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Just got first DSLR - kit lens vs 50mm prime for landscapes?

Just got first DSLR - kit lens vs 50mm prime for landscapes?

Old Jul 25, 19, 9:38 am
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Just got first DSLR - kit lens vs 50mm prime for landscapes?

Hi all,
Just purchased my first pro camera a Nikon D3500 DSLR and liking it so far.I have an upcoming trip to Hong Kong (be my 2nd time there to say Im excited is an understatement!) end of next month and am hoping I can get in enough practice between now and then.Question is is the 18 55mm kit lens supplied with the camera good enough for capturing landscapes and architecture or should I be upgrading? Have done some research and most seem to recommend a 50mm 1.8 prime lens, but this seems prohibitively expensive for what it is. As a beginner would I be likely to notice the difference between shots taken with this and the kit lens? Appreciate there are budget versions of these to be had but they seem to attract a lot of negative attention so not sure about this?Any advice is the kit lens good enough? If not, and someone gives me good justification then Ill happily spend the cash to upgrade.

Thanks,


R
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Old Jul 25, 19, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by rmac86 View Post
Hi all,
Just purchased my first “pro” camera – a Nikon D3500 DSLR and liking it so far.I have an upcoming trip to Hong Kong (be my 2nd time there – to say I’m excited is an understatement!) end of next month and am hoping I can get in enough practice between now and then.Question is – is the 18 – 55mm kit lens supplied with the camera good enough for capturing landscapes and architecture or should I be upgrading? Have done some research and most seem to recommend a 50mm 1.8 prime lens, but this seems prohibitively expensive for what it is. As a beginner would I be likely to notice the difference between shots taken with this and the kit lens? Appreciate there are budget versions of these to be had but they seem to attract a lot of negative attention so not sure about this?Any advice – is the kit lens good enough? If not, and someone gives me good justification then I’ll happily spend the cash to upgrade.

Thanks,


R
Congrats on your new toy, the color richness and detail you'll get even with the consumer lens will outshine your smart phone. I have to admit I use my iPhone for 99% of my vacation but for special occasions haul out my D5/Df/D810 and an assortment of lens.

The 18-55 is a screaming value, but limited zoom range and slow. You might find you wished wider, even your phone likely has wider wide. A lens to consider better than the 18-55 would be the 16-85 it is more expensive than the 50 1.8.

IQ and speed is why people go primes. A 50 1.8 is the ability to shot at 1.8 wide open and get shallow depth of focus ( blurred background ) that the 18-55 won't achieve. BTW make sure you understand the prospective of 50mm, it isn't very wide at all. if you want a "standard" prime, on DX that is the 35 1.8 ( DX version, NOT the FX version which is much more expensive ).

Unless you blow up, shoot very low light and need fast shutter speed you wont' get much more with the prime.

BTW if you guy a new lens buy USED, CL/Ebay are easy place to buy far cheaper than new. You can get the consumer zooms for dirt cheap and primes for 70% off new at a minimum
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Old Jul 25, 19, 1:59 pm
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I agree with the above. For a crop DSLR, the 50 mm f/1.8 is not very useful unless you have need of a short telephoto, say for portraits and other "people" shots.

I'd suggest just learning your new camera well with the stock equipment. After you understand your gear, you might want to buy some new additions. For landscapes, I'd consider something wider and sharper than the kit lens. The suggested 16-85 mm would be a great choice if it is in the budget but I think it would be a waste until you have learned your camera. Many very nice travel photos have been made with kit lenses.

All of that said, if you anticipate trying to shoot indoor images without flash, say of temples, cathedrals or museums, then that fast prime would come in very handy.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 3:07 pm
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at this stage, technique is going to mean everything, and the equipment almost nothing.
besides the fact that a zoom would be wayy more versatile in allowing different composition.
the zoom allows you to practice and visualize different shots
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:53 am
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Agree with what others have said. For a DX camera, the 50mm is not going to be very useful for landscapes...you'll want much wider. The 18-55 is an average lens and you should get some decent photos out of it. Another suggestion would be the 10-20mm DX lens, paired with the kit lens. It will let you go much wider and is not that expensive. You might also consider an all-in-one, like the 18-200 or 18-300. That would give you maximum flexibility without the need to change lenses.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:57 am
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I would agree with all of the above. While learning how to effectively use the camera - shutter speeds, aperture, ISO, etc, to creatively control depth of field, blur, etc., - is vital, it's also true to better equipment will yield better results - they aren't mutually exclusive.

50mm isn't a very good landscape lens. While I have one in my bag, I very rarely use it. My 10-22 and 24-105 are by far my most used lenses for landscapes. 18 should be fine to get started - and the 55 will let you feel how wide it actually is. I'm not as familiar with the Nikon lens lineup, but I'm sure they have something in the 15-20 to 60-90 zoom range that would probably be the best option.

While primes do have an advantage at the extreme in image quality, the flexibility of zooms more than trumps that advantage to me. Unless you're in a studio, or another situation with known parameters, I'd say zooms is the way to go.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 2:59 am
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Primes are usually way better in terms of IQ and speed than zooms - or a comparable zoom lens is just astronomical (think fixed f2,8 zoom lenses or faster...)

Having said that, a 55mm lens is just not a landscape lens. Walk around with your kit 18-55 at its longest and see for yourself what a 55mm is on your camera.

I have the above mentioned Nikkor 16-85 lens - excellent upgrade for an all round travel objective. Better IQ than the kit, wider range at both ends and IIRC also a bit faster. I often use a Tamron 11-16mm f2,8 wide zoom as well - a very, very good lens, and a heaven sent for landscapes.

Sometimes I challenge myself and go around with just a 35mm or 50mm (both f1,8) to look at things differently. The IQ is great and you can do handheld where slower lenses would require either a flash or tripod. Or even go about with a just a 10mm fisheye - now that's a fun challenge!
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Old Aug 24, 19, 4:54 pm
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One more voice to say you dont need the 50mm for landscape and architecture, especially given the fact that your kit lens is 18-55mm. Save the cash for a longer zoom in the future. To get panorama shot without the proper wide angle lens is NOT a problem. Simply shoot multiple shots (vertical) and stitch them together in post. I know, this requires that you have some skill (very simple) and proper software..
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Old Oct 6, 19, 8:46 pm
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Your kit lens would be great! For landscapes go as short as you can (18mm) in your case. For landscapes your aperture doesn't need to be wide open (unless it's pretty dark).

Don't get the 50mm for landscapes! 50mm on your crop sensor is equivalent to a 75mm which is great for portraits!
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:26 pm
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I don't know the Nikon lineup at all but I'd try to find a 24mm prime. On your body that's equivalent to 35mm. IMO, that's the perfect all-purpose focal length. You can cover landscapes, urban/street, portraits and much more.

I use Canon and I learn the most about technique when I carry nothing but my prime. Plus it makes for a lighter kit.
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