One lens?

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by cratz2, May 23, 2018.

  1. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    If you could only keep one lens that you currently own for all purposes, which would it be?

    Go generic and stick with a 28-80 on a full frame/35mm or 18-55 on a crop body? Pay the weight penalty and go with a 24-70 f2.8? Keep it simple with a 35 or 50mm prime? Dedicated portrait lens such as an 85mm 1.8? Go pro with a 70-200 2.8? Do you absolutely NEED a macro?

    Looking back at some pics over the last couple of years, I might guess that I've used my manual Nikon 55mm f3.5 macro the most. Nearly all my for sale pics are with it and it sees some duty on most individual and couple portrait shoots. Plus it's 55mm on the D700 or about 80mm on the D300.

    I've thought about getting the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 VC. It's quite a bit smaller and lighter than the Nikon so it might see more use. I used to have a non-VR 28-70 2.8 Nikon, but that's a darn heavy lens to keep on there full time.

    Back when I shot more canon, i used a 70-200 f4 non-IS on a 5D an awful lot.
     

     

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  2. JediDude

    JediDude Active Member

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    An interesting question. Just to clarify, however, one lens per system or one lens per body????? ;-})>
    One lens per body would make things a *LOT* easier.

    For the Sinar - it's a no brainer: the one lens I have for it.
    For the ELM: it'd be the 150 Sonnar.
    For the Pentax K: 43 Limited.
    For the Pentax screwmount: 35mm f3.5
    For the Nikon: the 105.

    One lens per body: well there's a whole different ball game.
     
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  3. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

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    I shoot 90% of everything with the 55 mm Micro-Nikkor, so that it would have to be.
     
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  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I was thinking one body and one lens for all needs, but I'm all ears.

    In case of that unlimited body situation, I might go:

    Nikon D700 24-85mm VR
    Nikon D700 55mm f3.5 Macro
    Nikon D300 Tamron 90mm Macro
    Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
    Nikon D90 50mm f1.4
    Nikon D80 70-300mm VR
    Nikon D70 35-70mm 3.5 manual
    Canon 5D 70-200mm f4
    Canon 40D 100-400mmL IS
    Canon 30D 85mm f1.8
    Canon 30D 10-18mm STM

    Having a bunch of spare bodies is a bit of a cheat.

    :p

    Edited to add:

    Canon 10D 18-135mm STM
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  5. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I was not expecting someone else to pick that same lens.

    If I had an autofocus I'd use it even more. I have the manual 3.5 version which is mechanically my favorite and I have to manual 2.8s.
     
  6. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

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    Yeah, you cheat like me. :)

    I have Canon 3x 40Ds, 60D, 20D, 400D all with different lenses attached and Nikon 3x D70s, D3000, D3400, 2x D40 and 2x D60 all with different lenses attached.

    I have no favourites, except maybe an original 1987 EF 70-210 f4 no IS and the Canon EFS18-200 IS, Oh and the little 50mm f1.8 screw drive Nikon and the original 18-70 AFM Nikons that were released with the D70 in 2004/5.

    I have a feet firmly in both the Nikon and Canon camps, but have stayed in the crop bodies- simply don't think I need full frame. I pick them up for so cheap it is insane. If I want flash, it's a no brainer- all the Nikons expose flash perfectly.
     
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  7. willyrover

    willyrover Super Member

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    An 18-135mm is usually the default lens on my Canon T1i.
     
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  8. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I know several pros and they all use Canons. It works for them.

    I've been shooting Canon much longer than Nikon but regardless of body or lens, I can point a Nikon at a subject, turn on the flash, set it to about -0.7 and as long as it isn't pure dark, the shot will come out looking great.

    Canon? Not so much for me. The result will still look great, but it takes a bit of work.

    I do still have two 18-70s. The one that came with my first D70 and another I bought for dirt cheap because the filter ring is dented. Perfectly decent lenses. The current 18-55 VRs are ok and the VR is sometimes handy but my first non-VR 18-55 was a POS.

    I didn't think I'd ever need full frame when it first came out but bought a used 5D then a D600, sold the D600 and bought a used D700 and a push pull 80-200mm f2.8, non-VR and had some cash left over for a 50 f1.4.

    As long as you stay at ISO6400 or lower, that D700 can't take a bad shot, esp in B&W. Leave the grain in if you like that look or reduce the noise and up the contrast a bit and it looks very close to ISO200. For things like concert shots, full frame is the ticket.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  9. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    Mostly I have a 28-70 2.8 on my old Nikon FM. Think I could live with the plain old 50 1.8 if push came to shove.
     
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  10. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

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    I tried to use a 50mm for a year (some website suggested using a prime for a year), but there's many really pretty birds around here (winged variety) and I needed more reach. :)
     
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  11. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    Sure. An opinion/answer almost certainly depends on the most typical use of the camera for any given person.

