Nikon d7000 lens recommendations and a new point & shoot

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by pbbecker, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. pbbecker

    pbbecker Mouseketeer

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    I have a Nikon d7000 with an 18-200mm lens which works pretty good but is very heavy. I just went to Disneyland last week with a group of 8 (my hand is still killing me from using it ALL week). I feel like I got some pretty good shots though. I'm trying to learn to shoot more manually but it seems I forget what I've learned or tried that worked previously when I get caught up in the moment so I just start clicking away to not miss anything. I would like to get another lens for christmas because we are fortunate enough to get gifted with another trip to Disneyland during winter break this time just me and my 2 daughters. I want to try to get a little more creative with my pics because its so beautiful during the holidays. Any recommendations on a good lens to use at DL?

    I don't have any photo editing software either so I try to get my pics to look as best as they can straight out of the camera with what I know which isn't much.

    Also, I do not have a point & shoot camera and there were a few times I wished I had a smaller camera. I would also like to get one for christmas so any suggestions on ones that take fast pics that are very clear. I'm so used to using my dslr I'm not sure I would be able to go back to a p&s.

    Thanks for any info, tips or tricks!
     
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  3. Gianna'sPapa

    Gianna'sPapa DIS Veteran

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    My recommendation would be to look at the exif information on the bad shots and the types of shots you want to take next time to see if there is a correlation between the two. Lenses are problem solvers. What shots were you unable to take with what you had and what do you want to take and in what conditions. If its dark rides then that is one lens. If its indoor shows it could be another. I could also recommend an external flash. Do a little research on your style and work backwards. Example: if dark rides are the issue then you would need a lens in the 30-35mm range with a minimum of f1.8. I shoot the Sigma 30 f1.4 for the dark rides. Because I am fanatical about being able to shoot in lowlight, two of my other WDW lenses are f2.8's. Of course when you get to f2.8 lenses the weight and $ increase dramatically. If you haven't already, I would invest in a good camera strap. The OEM straps tend cause more problems than they solve. I use the Black Rapid and I'm sure others will weigh in with their favorites. I will leave P & S' to someone else with more expertise in that arena.
     
  4. SplashMo

    SplashMo DIS Veteran

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    A really nice P&S is the SONY RX100. Nikon makes a 35/1.8

    Bring the D7000 with the 35/1.8 and the SONY RX100 for your zoom lens. Awesome combo.
     
  5. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    As said, lens depends on what you need. What you use on the safari is very differènt than what you would use for firework, which is different than you use for dark rides, etc.
    A good most-purpose walk around lens, would be something like the Tamron 17-50/2.8. But it won't cover your telephoto, and not quite fast enough for the darker dark rides.

    Fast and clear point and shoot -- Fast and clear isn't easy, which is why people use dSLRs. I use the Sony Rx100, which is one of the few true compact cameras that can even come close to a dSLR in this regard. (Left the dSLR at home last trip and just used the rx100). Has a fast sharp lens. High iso performance. Did great at landscapes, fireworks and dark rides. Mediocre on portraits since you really need a dSLR for great bokeh (but still did better than most p&s).
     
  6. hakepb

    hakepb DIS Veteran

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    I do think the RX100 seems to be the closest to DSLr quality with its larger sensor, but for education, here's dpreview's list of 5 compact cameras this season:(which includes the RX100)
    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6698413448/dpreview-recommends-top-5-compact-cameras

    The other angle, for less money, (they've been running $350-400 lately) but a bit less compact would be the compact mirrorless Nikon J1 and V1. With a hybrid phase detect AF (like a DSLr) it has better speed than the RX100.
    But while they both have a 1" sensor, the RX100 sensor is better and closer to your D7000 in high ISO. And as mentioned, the RX's Zeiss lens is better than the J1/V1 kit lens. There is the option to get an adaptor to use a lens from your D7000, which may be useful if you have a 35mm or less prime.
    (Or if you are a Nat Geo wildlife photographer, your 1000mm lens becomes a 2700mm equivilent lens because of the 1 series 2.7x crop factor ;). )
     
  7. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Everything you just said is accurate and a good summary. Just want to make sure there is no confusion about "speed." The Nikon 1 is one of the few non-dSLRs to use phase detection, so it's autofocus speed is incredibly fast. The rx100 has very good focus speed, but the Nikon is even better. On the other hand, the rx100 lens is faster than the Nikon kit lens. Meaning you can use faster shutter speeds.
     
  8. Pixel Dust

    Pixel Dust It's a trap!

