    Thanks Steve and F/S.

    It's great to get feedback from people who have the actual lens.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Tommo has a point, and the D version is a few quid cheaper than the AF-S version as well .. BUT!
    (and this is where my issue lies, so your mileage may vary!)

    For quick manual focus over ride when things aren't going too well(in terms of focusing), those AF-D lenses are a right pain in the BU ... errr, I mean fingers!

    I got rid of my 80-200/2.8 which was AF-D, mainly because it was too inflexible when it came to manually over riding focusing.
    The Tammy I subsequently got produces a bit more sharpness, but the ability to manually over ride focus in a pinch was more important for those low light times when focus went here, there and everywhere but where I actually wanted it too.

    The other issue, is accuracy. An equivalent AF-S lens has the mechanics to adjust focus to a much higher precision than an AF-D lens does.
    That's the main reason that the AF-S lens is slower to focus than the AF-D version .. it's set that way by Nikon. The other reason is that it's a micro motor type design, and not a full blown SWM ring type AF-S system(which are faster to focus).

    I prefer more flexible focusing ability over absolute speed any day.

    So that's where personal preferences diverge, and how you prefer to operate becomes important.

    Now, I would only seek out an AF-D equivalent lens, where no AF-S version/equivalent exists.


    With that in mind, keep the Sigma 50/1.4 lens as an alternative option too .. even tho it usually costs more than the Nikon equivalent does!
    It focuses fast, but is a behemoth of a lens(for a 50mm!) and is about the size of an 85/1.4.

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    hey, good for you Kevin. You can try my 35f2D if you want when you get the 600.
    Graeme
    "May the good Lord look down and smile upon your face"......Norman Gunston___________________________________________________
    Nikon: D7000, D80, 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, 18-135, 70-300VR, 35f2, SB 400, SB 600, TC-201 2x converter. Tamron: 90 macro 2.8 Kenko ext. tubes. Photoshop CS2.


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    Glad you're jumping in the right direction, Kev.

    If it was me, I'd go for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D (it's my favourite lens by a long way), the Nikkor 300mm f/4 with a 2X TC (for birds) and look toward the Sigma 12-24 wide angle for landscapes. Hey, what do I know? Well, I know what it's like to try to satisfy your champagne passion on a light beer budget! If the budget stretches that far, I'd also look at the Sigma 150mm macro. It's all well and good to go hard and spend thousands on great glass, but we are talking about a full kit change here, including a D600 body. Maybe you should start haunting eBay as well!
    Waz
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    D700 | D7000 | Nikkor AF-S 18-55 DX 1:3.5-5.6G | Nikkor AF-S 55-300 DX 1:4.5-5.6 G ED | Nikkor AF 50 f/1.8D | Optex OPM2930 tripod/monopod | Enthusiasm ...
    My Flickr images ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by old dog View Post
    hey, good for you Kevin. You can try my 35f2D if you want when you get the 600.
    Cheers Graeme.

    Thanks for the offer. Dunno about the 35mm focal length on a full frame. It's not a length I've really used.

    When I make the switch I'd certainly like to try it though.

  11. #11
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I am glad that you have decided to take the plunge and go Nikon, as long as it suits what you want.

    As Arthur has pointed out, the 16-35 f4 VR may suit you and it is a fabulous lens, IMO. I use this lens much more than my (legendary) 14-24 f2.8 as it is more versatile due to it's zoom range, VR and the fact it can take filters. Here is a shot taken at 1/3rd sec handheld, VR being of great assistance!



    As for a fast prime, I never use the 50mm focal length on FF, rather opting for either slightly wide angle or slightly telephoto and hence why my only two primes, other than the 105 f2.8 Micro VR, are the 35mm f1.4G and 85mm f1.4G. I just find that the 50mm length is too narrow for most things and to wide for others and the 35mm f1.4G is great as a walk around prime when you don't want to use a zoom. If you decide on a 35mm but your budget it tight, then maybe the 35 f2D would suit or the 28mm f1.8G which is quite the stellar performer, apparently.

    The 300mm f4 from Nikon is a superb lens, sharp as anything but only misses out on VR. It works well with the 1.4x TCII without any IQ degredation that you'd notice. However, it does slow up to be a 420mm f5.6, but that's not that much of an issue as you can ramp up the ISO to compensate for loss of shutter speed as the high ISO ability of the D600 is top notch. However, you do lose a little of DR at the higher ISO's.

    As far as I know them Sigma 70-200 f2.8 is a very good lens, just that you need to be aware of lens to lens sample variation as their QC can be hit and miss at times from what I have heard. As Thommo pointed out, if you can get a good used 70-200 f2.8 VRI, then that would be my pick as it is still a stellar lens.

