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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 1:50 pm 
Hi, Sorry if this has already been covered. I read the general lens article which was great, but I'm still a bit puzzled due to lack of knowledge at this point and don't want to make the wrong decision.

I have a Nikon D5100 which I bought with the Nikkor 18 - 55 mm lens as part of a package. I'm only an enthusiastic beginner and I'm keen to practise as much as possible as I love it, but I'm just not very clued up yet!

I'm finding the lens is restrictive when trying to zoom and really, at this point, would like a lens which gives more zoom but covers most of the other aspects a beginner needs, so a good all rounder. I was recommended the 18 - 200mm lens by a friend, but after reading the article and other's I'm not sure which. I'm probably easily confused :oops:

As I said, I know it was covered in the general lens article and sorry for my ignorance, but I'd really very much appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

Many thanks for any advice anyone can give!


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:52 pm
Posts: 244
Location: NB, Canada
There are a ton of DSLR lenses on the market for a good reason - each has it's pros and cons, you just have to choose which cons you're willing to live with to achieve the pros.

The 18-200 and even the Tamron 18-270 VC PZD could be good options, covering a very wide range. The aperture on those are similar to your 18-55, and they also come with Image Stabilizer, Vibration Control, or whatever the company that made it calls it. The biggest downside, though, is the bigger the zoom range, the worse the image quality gets. So you have to choose a compromise between the practicality of having a single lens, versus the image quality you'll lose.

Another option is to slowly start investing in a series of lenses. The 18-55 is a good starter lens, then if you want to zoom in more, you can get something like the Tamron SP 70-300mm VC USD, or the Nikon 70-200mm, depending on budget. The 70-200mm image quality is wonderful, although the Tamron SP 70-300 is also very good. It also depends just how much you need to zoom in, I personally love the 300mm range, and was even debating just buying a 300mm prime.

Another option is to go wider, such as the Tokina 11-16mm lens.

Finally, you have a series of wide-angle prime lenses, from 16mm to 85mm which offer impressive image quality, and much wider aperture.

If you're really not sure if a lens would be good for you, you always have the option of renting one to see what possibilities it would open. In my first week of buying the Tamron 70-300mm, for instance, I took over 1100 pictures with it, to give you an idea of my enthusiasm. I know I'll love it for years to come. My old canon 75-300mm III, on the other hand, I took maybe 200 pictures with over 2 years, and 90% of them disappointed me (image quality issues).

_________________
Cameras: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EOS Rebel T2i, Canon S90
Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Retired camera: Fujifilm Finepix s700


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 2:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1434
Location: Gold Coast Australia
Hi Sarahlou and welcome to the forum. Jean-Pierre has made some good points and just like you on my first DSLR I got kit lenses with my D40x.. I went with the intention of getting the body and a 18-200mm lens. What I regretted later was I let the salesman talk me into the kit lenses.

I got very frustrated in having to change lenses and miss some opportunities so I bought the Nikon 18-200mm VRII and it really comes off my camera. The quality of this at all focus lengths beats the kit lenses hands down. From what I have read there is no difference between the VRI and VRII version except for a lock on the lens at 18mm and a second VR system which I have never used.

I have a 70-300 Nikon lens which I used for surfing shots which is low IQ and very soft, now I use the 18-200mm and if I crop 50% off I still get an acceptable quality photo and much better than the 70-300mm un-cropped.

It depends on what you want to shoot and in what lighting and as your skills and interest grows you may consider 35mm, 50mm or other fast lenses. I am not sure of the other manufactures lenses in this range but I would recommend the Nikon 18-200mm any day. Have a look at my recent posts in sport and landscape and decide for yourself. Hope this helps.


Cheers

_________________
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 12:32 pm 
Thank you both for such great advice, really good of you to take the time to answer.
I will certainly be looking into all the options you have both recommended. I do drive my family mad as it has become a passion/ obsession, but I didn't want to get carried away and regret my choices.

Great advice, thank you very much!


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