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Will Elliott
(elliott.will) - F

Locale: Juneau, AK
make my DLSR mountain-ready! on 08/23/2010 01:20:18 MDT Print View

Hi all.

Nikon D60 with the stock 18-55 lens. I'd like to put on a lens suited to climbing and mountaineering— to me, that means wide angle, physically compact, and economical (both because I'm a poor student, and because eventually everything gets trashed in the mountains anyway).

Already have a cheap polarizing filter and Lowe case for it.

If these constraints seem reasonable, what would you recommend?

Thanks!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: make my DLSR mountain-ready! on 08/23/2010 02:02:00 MDT Print View

You probably need to travel with a single zoom lens, maybe about 18-200mm. That lens might fit into your existing Lowepro case. Although the 200mm would be a little on the short side for wildlife, it would be a good general purpose lens. Also, you might want to fit in some extra bits of padding into the case to help keep the camera intact.

I hope that your cheap polarizing filter is circularly polarized, which is appropriate for the autofocus system of a digital camera.

--B.G.--

Ben P
(benp1) - F

Locale: London
18-200 on 08/23/2010 02:52:04 MDT Print View

I have one and I like it a lot. Beware that its jack of all trades and master of none, but if you know that then you'll know what to expect

If I go walking with my SLR then it tends to be what I take as I then only need one lens. Its 613g on my scales, think thats about 22oz in old money!

Will Elliott
(elliott.will) - F

Locale: Juneau, AK
shorter on 08/23/2010 11:02:01 MDT Print View

Hi all,

Thanks for the helpful replies. I'm actually looking for something physically smaller than the current 18 to 50, w/o sacrificing much wide angle view. I almost never use my current lens zoomed in, and often need the width for fitting my partner into the frame while we're both sharing a tight spot:

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Wide angle lenses on DSLR's on 08/24/2010 10:24:37 MDT Print View

I've looked into this issue pretty extensively when I had my D5000. If you want a lens smaller / lighter than the kit lens, while being as wide or wider, your only option is a fisheye prime, which is very much a one-trick pony and not really suitable for landscape or regular people photography.
Unfortunately the flange distance on DSLR's means that wideangle lenses are inherently bulky and usually heavy. The lightest reasonable UWA I could find was the Sigma 10-20mm, which is much heavier than the kit lens. Kit lens was the lightest zoom I could find. Potentially you could just take the 35mm f1.8 DX prime lens and save some weight, but you won't get your WA shots unless you stitch panoramas.

Because of this issue, I've moved to micro-four-thirds (Panasonic GH1) which has a very short flange distance and much smaller/lighter lenses, especially WA and UWA.

Edited by dasbin on 08/24/2010 10:26:20 MDT.

Michael Neal
(michaeltn2) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
7-14 on 08/24/2010 11:02:59 MDT Print View

Got to love the Panasonic 7-14mm lens for panoramas.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: Swiss Alps / Southern Appalachians
Re: Wide angle lenses on DSLR's on 08/24/2010 14:12:49 MDT Print View

I was thinking along the same lines as Bradley. I recently purchased a Sigma 10-20 wide angle zoom and it is much heavier and bulkier than the 18-55 Canon kit lens. If light weight is the primary concern a prime lens is probably your best bet, but if wide-angle landscape photography is primary it would probably best to carry the extra ounces of the wide-angle zoom.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Wide angle lenses on DSLR's on 08/24/2010 14:19:26 MDT Print View

I have that Sigma lens, and it is fine for wide angle work. However, I go after wildlife primarily, so the Sigma lens often sits at home or locked up in the trunk of my car.

--B.G.--

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Wide angle lenses on DSLR's on 08/25/2010 10:10:29 MDT Print View

I have the Canon 10-22mm lens for their crop-sensor bodies, and while it's a little larger than the kit lens, it's not heavy at all. (Well, "not heavy" to a photographer -- that's different from "not heavy" to a UL Backpacker.)

