Best Lens for D700 for Night Life...NEED YOUR ADVICE....

By: IMGmaker 2680 days ago
I'm an experienced non-professional photographer. I've been shooting with a Nikon D70 with 18mm-70mm lens for over 5 years now.

Some of my work can be seen here...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/imgmaker/

I've never been a tech guy...I just shoot what I find interesting to me. I mainly shoot portraits & city NIGHT life. I prefer shooting at night...

I've done some research and pretty much decided on the Nikon D700 which I may be purchasing within the next couple of months.

The thing is which lens to buy. I will be budgeting for just one lens after my initial purchase of the D700...then slowly I hope to build an arsenal.

I was considering the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S and Nikon 70-300mm VR. Which of these do you think best fits my requirements for shooting night life?

I like to shoot skylines and various types of architecture but then I do a lot of portraiture as well.

I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
By: IMGmaker 2680 days ago
Oh yeah...I forgot to mention...I would like to know the top three FX lenses for Nikon D700 in terms of best/clearest resolution shooting night life. Thank you.
By: johnriley 2680 days ago
Whatever camera you buy, it may be a good idea to start with the kit zoom. This lens will be versatile and will cover 90% of what you might want to shoot, including skylines and portraits. You will manage with it.

After a while the inadequacies of the lens will become apparent. You might find you need a wider angle for architecture, a longer reach for distant details or a wider aperture for hand held shots at night.

Then you will know what lenses you need to look at for your photography. Following this plan will help to avoid too many bad choices and could save you a fortune over the years!

John
By: IMGmaker 2680 days ago
I'm really looking for a more specialized lens. I've heard many people are disappointed with the standard kit lens for the D700.

Could you tell me which of the two lens I listed above would be better for what I'm looking for?

Thank you...

John C
By: johnriley 2679 days ago
"I like to shoot skylines and various types of architecture but then I do a lot of portraiture as well."

This isn't really specialising though. For architecture you might need a 12-24mm lens, for portraits maybe an 85mm, for skylines and distant landscapes the 70-300mm might do very nicely.

So you haven't yet reached a point where a specialist lens is needed for a specialist subject.

Of the two lenses you list, neither will replace the kit lens in any useful way, not on their own anyway. However, for the shooting at low light in the evening city, then the 50mm f1.4 will have much to commend it.

John
By: IMGmaker 2679 days ago
I apologize for confusing you John. I don't mean to give ya a hard time. I'm not the most tech savvy person...which is why I came here.

After some research of actual photos taken from various lenses...I've become enamored with the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR lens. I really like the way photos look with this lens. I wonder this lens would perform at night?

Thanks again...

John C
By: johnriley 2679 days ago
No problem, maybe I'm easily confused...but the lens you mention is fine I'm sure as a lens. Will it be fast enough for you?

I use a 16-45mm f4 lens and it's fast enough for what I do. If I need more speed I just up the ISO - no point in having that facility and not taking advantage of it.

With digital we have new techniques for low light. You might well find that the lens you mention covers 95% of what you do, and a 50mm f1.4 might cover for the rest.

The trouble is, advice is all well and good but only you know for sure what your photograhic style is.

Hope you find what you're looking for - don't forget to let us know what you decide and how you get on!

John
By: wallerc 2622 days ago
Hi John C,
It seems a long time ago that the above exchange took place. What did you decide on?
I have a D700 with several Nikkor lenses, but the most used at night is the 50mm. My 70-300mm VR is an excellent lens but used mainly during the day. The 16-35mm sounds very good. I have the 14-24mm which is not as versatile, but still gets the creative juices flowing. My fav ourite walk around lens is an old 28-200mm G from the film era. Worth considering if you can get one cheap on eBay or the like.
Cris

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