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Thread: Lens recommendation for APSC

  1. #1
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    Lens recommendation for APSC

    Last year I picked up a D3100 for a small light weight vacation camera. Its a great size, weight and has good performance for my needs. I'm a commercial photographer and use Hasselblad digital and FF Canon in my work so I'm very accustomed to fine glass. This is the problem, my expectations about glass are very high and the kit 18-55 just doesn't fill the bill. I did pick up a great wide zoom, a Tokina 11-16 that absolutely knocks me out. My wife gave me a Nikon 55-200 VR that's very good stopped down a little plus very light, small and cheap.

    Now the question, what's available in a small, light weight, inexpensive mid range zoom that has very good image quality. I don't care if it's fixed aperture or not. For vacation shooting its of no importance. I also don't care if it will autofocus on the 3100. It can be any brand as long as it fits te above requirements.

    Any thoughts?

    Isn't it nice this isn't another D800 thread?

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    Re: Lens recommendation for APSC

    I should also mention I would like to keep price in the $500 or less range not $1400 up.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Lens recommendation for APSC

    I owned the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and it was very nice on my old D300. It compared well against the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8, which is quadruple the cost. The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 is supposed to be good too, and the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 as well.

    I haven't used them all, but those are the ones I'd be looking at.

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    Re: Lens recommendation for APSC

    The Nikon 16-85 sounds good if performance is good. I would be concerned a 2.8 would. E on the large and heavy side.

    Thanks

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Lens recommendation for APSC

    I've lived with the Tamron 17-50/2.8 for years. It works fine, but doesn't spur the greatest emotions. The weakest point is the wide end where it has to be stopped down considerably. I often end up around f/8 when shooting wider than 20mm.

    I've seen some impressive results from the Nikkor 16-85, but I've never owned the lens. If I should choose today, that's probably where I'd go. Be aware though, that there's a rumour going about a similar lens with a fixed f/4 aperture. I'm sure it will be launched the day after I buy the current 16-85

    Another option would be primes for longer focal lengths than your 11-16mm, like 28, 50 and 85mm plus a 70-300 for emergencies. That would be where I was heading should I make a lightweight travel setup based on a Nikon DX body today.

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    Re: Lens recommendation for APSC

    Im considering primes. I do have a 50 f1.8 that a jewel. I have some 60's & 70's glass that I've had mixed results with. My favorite but large and heavy is a fixed f4 25-50 Nikkor. It's excellent on both film and digital. Also have an E series fixed f3.5 75-150 that's quite sharp but the zoom controll is way too loose like most of these. I also have a non AI 24 f2.8 that's terrible on digital but great in film. Also a very early 28 f3.5 that's fairly good, a 35 f2.8 that's killer, a non AI 50 f1.4 that's good from f4 down, a non AI micro 50 f3.5 that's bad on digital and a non AI 105 f2.5 that's fantastic on film but unimpressive on digital. The big surprises were how bad the 25 & 105 are on digital and how good they are on film. Actually they're two of my favorite prime Nikkors since the late 60's.

    I also tried a used 24 AF that my dealer had and was totally disappointed. I think it looked worse than my old one. This is a gap IMO in the primes.

    I may spring for a 35G and either the 85 f1.8 AF (D) or the F version and just live with the gap. To complicate things I have another D3100 converted to IR, great fun, and have to consider whether the lens produces internal IR reflections an a hot spot. So far none of my lenses do.

    Thanks for the responses. Great info.

  7. #7
    tyrepeddler
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    Re: Lens recommendation for APSC

    I have shoot the Nikon 16-85 for a long time and find that it is really a better lens then most reviewers say. It needs to be stopped down some at the wide end but you can really get some great results

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