Questions about lenses for D80


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Hectortan

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Dec 24, 2007
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Hi,

I have had my D80 for close to a year and had been using the kit lens (18-135mm). Recently I purchase a Sigma 10-20mm lens and am really impressed with the images taken. I am aching for a better walkabout lens to replace my 18-135mm.

Questions:

1. What should be the next set of lenses I should get? I prefer to take landscapes and potraits with occasional closeup shots, my Sigma 10-20mm is great for most landscapes.

2. Some magazines mention prime lens, what's the difference between prime lens and normal lenses?

3. There are some telephoto lens that can be used as macro lenses at certain focal lengths, are those as good as dedicated macro lenses?


Hope to get some suggestions as to the lens that I should get. Budget wise would be SGD $1k maximum. Thanks for you help!
 

tengcc

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Jul 31, 2006
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Hi,

I have had my D80 for close to a year and had been using the kit lens (18-135mm). Recently I purchase a Sigma 10-20mm lens and am really impressed with the images taken. I am aching for a better walkabout lens to replace my 18-135mm.

Questions:

1. What should be the next set of lenses I should get? I prefer to take landscapes and potraits with occasional closeup shots, my Sigma 10-20mm is great for most landscapes.

2. Some magazines mention prime lens, what's the difference between prime lens and normal lenses?

3. There are some telephoto lens that can be used as macro lenses at certain focal lengths, are those as good as dedicated macro lenses?


Hope to get some suggestions as to the lens that I should get. Budget wise would be SGD $1k maximum. Thanks for you help!

If you are looking for a walkabout lens, I believe Nikkon 18-200VR will be ideal as it is light and pictures are reasonably sharp. I brought my D80, with 18-200VR to a long vacation recently and I am pleased with the pictures that I've taken. Cheers!:thumbsup:
 

Scaglietti

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Jan 14, 2005
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Hi,

I have had my D80 for close to a year and had been using the kit lens (18-135mm). Recently I purchase a Sigma 10-20mm lens and am really impressed with the images taken. I am aching for a better walkabout lens to replace my 18-135mm.

Questions:

1. What should be the next set of lenses I should get? I prefer to take landscapes and potraits with occasional closeup shots, my Sigma 10-20mm is great for most landscapes.

2. Some magazines mention prime lens, what's the difference between prime lens and normal lenses?

3. There are some telephoto lens that can be used as macro lenses at certain focal lengths, are those as good as dedicated macro lenses?


Hope to get some suggestions as to the lens that I should get. Budget wise would be SGD $1k maximum. Thanks for you help!
First, you gotta know how the 18-135 is not meeting you needs.

I have been using the kit lens since day one, I am still finding it good for many situations.

BC
 

David Chin

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Oct 31, 2006
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I would recommend the 18-200VR as well. Besides giving you a longer reach, the VR really helps as it enables you to take some shots that would otherwise be impossible to take because of lower shutter speed. I bought my D80 with this lens and although I have since added a total of six extra lenses, including four primes (a 10.5, 30, 50 and 105) and two zoomz (12-24 and 17-55), I must say that despite it not being the sharpest lens, it is the one that I most often used. If you are going for a trip and can only bring one lens, this will definitely be the one.
 

Hectortan

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Dec 24, 2007
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the 18-135mm does not seem to give pictures as sharp as my 10-20mm sigma lens, even when I use it at the 18mm for both.

Maybe it's because the sigma lens is made for wide angle photography and therefore gives pictures of superior quality.

Another 'problem' I face when using the 18-135mm is when I try to take 'macro' shots, but i am guessing it's what the lens is made for. As for zoom, occasionally I do wish for slightly more zoom, but my hand shakes so much I tend to stay away from zoomed shots.

So was wondering if a standard 50/55mm lens would be useful for potraiture/general shots compared to the 18-135?
Also would it good to practice with a 50mm lens b4 trying out macro lenses?

Also does the 18-200mm VR from NIkon help much with handshake?
 

Hectortan

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Dec 24, 2007
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the 18-135mm does not seem to give pictures as sharp as my 10-20mm sigma lens, even when I use it at the 18mm for both.

Maybe it's because the sigma lens is made for wide angle photography and therefore gives pictures of superior quality.

Another 'problem' I face when using the 18-135mm is when I try to take 'macro' shots, but i am guessing it's what the lens is made for. As for zoom, occasionally I do wish for slightly more zoom, but my hand shakes so much I tend to stay away from zoomed shots.

