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What lens should I buy next?

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  • What lens should I buy next?

    Hi everyone. This is my first post with a question, in need of advice. I am trying to start my own photography business and would love any help in choosing my next lens. I have so many questions about lighting too, but that will be in another post.

    I own a Nikon D90. My lenses are Nikkor 28-80/f3.5-5.6, 50/f1.8 and 75-300/f4.5-5.6. Other than the 50mm, the two are about 20 years old from my old SLR but serve their purpose well, although I wish they were faster. I use the 28-80 as my main lens.

    For studio and outdoor portrait work, I would most likely use the 50mm but what would I use for larger groups or reception halls where I would want a wide angle? I will most likely be doing portraiture for the most part, but who knows what else I'll fall into? Interior/architecture is another thing I've been considering. So, I've been looking into purchasing a wide angle lens but am not sure if this is the correct choice. I can't afford the fast lenses, so this might not be the way to go. I know that quality suffers due to higher aperture and I'd be using it on occasion in low light situations. What's a good mid-range lens (leaning towards wide angle) that would be the best for a number of different occasions? I've listed several below that look great as an addition to my collection. My budget is aprox $400.-$450. Rarely do I do landscapes but I still would love to have a wide angle. Am I wasting my time? Should I replace my old 28-85mm with the 17-70mm or 17-50mm? What's the smart thing to do?

    Tokina 12-24/f4-5.6
    Sigma 10-20/f/4
    Tamron 17-50/f2.8
    Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5
    Nikkor 35/f1.8 - for portraits

    Any that you think would suit me best that's not listed would be greatl. What do you think? I want to add that the studio set-up that I'll eventually get will be for a small area as well as portable. Thanks so much for any help!!!
    Last edited by janeqb; 01-06-2010, 01:06 AM.

  • #2
    I don't have an eye for wide angle so it's difficult for me to recommand one

    As for the 35mm f1.8, I purchased one last fall and I'm very pleased with it. You will have to get closer of your subject to fill your frame than if you are using a 85mm or a 105mm though. Some people might say it will get your subject uncomfortable, but I found this prime more versatile (and the price was also very interesting).

    Here are some pictures:

    Fall 2009

    Blue

    They start young

    Hope this help
    Life is simple: do it, then live the consequenses.
    My Flickr
    Nikon D800, D300, 16-35mm f/4, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 2 x SB600

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    • #3
      Thanks so much! This helps a lot! I love the examples you've posted! I imagine it would be great for outdoor group shots as well. It's also very affordable. Can you tell me how far away you were from each of your subjects?

      I've also given this a lot of thought since I posted last night. I'm weighing out what is more important right now, to buy a new lens or to buy a light with a softbox and some backdrops. I already have a reflector. As I mentioned above, I'm trying to start my own business. With the lenses that I own, I feel I can do a fine job. They've worked well up to this point. I would probably use the 50mm the most. I only have $400-$450 to spend right now. Do you think I'll do fine with my old 28-80 lens when I need to (small spaces indoors)and buy the 35mm down the road? What is really more important? After mulling it over all day, I feel the lighting might be. Then there's the question, what to buy! LOL

      Thanks so much for your help!!

      jane

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      • #4
        It is difficult to start a business on a tight budget. Your lenses look like a good start to me. Yes, you might want some faster lenses. But I believe you can get going with the ones you have now. All my lenses are used, which saved some money, you might want to look into that option.

        For lighting, check out the Strobist, Strobist. I suggest you read a lot before investing your time and money on gear. Also look at the lighting section of this forum, lots of knowledge to share there. BTW, I am learning too, just getting started in lighting.

        I wish you well,

        Phil
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/pwhite214/

        Sony A77, Sony A700, Dynax 9, Maxxum 7, mostly Minolta lenses

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        • #5
          Great. Thanks Phil. That's what I was thinking. When the time comes, I'll most likely buy used. If I only had a million bucks...or even a few thousand!

          Off I go to read up. Thanks for the link. It's so hard to make a decision with all the options out there. I've been researching lighting for a while now and feel overwhelmed at times. I'll look for that lighting section! Thanks!!

          jane

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          • #6
            Originally posted by janeqb View Post
            Great. Thanks Phil. That's what I was thinking. When the time comes, I'll most likely buy used. If I only had a million bucks...or even a few thousand!

            Off I go to read up. Thanks for the link. It's so hard to make a decision with all the options out there. I've been researching lighting for a while now and feel overwhelmed at times. I'll look for that lighting section! Thanks!!

            jane
            Overwhelming indeed. There is a TON of information online about cameras, lenses, lighting, and how to use each of them. I can't tell you how much reading I did and, after finishing, had a blank stare on my face. Haha. It can be very, very confusing and, like you said, overwhelming. Just do your research.

            If you have any friends or know anyone that is a professional photographer or has equipment that you don't have, ask them if you can use it or test it out. If you're looking at lenses, you may want to consider renting the lens you're considering just to see how you like it and how it performs.

            But, ultimately, it's going to be what you need and can afford.
            Flickr
            Model Mayhem - I'd love to work with you!
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            • #7
              Thanks! I agree that renting a lens is a really good idea. I have some paying shoots coming up in the spring and just might do that! I'll also ask a portrait photographer, whom I work with as her assistant from time to time, if she can teach me some things!! I've been hesitant to ask but it's worth a shot. I always feel like I'd be a bother. She has some very expensive AlienBees and they're wonderful but they're out of my budget.

              Great advice. Thanks so much!

              jane

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              • #8
                Originally posted by janeqb View Post
                Can you tell me how far away you were from each of your subjects?
                Pumpkin: 3-4 feets
                Flowers: The closest I could to autofocus so ~1feet
                Dandelion: Fairly close so 2-3 feets

                That's what I was saying, you have to be fairly close of the subject if you are doing portrait in order to fill your frame. 35mm is not the best focal lenght for that. You could always crop but it will reduce the quality of the pictures. It was design to offer a cheap prime/large aperture solution for the D40/D60/D3000/D5000 users.

                I still love mine and I purchase the 35mm over the 50mm because I felt I had more options with this lens. My feet can cover the range
                Life is simple: do it, then live the consequenses.
                My Flickr
                Nikon D800, D300, 16-35mm f/4, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 2 x SB600

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                • #9
                  Thanks!! I think I'd like it for indoors and feel it would be ideal. Thanks so much for all of your info and help! I really appreciate it!

                  jane

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                  • #10
                    I used to have a lot of old AF lenses carried over from the film era and have used them on modern digital but have found them not as impressive as the newer lenses specifically made for the digital sensor. Perhaps the optical formulas for these old lenses had film in mind and the newer ones have the digital sensors in mind, when designed. I have since sold off my old AF lenses and got some AF-S version which I am well pleased to use. But I still have my old 35mm AI'd F2 and 50mm F1.4 AIS for the 2 retired F2AS's. Cheers!
                    "The greatest camera in the world is the one you hold in your hands when sh*t happens." Raoul Isidro

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shokinen View Post
                      Some people might say it will get your subject uncomfortable, but I found this prime more versatile (and the price was also very interesting).
                      This is true, somewhat, but I don't care- I do in-your-face street candids with the 35 and love the results.
                      Almond Butterscotch
                      The Almond Tree
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                      My Equipment

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                      • #12
                        Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 - cheap and great.
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