nikon’s inexpensive lens options

my roomate is taking a field trip to the Dominican Republic soon and was looking for an inexpensive lens to take with him.  keep in mind that he’s not a super PRO or anything, he’s just wanting to take advantage of getting some cool pics on vacation. 

he’s kinda light on the lens dept so besides the Nikon 18-70mm and the Nikon 70-300mm he doesnt have much else.  although the kit lens (18-70mm) for the D70 is a great lens, he was interested in perhaps a fixed focal length lens with a wider aperture.  the problem is he’s only in the ‘under $250’ range if not cheaper. 

he loves my Sigma 15mm f2.8 wide angle, but the price range on that runs about $300-$500 on eBay and even more elsewhere.  I got the 15mm off eBay for about $200-220ish.  Got lucky.  Goes to show that you have to keep your eyes open for good bargains.  Anyways, the 15mm was out of his range.

Since he’s more of the landscape kinda photographer,  I figured I’d make some suggestions and provide some examples of some different lenses.  For someone who is still in the learning curve or a person that has started working with the PSAM modes, these might be good stepping stone lens suggestions.   if you’re pro – then obviously you’d have the money for the best stuff, so no criticizing on my suggestions…  here’s a few I had mentioned:

Nikkor 50mm f1.8

This is a great lens.  I own this lens and love it.  Some of the sharpest photos I’ve ever taken have come from using this lens.  Its perfect for low light situations, portraits, and just about anything.  The best part is how inexpensive it is!  For practically a hundred bucks you can own this fantastic little lens.  I would have to say that it should be mandatory that a Nikon owner should have this little prize tucked away in their ammo bag.

Here was some examples on Flikr that I provided to him to review:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikkor50mm18/

Another lens I suggested was the Sigma 24mm f2.8.  I don’t own this lens but for the price and wider aperture, it wasn’t too bad.  I found one on eBay that sold off for $100.00 total.  It kept him under his $250 or under budget and it was faster than any lens that he currently owned.  Also, this would be a great lens to have for reverse macro work.  Two purposes in one.  I don’t think you can beat that.

Here was examples I found at Flikr for the 24mm:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/24mm/

Nikkor 20mm f2.8 is another lens I don’t own but heard nice things about.  I dug around and watched one on eBay sell off for about $250.  This also met the $250 or under budget and was still good at the wide end for landscapes.  Plus it’s a fixed lens and it’s aperture is still faster than anything he owned.  Lastly this would also be great for reverse macro work too.

Here are more examples from Flikr for the 20mm f2.8:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikon20mmf28/

So there were my immediate suggestions.  I’m not sure what he’ll end up with but I’m sure whatever he goes with he’ll be happy with.

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