Beginner Finally after years joined the game, some help with next decisions please

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#1
Good morning and thanks in advance with any advice offered

After threatening for about 15 years to get a DSLR camera I have finally got a point in life where I have the time & have now entered this world of photography and i am already a bit of obsessed.

Will admit off the bat when I start a hobby or sport I make sure I can do this to the best of my ability and probably can go overkill but forgive me on that. With my initial budget I have purchased myself the following :

Nikon D3500 with 18-55m VR kit
2 x SanDisk Extreme PRO 128 GB SDXC Memory Card,
K&F Concept Lightweight DSLR Camera Backpack
Camera Tripod,K&F Concept 62" Compact Light Aluminium Tripod
Been given by a friend of a friend a 55mm ND1000 filter and a another set of filters with UV, CLP & FLD packed in.
Lightroom subscription.

I must say off the bat the camera is excellent for what I am doing at the moment even got myself into back button focus :) but I have been thinking while I have some cash of investing in some glass for future endevaors.

If i give some background over why i need some more lenses hopefully this will aid some decisions. So me and my other half are going travelling for two years in August (hence the camera purchase) and I probably want at least 2-3 lenses to capture as much as I can. I was thinking about keeping the kit lens and going with something like a 35mm 1.8 prime lens and getting a low-mid range telephoto.

What would anyone recommend for that trinity of lenses to take with me travelling. I will be shooting everything from landscape, portrait to night to safari any probably anything else you can think of. Naturally I don't think my stuff will make it into NatGeo but I would like the quality to be of a decent nature (no pun intended) and I am sure the camera is up to it. With this in mind weight is a big importance in this decision as well. Just after some guidance as I have got bit lost in the world at the moment with some many blogs saying do a multitude of things. Is it worth keeping the Kit lens and buying a different set of ranges? I have no issue with buying a used lens as well.

Thanks

K4E
 
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#2
Well it looks like you are talking about budget options so the obvious prime lenses like 50mm, 35mm and 85mm.
Budget zoom ( research them well, don't listen to others opinions )
Budget ultra wide zoom ( again do your own homework on them )
If that is too many they you have to prioritise the two zooms I guess
 
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#3
Thanks for the tips.

My initial thinking was going for a used Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens for about £80 and upping the budget and range to a good zoom lens. Lots to think about.
 
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#6
Thanks both.

I did think about going with one lens to cover all bases but from my limited knowledge plus reading would I be sacrificing a little sharpness on these type of lenses rather than going for a 50/70-2/300mm type of lens? Budget wise I probably want to save as much as I can but I think I realistically I don't mind spending up to about £500 - £750 at the moment but that could increase if one or multiple very good lenses which are amazing took me slightly above that budget. I know I wouldn't get a good f/2.8 telephoto lens in my budget but something slightly slower may fit in.

As I will be away for a trip of a lifetime I don't really want to compromise too much on my camera kit abilities or I would just kick myself. I think all the very low end budget lenses are coming up in my searches as I am using terms like beginner and first.
 
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Alan
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#7
I was thinking about keeping the kit lens and going with something like a 35mm 1.8 prime lens and getting a low-mid range telephoto.
I used to like that focal length but these days I tend think it can be a bit tight and I've come to prefer something a bit wider. These days I tend to like 35mm which would equate to about 24mm on your APS-C camera.

I've no idea what's available for Nikon but I'm sure someone will but you may be perfectly happy with the field of view you'll get from a 35mm and if that's the case just ignore me :D

I think that a 3 lens set up of a standard range zoom, a tele zoom and a wide aperture prime will be very nice. You may find yourself wanting wider apertures for the zooms but f2.8's will be bigger and more expensive.
 
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Phil
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#9
Fast lenses are generally heavier too.
1.8 primes aren’t heavy - it’s when you get faster than that the weight (and price) climbs rapidly.

Unfortunately for the OP, what makes up a perfect kit is very subjective. We all like different focal lengths, and what I consider ‘a portable kit’ some people would consider far too heavy. By the same token - I would rather just use my phone than buy a superzoom.
 
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#11
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Mark
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#12
My first camera was a Nikon D3300, which came with the 18-55mm (non-VR) kit lens + a bundled Sigma 70-300mm zoom.

I traded in the 18-55mm for a 18-200mm so-called super-zoom and wish I hadn't. The 18-200mm was very heavy compared to the light as a feather 18-55mm (but again I stress the non-VR version), and was just a big lump of compromises, soft at the long end (which I didn't use anything like as much as I thought I would) and not the speediest when it came to focusing, but then my intended usage was / is motorsport and the body + lens combinations weren't up to it.

The Sigma 70-300mm was cheap as chips, felt cheap, slow to focus, but actually took a decent picture.

Personally I'd stick with what you have and add a "consumer" 70-300mm zoom as you originally planned. The 35mm f/1.8 is also a great lens, tiny, light, sharp (and cheap!), and much better suited to low light situations thanks to its wider aperture (though not VR so still need to watch those shutter speeds).
 
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#13
My first camera was a Nikon D3300, which came with the 18-55mm (non-VR) kit lens + a bundled Sigma 70-300mm zoom.

I traded in the 18-55mm for a 18-200mm so-called super-zoom and wish I hadn't. The 18-200mm was very heavy compared to the light as a feather 18-55mm (but again I stress the non-VR version), and was just a big lump of compromises, soft at the long end (which I didn't use anything like as much as I thought I would) and not the speediest when it came to focusing, but then my intended usage was / is motorsport and the body + lens combinations weren't up to it.

The Sigma 70-300mm was cheap as chips, felt cheap, slow to focus, but actually took a decent picture.

