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Nikon D750 WITH Kit Lens...Is it worth it?

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#1
labailey

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A little background:

I own and am currently looking to sell my Nikon D5000 and kit lens with a desire to upgrade. I would consider myself intermediate with regard to skill level and knowledge (young, ambitious photographer is accurate). I plan to do mainly portrait photography (I have no plan to do weddings, just other portrait sessions) and personal travel/landscape photography. I'd love to have 2-3 reasonably affordable lenses that will cover all of my bases if possible.

 

I have been looking into getting the following two prime lenses for portraits:

Nikkor 50mm 1.8 (Likely this lens first and the 35mm later due to budget.)

Nikkor 35mm 1.8 (Swooning over the 1.4, but the price tag makes this elementary teacher want to cry, haha.)

 

My question is, when I buy the D750, should I spring the extra $500 on the 24-120mm kit lens as well? I'd love to have a versatile lens (preferably just one) that I can carry with me when I travel for landscape and general travel photography, (buildings, mountains, photos of my boyfriend and I) but I'm wondering if either the 50mm 1.8 or 35mm 1.8 would be sufficient for my travels without getting the kit lens?

 

I also toyed with the idea of keeping my 18-55mm kit lens from the D5000, but it's not full frame (I'm aware that the 35mm 1.8 isn't full frame either).

 

Options are:

1) Buy D750 (body only) and buy 50mm OR 35 mm lens

2) Keep my 18-55mm kit lens and buy D750 (body only) and 50mm OR 35mm lens

3) Buy D750 with 24-120mm kit lens/Buy 50mm OR 35mm lens

 

 

I hope this makes sense, and thanks in advance!



#2
Adam

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The 24-120mm is a very nice lens, in my opinion.  Note that the 18-55mm wouldn't be much good on FX.  I'd later add the 50mm for your low-light shooting needs and stick to the zoom for those wider shots, because of the added flexibility that it offers.



#3
Merco_61

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The 24-120 is nice and versatile. The decision to get it or not might be easier to make if you check what it would cost to get it later on without the kit rebate.

 

Have you seen that there are two versions of the 35/1.8? One of them is a DX lens, the other is FX.

 

As you plan to do some portrait work, shouldn't your plans include one lens that is suitable for classic portraiture? The 85/1.8 is nice and affordable.



#4
labailey

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The 24-120mm is a very nice lens, in my opinion. Note that the 18-55mm wouldn't be much good on FX. I'd later add the 50mm for your low-light shooting needs and stick to the zoom for those wider shots, because of the added flexibility that it offers.


Thanks for the confirmation! I wasn’t even considering getting another “kit lens” until I saw that this was the one that came with the D750!

The 24-120 is nice and versatile. The decision to get it or not might be easier to make if you check what it would cost to get it later on without the kit rebate.

Have you seen that there are two versions of the 35/1.8? One of them is a DX lens, the other is FX.

As you plan to do some portrait work, shouldn't your plans include one lens that is suitable for classic portraiture? The 85/1.8 is nice and affordable.


Thanks for your help! It’s about a $500 rebate, which makes this lens even more attractive! Oh wow, I did not know about the FX version of the 35/1.8! Thanks for filling me in! I’m new to the world of prime lenses and have only recently been researching to buy one.

I’d love the 85/1.8, but I l’ve been back and forth between in and the 50mm for portraits! Would you suggest this over the 50/1.8 for portraiture if I had to choose one for the long haul (until I could afford to add the other to my arsenal)? I’ve watched a lot of people on YouTube praise the “nifty fifty,” but I am a huge fan of the bokeh effect which seems to look lovely from the 85mm from what I’ve seen.

#5
Merco_61

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The 50 is a good portrait lens on DX, where it gives a diagonal field of view of about 31°40. On FX the FOV is 47°. This means that you will come closer for a classic head and shoulder portrait and this closer distance will change the perspective so that the nose and chin will be accentuated. This looks unnatural as we seldom step that close to each other.

