Prime replacements for 24-120mm


ChengB

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Feb 26, 2010
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#1
As above, I'm looking for prime lenses to replace my 24-120mm F4 G which I currently have. The current body that I have is a D600.

I shoot mainly portraiture with occasional street shots, architecture and scenery.

From what I have seen from the web and forums, I have mainly narrowed down my choices to the following few lenses:
1) Nikkor 50mm f1.8 G
2) Nikkor 85mm f1.8 G
3) Nikkor 28mm f1.8 G

The reason for those 3 are because I want to have the same coverage as the 24-120 that I'm letting go. Basically my constraints is that I'm trying not to spend on buying these lenses (i.e. sell off my 24-120 and use that money to buy the primes).

What I'm looking for is advice from all you seniors out there for alternatives to the 3 lenses mentioned above, be it in terms of better image quality or cheaper cost. Or, if you have used those lenses before, I would like to know your experiences with them. I don't really know about these lenses cos I recently jumped ship from Canon to Nikon just a couple of months ago.

Take note that I may not be getting 3 lenses (maybe 2 out of 3) since I also have a 16-35mm f4 G with me. The reason for my switching is because I cannot stand f4 being my widest aperture. ;p

Thanks in advance everyone! :bsmilie:
 

ChengB

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Feb 26, 2010
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#2
Oh just to add, in addition to primes, I'm also open to zoom lenses with fixed aperture that is larger than f4. But sadly 24-70 f2.8 is out of budget for me. :(
 

koppite

New Member
Dec 18, 2010
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#3
Based on what you always do, just get a 70-200 f2.8 vr1 will do. I will buy and keep the 50 f1.8g in the bag too if there's additional budget. Most importantly bro, you need a flash :)
 

TWmilkteaTW

Senior Member
May 30, 2011
2,251
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#4
Frankly..if you dontknow...we dontknow too..
Different user would prefer different things and have different style. :)
Canon or Nikon..in this case..does not matter..they are still lenses to be mount on the camera to help gather light. :bsmilie:

If you say..getting maybe 2 out of 3..and u had a 16-35.. Then i will say just consider the 50 and 85. :bsmilie: at least the focal length does not stacks.
Best is to know which focal length suit you most..then work around it. :cool:
 

Hacker

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2005
4,239
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#5
Oh just to add, in addition to primes, I'm also open to zoom lenses with fixed aperture that is larger than f4. But sadly 24-70 f2.8 is out of budget for me. :(
Tamron 24-70mm VR? It is f/2.8.
 

Luminare

Senior Member
May 25, 2012
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#6
You wont go wrong with the 85mm f/1.8G

You wont really need the 28mm f/1.8G as you already have the 16-35mm f/4 as not only it will becomes an overlap, the are no added advantages of having the 28mm f/1.8G apart from the f/1.8 for portraits.

Financially, the 85mm f/1.8G is likely to take up 50-60% of the money you are likely to be going to take back from the sales of 24-120mm f/4 VR which otherwise mean if you are not inclined to top up, that leaves you with a budget similar or less to the purchase of the 85mm f/1.8G should you decide to go for it.

I don't know about what is the common focal length you use, for me, I tend to shy away from 50mm because I find nothing special about the 50mm perspective. Perhaps my creativity is limited. However, the 50mm would be a good companion as a bridging focal length between 35mm and 85mm.

In Summary, go for the 50mm f/1.8G and 85mm f/1.8G. Should you want a f/1.4 and is willing to pay a premium, go for the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2. The saturation, contrast and bokeh is mesmerizing.

There are other 85mm out there that I have heard they are good but since I have not used them apart from the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and tested the 85mm f/1.8G at a shop, I am not able to give comments.

As above, I'm looking for prime lenses to replace my 24-120mm F4 G which I currently have. The current body that I have is a D600.

I shoot mainly portraiture with occasional street shots, architecture and scenery.

