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Old May 31st, 2007, 08:46 AM   #1
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Cool SLR owners: Post your favorite lens and why you love it + some examples (56k be gone)

Right now mine is my Nikkor 35mm f/2.0D Prime for my D80.


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Technically it's a wideangle for 35mm film, but on my D80 it's "normal" and friggin awesome. I got it because I loved the pictures I could make with my 50mm f/1.8D, but 50mm is way too long for indoor shooting on a 1.5x digital SLR. Things I love about it. It's tiny and lightweight so it's no problem at all to one-arm it, and handling overall is great. Since it maintains a very low profile it'll also fit easily on the corner or edge of a table out of the way at a restaurant, which makes a huge difference. With the image circle on digital being a lot smaller I'm really only using the center of the lens, but image quality and sharpness is always great, even wide-open at f/2. Image quality is really technique limited - if I get a bad shot with it it's because I wasn't doing something right.

The thing I love the best though is the low-light / natural light shooting capabilities. I LOVE natural light and hate using a flash. You'll never need a flash with this lens, even in extremely dimly lit rooms. Just open it up to f/2 and take a couple of pics at about 1/10s and pick the sharpest one and viola. Since it's an f/2 lens, it'll also have no trouble focusing at all in a dim room like an f/5.6 would, which would need the annoying focus assist lamps. I also love the clean bokeh and the tight depth of field that a large aperture fast lens gives you.

Compared to the 17-55 f/2.8, it's 1/4th the price (that mofo is $1200!), 1/4th the weight, 1/3rd the length, and a much much smaller profile. For the shooting I do it's easy enough to just go without the zoom capabilities and move forward or back a little. 35mm is perfect for digital. Not too long that you can't get the angle or perspective that you need and end up backed up against walls, and not so wide that you have to get right in someone's face to get a decent close-up or portrait shot. If I did weddings I'd get one of these beasts for sure, but that's about the only reason to have one.

Compared to the 18-200 VR it's not really fair to compare the two since they're completely different lenses, but I'll just say that I'm glad I hopped off the 18-200 VR "bandwagon" because this little 35/2 gets shots that the 18-200 won't. The 18-200 is only f/4.2 at 35mm which is 2 stops slower than the 35/2. To get the shots below I'd either have had to crank it up to iso1600 or 3200 which is very grainy and ugly, use the VR and a longer shutter speed at the same or lower ISO in which case the shots would have been blurred since babies don't keep their hands still that long (lol), or just use a flash which would have ruined the natural lighting effects. And I couldn't have handheld my D80 with a much heavier 18-200 lens and then an SB-600 external flash right close up like that either. You can get down and dirty like that with a little prime since it's so small that it never gets in your way. The 18-200 is definitely a great lens though. When they're in stock and you can get them at the MSRP of $699 or less I'll probably pick one up. For that lens I think $750 is pushing it, and I certainly won't pay the eBay prices of $900. I'd get the Tokina 12-24 wide angle or maybe a 70-300 VR telephoto zoom both of which are around $500 before paying nearly a grand for the 18-200.



Here's some example shots with the little 35/2:

1/15s, f/2.8, Auto ISO @ 900



1/15s, f/2.8, Auto ISO @ 1000


On both of those my little girl's hand was in motion and I took a few shots at 1/15s and picked the sharpest one. I shot at f/2.8 so that I'd have a bit wider depth of field to keep as much in focus as possible. VR wouldn't have helped on either of these shots with a moving subject.


On this one below the lighting changed from outside (you can tell since her arm is in a shadow now probably from a cloud rather than illuminated) so I had to go wide open at f/2. Also 2 or 3 shots and this was the best one, and her hand was still moving a bit. The 17-55 f/2.8 would have been extremely difficult to handle like this, and the 18-200 VR would have needed either 1/4s exposure with VR on which would have missed the shots due to motion, iso3200 which would have been ugly, or a flash which would have ruined the composition.

1/15s, f/2.0, Auto ISO @ 900




This last one is in much brighter light (1/30s and only iso200) and shows the tight depth of field, and this is only at f/2.8.

