Ok Scott. So you want to know what I'm using mostly as I'm in the same situation as you: D300 + 18-200 and looking with one eye for future-proofing my lens-invest towards a high res FX-body. To that end I've been playing around with:
- 10-20 DX
- 10.5 fisheye DX
- 12-24 DX+FX
- 14-24/2.8 FX
- 35/2.0 FX
- 50/1.4 FX
- 70-200/2.8 FX
- 80-400 FX
- 100-300/4.0 FX
- 105/2.8 micro FX
- 120-400 FX
- 150/2.8 micro FX
- 180/2.8 FX
- 200-500 FX
- 300/4.0 FX
- 400/5.6 FX
- 500/8.0 FX
Weeeeell: That I don't own all of those lenses is due to a combination of (a) less than stellar performance (b) not the right combination of reach/aperture/size/weight (c) lack of money.
If I'd design a lens collection now for a DX-body with an eye on a possible future FX-body I'd recommend the following:
- 14-24/2.8: the absolute wide-angle killer lens. Wide enough on a DX-body, absolutely incredible on a FX-body
- 35/2.0: petite normal lens on a DX, nice sharp landscape on a FX, magnification of 1:4
- 85/1.8: petite light tele on a DX, sharp, very good dof control, superb portrait on a FX
- 150/2.8: sharp, sharper, sharpest + 1:1 macro, nice bright tele on both DX and FX
- the new Nikon AF-S 80-400 VR as a walk about tele-zoom to cover everything that is further away from you than you can walk
Now you may say: "What, no 24-70 or 50/1.x?"! I'm currently selling my 50/1.4 and keeping my 35/2.0 as I almost never use the 50mm lens any more. In that range you normal can zoom be foot or you can crop from the super sharp results of the 35mm lens plus neither the 24-70 nor the 50/1.x can close-up, which is very important for my nature photography.
A compromise could be to get the 105/2.8 VR micro and skip the 85/1.8 and the 150/2.8 micro. But the fun thing about the 85/1.8 is its price and that it's so smalish you can easily drop it in the pocket of your coat/jacket.
Another combo would be 14-24 + 50 + 80-400... or 17-35* + 70-300...
As to dust: with a D300 you get rid of that easily.
* if you want this lens as new, hurry up: I've heard it's been discontinued (or at least close to).
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews
, My Pictures
, My Photography Blog