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Thread: fast lens for D60? recommendations?

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    Member Tengu's Avatar
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    fast lens for D60? recommendations?

    I have a Nikon D60 and got one for the wife as well and she has been bitten by the photog bug!

    I am looking for a fast lens and want some advice please
    I dont think it needs to be a long zoom (and I cant afford that anyway!)

    I really am not sure what focal length to go with
    I havent got any prime lenses and I am not sure what to go with if I decide prime is a way to go
    I would like it to have Auto Focus - so for the D60 I think that means it has to be an AF-S lens

    Some I have been looking at are:
    Nikon 35mm f1.8, the 50mm f1.4 and the Sigma 50mm f1.4, or 24-70mm f2.8

    Is there anything else I should be looking at or considering?
    Price range is under $1000

  2. #2
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Definitely buy the 35mm F/1.8, it is an excellent lens for the price and the focal length suits the APSC sensor cameras very well. It is reasonably small and unobtrusive which makes it a very handy lens for just walking around with.
    The 50mm F/1.4 variants are quite a large lens, they produce very good results but are pretty expensive in comparison to some of the reasonably fast zooms in the market place.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    +1 for the 35mm f1.8. Mine lives on my d90 now. Get that one first and then see if you want to stay prime or go for a zoom

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    So!.... would we be correct in assuming that you have a couple of kit lenses covering 18-200mm already, and that you are covered reasonably well for the majority of focal length nirvana?

    As Andrew and then wolfmann said, the 35/1.8 is a very fine lens, and even tho I have plans to move to Fx in the next few months or so, this is still a lens I'm definitely going top own(and probably before the migration to Fx).

    Both of the only two fully functional 50/1.4's available to you and your D60(Nikon and Sigma, that is) are very fine lenses, will blur out the background easily and smoothly, but are a lot more limited than say a 35/1.8 can be.
    Sometimes when you simply need more light(not bokeh or blur with a larger aperture), the 50mm focal length is a lot more restrictive compared to the 35mm lens and so you may have to get 'more creative' when using a 50mm lens. The 35 simply lets in more of the view.. ie. generally more useful for more of the things that most people seem to like.

    24-70/2.8 is a nice lens(Nikon I'm assuming you are referring too??).. but well over the $1K price point you quoted. The Sigma is an honest lens, but I have a feeling that the problem(or restriction) may be the 24mm short end.

    Generally is quite good, and easily usable, but sometimes it's nice to have fast and wide.. so a 17-50mm focal length is probably more 'general purpose'. Having it at f/2.8 is a boon in some low light situations.
    If your purpose is mainly for more bokeh(blurry backgrounds) than definitely go for the 24-70mm focal length(longer if you can) and learn to stick with it and use it.

    SO! if your budget is in the order of $1K, then can you use the 'whole hog' of those funds, and get yourself a combo?

    ie. for under $1K, your options would be:

    35/1.8 + 24-70/2.8 Sigma/Tamron(where the Tamron is actually a 28-75!!)
    ie. one general purpose low light lens, and one more purposeful 'portrait' lens(with flexibility)
    or alternatively
    50/1.4(Sigma or Nikon) plus a Sigma or Tamron 17-50/2.8)
    ie. one purposeful portrait lens(eg. for blurring the background) plus one general purpose fast-ish aperture general purpose lens(with some ability as a background blurring lens.

    Because there 50's are so much more expensive($400-500) compared to the 35/1.8(more like low $200's) the latter option will take you close to the $1K limit, but I reckon you'd still make it under?? I think the Sigma and/or Tamron 17-50/2.8's retail at the grey market vendors for approximately $400 or so ).
    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


  5. #5
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    Arthur - just wow!
    thanks for your response, it gave me a lot to think about
    I spoke with a friend who has a D40 and she got a 50mm and explained to me that she often finds herself wishing that she had a 35mm lens instead
    you are right to assume that I have kit lenses - 18-55 and 55-200 Nikkor AFS VR
    as well as a recntly (couple months ago) purchase of a Sigma 150-500

    I am not in a hurry to spend all of my money nor do I feel the need to get many more lenses (I have other expensive hobbies as well like Japanese Swords, medieval reenactment and various martial arts!)

    After hearing some recommendations and reading reviews, I think I will in fact go for the 35 1.8 ( retail in Bris about $380 and likely less at my friendly local retailer who I liek to support and he likes to do me good deals). I am a little wary of the greys and like my waranties.

    I also like the idea of a prime and havign to learn more about the art of photography throught the use of a single focal length rather than the zoom.

    I will later work towards a zoom fast lens

    again thank you for your indepth thoughts on this

  6. #6
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I think the 35 option is the best choice to begin with.

    I have the 28-75 Tamron, and find myself having this lens on the camera by default. That is, when I pack everything away, I deliberately mount the Tamron onto the camera for any next time situation, and try to get myself in this frame of mind that I'm more decisive(the next time I shoot).
    I'm generally not! While I like to label myself as open minded, the common consensus is that I'm just indecisive(actual wording is scatterbrained air head, but I'm assuming these comments refer to indecision. So this is my translation of other's views )
    But once the camera with the 28-75mm is out, I then deliberately set it to 35mm and try to forget that it's set there, and try to shoot from there. Of course this usually doesn't always work as expected.. but that's not the point!

    Given these useless facts, I think the 35 is a better lens for indecisive people(like me!!.. maybe like you??). 35mm is more flexible. 50mm(on a crop sensor) seems to be more of a decisive person's lens. Sometimes I get in this decisive frame of mind tho and mount one of my 50mm's. Generally I get one maybe two shots .. if I mount any zoom, I know I'll get 3, maybe 4 hundred images.. mostly useless abstract stuff because I'm still undecided on what I want to shoot

    That I've noted between the three fast prime lenses commented upon so far(I have the Siggy 50/1.4, but have shot with the Nikon AF-S version briefly). I think that the 35/1.8 is sharper at f/1.8 than either of the two 50's are at f/1.4, and possibly even at f/1.8(but I can't confirm this).. I may one day tho.
    I've only had a quick few minutes with Andrew's(I@M's) 35/1.8 and was immediately convinced I needed this lens!(see!! I knew I was decisive.. but more about the gear I want/need, and less about the photos I want to shoot).

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    Thanks arthur, again,
    and this time a got a good laugh to boot! (Good for a Wednesday at work!)

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