Lenses - What Next?

Milan Vjestica

Well-Known Member
I will probably take my time on this one. If the Tax Man is generous and my rebate comes in before Christmas I may choose to update my lens collection. I may also get rid on one or two to make room. The current set is;

Nikkor 24 f2.8D
Nikkor 18-70 f3.5-4.5 ED DX
Sigma 70 - 300 f4.5-5.6 APO
Tamron 28 - 200 f3.5-5.6 LD (currently unused)
Canon G9 when I really want to travel light

What would improve the set? Most of my photography is based on my travels, scenery, landscapes and family shots. There is the occaisional wildlife shot too.

My first thoughts;

Nikon 18-200 VR as an all round travel lens or the Sigma/Tamron equivalent.
Tokina 12-24 wide angle zoom.
Nikkor 70-300 VR zoom (replaces the Sigma plus VR) I am not sure I can afford the f2.8!
Nikkor 18mm prime (I like landscapes).

How do people feel about Sigma, Tamron or Tokina as alternatives to Nikon? You comments and advice would be appreciated.


I know nothing about nikon, but i did purchase a sigma 150-500mm for my canon a few years back, i have just sold it to part fund a canon 100-400mm.

The sigma was very heavy & very long and not very good quality at all at the 500mm end especially on gloomy days.........i was very disappointed seeing it was a £800 lens, maybe i just had a bad copy that you hear about with all lens brands........ but it did the job for me at the time, and with a good play in cs4 most of my images were not to bad taken with that lens.

To try and put you in the picture it was as if i was trying to take pictures on a slightly misty day when it was clear as a bell.........i have not really had much of a play with the new canon that replaces it but initial thoughts are wow..............what a difference.

I have heard that the 170-500mm sigma lens is far superior.

Now i am not saying all sigma lens are bad, as i have a sigma 10-20mm and that is brilliant quality, great for landscapes and i would swap that for the world.

I hope that is of some help

I have no issue with third party lenses as such, but logic dictates to me the brand ones are better...
That said my fish eye is a sigma and my 17mm is a tamron (sp adaptall ii).

I don't rate the 18-200 personally, but I know many will shoot me down for saying that! It's not aweful and is the best of the alternatives from my experience, but super zooms, or whatever they are called, just seem a touch soft for my liking ... That said I have a 18-200 vr that I'd let you have posted for £300??

Ultra wide zoom wise, I'd go for the 10-24 tamron as it covers the greatest range and is reportedly as good as the rest of the options

The nikon 70-300vr is a cracker at the money, the vr is usefull, but would it be an appreciable upgrade from what you have?

I doubt the 18mm prime is noticeably better than the 18-70 at the wide end and the extra stop of light is of little use for landscape photography I that is what you want it for ... If you like the idea of a 28mm equiv ish carry round lens then its an option, but that's all it's really useful for on a dx camera in my books...

So yeah, all in all, I'd add a ultra wide zoom, that's the only one that's going to give you more options ...
After that flog the sigma 70-300 and get a nikon vr version

Tamron 10-24, nikon 18-70, nikon 70-300 vr, 24mm prime and a d300 is my advice... Then think about the 35mm 1.8 dx or the 35mm 2.0 as either of them make for excellent carry round primes ....
I'm with Hamish - go ultra wide zoom or fisheye

You'll be able to provide a completely new perspective to your photography using such a wide lens - a very useful addition to the toolkit.

I'm always finding new ways to use my 15mm fish - love it!
The attraction of the 18-200 is for a catch all travel lens. A wide zoom does seem logical.
When I was shooting with the D300, I had the 18-200mm and it was a very easy lens to like. At that time, quality control seemed to be somewhat variable. A friend had one that visibly vignetted and was distinctly soft at the telephoto end, while mine was fine. He sent it to Nikon under warranty and it returned with both problems cured. It has a sweet spot - as do most zooms in the f/3.5-5.6 around f/8.0.

I also had the 12-24mm which saw a lot of use on the D300 and then on both it and the D700. From about 16mm on to 24mm it covered the large frame with no problems. It is not a consumer lens, having the "gold-ring" of Nikon's "pro" lenses and is really an exceptional wide-angle lens. At its widest, it is the equivalent of an 18mm on a full frame camera.

Realize that for super-wide, you can also stitch overlapping images together. Photoshop does it superbly, but there are also lots of less expensive solutions. In fact, you can shoot with a telephoto for maximum size and detail. Zoom.It provides a free on-line viewer. This is a 75MP stitched image I shot at the beginning of September using about a 105mm focal length. http://zoom.it/cDYk

Even though it was shot with a short telephoto, it is at least 180° wide, and with the high resolution, there is plenty for exploring the image by zooming in and navigating around it. A decade back, this would have been a great technical challenge, but it is no more.

When I sold the D300 I needed something long so I bought the 70-300mm VR lens and it is superb. Compared to the f/2.8 70-200mm, it is half the weight, one quarter the price and provides a very welcome extra 100mm. On a DX camera, it is the equivalent of a 105mm to 450mm, which is getting well into super-tele range, and it provides full sensor coverage on a full-frame camera as well.

I bought third-party lenses for light-duty in the past. Even so, I found that a jeweler's screwdriver was an essential accessory. I have an extremely sharp 200mm that has been tightened for the last time and now flops around a bit. Great optics, lousy mount.