New to the DSLR world

HiDDeN sTaSh

Limp Gawd
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Jun 5, 2004
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348
I just purchased my first DSLR the Nikon D3100. I am going to start off taking landscape and nature photos and I know that I need to upgrade to a better lens soon, any suggestions for this model?



All suggestions greatly appreciated.. :)

Here is one of my first photos I am happy with..
 
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UnknownSouljer

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Sep 24, 2001
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I would recommend going to this sticky in this forum.

As for lenses, that search is generally speaking straight forward. Most of it will come down to preference.

Do you want the versatility of zooms or the higher speed and better picture quality of primes? Can you afford an all prime setup? How much do you want to invest? etc.

For you, there are quite a few good and well known Nikon super-zooms like the 28-300 that will cover almost all ranges of shots you'll probably need.

It of course does have compromises with that wide a range of focal lengths, but to start you off with landscapes it should be fine. Nature shots will also work if you're talking primarily about plants. Wildlife might be more tricky as that particular lens is quite slow.
 

HiDDeN sTaSh

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
348
Thanks for the info, I am on a tight budget. I was looking for a 200mm that would be the best bang for the buck it could be a little bit slower as I not plan on taking much wildlife photography.
 

UnknownSouljer

Supreme [H]ardness
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18-200 is nice. Covers very wide to telephoto.

I would recommend buying glass you won't have to upgrade as you move to different bodies. Both of the lenses I listed I would consider best bang for the buck.
 

ExplodingTaco

[H]ard|Gawd
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Are you ok with a manual focus? There are a bunch of amazing older lenses but they wont auto focus on your body. Let me know if you dont mind MF and I give a list of great lenses for cheap.
 

MN Scout

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jan 26, 2003
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If you are just getting going, I'd recommend that you shoot with the kit lens for awhile. That way you can get to know what range you shoot the most in, if you really need another lens, and what the new lens would do for you. Read your manual front to back, and try out every setting, and combinations of setting -- you want to know your camera tool thoroughly.

The kit lens is pretty good really. Focuses quick, will be mostly sharp wide open and shifting to aperture mode and stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8 will help crisp it up more. See my note below about how to get the most out of it.

Buying a telephoto the 70-300 AFS or 55-300 AFS will get you more zoom. Buying a prime lens like the 35mm f/1.8 will allow you to shoot in darker conditions without having to up the ISO, and will give you more subject isolation if you use it at f/1.8.

To make your current lens even sharper when you are taking landscape photos you can do a couple things. 1, use a sturdy tripod. When on the tripod you can use the timer to trigger the camera, or you can look for a cable release. Don't extend the neck of the tripod unless you absolutely must and there is no breeze; the neck vibrates which is not good for photos. 2, turn off the vibration reduction when over 500th of a second or when taking long night exposure on a tripod. Read this excellent article http://bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm Vibration reduction also takes battery power, so if you are out taking long exposure night landscape shots you'll use an extra battery or two.

I might hold off on manual focus lenses with the D3100. The viewfinder is not as bright as the all glass ones of the D90, D300, D700, D3 and focusing them with be tough on your eyes. Plus the D300 won't meter with the old lenses, so you'll be stuck in manual mode which could be good or bad depending on your train of thought.
 

MN Scout

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You could check Craigslist for 55-200mm AFS VR lenses. I've seen them for $125 before new, that is the low end -- I think it is people not knowing the differences between the VR lenses and the older non VR. They also sometimes pop-up on [H]'s buy and sell board.

The 70-300mm AFS VR is a really nice and sharp lens. Definitely worth the money, if it is the range you want to be shooting in.

Spend the money on the lens you are going to be using the most.

BTW, nice first photo. Like the colors of the lights on the water. A nice planned shot would be to time it so a train is going over the bridge coming towards the camera.
 
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HiDDeN sTaSh

Limp Gawd
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Yeah I will prob want to stick to the AF for now. I think I am going to wait a little longer like you were saying an just get use to the camera itself for now.

Thanks for the link, very helpful as well.
 

Procyon12

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im a big prime fan.
the 35mm 1.8 is my carry around lens for my D40x
should work well for landscapes especially night shots.

if you want a zoom, the 12-24 dx or 17-55 is pretty bad ass.
dont know what your budget is like
 

HiDDeN sTaSh

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
348
Yeah need to save a little before I could really look into getting anything. :(

Prob looking at around $200 tops but would like to find one a little less.
 
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shawnoen

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With that camera body you are very limited on lenses since the 3100 has no internal focus motor. Unless you like manually focusing. Better to buy an older body like a D90/80/70. The difference in cost will more than be made up once you start buying lenses.....
 

HiDDeN sTaSh

Limp Gawd
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Jun 5, 2004
Messages
348
I got the 3100 because it is pretty user friendly for someone just starting out offers quick on screen tutorials of settings which has already came in pretty handy :)
 

csshih

Gawd
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Oct 11, 2011
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554
another +1 for primes.

Canon users get 50mms, nikon was 35, I believe.
The 3100 doesn't have a screw drive motor so if you get the 50mm, it won't AF.

Craig
 

northrop

grumman
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Sep 27, 2005
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^If he gets the old 50mm, sure it won't focus. Fortunately for him, Nikon didn't stop updating their lenses and the new 50mm primes include the focusing motor.
 
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