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    The D7000 is a great camera. The lens I had used the most on it was the Nikon 16-85mm VR. This was my walk around lens for WDW. It's wide enough for most everything and zooms just enough for me. With 16 MP you can still crop it without degrading the quality. For dark rides the 35mm f/1.8 is great and not that expensive either. I would say that should be one of the first purchase as it's great for indoor combined with high ISO capabilities of the D7000. For a little more creativity you could go with and Ultra Wide lens like the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. It zooms very little, but I keep that at its widest most of the time. It's actually a very sharp lens for the price. I can shoot Illuminations right on the railing or Wishes at the Partner's statute.
     
  9. DSLRuser

    DSLRuser Age is a state of mind

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    I too shoot with a d7000.

    My #1 lens is the 50mm 1.4 prime lens. Shooting prime takes some getting used to because to "zoom" you have to physically move forward or backwards to compose your shot. But if you are good with that, the 50mm 1.4 lens is a great lens to have in the bag. the F1.4 allows you to take so many extra shots without a flash, and without a tripod. and shooting it at f2.8 gives RAZOR SHARP images with very delicate bokah.

    my #2 lens is the 55-300mm zoom. When i am in situations where i need to get in close but cant move closer, this lens gets me the shots i need.

    With those 2 lens, you should be able to cover most any shot at DL you can think of. i also carry a 35mm 1.8 prime, and soon hope to add a 12-24 tokina wide angle. And whenj I need light, I have a sb700 external flash.

    Finally. you need to bite the bullet and purchase ADOBE Lightroom 4.1. The camera takes too many liberties with your shots. You need to controll what the final outcome is not the camera. Shooting raw can can correct white ballance issues, fix slightly under or overexposed shots. the possabillities are endless. it seems overwhelming at first, but after 2 or 3 shoots, you will wonder why you ver shot .jpg before.
     
  10. pbbecker

    pbbecker Mouseketeer

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    Wow! Thank you all for such quick responses! It seems I need to figure out what I want to shoot most then decide which lens will work best for that. Hmmm... I guess portraits of my kids is most important, low light on rides, landscape, and then night scenes. I want to try shooting firework but maybe in the future.

    I am ok with a 50mm fixed lens because I took a black and white manual photography class a few years back which I did great in but seem to not be able to figure it out on my digital camera. I get overwhelmed with all the buttons and options. It's very frustrating to not remember what settings to use. I have been shooting in P or A mode a bit. I would like to attempt shooting raw but am very nervous I'll mess up my pics and I really don't know how it works. I'm not opposed to learning though and I would like to try lightroom but again I'm afraid of ruining my pics. I used photoshop years ago and ruined a very important pic of my daughter so I've never had the courage to try again.

    I'll look into the sony p&s and nikon but maybe more lenses for my d7000 might be a better choice.

    I worry about changing lenses in the park. It seems like I get black spots in my pics quite a bit and I rarely take my lens off my camera. I've had to have it cleaned a few times. I try to do it as quick as I can and in the most dust free place as possible.

    Thanks! I'm going to do a little research then I'll be back.
     
  11. SplashMo

    SplashMo DIS Veteran

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    A 35mm or 28mm lens on the camera is equivalent to a 50mm. A 50mm is too long on the D7000 for Disney as the crowds will not let you stand back far enough.

    The RX100 would eb a grea tcamera and you could leave the DSLR home...
     
  12. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    A 50/1.8 is great for portraits. It can also be good for dark rides and night scenes, though you may find it to be zoomed in too much. A 35mm/1.8 would work quite well for dark rides and some night scenes. It should handle portraits alright, though it could be not quite enough zoom. You may need to get pretty close to your subjects for good portraits. Both lens wold be too much zoom for most landscapes.

    For fireworks and landscapes, it's just a matter of going wider. Your current lens may be wide enough. You don't need a wide open aperture for fireworks. Fireworks are best shot at about f8-f11. So your existing lens is likely just fine for fireworks --- but you need to add a tripod and possibly an ND filter.
     
  13. DSLRuser

    DSLRuser Age is a state of mind

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    Thats the beuty about raw. you cant screw it up. At anypoint, you just hit reset (with lightroom) and your photo goes right back to as you shot it. Think of raw as a "digital negative". Your final image you print, of email, or what ever is just the "developed jpg".
     
  14. Gianna'sPapa

    Gianna'sPapa DIS Veteran

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    A couple of suggestions: First, for fireworks any reasonably wide lens, even a kit lens will work. The key to those flowery looking fireworks trails is long exposure. This requires a tripod or another way to stabilize the camera (trashcan, etc.) and a remote or delayed shutter timer. When it comes to tripods, there are many opinions. It somewhat depends on how you get to WDW and how heavy you want to go. Some use gorillapods, travel tripods and full size tripods. I have all three, but because I fly to WDW, I bring my travel tripod on one camera bag and the gorillapod on the DW's. Settings; You may get several opinions on this, but this is what I use:

    Manual focus-I focus to infinity and then back it off slightly
    ISO-As low as my camera will allow-for mine it is 80
    F-stop- 8-11, I use f11
    Exposure- normally it is between 2-5 seconds, but I adjust as I go

    I normally try to get as many shots at the beginning of the show before the smoke gets too heavy.

