Ah…the lens. I’m so glad so many of you asked which on I got! I’m always hesitant to write about camera stuff because (a) You’ll be bored to death and (b) You’ll see how little I know because I don’t use the right vocabulary and I overuse the word “pretty”. But you asked!

I used the lens that came on my D80 for 2 years. It was FINE. Don’t feel like you have a bunch of different lenses. But, eventually, you’ll probably want more. And if you do? Research. Research. Research. The first lens I got was from my brother and Dad for Christmas. It is a 10-200mm Nikon VR lens and I love it dearly. I had been wanting it every since I read the Ken Rockwell review. (Sidenote? Ken Rockwell gives great, down-to-earth, low-tech reviews.) I had not taken it off my camera since. And it will always be the lens I leave on my camera when I’m not sure what I’ll be photographing. It does everything great and since it is a VR lens, it forgives my shakiness. And since there’s no way I could have bought it myself, I’m glad my brother and Dad got it for me this Christmas.

Now, I had also been wanting a smaller lens for awhile. Ideally I wanted one that would work well in low light and for portraits since I take a million of my kids. Whenever I’m researching gear, I do two things first: I check with Ken (he reviews EVERYTHING) and flickr. If you do a search on whatever you’re thinking of buying, you’ll find photos using that piece of equipment. That way you can see what it’s capable above FOR REAL. Finally, I look up the item on Amazon and read the reviews. It’s important to read the reviews because sometimes the most common complaint is something you may not care about. Or, maybe it’s the most important factor for you.

When I was researching a decent portrait lens, P-Dub did her equipment entry. I had been looking at this lens for awhile and seeing her mention it? Sold me. I just had to wait on the money, which isn’t too bad at $130. So, I bought it last week and used it this weekend.

I’m thrilled with this lens. Whenever you see SOOC on any of my flickr photos it means it is exactly how it came from my camera. (Straight Out Of Camera.) No cropping, no editing, nothing. I like to draw attention to that either in the name or in the tags of a photo when it’s a photo I feel really represents my camera and the lens. I took dozens of those type of photos this weekend. What is fantastic about this lens? Is it works well in low light. So I don’t have to drag my heavy flash everywhere. This lens does just what I want: Takes good indoor pictures of my kids. Now, I’ll still keep the 18-200mm lens on the camera for everyday use. The 50mm forces you to move around a lot to get what you want in the shot. I wouldn’t want to do that all the time. But it’s nice to know when my goal is low-light portrait shots of my kids? Or even simple macro shots? I’ve got an alternative lens that that weighs less than the 18-200mm.

Here are some SOOC shots from this weekend. All of these shots would have needed a flash with either of my other lenses.


This one large is AWESOME. That focus is on the tiniest tip of the lily.

Look, Ma! No flash!





20 thoughts on “Pretty!”

  1. Thank you for posting this. I’m itching for a new lens. I want a wide angle and one that shoots well in low light, but a macro has been calling my name.

    Your details and photos were fabulous. I will comment on the photos on flickr.

  2. Looks like the lens is working fabulously, but is it so bad that what I’m really jealous of is the Yuengling? Salt Lake doesn’t know what its missing…

  3. I love the photos! I always tell people to invest more in lenses than camera bodies because companies release new bodies a lot more frequently than lenses. And Ken Rockwell is the bombdotcom. I bought my first dSLR based on his reviews.

  4. I LOVE LOVE my 50mm f/1.4. It’s my favorite. And then I had to go and drop it while it was still on my brand new, not-even-24hrs-old Nikon D300. As in, I dropped the camera. The lens broke. And then I had a heart attack and died. But I’m glad you’re enjoying yours!

  5. I like hearing about your pretty camera stuff. I hope to get a digital SLR one of these days (when the kids are a little older so I have time to read up a little on how to use it…the photography class I took in college was a long time and a lot of beers ago).

  6. I bought the 50mm and never took it off my camera. I love that lens and tell everyone I know to get it too. Sadly, I had to sell my camera just recently. But as soon as I can afford to get a new one you better bet that will be the first lens I buy. Great for low light and wonderful bokeh.

  7. I have a D60 and I, too, am planning that lens for my next purchase. Does your camera autofocus with that lens? I have learned that mine, unfortunately, will not.

  8. I am an awful photographer and i have a no frills camera what do you suggest as a software to edit my pics?

  9. When I got my D90 for Christmas, I ordered that exact lens days later with the rest of my Christmas money (Hub told his fam to give me money and gift certificates, as he knew I’d be wanting to buy camera accessories, god love him). I also love it. It makes me feel like I can really take pictures.

    And I love love love reading about camera stuff. So keep writing about it.

    Finally, posting a pic of a Yuengling first? Makes me want to kiss you on the mouth. And not merely because I’m four Yuenglings in myself already tonight. (Although that did make me have to try three times to spell it correctly.)

  10. The beer bottle and second shot – wow, what a great DOF! I want that lens so bad! But I’m unemployed, so I try to keep my “unnecessary” binge items to less than $30. (Though, based on these shots, I’m thinking the lens may not be so “unnecessary” after all…).

  11. Thanks for this, I got a D60 earlier this year and am interested in learning more about what to do with it. Rockwell’s site is an excellent resource. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Awesome pictures! Sometimes I wish I had bought a DSLR when I bought a new camera at the first of the year so that I could get different lenses.

    My camera does have different settings that I can use. I just need to make myself read the manual!

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