D3000..which lens and help with filters

dnrgenodnrgeno Posts: 2Member
edited December 2013 in D3x00
I own the D3000. I have the 18-55 lens. Looking to get a new lens. I mainly use for leisure, taking photos of the kids, family vacations, outdoors. I have had this camera for almost 2 years and I would like to finally take the time and learn more about and capture better shots. Have been looking into the 35mm f/1.8. Would that be a good lens? Or do you have any other recommendations. Another thing I have been looking into is filters, are they worth getting? I don't know alot about them.


  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,319Member
    Yes, the 35/1.8 is a nice, cheap, light, fast(er) prime to have available for your DX camera.

    If you want longer focal lengths, there are those available too. Depends on what you want to shoot.

    discussion re: filters -

    You may want to spend some time using the search feature on this forum to investigate previous threads. The folks around here have lots of experience and knowledge, and, on occasion (LOL), strong opinions. Well worth your time for the investigation, IMHO.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    People here (myself included) love to spend other spend other people's money :-) One thing you could do is look back at your favorite photos, look at the EXIF data and see what focal length was used. This will help narrow down what lens would be most useful. The 35mm DX is a good one, and the 70-300 is one of my favorites as well.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,518Moderator
    People here tend to treat everybody like they are cash rich and really into photography at a high level and it isn't always so. From the description of your intended usage, I would say you should think about getting what we call a good walk-around (general purpose) lens. If you don't need a wider angle than the 18mm end of your 18-55 (which I don't think you do, then I expect you just need a bit more on the longer end. Now that the new 18-140 is out, the 18-105VR can be had cheaply. It is a very good lens that will go on holiday with you nicely for landscapes, portraits and if you put a close-up filter on it (+3 diopter is good on that lens) then it will do flowers and butterflies too. The other advantage apart from cutting down on the gear you lug around with you is that you only have one size of filter to buy and you keep your cameras sensor clean by not changing lenses too much.

    I would say you need a UV filter to protect your lens (I don't bother), a circular polarising filter, and a close up (+3 diopter) filter as a minimum, and in your case probably maximum. Don't get gimmicky filters unless/until you really know you want them and why. Most of those effects can be done in your editing software anyway and you have the advantage of the original picture isn't committed to orange, or graduated filter or whatever.

    Hope that helps.
    Always learning.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    Skip the filters...no need and don't really add anything. Especially if you aren't looking to spend much money. Basically a cheap filter is worse than nothing...so unless you are buying expensive filters then don't do it. Also lots of times people like them to protect lenses, but it isn't worth it if the filter is going to cost around the same as the lenses.

    So the 35 F1.8 is a good lens and so is the 50 F1.8 or the 40 F2.8 macro, or the 70-300 VR. It depends on what you want to do really. F1.8 will help in low light and maybe get you some bokeh (blurred background) because of the shallow depth of field that a F1.8 can produce at F1.8.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    I would not purchase any equipment at present. Instead, take a photo course at a community college and/or join a local photo club and learn from others. From your questions it would seem you want to expand your knowledge in photography.

    Once you have some more info then you can decide how to spend your money. With what you have I could take over half the images I shoot and they would no doubt look the same at the 8" x 10" level.

    Or, just hang around this forum and read what you find is of interest. As mentioned, we can spend your money in a heartbeat….LOL

    You are welcome to post a photo on Photo-A-Day.
    Msmoto, mod
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited December 2013
    LOL we love to spend peoples money.. tell us your budget and we would still be tempted to recommend 5 times that amount !

    however,I agree with msmoto you need to learn more .. maybe join a photography club or local amateur gatherings and organised shoots.

    with what you have now you can go in any number of directions.. each with specialised lens or equipment that cost 2-3 times what you have spent to date. find out what your inetrest is by doing lots of shooting with what you currently have.. then you will start hitting the limits of your gear then you will know what equipment you should get next...
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    @dnrgeno: If you want to learn then set the D3000 to aperture priority mode - that is "A". Then add a 35 1.8 or a 50 1.8 lens. That way you can control DOF.

    A lot of people love to hate the D3000. But it is a very good little camera if you stay at or below ISO 400.

    Go take 5000 pictures - then you know what you are missing lens wise :-)

    By starting out with a 35 or a 50 you will learn to move your feed to get the right framing of your pictures :-) 30 years ago all I had was a 50 mm - I was a lot slimmer and fitter back then - maybe I should get rid of my zoom lenses? :-)

    Best of luck
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,518Moderator

    A lot of people love to hate the D3000. But it is a very good little camera if you stay at or below ISO 400.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Msmoto has made a very good point about taking a photo course first.

    My two bits? I am an advocate of a 50mm "fast normal" lens. You can see in my signature I have two. For your DX camera, that is a 35mm lens for the same field of view. As previously said, you will learn framing. You will also be able to deal with situations that not even professional grade 2.8 zooms can deal with.

    If you don't follow Msmoto's advice, buy a fast normal lens. If you do take Msmoto's advice and you really want to improve your photography, chances are a fast normal lens will end up in your bag.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,518Moderator
    This needs to be said and needs to be said more often on this forum:

    No one piece or number of pieces of gear will 'improve your photography'. Learn about it then do it. Do lots of it. Make mistakes and learn from them and see if the desire to keep shooting and learning is still there. If not, do something else, if it is, you'll get better. BUT, do not expect any gear - even 'whoopy-do' RRS, Nikon D4, D800 or myriad expensive lenses (or any other gear) to 'improve your photography' as the gear you need for that is right between your ears.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited December 2013
    As I have been looking at some APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras and trying to figure out a single lens to purchase, I like the idea of a 24mm or 35mm as a "normal lens. And, if one has the $900, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is IMO the one to buy for a Nikon IMO.

    There is a very clear advantage to limiting oneself to a single focal length. I do this a lot when on the street and it forces me to learn what the capabilities are of the equipment in my hands. I actually have to move some, rethink what I see, and then do what I can. All create an increased awareness of the surroundings which is possibly the most important thing for a photographer to acquire.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • dnrgenodnrgeno Posts: 2Member
    Wow..thank you all for taking the time to leave your input. I have been trying to take time to read previous threads on here in addition to this one. I would love to take a few courses before purchasing any more equipment, actually I wish I would have taken a course before even purchasing my camera. After reading all these different threads on here and realizing how many options I do have when it comes to lens, I really feel like maybe I should take a course so I truly have a feel for what type of lens I want to purchase. I have already looked into a couple different ones in my area. Now finding the time to fit that into my schedule is the next step! My goal is to have a better knowledge and understanding of my camera before summer, family vacation time.
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    Just as a FYI, Most, if not all reputable photography courses will require that you bring a DSLR and Flash.
    Also the camera manual will be required. As you will be learning how to do the lessons with your own personal photography gear.
    Perhaps calling ahead, you can get a copy of the course outline, these are often also able to be read, at a website online.

    You are starting in a great place here... Good Luck, and have fun learning.
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 862Member
    One good place for basics are the classes offered at night for adults at community colleges. Often times an adjunct teaches who is a pro by day in the real world so it is not all right out of a text book. Sometimes a semester of dark room film B&W is required before moving into digital with Photoshop. Students also learn a lot from each other. Years back it was a great experience for me and at a reasonable cost.
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