Good zoom-lens for Nikon?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sandman, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    have a larger aperture throughout.

    I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    course.

    What other (FX) lenses should I look at?

    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 9, 2011
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. > So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    > would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    > have a larger aperture throughout.
    >
    > I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    > throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    > I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    > course.
    >
    > What other (FX) lenses should I look at?
    >
    > --
    > Sandman[.net]


    Your Tamron lens is a crop-frame DX lens. For low light at low cots, I
    recently bought the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens:

    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon_35_1p8g_n15/

    which is also a DX lens, and which performed very well for taking the
    Northern Lights. It's not a zoom, of course.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 9, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article <ispvkv$5nd$>,
    "David J Taylor" <> wrote:

    > > So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    > > would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    > > have a larger aperture throughout.
    > >
    > > I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    > > throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    > > I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    > > course.
    > >
    > > What other (FX) lenses should I look at?
    > >
    > > --
    > > Sandman[.net]

    >
    > Your Tamron lens is a crop-frame DX lens.


    No, it's the FX version, full frame. I have both, however, one for my
    D80 as well, that's the DX version. I just mixed the naming of them
    up. It's the 28-300/3.5-6.3 lens I was in reference to.

    <http://www.dpreview.com/products/tamron/lenses/tamron_28-300_3p5-6p3_d
    i_vc>

    This is the one I have for the D80, which is DX:

    <http://www.dpreview.com/products/tamron/lenses/tamron_18-200_3p5-6p3_d
    i_ii>

    > For low light at low cots, I recently bought the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens:
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon_35_1p8g_n15/


    Which is a very nice fixed lens. I *love* my 50/f1.4 lens. But I was
    looking for a nice zoom lens here.





    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 9, 2011
    #3
  4. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article <>,
    Bruce <> wrote:

    > >So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    > >would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    > >have a larger aperture throughout.
    > >
    > >I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    > >throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    > >I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    > >course.
    > >
    > >What other (FX) lenses should I look at?

    >
    >
    > If you want excellent sharpness and good low light ability, I suggest
    > that you should look at fixed focal length lenses.


    I have the Sigma 28/2.8, the Nikon 50/1.4 and the Nikon 85/1.4. They
    are all excellent lenses in every respect. I use them extensively when
    doing portraits.

    However, yesterday I was at my kids school class BBQ party down at the
    beach, and brought my 50/1.4 and my aformentioned Tamron glass. The
    Tamron stayed on the longest, since being able to zoom was more
    important than superior aperture. Yet, with that said - and also
    saying that the Tamron is very decent lens - I was curious as to what
    lenses I could find in the spectrum between my Tamron zoom lens and my
    high quality fixed lenses that were still zoom lenses.

    As I said, the Nikon 24-120/4 is a contender, but I wanted to know if
    there were any more.

    > Zoom lenses always involve optical compromises and usually only
    > perform well if you buy the expensive pro-grade f/2.8 versions.


    Absolutely. And I also absolutely love my 70-200/2.8 lens, allthough
    it's a bit too big to lug around on the aforemntioned occasion :)

    > If your camera body has an AF motor built-in, one of the best value
    > lenses is the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8. Buy used. You don't need the
    > later D version - the earlier version is very cheap. You will be
    > blown away by the sharp results and the low light ability.


    Again, I have the even better f1.4 version of that very lens. It's
    astoundingly awesome.

    <snip>

    > If you really *must* have a zoom lens, look for a good used example of
    > the AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G. It is a sharp performer, but it
    > exhibits noticeable distortion. However, the distortion is classic
    > barrel(wide)/pincushion(tele) and is quite easily to correct in
    > post-processing. So with a little input from you, the results should
    > be excellent. NOTE: Avoid the previous and later versions of the
    > 24-85mm, neither of which performs as well as the f/3.5-4.5.


    Curious, since the aperture is the same as on my Tamron, what would I
    gain with this lens?

    The newer version seems a lot better:

    <http://www.dpreview.com/products/nikon/lenses/nikon_24-85_2p8-4d>

    24-85/2.8, and a very good price as well.

    > Finally, there is my long-time favourite zoom which is the AF Nikkor
    > 35-70mm f/2.8D. There is also a non-D version. The zoom range is
    > only 2X but you are rewarded with excellent sharpness and very low
    > distortion. It was designed way back when, but it is still a solid
    > performer on digital sensors.


    The current version that comes closest seems to be

    <http://www.dpreview.com/products/nikon/lenses/nikon_28-70_2p8>

    But I fear that the zoom length may be too short to consider it.

