Forums > Photography Talk > Advice nedded: 85/1.8 + 20/2.8 vs 28-300 VR

Photographer

Mister Denial

Posts: 143

Wahl, Redange, Luxembourg

Hello,

I need some advice on which lens to get for my D700 body. I currently own the 50mm 1.8, and am looking to expand. I am an amateur enthusiast, who mainly shoots portrait, but I also enjoy shooting landscapes.

I am torn between these two options:

1) get two lenses, one for portrait, one for landscapes:
- Nikkor AF-S 85 mm 1.8 G
- Nikkor AF D 20mm 2.8

or

2) get the new 28-300 VR, for approximately the same money. I know this one is more convenient, but image quality is very important to me.

So should I sacrifice convenience and get the prime lenses, or should I opt for the convenient all-round lens at the risk of loosing quality?

Or are there other lenses in this price range I should consider?

I would really appreciate some buying advice and input here, to help me guide my choices.

Thank you very much in advance!

Dan

Nov 13 12 12:29 pm Link

Photographer

Marty McBride

Posts: 3132

Owensboro, Kentucky, US

Don't even consider putting that piece of crap 28-300 on your D700...go with the primes!

Nov 13 12 01:23 pm Link

Photographer

Ralph Easy

Posts: 6426

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

No.1 best choice for me.

No. 2 , I also had that lens and it just gathered dust. Sold it off after 6 months.

.

Nov 13 12 04:34 pm Link

Photographer

You Can Call Me Pierre

Posts: 770

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I recently tested the D7000 with the 70-300 VR at f/8 and it was surprisingly as sharp as the 85mm.  It is significantly discounted new to 350CAD so used prices are being driven down too.

Nov 13 12 05:48 pm Link

Photographer

eekimelphoto

Posts: 869

Longboat Key, Florida, US

I like my 20 2.8 AF on my D700. I've had the 85 1.8AF and still have an 85 1.4AFD  both of which I like. I've read wonderful things about the 85 1.8G.

Nov 13 12 05:57 pm Link

Photographer

Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4126

Alexandria, Virginia, US

actually I was loaned a 28-300 to play with and was fairly impressed

---  for what it is - a prosumer super zoom - it's actually reasonably impressive

I've taken some astounding wildlife shots with it at the long end.  Fully equal to the 300 f4 AFS  (but not approaching the 300 f2.8)

plenty of distortion but depending on what you are shooting perhaps not terribly relevant

flare is well controlled

colours are not quite up to  Nikon par but just barely. 

my own bias would be to go prime for a lot of things - the only zoom I routinely use when there is money to be made is the 24-70f2.8

Nov 13 12 06:11 pm Link

Photographer

Marty McBride

Posts: 3132

Owensboro, Kentucky, US

Fotografica Gregor wrote:
actually I was loaned a 28-300 to play with and was fairly impressed

---  for what it is - a prosumer super zoom - it's actually reasonably impressive

I've taken some astounding wildlife shots with it at the long end.  Fully equal to the 300 f4 AFS  (but not approaching the 300 f2.8)

I have the 300 f4 and its very sharp even wide open. I'd love to see what you consider sharp at 300mm on the 28-300. I know the 70-300 can't touch the 300 f4 anywhere close to 300, and I have my doubts that a super zoom can either!

Nov 13 12 08:50 pm Link

Photographer

alessandro2009

Posts: 7772

Florence, Toscana, Italy

Mister Denial wrote:
1) get two lenses, one for portrait, one for landscapes:
- Nikkor AF-S 85 mm 1.8 G
- Nikkor AF D 20mm 2.8

1

Nov 13 12 11:28 pm Link

Photographer

Images by MR

Posts: 8214

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Ever consider the 24-120 f4 lens... I heart mine.

Nov 13 12 11:38 pm Link

Photographer

Don Olson Imagery

Posts: 291

Eugene, Oregon, US

Not or ever have been a fan of the super zooms so personally I wouldn't consider one so have nothing to say of them. Again, personally I've never shot an 85 f1.8 I liked a lot of others do though. I can say that the 20mm f2.8 D is one of my favorites. It's good handy and a lot of fun. I usually just set mine on f11 and set manual focus at 1.5 feet and shoot away.

Nov 13 12 11:48 pm Link

Photographer

Mister Denial

Posts: 143

Wahl, Redange, Luxembourg

Thanks everyone for their input and help!

I'm definitely leaning towards solution 1, which was my initial choice too; I just got sidetracked by the many great reviews I read on the 28-300, including great bokeh.

For the 85mm, I have hesitating between the 1.8 D and the 1.8 G - I read the 1.8 D is sturdier (metal) compared to the plastic feel of the 1.8 G, but the 1.8 has apparently awesome image quality.

What are your thoughts on this lens? D or G ?

Nov 14 12 07:56 am Link

Photographer

Neil Snape

Posts: 9473

Paris, Île-de-France, France

I tried the new 70200 f4 VR on a D800 the other day. Very nice even wide open.

Mind you it's not that much cheaper than the 2.8 of the same.

Nov 14 12 08:04 am Link

Photographer

Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4126

Alexandria, Virginia, US

Mister Denial wrote:
Thanks everyone for their input and help!

I'm definitely leaning towards solution 1, which was my initial choice too; I just got sidetracked by the many great reviews I read on the 28-300, including great bokeh.

For the 85mm, I have hesitating between the 1.8 D and the 1.8 G - I read the 1.8 D is sturdier (metal) compared to the plastic feel of the 1.8 G, but the 1.8 has apparently awesome image quality.

What are your thoughts on this lens? D or G ?

I am sorry to disappoint many but the metal exterior lenses are not necessarily more durable when comparing professional lines.   The "plasticky" lenses can often handle more shock without causing internal damage.

There are many "plasticky" materials today that are tougher than metal in application.

The optics and coatings on the G versus D are so far superior especially in the 35mm f1.8 that the "G" has to be the choice.   The 35 f1.8D was a good lens in its day but no real competitor for the 1.4D while the 1.8G is very close in performance to the 1.8G - which is stellar.

Nov 14 12 08:07 am Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36284

Rancho Cucamonga, California, US

gl-amour wrote:
I recently tested the D7000 with the 70-300 VR at f/8 and it was surprisingly as sharp as the 85mm.

Wouldn't doubt it... I've had my 70-300 ED-VR for a few years now... very impressed and shot this with it... tack sharp for a telephoto zoom... borat

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/101110/09/4cdad3548d4d2.jpg

Nov 14 12 08:08 am Link

Photographer

Gulag

Posts: 1252

Duluth, Georgia, US

28-300 is very good on 12MP cameras, such as D700; but, it shows its limitations on 36MP bodies. Legendary shooter Jay Meisel used to shoot with only 70-300VR on his D3s, and now he only shoots with 28-300.

Nov 14 12 08:09 am Link

Photographer

Mister Denial

Posts: 143

Wahl, Redange, Luxembourg

Okay, thanks for the info on the lens material, because that was exactly what I was thinking. Read on Ken Rockwell's website that it feels very cheap, so I was a little unsure.

Stellar performance sounds exactly what I was hoping for, so the choice looks more and more like the 85mm + wide angle instead of zoom.

@ Select Models: do you mind asking, which lens did you use for this shot? http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/28934157

Nov 14 12 09:55 am Link

Photographer

Bob Helm Photography

Posts: 18219

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US

Usually I prefer zooms but zooms of that range IMO they are walk around lense and a good back up so I say go with the primes.

Nov 14 12 10:18 am Link