From what I have seen from the web and forums, I have mainly narrowed down my choices to the following few lenses:
1) Nikkor 50mm f1.8 G
2) Nikkor 85mm f1.8 G
3) Nikkor 28mm f1.8 G

The reason for those 3 are because I want to have the same coverage as the 24-120 that I'm letting go. Basically my constraints is that I'm trying not to spend on buying these lenses (i.e. sell off my 24-120 and use that money to buy the primes).

What I'm looking for is advice from all you seniors out there for alternatives to the 3 lenses mentioned above, be it in terms of better image quality or cheaper cost. Or, if you have used those lenses before, I would like to know your experiences with them. I don't really know about these lenses cos I recently jumped ship from Canon to Nikon just a couple of months ago.

Take note that I may not be getting 3 lenses (maybe 2 out of 3) since I also have a 16-35mm f4 G with me. The reason for my switching is because I cannot stand f4 being my widest aperture. ;p

Thanks in advance everyone! :bsmilie:
 

Last edited:

ChengB

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Feb 26, 2010
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#7
koppite said:
Based on what you always do, just get a 70-200 f2.8 vr1 will do. I will buy and keep the 50 f1.8g in the bag too if there's additional budget. Most importantly bro, you need a flash :)
Hmmm interesting suggestion. Didn't think of that before. The only thing I'm afraid of is that the 70-200 will become a white elephant since I do mainly indoor shooting so it might become a bit tight?

Oh I do have a flash! :)
 

ChengB

New Member
Feb 26, 2010
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#8
TWmilkteaTW said:
Frankly..if you dontknow...we dontknow too..
Different user would prefer different things and have different style. :)
Canon or Nikon..in this case..does not matter..they are still lenses to be mount on the camera to help gather light. :bsmilie:

If you say..getting maybe 2 out of 3..and u had a 16-35.. Then i will say just consider the 50 and 85. :bsmilie: at least the focal length does not stacks.
Best is to know which focal length suit you most..then work around it. :cool:
Hahaha i am not making a comparison between Canon and Nikon, but rather stating my relative unfamiliarity with some if the Nikon lenses. Since I occasionally do freelancing, I wouldn't want to end up with a lens that doesn't deliver.

Yup, I'm considering those two right now actually. Probably will go and shoot and review my shots to see which lengths I use most often!
 

ChengB

New Member
Feb 26, 2010
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#9
Hacker said:
Tamron 24-70mm VR? It is f/2.8.
I've read reviews about this lens and some said that its a bit soft, so I'm not so sure. Again, picture quality is quite important to me so I wouldn't dare to play play with it. >.<

but then again, since most 24-70's have reputable quality, maybe I'll reconsider! Thanks!
 

Luminare

Senior Member
May 25, 2012
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#10
There are people who shoot indoor with a 200 f/2 VR and it is stunning.

Back to the main subject, for portrait applications, having used and compared 85mm lens with f/1.8 and below, especially at f/2 (stopped down) and the 70-200 f/2.8 VR II, the 85mm f/1.8G (Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and the 85mm f/1.4G that I have never used/test but is supposing the best of them all) is still the better lens to get.

Hmmm interesting suggestion. Didn't think of that before. The only thing I'm afraid of is that the 70-200 will become a white elephant since I do mainly indoor shooting so it might become a bit tight?

Oh I do have a flash! :)
 

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ChengB

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Feb 26, 2010
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#11
Luminare said:
You wont go wrong with the 85mm f/1.8G

You wont really need the 28mm f/1.8G as you already have the 16-35mm f/4 as not only it will becomes an overlap, the are no added advantages of having the 28mm f/1.8G apart from the f/1.8 for portraits.

Financially, the 85mm f/1.8G is likely to take up 50-60% of the money you are likely to be going to take back from the sales of 24-120mm f/4 VR which otherwise mean if you are not inclined to top up, that leaves you with a budget similar or less to the purchase of the 85mm f/1.8G should you decide to go for it.

I don't know about what is the common focal length you use, for me, I tend to shy away from 50mm because I find nothing special about the 50mm perspective. Perhaps my creativity is limited. However, the 50mm would be a good companion as a bridging focal length between 35mm and 85mm.

