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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:33 pm 

I am a relatively inexperienced DSLR owner having only got my D3100 in December last year. The current lenses I own are the 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 and the 1970s Tamron 80-210 F3.8 (I can only shoot full manual with this lens).
The question that has been taunting me though is where should I go next.

I have not really discovered what type of photography I like the most, so I can't really make my decision based on that.

There have been several categories which I have considered:
A prime lens (such as the new 50mm F1.8 AF-S)
A better zoom to replace the kit lens
A wide angle
A telephoto (which I can shoot auto with)

Thanks very much for the help. If I have missed out any information, please let me know. Cheers

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 3:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 528
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Reading between the lines, it looks like you feel you should buy a new lens, but you're not sure for what purpose.

I would say that you have yet to reach the limitations of your current kit. Once you find your equipment is limiting your photography, it will be obvious to you which lens you need.

Don't fall into the trap of getting new kit just because you can - unless of course you have more money than you know what to do with


Panasonic G3: 9-18mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 3:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada

It's a bit difficult to recommend a lens without knowing any of your shooting types, but there is a plethora of lenses great for all of the categories that you mentioned.

For a prime, I'd recommend either the great 35mm f/1.8 DX, which gives an equivalent of about 50mm, or the 50mm f/1.8 (which isn't yet available) and will give a focal length of 75mm, better for portraits but still great for day-to-day shooting. Alternatively, consider the 50mm f/1.4, which is available as of today and gives 2/3 of a stop more light.

If you/re happy with the 18-55, I don't see any reason of upgrading, it's a pretty good lens for a kit. If you do want to upgrade, consider the 16-85 or the 17-55 f/2.8. The 16-85 is a good alternative if you want a sharper, all purpose lens that will give you more coverage, and the 17-55 is better for low light (but expensive, and could give your D3100 an unbalanced feel).

Nikon offers two wide angle zooms for the DX format, the 10-24mm and the 12-24mm. The 10-24 is wider (and yes, the 2mm DOES make a big difference), cheaper but has a variable aperture of f/3.5-4.5 and isn't built as well. The 12-24 is fixed at f/4, and had a better build and less distortion. Optical quality wise, they both perform the same at their widest but when the 10-24 reaches 12mm, it performs better than the 12-24. Of course, when you correct the 10-24's distortion afterwards, it will pass 12mm. It's really your call. There's also the f/2.8 10.5mm fisheye, but it's more of a special purpose lens.

For a telephoto lens, the 70-200mm is the best way to go, but it will outweigh your D3100 like crazy. Take a look at the 70-300mm, it gives an equivalent of 105-450mm, and it's optical quality is pretty good for the price.

Hopefully I helped in your search for a new lens!



Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 3:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:33 pm
Posts: 443
Location: St. John's, NL, Canada
I agree with kimchi - when I read the subject of this thread I thought, "If you have to ask that question, then the answer is nothing". i went through a short phase where I was considering getting a new lens, but then realized that I haven't outgrown what I own yet. My gear is still past my potential. When its the other way around, then you need to start considering getting more glass.

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