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Nikon D5100....What lens?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by BlackSwan83, Apr 20, 2014.

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  1. BlackSwan83

    BlackSwan83 New Member

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    Hi All,

    So im off to Iceland in October and saving up for a new camera (my first SLR Camera) i've spoken to a lot of friends and read a lot of reviews and kinda settled on the Nikon d5100 now, however im unsure if i should get the standard lens package.
    Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    or just get the body and buy the 35mil lens Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

    Just wondering if i could grab some of your input before taking the plunge (i wont be buying till September)
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    For your first lens the 18-55mm is a better choice as it's more versatile than the 35mm f/1.8. The 18-55 allows you to shoot at a wide angle and with zoom, whereas the 35mm limits you to a relatively narrow field of view and does not zoom. The 35mm is very good for portraits, especially in low light due to its wide F1.8 aperture, so it would be a good idea to purchase it at some point. But the 35mm lens is too limiting for your first lens.
     
  3. BlackSwan83

    BlackSwan83 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback :)
     
  4. Jim Keenan

    Jim Keenan News/Review Writer News/Review Writer

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    If you're locked into the two lenses you've already mentioned, the zoom obviously gives you more focal range (roughly 27 to 83mm in 35mm equivalents) than the 35 (about 53mm). The prime has the advantage of being fast, and the 53mm length (35mm equivalents) is what was called a "normal" lens when we all shot film - it provided a field of view that approximated what you saw with your eye.

    I personally would prefer the 18-55 for portraits (head and shoulder style shots) as the 83mm long end is right at the bottom of the 85 to 135mm range many portrait shooters used with 35mm film cameras. The 18-55 also close focuses to about 11 inches, so you have a decent close up ability, although not a true macro. But for travel, you may want to shoot both long and wide, so if your budget permits I'd consider going body-only on the D5100 and getting either the 18-200 VR II or 18-300 VR models - Nikon has just introduced a new 18-300 that is a bit more compact and about 12 ounces lighter than the original, which still appears on Nikon's website. Either lens is going to run much more than getting an kit with the D5100 and 18-55; about $450 for the 18-200 and $750-850 for the 18-300, depending on new or old version (at MSRP). These lenses give you a focal range from 27 to either 300 or 450mm - 450mm is getting fairly telephoto - but at the expense of the close focus ability of the 18-55. The longer telephoto lengths require a steadier hand to hand hold without inducing camera shake - and there's a school of thought (that I personally subscribe to) that Nikon's VR system should be disabled at shutter speeds of 1/500 or faster - you shouldn't just enable VR on your lens and shoot happily away.

    It's a trip and if you're going someplace that you may never return to, I'd try to give myself all the flexibility I could in capturing images.
     
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