In Summary, go for the 50mm f/1.8G and 85mm f/1.8G. Should you want a f/1.4 and is willing to pay a premium, go for the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2. The saturation, contrast and bokeh is mesmerizing.

There are other 85mm out there that I have heard they are good but since I have not used them apart from the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and tested the 85mm f/1.8G at a shop, I am not able to give comments.
Actually yes, I do agree that there is nothing special about 50mm. And I would love to get the 85mm. The reason why I'm considering 50 mm is to make up for the missing focal length in between. It would come in handy I guess.

For now no budget to go after the Zeiss! Hahaha! Thanks a lot of the input! It helped quite a bit!
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
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#12
I am in agreement with some of the comments above. Unless you need larger apertures at 28mm, you can ditch the 28mm f/1.8G prime lens.

I would say go for the 50mm f/1.8G and the 85mm f/1.8G. I wasn't a proponent of the 50mm before as I found the older D lenses inferior and the 50mm G lens expensive. The new 50mm f/1.8G however, represents excellent value in my opinion. And the 50mm perspective is pretty versatile. So why don't I have a 50mm anyway? Because I have both 35mm and 85mm as well as access to both DX and FX cameras. So I can achieve the 50mm perspective easily.

What I am curious about is that you have no solution for your tele end. Perhaps it is because you rarely use that end of the lens?
 

ChengB

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Feb 26, 2010
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#13
I am in agreement with some of the comments above. Unless you need larger apertures at 28mm, you can ditch the 28mm f/1.8G prime lens.

I would say go for the 50mm f/1.8G and the 85mm f/1.8G. I wasn't a proponent of the 50mm before as I found the older D lenses inferior and the 50mm G lens expensive. The new 50mm f/1.8G however, represents excellent value in my opinion. And the 50mm perspective is pretty versatile. So why don't I have a 50mm anyway? Because I have both 35mm and 85mm as well as access to both DX and FX cameras. So I can achieve the 50mm perspective easily.

What I am curious about is that you have no solution for your tele end. Perhaps it is because you rarely use that end of the lens?
By saying "new 50mm", I'm guessing that you are referring to the version that was released in 2011 right? I'm not putting too much of an emphasis on the telephoto end is due to the fact that I dont usually use it very often. If i ever want to fill a frame, I guess I can either move closer with the 85mm or simply do a crop.

It seems that many people are encouraging me to get the 85mm. Perhaps I'll go have a test run soon to see how it goes!
 

Apr 2, 2006
2,308
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CCK
#14
You wont go wrong with the 85mm f/1.8G

You wont really need the 28mm f/1.8G as you already have the 16-35mm f/4 as not only it will becomes an overlap, the are no added advantages of having the 28mm f/1.8G apart from the f/1.8 for portraits.

Financially, the 85mm f/1.8G is likely to take up 50-60% of the money you are likely to be going to take back from the sales of 24-120mm f/4 VR which otherwise mean if you are not inclined to top up, that leaves you with a budget similar or less to the purchase of the 85mm f/1.8G should you decide to go for it.

I don't know about what is the common focal length you use, for me, I tend to shy away from 50mm because I find nothing special about the 50mm perspective. Perhaps my creativity is limited. However, the 50mm would be a good companion as a bridging focal length between 35mm and 85mm.

In Summary, go for the 50mm f/1.8G and 85mm f/1.8G. Should you want a f/1.4 and is willing to pay a premium, go for the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2. The saturation, contrast and bokeh is mesmerizing.

There are other 85mm out there that I have heard they are good but since I have not used them apart from the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and tested the 85mm f/1.8G at a shop, I am not able to give comments.
Luminare - From what I see of the photos you've posted you are just being too modest about being limited in your creativity! Maybe 50mm is not your style!

TS -
So lenses you have:
16-35mm f/4VR
24-120mm f/4VR

Assume you have an FX DSLR, and you dislike the f/4 being max aperture.

And you want to sell 24-120mm f/4 to get larger than f/4 max aperture.

