Help me spend my money on a lens or lenses

skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
Just a brief bit. I moved from dx to fx and I have a nikon 50 1.8 (hate it every time I shoot with it) and a nikon 85 1.8 (love it so much and shoot everything with it). I recently started started shooting with a d800 (for another thread but the difference from my d7100 to the d800 - wow, really, wow)

I have a a little more than 2K to spend and like a zillion options considering all the lenses out there new and used/refurbished. I don't shoot events, but a rare concert here and there. I shoot people, usually in a studio but also on locations. Originally, I was going to get the Nikon 70-200 vrII (all my money) then I started looking at picking up Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S used in excellent condition and that would allow me to get a Sigma 50 art lens (such a SWEET lens) - I've also been told that a used 70-200 vr would be good and a local photographer is selling hers for $900 (a steal) because she upgraded to the vrII (because really, it's a better lens)

But then, I've started thinking when I've rented zoom lenses in the past I've used them like a prime since I'm so used to zooming with my feet and then didn't think the image I got looked good - they seemed softer than when I shot with the 85 but I chalked it up to user error since I kind of don't know what I'm doing.

So now, I'm wondering if maybe I should just get that Sigma 50 art lens and then look at a longer lens like the 105, 135, or 180.

But then, I talk my self into a circle.
Any advise is appreciated.
learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
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Comments

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    IF you are going to get the 105 DC 2.0, spend the little extra and get the 135 DC 2.0. I prefer this to my 85 1.4G which I only use when I don't have space for a 135. My rule for portraits is that I use the longest lens that I have room for. However, if you want to put your subjects into the context of their surroundings you may want to think of a wider lens. I usually see the surroundings as a background to carefully control and limit which steers me to a longer lens, but that is just my style.

    I would think carefully about upgrading your 50. Unless it is the 50 1.8D, it is a decent lens. Not on par with your 85 1.8G (which is close to my 85 1.4G), but still decent. You might want to think about investing in something that you can't do rather than something you can do, albeit perhaps only 90% as well as you would like to.

    Sound reasonable?
  • skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
    I tell you what, I've got a shoot this week and I'll slap that 50 1.8G on and use it for a little and see if I still hate it. If I do, I might as well sell it. I always hated it when I used it on my d7100. I think it's because the 85 1.8G is just SO much better.
    learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
    flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
    imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I look forward to learning the results. Is it the D or G?
  • skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
    it's the g
    learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
    flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
    imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    That is better than my 1.4G, though I love my 1.2AIS and consider that superior if you don't mind MF. Your 1.8G is not a shabby lens - hell I suspect it is better at 50mm than the 24-70 2.8E I just bought today. The question you need to ask is, "Will another $600-800 on a 50 after a trade in make me happier or something else entirely that is not in my kit and allow me to do something I currently can't do." I look forward to your verdict.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited February 2016
    for the "rare" concert consider a fun ol lense like the tamron 28-75 F2.8. I have an old Nikkor 35-70 F2.8 which i have used for these things. Nowadays I'd use the Tamron 24-70 F2.8 VC.

    For your studio fun consider the Samyang 135 F2.0 manual focus lense, surprisingly nice if you can handle manual focusing. The Nikkor 70-200 F4 VR is really quite sharp and F4 in the studio is wide enough. The Sigma 150 or 180 F2.8 OS also looks like nice options for you. We were expecting a Sigma 135 F2 but its not appeared yet. Some photographers also really like long lenses for Model photography, consider the Nikon 300 F4.
    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.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @skyeyes70 what exactly do you hate about the 50 1.8g? That may help us help you decide :-)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,491Moderator
    Yes. If it is the focal length, the Sigma will be that same.
    Always learning.
  • skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
    I just feel like my 50 1.8G is always much softer than my 85 1.8G. I rented that Sigma and it's is like butter!

    I'm not sure I'm ready to attack manual focus, I can't even get my glasses prescription right and only wear them from time to time.

    I find it interesting with the lens selection the photographer's are using when I look though Clay Cook's community. I see a lot of 50's and 85's and a good bit of 24-70. Some 70-200.
    learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
    flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
    imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    It is softer and if you feel that is important for your pictures, more important than something else you might like, then buy it. The question is, "what is the something else?"
  • skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
    Soft is not what I want in my images.
    Tack sharp, but I need more options to shoot with than my 85.
    learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
    flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
    imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    skyeyes70 said:

    Soft is not what I want in my images.
    Tack sharp, but I need more options to shoot with than my 85.

