Our Photography Courses Blog

Lens recommendation – beginner with Nikon D70

Chris came on a course recently and emailed us with a question that we thought may be of interest to other people. We’d waxed lyrical about one of our favourite lenses, the nikkor 28-105mm f3.5-f4.5, which can be had for £100 on ebay if you’re lucky.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and will take the opportunity to learn more on a future course. I have investigated lenses and seem only to find quite expensive 28-105 m ones ? what is the price range I should expect for these? Already have a 50m one on order!

Thanks again for a great day,


Hi Chris,

when you get your 50mm f1.8 (I hope not a 50m that would be some sort of interplanetary telescope – I’ve attached a picture of it) see how you get on. You will be amazed at how versatile this lens is! Plenty of people make do with just this lens, to start with anyway.

Then, when you’re finding the limitations of it you can have a think about what to do next:

We really like the 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 lens – they seem to be £150 or so on ebay – we got lucky and got ours for £110. These are great for people, giving you a bit of zoomed in and zoomed out slack either side of the 50mm you have.

We also like the 18-55mm kit lens – these are under £100 and can be even cheaper without VR, which we think is pretty unnecessary on so short a lens. This will (obviously) give you roughly your 50mm plus a much wider view – good for landscapes etc. If you want even wider a really good landscape lens is the Tamron 10-24mm f3.5-4.5 but it’s £300 so make sure you really want it first!!

A lens that is popular but we don’t like much is the 18-105mm – f3.5-5.6 – in theory this gives you the best of both worlds, but in reality is quite restrictive. If you mostly take people you’ll be happier with the 28-105, and mostly landscapes the 18-55.

If you want a longer (more zoomy lens) 55-200mm’s f 4-5.6 are about £140, not a bad buy but if you’re really into wildlife you might be better off shopping around for a used 70-200mm f2.8, but these are over £1000 but worth it if you like that kind of thing!!

Since your other half has a Nikon, what you could do is borrow lenses from him and see which one you like and buy those (or keep them, but it is our company policy to discourage this kind of lens larceny).

Hope this helps,

Best wishes
Phil and Rachel

The proposed Euro50m telescope – not yet available on ebay!

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