    Once you've got your new camera, and if you're down in Sydney, maybe we can meet up at Taronga Zoo or somewhere if you want some tips and pointers etc. I have a guest pass that gets you into Taronga for free.
    Last edited by Lance B; 02-10-2012 at 12:00pm.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser Film Street's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoDo View Post
    , the Nikkor 300mm f/4
    Another great choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoDo View Post
    Glad you're jumping in the right direction, Kev.

    If it was me, I'd go for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D (it's my favourite lens by a long way), the Nikkor 300mm f/4 with a 2X TC (for birds) and look toward the Sigma 12-24 wide angle for landscapes. Hey, what do I know? Well, I know what it's like to try to satisfy your champagne passion on a light beer budget! If the budget stretches that far, I'd also look at the Sigma 150mm macro. It's all well and good to go hard and spend thousands on great glass, but we are talking about a full kit change here, including a D600 body. Maybe you should start haunting eBay as well!
    I guess time will tell if I'm jumping in the right direction Waz. It is a huge leap for me, and I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate all the help and encouragement I'm getting on this forum.

    The Nikkor 50mm 1.8D is very appealing, particularly @ $68 from eglobal, plus $49 shipping (they don't miss you at the checkout do they?).

    After some reality checks (and budget constraints) the Nikkor 300mm f4 with a 1.4X T/C (giving me 420mm without sacrificing much IQ) seems like the way to go on the long side of things. I'd buy that locally for warranty peace of mind.

    I'd looked at the Sigma 12-24mm but was unsure if I could use my Cokin wide angle filter holder on it as it doesn't have a filter thread, although there appears to be some sort of threading inside the hood.

    I've been lusting after the Sigma 150mm Macro for a long time, but it wasn't available in Pentax mount.

    And I hear you when you mention trying to juggle champagne tastes with a beer income, or in my case, no income. How much are kidneys going for these days?

    Thanks again for your helpful input. When I get it all sorted we'll have to organise a day, maybe at the botanical gardens.

    Cheers

    Kevin

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Film Street View Post
    Another great choice.
    I think so too.

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    @ Lance

    Thanks again for another insightful and helpful reply. As I said in another thread, my reasons for the switch pretty much parallel your own, and I particularly picked up on your comment that when you moved to Nikon, things just worked like they were supposed to.

    The 28mm f1.8G seems like a lens worthy of consideration. It gets me into the narrow end of the wide angle range, and would probably even suffice as a good walk around length. Hell, I remember when 28mm was the wide angle lens of choice.

    I've got a zillion searches running on fleabay at present, at will jump if the right lens shows up at the right price.

    However I do have a tight starting budget and have narrowed my initial kit down to the following.

    1. Sigma 70-200 f2.8, or preferably the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR, if I can snag one for around the same money.
    2. Nikon AF-S 300mm f4 D IF-ED with a 1.4 T/C
    3. Nikon 50mm, probably the f1.8D, because that's all the change I'll have left over for.

    My wish list will be maybe the Nikon 16-35mm f4 and a Macro.

    OK, time to get the ball rolling. Nikon Land, here I come.

    Oh, and I'd love to do a day at Taronga Park when I'm all set-up.

    Thank you for the support and help. It's a big move for me.

    Cheers

    Kevin
    Last edited by Cage; 02-10-2012 at 1:33pm.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trublubiker View Post
    @ Lance

    OK, time to get the ball rolling. Nikon Land, here I come.
    Good luck with it all, Kevin!

    Oh, and I'd love to do a day at Taronga Park when I'm all set-up.
    Look forward to it!

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I'll add that if u don't mind cropping, the 28/1,8G makes a pretty decent 42mm equiv f1.8 10MP DX crop on the D600.
    ~40mm's my preferred 'normal' FL too as I find 35mm a touch wide and 50mm a touch long.
    Nikon FX

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    Thank you everybody for you help. For better or worse I've decided on my initial kit as per the post above.

    It's times like this that you really appreciate being part of a great forum family.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    once again....good for you Kevin. Sounds like a nice kit.

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    re the bird lens, Mongo likes the 500 f4 P lens and may well get one soon. It is a very good lens for the job and for the money. Will work well with 1.4 converter (but not sure how good with X2 converter).

    Would also strongly consider a AIs 400 f3.5 because it is said to work extremely well with a Nikkor 301 (X2 converter).

    All your other choices seem fine.
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    I'm not sure how much is the price difference in your area but If I was to start on a budget without breaking the bank, I would get just two lenses for now.

    Nikon 28mm f1.8G: $600 USD: Great wide angle lens when mounted on a full frame. Fun lens and provides creamy bokeh.

    Nikon 85mm f1.8G: Portrait low light lens.

    Optional: Nikon 50mm f1.8G. Just not a fan of the 50mm FL.

    Why 28mm f1.8G? With the current Nikon Full Frame, one of the features that it offers aside from the DX mode is the 1.2x crop mode. So, for a 28mm, you can make this to a 33mm (approx) and 42mm FOV in DX mode. Same goes with the 85mm.

    For longer zooms, on a budget, I agree the Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 or Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 would be ok.
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