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New Lens Input

Old 11-20-2012, 11:39 AM
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New Lens Input

AKA help me spend money

So, my old 35mm kit lens that cam with my Nikon N65 I've been using on my D90 finally suffered some type of focusing mechanism failure. Rather than repair it, I'd like to get a proper lens for my D90 to fill it's role. I can't afford a super fast $1600 lens, but want something decent. I've found some under $500 that might work. Just some input & pros/cons from more knowledgeable/experienced folks would be helpful.

The lens I'm replacing:
Quantaray 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 for 35mm film camera

Here's what ELSE is in my bag for reference, this will be my first actual digital formatted lens, the rest are my old lens from my film days.
Quantaray 50mm f2.8 (35mm Film)
Tamron 35-105mm f2.8 (35mm film, but not working quite right, crazy heavy too)
Quantaray 70-210mm f4-5.6 (35mm film)
Tamron 200-400mm f5.6 (35mm Film)

Lenses that sound good & want input on:

1. Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 w/ filter - $441
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 IF Nikon AF-D Mount Lens Kit AF016NII700 A

2. Tokina 16.5-135mm f3.5-5.6 - $299
Tokina 16.5-135mm f3.5-5.6 DX Zoom Lens for Nikon DSLRs ATXAF635DXN

3. Sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 w/ optical stabilizer & filter- $339
Sigma 18mm - 125mm f3.8-5.6 DC OS Lens f/Nikon DSLR -BUNDLE- 853306 K

4. Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 w/ optical stabilizer - $399
Sigma 17mm -70mm f2.8-4 DC OS HSM Lens f/Nikon DSLRs -BUNDLE- 668306 K

5. Sigma 18-50mm f2.8-4.5 w/ filter - $199
Sigma 18mm-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM Lens for Nikon DSLRs #861306 - BUNDLE - 861306

Here's my thoughts.

#1 is probably the best lens as it's the only one that is f2.8 throughout. It's also about too much for my budget. #2 & #3 give me nice range but are the slowest on the list. #4 sounds nice, but is the speed worth paying more for less range than #2 or #3? #5 sounds really good on paper, but seems priced really low for it's specs.

Give me some input on things like best over all, best value for price etc. I just need a nice lens!

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:31 PM
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Location: Wild Wild West, UTAH!
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Quantaray sucks...
Tamron sucks...
Never messed with Tokina, but they are marketed to the same user level as Quantaray and Tamron.
I've owned several Sigma lenses, and the upper level are pretty nice. I currently have a Sigma 10-20mm f/4, but it's supersoft on the edges at anything other than f/9.

You don't have to spend $1600 to get a fast lens. Nikon makes several cheap f/1.8's like Canon. I believe they have a 35mm f/1.8 and the "nifty fifty" 50mm f/1.8. Both are around $100.

My beef with all cheap lenses is softness, and chromatic aberration (CA), which virtually all "non-top-of-the-line" lenses will produce. The cheaper the lens, the more CA, because of cheaper build, and cheaper quality glass.

Having said all that, the question you should be asking yourself is:
What do I want to shoot?
Do I want a fast lens?
Do I want a wide, midrange, or telephoto lens?
Do I care about sharpness and CA?

Last spring I bought my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens for $1100 ( )... I've done almost all of my portrait shoots with that lens sense then, and to change things up, I'm now starting to look at the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L.

I should also mention that glass has come a long way since the film days. Old film lenses just don't cut it for the digital age. I bought an old school Canon 28-105mm USM lens on the local classifieds for $20 (retailed for like $500 new in the 80's & 90's), but it was just too soft...

Last edited by NismoPick; 11-20-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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