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Which lenes Best for D200 ?

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Certified Green Horn here! Have only shot Nikonos w 15 & 20mm lenses.

 

I have a D200 on order ( should be here a few weeks.) I would like some help to determine which lenses will be best suited for UW & may also be used Topside. I am not so concerned with Macro, but if a certain type of lens lets me zoom in for close ups that's a plus. I am on a budget, and will probably have to start with 2 lenses.

Also I am leaning towards Ikelite housing, ( cost factor) I now have 2 SB105 strobes, you think they will work OK with this setup?

Any information will be appreciated and welcome.

 

Mike Salcito

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I think you'll find that the most widely used and universally accepted wide-angle lenses for Nikon shooters would be:

 

Nikon 10.5mm = $549

Nikon 16mm = $549

Nikon 12-24mm = $884

Sigma 15mm = $419

 

The prices are the B&H imported price.

 

For a budget starter kit I would recommend a Sigma 15mm and Nikon 60mm Macro. Both can be had for $759

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Another vote for the Sigma 15 and Nikkor 60 + woody's diopter

 

Karl

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Here's an absolutely superb and complete listing of Nikon lens reviews:

http://home.zonnet.nl/famwakker/nikonlinks...eswelcome01.htm

 

I especially like these Bjørn Rørslett reviews, where he graphs out the optical performance, ie, sweet spot for lenses:

http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_surv.html

 

So for example, inside the 12-24 review you'll find:

http://www.naturfotograf.com/AFS12-24DX_rev02.html#top_page

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My 2 cents:

 

If you're not really into macro, then I'd go with the 105mm. It's fantastic for fish and other medium subjects. Sigma 15 FE for the wide stuff.

 

Rand

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If you're not really into macro, then I'd go with the 105mm. It's fantastic for fish and other medium subjects.

 

I shoot with this lens regularly and have to respectfully disagree.

 

The 105 is specifcally designed to be a macro lens (and it's terrific at it!!!). IMHO it's lousy for fish and other medium subjects because you have to get so far away (narrow angle of view on the lens) to get the whole subject in. (But it's great for fish faces and eyes and lips.) Put more and more water between you and your subject and your pictures don't look as good as well as you lose effectiveness on your flash.

 

Also don't forget that that D200 still has a 1.5X crop/magnifcation factor. That makes the 105 effectively into a 157, which makes it more macro-like.

 

I might suggest you find a general-purpose zoom lens to start with. I LOVE my 28-105 (which becomes a 42-157). Whatever you get, make sure the closest-focus is as close as possible. Under 2' definitely and the closer you can get to 1' the better.

 

And as you take pictures with this type of a lens, you'll get an idea of whether you like shooting macro or wide or whatever, and then can acquire more lenses specifically suited to those purposes.

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There was a similar discussion a few weeks ago with some good ideas.

 

I'd suggest chosing from the 10.5, 12-24, 60 and 105. The 12-24 and 60 are less challenging lenses with the 60m good for fish portraits and the 12-24 for reef shots.

 

The 10.5 and 105 are more challenging to use but can produce real wow shots.

 

The 12-24 is a very good topside lens; 60mm would be ok; 10.5 and 105 less use as topside lenses.

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I have the 17-55 2.8 dx which is the nicest lens I have ever had topsise, have not been u.w. with it bit expect to use it and I think it is worth checking out.

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Have you ever been able to compare your 17-55 underwater with the 18-70?

 

I sometimes use the 18-70 but, maybe its something to do with the way it feels (rather than its good review), I never feel too happy with it and generally switch to either a 12-24 or 60mm

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Hi Tim, I never compared the 17-55 to the 18-70 (which I don't have), but I did compare it to my cheap 24-50 (which should be inferior to the 18-70). The difference is huge, the 17-55 is not only sharper but also produces much better colors. Here is a link for the quick test (sorry, topside only):

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showt...indpost&p=74629

 

I plan to test it underwater in Hawaii during the second half of January and I will post the results here.

 

Luiz

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Thanks Luiz!

 

Sorry, I remember now you posting these and having a look. I'm a bit embarassed to say that I can't tell which IS the 17-55 on the cropped images! Looks like there is no point in me spending mega-cash on lenses..... so, errr, which one is it?

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LOL!! :( The one on the left is the 17-55, it looks sharper and more saturated in my monitor. If you open both at the same time and put them side by side you will probably notice the difference.

 

Keep in mind that those shots were at f8 (I think). The 17-55 really shines at wider apertures but I kept it a little high just to keep it fair. I will post some other test shots later.

 

Luiz

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Ok Tim, here you go, two more images attached. First the entire scene I photographed, which this time has more fine detail. Second, the 100% crops, which this time are a bit further from the center of the lens. No post-processing, both shots with SB-800 at f9.

 

In my monitor, there is a clear difference in detail and color when viewing at 100%. I hope you can see it now. Oh, by the way, if I look at the two shots at say 25% or reduced to 600 pixels wide I can't tell the difference. Is it worth the $1,000 price difference? Well, it all depends on your applications and how you use your camera.

 

Luiz

 

EDIT: I am still amazed by the detail captured by a 12 megapixel camera. Looking back at the photos, these 100% crops just blow my mind! I am no pixel fanatic and almost never look at my photos at 100%.

post-2512-1136050830_thumb.jpg

post-2512-1136051230_thumb.jpg

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Thanks again, Luiz!

 

Pheweeeeeeee, NOW I can see the difference. I wasn't sure whether to blame age or my laptop screen if I couldn't tell this time around. But definitely noticeable.

 

I do wonder about the $1000 difference in cost. I sell topside pics and use a fairly inexpensive Nikkor 28-200 for a lot of my shots (plus a 12-24). I was mulling over switching to a 17-55 and the 70-200. Huge cost aside, these are big lenses to lug around. But will I sell more pics as a result? I'm guessing not!

 

I thought I'd take a look first at the new 18-200 VR before deciding.

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I just got the 18-200 and it is a great topside lens. But I doubt there is a port that would be usable with it underwater as it is about 4 inches in length at 18mm and probably nearly doubtles as one zooms it out to 200mm.

 

Steve

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Thanks Steve - any chance of a few test pics? But I'm sure you are right: not a practical uw lens

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