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Thread: Advice on lenses

  1. #1
    Senior Member BSEH's Avatar
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    Advice on lenses

    Need advise from the gentelmens here on lens in the longer end, for D800.

    Going to India on a phototrip and need to pick gear, I値l bring my D800. I値l make prints in super A3 and A2 (jet-ink).

    I値l make portrait, most chest and up - background out of fokus as much as possible.

    I値l make a shooting at a Holi festival (festival of color), and need distance to people ( 20-30 ft.) Plenty of light.

    Have to make my mind on:

    Nikon 70-200 f/4
    Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII
    Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC

    Nikon 300 f/4 AF-S

    ( I have 24-70 f/2.8 in the back)

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    I'm sure you'll receive many great opinions on how to approach this, but I believe a zoom as opposed to a single focal length lens would serve you well in the situation you described. Since there is plenty of light, a smaller more compact tele zoom such as the 70-200 f4 allows you to be a little less conspicuous among the crowds, which I find can be less intimidating to some. Although you might not need it, having the Nikon 1.4x, extends your shooting range in the off chance you need or desire it, although I have no experience with the 70-200 f4 lens + 1.4x combination. Just some preliminary thoughts to think about.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    With 20-30' distance to the subjects, you'll need as large aperture as possible if you want the background really blurred. The 200mm f/2.0 would be perfect (135mm f/2.0 would be a cheaper and much lighter/smaller alternative) and maybe the 85mm f/1.4 for closer work. The 300mm f/4 might be too long and with no VR and a stop or two slower aperture, it can be hard to get acceptable exposure times, particularly considering that you will be using a 36MP camera.

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    Re: Advice on lenses

    My choice would be the Nikon 70-200/2,8VRII.

    It is more flexible and you get more speed due to f2,8. You still could use a 1,4 extender without losing too much stops and blur in the background.

    For closer work it might be better to take a 85mm with you. If money matters the 1,8G will do great work used with the D800.

    I do not know the mentioned 135/2.

    But all pictures I have seen already shot with the 200/2VR are awesome.

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    Senior Member BSEH's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on lenses



    Thanks Jrgen, Dave and fotom.

    My concern about the 70-200 f/2.8 is it's a little week at 200 mm open - and it's in the 200 I'll use it.

    The 300 is maybe to long... f/4 and no VR seems to not be a great issue when i read about it - but but...

    The Tamron 70-200 is only 175 mm in the long end..

    The 200/2 VR is over my buget..

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    Re: Advice on lenses

    The 70-200/2,8VRII is weak at the long end? I canエt confirm that. Take a look at some of my pictures shot with the D800/ D3s and D3x with the 70-200 Zoom.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/...tml#post472886

    There might be some vignetting used open, but the D800 has a preset to correct that. If shot in RAW there are better ways to get rid of that in LR or PS, even in the original Nikon Software.

    The new 70-200/4 is nice. If weight and money matters it might be a good compromise. But used with an extender it looses too much against the 2,8.

    Try the Tammy. It is said that it has a good performance at a good price. I do not know the new version but didnエt like the old one (not because of slow AF but because of the colors it made in the pictures).

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    Senior Member BSEH's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by fotom View Post
    The 70-200/2,8VRII is weak at the long end? I canエt confirm that. Take a look at some of my pictures shot with the D800/ D3s and D3x with the 70-200 Zoom.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/...tml#post472886

    .
    weak is wrong word, but weaker in the long end - think that is confirmed in most testing of the lens.. still a steller lens, but getting a expensive lens and it's not It's best in the end I'll use it in.. i don't know ..

    The few review on the 70-200 f/4 sounds great - but now some start saying that is not that great, i was hoping alot for it..

    Thanks for your reply and taking the time

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    Re: Advice on lenses

    I'm sure the 70-200 f/4 would in many way be an ideal solution, and that it would be difficult to see a difference in sharpness between that and the f/2.8. The challenge would be the background blur at longer distances.

    There are a few prime lens alternatives that shouldn't be forgotten:

    - The Nikkor 180mm f/2.8. Excellent lens, but if you need a TC, it'll have to be third party or an older Nikon model.
    - Sigma 150mm f/2.8, new model with OS or older (cheaper) model without. Works excellently with a Sigma TC. You gain macro capabilities, but it focuses a bit slowly.
    - Nikkor 135mm f/2.0, a very nice lens where you can adjust background blur. Don't know if it works well with a TC though, and again, that would have to be third party or old Nikkor, since it's not AF-S as the 180/2.8.
    - One of the 85mm lenses, Nikkor AF-S 1.4 or 1.8, AF D 1.4 or Sigma 1,4 are all good

    Some of the above lenses can be bought for very favourable prices second hand.

