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Thread: Nikon D90 Lens Advice

  1. #1
    Member jel's Avatar
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    Nikon D90 Lens Advice

    Hi all,

    I was hoping to get some advice/feedback with regards to a future lens purchase. I have searched the site over the last few weeks and although I learnt a lot, I couldn’t quite find all the answers I was looking for.

    I am planning on purchasing the Nikon D90, as a body only, with lenses purchased as required. As this camera will be used by both my wife and I, it will have to cater for multiple uses. If I had to categorise the predicted usage it would be portrait > architecture > landscape > random.

    From reading (and playing in the stores), our current wish-list would be:

    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR II Lens

    and
    Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.4G Lens

    Other options for the walk-around lens would be (in order):
    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
    OR (although the lack of VR may be a negative)
    Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Lens
    Nikon AF-S DX 18-70/3.5-4.5G Lens


    The other option for the fast prime would be:
    Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f1.8G Lens

    I haven’t had the energy to even start looking at non-nikon lenses …

    So, thoughts? Good all round options for the aspiring beginner? Completely overboard?

    Cheers
    Jon

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    It can be daunting

    18-200 is my choice

    It iwll not be as sharp at a 50 1.4G, and not nearly as fast, but it's versatility is hard to beat

    You can always add a 50 or 35 later when you work out what focal length and apperture you need
    Darren
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    I agree with Kiwi, go the 18-200, play with it a while and then your next choices will become clearer.
    Maybe consider the 50 1.8, cheap as chips and a nice lens to boot.
    Cheers, Lani.
    Bodies: Nikon D700, D300 Primes: Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4G, 105mm VR 2.8, 300mm f4. Zooms: Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200VR II 2.8, Sigma 10-20mm Processing: Photoshop CS5 extended, LR 3.2.


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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    I started with the 18-200VR (original version) and as Kiwi says it's a very versatile lens. One of the good things about starting with this lens is that even if you later buy say faster zooms that cover some of the same range (70-200 for example) the 18-200 is still a useful lens in your kit for when you want to travel light. I still use mine quite a bit even though I have faster zooms in the same range.

    The original version of the 18-200 had a few problems which have possibly been addressed in the VR II version - ie zoom creep, barrel distortion (although this can usually be fixed in post production), but these were never a real problem for me. It's a bit slow at f/5.6 so you may occassionally increase the ISO, but I understand the D90 handles higher ISO pretty well.

    If you want to check some images head to the flickr group pool for this lens.


    Cheers.
    Last edited by fillum; 08-02-2010 at 4:44pm. Reason: add URL
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Although by all reports the 18-200 is a very versatile lens with some compromises (if there was a perfect 18-200 lens I'd get it and sell a few of the others) have you considered maybe a faster zoom (i.e. f2.8) but with a more limited range? Like the 18-55 (or Tamron equivalent 17-50)? At the start with my D90 I was in a bit of a rush to cover the focal lengths, and given my time over, probably would have bought my D90with either the Nikon 18-55 or 35 1.8 only, and slowly built from there.

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    Thanks all,

    I would say the main thing i liked about the 18-200 was the versatility of the lens. As the reviews point out, its okay at most things yet will not out-perform dedicated lenses at specific tasks. My thinking being, that we will get a lot more use out of this lens, while learning the ropes than we would from any other, without the need to carry/swap extra lenses while in transit.

    The only place i saw any immediate need for a possible upgrade/extra lens was low light/portrait shots, and from what I have read, the 50 1.4 serves this purpose well, as well as being a good all-round lens for architecture photography where a wide angle wasnt a requirement. However I will heed the advice and delay this purchase for a while.

    To be honest, I wasnt all that impressed with the 18-55 'kit lens'. I am sure it takes good photographs, however i found the location of the focus ring awkward to say the least.