    The dream glass would be a a nice 28-300/2.8 lens :)

    > As a general principle, the greater the zoom range, the more optical
    > compromises have to be made. 18-200mm lenses with an 11X zoom range
    > sell well but will ultimately disappoint because ED glass and moulded
    > aspherical elements can only go so far when it comes to reducing
    > distortion and aberrations.


    Absolutely.

    > So, generally, the best performing lenses have a zoom range of 1X. ;-)


    I'm looking for a good choice in between :)



    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 9, 2011
    #4
  5. "Sandman" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > No, it's the FX version, full frame. I have both, however, one for my
    > D80 as well, that's the DX version. I just mixed the naming of them
    > up. It's the 28-300/3.5-6.3 lens I was in reference to.


    Understood about the mistake.

    > Which is a very nice fixed lens. I *love* my 50/f1.4 lens. But I was
    > looking for a nice zoom lens here.
    >
    > --
    > Sandman[.net]


    OK, Sandman. Tamron can offer a couple of f/2.8 zoom lenses, but they're
    DX format:

    http://www.tamron.com/en/photolens/di_II_hi_speed/

    You could up the ISO, of course. Perhaps that means a new body?

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 9, 2011
    #5
  6. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article <isq9re$pcp$>,
    "David J Taylor" <> wrote:

    > > Which is a very nice fixed lens. I *love* my 50/f1.4 lens. But I was
    > > looking for a nice zoom lens here.

    >
    > OK, Sandman. Tamron can offer a couple of f/2.8 zoom lenses, but they're
    > DX format:
    >
    > http://www.tamron.com/en/photolens/di_II_hi_speed/
    >
    > You could up the ISO, of course. Perhaps that means a new body?


    I use the Nikon D3s now, I hope I won't have to swap body for a while
    :)

    I rather not crop, so those lenses, while probably nice, would be off
    the table.

    Nikon has a nice 28-70 lens which I am considering. Sigma has a 24-70
    as well.





    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 9, 2011
    #6
  7. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article <>,
    Bruce <> wrote:

    > > OK, Sandman. Tamron can offer a couple of f/2.8 zoom lenses, but they're
    > > DX format:
    > >
    > > http://www.tamron.com/en/photolens/di_II_hi_speed/
    > >
    > > You could up the ISO, of course. Perhaps that means a new body?

    >
    >
    > Why a new body? Every FX DSLR Nikon has ever made, apart from the
    > D3X, has exceptionally good performance at high ISOs. I'm sure even
    > the D3X would have adequate performance. ;-)


    I use the D3s, which just may be the highest performer in the world
    when it comes to ISO. Although, I haven't kept up with Canons latest
    models.


    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 9, 2011
    #7
  8. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article <>,
    Bruce <> wrote:

    > >Although, I haven't kept up with Canons latest models.

    >
    > Canon's full frame offerings are way, way behind Nikon's. This is the
    > sector of the market where Nikon has gained most sales from Canon.


    Yeah, I'll admit that I haven't really kept up with what Canon has on
    this side. I actually thought the 1D MkIV was a full frame camera.
    Since it arguably decent compared to the D3s when it comes to ISO, I
    always thought it was a close cut, but if it's not full frame, that
    changes things.

    > It will be interesting to see the battle between the next generation
    > of Nikon and Canon full frame DSLRs. Perhaps that will be Canon's
    > opportunity to recover some market share.





    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 9, 2011
    #8
  9. Sandman

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Bruce
    <> wrote:

    > However, neither is quite as good as the AF Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8. When
    > it was introduced in 1987 it was Nikon's sharpest zoom lens. Twenty
    > four years later, it still is, and it works just as well on digital as
    > on film.


    however, it has a problem with the lens elements delaminating.
    nospam, Jun 9, 2011
    #9
  10. On Jun 9, 1:34 am, Sandman <> wrote:
    > So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    > would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    > have a larger aperture throughout.
    >
    > I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    > throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    > I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    > course.
    >
    > What other (FX) lenses should I look at?


    Your 18-200 is a DX lens, I believe. However, you explicitly ask
    about FX lenses. I'm going to assume you proof-read your message and
    that FX is really what you mean (and the 24-120/4 you mention is an
    FX). Just in case I'm wrong, this way you know what I was smoking :)

    All zooms, especially FX zooms, are kinda slow. The Nikkor choice to
    go faster in that range would be two lenses, the 24-70/2.8 and the
    70-210/2.8. I have both, they're really excellent lenses, and out at
    200mm (where it matters most) that does get you two stops faster.

    The new 24-120 would certainly be cheaper than the pair; not as long
    at the long end and a stop slower, though.

    You can get primes a stop or two faster, at a few points. 24, 35, 50,
    and 85 have good recent designs two stops faster yet (f/1.4) (still
    DX).

