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Old 08-06-2017, 11:08 PM   #1
Noct Foamer
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 571
Default Thoughts On Lenses

I've gone back and forth on strategies with lenses. A few years ago I used all f2.8 zooms with a 500mm f4 long lens. For the past couple of years I've been using a Nikon D800E with lenses 20mm f1.8G, 24mm t/s, Sigma 35mm f1.4, Sigma 50mm f1.4, Nikon 105mm f2.8 macro, and Nikon 80-400mm f5.6 AFS. Also own a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR but rarely use it for trains. I'm on the verge of getting rid of the 80-400mm and replacing with a Nikon 300mm f4 PF, which is much lighter, compact, and sharper. Will also pick up a TC-14iii to get to 420mm. The 80-400mm is decent, but it's optically the weakest lens I have. I'll add that my favorite lens of the bunch is the 24mm PC-E. I shoot grain elevators and other structures a lot, and the ability to shift the lens makes a huge difference in my photos.

A change will leave me with no zooms at all. I almost always use a tripod and most of the time my shots are planned out before the train arrives. The "pro" here is that the images generally have sharpness that is stunning! The negative is since I can't zoom, I'm only going to get one shot. So, I do hesitate a bit on getting rid of the 80-400mm and its 5x range. I've also toyed with the idea of getting a Nikon 24-120mm f4, partly to lighten my load and partly to use when doing fast chases. I ended up buying a Nikon D5300 and a Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 for it. It's been doing a good job. SO, how many here live with only single focal lenses? How many think that for RR photography only zooms should be used? All in all, I've come to think that RR photography is generally the least demanding on photo modern photo gear.

Kent in SD
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