    Cheers for the help
    Jon

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    You may find the 35 1.8 a better choice than the 50 for general purpose use. It's a little wider that can help indoors for portraits for example and you will find that either 1.4 on the 50 or 1.8 on the 35 typically not a practical apperture for most purposes

    I do not know how the 35 or 50 stack up against each other for distortion in things like architecture

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    I will have to say the 50mm F1.8. It was one of my first lenses I purchased when I got my
    D90 and its awesome to say the least and for the price can't be beat. Personal opinion though. Good luck =)
    Aka - Gaston A

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Gear List

    Camera:Nikon D90 + MB-D80 Batteries grip
    Lenses: Nikon 24-70 F2.8 & Nikon 50mm F1.8
    Tripod: Velbon Sherpa 803R
    Flash: Nikon SB600 with a range of diffusers
    Software: Adobe Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3

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    What about the 16-85 Nikon,as another option.
    Cheers Craig

    Gear:Nikon D300 with Nikon MB-D10 ,Lumix FZ-30 & not enough good fast glass yet

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    thanks for all of your help.

    in the end i decided on the 18-200 VR II lens and have been loving it. perfect for a novice without the hassle of changing lenses.

    i decided to wait on the purchase of a prime until i became a little more familiar with the camera and could make a better judgment call about which lens would be best.

    cheers
    jon

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    Member dsaini's Avatar
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    18-200mm is a great lens but with same pitfalls that are with other mega zooms.

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    I am new to the forum - only a week and still finding my way around. I have been looking for a few weeks for which camera to buy and decided on the Nikon D90. As I am going on long service leave to several O/S countries backpacking in September (Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, Denmark,Kenya - safari, and Rwanda - trekking highland gorillas and golden monkeys). I have a Nikon 18-200mm F3.5 - 5.6 VRII ##### I won on ebay (I bid for the camera and ##### off the same guy and won the #####! for $700 brand new as an insurance claim!). Still haven't bought the camera...

    3 Questions - Which ##### do you wonderful learned people suggest to photograph African wildlife ?
    - Which ##### for architecture/monuments?
    - Which ##### for [B]low light [/B]to photograph Mountain gorillas.
    - Which ##### for macro?
    I am so confused at lenses!!!!!!! I'd like the least for the most use for the trip. I don't intend to stop with the trip, but to photograph my grandchildren portrait style. If the 18-200mm does the lot great, but I am still researching. I only have 1 hour with the mountain gorillas, so every shot will be vital and it will be the rainy season.
    In anticipation thank you so much.... I am just so confused.



    I am not going until September, so have to practice, practice, practice. As am backpacking (even at my age), I what the minimilist I need to take to capture everything.

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    Member TerminalVeloCD's Avatar
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    It seems that most here will recommend the 18-200VR. I personally prefer either the 16-85VR or 18-105VR mainly because of how competent these lenses are throughout their focal ranges. The 18-200VR is more of a compromise. I would compliment the 16-85VR or 18-105VR with the wonderful 70-300VR and perhaps a 35mm DX or 50mm f1.8D prime. You don't need top of the range gear to achieve top of the range results.

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    Any time you get a zoom ##### that has a large range you're going to be soft at both ends of the range.

    That being said, it is a good ##### to experiment with, but you're going to tire of this fairly quickly. Being relatively new to the dSLR photographic realm I would say it's not a bad starter #####, for the simple fact that if you decide not to take your photography further you don't have alot of money invested.

    I really like my 50mm lens as well...it's nice and crisp and has great bokeh.

    Good luck with the hunt for lenses..it can be a daunting task.
    Nikon D80•MB-D80•Nikkor AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR•Nikkor 28-200 f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED•Nikkor 18-55 f/3.5-5.6G AF•Nikkor 55-200 f/4-5.6G AF•Nikkor 50 f1.8•Speedlite SB800
    Nikon FM-3
    Canon AV-1 | Canon Eos Elan
    Olympus C-740



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    Member ziph's Avatar
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    A vote for the 16-85 VR zoom

    I haven't changed lenses since getting the 16-85 VR. Seems to be suitable for most outdoor situations, except for bird/animal photos where you need more magnification.
    Nikon D90,16-85mm F3.5-5.6, 35mm F1.8, 60mm F2.8 Macro, SB-600

  16. #16
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    VRII Zoom creep

    Quote Originally Posted by fillum View Post
    The original version of the 18-200 had a few problems which have possibly been addressed in the VR II version - ie zoom creep...
    As far as I can tell, not really. My colleague has the VR (I), I have the VR II and I still find myself having to re-adjust the zoom if I've stopped to check the LCD and I was out around half-zoom or more. The VRII has a lock but only at 18mm, which IIUC never suffered from creep anyway, so it's almost redundant. Still, I find myself locking it when I'm not actually shooting, although I invariably forgot to unlock it!
    --
    Nikon D90
    Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
    Nikon SB-700 Speedlight
    RRS BH-55 Ballhead & B2 AS II Clamp
    (no legs yet)

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