With a bduget of £1500, which lens to buy next?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ted_smith, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    uk
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi

    If you were (primarily) a photographer of canine's and if your budget was £1500, and you wanted a new lens and wer happy with your Nikon F5 body, but you already owned the following lenses :

    Nikon 20mm superwide prime
    Nikon 50mm 1.8 standard prime
    Nikon 60mm 2.8 Macro prime
    Nikon 80-200mm 2.8 Telephoto

    which Nikon lens would you consider (it has to be Nikon)? I could do with the extra reach and so I've looked at several in the 300mm or 400mm range but they're like £4000-£5000!!!! I can't afford that! In fact, I'm amazed at how much lenses cost above 200mm. I've considered a 1.4x and 2 x teleconverter but read about sharpness degredation?

    any advice warmly received.
    Ted
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,098
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  3. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,231
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Ted,

    I can't address Nikon directly as a Canon user but the lenses tend to have similarities across the lines. I have Canon's 70-200 f2.8 and 1.4x and 2x TCs. The 2x TC is not especially usable (better than nothing but that's about it). The 1.4x TC can yield good results with a bit of care. I do have a 300 f4L which is still preferrable to the 200+TC combo and is respectable with the 1.4x TC. I know the Canon 400 f5.6 is supposed to be very good as well. Of course, as the length goes up, if the $$$ don't, they get slower making them less useful for all applications. The Canon 300 f4 and 400 f5.6 both run around $1100 by the way. If only I had that several thousand dollars for the 400 f4.

    Dan
     
  4. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    If you're doing pet portraits, I'd choose none of these and buy an 85mm or 105mm lens.

    While you can do interesting things with a 20mm, the perspective probably might not work for many dogs.

    The zoom might be useful, but a high speed portrait lens would be better.
     
  5. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

    Messages:
    253
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Wirral, Engl
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    More 'reach' than 200mm! Well, the options have all been eliminated, haven't they? If it MUST be Nikon, the 300/400 are out on price, convertors are out due to sharpness degredation, what else is there? Consider this. Above 200mm, a tripod is becoming essential. Does that suit your style of photography? I know, it's best to use a 'pod at all times but we don't, do we? Some situations just don't allow. As an OM user, I've just added a 300mm to my armoury - £200 and it is excellent - even hand held 1/125 @f4.5 100 ISO but then the lens is quite compact compared with some. I've even managed to find the matched 1.4x convertor for it, yet to be tested. But back to the point, this combo was purchased for a specific purpose, for use on a tripod to photograph a nest site and triggered by remote control (I couldn't justify the price of the 400 or 600mm lenses). Do you have a particular purpose in mind, ask yourself, why do I NEED this? Personally I'd go for a 105 macro.
     
  6. milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If I may make a suggestion - not that i'm a nikon user - but... would you consider the 14-24. I've seen some work done with dogs at an extreme wide angle, and if it's your sort of thing, and your clients like images that could be described as "fun" they might like exaggerated perspective of the dogs "in action" or sniffing around.

    Otherwise, a 24-70, or third party (read:sigma/tamron) lens for your nikon might be worth looking into.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

    Messages:
    15,759
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think there are similarities between photographing dogs and children. Both like to move around when they're not supposed to, are curious, and can be difficult to capture.

    Now, what is it with the lenses you have that you can't do, and that you'd be able to do?

    You hint at more reach, but not enough money to buy it. Have you seen with your own eyes that the tele extenders are not sharp enough for what you're photographing? See if you can rent/borrow one and see for yourself. It's the only way.

    Other than that - Get a fast prime somewhere at the 85-135mm focal length. It really is a great tool for portraiture, especially with respect to depth of field and slight compression.

    Answer the question I asked above, and I think you'll be on your way. I know what I'd get, but I'm not in your line of business... :smile:

    - Thomas
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,130
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Two inches to the left
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wow. 1500 pounds. Only one?
     
  9. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd first ask where is the deficiency in your current lenses? I'm guessing you want a telephoto, but is that really necessary for dogs? The 300/4 is an excellent lens, and if you can work with slower lenses look at either the 70-300 or 80-400, both are optically excellent and have the vibration reduction feature which works very well in reducing camera shake. All of these are well within your budget.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    uk
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Many thanks for your ideas guys.

    I've slept on it and done some research and decided that, for now, rather than buying a new lens I've spent £270 on a new Lee Filter system with some ND Grads, blue red and orange graduated and a B&W set (that was £25 ish) as well as the foundation kit, adapter rings for my 3 main lenses, etc. As well as the dog photography, I shoot a fair amount of landscapes and, having recently got the grasp of home printing, I was looking to get darker skies etc at the negative stage using red filtration etc. I've wanted some Lee Filters for ages - about 18 months - so I thought I'd use this opportunity to buy some as everyone says I won't regret it.

    My lenses do suffice for 85% of my work - my 50mm yields great results, as does my 60mm Macro and 80-200mm zoom. My 20mm is a great lens but it takes some getting used to. In other words, I don't REALLY need a better lens - it would just be nice. I do, however need good quality filters - many a landscape scene has been ruined by extreme light variations.

    Ted