AF-D lenses for lighter weight and portability?

seewhatididtherseewhatididther Posts: 5Member
edited December 2014 in Nikon Lenses
I'm about to make the switch from DX to FX and am deciding which lens(es) to start with. I'm currently shooting with a D5100, 17-55 2.8 DX and the 35mm 1.8 DX, all. of which will be sold/traded for FX gear. I most often shoot family and friends, indoors and out, cars, and some walking around and travel/scenery. The 17-55 Takes excellent photos, but it feels heavy and awkward, and I'm little self conscious of its size when everyone else seems to use their IPhone camera. Of course the 35/1.8 is much more manageable, and I'm challenging myself to live without the zoom.

Since the FX body will no doubt be heavier and slightly larger (I'm leaning towards the D750, barring a D620 announcement next week at CES), I'm planning to go with primes, probably 50, 85 and then either 35 or 28. People seem to love the Sigma Arts, but they look big and heavy. I'm currently leaning towards the Nikon 1.8G line based on their combo of performance, size/weight and cost.

If you were in my shoes, would you consider the AF-D line (like the 35 f/2), since in general they're lighter, smaller, cheaper, and I don't needs the afs motor? Or do you think I'd be unhappy with the results coming from nicer lenses? Anything else I should consider?

Thanks in advance!
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Comments

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,744Member
    Go with th Gs. Much better optics and only slightly heavier.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,494Member
    edited December 2014
    If keeping the weight and size down is what you want the AF-D primes are not bad. They are showing their age on modern high resolution cameras though. The AF-S 1.8 line is very good and other than being physically larger, and maybe a few hundred grams heavier, at the most, are better optically by a noticeable amount in most cases.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited December 2014
    If you want light, great performance at outstanding value...you really need to consider going with Nikon's new G 1.8 line of lenses.

    The 85mm is outstanding, I highly recommend getting one. For wide-angle, the new 20 1.8G has been getting some rave reviews. Look at this topic for more info. For all around waking lens, the 50 1.8G is a no-brainer.

    As for the body, the D750 will serve you very, very well. Happy shopping :D
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,744Member
    If you can afford it, I might consider buying the 50 1.4G. It is only slightly heaver and more expensive.

    Optically, the 1.8 is SLIGHTLY better. However, the extra low light ability that the extra stop provides could be quite useful if you are shooting indoors. 1.8 on everything else will give you a nice kit though. As Golf said, the 85 is stunning and a real bargain.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,751Member
    @seewhatididther - first welcome to NRF.
    I just added the D750 last month and am planning on adding some primes in 2015. I have already made the decision to add the 50 1.8G early next year and planning on adding the 85mm 1.8G mid year after getting buying the 300 F4. You won't go wrong with the 50 1.8G and the 85 1.8G lenses.

    For the value, the new 1.8 primes are an excellent bargain of price and sharpness. Take your time and evaluate the 35mm F1.8 and the new 20mm F1.8 that Golf007sd suggests. One or both would make a nice addition to your camera bag.

    Finally, remember you can save some $$$ by buying reconditioned lens from NIKON USA.com. There are several other dealers that sell them. Inventory is never deep but you can save some dollars to help buy more glass. :D
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • The_Other_SteveThe_Other_Steve Posts: 14Member
    I use the 50/1.8D and the 20/2.8D on the D7000 and D600/610/750. I preferred the D lenses because I continue with my beloved F4.

    50D has been a favorite. Great at f/4, f/5.6 good even at f/2. Lens is small and light, AF is fast enough and I've seen no need to move to the G series. Yes, the extra speed of the 1.4 is attractive, but I find the D is just great.

    The 20D is another story. On the positive side, it is small and light, fits easily in a pocket. But mine is extremely soft wide open. I'll give up ISO, especially on the newer bodies, before shooting it at f/2.8. I just dread shooting that lens wide open. And I might have a bad sample, but even at its best, f/5.6, I find the lens just okay. It just isn't great. Whenever I review work shot with the lens, I wonder if I need to improve my technique. With the new 20/1.8 available, I'd skip the 20D.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member

    The 85mm is outstanding, I highly recommend getting one. For all around waking lens, the 50 1.8G is a no-brainer.
    Follow the above advice. The 50 in particular is very light and small
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    I'm about to make the switch from DX to FX...