    Depending on the importance of fast lenses, your budget, and your
    willingness to be a pack mule (the 24-70/2.8 is a lot bigger and
    heavier than your 18-200; the 70-200/2.8 is bigger and heavier than
    that), you can get about anything you need.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jun 9, 2011
    #10
  11. Sandman

    PeterN Guest

    On 6/9/2011 2:34 AM, Sandman wrote:
    > So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    > would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    > have a larger aperture throughout.
    >
    > I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    > throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    > I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    > course.
    >
    > What other (FX) lenses should I look at?
    >


    What type of shooting do you do?
    What is your budget.
    All of my lenses are Nikon.
    I use the 70-200, sometimes with the 1.7 teleconverter for street,
    wildlife and zoos. The 80-400 to landscape and sometimes prefocused for
    birds.
    The 18-200, which is soft, as a walk around in hot weather. (Yes, I know
    that is a DX lens, but Nikon FF will take it. Indeed the results are at
    least as good as on a good DX camera.



    --
    Peter
    PeterN, Jun 9, 2011
    #11
  12. "Bruce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > Why a new body? Every FX DSLR Nikon has ever made, apart from the
    > D3X, has exceptionally good performance at high ISOs. I'm sure even
    > the D3X would have adequate performance. ;-)


    If the existing body doesn't have good enough high-ISO performance, a new
    body might be one solution, in a general case. Not in this particular
    case, though, as Sandman has the excellent Nikon D3s.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 9, 2011
    #12
  13. "Bruce" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:...
    []
    > Not in *any* case, because every FX DSLR Nikon has ever made, apart
    > from the D3X, has exceptionally good performance at high ISOs. I'm
    > sure even the D3X would have adequate performance.
    >
    > (Sorry to repeat it, but it is clear from your reply that you didn't
    > bother to read it the first time).


    You seem to have missed my point. You /can/ get an improvement in
    high-ISO performance by upgrading from an older to a newer camera, whether
    it be DX or FX. Or even by changing from Canon to Nikon (or vice versa).
    Changes over the last decade have been not insignificant.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 9, 2011
    #13
  14. Sandman

    M-M Guest

    In article <>,
    Sandman <> wrote:

    > I *love* my 50/f1.4 lens. But I was
    > looking for a nice zoom lens here.



    You do realize that high magnification in low light is prohibitively
    expensive if not impossible to achieve.

    You can't have both. Look at those monster lenses you see at baseball
    games. And there the light is good!

    You can only have a good zoom at a decent price if you have a lot of
    light.

    --
    m-m
    Photo Gallery:
    http://www.mhmyers.com
    M-M, Jun 10, 2011
    #14
  15. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article
    <>,
    M-M <> wrote:

    > > I *love* my 50/f1.4 lens. But I was looking for a nice
    > > zoom lens here.

    >
    > You do realize that high magnification in low light is prohibitively
    > expensive if not impossible to achieve.
    >
    > You can't have both. Look at those monster lenses you see at baseball
    > games. And there the light is good!
    >
    > You can only have a good zoom at a decent price if you have a lot of
    > light.


    Whoever mentioned decent price? :)

    I was looking for suggestions in a specific range. Not a 18-900/1.4
    lens for $100 :)

    I got some really good suggestions too!



    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 10, 2011
    #15
  16. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article
    <>,
    David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:

    > > So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    > > would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    > > have a larger aperture throughout.
    > >
    > > I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    > > throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    > > I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    > > course.
    > >
    > > What other (FX) lenses should I look at?

    >
    > Your 18-200 is a DX lens, I believe.


    Yeah, I misnamed it. I have it in DX as well. I meant the Tamron
    28-300. Sorry :)

    > However, you explicitly ask about FX lenses. I'm going to assume
    > you proof-read your message and that FX is really what you mean
    > (and the 24-120/4 you mention is an FX). Just in case I'm wrong,
    > this way you know what I was smoking :)


    Yeah, I want FX, I mistyped. My bad :)

    > All zooms, especially FX zooms, are kinda slow. The Nikkor choice to
    > go faster in that range would be two lenses, the 24-70/2.8 and the
    > 70-210/2.8. I have both, they're really excellent lenses, and out at
    > 200mm (where it matters most) that does get you two stops faster.


    I'm going to go ahead and assume you mean the Nikon 70-200/2.8 thermos
    lens? I have that one as well, or rather, the Tamron version. Yes,
    it's not *as* great, but the Nikon was unavailable when I was buying.

    Anyway, the 24-70/2.8 was suggested by someone else as well, and it
    does indeed look like a real contender in my lineup here. Tamron has a
    28-75/2.8 lens but the Nikon is rated higher.

