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Thread: Which lenses or lens would be better?

  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    Which lenses or lens would be better?

    Going to Santa Monica to visit family for the holidays and want to take land/seascapes of the beach and pier. I've got the LEE system and have the polarizer, big stopper and ND grads to use with my D800.

    I'm going to pack my camera gear in a carry on back pack.

    Wide angle coverage will be handled by the 16-35 f/4 VR AF-S G

    My question is should I take most of my tele primes or just the tele zoom?

    Primes are:
    1. 85 f1.4 AF D
    2. 105 f2.0 DC AF D
    3. 135 f2.0 DC AF D
    4. 180 f2.8 EDIF AF D

    The one tele zoom I have is the first version of the 70-200 f2.8 G AF-S VR ED.

    If I intend to shoot at apertures of f8-16 without VR on the tele zoom, would the primes be that much sharper? My final output is print only, up to 16x20, color but also B&W conversions. My printer is an Epson 3880 and I use the Imageprint 9 RIP.

  2. #2
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Los Altos, CA
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    Re: Which lenses or lens would be better?

    My favorite street focals are 28 and 50, period -- my Leica M days living in me. In fact, if I could only have one lens for a street shoot, I would be very hard pressed deciding between these two lenses, which is why I'd almost always use two bodies with one of these on each. For travel, the mild wide to tele zoom is hard to beat, and most of my best travel portfolios have come from shoots where I had the mild wide to tele zoom mounted. For both street and travel, I find occasional use for a 18-21-ish, and then more rarely, something longer to isolate where I can't get to like a 105-135-ish. So my main travel kit as of now is my 24-120VRG as my all-around with my 50/1.4 on a second body; then either my Sammy 14 or ZF18 in the bag.

    I have not filled out my street kit, but am *close* to getting a 28/1.8G to use with the 50. Here I would add my 105DC to the kit for 4 lenses total instead of three. What happens for me when all I have is primes, is I tend to *see* my compositions in terms of those primes and just shoot the shots; where with the zoom, I tend to throw it up and zoom around figuring out a more exact composition. No right or wrong, just different processes for me.

    PS: The 70-200/2.8 (mine is a VR2G) would be my long lens of choice for it's flexibilty and excellent performance -- if it weren't so big. But as a street travel lens, it's just too big to be fun. Here the newer f4 lens is mildly interesting, but still probably physically larger than what I want to deal with on street/travel. Plus the 105DC has that amazing look that can be tuned

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  3. #3
    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Which lenses or lens would be better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    but am *close* to getting a 28/1.8G to use with the 50.

    I was looking at the 28mm online just last night and was thinking it was cheap enough to give a try. I also saw the 35mm at pretty good price. I was thinking about the 35mm for basketball under the net.

    With my D800E arriving a few weeks ago and my limited selection of Nikon lenses (50mm, 85mm) it made me think of the days when a camera came with a 50mm and we shot a lot with that lens.

    Back to the original poster, I would bring the 16-35mm, 85mm, and 180mm. You could probably get by with just the 16-35mm and a cheap 50mm f1.8 G if you are just doing scenics.

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