Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Best lenses to go with Nikon D800

phil99 11 45 6 United Kingdom
15 Oct 2012 4:50PM
Thinking of upgrading my D300 which I have had since they first came out for Nikon D800 .What lens would you get with it to start off. I also have a Sigma. 10-20 Sigma 150 - 500 Sigma 105 Nikon 70-300 and a very old 18-70 . Any of Hesse worth keeping or is it better to start again. Costs are a issue ......Phil

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
15 Oct 2012 5:27PM
Hi Phil, as you know, the D800 has huge pixels, so you will need good lenses to get the best out of it. This camera certainly pushes the boundaries and plonking an inferior lens is defeating the object of purchasing a camera like this. The Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8G is a remarkable lens and should be in your kit bag. The other is the Nikkor 50mm f1.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
15 Oct 2012 5:36PM
The classic trio for professionals or serious snappers would be the 14-24, 24-70 and the 70-200 VRII. These would cover most situations but you could add others to meet your special needs such as wildlife.

Will the D800 work with manual focus lenses? If so, you have access to the excellent AIS Nikon lenses which are generally smaller and lighter than their AF counterparts but every bit as sharp.
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
15 Oct 2012 6:05PM
Nikkor f1.4
snapbandit 13 2.3k 3 Northern Ireland
15 Oct 2012 6:06PM
Is it really useful to list the top (& most expensive!!) lenses when the OP has stated that "Costs are a issue"?

my advice, again depending on buget, (& only going by lenses I have used) would be a Sigma 12-24 plus a Nikon 24-85 (if you can find one used) and the latest version of the 70-300 VR to cover most situations. OK they may not be as good as the most expensive 'pro' kit, but in the real world outside the test labs, the difference is not as big as some would like to think!! shooting technique & camera handling can make as much of a difference to image quality IMHO.


Joe B
Paul_Anthony 6 442 4 Wales
15 Oct 2012 6:19PM
The Nikon 24 - 120 f/ 4 is a pretty well put together lens, I had a little go of one the other day in the Camera Center across the road from the studio. Feels very well made and has a great zoom range for FX bodies. A good 400 cheaper than the 24 - 70 f2.8 too. The Sigma 70 - 200 f2.8 OS , designed for FX bodies could be a pretty good partner to give you a little more range, half the price of the Nikon equivalent too.
uggyy 12 2.1k 9 Scotland
15 Oct 2012 6:45PM
Costs Issue taken in...
Nikon 16-35 F4 - not cheap still but allows you use of filters and good results or the Sigma 12-24, lot cheaper but not as good.
Nikkor 50 F1.8
Sigma 24-60 F2.8 or the nikon 24-120 either F5.6 (cheap as hell but compromises) or more exp F4 version.
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 with VR or save money and no VR

Going Full Frame has big advantages and disadvantages on the price on glass, esp going wide on it.
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
15 Oct 2012 6:59PM
I use the 16-35, and 24-120 F4 (new designs), and can recommend them (particularly 16-35). I must stress I'm using a D700.

Remember, you don't need to get the lenses straight away, even the DX lenses should give good results if the reviews are to be believed. You will still get ca 16mp more than the D300 delivers.
uggyy 12 2.1k 9 Scotland
15 Oct 2012 7:11PM
Sigma. 10-20 - no - sell it and get money for a 16-35 (using a DX lens wide just will frustrate you big time)
Sigma 150 - 500 - Should be ok... worth a try.
Sigma 105 - cant rem if this FF, if yes then it should be ok
Nikon 70-300 - VR one, if that then yes
Nikon 18-70 - no

As Nick says, you don't need to get them all right away, concentrate on whats important to you, wide for your landscapes if that's your drive or what ever takes your interest. Rome wasnt built in a Day and going FF is a big step.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
15 Oct 2012 7:21PM
First of all, don't pay too much attention to the doom merchants who tell you that you need the very best glass to get any advantage from the D800. The same can be said of any camera - but the D800 will not give you poorer results from any FX lenses that you already own. Nikon actually set this hare running themselves with some of their pre-launch announcements about the D800 and some of the dumbos still believe the crap.

