Upgrade my 18-55mm kit lens...


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orangedial

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Feb 13, 2007
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Hi, newbie here looking for an upgrade for my Nikon 18-55mm kit lens. However, which of these following lenses should I choose?

1) Nikon 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G
2) Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
3) Sigma 18-50mm f2.8
(Nikon 17-55mm is way out of my budget, so it's out of consideration :cry: )

I've read a lot of good review about the Tamron. But the Sigma can do macro, and Nikon is deemed as a 'must have' lens by many... I'm still experimenting with DSLR and have been shooting in all kinds of lighting condition (bright or dim). Is the Tamron more worthwhile?

Also, I plan to get an external flash (most likely SB600) for my D50. How will this affect the lens choice?

Many thanks for your advice in advance!
 

wlcling

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Mar 10, 2007
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i havent tried to rest other than the tamron, but i would say its really a nice lens... for the wide aperture.. that would be preferable to the Nikon. But can't say for the sigma as i've never tried it before... :devil:
 

jimbok

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Nov 6, 2005
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I dont think 18-70mm is an upgrade.
Personally I have not tried the other 2, but Tamron has great reviews everywhere, can consider about this lens.
 

mynameisjizeng

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Aug 10, 2006
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tamron would be better. im thinking of getting it too!

sigma's 'macro' isnt true macro i think. as in it doesnt give a 1:2 or 1:1 reproduction. true?
 

tribal.snake

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Dec 7, 2006
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go for the tamron. best bet and u get a 2.8 lens.

18-70 is not too bad, but for that money, not much of an upgrade.
sigma not much of a macro.
 

Artosoft

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Aug 31, 2005
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tamron would be better. im thinking of getting it too!

sigma's 'macro' isnt true macro i think. as in it doesnt give a 1:2 or 1:1 reproduction. true?
Correct for 'not-true' macro, but the reason is wrong. True macro/micro lens (dedicated macro/micro lens) is achieve by the design of the lens is for macro/micro photography. 1:2 or 1:1 reproduction ratio can also be achieve by 'not-true' macro lens. I prefer to say this 'not-true' macro lens is a lens with macro feature.

Regards,
Arto.
 

calebk

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Jul 25, 2006
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Actually, the difference in magnification between the Sigma and Tamron is noticable, but overall, the Tamron has better optical performance. The Sigma tends to have a yellow Sigma cast, and some copies suffer from being soft on one half of the frame.
 

hacknet

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Mar 20, 2007
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i wouldnt bother with the 18-70mm, i am in the same predicament and i am thinking about a nikkor 28-105. but they seem hard to comeby these days.
 

Chee Wai

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Sep 16, 2002
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i wouldnt bother with the 18-70mm, i am in the same predicament and i am thinking about a nikkor 28-105. but they seem hard to comeby these days.
Just curious: is the 18-70 such a bad lens?

I have the Nikon 28-105 lens, it's very sharp and colours are good. Quite a lot of owners sold it off for around $350 as the range is not so appropriate on digital body (becomes a 42-158mm lens). I felt they don't really appreciate how good optically this lens is. Maybe when FF Nikon dSLR arrive, we will see a resurgence of interest in this lens.
 

daydreamz

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Mar 14, 2007
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In a not so green world!! :(
In my limited knowledge - Tamron over Sigma any day for most lenses except the 70-300mm where Sigma seems to have a winner(lone & only exception). Hear nice things about the Tamron 17-50mm too...go for it. :thumbsup:

hope the sigma loyalists dont flame me for this general hearsay speak! :D

I am thinking about buying this too...but at present am still quite happy with my d80 kit lens...18-135mm is considered one of the best kit lens...so still discovering what I could or could not do with it that i can try to do with other better lenses. But am gonna evolve soon...either 17-50mm or maybe 30mm 1.4....hmmmmm choices choices...!

Cheers mate.
 

Zaknafein

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Oct 29, 2005
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Its the best Kit lens Nikon ever made.