    I can see from your portfolio's progression that second rate does not cut it for you. So I understand where you are coming from. I am the same way. Zooms are not on your list. Not even the 24-70 that I just bought and I doubt the 70-200s as well. That only leaves you with a few options. The Sigma Art is one and you will like it wide open. However the improvement stopped down, while there, may disappoint. Compare these lenses at f/5.6. At f/8 diffraction will start to make them all start to look the same. At 5.6, a better lens will shine.
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    Your 50 1.8 may be a bad sample. I'd try another copy before you give up on that lens. I use that lens on my D810 and it's a nice lens and fully useable.

    framer
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Or check the fine focus adjust...
  • SportsSports Posts: 365Member
    Sounds like the Sigma Art suggested by yourself and the Nikon 135 suggested by others would be a dream team for you, so if it you're hesitant, then maybe you could explain and give additional directions for suggestions?
    D300, J1
    Sigma 70-200/2.8, 105/2.8
    Nikon 50/1.4G, 18-200, 80-400G
    1 10-30, 30-110
  • skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
    I think part of it is just analysis paralysis LOL. I think part of me is hesitant because I probably want a 24-70 too! But I have to use my $ wisely. I can totally see the practical side of that zoom. According to a few reviews, the Tamron is about 90% as good as the Nikon, but (here come the circle) even if I got the Nikon I think I would be disappointed in it not being as sharp as my 85 prime.

    I'm going to shoot with my 50 later today and check the fine focus adjust (once I figure out how to do that).
    learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
    flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
    imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    edited February 2016
    I use a 50mm 1.8 for fashion 95% of the time and have never had a problem with my D700/D750. I suggest you compare with another copy. As for Zooms, sorry to disappoint you but I also have the 24-70mm and it is worse than it's prime counterpart at every possible focal length. Not as sharp, slower, more inaccurate focus, distortion, you name it. If you don't need a zoom don't bother with it.
    Post edited by safyre on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @skyeyes70 It is easy to check the focus, and only a tiny bit harder to adjust it. For the 50mm I would shoot at 50xFL or 2.5m away (6-8ft) from a yardstick propped up at roughly a 45° angle. Since 18" is the middle, with your camera on a tripod, put your center focus point on the 18" mark. Focus through the viewfinder, take 2-3 shots, racking the focus to either inifinity or 0 before auto focusing each time. Then take one shot using live view (this one should be perfect).

    Its easiest to see on a big screen, but you can also zoom in on the back of the camera. You will quickly notice if you are front or back focusing, or if you are pretty darn close. If you need to adjust, post back here and I'll send some links on different ways to adjust it.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    Maybe you mentioned it before, but do you even like the 50mm focal length? Some people don't like shooting at that length. I do though.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,491Moderator
    edited February 2016
    I'm one. To me 50mm on FX is the 'jack of all trades' focal length so in my mind it is also 'master of none'. Uninspiring as is 35mm on a DX of course. Both get the same response from me.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    edited February 2016

    I'm one. To me 50mm on FX is the 'jack of all trades' focal length so in my mind it is also 'master of none'. Uninspiring as is 35mm on a DX of course. Both get the same response from me.

    The 35mm 1.8 is one of my favorite focal lengths on DX, probably because it was the cheapest, fastest autofocusing glass on DX when I first got into it. I have the 50mm 1.2 too, but that's an odd focal length for me, and I still find it difficult to manual focus.

    Perhaps with use I grew into it, but now I can even shoot from the hip and generally get a shot I want without even looking through the viewfinder. Now I really need to trust the AF to give me something I'd actually want, but I've gotten some lower angle shots that I like quite a bit.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    What do you want more now? Get that. Save up and get other stuff later.

    If you want a mid range zoom get the 24-70. If you want a longer zoom get the 70-200. It is hard to suggest to someone what they should buy without knowing really how they will use it. You have the 85 so there isn't a need really to have the 70-200 for portraits. I would never have the 50 myself...I have the 35 F1.8 and hate it. Also you don't need it all right now....keep in mind you can always get something later. Or just buy one lens for now and shoot with that and see what you still want.
    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)
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited February 2016

    I'm one. To me 50mm on FX is the 'jack of all trades' focal length so in my mind it is also 'master of none'. Uninspiring as is 35mm on a DX of course. Both get the same response from me.

    yup .. sigh ...

    To OP : what about the Tamron VC 35mm and/or 45mm F1.8

    Post edited by spraynpray 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.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    50mm is just another focal length, it's either good for the shot you want or it isn't.
    It's like saying you hate 10mm wrenches, but 8mm now that's the $h!t. Until you have a 10mm bolt :-/
    @skyeyes70 why not rent a 24-70 from lensrentals or borrowlenses and see if it fits your shooting style?
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Ironheart said:

    50mm is just another focal length, it's either good for the shot you want or it isn't.
    It's like saying you hate 10mm wrenches, but 8mm now that's the $h!t. Until you have a 10mm bolt :-/
    @skyeyes70 why not rent a 24-70 from lensrentals or borrowlenses and see if it fits your shooting style?

    Agreed on all points.
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