    Another way to get multiple explosions is with a ND filter. That could be a 30 second exposure. The problem with the ND fireworks shots is that you will only get a minimum amount of shots because of the time it takes.

    I agree that you may find the 50mm a bit tight on the dark rides. I would recommend a focal length of 30-35 with a minimum f1.8. I use the Sigma 30 f1.4.

    I shoot in what my system calls RAW+ which is a RAW and JPEG image. Yes, it does take more memory, but I get the instant gratification of the JPEG with flexibility of the RAW image. When you are processing the RAW, just copy it to another file and process it. That way you never damage the original. RAW images are non-lossy files so you can copy them without loss of image quality. A JPEG copied numerous times can start to deteriorate but you can copy the original with a minimal loss. PP software will restore a limited amount of the image. You shouldn't be afraid of processing your images. Most images require a little PP plus sharpening.

    As far as changing lenses. What you are describing sounds like dust on your sensor. The easiest solution is a Giotto Rocket Blower. Use the mirror up function and it will blow out the majority of the dust. Just make sure not to touch the sensor. It is not recommended to use compressed air.

    I hope this helps.
     
  15. DSLRuser

    DSLRuser Age is a state of mind

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    Yep. I always to to one of the trash cans outside the circle where the crowds are not. I then use rolled up napkins, car keys, or what ever i can find to elevate the lense.

    iso 100 or 200, f10 for 5 seconds. i set my camera to do interval shots. So every 3 seconds it is taking a 5 second exposure. that way i can enjoy the fireworks too.

    Check for keepers later in the room, discard the junk.
     
  16. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    About the same here. Used a gorilla-pod at the Illuminations railing. F10, 6 seconds, using a 2-second shutter delay, so I was basically taking a new picture every 8-9 seconds or so.

    [​IMG]
    Epcot Illuminations by Havoc315, on Flickr
     
  17. ShadeRF

    ShadeRF Mouseketeer

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    Get the Tokina 11-16 2.8 if you want to go wide. It's one of the best (if not the best) lenses for the D7000 IMO. Also agree with what everyone is saying about the Sony DSC-RX100. I know I'll be picking up one for myself in the next month or so. That thing is awesome!
     
  18. ford91exploder

    ford91exploder Mouseketeer

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    I have never understood why people recommend third party lenses after buying a dSLR, The camera body merely contains the image capture system, its the lenses which create the images.

    The 18-200 is a bit heavy I agree but weight works for you in photograpy in that it damps vibration
     
  19. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Because there are some incredibly great 3rd party lenses!
     
  20. Gianna'sPapa

    Gianna'sPapa DIS Veteran

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    Another is cost. Some very good third parties provide affordable alternatives to OEM's. Not everyone has an unlimited budget. We can go back and forth about image quality, but the third parties provide lenses that generally have very good optics that will please the amateur-hobbyist-enthusiast. I have even seen pros using the upper tier third party lenses. I have a Sigma 100-300 f4 lens that is just outstanding.

    Another, is sometimes the offering of the third party is in a users focal length that the OEM does not offer. Coming from a film SLR, I was invested in lenses and could not affordably change manufacturers and they did not offer a 70-200 f2.8. I purchased the Sigma and have been pleased with the results. Therefore if someone is in the same circumstances, I would make that recommendation.

    There are a multitude of reasons to recommend third parties. As Havoc stated, there are some very good third party lenses out there and the OEM's sometimes produce clunkers.
     
  21. Pixel Dust

    Pixel Dust It's a trap!

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    I do agree that lenses are the most important part to create the image. But times have changed and third party manufacturers have upped their game. While everyone here would love to own the Nikon 14-24mm, not everyone has $2,000 to burn. The Tokina 11-16mm is a great alternative at $600, especially for DX bodies.

    Is this Tokina as good as the Nikon? No! But that's the wrong question to ask. The question should be, Is the Nikon worth $1400 MORE than the Tokina? And there is no wrong answer to this! To the professional making a living, the difference is more than worth it. For me, taking family photos and snapshots around Disney, the sharpness and contrast of the Tokina is enough for me.

    So really what I am saying is that the answer to third party lenses is up to the individual. Definitely read reviews out there. Or maybe rent them and do your own testing. But don't count them out. They are getting better.

    Here is my sample of the Tokina 11-16mm. This is with the Nikon D600, but still has a similar pixel density as the D7000. (and yes, the Tokina works on a full-frame, at least at the 16mm end)
    [​IMG]

    100% crop, center
    [​IMG]

    100% crop, right edge. You can see the red bricks in the crest!
    [​IMG]
     

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