    > The new 24-120 would certainly be cheaper than the pair; not as long
    > at the long end and a stop slower, though.


    Ecxactly, and between the Tamron 28-75 and the Nikon 24-70, the Nikon
    would probably be the better choice.

    > You can get primes a stop or two faster, at a few points. 24, 35, 50,
    > and 85 have good recent designs two stops faster yet (f/1.4) (still
    > DX).


    My 50/1.4 is FX, though.

    > Depending on the importance of fast lenses, your budget, and your
    > willingness to be a pack mule (the 24-70/2.8 is a lot bigger and
    > heavier than your 18-200; the 70-200/2.8 is bigger and heavier than
    > that), you can get about anything you need.


    I have a huge camera bag. The 24-70 is 83mm long vs. my current
    Tamron's 78mm. It's a bit wider though, and almost twice as heavy.

    Still, for all I have seen now, it may be my best choice.


    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 10, 2011
    #16
  17. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article
    <>,
    David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:

    > On Jun 9, 1:34 am, Sandman <> wrote:
    > > So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    > > would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    > > have a larger aperture throughout.
    > >
    > > I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    > > throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    > > I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    > > course.
    > >
    > > What other (FX) lenses should I look at?

    >
    > Your 18-200 is a DX lens, I believe. However, you explicitly ask
    > about FX lenses. I'm going to assume you proof-read your message and
    > that FX is really what you mean (and the 24-120/4 you mention is an
    > FX). Just in case I'm wrong, this way you know what I was smoking :)
    >
    > All zooms, especially FX zooms, are kinda slow. The Nikkor choice to
    > go faster in that range would be two lenses, the 24-70/2.8 and the
    > 70-210/2.8. I have both, they're really excellent lenses, and out at
    > 200mm (where it matters most) that does get you two stops faster.
    >
    > The new 24-120 would certainly be cheaper than the pair; not as long
    > at the long end and a stop slower, though.
    >
    > You can get primes a stop or two faster, at a few points. 24, 35, 50,
    > and 85 have good recent designs two stops faster yet (f/1.4) (still
    > DX).
    >
    > Depending on the importance of fast lenses, your budget, and your
    > willingness to be a pack mule (the 24-70/2.8 is a lot bigger and
    > heavier than your 18-200; the 70-200/2.8 is bigger and heavier than
    > that), you can get about anything you need.


    Oh, and thank you for all your suggestions and your time. Very
    helpful! :)


    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 10, 2011
    #17
  18. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    In article <4df0e3ca$0$12510$-secrets.com>,
    PeterN <> wrote:

    > > So, I have this Tamron 18-200/f3.5-5.6, which is a decent lens, but I
    > > would love for a lens which does better in lower light conditions, and
    > > have a larger aperture throughout.
    > >
    > > I was looking at the Nikon 24-120/f4, which has a better aperture
    > > throughout but actually worse /but not by much) when fully zoomed out.
    > > I expect the quality of the lens to be vastly better as well, of
    > > course.
    > >
    > > What other (FX) lenses should I look at?
    > >

    >
    > What type of shooting do you do?


    This would be for more or less casual shooting, where I'd normally use
    the above Tamron. I use fixed lenses for portrait photography. This is
    mainly just for taking nice pictures of the kids when we're out and
    about.

    > What is your budget.


    Budget... isn't super important. Just not crazy expensive :)

    > All of my lenses are Nikon.
    > I use the 70-200, sometimes with the 1.7 teleconverter for street,
    > wildlife and zoos.


    Yes, I love the 70-200, use it for weddings and events mostly.

    > The 80-400 to landscape and sometimes prefocused for birds.
    > The 18-200, which is soft, as a walk around in hot weather. (Yes, I know
    > that is a DX lens, but Nikon FF will take it. Indeed the results are at
    > least as good as on a good DX camera.


    18-200 would be nice, but I would prefer a FX lens...

    Thanks!


    --
    Sandman[.net]
    Sandman, Jun 10, 2011
    #18
  19. Put simply, Bruce, more recent Nikon cameras have better noise performance
    than earlier Nikon models, and I'm talking generally, not full-frame. The
    same is probably true of other manufacturer's ranges as well. It would
    not surprise me to see an even better performing Nikon full-frame camera
    in due course.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 10, 2011
    #19
  20. "Bruce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > Funny, that, because the rest of us were trying to respond to the OP's
    > query and by that stage it was clear he had a full frame Nikon DSLR.
    >
    > Thank you for explaining why your reply was irrelevant to the thread.


    Do you not expect that future Nikon full-frame cameras may not have even
    better high ISO performance? You consider that the limit has already been
    reached?

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 10, 2011
    #20
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