1/30s, f/2.8, Auto ISO @ 200-ish





I <3 my 35/2. When she starts crawling and walking around indoors and I need a little bit more reach with the same low light sensitivity, I think my 50/1.8 will finally start to get some use, but I'm loving this little 35/2 for now. Best $300 I ever spent.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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I have the Nikkor 24mm with my D80..After reading what you said i really need to go out and take more pictures with it..
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Old May 31st, 2007, 10:45 AM   #3
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I'd love to try the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for $430 also. Apparently it's a pretty darn good lens as long as you get a good copy.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 03:00 PM   #4
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Wow that's awesome. Definitely need to get that D80 now so I can use the gang of lenses!



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Old June 4th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #5
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Sigma 10-20mm super wide angle...... luv it cuz its super wide, not sharp though so tripods are nedded alot.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #6
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You might not have gotten a sharp version. When did you get it? Can you still return it? Otherwise, quickly send it to Sigma for recalibration and repairs. Many folks with the Sigma find it very SHARP and the ones that find it soft..even hand held, have exchanged theirs for sharper versions.

That's why I'm afraid of getting the Sigma 10-22 and am looking to get the Tokina 12-24 instead. Either that or the Canon EF-S 10-22 which is the king of the crop UWA's.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 08:44 PM   #7
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I have been eyeing Nikkor 35mm f/2.0D for sometime now but I read about some issue with oil... and am reluctant to get it.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/35af.htm

and I want a fisheye
Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G
I might rent one and play around withit for a couple of days maybe.

Last edited by aCcOrDv6VTEC3R; June 5th, 2007 at 08:51 PM..
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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:34 PM   #8
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One of these days I'm going to splurge and get the Tokina 12-24mm F/4 for my D50...but for right now I'll stick with my 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 and 50mm F/1.8
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Old June 6th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aCcOrDv6VTEC3R
I have been eyeing Nikkor 35mm f/2.0D for sometime now but I read about some issue with oil... and am reluctant to get it.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/35af.htm
Just buy it and don't worry. I didn't.

The oil seepage issue is 6 years old now so I figured it was old info and safe. I got mine new (sn US511824) which is nearly 200k units higher than the one referenced in there. I've made thousands of shots with this lens since I got it last December and haven't had any issues with oil gunking up the lens. Even if it develops a problem, it's got the 5 year Nikon USA warranty anyways, so no big deal. I sent Ken an email about this, piggybacking it along with some feedback to his Sigma 30mm f/1.4 review. He replied so I know he saw it, and hopefully he'll get around to updating the old info on that page. I think this lens has gotten a bit of a bum rep due to that issue, but I think it was buried a long long time ago and it's definitely a great little lens.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 08:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTEC-v6!
One of these days I'm going to splurge and get the Tokina 12-24mm F/4 for my D50...but for right now I'll stick with my 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 and 50mm F/1.8
You just need to stop "splurging" on other things *cough*avic-d3*cough*dual-flat-panel-monitors*cough*giant-flat-panel-tv*cough*fancy-phones*cough*probably-tons-of-other-stuff-too*cough*
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Old June 6th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02prodigy
Sigma 10-20mm super wide angle...... luv it cuz its super wide, not sharp though so tripods are nedded alot.
example shots?
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Old June 6th, 2007, 08:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteVTEC
You just need to stop "splurging" on other things *cough*avic-d3*cough*dual-flat-panel-monitors*cough*giant-flat-panel-tv*cough*fancy-phones*cough*probably-tons-of-other-stuff-too*cough*
I'm a gadget whore
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Old June 6th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #13
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here you guys go.... they're both cropped but u get an idea.... never heard of the sigma lens being lemons or whatever though... i gotta look into it...

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Old June 12th, 2007, 05:36 PM   #14
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Awesome pictures Prodigy!
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Old June 26th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #15
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My favorite is my walkaround lens. Tamron 28-75 f/2.8





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Old June 26th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #16
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That second pic is amazing Prodigy. It's just a pic but dang.. that background.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 04:13 AM   #17
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Well... I don't actually own the lens, however I've seen the pictures taken by it and every time I saw them I was blown away. It's a Sigma 20mm f/1.8, and I just like how cool the pictures are. They come out very crisp.











However, my favorite lens that I personally own is probably my Nikkor 28mm f/2.8. I think it's a good walk around lens and it's pretty clear.









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Old July 5th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mista jc
That second pic is amazing Prodigy. It's just a pic but dang.. that background.
thanks personally i think the pics "ok" distorted and off frame... yea i know photoshop can solve it... but i don't want to use photoshop more than just to add a border.

im a firm believer that the original pic should be what the photographer envisioned and that photoshop shouldn't be the tool to bring that vision to fruition.
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