Need some advice for my next lens purchase

#1 Jun 23rd, 2014, 13:09
Join Date:
Jun 2014
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
7
  • nikonD5100user is offline
#1
Hi all,

I am an amateur photographer. Most of my shots include portraits of my family members (including kids), nature / landscapes (mountain peaks, rivers), historical / architectural monuments, macro (flowers, insects etc.).

Currently I'm using Nikon D5100 with 35mm f/1.8G prime and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G kit lens. Sometimes I feel (may be I'm wrong) my existing gears lack the "range" on either side (i.e. lower than 18mm & higher than 55mm), especially on the higher side.

Is 18-55mm kit lens enough for shooting wide at its shorter focal length? Should I go for a telephoto zoom for portrait and travel photography purpose? Or should I purchase an all-in-one zoom (like Tamron 18-270mm), but again I heard that the optical quality is not that great for these type of lenses? Looks like I'm bit confused.

I've shortlisted some of the lenses here and I need to choose one (I'm open to other options as long as they fit into my budget):

Wide angle: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens

Telephoto zoom: Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD OR Nikon AF-S DX VR 55 - 200 mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED

All-in-one zoom: Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD

Please let me know your opinion.

Thanks!
#2 Jun 23rd, 2014, 13:19
Join Date:
Dec 2008
Location:
Interweb
Posts:
16,225
  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#2
There's a lot of conflict in what you've written. Do you need to go wide or tele? Decide on that first before looking at lens choices. Use something like BR exif extractor to analyze the data from what you've shot until now and see where the mode lies for the f/stop. If tele is a priority consider the tamron as it's not too bad for the money though Nikon original is always preferable especially for truthful color rendering. If you need wide, a great compromise solution is the nikkor 16-85 VR. Personally, while i have the 18-140 VR with the D7000 and the 18-55 with D40, I love the flexibility of the smaller lens camera combination and for shooting buildings with limited details, its a winner! (that's also because the 18-140 has barrel distortion at the wide end).
#3 Jun 23rd, 2014, 21:44
Join Date:
Jun 2014
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
7
  • nikonD5100user is offline
#3

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post There's a lot of conflict in what you've written. Do you need to go wide or tele? Decide on that first before looking at lens choices. Use something like BR exif extractor to analyze the data from what you've shot until now and see where the mode lies for the f/stop. If tele is a priority consider the tamron as it's not too bad for the money though Nikon original is always preferable especially for truthful color rendering. If you need wide, a great compromise solution is the nikkor 16-85 VR. Personally, while i have the 18-140 VR with the D7000 and the 18-55 with D40, I love the flexibility of the smaller lens camera combination and for shooting buildings with limited details, its a winner! (that's also because the 18-140 has barrel distortion at the wide end).
Dear Vaibhav,

Thank you for your reply! I've made my mind to go for a telephoto zoom. And for the wide range, as of now I'll remain satisfied with my 18-55mm :-)

Thanks!
#4 Jun 24th, 2014, 12:15
Join Date:
Aug 2006
Location:
Homeless
Posts:
20,559
  • nycank is offline
#4
Vaibhav has given some excellent nuggets of advice. Do this:

* Go to one of the photo sites like flickr/pbase/photo.net and look at photos taken with the lens you are interested in.

* Go to some guru sites, and look at some of the photos taken with ens and follow the discussions.

* Exif data is valuable in getting a sense of capabilities using a particular lens.
#5 Jun 24th, 2014, 12:41
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Hyderabad, india
Posts:
8,570
  • narendra.d is offline
#5
The lens I miss most is at the wider end because with the crop factor my 18-55 is actually more of 30-80.

I can zoom in all I want in an image, but I just can't go wide.
#6 Jun 24th, 2014, 21:01
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Hyderabad, india
Posts:
8,570
  • narendra.d is offline
#6
Just came across a link to this site: http://lenshero.com

For me, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 seems to fill the gap mentioned above. Don't know how much it costs though.
#7 Jun 24th, 2014, 21:15
Join Date:
Jul 2012
Location:
kolkata
Posts:
3,132
  • iamsomnath is online now
#7
Lenses in the clan of Sigma 10-20, tokina 11-16 are not very useful for going "wide" . They are more for coming very close to a foreground element and including the ambience. A love for distortion is also needed. For distortion free really wide shots , shoot two side by side shots @18mm and stitch. Once it was a favorite walk-around for me
cheers
#8 Jun 25th, 2014, 22:12
Join Date:
Jun 2014
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
7
  • nikonD5100user is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamsomnath View Post For distortion free really wide shots , shoot two side by side shots @18mm and stitch. Once it was a favorite walk-around for me
cheers
This was a nice suggestion! Thanks!

Regarding the zoom lens, can you please suggest one. I've shortlisted the below ones:
Nikon 70-300mm VR
Nikon 55-300mm VR
Nikon 55-200mm VR
Tamron 70-300mm VC

The weight of 55-200 mm is less than half of the weight of 70-300 mm, whereas there is not much difference in weight between 55-300 mm and 70-300 mm [only 165g].

Apart from weight, size, AF speed, and of course the build quality, is there any major difference between 55-200 mm and 70-300 mm in IQ? As I've no interest in bird photography so far, I don't think I'm going to shoot anything in 200-300 mm range. Perhaps sharpness till 200 mm is what I would be needing. Any opinion?
#9 Jun 25th, 2014, 22:48
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Hyderabad, india
Posts:
8,570
  • narendra.d is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamsomnath View Post Lenses in the clan of Sigma 10-20, tokina 11-16 are not very useful for going "wide" . They are more for coming very close to a foreground element and including the ambience. A love for distortion is also needed. For distortion free really wide shots , shoot two side by side shots @18mm and stitch. Once it was a favorite walk-around for me
cheers
Thanks for that.
I have never used software to process my images in any way till now, but would like to learn. What tools do you use, if you can share? Especially for stitching, layering etc. Any Freeware on Windows?

