Debating my next lens purchase

5 months 2 weeks ago #677483 by Mark-Garety
I just got a new camera body recently (Nikon D610) which is an upgrade from my old D7000. With the new body, I've also jumped from DX to full frame. I bought the body bundled with a Nikon 50mm F1.8G lens.

So these are the lenses I currently own:
  • Nikon 18-105mm F3.5-5.6 VR kit lens (came with my original D90)
  • Nikon 35mm F1.8G DX prime (using it on FX with decent success - area of coverage works for FX when shooting wide open.
  • Nikon 50mm F1.8G
  • Nikon 80-200 AF F2.8 push pull
I'm torn on where I should put my money on my next lens. I've been toying with a few things in my head:
  • Option 1: Purchasing a replacement FX equivalent for the 18-105 DX kit lens.
    I was looking at trying to grab a used older Nikon 28-105 F3.5-4.5 AF-D lens. This would be a walk around - all purpose lens, but probably not a particularly nice lens. That's kind of how I've always felt about the 18-105 DX kit lens. Saying that, when I travel or go out for the day with my camera and I have to choose one lens for the day, this is usually the lens I put on the camera. I went to Germany a few years ago, and this was the only lens I used for 2 weeks, and I got lots of nice pictures with it. So, having something with he versatility to cover a large focal range would be nice.
  • Option 2: Looking for a used / older professional mid-range F2.8 zoom.
    I'm on a budget of just a few hundred dollars, so I was considering the older Nikon 35-70mm F2.8 AF zoom lens. There might be something 3rd party, but I haven't investigated the options here. The struggle I'm having with this option is now  that I have a 35mm prime and a 50mm prime, do I really want to put he money into a zoom that covers that same focal range? I've thought that something like this could fill in as the kit lens replacement, but I also don't know that I'm going to want to lug a round a big heavy pro-zoom lens when I'm out and about with my family all day taking photos.
  • Option 3: Get a wide angle lens. 
    I never really considered wide angle lenses because of the crop factor on my DX bodies. However, now that I've gone to an FX body, I can take advantage of the wider angle lenses. Again, I don't have a huge budget, so a newer fixed aperature Nikon lens is probably out of the question. I've been considering just starting out with an older 20mm F2.8D lens and going from there. But I've also been looking at some of the 3rd party lenses like the Tokina 16-28mm F2.8 pro lens which could give me a wider range of zoom options in that ultrawide category. 
    So far, I've found that I would like somethign a little wider than my 35mm. I've done some architectural photography where I've found my 35mm isn't quite wide enough to get me what I want. I also tried astrophotography for the first time last week and found that I wished I could go wider. The 20mm prime would get me in that range, but not having first hand experience with it, I don't know if I would find that focal length gets me what I want. I also have read that the image quality from that lens is just OK. On the other hand, I don't know that I completely trust buying used or new 3rd party lenses. Every lens I've every used has been Nikon. I know there are some other options. There are similarly priced lenses that are slower, F4 fixed or variable aperture F3.5-4.5 lenses. If I'm thinking that I would potentially use it for astrophotography, the I don't know that I want to put money into the slower lens options. i'm don't expect to go all the way down the astrophotography path, but I could see enjoying capturing images of the stars and night sky while camping or spending time out of town. Some of my favorite photos I've ever captured have been long exposure shots taking in the time right after the sun sets. Faster lenses have an appeal to me for that reason.
As you can probably see by the length of he text for each option, I've been leaning towards options 3. I just don't know how to navigate the various options of ultrawide zoom and prime lenses out there to get something that I won't regret later. I would hate to spend a few hundred dollars on a lens that just sits in my bag and never gets used.

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5 months 2 weeks ago #677522 by TinBC
Like you, I moved up to FX format after selling my D7000. With the body, I purchased a AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens and find it a great all around lens, fast, a little zoom and a little wide angle. Personally, I like the versatility of the zoom as it allows me to compose without changing lenses. The down side is that they are slower but for a non-pro photographer like me, perfect.

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5 months 1 week ago #678063 by Mark-Garety
I am updating my post from a week ago. I ended up pulling the trigger last night and I purchased a used Nikon AF 20mm F.8D lens. Ultimately the allure of wide angle landscape, architecture and nightscape photography was appealing to me.

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