    The reason why I come back to the primes is that, even though the total weight (and price) of two primes may be in the same area as the 70-200mm f/2.8, what you have in your hand, pointing at your subject will be much lighter and smaller. In addition, you gain the advantage of one or two stops , at least at some focal lengths, and there's no doubt in my mind that, even with the quality of modern zoom lenses, the primes still have the upper hand.

    When all that is said, I have to admit that the Nikkor 80-200 AF-S f/2.8 has been my most used lens on Nikon for many years, so maybe I should start listening to my own advice when I come home with aching hands and arms after a full day of shooting, instead of preaching to others

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    This is a very interesting question . I would look hard at your choice of focal lengths first . If you look at most travel photography ....you will find that the photographer is attempting to retain some of the context . At distances of 20-30 ft they would be using nothing longer than an 85 and most would prefer a wider lens and getting closer . Look at Steve McCurry s blog .

    You should drop the idea of a 300 anything ..too long and way too large and heavy . A 1.4x extender is better because you might actually have it with you .

    IQ isn t the issue here its speed and portability . For your assignment the 70-200/2.8VR2 ,the 70-200/4 VR,the 180/2.8 and the 135/2 are alternatives . Each of these lenses has desired strengths and weaknesses .

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    Senior Member BSEH's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    This is a very interesting question . I would look hard at your choice of focal lengths first . If you look at most travel .
    Yes, I thing you and Jrgen is right about the 300 mm - Im just tempted by the IQ of the 300 mm prime.

    And the 70-200 f/4 looks like the right choice, With the IQ at 200 mm, is what Im looking for.

    I Can't get closer - the air is filled with color- powder and water.


    Why 1.4 - 1.7 extender - why not put the D800 in DX and get 1.5 ??

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    I ve seen the photographs of the events your are speaking of...a tough assignment . If you are close your camera will be coated with wet powder . Be thinking about plastic bags .

    You are probably correct that the 70-200/4 VR is the best all around alternative . However the 70-200/2.8VR2 is a superb lens at any focal length and for this type of assignment plenty good enough (its not landscape where the edges might matter). The important issue is the trade off between F2.8 and F4 (better bokeh and ability to isolate the subject .....verse the size and weight differences . Having good light seems to favor the 70-200/4 .

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    Re: Advice on lenses

    Streets in India are not like streets in the U.S. or Europe - they're not big and empty. You're not going to stand 20-30' away shooting portraits with a 200... that's just not going to be realistic. My advice would be to get used to shooting people with a 35 or 24-70, bring a wide angle for urban use (like an 18 or 14-24), and stick a 70-200/4 in the bag for compressed scenery and the occasional need for reach. Don't bother with filter kits and holders, but maybe a polarizer for scenics.
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    I'd shoot Holi with an 18 or 24-70 with a protective filter. Put camera and lens in a plastic bag and tape it shut around the hood.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    Generally the more crowded the event ..the closer you can get ..in fact ..have to get . But I try to look at the coverage from prior years and see how the pro s have handled the event in the past .

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    Re: Advice on lenses

    When the event gets going, colored powder fills the air and a tele would be useless.

    You have to be in the middle of the action with a wide and super wide from 14mm to 28mm.

    Frankly, I would not risk my equipment for one second and I would rent a D3s with a 24/1.4G or a zoom (14-24 or 35-70) and dress them up with a rain cover as well as myself.
    If money is no issue, rent 2 camera bodies with the 2 zooms as changing lens at such event is suicidal.

    It is a fun shoot.

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    Senior Member BSEH's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on lenses

    Thanks for advice..

    I will "try" cover the Lathmar Holi at Nadgaon and Matura, I'll not be on the streets, but up on a rouf In a tempel looking down at the temple yard - so have some distance to the crowd - and I'll bring alot of stuf to cover camera, ect.

    I'll not go on the streets at Holi... but have my 24-70 to candid portrait in the streets...

    I like the chalenges of at difficult shoot .. gonna be fun -)

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    Re: Advice on lenses

    Mmmmm i just want to say here that you can use extra lens with your camera of Nikon and Canon and i think this option is only in this both company's camera's for make the best result of the photos and photography albums by the external; extra lens....

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