Question:
1. Is this selling simply prompted by lack of wider aperture than f/4? Seems so. You are willing to consider f/2.8 zoom.
2. Do you still want the flexibility of the zoom? I am asking this question as there are times even prime shooters yearn for a zoom. That's why I eventually settled on getting a 24-120mm f/4VR to supplement my prime shooting.

Maybe your solution is not to sell the 24-120mm f/4 but to get a prime to supplement your zooms (just like the way I am supplementing my primes with a zoom, just coming from the other direction). Maybe it is time to save up for the 85mm f/1.8G prime to get the aperture you need?

Analyze your f/1.8 situation - why do you want f/1.8? Low light or isolation? Landscape/city scape or portrait? If the former I would go towards wide prime (like 28mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/2, even 50mm f/1.8G), if latter then 85mm f/1.8G or 50mm f/1.8G.

Classic prime shooters "skip" focal lengths. From the usual range 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 200mm, .... if I start with 20mm, I would go with 28mm, 50mm and 105mm. In your case check your shooting style, look for what you want in the f/1.8.

With your 16-35mm f/4VR, you might want to skip 50mm. My recommendation is still either the 50mm f/1.8G or the 85mm f/1.8G is what you need/want, cause the 16-35mm f/4VR is good for low light (unless you are going for wide angle isolation then 28mm f/1.8G).

Keep the 24-120mm f/4G VR.
 

Last edited:
Apr 19, 2007
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Alexandra
#15
I enjoy my current setup - which is close to what you are looking for. Occasionally i need to rent a 70-200 or 70-300 and for now, an occasional rental is more cost effective that buying.

The 24 f/2.8 is a bit soft in corners until f/4 but this does not restrict me at all - especially for landscape.
 

Apr 2, 2006
2,308
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CCK
#16
By saying "new 50mm", I'm guessing that you are referring to the version that was released in 2011 right? I'm not putting too much of an emphasis on the telephoto end is due to the fact that I dont usually use it very often. If i ever want to fill a frame, I guess I can either move closer with the 85mm or simply do a crop.

It seems that many people are encouraging me to get the 85mm. Perhaps I'll go have a test run soon to see how it goes!
With this reply in mind I say go try the 50mm as well. Maybe this will help you get by the f/1.8 blues and keep your 24-120 for flexibility!
 

Apr 19, 2007
267
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0
Alexandra
#17
I enjoy my current setup - which is close to what you are looking for. Occasionally i need to rent a 70-200 or 70-300 and for now, an occasional rental is more cost effective that buying.

The 24 f/2.8 is a bit soft in corners until f/4 but this does not restrict me at all - especially for landscape.
Oops. My setup: D600 with SB 400 flash, 24 f/2.8 + 50 f/1.4 D and 85 f/1.8G
 

Omega23

New Member
Mar 12, 2009
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#18
My setup for yr consideration..nikkor 24 f1.4, sigma 35mm f1.4, nikkor 50 f1.8D, nikkor 85 f1.4D, nikkor 70-200vr2..
 

soeypixels

Senior Member
Jun 24, 2007
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#19
if ur gg to sell away the 24-120

the first lens should be 50mm, cos is cheapest and if u sell away u wont make too much lost

if ur using lightroom, go check out all your images (maybe other software also can)
check out at what focal length u shoot most of your images with, then it probably tell u which lens u should buy first
 

ChengB

New Member
Feb 26, 2010
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#20
Wow you guys have really given me a lot to think about, esp diediealsomustdive. You seemed to have read my mind! Hahaha.

I must admit that on second thought, this might be an impulsive buy, but I do want something bigger than an f4. After some soul searching and deep thinking, I have more or less decided that I will settle for the 50mm f1.8 for now. It is a great value for money lens and it satisfies my cravings for a larger than f4. I will keep my 24-120mm until I have the budget to upgrade to a full blown prime set up (which might not be so soon since I'm still studying. >.<).

Thank so much for all your replies and thoughts everyone! It really helped in preventing me from doing something which I might have regretted! :)
 

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