looking for a lens for Nikon D3100 - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it

I agree about combining hobbies, I have always enjoyed taking pics of my fish and my tanks to share on this site and I would like to be able to do that with this camera.

I don't have very high standards at this point for quality of shots, so I need to get an idea of what you mean by blurry pics of fish. I have a canon powershot that has served me very well for taking close up shots of fish/plants, and I would like to be able to do that without having to buy a $300-$500 lens haha.

So the problem with this lens is the aperture size, not the focal length?

I guess I need to do some real research lol.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Is this an ok lens? It is dirt cheap on ebay and the auction ends in an hour.

NIKON 35-80MM F4.0-5.6 D AF MACRO LENS

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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tharsis View Post
Is this an ok lens? It is dirt cheap on ebay and the auction ends in an hour.

NIKON 35-80MM F4.0-5.6 D AF MACRO LENS

No, pass on it. Its really meant for FX cameras, and its really no better than the kit 18-55. In fact, it's probably worse....
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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glad I didn't get it haha...I figured there had to be a reason for it being so cheap and that it was discontinued!
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 05:34 PM
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I love my Nikon 50mm 1.8. For $100...I don't think there is a better lens value out there. You can do general aquarium photography with it, only problem is it's a bit long in focal length to do full tank shots unless you have a small tank or large room. It's an awesome lens though for the kids and as a general walk around lens. The 30mm focal length is great too. For landscapes, I love my Tokina 12-24mm but you are looking at a $400 lens. Cheap as far as lenses go, but not cheap as far as my wallet goes...lol Check out keh.com for used gear at great prices.

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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I think I am starting to lean towards a prime lense instead.

I will check out keh.com, thanks for the heads up.
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 11:10 PM
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Yeah, primes tend to be sharper. I love primes even though I've only had a few. My best shots have been with a prime lens.

KEH is great. They rate everything but they are very conservative in their grading. It's not uncommon to get something that's listed to be in fair condition and it actually be in excellent condition. Anything that's listed as excellent or like new is good to go and if there's an issue, they will take care of it.

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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for another post... I feel like I need my hand held throughout this process haha.

Is this a good deal?

http://providence.craigslist.org/pho/3475429159.html

I don't mind that I will have to manually focus, I usually do anyways.
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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annnd the saga ends with me getting a Nikor 18-55mm lens haha.

...Christmas present from the father in law.

I was playing with it a bit today and it takes some good pics for my purposes so I am very happy with it. I will probably look into getting a better quality lens down the road but for now this will do just fine. Thanks for the help
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 01:52 PM
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It'll probably do fairly good for you as an overall use lens. I wish I had some of the nicer lenses mentioned. But as long as my wallet is as thin as my budget, my 18-55 will do! Glad you found a solution...

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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 09:40 PM
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The kit lens will give you an idea of what focal lengths you need for going with a prime. A 30mm or 35mm will go well with your crop camera.

Also look into speedlite flashes. They will help a lot with kit lenses getting enough light into your tank. Yongnuo speedlites are inexpensive and very good. Cowboy Studio triggers are also inexpensive and very good.

Any lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or larger is considered a fast lens. A maximum aperture of f/5.0 or smaller is generally considered a slow lens.
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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The kit lens will give you an idea of what focal lengths you need for going with a prime. A 30mm or 35mm will go well with your crop camera.

Also look into speedlite flashes. They will help a lot with kit lenses getting enough light into your tank. Yongnuo speedlites are inexpensive and very good. Cowboy Studio triggers are also inexpensive and very good.

Any lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or larger is considered a fast lens. A maximum aperture of f/5.0 or smaller is generally considered a slow lens.
Yeah the 50mm prime lens that was suggested in my tank thread would be good but to get a FTS with it requires that I stand really far from the tank...a 35 mm will allow a little more versatility I think.

I definitely see the issues with my lens regarding the larger aperture.
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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 02:38 AM
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Get a good tripod also, it will allow you to take shots at smaller apertures for greater depth of field with slower shutter speeds.

The larger the aperture the shallower the depth of field.

A true macro lens around 100mm in focal length is a good lense to look at. Also a remote trigger will help with blur when using a tripod. Using mirror lock up and delayed shutter actuation are also very helpful with tripod use.

Lightroom and Dxo Optics Pro are good post production programs to bring out the best of your photos at a reasonable price.
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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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i have a tripod but I definitely want to get a remote trigger and an external flash.
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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 03:28 AM
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Neutral density filters and circular polarisers are good to have also.
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