This is probably the first in a series of posts about what I dream of buying if only I had a lot more spare cash. First up – a wide angle zoom.
I currently have a Nikon D80 and a Nikon FE, two very different cameras which therefore would have an impact on what I would buy. The D80 while still competent is ageing and will be the probably be the target of my second post in this series and therefore this needs to be considered here. The D80 is not full frame and has a 1.5 crop factor i.e. a 50mm lens will actually be the equivalent of a 75mm lens. What the D80 does have going for it is that is has an internal motor to focus any lenses which do not have motors themselves. My Nikon FE is a manual focus film camera, I have no desire at all to replace this as I love it. The only limitation (which is a problem with the lenses rather than the camera) is that any lenses you use must have an aperture ring so ‘G’ lenses are out.
My current wide zoom is the Nikon 18-55 VR DX. In many ways this is a great lens, it is small, light, takes small 52mm filters, focuses really closely and has vibration reduction. For the price it is unbeatable.
But for me it also has significant disadvantages – it is relatively slow (f3.5-f5.6), it is made of plastic, and most importantly because it is a type G lens (i.e. it has no aperture ring) it won’t work on my Nikon FE.
What I would want from a wide zoom is:
- Would work on my D80 and my FE therefore must have an aperture ring.
- Would not be a DX lens. I don’t have a full frame DSLR at the moment but one day I hope that will change.
- Would be fast, e.g. have a constant maximum aperture of f2.8.
- Would be built like a tank – I want lenses that will last a lifetime.
- Doesn’t need to be “ultra wide”, if I ever need something really wide then the best choice is to get a specialist lens.
- Doesn’t need to be particularly long since I have a good 50mm lens and a good 100mm lens, I rarely need anything longer than these.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions or have used either of these two lenses as you never know, I may win the lottery tonight.