Ah…the lens. I’m so glad so many of you asked which on I got! I’m always hesitant to write about camera stuff because (a) You’ll be bored to death and (b) You’ll see how little I know because I don’t use the right vocabulary and I overuse the word “pretty”. But you asked!
I used the lens that came on my D80 for 2 years. It was FINE. Don’t feel like you have a bunch of different lenses. But, eventually, you’ll probably want more. And if you do? Research. Research. Research. The first lens I got was from my brother and Dad for Christmas. It is a 10-200mm Nikon VR lens and I love it dearly. I had been wanting it every since I read the Ken Rockwell review. (Sidenote? Ken Rockwell gives great, down-to-earth, low-tech reviews.) I had not taken it off my camera since. And it will always be the lens I leave on my camera when I’m not sure what I’ll be photographing. It does everything great and since it is a VR lens, it forgives my shakiness. And since there’s no way I could have bought it myself, I’m glad my brother and Dad got it for me this Christmas.
Now, I had also been wanting a smaller lens for awhile. Ideally I wanted one that would work well in low light and for portraits since I take a million of my kids. Whenever I’m researching gear, I do two things first: I check with Ken (he reviews EVERYTHING) and flickr. If you do a search on whatever you’re thinking of buying, you’ll find photos using that piece of equipment. That way you can see what it’s capable above FOR REAL. Finally, I look up the item on Amazon and read the reviews. It’s important to read the reviews because sometimes the most common complaint is something you may not care about. Or, maybe it’s the most important factor for you.
When I was researching a decent portrait lens, P-Dub did her equipment entry. I had been looking at this lens for awhile and seeing her mention it? Sold me. I just had to wait on the money, which isn’t too bad at $130. So, I bought it last week and used it this weekend.
I’m thrilled with this lens. Whenever you see SOOC on any of my flickr photos it means it is exactly how it came from my camera. (Straight Out Of Camera.) No cropping, no editing, nothing. I like to draw attention to that either in the name or in the tags of a photo when it’s a photo I feel really represents my camera and the lens. I took dozens of those type of photos this weekend. What is fantastic about this lens? Is it works well in low light. So I don’t have to drag my heavy flash everywhere. This lens does just what I want: Takes good indoor pictures of my kids. Now, I’ll still keep the 18-200mm lens on the camera for everyday use. The 50mm forces you to move around a lot to get what you want in the shot. I wouldn’t want to do that all the time. But it’s nice to know when my goal is low-light portrait shots of my kids? Or even simple macro shots? I’ve got an alternative lens that that weighs less than the 18-200mm.
Here are some SOOC shots from this weekend. All of these shots would have needed a flash with either of my other lenses.