Lens recommendations for Nikon D850

This is a discussion on Lens recommendations for Nikon D850 within the Digital Cameras, Lenses & Accessories forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; Iíve been an amateur Nikon user for some time and now use a D850 as my primary camera. I know the basics, trying to improve ...


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  • 1 Post By William Arthur Photography

Thread: Lens recommendations for Nikon D850

  1. #1
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    Lens recommendations for Nikon D850

    Iíve been an amateur Nikon user for some time and now use a D850 as my primary camera. I know the basics, trying to improve on my creativity and my interests revolve around shooting landscapes, city scapes, experimenting with light trails and now have much interest in macro but Iím brand new to it. When I travel overseas for work, I usually take the camera body along with one lens and maybe a mini tripod but thatís all I can carry.

    I listed below the lenses that Iíve picked up new over the years and how I use each. I want to maximize the versatility and resolution of the D850 with the best lenses for each type of shooting but I feel that I might have redundancy/overlap in some areas and not enough in others if that makes any sense.

    Nikon 20mm f/1.8G AF-S Ė landscapes, cityscapes, light trails all on tripod
    Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S ED Ė landscapes, cityscapes on tripod
    Nikon 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Ė Only used for macro
    Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Ė Landscapes, cityscapes, light trails on tripod
    Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD Ė brand new, was a gift, never opened box or used
    Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-VR Ė used for everything at some point. Kit lens that came with my D610
    Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR Ė used for hiking, general all around

    Iím wondering if I could get some opinions about lenses that you would obviously drop off the list due to redundancy. For example, I own the 16-35 and 17-35 lenses which is probably a big waste but I'm not sure if holding onto the Nikon is worth it! Iím also wondering if a 70-200 f/4 would be a good replacement for a few current lenses to be used for tighter landscape and city scape shooting on a tripod?

    Just wanted some expert opinions.


  • #2
    Senior Member
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    This is a hard one. It has a lot to do with your personality and how you shoot. Sometimes when I get in the mood to shoot a lot with my prime I may use a 35mm prime(which is one of my sharpest lenses) and just use my feet to adjust rather than using a zoom lens. Or some people may like the versatility of using a zoom lens and not having to walk or swap lenses.

    If this was my personal bag here is what I would grab to keep it light:

    20mm 1.8 - Nice and light really wide perspective on a landscape and with 1.8 most likely it's on the sharper side
    35mm 1.8 - Nice for tighter landscapes and you can put a person in frame and it doesn't look as stretched as the 20
    105mm 2.8 - You never know when you need a macro and these can be really cool portrait lenses from time to time

    Here is the hard one
    Tamron 17-35 - unbox it. test it. I'm not up on Tamron but I love me some sigmas and they are sometimes better than some of the really high end nikors when it comes to sharpness. If it is better than your 20 and your 35 as far as sharpness I say leave the 20 and 35 home and just have the Tamron. 2.8 is going to be wide enough open on your f-stops with the 850. At night with a tripod you can get into the 3200 iso or 6400 easy without a huge amount of noise(you'll have to correct some in post). The 1.8 is nice if you are hand holding in a room but if you are bringing a tripod who cares just slow down the shutter and you will get similar effects.

    The 16-35 I would leave at home. You are covered with sharper primes. Unless you really crave the extra stretch you get from 16 to 20
    The other 2 I would personally leave home. I'm not a huge fan variable f stop lenses. They tend to be on the soft side of sharpness and I don't like that the f stop isn't consistent throughout the zoom.
    Your 105mm will let you get out there with some distance and with the size of the sensor on the d850 you can crop in like crazy if you need more zoom out of it.
    I wouldn't spend the money on the 70-200 f/4. I would either go buy a 24-70 f2.8 if you need the flexibility or the 70-200 f2.8 if you need the distance more. Both of these are super sharp and you can generally shoot more into the sun than the other variable zooms.

    Keep in mind I'm more of a shooter than likes to see things wide and not up close. So if I were doing landscapes I want to see the two mountains with the river in the middle and a huge sky. If you are more of the I want to see the tiny town by the river up close then pack those high mm's as well.


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