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Author Topic: Lens advice  (Read 1400 times)
armand
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« on: June 14, 2013, 10:53:33 PM »
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I keep thinking and going back and forth that my head is spinning so I might as well ask for some advice here, maybe it will stop.

So far I have a Nikon D90 with which I'm mostly happy. The lenses are Sigma 8-16 DX, Nikkor 16-85 DX VR, Nikkor 70-300 VR, Nikkor  35 1.8G DX, Nikkor 50 1.8D. As a backup or light travel I use the Sony RX-100.
I feel the inexplicable need for a new camera.
Rationally I can explain it as:
a) a need for backup body and some weather sealing D7100
b) a lighter travel kit: micro 4/3rds
c) a full frame D600, less likely D800.

While the lighter kit is still very appealing, the current cameras are not exactly what I want although OMD comes close (would like a better grip, similar to G5, if I add the RRS L-plate is same weight as GH3, slightly better movies, integrated flash) and a new system with the lenses that I want would be around 5k while weighing 60-70% of my current one. If I take the essential lenses it can be just 50% of the weight, but space more than weight is the issue.

The D600 (or D800) is quite nice and I always had a desire for full frame but as my first need would be for a travel in 3 weeks or so, I am looking for something lighter. That and I'm not sure I would be willing to put the money and effort (in carrying them) towards the best lenses for it. I could get it same weight as current though if I just use 24-120 F4, 70-300, 85 1.8G +/- and 35 1.8 or 1.4.

The cheapest by far and the "rational" choice would be to stick with DX. Although I'm not entirely sold on the sensor (I hate potential artifacts) the better focusing, some weather sealing and better resolution and maybe noise do make it compelling.
So if I buy the D7100, what lenses would be a good upgrade to maximize the quality? None of the ones that I have are the greatest but I shoot mostly stopped down and around F8 or so I didn't see many to be significantly better in resolution. Maybe contrast and probably bokeh. While I have my eye on a 85 1.8G the sister 85 3.5G micro makes more sense as I don't have any macro lenses.
Any other suggestions? Sorry about the long and probably confused post.

PS. although cheaper is better money are not the top priority here
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armand
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 11:03:41 PM »
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for fun this is the table with the weights and the prices
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PeterAit
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 08:52:59 AM »
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I think you will find the decision easier if you decide what you really need - or want, there's nothing wrong with buying a new kit just our of covetousness!

For a lightweight travel kit, consider the Panasonic G3 (or now G5?). 16 mp, a line of excellent lenses, and altogether a joy to use. You can put together a 3 or 4 lens kit with 35mm eqiv focal lengths 14 to 600 mm, fit it all in a modest size backpack, and carry it all day without needing a chiropractor. With the exception of low-light work, the IQ is excellent. Plus, Olympus makes a stunning 50mm macro that can be used with an adapter. When I first started using this system (at the time with a 12 MP G2) I soon realized that it was the IQ equal of my Nikon D700, so the hugely expensive and heavy Nikon system was sold and the proceeds bought me a large format printer, among other goodies.

That being said, the release of the Nikon D600 started my covetousness twitching. Then I read the gushing reviews of the Sigma 35mm f1.4 and it twitched some more. And the glowing reviews of the Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 sealed the deal. I will say that this new kit beats the Panasonic outfit for IQ.

Anyway, figure out what you want/need first (and what you can afford, haha!) and then go from there.
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Peter
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 09:14:31 AM »
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I feel the inexplicable need for a new camera.


An inexplicable "need" usually equates to a "want".

The happy thing about "wants" as opposed to "needs" is that you don't have to justify them (at least not to yourself). You can stop your brain birling just by accepting that fact.

If you want something and can afford the shekels, then go for it. When faced by alternatives, it is normally much easier to choose between (and prioritise) "wants" than between "needs". No requirement for objectivity with "wants".

Have fun with whatever you choose.


.
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armand
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2013, 10:54:42 AM »
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For a lightweight travel kit, consider the Panasonic G3 (or now G5?). 16 mp, a line of excellent lenses, and altogether a joy to use. You can put together a 3 or 4 lens kit with 35mm eqiv focal lengths 14 to 600 mm, fit it all in a modest size backpack, and carry it all day without needing a chiropractor. With the exception of low-light work, the IQ is excellent. Plus, Olympus makes a stunning 50mm macro that can be used with an adapter. When I first started using this system (at the time with a 12 MP G2) I soon realized that it was the IQ equal of my Nikon D700, so the hugely expensive and heavy Nikon system was sold and the proceeds bought me a large format printer, among other goodies.

