Which Nikkor Zoom lenses to buy?

dealmaker

Standard Member
Guys,

Looking for a bit of impartial advice. After selling all of my Nikon F5 film bodies (and indeed lenses) last year (Doh!) and then suddenly getting into digital in a big way (albeit with a compact at the moment) - I am now about to buy a decent Nikon DSLR body (D200 or poss D2Xs) and some lenses.

I don't want to go the "all prime" route I used to follow - and want to get lenses that will cover a range from virtually fisheye to around 200/300 mm (135 equivalents)

I have been considering the following NIKKOR lenses:

1) 10.5mm f/2.8G DX Fisheye
2) AF-S 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED DX Zoom-Nikkor
3) AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G DX IF-ED
4) AF-S 55-200mm f4-5.6G DX Zoom-Nikkor VR

But also the new(ish) "superzoom"! as it was called in my day:

5) AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR DX IF-ED

So I think I've narrowed it down to either getting:

1) , 3) & 4) (Concerns are whether the 55-200 is up to the quality of the other two lenses ?? - should I look at the 80-200 f2.8)

...OR....

2) & 5) (Concerns are thats there's too big of an overlap between the two lenses and maybe I'd be better off ditching the 12-24 and just getting the 10.5mm ??)

I suspect (but would appreciate advice) that the first option i.e the three lenses would give me clearer sharper images (shot for shot) than the second option.

Any thoughts on this -- or any other Nikkor lens options I should consider ( I am old fashioned and not a big fan of non-Nikkor lenses!)
Are these lenses of superior quality (i.e semi-pro/pro) or are any of them worth discounting??

Many thanks!
 

inkinoo

Well-known Member
The 55-200 is nowhere near the quality of the others so I would avoid that one.

I personally own all the other lenses you mention and they are all pretty darn good. The fisheye is particularily stunning. The 18-200 is not as good optically as the others but if you can only take one lens somewhere it is very useful.

The 70-200 2.8 VR is another lens you should consider.

As for bodies, Nikon are due to announce very soon the new D3 so I would suggest against getting the D2x. D200 is still a very good buy.
 

Yandros

Well-known Member
Tough decision!

First the easy decisions:
Personally I would forget the 55-200VR - good budget zoom, but there are better solutions if budget isn't your prime consideration

I would be wary of only having 10.5mm and then jumping to 18mm. I have 12-24 zoom and the 12mm end is often just too extreme, so having the zoom option is very nice. For the superwide end, the Nikon 12-24 f4 is the pack leader, but you could save yourself cash by looking at the Tokina 12-24 f4. The only downside to the Tokina is a fair amount of CA.


Now the hard choices:
The pro grade solution is the 17-55 f2.8 and 70-200 2.8 VR. This is the 'classic' pair of zooms for the D200.

To cover the 18-55 range, I reckon there are three obvious Nikon choices...

VR assisted: Nikon 18-200
Medium fast: Nikon 18-55 2.8
Fast: Nikon/Tokina 12-24mm + fast primes (eg Sigma 30mm f1.4 or Nikon 35 f2 and Nikon 50mm f1.4 or 1.8)

For the long end, if you don't need the 2.8 and tank-like construction of the 70-200 2.8 VR, you can save yourself some money and get more reach with the 70-300VR. If you opt for the 18-200VR, and you don't shoot birds etc, you may not need anything longer, as on the cropped sensor that's 300mm equivalent.


My setup is D200+18-200VR, Tokina 12-24 f4, Nikon 50 1.8, Nikon 105mm 2.8 VR Macro.

The 18-200VR is an extremely good lens, with two weak spots - it's a little soft at the 200mm end, and obviously not that fast. As a travel lens, which is supernaturally good at static subject low light shooting - it's a no brainer. In fact, as it's the only VR lens in the 18-55 range, it's worth getting this in addition to a fast lens covering this range considering you can shoot handheld at as low as 1/8th second :eek: I still feel the need for something wider than the 50mm and fast, so I'm eyeing up a Sigma 30mm 1.4. I also need more reach for wildlife, so I'm toying with the Nikon 300 f4+teleconverter, Nikon 70-300VR (despite the overlap with the 18-200VR), or the Sigma 50-500.
 

dealmaker

Standard Member
Thans for the feedback guys - so theres at least one lens I can discount - plus helped me form a view on the others.

With regard to bodies - how speculative is the news on the D3 ? ....is it real...and when will it be launched? Will it be a repalcement to the D2Xs or a top end model ??
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I use the 12-24 DX on a regular basis and find it a very good lens indeed. Shooting landscapes at f8 to 16 all images are sharp edge to edge with excellent contrast and colour. If I could have afforded it I would also have gone for the 17-55 which is widely regarded as one of the best lenses Nikon have ever produced. In the end I bought a Tamron 17-50 and I must say I am very pleased indeed.

Lens line up:
Nikkor 12-24 DX
Nikkor 80-400 VR
Tamron 28-75 Di
Tamron 17-50 Di

Nikkor 12-24: 1/8 sec, f/16.
DSCF0007.jpg


Tamron 17-50: 4 secs, f/16
DSCF0008_1AV.jpg
 

Yandros

Well-known Member
Thans for the feedback guys - so theres at least one lens I can discount - plus helped me form a view on the others.

With regard to bodies - how speculative is the news on the D3 ? ....is it real...and when will it be launched? Will it be a repalcement to the D2Xs or a top end model ??

Very strong rumours of anouncements of a D300, D3 and new lenses in the next few days. The last rumour I read yesterday talked of 12MP and 6fps for the 'D300' and the D3 being full frame, and an annoucement being made on the 23rd in Japan.

Treat of this with a pinch of salt, though this time Thom Hogan seems pretty confident...

http://www.bythom.com/2007comments.htm
 

inkinoo

Well-known Member
It has just become the morning of the 23rd in Japan (where I am now) and Nikon are due to make a big annoucement ahead of the Athletics in Osaka. Personally I think it will wait until tomorrow when the Nikon party is but we shall wait and see.

Will let you all know what I find out.
 

BUFFY FAN

Standard Member
Love those photo's Gibbsy. Are you using an ND filter to get those results? I have a Hoya ND8 on order. Do you think I could achieve a similar effect with this. Cheers.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Love those photo's Gibbsy. Are you using an ND filter to get those results? I have a Hoya ND8 on order. Do you think I could achieve a similar effect with this. Cheers.

The one taken with the Nikkor, Mumbles Head, I used a Lee circular polariser (lost 1 and 2/3 of a stop) and inverted a Lee ND grad 9 Losing a further 3 stops, to cover the sea, just enough to get the water slowed up for what I wanted.

The Tamron shot again I used the CP and the ND grad 9 was used for the sky only, the light was already dark because of the time of day.

You have a full neutral density filter which will cut down the light over the whole of the image and you should get the same effect, but remember to use a tripod and cable release or self timer.
 

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