Personally I'd stick with what you have and add a "consumer" 70-300mm zoom as you originally planned. The 35mm f/1.8 is also a great lens, tiny, light, sharp (and cheap!), and much better suited to low light situations thanks to its wider aperture (though not VR so still need to watch those shutter speeds).
Thats really useful thank you. I think I am going to go down that route as someone locally to me is selling the 35mm 1.8 for £75 which if its in the condition as stated seems a no brainer. I will do some research into the telephoto end as i think my budget should get me something good and light.

Appreciate all the responses so far.
 
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#14
Not heavy like the Canon 200mm 1.8?
It’s 200mm FFS! It’s not cheap either is it? It’s about the largest aperture it’s realistic to make a 200mm lens
A 35, 50 or 85 aren’t heavy at 1.8. And compared to their cheap zoom equivalents are barely heavy.
 
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#15
It’s 200mm FFS! It’s not cheap either is it? It’s about the largest aperture it’s realistic to make a 200mm lens
A 35, 50 or 85 aren’t heavy at 1.8. And compared to their cheap zoom equivalents are barely heavy.
I said:

"Fast lenses are generally heavier too"

And that's still true.

I don't quite understand your response.
 

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#17
would I be sacrificing a little sharpness on these type of lenses rather than going for a 50/70-2/300mm type of lens?

Yes. But only a little and in the real world, you'll be hard pushed to see much of a difference up to A4 print size. IMO it's better to sacrifice a little in the way of ultimate sharpness for a lot of convenience, as well as reducing the possibility of dust etc. getting in during lens changes (and the usual situation of something interesting happening while I'm between lenses!) Having had a 3rd party 18-200, I can say that the Nikkor version is worth the extra cost.
 
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#19
@Kopite4Ever having said what I said earlier, this is also a very good point ...

Yes. But only a little and in the real world, you'll be hard pushed to see much of a difference up to A4 print size. IMO it's better to sacrifice a little in the way of ultimate sharpness for a lot of convenience, as well as reducing the possibility of dust etc. getting in during lens changes (and the usual situation of something interesting happening while I'm between lenses!) Having had a 3rd party 18-200, I can say that the Nikkor version is worth the extra cost.
FWIW here are a couple of images I just realised I still have on Flickr with the Nikon D3300 + 18-200mm lens :-



At 18mm



At 200mm, shot from the same spot at the same time.

Both of these were shot at the max. aperture for the focal length, so arguably not the optimum setting for either.

I don't hold these up as "good" images, and for me, for shooting motorsports and trying to get images as sharp as possible, neither the D3300 nor the 18-200mm lens were doing it for me, but as an all-rounder perhaps the decision is really more about convenience, the convenience of carrying smaller, lighter lenses, or the convenience of having a wider zoom range available without changing lenses.
 
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#20
Really appreciate the responses I think i have changed my mind about 6 times now :)

I am certainly getting the 35mm prime lens for the price it seems a no brainer.

The more i think about the other end then maybe instead of going with my first idea of travelling with the kit lens (plus the 35mm prime) & adding something like Nikon AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED DX VR II which i can get for buttons used it maybe in my interest going with the 18mm - 200mm like the Nikon AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED DX VR II and travelling with that or even the 300mm version. A good condition used 18-200mm looks to be about £250 so £350 for both lenses is well under my budget.

I can afford better and more of them but one thing I would be more comfortable breaking or losing a lens that cost me £200 than £800 when travelling. Pull myself back in and realise its my first proper camera so I can always upgrade items as and when needed.
 
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#21
If you can find good second hand lenses, you should be able to resell them/trade them in for little cost should you want to.

Once you know where your favourite focal length(s) are, you'll have a better idea as to where more money will be best spent.
 
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#22
You're going travelling for a couple of years, so don't want something too large or heavy, nor too poor quality. Consider replacing the kit lens with something like a 16-80 (iirc the Nikon version is good) to cover wider and longer than you have now, but not so long or wide that quality suffers. Also get the 35 1.8 for occasions when you need a small, fast lens.

You could also get a 70-200 or 75-300 for safaris or similar, but probably won't use it very much outside of that situation. Alternatively consider an ultra-wide zoom if you might be seeing the inside of lots of buildings (this is what I take, but it doesn't get used much).
 
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#23
Still not with you.
I didn't suggest he bought a 35mm 1.8 {(scratch head emoticon})
But your point re 1.8 lenses being heavy followed a discussion of the 35mm 1.8.

Then in answer to 1.8 lenses not being heavy you decided to throw the 200mm into the mix as some sort of abstract argument because it’s a million miles away from anything anyone else was discussing.
 
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#24
But your point re 1.8 lenses being heavy followed a discussion of the 35mm 1.8.

Then in answer to 1.8 lenses not being heavy you decided to throw the 200mm into the mix as some sort of abstract argument because it’s a million miles away from anything anyone else was discussing.
Completely wrong.
My point was fast lenses are always heavier than slow lenses.
 
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#26
Really does depend on the intended use, I opted to swap my kit lens with a Tamron 17-50 2.8 to get slightly faster, it’s sharp and resenably light, 35mm as stated is just a solid little lens, I also had the 18-200 and found it perfectly fine, certainly not the sharpest but at £250 and very light in comparison to the 70-200 and 1/4 the price you can’t really argue.

but weight it subjective, I have no issues carrying D500 + 70-200 2.8 for hours, walked around nature reserves and such for 6-7hrs no issue, it’s always with me, even when I’m out with the fam, might have the 35mm on but the 70-200 is in my bag.
 
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#29
I'd definitely add a 35mm 1.8, it does actually have an ability to 'zoom' in and out to a certain extent via the use of legs. I have an array of glass but go with a just 35mm on a crop body for my hols and make it work.
Also a cheap tamron or sigma 70-300 is a decent idea, try to think about what you're going to see and take photos of on your travels and if it might be required.
 
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