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PegIra
05-04-2011, 10:37 AM
I am totally new to DSLR, but just bought a Nikon D3100. It came with a
18-55mm lens. I want to buy another lens and was thinking of a Sigma 18 to 250 mm lens. We go to WDW a few times a year and also love to cruise Disney. I am particularly interested in a zoom that I can use in the parks and in the theater's on the cruise. We can take pictures of the shows,just no flash, so something for taking pictures of the shows would be great.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Peg

cosine4
05-04-2011, 12:05 PM
I just got off the Wonder 10-Day and took my Nikon D5000 with my 35mm f/1.8 into the theater every night and got some great shots of the shows. I haven't processed them yet, but I will share some when I am done.

We also went to Disneyland for 5 days which pretty much cemented my decision to buy either the Sigma 18-250 or the Tamaron 18-270 which are both the same price after the mail in rebate.

My suggestion would be to buy them both :)

ukcatfan
05-04-2011, 01:17 PM
Those all in one lenses are good at convenience, but that is about it. They are not good at low lighting situations, especially at the tele end where most have around f/6.3 at the widest aperture. Figure out what focal length you need for low light and get a prime lens with at least a f/2.8 aperture, like the one mentioned by the other poster. For telephoto, I suggesta separate lens around 50-200mm or so.

PegIra
05-04-2011, 02:03 PM
Thanks so much to you both to take the time to try and help me out. Will be anxious to see your pictures Cosine.

Peg

zackiedawg
05-04-2011, 02:07 PM
UK's advice above, and comment, is correct - the ultrazoom lenses are not optimal for low light work at max zoom as they are quite slow. But it also depends on what you intend to use it for. There's 'low light' and then there's 'LOW light'. For cruise ship stage shows or Disney shows, they actually are fairly well lit, so any camera capable of producing reasonable quality ISO1600-3200 paired with one of these convenience lenses can actually be just perfect. I've even gotten by back in the day shooting cruise ship shows with a tiny-sensor ultrazoom camera and the stage lighting was bright enough for usable results. And of course, they are unbelievably convenient and excellent travel lenses when you need a one-lens solution for easy carry or inconspicuous travel. While they can't match a dedicated prime focal-length-for-focal-length, neither are they anything to sneeze about for image quality throughout their range. I've managed to get publication-quality results out of an 18-250mm lens at the short AND long end of the telephoto, so they can produce well.

If you need a good telephoto with low light capability for action, sports, dim stages, etc, these lenses won't be the best choice. If you need a good versatile travel zoom that can also handle the occasional well-lit stage or ISO1600-3200 handheld night shot, the 18-250/270mm lenses can be marvelous. Mine's the 18-250 Tamron build, and I'd probably lean towards the Tamron 18-270 PZD if I were shopping for a new one - I have both Sigma and Tamron lenses, but I favor the Tamron's color and image feel in this range.

Oh, and for an idea of the versatility, range and capability of an 18-250/270 lens, here's my gallery of everything i've posted taken with my Sony-badged, Tamron-built 18-250mm lens:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/sony_sal18250mm_f3563&page=all

Night, day, stage, action, wildlife, landscape, portrait, travel, scenic...I've shot nearly everything with it at some time or another. I have 7 other dedicated lenses for various purposes, but this remains my go-to or default lens.

jkc0325
05-04-2011, 04:44 PM
I'm interested in hearing opinions as well. I purchased the D3100 a few months ago (with the help of this board!) and am looking for a new lens. I really like the idea of a one lens covers most approach, realizing that you won't get as good a quality than if you bought separate lenses.

I am very much a beginner and want to start off with something I can use fairly easily at Disney while I am learning. My dh loves the idea of never having to switch lens on our trip. I was just about to buy the Sigma but now I think I'll wait and see if a few more opinions pop up!!