The 85 has a FOV of 28°30 on FX, giving a pleasing rendering of facial features in a formal portrait.

The 50 on FX is more suited to knee up or full body portraits. Nicole posted one in the Your best... minichallenge last week. Your Best Photo, Week Ending 22 July 2018 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

A 35 is very suitable for environmental portraits, where you want to include more background.

Any prime between 24 and 200 can be a portrait lens. David Bailey loved the 24 for his style of intimate, up close portraits while high fashion shooters often go long in the 135-200 range.

 

To decide if you like a 50 or an 85 better for your style, you can use the 18-55 you have on your D5000. If you shoot some portraits with the zoom fully racked out and compose so you don't use the last mm or so in the finder, this will be close to the perspective you will get with an 85 on FX. If you set the zoom to 33 mm, the FOV and perspective you get will be close to a 50 on FX. As the kit zoom is a slow lens, you will have a much too large DOF, but the perspective and FOV will be similar to the primes.



#6
nbanjogal

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I used my 50mm quite a bit for portraits back when I had a crop-sensor camera, but even back then I preferred the 85mm. With a full frame (like the D750) I would strongly recommend at least the 85mm over the 50mm for portraits. Peter is 100 percent right--if you try to do closeup work with the 50mm on a full frame camera, you're going to get some less-than-flattering results. In the photo that Peter just linked to as an example, I used my 50mm mainly because of the small space I was working in. I would have chosen my 85mm, but I didn't have enough room to get as much of the environment as I wanted--had no choice but to go with a wider lens, and the result was fine because I wasn't up close. Incidentally, I have the 85mm f/1.8 rather than the 1.4. It was much less expensive, and the lens is fantastic. 

 

Here's a thread from dpreview.com with some good illustrations that show the differences focal length can make:

 

Facial distortion of various focal lengths for headshots: Nikon SLR Lens Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

 

Anyway, your initial question was about the kit lens. You might want to buy it just because it is so versatile and it will fill a big gap--even if it's only temporarily as you eventually upgrade and buy more lenses. Of course, it depends on your shooting style and subject, but you might feel a bit limited if you only have a 50mm to work with, especially for travel and landscape photography.

 

Your favorite things to shoot are also my favorites. I think if I were in your shoes working with the preferences you've already expressed, this is what I'd buy:

 

Immediately:

 

1) Kit lens 24-120 (versatile for travel and landscape)

2) 85mm (excellent for portraits)

 

Later:

3) 35mm (if you're thinking about this for portraits, just know you'll want to use it for environmental portraits, not closeup shots)

 

Anyway, good luck with everything and keep us posted on what you finally decide to do--and we'd love to see you share some of your work here in the forums.



#7
Merco_61

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Another really good portrait lens is the 105/2 DC. It is no longer in production, but shouldn't be impossible to find used.

 

Here is a sample from that unique lens:

gallery_1251_661_217306.jpg

 

Model: NIKON D700
Lens (mm): 105DC
ISO: 3600
Aperture: 2.8
Shutter: 1/40
Exp. Comp.: -0.7

 

105 mm lenses are my favourite as I find it easier to see in that FOV, I use six of them for different situations and I am trying to justify getting a seventh, but the price tag is too high so far. ($2200 is a bit too much for a very specialized tool that will not see *that* much use.)



#8
TBonz

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I'm in the 105 camp as well for portraits, but I don't shoot portraits often...You've gotten great advise above!  I'll add that I had an older version of the 24-120...I loved that range, but I do a fair amount of low light shooting so I eventually picked up the 24-70 which is more suited to my needs even though I miss that range in one lens...



#9
labailey

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The 50 is a good portrait lens on DX, where it gives a diagonal field of view of about 31°40. On FX the FOV is 47°. This means that you will come closer for a classic head and shoulder portrait and this closer distance will change the perspective so that the nose and chin will be accentuated. This looks unnatural as we seldom step that close to each other.

