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Recommend 3 must have DSLR lenses.

What 3 DSLR lenses would you recommend as must haves?
Try to avoid the real high end full frame pro gear.
I'm thinking more of an every man situation.

Just the focal lengths will do and maybe a blurb why you would choose that lens.

This is a really basic question for the guy who is just getting started and just wants to know.
 
For cannon i used to have the 2.8 40mm EF pancake which had great sharp image quality from F4, 40mm is a great all rounder really and because it is small people tend not to be scared of it so its great street lens to.


I almost forgot its non zoom, that's the only one i can recommend since i had all pro gear (L Lenses)
 
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50mm prime - awesome for almost any application, 100mm for portraiture and a 100-400mm for just about anything else. I've got a 50mm prime but have been eyeing off a 100mm. Would love a 100-400 but couldn't justify the expense for what is one of many hobbies :biggrin1:
 
Depends on what you want to shoot. If you don't have a full frame camera, off hand, I'd say a wide prime (24mm or wider), a 50mm prime, then maybe a longer zoom. That would get you almost every situation you needed. If you wanted to do a lot of portraiture, a 100mm prime would be a better choice possibly.
 
What do you shoot and what brand do you shoot? That way we can recommend specific lenses. I would defintely recommend a walk-around lens, a fast prime, and either a telephoto or macro lens.
 
I'm just looking for a basic kit that would suffice for any shooting opportunity.
I've got an 18-200 for most applications (the better Nikkor lens, not the kit one) and a 50mm which I use for taking pictures of the kids.
The 18-200 is a heavy bit of lens though and a beast to lug around.

I was just wondering what guys would say is a good basic setup to cover all the bases.

Perhaps that's not such an easy question to answer?
 
Perhaps that's not such an easy question to answer?

GAD (glass acquisition disorder) is probably more rampant than RAD and I would guess somewhat more expensive. Just to give you a silly example- I have 3 Nikon 50mm lenses :out: as well as another to fit my Hasselbald (but that is another story entirely).

Strange that you say that the 18-200 is a beast to carry about because that is the type of lens which most people consider to be a walkabout "do everything" type of lens.
The two lenses which you have would seem to cover most needs without addition.

Once you know more about what you enjoy shooting you may want to specialize more: Macro, Landscape, Portrait, Street etc
 
GAD (glass acquisition disorder) is probably more rampant than RAD and I would guess somewhat more expensive. Just to give you a silly example- I have 3 Nikon 50mm lenses :out: as well as another to fit my Hasselbald (but that is another story entirely).

Strange that you say that the 18-200 is a beast to carry about because that is the type of lens which most people consider to be a walkabout "do everything" type of lens.
The two lenses which you have would seem to cover most needs without addition.

Once you know more about what you enjoy shooting you may want to specialize more: Macro, Landscape, Portrait, Street etc

Wait, you mean they get heavier than that?! Im used to carrying around a point and shoot.
A macro lens is what I'd want next. Maybe. Probably.
 
Wait, you mean they get heavier than that?! Im used to carrying around a point and shoot.
A macro lens is what I'd want next. Maybe. Probably.

Man, they get a lot heavier than that... but then you are moving into the Pro type of lens.

I've been shooting Nikon gear for a long time and if I were to start again now for a 3-lens set, I would be tempted to get a 24 or 28mm Prime, a 50mm Prime and a 105mm Macro lens.

Older Macro lenses should mount without a problem on your camera although they likely won't meter. It is easy enough to take a shot or two to get the exposure right and you will have a sharp lens for not too much money.
 
Wait, you mean they get heavier than that?! Im used to carrying around a point and shoot.
A macro lens is what I'd want next. Maybe. Probably.

I have misread your post sorry about that to reply to this, yes they get very heavy when i had my Canon 60D with 70-200 F4 IS with battery grip where talking approx 1.2KG or over on the camera and that's not included what could be in your camera bag. This isnt considered a heavy setup.
 
Marc, it seems like you have some good lenses there, already. I am quite new at photography, but I find the older Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 manual lens one of the best I have used. 99% of my SOTD pics are with this lens.
I also have an older Nikkor 200mm f/1.4 macro lens that is great also, but I still don't have a tripod and this thing is really heavy to hold steady with just my arms!
 
Basic 3 lens kit, I would say either the kit 18-55 or 28-70 short zoom, 50 f/1.8 prime and 70-300. The 18-55 is the DX version and the 28-70 is the FX or 35mm film version. These three will cover most all scenarios and do it well. The cheap Nikon (I don't believe they branded this one Nikkor) 28-70 plastic mount zoom is actually a very handy lens, its plenty sharp, its ridiculously light and goes for $20-30. It actually performed way beyong its price point optically, but it does have a plastic bayonet mount. It will not work on D3xxx, D5xxx cameras due to the old screw type auto focus, and I don't know about the D7xxx series, but its truely a bargain of a lens.

And yes, lenses get very heavy! My Tamron 28-105 2.8 is well into two pounds by itself, paired up with the heavy D200 it is in the weight class of MF slr's! My old 200-500 f/4 was even heavier!


-Xander
 
In the order of importance (i.e. you can drop the last ones if you feel you must). I am a prime lens person so no zoom recommendations will come from me



A short/normal FAST prime. 35mm / 1.4

I find that a 50 is just a tad to long for most indoor spontaneous shooting. A 28 is too wide as it starts to bring in distortion on the edges from the wider angle. 35mm f1.4 has been my prime/normal for over 40 years. Now I do have a 28 and a 50 also... just saying...

A table top / portrait lens of around 100-135mm:

Does not need to be screaming fast as I use strobe lighting table top. I use a 105mm 2.8 macro for table top and a standard 105mm f2.5 for portraiture. A 100-135mm will allow you to get that "near/far" relationship of sharp focus subject and slightly blurred background so important in portraits.

A longer close focus for table top: 200mm F4 macro:

is what I use for smaller table top subjects. This allows me to stay back from the lighting and get more "near/far" focus/blur on a subject. Is too long for most portraiture as it flattens a tad too much. I have used it under special lighting to get better head shots than I could with a shorter lens so it is one that I could not part with. Also have a normal focus 200mm for general long shooting.

A wide angle 20-24mm for tight inside shooting.

There are some circumstances where you need to go WIDE to get in all you want and for special effects.



Those would be my "must have" prime (non zoom) lens choices. Bare minimum.

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For APS-C sensors, divide by 1.5.

And zooms have come a long way. Nowadays I would not hesitate to carry around a zoom. Edge and center sharpness are good, and they are reasonably fast.

In the film days, they were just mediocre or outright bad.
 
If you are looking for an all purpose walking around lens you might want to look at the Tamron 18-270 with VC. They are available on amazon for $399. This lens will allow you to take wider shots and the ability to zoom into things at a distance and it has vibration control built in for when you are walking around.
 
You need.............................................

The 35mm equivalent of......................................


A 28mm (or wider)

A 50mm

A ~90mm,


And maybe a macro.




Of course all this is BS....,


Because all you really need is a camera, a lens, and a good eye. But IMO, those are the three lenses you can make a "kit" out of, that will serve for 90% of situations.
 
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