Regards,
Arto.
i wouldnt say its the best as i have not tried the rest...
i have the 18-70, and i feel its a good lens :)

Nikon 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G, altho issnt a 2.8 lens, i feel f3.5-4.5 is very good for its pricing. and the image quality issnt bad either
 

vaxvms

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Dec 21, 2005
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BEHIND YOU!!!!!!
tamron 17-50 for her constant f2.8 and value for $$$ lens
 

Chee Wai

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Personally I find lenses with f2.8 aperture are constantly over-rated.

I do own the 70-200 f2.8 and 300mm f2.8 lenses and they are great.

But often, you don't shoot at f2.8 unless there is a need to. This is esp so for night scenes and stage performances where you can't use flash. For a telephoto, using f2.8 also means you can use a higher shutter speed which will reduce vibration induced blur on the image. Plus the f2.8 aperture allows very fast AF on these tele lenses which are often used for sports and nature photography.

How often do you use a wide angle at f2.8? For me, I normally use wide angle lenses for landscapes, street scenes, family snapshots etc. For these images, you need sufficient depth of field, thus I almost never shoot at f2.8 but often use f5.6 and below. Also, a wide angle lens image is less susceptible to vibration at low shutter speed. A rule of thumb on the shutter speed to use for the focal length of the lens is 1/focal length. Therefore, a wide angle lens like the 17-50mm lens, you can get away with shutter speeds as low as 1/15 to 1/30. But a long tele lenses, you will need to use at least 1/250 (for a 300mm lens) or at least 1/125 for a 70-200mm lens. Thus if you can get away with 1/30 shutter speed, you can easily stop down the lens to f5.6 and below in most lighting situation when using a wide angle lens.

Therefore, is there a blind need to chase after f2.8 lenses? Do you really need to use f2.8 often? If not, may I suggest that the slower wide angle lenses will give you similar results esp when stopped down to f8 and f11.
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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With f2.8, I get to shoot at f4 which is one stop down from the widest and I still get very decent quality instead of wide open at f3.5 or f4.5 for the kit lenses (which won't give me the same sharpness)

it's all a matter of using the right tools for the right job.
 

your18

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Aug 10, 2006
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@serangoon
Hi, newbie here looking for an upgrade for my Nikon 18-55mm kit lens. However, which of these following lenses should I choose?

1) Nikon 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G
2) Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
3) Sigma 18-50mm f2.8
(Nikon 17-55mm is way out of my budget, so it's out of consideration :cry: )

I've read a lot of good review about the Tamron. But the Sigma can do macro, and Nikon is deemed as a 'must have' lens by many... I'm still experimenting with DSLR and have been shooting in all kinds of lighting condition (bright or dim). Is the Tamron more worthwhile?

Also, I plan to get an external flash (most likely SB600) for my D50. How will this affect the lens choice?

Many thanks for your advice in advance!
It all depends on what u want or what u are going to use the lens for?
A longer reach? A fast lens but shorter reach?
I used to own tamron 17-50 f2.8. I sold it and got 18-200vr. Its not becoz tamron 17-50 wasnt gd. Its just that i feel a lack of reach, to me it matters. Even though i have sigma 70-300.
 

jnet6

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2004
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Heard the tamron is not bad...

why do u think the lens will affect the flash that you are using?
 

Yatlapball

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May 13, 2006
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Yep. The 28-105 was very populer with the film users. And well... Nikon has come out with the "DX Solution" and introduced the 18-70. Both are of better than decent optical quality and very affordable. I would rate them as excellent buys if you do not need wide apertures.

That being said, the 18-55 is a very capable kit lens (although lacking in some aspects). How much have you been shooting? If you have no idea if you need the wide aperture or longer range... you need to go and shoot more with your kit lens until you know the answer. Then purchase whatever lens accordingly to suit your needs.
 

cichlid

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Dec 2, 2006
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pic is resized only no pp...aperture at f/4

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hacknet

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Mar 20, 2007
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i found the 18-55 kit lens to have good sharpness and it can get pretty close to the subject at 55mm. its not 'macro' close but you can get pretty nice shots. my only qualm is that it can get quite dark and focusing at 55mm can get alittle sticky in low light..
 

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