The 85 has a FOV of 28°30 on FX, giving a pleasing rendering of facial features in a formal portrait.

The 50 on FX is more suited to knee up or full body portraits. Nicole posted one in the Your best... minichallenge last week. Your Best Photo, Week Ending 22 July 2018 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

A 35 is very suitable for environmental portraits, where you want to include more background.

Any prime between 24 and 200 can be a portrait lens. David Bailey loved the 24 for his style of intimate, up close portraits while high fashion shooters often go long in the 135-200 range.

 

To decide if you like a 50 or an 85 better for your style, you can use the 18-55 you have on your D5000. If you shoot some portraits with the zoom fully racked out and compose so you don't use the last mm or so in the finder, this will be close to the perspective you will get with an 85 on FX. If you set the zoom to 33 mm, the FOV and perspective you get will be close to a 50 on FX. As the kit zoom is a slow lens, you will have a much too large DOF, but the perspective and FOV will be similar to the primes.

 

 

I used my 50mm quite a bit for portraits back when I had a crop-sensor camera, but even back then I preferred the 85mm. With a full frame (like the D750) I would strongly recommend at least the 85mm over the 50mm for portraits. Peter is 100 percent right--if you try to do closeup work with the 50mm on a full frame camera, you're going to get some less-than-flattering results. In the photo that Peter just linked to as an example, I used my 50mm mainly because of the small space I was working in. I would have chosen my 85mm, but I didn't have enough room to get as much of the environment as I wanted--had no choice but to go with a wider lens, and the result was fine because I wasn't up close. Incidentally, I have the 85mm f/1.8 rather than the 1.4. It was much less expensive, and the lens is fantastic. 

 

Here's a thread from dpreview.com with some good illustrations that show the differences focal length can make:

 

Facial distortion of various focal lengths for headshots: Nikon SLR Lens Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

 

Anyway, your initial question was about the kit lens. You might want to buy it just because it is so versatile and it will fill a big gap--even if it's only temporarily as you eventually upgrade and buy more lenses. Of course, it depends on your shooting style and subject, but you might feel a bit limited if you only have a 50mm to work with, especially for travel and landscape photography.

 

Your favorite things to shoot are also my favorites. I think if I were in your shoes working with the preferences you've already expressed, this is what I'd buy:

 

Immediately:

 

1) Kit lens 24-120 (versatile for travel and landscape)

2) 85mm (excellent for portraits)

 

Later:

3) 35mm (if you're thinking about this for portraits, just know you'll want to use it for environmental portraits, not closeup shots)

 

Anyway, good luck with everything and keep us posted on what you finally decide to do--and we'd love to see you share some of your work here in the forums.

Let me start by saying how thankful I am that you both took the time to help me out! I really appreciate the perspectives that you're offering!

 

Peter and Nicole,

 

The idea of including more of the background in my portrait photos was one of the primary reasons I was considering the 35mm lens at all- that, and I thought that if I could only get one lens, this one might be able to double as a decent lens for landscape photography. However, with the idea of going ahead and snagging the kit lens, that would give me the opportunity to snag a more suitable portrait lens and still be able to get my landscape shots! The 85mm is looking more and more attractive!

 

I'm most interested in maternity, baby, and family portraits. I'd also love to do engagement shoots- I enjoy the idea of capturing the landscape in a little more focus sometimes, so that's why I started out most interested in the 35 and 50mm lenses. Though now I'm leaning toward the 85mm and kit lens combo! 

 

Below are some examples of the types of shots I'm after. (These are not my photos!)

 

https://static1.squa...jpg?format=750w

 

https://figlewiczpho...essie-00024.jpg

 

http://www.jamierube.../05/Blog002.jpg

 

https://static1.squa...ts?format=2500w

 

 

Below are a few recent shots from my D5000 and its 18-55mm kit lens. I can only get soft bokeh when I get very close to a smaller subject. Sometimes I wonder if investing in a new camera is worth it when I'm more of a hobbyist than anything, but have just felt very limited with the D5000+18-55mm lens lately. 

