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Customer Discussions > Photography forum

What are some of the best all around lenses I can buy for less than $1,000.00?

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 11, 2012 11:52:43 AM PST

I'm interested in getting the best possible all around lenses I can buy for around $500.00-1000.00. Preferably I could prefer spending much less than a grand, but if a few extra bucks can make a difference then I don't mind investing :)

I'm interested in shooting mainly low light action photography like circus events, martial arts, street photography, and some landscapes.

I own a Nikon D7000.

Thanks in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 5:39:13 PM PST
®ichard says:
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX I use for sport, out portrait, street photography. I don't use it too much indoor at all. I just picked up this as my walk around lens Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D AF Zoom Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras. There is one used copy left at glazer camera in Seattle for 400. I think i got the better one which AF much better for some reason. I did an in store text verse the Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8, i just though the Nikon was sharper and af in low better. That store model maybe a bad copy as the other used nikkor 35-70mm. I also own 2 other tamron and it AF is tack on unlike the store model for some reason. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 you might consider too, just give it a 500 photos test before the return date. Sigma have AF issues more then normal. Nikkor f2.8 zoom are not in this price range.

Or you can go cheap with a bunch of prime lenses at 35mm 1.8 (DX), 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8. I say get a 50mm 1.4 for bokah.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 12:42:26 AM PST
S. Owens says:
Although it lists for a little more then the $1000 Sigma's 70-200mm f/2.8 HSM OS (and some other letters I'm leaving out) is a pretty good lens. As mentioned there are a lot of primes that can be had for less then that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 9:02:12 AM PST
EdM says:
As you are interested in low light particularly, I recommend these, which together are within your budget:
Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
and the
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Both are excellent in PQ, and the focal lengths work - short telephoto and normal. With a zoom in this range, you do give up some PQ, although the Nikon 35-70 f2.8 was at one time a preferred normal zoom.

I really like my Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens on DX, but that's outside your price range. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Some people like the Sigma 17-50mm lens, Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital DSLR Camera, for a f2.8 lens, which would be fine for some of your purposes, but would have little in telephoto. There's also the Sigma APO 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM for Nikon Mount which has some fans for a moderate telephoto zoom that would be useful for some of your purposes. 50-150 is a very nice range of 75-225 equivalent for DX cameras, so similar coverage to the usual 70-200 f2.8 zoom.

The Nikon 24-70 mm zoom range is equivalent to ~ 35-105mm, figuring the crop factor, and that lens of Nikon's is optically and otherwise excellent, but lacks VR. It is one of my favorites for DX ...

It looks like circus, martial arts and some street might like normal to medium telephoto focal length, but landscapes and some street would more likely be a normal to wide focal lengths. The best PQ is found with the better prime lenses, but good zooms are quite serviceable. It boils down to what compromise you want to make. It also relates to if you want to future-proof you decision [in case you later get a FX Nikon DSLR], and stick with normal Nikon lenses [not DX lenses] or not.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 6:34:42 AM PST
deb says:
I have the Nikon 18-200, great all around lens. It's great read Ken Rockwell lens reviews.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 9:30:21 PM PST
R. Colley says:
What recommendations do you have for the Canon T4i? Just purchased the Canon EF 70-200mm for more distance shooting, but would also like to start macro shooting. I have the kit lens which is okay for general pics as long as there is plenty of light. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2013 11:15:16 PM PST
"What recommendations do you have for the Canon T4i? .... would also like to start macro shooting."

- If you're on a budget, you can also look into 'extension tubes' which can be used to make your 70-200 focus closer. Be sure to get tubes with electrical contacts so you can control the lens' aperture.
- Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
- There are also a number of highly rated macro lenses available from Tamron, Sigma and Tokina which may save you a few bucks
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 11:45:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 4, 2013 11:49:30 AM PST
JCUKNZ says:
A relatively cheaper way and certainly very convienient is to get a close-up lens and use it with the 70-200 lens. The principle in using a CU lens is that the lens overcomes the inability of a long lens to focus close and while you don't get in really close you get the 'tight framing' from using the zoom. I normally use a two dioptre with the 430mm or 280mm end of my zooms [ depending on which camera I am using].

I have both extension tubes and bellows but find it more convienient to add a 2 dioptre CU lens and this combo gets me almost all the tight framed shots I want. In view of the problems in using extension tubes I would prefer to crop mildly from less magnification in the camera than to mess with ETs for the exact tight framing.

A macro lens is even more convienient within its limitations but of course it costs. I have yet to justify the purchase of a macro lens :-)

One small niggle I will answer here ... for a given framing of the subject you have the same depth of field irrespective as to if you use a wide or long focus lens/zoom though of course there is a perspective difference. You have very little DoF when you come in close and the only way to achieve more is by using a small aperture or the focus stacking technique.

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 8:38:03 PM PDT
I appreciate all the replies and sorry for just getting back.
I needed to "go out and shoot" to really understand where I want to be.

I've been shooting with the 18-110 kit lens and realized they were too slow for low light fast action and my 50mm (or 75mm on a DX body) f1.8 prime lens are too large to capture the whole scene. I need to shoot at least 18mm mainly, I find myself being a few feet away from the action and trying to capture the whole scene is hard. I think theTokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX Digital Lens - Nikon will come in handy when shooting martial arts but I just wish it had a larger zoom range to make it an "everyday lens".

I came across Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP XR Di II VC (Vibration Compensation) Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital DSLR Camera


Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens for Nikon Mount Digital SLR Cameras

Has anyone had any issues with Tamron? The price is lower but so are the reviews. For the last two Sigmas I was wondering one is Macro and the other says Large Aperture, sorry for the rudimentary question, but will it make a difference?

Thanks again.

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 9:37:05 PM PDT
S. Owens says:
The "macro" in the 17-70 is just talking about how close the lens can focus on a subject. I own the Canon version and it will focus to a point almost inside the lens hood when zoomed to 70mm. I've seen the magnification listed as x.34 where most "true" macro lenses would be x.5 or x1 at best. A thing to remember about the 17-70 is that it is only 2.8 at the wide end and at about 50mm is down to f4 so it isn't as fast or constant as the 17-50.
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Dec 11, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 17, 2013

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