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12-27-2016, 04:20 PM   #1
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Fast Nikon lens for superzoom user

My mother's husband uses a Nikon D5200 and has the Tamron 18-270 as his ONLY lens. He is a scene mode or green mode shooter - he has no knowledge or understanding of the exposure triangle.

That said, he sometimes shoots in lower light situations (stage) where a faster zoom or prime might help him get some of the shots he needs to get. Most of the time he has a pretty flexible option in terms of how far from the stage he is so a prime could work but I think a zoom makes the most sense. I'm debating over recommending a 50 f/1.8 prime for portraits use or a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 as an overall upgrade option for him. I suspect the 17-50 is more his speed. The comparable Nikon offerings seem crazy expensive from what I see. The 18-35 f\/1.8 was also a consideration but I doubt it is a good fit as he is more likely to miss the telephoto end than the wide end.

Is there any other lens I should consider to augment his existing Superzoom?
Is there a two lens combo I'm missing out on?

Budget is limited lets say under $600 maybe lower - he doesn't get the value proposition and isn't interested in learning a lot. I think a superzoom compact would do just about as good for everything he wants to shoot other than the stage shots.

12-27-2016, 06:36 PM   #2
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A 17-50 f2.8 and Nikon 35mm f1.8 DX together can be found cheaper than 600, especially if you looked used.
12-27-2016, 07:34 PM   #3
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The lens he needs to get depends on where he's sitting and also the sorts of productions he's photographing. My kids' dance recitals vary from soloists prancing and leaping across stage, requiring crops on the fly, to entire chorus lines that need wide entire-stage-inclusive shots one minute and concentration on a couple of main players the next.

No way in hell a prime can cover all that, though I gave it my best shot the last couple of times (and I was helped by the fact that some of the acts were repeated across the three days my kids were performing, so I could pick and choose with the FA135/2.8 and get distinct representative shots from multiple viewpoints on multiple occasions; a rare treat). He needs to take his superzoom along, bang off a bunch of shots regardless of quality, and see where his focal lengths are clustering, but a fast, light-gobbling aperture is essential for best results. Unless the stage is predictably well lit and the camera is a God of low-light AF and ISO north of anything film can sanely do, forget all about doing that with a lens that closes down to f/6.3 or even 5.6 at the long end; it just ain't happening.
12-27-2016, 08:13 PM   #4
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Dance and singing numbers two people to whole stage wide chorus lines. 17-50 f2.8 seems like the best option.

12-27-2016, 09:07 PM   #5
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I used Nikon s 17-55 a couple of weeks ago, no way I would but it at its price. Is 50 long enough? Last month I shot a belly dancing club and most of my shots were with the 70-200.
12-27-2016, 09:45 PM   #6
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Figure out what focal distance he's using a lot and buy either a Tamron 17-50, 28-75, or 70-20 f2.8 that covers that distance the best. The nice thing is that he's been using a superzoom so he shouldn't have been restricted out of a field of view he really wanted.
12-27-2016, 10:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Figure out what focal distance he's using a lot and buy either a Tamron 17-50, 28-75, or 70-20 f2.8 that covers that distance the best. The nice thing is that he's been using a superzoom so he shouldn't have been restricted out of a field of view he really wanted.
The problem is that he hasn't realized up to now that the lens is slower when it is long. So he has been standing as far back as possible which means that he has been using the lens longer than he might otherwise.
12-27-2016, 11:46 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
He is a scene mode or green mode shooter - he has no knowledge or understanding of the exposure triangle.
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
he doesn't get the value proposition and isn't interested in learning a lot.
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The problem is that he hasn't realized up to now that the lens is slower when it is long. So he has been standing as far back as possible which means that he has been using the lens longer than he might otherwise.
Whatever he "needs" it isn't going to be solved by more gear.
Also it sounds like he's using the wrong system - he should have something like a bridge camera for his purposes.
Set it to full auto and fire away.


Last edited by wildman; 12-28-2016 at 02:04 PM.
12-28-2016, 07:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Whatever he "needs" it isn't going to be solved by more gear.
Also it wounds like he's using the wrong system - he should have something like a bridge camera for his purposes.
Set it to full auto and fire away.
I semi-agree. I have taken the bull by the horns and set a few things on the camera so he gets better results by picking the mode - but it is difficult.

He was considering m43 but due to low light performance I suggested he stick with his current system and try a faster lens before jumping systems.
12-28-2016, 07:54 AM   #10
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Yeah, maybe education with the lens he has now would be better.
11-26-2019, 09:45 AM   #11
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Update:. My mother bought him the 17-50 f2.8 Tamron. He liked it but doesn't shoot it as much as he shoots as small Nikon compact cameras he picked up. Oh well leopard spots etc.
12-12-2019, 01:27 PM   #12
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A family member rocked a Canon EOS 650D with a Sigma 18-200mm. Because she didn't want to change lenses all the time. Thanks in part to my bad mouthing the superzoom and (more importantly) her generous husband, it has now been replaced with a Canon 24-105mm f/4 L. Way, way, way better. The focal length works out to something a little weird on crop frame but she is happy. She does have a Sigma 10-20mm to fill in the gap on the wide end and has been known to change lenses on occasion, hehehehe.

Incidentally, she also has the Canon fantastic plastic nifty fifty f/1.8 that gets very little use. The DOF is just too shallow, apparently...
12-22-2019, 05:07 PM   #13
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Tamron 35-150/2.8-4 may fit your needs
12-23-2019, 03:39 AM   #14
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Maybe the Sigma 50-150/2.8 fits the bill?
12-28-2019, 03:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
Maybe the Sigma 50-150/2.8 fits the bill?
I've used th Pentax mount of that lens, it was quite good but I still love the Pentax 50-135 more, however that's a great idea for his Nikon.
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