    I've been keeping my eye slightly open for a reasonable deal on a 35mm 2.0.

    For me, my least used is 70-200.
     
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  12. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Can I ask why so many bodies? Hav you considered selling some of them to buy a up to date body or two?

    Anyway as to the OP’s question - I’d be pretty happy with my 16-80 2.8-4 on a Nikon crop body. It’s a pricy lens but sharp, pretty fast (for a zoom) and has great VR.
     
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  13. Old Ears too

    Old Ears too Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting question.
    I have 2 Sony's and a Nikon that are usable right now.
    I really enjoy the Micro Nikkor 55 2.8 on the A7ii as it is good for a lot of different situations and is sharp as a tack.
    The Nikon D7000 always has the 18-200 VR stuck on it, sitting in the bag, ready to go. That was the mainstay for a number of years before the Nex-7 showed up.
    Surprisingly, I really like the way my old Canon 35 2.8 LTM renders on the Nex-7 and it makes for a nice to carry kit too, not too heavy but certainly not a light weight either.
    I'm an old guy who likes to use old lenses on fairly new digital bodies.
     
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  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    Most of them aren't worth anything or have minor issues that stop the body from selling for the normal price.

    And the D700s and D300s are as up to date as I think I need. I almost never shoot indoor sports or anything that moves in low light.

    The D700 looks great up to ISO3200 and I've printed a couple concert shots that were at ISO6400 in black and white with a little tweaking. I don't need faster frame rates and I rarely have a that's out of focus.

    I just don't think any newer Nikon body would benefit me much and in all honesty, I think it's been a couple years since I've used any of those bodies other than the D700s, the D300s or the 5D.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  15. mikeybc

    mikeybc Listener

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    If I had to keep only one lens it would have to be the Nikon 18-200 VR. Though the 17-55 f2.8 is much better for indoor shots without a flash. Tough choice actually.
     
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  16. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    20180526_083232.jpg I'd have to look.
    On a 4/3drs Canon , I think I'm using a 18-135 is lens. It covers pretty much everything
    (I know wide sometimes,isn't wide enough and Tele isn t quite enough but for weight, v size, v image quality, v , versatility its tough to beat:idea:)
    (All Canon bodies here now)
    50D, 10D, gave away (family) 2 rebels an XSi, and I think an XTi.
    I'm embarrassed to say I forgot the one I'm using now (pretty much for everything)
    Edit TSi
     

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    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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  17. SaSi

    SaSi Seriously Illogical Subscriber

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    When I started with film back in 1981, I could only afford one lens and it was a 35-70/4 coupled on a Canon A-1. Subsequently I was able to purchase a Hoya 300/5.6 which was used often but still, if I went out with the camera only, it was the 35-70 zoom only. Most of my pictures shot with film were made with that lens. Can't say I missed much except for some "drama" looking shots that could be done with a wide angle, like 16 or 20mm. But life was simple back then.

    With my digital SLR now, I mostly use the 17-85. Not a great lens but it has IS and a decent performance. Still could live with just that.
     
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  18. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    When I first switched to Nikon, my only lens for about a year was a 35-70 f3.5. Modern camera but that lens was full manual. Great lens that still helps get great images.
     
  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Using a crop body with full-frame lenses, and sticking with Sony due to being able to use my A-mount lenses. Some pros are starting to switch over to Sony's latest from Canon and Nikon, and I'm likewise eyeballing an A68 as my next body, possibly before my next trip in July.

    I switched to a 24-105 as an "everyday" lens--I could probably live with that if I only had to use a single lens, as it covers most of my needs. It replaces the 28-85 and 28-80 lenses I have (except I keep the 28-85 in the bag, due to the macro). No prime lens could ever handle the range of photos I take. This lens hits most of what I need.

    Yet if I were taking strictly landscape photos, I would probably have to take only my 17-35 with me, as the 24 does not get wide enough for many of the types of shots that I take. I thought I would use it only occasionally on my last trip, but found I pulled that one out of the bag the most when I was out west. I've really enjoyed this one, and I have a better one on the way, due here tomorrow. (The Sigma has nice optics but uses the older 5-pin Minolta contact connection and is not fully compatible.)

    If I were doing street/night photography, I would probably live with my 50mm prime. Animal/bird photography? The 75-300. I could easily take that to the zoo as my only lens (and it stayed on my camera most of the time during my last trip to the zoo, come to think of it).
     
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  20. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    I am new to photography this year. Current setup is a Nikon D3300 with the 35mm prime Nikkor lens. I'm shooting and editing in RAW and trying to figure out how to properly calibrate my new monitor.

    My goal is to shoot only with this 35mm lens for one complete year. After that I'll evaluate what I do and don't like about my current setup and probably upgrade body and lens. I see blogs where people shoot exclusively fixed focus lenses and I love that minimalism. We will see how practical that goal is.
     

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