Also, as a linux user, I would really like to know any tools that you are aware of. Though Linux has GIMP as a photo editor (similar to photoshop), I have never used it or bothered to learn to use it till now.

PS: NikonD5100user: Sorry, no intension to hijack the thread.
#10 Jun 25th, 2014, 23:04
Join Date:
Jul 2012
Location:
kolkata
Posts:
3,132
  • iamsomnath is online now
#10

Re: Need some advice for my next lens purchase

I will answer in detail. Please wait till tomorrow
Regards
Somnath
#11 Jun 25th, 2014, 23:19
Join Date:
Jul 2012
Location:
kolkata
Posts:
3,132
  • iamsomnath is online now
#11

Re: Need some advice for my next lens purchase

Dear OP. I have used the nikon and tamron 70-300 and can offer my views on them. The 55-300,well I have handled for a few hours and I have found no perceptible difference with nikon 70 300, except that the 70 300 is compatible to full frame cameras, hence the higher price . Both of them demand good light to lock focus, hunts for focus in less than ideal light, very sharp upto 200 and gets softer beyond that, usable VR but not spectacular, build quality ordinary, peak performance at f8 to f11, wider it gets softer, smaller diffraction sets in.
I like the tamron 70 300 vc the best. I have handled two copies, both sharper than nikon 70 300 vr. It seems that tamron had ironed out their quality control issues. Built and everything at par with nikon. A bit cheaper to buy, resale value comparably low.
Haven't used the 55 200. The rest three are all good medium tele consumer zooms.
#12 Jun 26th, 2014, 00:58
Join Date:
Jul 2012
Location:
kolkata
Posts:
3,132
  • iamsomnath is online now
#12
@Narendra.D, I share my experience with you Sir regarding photo editing software. I first confess that I am a relatively very late entrant in digital photography. I was shooting mainly film upto as late as in 2011. I have been compelled to go all digital only since 2012. I have started learning photo editing only since then as earlier all I had to do was to shoot and the lab used to do the rest.

Now my take on photo editing are :-
1. To do justice to all the hassles of editing, shooting in RAW is essential as it contains many times more information in the file than even "fine" jpegs.

2. For conversion of raw and basic editing like noise reduction, exposure control, curve , contrast , sharpening etc I have used Rawtherapee ( free but steep learning curve), Lightroom 4 loaded with NIK plugin ( paid and extremely useful for keeping the files organized as well as brilliant editing and moderate learning curve), Adobe camera raw ( free plugin for photoshop and extremely powerful with moderate learning curve) .

3. I have a licensed photoshop CS 6 which I do never use. Unless you are a very advanced graphic artist and need to manipulate the image a lot Photoshop is way way overkill. So I never use Photoshop. GIMP is the very same thing , too big and powerful

4. For basic cropping, bordering I still use "photoscape". A gem of a free software, very easy to learn and use as well as quite powerful.

5. For stitching use Photoscape ( combine function). practice a bit and you will fall in love with it. Photoshop and photomerge etc. is way overkill again.

6. It is my principle that if I end up at editing for more than 8/10 minutes on an image I consider it to be my failure as a photographer.

So in summation , for free use I recommend Rawtherapee with photoscape. For paid use LR with NIK plugin and photoscape.

I hope my experience will come to your aid in some way,

regards
Somnath
#13 Jun 26th, 2014, 01:48
Join Date:
Jul 2007
Location:
RofB - India - US
Posts:
742
  • Sweet_Lana is offline
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonD5100user View Post Dear Vaibhav,
I've made my mind to go for a telephoto zoom. And for the wide range, as of now I'll remain satisfied with my 18-55mm :-)
I recently got Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras and quite happy with it (as an amateur was choosing something with price not more than 150$..hesitated between Sigma and Tamron). I like portraits which i make using Sigma and of course birds look not bad
I can show couple of examples of my pics using new lens (although i'm still in the process of learning how to click pics properly))
But portraits are fine with both 18-55 and this Sigma 70-300, i needed Zoom (to make pics of objects which aren't very close, including small like dragonflies or little birds)
18-55mm macro (if it can be called macro -spiders, they were around 1-2mm each) and portrait of cat


And portrait of my wet pet using Sigma

dragonfly again using Sigma while standing not too close

flying swans

My next dream is lens for wide photography
Laugh as long as u breath n love as long as u live!
#14 Jun 26th, 2014, 07:48
Join Date:
Jun 2010
Location:
Hyderabad, india
Posts:
8,570
  • narendra.d is offline
#14
I have moved to Digital in the last few months as well. Had a Film based Canon and had stopped using it.

Thank you for the great info in that post, much appreciated. Will try out Rawtherapee and Photoscape. Will post how they are. Currently I shoot in Jpeg medium size, as I was sure I was not going to do any editing. Will start shooting RAW now that I have a few tools and also need to learn how to use the software.
#15 Jun 26th, 2014, 07:57
Join Date:
Aug 2006
Location:
Homeless
Posts:
20,559
  • nycank is offline
#15
If one is uncomfortable with GIMP, use gimpshop or darktable - Open source projects.

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
UWA lens owners - do you use the lens hood? Jan 17th, 2014 20:21 16 6770 Photography
All about lens - filters Jun 1st, 2013 07:21 12 3479 Photography
Car Purchase Advice Aug 14th, 2009 14:02 7 2141 Buses, Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Bicycles
Advice on ticket purchase? Sep 6th, 2007 05:49 7 1364 International India Flights


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success