I would like that Olympus in-sensor stabilization for primes (as it will make it comparable to full frame for static objects), plus the sensor seems to have a significant advantage on things like dynamic range. I did take plenty good pictures with my old Canon S100 which is comparable to G5 on those measures though.
For G5 goes better ergonomics and right now they have very good sales on it, as in 400$ for G5 with 14-42 kit or 590$ for G5 with 14-42 and 45-150 kit.

What I would really like would be a full frame but I just don't see myself carrying for travel when I'm with my family so this choice would be postponed for now.

The battle would be between m4/3 and Nikon DX.


PS. as a side note I just had my hands on the new Canon SL1 and it's not bad at all ergonomics wise, I expected worse
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armand
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2013, 12:54:14 PM »
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Reading this again I realize the discussion kind of sidetracked.
The choice between systems is more of a background, the question I really have is what lenses would be a good addition/ replacement to what I have if I get the D7100?
Thanks
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2013, 02:27:23 PM »
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{ ... } the question I really have is what lenses would be a good addition/ replacement to what I have if I get the D7100?
Thanks

For what use?

 Wink
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armand
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2013, 03:22:18 PM »
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As I said above, travel mostly, and this includes landscapes (most important) but also general use.
The interest is mostly in the midrange, 24-120 mm equivalent, that will make a significant difference with D7100 and not be terribly heavier than what I have right now, and this includes zooms and primes.
I keep reading and I don't see much but I'm sure there are other people here who went through this process so I might as well learn from their experience.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2013, 05:55:47 PM »
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If landscapes are your priority, full frame is your friend.  The first time you pull up a D800 file in LR, you'll know what I mean.  To steal a line from our motor vehicle enthusiasts, "There's no substitute for square inches."
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2013, 08:05:09 PM »
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If landscapes are your priority, full frame is your friend.  The first time you pull up a D800 file in LR, you'll know what I mean.  To steal a line from our motor vehicle enthusiasts, "There's no substitute for square inches."

This being said, a D7100 has more DR than a 5DIII that many people use to shoot landscape successfully, so it can clearly be done with Nikon DX. DX having more DoF is in fact a better choice for some landscape applications.

The problem with DX is more the lack of high quality lenses, but it seems Sigma may be picking up the ball Nikon seems to have dropped.

Cheers,
Bernard
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armand
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2013, 09:00:06 PM »
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If landscapes are your priority, full frame is your friend.  The first time you pull up a D800 file in LR, you'll know what I mean.  To steal a line from our motor vehicle enthusiasts, "There's no substitute for square inches."

You just don't want to make it easy, do you?  Angry

Quote
This being said, a D7100 has more DR than a 5DIII that many people use to shoot landscape successfully, so it can clearly be done with Nikon DX. DX having more DoF is in fact a better choice for some landscape applications.
The problem with DX is more the lack of high quality lenses, but it seems Sigma may be picking up the ball Nikon seems to have dropped.
Yep, you put the finger on it.

As I said, I can find reasons for any combinations but to keep it simple and to be done with (for now) I'm 90% decided on D7100. As I will take shots of my kids also supposedly I can justify better focus comparing to D600. An OMD with the Panasonic 13-35 2.8 gets similar resolution to my 16-85 (on D7000) until 70 mm equivalent where the Panasonic has a small advantage.
The main thing that I will be missing with the D7100 and the current lenses is some weather sealing.

To put it perspective:
new D7100 + micro 85 to the current system would cost me 1625$ for a total weight of 2800g (excluding flashes, accessories, etc)
new m4/3 system with OMD would cost 4600$ for a total weight of 1970g
an FX with D600 and mostly new lenses would cost 4400$ for a total weight of 3350g
a Fuji X with XE-1 and most of their lenses would cost 3350$ for a total weight of 1900g (big sales now).

Couple of observations from the above numbers:
- a disturbing one: a m4/3 would cost me more than a full frame
- an unexpected one: a Fuji X would weigh the same as a m4/3


PS. I forgot to add I don't currently print bigger than 13x19, and I don't expect printing bigger than 17x22 in the future
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 09:01:52 PM by armand » Logged
armand
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2013, 09:22:51 AM »
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So what do you think about the Nikon DX future?
Will we see some good, pro-quality lenses for it or it will disappear/ stay consumer only?
The only interesting lenses that I heard of are a Tokina 12-28 f4 and Sigma 18-35 F1.8, but optical quality aside they don't seem to be too rugged.

Some time ago I thought I'll be giving up my DX and go to m4/3 + FX but the current DX has better performance than several years old FX with a lighter weight.

PS. amazon still has a great sale on a G5 with 14-42 + 45-150 for about 440$, that's almost as much as I paid for my Canon S100
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