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OT - Question for you photography buffs out there...

So, I think I have discovered a hobby that is more expensive than egging... After we got our babies home and payed a photographer several hundred dollars to come and take pics of them once. The thought hit me, you could do this and save money... yea right!

I sold the wifey on the idea and picked up a Nikon D5200 with a 18-55 kit lens and then got a 50mm prime lens. I love the 50mm. Can you say BOKEH?!?!?!?!?   :D

The kit lens does fine, but I would like to upgrade and find a variable zoom lens with a longer reach (in the 100-200mm range) that can get close to the quality of the prime lens without spending a thousand dollars or more.

Is this possible? Any recommendations? I am not opposed to off brands as long as the build quality is good...

Thanks,
Josh

PS: I have lots of motivation to take good pics...  This is this is their first fight.   :)
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LBGE April 2011 • SBGE December 2012 •  XLBGE December 2013
Location: Jasper, Georgia
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Comments

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,511
    edited April 22
    For zooms I prefer large single aperture lenses. Since you have little chilluns, I'd look for a 2.8 or 4/VR mid-range (20ish to 100ish or 70-200). Unfortunately, Nikkor, just like Canon, will be a pretty penny and close to a grand. I'd look at Sigma or Tamron which can offer equal IQ to all but the most discerning pros for a third of the price.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,430
    Nikon makes so many zoom ranges you pretty much needs to just pick what you want, make sure the aperture is wide enough to get the bokeh you want, and that you can afford.  I will say that modern CAM (that's computer-Aided manufacturing) and lens design are such that you really can't tell the difference between a prime and a modern zoom lens, except a prime can usually go wider/faster.
     
    I have a 12-24 f2.8-4.0, a 24-85 f2.8-4.0, 80-200f2.8, 300f4, and 105f2.8 Macro; all are Nikkors except the 12-24, which is a Tokina (I don't shoot enough wide-angle to justify the cost of the Nikkor, and the Tokina is fine).  I still have my Nikkor 20f2.8 and 50f1.8, but don't use them anymore.  
     
    Love that pic!  
    _____________________________________________
     
    I Know Why The Egged Bird Sings.
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,511
    Addendum, Large single aperture is great in low light(re:indoor) which will be the vast majority of your shots.
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    edited April 22
    The 70-200 VRII stays on my D600 85% of the time.  I had the Sigma equivalent and I can tell you if you have the funds to do so, get that lens.  Portraits, sportraits, you name it it will do it.  Plus if you ever go FX the 70-200 VRII will do wonders! 

    Sorry, but the last two I had to download from Facebook and upload (Facebook degrades photos, so the final is much sharper).  Thought they were on my site. 


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    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    I will say though, the Sigma version got me started.  I bought a used 70-200 HSM II (non-OS) model.  It was my workhorse for a long time.  You can get them used for around $600 or so.  Maybe cheaper. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    Also, per the new DXO charts the new Tamron is supposed to be almost as sharp as the Nikon 70-200 VRII! 

    Another avenue if you want Nikon, is to get a 70-200 VRI model.  You can get those for around $1400 in good condition.  Adorama and B and H have great deals on used models that carry a warranty. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479
    edited April 22
    I'd go with the Nikon 24-120mm f/4.

    It's cheap, has good all around reach, it's light, has VR II and it will take some great images. It's not a 2.8, but you're not spending 2.8 money and it's more practical to carry while you're chasing those 2 cute kids around.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/729948-USA/Nikon_2193_AF_S_NIKKOR_24_120mm_f_4G.html

    I went this route cause you mentioned how expensive the hobby is. Concerning bokeh, it is achievable with f/4 when compression and subject to background distance come into play. Lots of pros are switching to f/4 glass for the weight alone.

  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    The 24-120 f/4 is a great lens for sure, however when the kids get into other activities the extra stop will come in handy.  When you get into a gymnasium or auditorium f/4 just isn't enough. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,511

    The 24-120 f/4 is a great lens for sure, however when the kids get into other activities the extra stop will come in handy.  When you get into a gymnasium or auditorium f/4 just isn't enough. 

    Exactly why I recommend VR with a 4.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479
    edited April 22

    The 24-120 f/4 is a great lens for sure, however when the kids get into other activities the extra stop will come in handy.  When you get into a gymnasium or auditorium f/4 just isn't enough. 

    Yeah, but i dont get the impression that he's ready to invest 3 times the cost of his body on 1 lens. What works for you doesn't work for everyone.

    I love 2.8, and wouldn't trade my 14-24 for anything... I didn't care for the focus breathing on the 70-200 f/2.8 VR II. Use the Canon equivalent and you'll realize how off your lens is. I returned it.

  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    @Eggcelsior - VR shouldn't be used with moving objects, but I guess in a pinch and if that is what you have, that works. 

    @cazzy - That is why I recommended a used VRI, Tamron, or Sigma.  I bought my first Sigma 70-200 2.8 for $650. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    I am trying to save the guy in the future from saying "man, I really need a little more reach and faster lens for my kids playing ball, gymnastics, etc". 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479

    @Eggcelsior - VR shouldn't be used with moving objects, but I guess in a pinch and if that is what you have, that works. 