 

Landscape Photos:

https://scontent.fca...2d9&oe=5BD2C5B5

 

https://scontent.fca...86d&oe=5C0CB9CD

 

https://scontent.fca...0c0&oe=5BDF43BF

 

Portraits/Other:

https://scontent.fca...cbb&oe=5C0ACF2B (I'm proud of this one! Taken at 45mm/5.3 all up in his personal space.)

 

https://scontent.fca...783&oe=5BDF9608

 

https://scontent.fca...97d&oe=5BD37BD2

 

https://scontent.fca...580&oe=5BCFD6C6

 

https://scontent.fca...769&oe=5BD7B2C2

 

 

Thanks again! I really appreciate the help!



#10
nbanjogal

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It's very helpful to see what you're hoping to do--I can see why the 35mm is on your wishlist. It makes sense because you seem to be drawn to environmental portraits.

 

By the way, you're rocking your D5000 and kit lens! Those landscape photos are gorgeous, and I love that little slice of focus on the snail. Nice work!



#11
labailey

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It's very helpful to see what you're hoping to do--I can see why the 35mm is on your wishlist. It makes sense because you seem to be drawn to environmental portraits.

 

By the way, you're rocking your D5000 and kit lens! Those landscape photos are gorgeous, and I love that little slice of focus on the snail. Nice work!

Thank you so much! I've had my D5000 since it came out, and have enjoyed it!

 

I do love environmental portraits. :)

 

I do have another question though. I have decided that I may wait until around around November-December for potential sales to get the D750.

How would one of these prime lenses perform on my D5000 if I got one in the meantime to practice with? I'm aware that my D5000 isn't full frame and the lenses that I'm looking into getting will be compatible with my the D750 as a full frame camera. 



#12
nbanjogal

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They will work just fine. FX (full frame) lenses are compatible with DX (crop sensor) cameras, though the reverse isn't quite true. (You can use DX lenses on an FX camera, but you'll get vignetting and perhaps a few other problems.) When I still had my little DX camera, I was buying FX lenses for it because I knew eventually I'd be upgrading to an FX camera, and I wanted to make sure the lenses were a long-term investment.

 

It's not at all a bad idea to upgrade your lenses for your D5000 right now--you'll love the results.



#13
Merco_61

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Either of the three f/1.8 FX primes we have discussed work well on DX, you just have to think about the field of view. If you have the room, the 85 works more or less like the classic 135mm lenses do on FX.

 

I have some threads up where I used the older 85/1.8 on DX in my One week. one camera, one lens minichallenges. Few, if any, portraits, but I show how versatile it is.

One week, one camera, one lens week ending May 7 2017 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

One week, one camera, one lens week ending October 15 2017 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

One week, one camera, one lens week ending February 11 2018 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

 

Here are some more shots from the 85 on DX, the photos with an 85 in the file name are from the D7200/AF 85/1.8D combo

Live music 20180206 - Post Your Photos - NikonForums.com

 

I used the 35/1.8 FX lens on DX some too.

One week, one camera, one lens week ending July 16 2017 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

One week, one camera, one lens week ending July 16 2017 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

One week, one camera, one lens week ending March 18 2018 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

 

And an older 50, the AF 50/1.8D

One week, one camera, one lens week ending July 09 2017 - Mini-Challenges, Member Contests, and Games - NikonForums.com

One thing to remember if you start looking for used bargains is that the old AF...D lenses won't autofocus on your D5000. They work fully on FX bodies, though.



#14
fallout666

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i am with nbanjogal and few others on board about getting 85mm lens you can get first gen for around $500 also fact how many full frame lenses do you own or just kits lens for d5000. to me 85mm great lens to start off with. then could go 35mm or 105mm. since give you better options then 50mm since really nice one is manual lens so no auto-focusing. i would find what in your price range and what you can afford latter down the road. so you know what expect down the line. in till i upgrade my body no new lens  it till after that. since i am like you with my d5300 body 







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