First of all, your Sigma 150-500mm and your Nikkor 70-300mm with work superbly with your D800. I still use my Siggy 150-500mm with mine and it gives fantastic results. I also used my 70-300mm with it totally satisfactorily until I sold the lens (with a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 and the Sigma 150-500mm, I really had no need for the 70-300mm.)

The "best" lenses to use with a D800?? All I can say is that those that I use with 100% satisfaction are:

Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 (my "standard" lens)
Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8
Nikkor 16- 35mm f/4
Nikkor 105mm micro
Nikkor 20mm f/2.8
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
Sigma 150-500mm

The point I am really making is that virtually any decent FX lens will perform superbly on the D800.

The D800 is not only an upgrade on previous Nikon bodies - it is in a class of its own and blows everything else (in the 35mm style dSLR range) out of the water with its image quality. Whether you "need" all that extra quality is, of course, another matter. I used to think that my D300 was the bees' knees - and it was. If I am brutally honest, 90% of the photographs I take could be very satisfactorily taken by my wife's Nikon P7100. But I am a technology junkie who gets pleasure from pushing the boundaries of my chosen hobby.
peterjones Plus
16 4.7k 1 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2012 8:36AM
Having owned and enjoyed a D800 for three months I ditto all that has been said by LeftForum; I spent a week in Cumbria with a D800, 16-35 f/4, 24-120 (VII) f/4 and a 16mm fisheye; the image is one I took back towards Borrowdale on my way up to Green & Great Gable, with good technique you will obtain excellent results, just for example the camera's ability to pick up detail at distance in landscapes is without peer.


Nikon D800 & 24-120 f/4

Also I have a more "humble" Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6 VR; I notice that the few images I have taken in conjunction with the D800 are excellent.

Now with the price tumbling it becomes a more attractive buy.

mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2012 9:11AM
If you are going to buy the very best lenses for the D800, you may as well buy the very best lenses and put them on your D300. It really comes down to why you are buying the D800: if you no longer have confidence that ithe D300 meets the in as much as your work has surpassed the D300 image quality) then new lenses vs new camera is a personal choice.
If you are buying the D800 because of greater facilities (and in this I include better ISO performance etc) then buy the camera and see if you need new lenses - I would say more so if money is tight because you want to make sure you have made the right decision.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
16 Oct 2012 9:34AM
Optical theory is that when you increase MP (as you do D300 to D8000 using any lens results in more detail in a picture.
I still have a D300s plus the D800, and confirm optical theory is true, even using a DX lens on the D800 Grin
Most f4 and faster lenses are close to equal for resolution by f8-f11. f5.6 lenses are often close to equal by f11.
In this sense for a lot of landscape work MP, maybe the tripod and obviously the location and lighting can be more important than the lens.
On the other hand the 24-70 f2.8 at f4 is optically better than the 24-120 at f4.
In the long term unless you intend to print 20x30 inch or crop very heavily and to invest in high performance computers, hard drives and monitors the owning a D800 does not make much difference to "everyday" photography.
If your aim is to use the D800 to it's full potential over time you should benefit from upgrading to the best fast aperture lenses for whatever type of photography you want to follow.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
16 Oct 2012 9:57AM
A few years back, She-who-must-be-obeyed needed to produce a 15 foot wide x 3 foot canvas to go above the meat counter in our local farm shop. This was shot with a 12MPix Nikon D2Xs and with the assistance of Genuine Fractals, she created result that was stunning from the intended viewing distance.

Whatever the kit, a little thought will give the results that you need. How did the Victorian photographers manage with their crude cameras, soft lenses and very basic materials?
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
16 Oct 2012 11:14AM

Quote: she created result that was stunning from the intended viewing distance.

That's a point that is often missed - sometimes even by competition judges who think that they are smart if they criticise a 16"x12" print from a distance of 12 inches.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.