    ... Or do you think I'd be unhappy with the results coming from nicer lenses? Anything else I should consider?
    I haven't a clue as to what to tell you from a technical standpoint. I'm a total noob, relative to the guys here on NRF. But do yourself a favor and RENT IT first! I understand your feelings about the zooms versus the primes. Primes are much lighter, be they DX or FX, but why do you feel the need to move to the higher end FX side of things? Especially since one of the factors you seem to be weighing is size/weight. Have you looked at the D7100?
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    I just read this thread so far and it seems weird. You feel self concious about the DX body and 17-55 (I agree about the awkward handling of the 17-55 btw) but are looking at a larger body and older out of date lenses to minimise it's impact? We always advise people to buy decent glass before bodies so to read your requirements makes me think you are about to spend a fair bit of money and not be any happier (still got an indistinguishably large camera so still going to feel awkward).

    Forget FX, go to one of the newer very capable mirrorless cameras then you can feel ok amongst your friends.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Welcome to NRF. D750, 35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art. Then, 85mm/f1.8 Nikkor G. And, if longer is desired, 70=200mm f/2.8 VRII nikkor, or if wide....the 16-35mm f/4 VR Nikkor or the 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikkor.

    We love to spend folks money, but, the first two lens and the D750 body can do a lot of what you may want. The 35mm is actually a "normal" lens for full frame.

    An alternative to FX is something like the D7100....outstanding performance from DX, and you can then begin the process of accumulating the pro FX lenses.
    Msmoto, mod
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,287Member
    I don't think you'd do yourself any favors by keeping with the AF-D lenses, they are smaller, but they are also loud when they autofocus and you'd draw attention to yourself that way.

    I agree with what sprayandpray said above, I think you're better off with a high end point and shoot or a mirrorless camera. Maybe a Nikon 1.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited December 2014
    . I'm currently leaning towards the Nikon 1.8G. line
    I think you are leaning in the right direction. I would go for the 20, 35 and the 85

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • seewhatididtherseewhatididther Posts: 5Member
    edited December 2014
    Thanks for the responses everyone. Sounds like i'm on the right track with the 1.8G Series.

    I've left out a little of my back story to condense it. I started with a D200 and shot for car magazines for a few years before giving that up. Then I bought a D5100 in a pinch to photograph a family event. It of course feel like a toy, unresponsive and slower/less accurate to focus compared to my old D200. I've never been happy with it. As for mirrorless,I tried a Fuji XT-1 a few times in the shop, and it feels nicely built, but I just didn't love it (lack of grip, slower response, hunting focus in low light). I really wanted to love it.

    Then I tried the D750 and it felt like home and performed beautifully. True it's big(ger), but I can minimize the effect by sticking with primes. If I'm going to feel a little awkward I may as well love the shooting experience. I should just get over that feeling anyway. Better than shooting with smaller camera that I don't love. That may not be the best logic, but it's mine!
    Post edited by seewhatididther on
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 398Member
    It's hard to beat the ergonomics of a real Nikon. I understand you though. That big circle of glass tells people you're going to catch all their flaws ;-) And zooms have such big circles of glass. The D750 with a 50mm lens on it will appear smaller than your old setup, if that helps. Plus you can shoot from further away and crop (makes people less self-conscious)

    While I carry a zoom when in travel mode, I much prefer shooting with the 35mm 1.8 DX or the 50mm 1.4mm with people. Too bad we don't have a wide DX prime.

    I also find that holding the body the classic way in two hands with the left hand supporting the lens and elbow below, it appears smaller than if holding it by the big grip and wide-elbowing to the lens, keeping the body compact... digressing.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @seewhatididther: You have the right mindset. Use your past experiences in getting a body and lens so that you will "love it."
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ seewhatididther - I've shot only with prime lenses because that's all I have had available and I think I would miss zoom lenses. The convenience of a zoom over the advantage of the speed of a prime is something you'll have to decide. The sharpness of a prime over a zoom is difficult to assert over all picture-taking scenarios, if at all. But for convenience, you can't beat a zoom.

    The smaller size of a prime is a consideration for sure.

    But what you will certainly need to consider is the focal lengths that you'll need should you get prime lenses.