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
small and light on 09/01/2010 11:30:12 MDT Print View

I have a Nikon D700 which is large and heavy. I researched for something lighter and looked at the D5000 or D90 with a Voigtlander 20mm f3.5 for hiking use. Expensive, still large and somewhat heavy. I like the field of view of a 28mm so I decided to purchase a Sigma DP-1s for a small light hiking camera. I don't think you will find anything smaller wider or lighter for a APS-C Nikon body then what you currently have.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: small and light on 09/01/2010 15:26:03 MDT Print View

The Sony Alpha Nex with one of the e-mount 18-55mm lenses might be a good bet. ;)

I have one with a 16mm pancake lens, and so far I'm pleased -- I'll hopefully get to post some images I shot with it over the weekend soon.

Joshua Gray
(coastalhiker) - MLife
Tokina 11-16mm on 09/02/2010 14:49:28 MDT Print View

It is not physically smaller, but if you are looking to take wide angle pics with a Nikon dx camera like the D40, then this is your lens. I believe this is the widest you can go on DX without going to fisheye (or paying $1000 for the Nikon 10-24mm).

Oh and it is $600 new and can sometimes find it used for about $500. Hope this helps.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Tokina 11-16mm on 09/02/2010 15:03:07 MDT Print View

I'd forgotten about this one. I used a similar one, the Tokina 12-24 for the better part of a year... until it got stolen :(

All in all, I liked it quite a bit; it's sharp and renders good contrast and color, and it's pretty lightweight. It survived some drizzly weather without any problems, though it usually traveled in my pack where it stayed dry, and I let my macro lens ride in the rain (the macro lens is weather sealed).

Tokina makes good lenses.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
make my DLSR mountain-ready! on 09/02/2010 15:45:11 MDT Print View

I was a bit of a fan of Tokina particularly when they had the ATX series. At that time they made some lenses for Minolta as well as Rollei .
Originally started by some ex-Nikon engineers (hence the somewhat similar approach to colour and contrast as Nikon) now part of the Pentax group, the HOYA Corporation, the glass supplier to Tokina from the start
Franco

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: make my DLSR mountain-ready! on 09/02/2010 15:55:25 MDT Print View

Franco, who supplies glass for the big white Canon lenses?

--B.G.--

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Sigma 8-16 on 09/02/2010 16:20:40 MDT Print View

The Sigma 8-16mm is the current widest angle, non-fisheye, lens you get for the D60. It relatively small for such a lens BUT it is not lightweight.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1330/cat/31

I have the Tokina 11-16 and it is a great cityscape/architectural lens but it has really "flat" magnification ratio of 1/11.6 and I would not recommend it for people pics in a landscape. The Nikkor 10-24mm is the undisputed champ for this kind of shot.

If landscape shots are your main objective I would get the 35mm F1.8 and turn the camera vertically to make stitched hi-rez panoramas in post processing.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
make my DLSR mountain-ready on 09/02/2010 16:55:31 MDT Print View

Canon make their own lenses and have for a long time although the first commercially available cameras had a Nikon lens on them...
As for the glass I think that most if not all comes from Hoya.
When I worked for the retail side of the Canon importers in NZ, we were told of how Canon "grew" their own fluorite glass elements but I seem to remember Hoya as the glass supplier.
BTW, then (about 30 years ago) "L" stood for Luxury. Because of changed taste , now probably stand for something else.
Same for Olympus when OM meant Olympus Maitani later changed to Olympus Masterpiece.
BTW all too often Japanese as well as Korean manufacturers will cover up their sources, sometime even executives working for the company do not know where the parts come from.
There is a lot of cross manufacturing between rivals too. That is , they compete at a public level but supply each other .

Franco

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
lens glass on 09/02/2010 17:46:29 MDT Print View

Both Canon and Nikon have worldclass optical glass-making subsidaries to source their lenses from. But IF they did outsource, I suspect it would be from Ohara, especially since Hoya now owns Pentax!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: lens glass on 09/02/2010 17:51:42 MDT Print View

Ohara?

Who is that?

--B.G.--

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
glass sources on 09/02/2010 18:12:39 MDT Print View

http://oharacorp.com/

Hoya produces common optical glass of lower Abbe rating and/or smaller sizes than required by most dslr lenses. But if you want to make a filter or eyeglasses they are your go-to source.

Schott, Ohara, Canon Optron, and Russia's LZOS, are generally considered the world leaders in highend optical glass. However, China's CDGM is now quickly moving into this league. They have already surpassed Hoya as the world's largest producer of common optical glass.