PegIra
05-04-2011, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the great advice zackiedawg I think your advice is good for what I need and for my skills. I don't think I will have lots of different lenses,and a 18-250mm sounds like it will suit my purposes. I have heard also that I should have a 35mm and a 10-20mm ultra wide angle. Do I really need these for now?

Thanks again,

Peg

zackiedawg
05-04-2011, 05:41 PM
I have those other lenses too - along with quite a few others...whether you 'need' the other lenses is debatable - whether they'd be useful, or you'd enjoy them, I'd say that's likely.

I'd probably recommend the fast prime first, as a good 2nd or 3rd lens to add to a kit lens and something like the 18-250...something in the 30mm to 50mm range that's at least F1.8 or faster. You can go with a 35mm F1.8, a Sigma 30mm F1.4, or something similar - it comes in handy when you really need the low light ability for wider scenes like interiors, people shots indoors, etc.

The ultrawides are an awful lot of fun - I always promote all the fun you can have with one - but I wouldn't put that in the 'need' category for most people...that's a good one to add once you've got the basic covered, and are looking to expand into other types of photography.

jkc0325
05-04-2011, 08:44 PM
Zackiedawg your pictures are incredible. Thanks for sharing them and your knowledge on the lenses. Your pictures are enough to convince me to go with a Tamron lens. Don't worry I'm not naive enough to think mine would come out that good...I have SO much to learn!!!

Evad
05-04-2011, 09:53 PM
I have the Nikkor 70-300 mm vr lens Though not all that great for low light I did manage to get a few decent shots at some of the shows on my last cruise.


Here's a couple samples...


http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad330/Haringa2/Disney%20cruise%202010/DCLCruise2010-1553_edited-1.jpg


http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad330/Haringa2/Disney%20cruise%202010/DCLCruise2010-1556_edited-1.jpg


http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad330/Haringa2/Disney%20cruise%202010/DCLCruise2010-1552_edited-1.jpg


http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad330/Haringa2/Disney%20cruise%202010/DCLCruise2010-1560_edited-1.jpg


http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad330/Haringa2/Disney%20cruise%202010/DCLCruise2010-0630_edited-1.jpg

zackiedawg
05-05-2011, 08:29 AM
Exactly Dave - that helps push my point that even 'slow' zooms are usually quite passable for things like stage shows - at least the type on Disney cruises and such. They are usually very well lit, so it doesn't require quite as fast a lens as some think.

JKC - thank you for the compliment. I've had very good experience with both Tamron and Sigma lenses and own both, so I wouldn't bad mouth either of them - you'd likely be fine with either one. I do like that the Tamron is a bit smaller and lighter too, and has a wee bit more focal range (in the case of the 18-270).

PegIra
05-05-2011, 11:11 AM
Wow, thanks so much for the great advice. You have all been a huge help. I do appreciate you all pointing me in the right direction. Can't wait to stat taking pictures.

Peg

BoogasMom
05-05-2011, 12:10 PM
Great thread! I was getting ready to ask a similar question. I just bought the Nikon d3100 last night and I am beginning to research which lens I will buy next....can anyone say photography is addicting? :rotfl:

zackiedawg...would the lenses you referred to in your first response to this thread do really well with action sports shots? I am really looking now to a zoom feature that the lens that came with the camera doesn't have. My boys play baseball, football, and swim on a swim team and, being the mom and not the coach, I would be stuck on the sidelines wanting to snap some up-close action shots. Which type of lens do you recommend for this? Some of the events would be at night......

zackiedawg
05-05-2011, 12:36 PM
zackiedawg...would the lenses you referred to in your first response to this thread do really well with action sports shots? I am really looking now to a zoom feature that the lens that came with the camera doesn't have. My boys play baseball, football, and swim on a swim team and, being the mom and not the coach, I would be stuck on the sidelines wanting to snap some up-close action shots. Which type of lens do you recommend for this? Some of the events would be at night......