    Going from 35mm to 50mm to 85mm doesn't seem a much of a step between lenses. I should think if you were to take a 'prime lens only' route, you would want to 'double' the focal length value, going, in broad strokes, twice the number from lens to lens, 20-24mm to 50mm, to 105-135, to 200-300mm and so on.

    In the 35-50-85mm three-lens combo, I don't think there is enough range, and frankly, a zoom lens would cover that and more.

    Good luck with which ever direction you take and my best,

    Mike
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    In the 35-50-85mm three-lens combo, I don't think there is enough range, and frankly, a zoom lens would cover that and more.
    This ^^ is true. I like the 50 more on a FF than 35 unless you are shooting indoors, but one may benefit from a VR-stabilized lens then instead anyways. The OP has a 35 on DX so a 50 on FX would be an easy transition. I agree with Mike that something wider would be of benefit, especially for landscapes, but Nikon does not produce wide pancakes unfortunately. The 85 is a nice focal length and a sharp lens, but following Mike's logic the VR 105 may be more useful, just its bigger which the OP said he wanted to avoid.
    OP-> Look at this site: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Product-Images.aspx?Lens=973&LensComp=766&LensComp2=791
    You can switch up the lenses to get an idea of how big they are. For Nikon, the 50mm is about as good as it gets.

    OP also don't forget about the shutter sound... FX shutters tend to be louder than DX ones. Nikon's QC mode is not really all that much quieter but rather changes the character of the sound spreading it out more.
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 398Member
    Not sure I have the guts to do it on anything important, but going out with just a 35mm and 85mm f/1.8 would be interesting. A little bit wide. A little bit tele. Maybe toy with the 1.2 or DX crops. Just carry two lenses.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,744Member
    edited December 2014
    Why crop in camera? You are just throwing away the edges. Better to zoom with your feet, a talent that many should learn in my view.

    Pesonally, I am often happy with a 24, 50 and 135.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    I prefer a 28 -50-105 spread.

    framer
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,494Member
    Better to zoom with your feet, a talent that many should learn in my view.
    Famous last words, as he zooms with his feet over the edge of a cliff. ;)
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,744Member
    edited December 2014
    There are certainly situations that call for a zoom. Event photography comes to mind (though even for that I would have some primes in my pocket and perhaps on a second body).

    Seriously though, how many times could 25-49mm be covered by feet.

    Framer, that is a good spread too. Each photographer will have a spread that depends on their uses.

    I admit a personal bias on this issue. In my mind, zooms are either for people that have no intention of learning photography or have already mastered it. I am in neither group.

    And before the flood of predictable objections starts, yes, I know and even I don't wholeheartedly agree with my statement. But I think that there is truth underlying my extreme statement.

    Framer, I suspect that you know what I mean, based on your handle.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    edited December 2014
    @seewhatididther : welcome to NRF ! since you are no photo noob. Yes get the D750 or even an on sale D800. You will like the pro controls similar to the D200.
    Re lenses .. I would say until you fully decide, stick with your DX lenses. There is a whole thread here on using DX lenses on FX cameras. Both the D750 and D800 has the 1.2 crop mode that would allow you to use your 35mm Dx lens with almost no IQ penalty.

    Regarding lense choices. Primes are getting to be better choices on these newer cameras than they were in the past. Mainly bec of the high MP of the new cameras. we have the built in digital zoom ! People talk about the cropping capability afforded to us. so if you have 50mm lense you really can use it as a 100mm FOV digital zoom !.

    Take your time to decide on a lense.. as we all know the lense will out live the camera. ie you will be living with the lense longer than your camera. :-) get the lense that covers your favorite FOV first.. zoom or prime you decide.
    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.

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,494Member
    edited December 2014
    There are certainly situations that call for a zoom. Event photography comes to mind (though even for that I would have some primes in my pocket and perhaps on a second body).

    Seriously though, how many times could 25-49mm be covered by feet.
    I think the issue is working space. There are so many unforeseen limits, and not just cliffs. I think both types have an equal place. In any case we are getting way off topic.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • I'll probably just start with the 50 and see what I want next. For the price it's hard to pass up, even if it seems a little close to some others in an ideal spread. I've spent $215 on a lot less intelligent things!
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