So was wondering if a standard 50/55mm lens would be useful for potraiture/general shots compared to the 18-135?
Also would it good to practice with a 50mm lens b4 trying out macro lenses?

Also does the 18-200mm VR from NIkon help much with handshake?
 

Hobbesyeo

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Feb 16, 2005
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Hi,

I have had my D80 for close to a year and had been using the kit lens (18-135mm). Recently I purchase a Sigma 10-20mm lens and am really impressed with the images taken. I am aching for a better walkabout lens to replace my 18-135mm.

Questions:

1. What should be the next set of lenses I should get? I prefer to take landscapes and potraits with occasional closeup shots, my Sigma 10-20mm is great for most landscapes.

2. Some magazines mention prime lens, what's the difference between prime lens and normal lenses?

3. There are some telephoto lens that can be used as macro lenses at certain focal lengths, are those as good as dedicated macro lenses?


Hope to get some suggestions as to the lens that I should get. Budget wise would be SGD $1k maximum. Thanks for you help!

(1) Nikon 17-55 f2.8 - best mid zoom lense for digital if you can get past the price and weight. It gives an equivalent of 25-82mm on a DX body.

(2) Prime lens are of a fixed focal length. ie: 50mm, 24mm etc. Anything else is considered to be a zoom lens.

(3) I dun think so. The telephoto ones that I've seen so far do not have 1:1 reproduction - which is usually the hallmark of a dedicated macro lens.

Just what i know.. i could be wrong.:cool:
 

Hectortan

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Dec 24, 2007
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thanks everyone who has helped so far, i've been reading up and asking around, was recommended to get a standard lens instead of a zoom for practice with composition.

debating between the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 or and Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8.

I tried out my stock lens at 30mm and 50mm f/4 and only difference i can gather is how close/far i need to stand from the subject. Also been looking at pixel-peeper. both lenses seem excellent. Of course with a lower f-stop, i can take photos in dimmer conditions, apparently the nikon focuses faster and more accurate?

Anyone tried out these 3 lenses and have any comments? would a sigma 30mm f/1.4 + a nikon 50mm f/1.8 be a good combi?

thanks a lot for your help!
 

lukesky

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Oct 28, 2004
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the 18-135mm does not seem to give pictures as sharp as my 10-20mm sigma lens, even when I use it at the 18mm for both.
wah really ah? The 18-135 is famed for it's sharpness, if nothing else.
 

cepheus

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Jul 19, 2007
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wah really ah? The 18-135 is famed for it's sharpness, if nothing else.
personal opinion here, I would only think that it's sharp when used around the middle range focal length at f/8 and above.. on both ends of the zoom and apertures lower than f/8, images will get rather soft even on the steadiest tripod...

as for Hectortan thought of getting the primes combi, i would think it might a rather hassle approach... changing lenses every now and then with just 20mm differences (alot to some though) might not justify the money, effort and time... stills or studio shots still ok, time is on your side... to capture the defining moment in candid or street shots, especially portraitures, it's often a matter of grab and shoot... with primes on, compositions get even trickier sometimes...

knowing your subjects and style of shoots is very important in deciding your choice... as you stated portraits and occasional close ups are your main subjects, then you might wanna consider swapping your combi of the 30mm choice with a 90mm or 105mm... dedicated 1:1 macros will be useful for long-distance "pick-up" portraits as well..

my 2 cents.. :)
 

lukesky

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Oct 28, 2004
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personal opinion here, I would only think that it's sharp when used around the middle range focal length at f/8 and above.. on both ends of the zoom and apertures lower than f/8, images will get rather soft even on the steadiest tripod...
U mean soft where? Corners? Centre? If wana compare centre sharpness, hard for others to fight. Even the nikon 17-35 f2.8, famed for it's IQ, it still loses out at all the corresponding apertures for both centre and borders at all focal lengths according to MTF figures from photozone. I've shot quite a lot with the 18-135 and it's reputation isn't there for nothing. :sweat:
 

nikkie

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Jan 7, 2005
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ya, the 18-135 is darn sharp. if you observed that your 10-20 is sharper, then you better have your copy checked.
 

Hectortan

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Dec 24, 2007
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thanks cepheus for ur imput on portrait-taking, never thought of using a macro for taking portraits at all.

comparing my sigma at wide angle with the 18-135 at 18mm, the sigma does give better result, i cannot compare for other focal lengths, maybe the 18-135 is sharp, but i have no other lens for comparison actually.
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
Hi,

I have had my D80 for close to a year and had been using the kit lens (18-135mm). Recently I purchase a Sigma 10-20mm lens and am really impressed with the images taken. I am aching for a better walkabout lens to replace my 18-135mm.

