Gift idea for wife - new lenses

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Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:13 pm

Hi guys,

Looks to get my wife 1 or 2 new lenses for her old yet trusty Nikon D50. She currently has 2 lenses:

- 28-80 from her old Nikon film camera
- 70-300 that she bought a few years back

She mainly takes pics of the kids being kids (soccer, horseback riding, swimming), and general all round pics of family, dumb dog, etc..

What lens would you suggest that would compliment her current ones? An 18-55, 50mm?

I've already set her up with a decent flash, tripod, monopod, various bags, lots of SD cards (max 2GB in that camera).

Thanks
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:22 pm

I bet she would love the 35mm f/1.8G DX. It's a great length for the cropped SLRs and its big aperture makes indoor shots without the flash really easy. It's cheap as well (around the £150 mark over here). The other two lenses cover a lot of what she would want, although the 18-55 VR is pretty great (even though it's a kit lens!) and will go much wider than the 28-80.

I have the 18-55 VR II, the 55-200 VR, and the 35mm f/1.8 and the are all awesome.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:33 pm

Any chance on getting her a new camera body? Or even a good used one, like a D90? The improved high-ISO performance would help perk up her old lenses.

An 18-105mm lens would minimize lens swapping, give her improved range on the wide end, and is probably sharper than her current lenses.

Is your wife an "enthusiast" - wants to play with a multitude of lenses, always lugs her gear around - or is she more casual about it?

Thinking outside the box: Ricoh GR.
Last edited by Yeats on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:34 pm

Frankly, I'm not sure she needs another lens. She has a kit lens and a telephoto, and that's all you need for basic photos and kids being kids.

- She doesn't have much at the wide angle end of things, but she maybe doesn't need it.
- More expensive lenses often have better optics, faster focusing, more desirable bokeh, lower apertures, and options for stablization. But they come at a significant price premium.
- Fixed lenses offer fantastic value for image quality, wide apertures, and price at the expense of convenience. Enthusiasts are willing to make that tradeoff. Consumers aren't.

My mother is in the same position. She likes taking pictures and has a good camera with a kit lens and an acceptable telephoto. She's artistic. She can afford better gear. But she doesn't care. She takes photos of her grandkids and vacations. No art, no portraits, no wildlife, no landscapes, no macro, no manipulating depth of field, no advanced lighting. I could push her to buy more gear, but what difference would it make?
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:34 pm

A fast prime. 24-35mm would be ideal (the one above is a great one). It completely changes how you can use your camera indoors.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:52 pm

Milo Burke wrote:Frankly, I'm not sure she needs another lens.


Shhhhhh..........
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:59 pm

I have a D50 with both the 55mm f/1.8 (~85mm effective) and 35mm f/1.8 lenses. I had the 55 for a couple years before the 35, and while it was my go-to lens, the 35 is just more versatile indoors. I'd highly recommend the 35mm.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:29 pm

Terra_Nocuus wrote:I have a D50 with both the 55mm f/1.8 (~85mm effective) and 35mm f/1.8 lenses. I had the 55 for a couple years before the 35, and while it was my go-to lens, the 35 is just more versatile indoors. I'd highly recommend the 35mm.
I recently traded my 50 1.8 for the 35 1.8 for this exact reason :)
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:11 pm

The most important question hasn't been asked: how much do you want to spend?

Pick swimming- usually indoor, low-light mostly action. People spend US$15,000 on camera and lens and are still left wanting. Outdoors, you're not going to do much better on Nikon than a 70-300 outside of upgrading to an 80-400; even used, that's a sizable jump.

If you wanted to get the best of the best for long standard zooms, Nikon's new 18-140G VR takes the cake, optically outperforming Canon's also new 18-135 IS STM.

But as also mentioned above, your 70-300 probably does most of what you need, while the D50 will certainly be lacking in resolution and more importantly in AF tracking ability, high ISO performance, and dynamic range, when compared to a more 'modern' camera like the D90, D7000, or even the just-released D5300.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:49 pm

Airmantharp wrote:The D50 will certainly be lacking in resolution and more importantly in AF tracking ability, high ISO performance, and dynamic range, when compared to a more 'modern' camera like the D90, D7000, or even the just-released D5300.
Used or Refurbished or New D7000
Used or Refurbished or New 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED (VR)
Used or New 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX
There's $1175 to $1400 worth of goodness. Keep the 70-300 and dump the 28-80.

Once you've selected a lens or camera, be certain to visit http://www.nikonpricewatch.com/ to check prices before you buy.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:55 am

Thanks for all the good advice.. I'm picking up the 35mm lens to start, and keeping an eye out for a good deal on a newer body.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:20 am

elmopuddy wrote:Thanks for all the good advice.. I'm picking up the 35mm lens to start, and keeping an eye out for a good deal on a newer body.


Excellent plan. A good fast prime changes everything. She will be able to play with DoF/bokeh patterns and shoot indoors with confidence.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:58 am

Airmantharp wrote:But as also mentioned above, your 70-300 probably does most of what you need, while the D50 will certainly be lacking in resolution and more importantly in AF tracking ability, high ISO performance, and dynamic range, when compared to a more 'modern' camera like the D90, D7000, or even the just-released D5300.


Can the D5300 AF with the OP's lenses?
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:29 am

KEH currently has a D90 in EX condition for $319, and a D7000 in EX condition for $525.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:24 pm

Yeats wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:But as also mentioned above, your 70-300 probably does most of what you need, while the D50 will certainly be lacking in resolution and more importantly in AF tracking ability, high ISO performance, and dynamic range, when compared to a more 'modern' camera like the D90, D7000, or even the just-released D5300.


Can the D5300 AF with the OP's lenses?


OP would be well advised to check this chart to make sure.

I know that people knock Sony's lens selection, but good lord. At least every Sony body can mate up to every Minolta AF lens and AF will actually work, and work well. I hate the cost-cutting Nikon has done to orphan some very good glass from low to mid-range AF users.
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Re: Gift idea for wife - new lenses

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:16 pm

That's a neat chart!

For me, Sony made everything right with lens selection when they introduced focus peaking, lol. If the A7 had IBIS, it would be quite the temptation to get it to use with my m42 lenses.
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