Well they'd do OK for action sports in good light, not great but consumer-level usable for moderate lighting (like a well lit indoor game or meet), and definitely not up to low light action stuff (like typical mixed to poor light school basketball or night football fields which don't really have great lighting). I'm strictly talking from a consumer level - meaning wanting some shots that might be printable for memories of the kids' sports. These lenses would fail miserably for professional-grade sports photography - but most people don't need quite that level. For stuff like swim team and daytime field sports, these lenses should be more than capable of delivering usable action shots for family memories and even medium sized prints up to 11x14" or so. A little bit of skill and practice of course will be needed to make sure you know how to shoot such shots, and how to properly set up a camera for this type of shooting - shutter speeds are absolutely critical that they be fast enough to freeze the action, so you need to learn how to either fix the shutter speed where you need it, or adjust aperture and/or ISO to ensure the shutter speed stays high enough - both of which are going to require moving away from 'Auto' and 'P' modes on the camera and start embracing priority or manual shooting - and knowing what focus mode and area, and metering mode and area, to use, and some practice with 'panning' with a movign subject.

BoogasMom
05-05-2011, 12:42 PM
Well they'd do OK for action sports in good light, not great but consumer-level usable for moderate lighting (like a well lit indoor game or meet), and definitely not up to low light action stuff (like typical mixed to poor light school basketball or night football fields which don't really have great lighting). I'm strictly talking from a consumer level - meaning wanting some shots that might be printable for memories of the kids' sports. These lenses would fail miserably for professional-grade sports photography - but most people don't need quite that level. For stuff like swim team and daytime field sports, these lenses should be more than capable of delivering usable action shots for family memories and even medium sized prints up to 11x14" or so. A little bit of skill and practice of course will be needed to make sure you know how to shoot such shots, and how to properly set up a camera for this type of shooting - shutter speeds are absolutely critical that they be fast enough to freeze the action, so you need to learn how to either fix the shutter speed where you need it, or adjust aperture and/or ISO to ensure the shutter speed stays high enough - both of which are going to require moving away from 'Auto' and 'P' modes on the camera and start embracing priority or manual shooting - and knowing what focus mode and area, and metering mode and area, to use, and some practice with 'panning' with a movign subject.

Thanks for the info. I'm such a beginner at this and realize I know nothing! LOL! I am definitely into photography for my own personal use to document my children's activities and not to market myself professionally in any way. That being said, what about this lens?

http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-70-300mm-4-0-5-6-Macro-Digital/dp/B0012UUP02/ref=sr_1_1?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1304616363&sr=1-1

Is it any good for what I am looking for with close-up sports pics at dusk/low light and daylight? The most I have done in the past with photography to share with others is taking shots of my son's baseball team in action and burning them on discs for all of the parents...the moms loved them!

zackiedawg
05-05-2011, 01:15 PM
It would probably be pretty similar to the results you'd get from the 18-250/270 lenses - it is similarly a slower lens, so the real low light stuff it might struggle a bit, but with typical sports that have some amount of field lighting, and a camera capable of shooting at ISO1600-3200 with fairly good detail and low noise, you'd likely have good enough results for this type of shooting. Certainly you'd do far better than with a P&S camera in these scenarios, so if you've gotten shots in the past with a P&S that were decent enough, you surely can do it with a decent DSLR and a moderate zoom lens like this one! The settings and a little learning curve maybe to know the right settings, but otherwise I'd expect you could get quite good results.

BoogasMom
05-05-2011, 03:10 PM
Thank you so much for all of your input. I really have a lot to learn and I know I speak for other beginners in thanking you for teaching us. :goodvibes

I really got some good shots with my Kodak P&S...it's really a great camera for the money and it had a really good zoom. It's just REALLY slow between shots and when the players were in motion, swinging the bat or pitching the ball, there was some blur where the crux of the motion was. I think I will do some more research and take some action shots this weekend at the ball games and see what happens. Thank you again for your input!!