Questions:

1. What should be the next set of lenses I should get? I prefer to take landscapes and potraits with occasional closeup shots, my Sigma 10-20mm is great for most landscapes.

2. Some magazines mention prime lens, what's the difference between prime lens and normal lenses?

3. There are some telephoto lens that can be used as macro lenses at certain focal lengths, are those as good as dedicated macro lenses?


Hope to get some suggestions as to the lens that I should get. Budget wise would be SGD $1k maximum. Thanks for you help!
I can suggest a few options. If you shoot indoors a lot, using available light, go for prime lenses (depending on what you wanna use them for). A few notable primes are the 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4, and 85 f/1.8. Obviously, because of their different focal lengths, they will all yield different results and are intended for different applications.

If you want the convenience of a zoom, but would like a faster f/2.8 aperture, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is a great value for money lens to look out for. This lens allows you to shoot at a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, thus making it very useful when light levels are lower.

If you just want the convenience of reach, the 18-200 VR is the only lens around that can do it. Do note that you will be sacrificing on a constant aperture throughout the zoom range. Instead, the max aperture values will range from f/3.5 at the wide end, to f/5.6 at the long end.
 

geraldkhoo

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2007
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The Tiny Red Dot
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thanks everyone who has helped so far, i've been reading up and asking around, was recommended to get a standard lens instead of a zoom for practice with composition.

debating between the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 or and Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8.

I tried out my stock lens at 30mm and 50mm f/4 and only difference i can gather is how close/far i need to stand from the subject. Also been looking at pixel-peeper. both lenses seem excellent. Of course with a lower f-stop, i can take photos in dimmer conditions, apparently the nikon focuses faster and more accurate?

Anyone tried out these 3 lenses and have any comments? would a sigma 30mm f/1.4 + a nikon 50mm f/1.8 be a good combi?

thanks a lot for your help!
I don't own the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 but have tried it out, and it focuses pretty fast as it has a HSM motor. Basically, when a camera focuses, it does so at maximum aperture, so when you have a big aperture (smaller f-stop number), it allows more light it and help the camera focus faster. I used to own the 50mm f/1.8 and it was a really good first prime lens to get. The Sigma 30mm 2nd hand is more than 3 times the price of a new 50mm f/1.8. Why don't you get the 50mm and see if you like primes. If you don't, you can always sell it away without much loss.

Also, the Sigma has a peeling problem (unless they have fixed it with all their new batches). The Sigma I tried out previously had all the externals peeled off revealing the metal body... actually, it looked quite cool :D
 

geraldkhoo

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Jun 15, 2007
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3. There are some telephoto lens that can be used as macro lenses at certain focal lengths, are those as good as dedicated macro lenses?
Are you looking to shoot macro (e.g. insects) or are you just looking to shoot objects close up, or to have a shorter focusing distance?

Macro shooting is not for everyone, and if you want to shoot macro, you would also likely need a tripod. Zooms lenses that have macro function do not have 1:1 reproduction.

Before you embark on thinking about buying a macro lens, find out what you want to take first.

Next, you can explore using a close up filter (+1, +2, +3, +4, +10) attached to the front of your prime lens, e.g. the 50mm f/1.8, and that may suit your need.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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I never owned the Sigma 10-20mm so i shall not comment on whether it is sharper than an 18-135.. But in general, a shorter zoom would produce better results than a longer/hyperzoom

A macro lens such as the 60mm and the 105mm can be used as a portrait lens as well.

Like what geraldkhoo said, there are cheaper alternatives to achieve macro. But of course a macro lens will provide better IQ, a matter of how much u are willing to invest in it for now.

There are a few zoom lenses that provides *partial* macro at certain focal lengths that achieves closer focusing. This includes the 35-70mm, the 35-135, the 28-105. Nikon has a dedicated macro zoom , the AFD 70-180mm. It goes close to reproducing 1:1 ( about 1:1.3 )

Macro shooting can be fun :)
Most ppl do not use tripods shooting insects / flowers.

Cheers
Ryan
 

2.8photography

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Jul 19, 2007
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have u considered the nikon af-s vr 105 f/2.8 macro? its a dedicated macro lens so it goes up to 1:1 magnification, and its very sharp too. nice focal length for portraits

shld be around ur budget, if not u can consider the older af-d 105 f/2.8 macro with no VR and no af-s:D
 

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