    @cazzy - That is why I recommended a used VRI, Tamron, or Sigma.  I bought my first Sigma 70-200 2.8 for $650. 

    I didn't see your follow up response. I like that lens better than the VRII. A lot of people were let down with the focus breathing issue. Lots of glass does that, but it was pretty extreme with the VRII. Still great glass though.

  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479
    edited April 22

    I am trying to save the guy in the future from saying "man, I really need a little more reach and faster lens for my kids playing ball, gymnastics, etc". 

    Yeah, but one stop isn't going to help him too much. I'd rather see him get a current gen consumer-pro full frame body in 4 years...assuming his boys decide to take up gymnastics. To me, one stop is less important than having a body that takes great high ISO shots.

  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    edited April 22
    @cazzy - The focus breathing is a non-issue for me.  When I was wanting one I read these horror stories and it scared me.  It has been love at first site since. 

    Either lens you just cannot go wrong and my suggestion may not work for him and that is okay.  Just thought I would throw the ideas out there. 

    My theroy is glass first, body last....


    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479

    @cazzy - The focus breathing is a non-issue for me.  When I was wanting one I read these horror stories and it scared me.  It has been love at first site since. 

    Either lens you just cannot go wrong and my suggestion may not work for him and that is okay.  Just thought I would throw the ideas out there. 


    Cool man. This damn thread is why I'm running late this morning. Sucked me in! ;)

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,511
    edited April 22
    @Eggcelsior - VR shouldn't be used with moving objects, but I guess in a pinch and if that is what you have, that works. 

    @cazzy - That is why I recommended a used VRI, Tamron, or Sigma.  I bought my first Sigma 70-200 2.8 for $650. 
    I get that, but action photography(in terms of fast movement with direction change; sports) won't really come into play for 8 or 9 years. Prior to that, indoor work with poor lighting will be plays/recitals and any sporting event will involve a lot of crowding around a ball and not much "action". Lenses hold their value well so you can easily trade up. I like future-proofing as much as the next guy so I completely agree with your point(EDIT: your point in your 9:13am post)
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479
    I agree with your viewpoint 100%. However, a good sensor owns one stop in the scenario you gave.

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,511
    Also, @cazzy and @tarheelmatt, tripod/monopod FTW, VR be damned. A lot cheaper too!   :D
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,511
    cazzy said:
    I agree with your viewpoint 100%. However, a good sensor owns one stop in the scenario you gave.
    That's why I love love love love love love love my 6D. The sesnor is amazing at high ISO. Night and day with my T3i.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479


    cazzy said:

    I agree with your viewpoint 100%. However, a good sensor owns one stop in the scenario you gave.

    That's why I love love love love love love love my 6D. The sesnor is amazing at high ISO. Night and day with my T3i.

    Didn't know you upgraded...good for you. Full Frame what what!

    Sounds like the T3i lasted as long in your hands as it did in mine. Cept, I went to the dark side...or should I say, right side. :P

  • jtippersjtippers Posts: 509
    Holy cow... I created this post and looked away for a couple of hours. I never dreamed of starting this kind of discussion. What do you guys think about the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRII?

    B&H has a refurbished one for $430. That is more along my price range.

    Stay tuned for my next post titled... "Do you like beans in your chilli?" 
    :D
    LBGE April 2011 • SBGE December 2012 •  XLBGE December 2013
    Location: Jasper, Georgia
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    @cazzy Sorry brother! 

    @Eggcelsior - Well, regardless of the avenue the OP takes, if he gets a 24-120, 70-200 (Siggy, Tammy, or Nikon) he will be set for a while. 

    Sometimes I get ahead of myself and forget to post things, so I have to go back... 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479
    jtippers said:

    Holy cow... I created this post and looked away for a couple of hours. I never dreamed of starting this kind of discussion. What do you guys think about the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRII?

    B&H has a refurbished one for $430. That is more along my price range.

    Stay tuned for my next post titled... "Do you like beans in your chilli?" 
    :D

    I will speak for all of us and say NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! [-X

  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    @Eggcelsior FF is the way to go.  I came from a D300 which was a great sports body, but when I jumped to FF it was a game changer. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    @jtippers - Please post your budget (max) and I am sure we can help.  The 18-200 is still a "kit" lens.  Its a good lens though. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,479
    Don't get me wrong, it's better than your kit lens. The question you have to ask yourself is "where do I want to go with photography". If you want to eliminate the cost of hiring a pro...you need to invest in yourself.

    Also...what shooting mode are you using right now?

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,511
    edited April 22

    Well, it's not right(light) or dark(well, black vs grey, so there). Nikon is just backwards. Zoom, exposure, lens attachment. How contrarian.  ;)
  • jtippersjtippers Posts: 509
    I was hoping to stay around $500. I have already sunk a lot into the hobby (camera, prime lens, Photoshop, speedlight, etc.) and don't want to go over the deep end anymore than I already have.

    @Cazzy - I have been shooting in Aperture Priority mode.
    LBGE April 2011 • SBGE December 2012 •  XLBGE December 2013
    Location: Jasper, Georgia
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 901
    Give me a Canon and I am lost.. lol  Probably the same giving a NIkon to a Canon buff... They could save some money by dropping Av and Tv and just having A and S like the good side... :)

    Thanks,

    Matthew
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

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