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Old 08-08-2010   #1
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Default Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

I am just begining my photography career and I received a Nikon D5000 as a birthday present. I currently have 2 lenses. AF 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Model: A18N Roman Numerial 2, build-in motor (Tamron - came with the camera). I bought a Sigma 70mm-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS. I need to get a 24-70mm lens for a wedding I am shooting next month. Without sounding stupid how do I know if a lens is compatible with my camera or not? I hate asking everytime I go on a website to purchase a lens. The one I think will work the person on the website tells me no and tells me I need a more exspensive one. Can anyone help me? I love this camera it takes great shots. Thank you!

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Old 08-08-2010   #2
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

You need Nikon AFS lenses for your camera as it doesn't have a focusing motor in the body. AFS lenses do. There are aftermarket lenses that also have focusing motors in them.
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Old 08-08-2010   #3
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

You don't sound stupid; you do sound ignorant and that is no insult. Ignorance is a level of knowledge, stupidity is a level of intellect. You overcome ignorance by learning and in the words of comedian Ron White, "You can't fix stupid". Let's do some learning.

Lens compatibility comes in two major steps- step one, the lens fits the camera; step two the lens fits the job.

Nikon has used the same basic mount since the late 1950's. Every Nikon lens made from then to present will fit every modern Nikon camera built. There was a time in history when auto focus had not been invented. If you put a lens on the camera that wasn't built to auto focus, it won't. That doesn't make the lens incompatible, its just not an auto focus lens. Nikon now builds camera bodies with two different styles of auto focus. One style has a motor in the camera that drives the auto focus mechanism in the lens, the other style doesn't. This means there are two kinds of auto focus lenses, ones with the motor in the lens and those without. Your D5000 doesn't have the motor built into the camera, so for auto focus to work you will need lenses with the focus motor. The features of Nikon lenses is coded into the model name. There are letters like ED which describes the glass in the lens, G which means there is no aperture ring and the f-stop is set by a camera control, and the letters AF-S which indicates the lens has the focus motor built-in. Here's more than you need to know: AF-S is a designator for a specific kind of focus motor known as a silent wave (thus the S), its very quiet and very fast. Silent wave motors used to be limited to professional grade lenses.

You do not have to buy Nikon brand lenses for your camera. There are lens makers who build lenses and put the appropriate mount on them for different cameras. Sigma, Tameron are two that come to mind that build Nikon mounts, Canon Mounts and probably others. Their designation for having a focus motor isn't the same as Nikon but they probably each have one. Remember, a Nikon mount lens might fit your camera and still not have the features available.

The other major consideration about a lens is its compatibility to a particular job or project. Lenses come in different magnifications called focal lengths. Some lenses only have one focal length we call those either fixed focal length or prime lenses. Other lenses cover a range of focal lengths and we call them zoom lenses. Different projects and different pictures within a project require different focal lengths. There are three divisions of focal lengths- Wide Angle, Normal, and Telephoto. The names reflect the perspective of the lens compared to normal human vision. The perspective of the lens impacts the image by way of distortions and compressions when an improper focal length is selected. When a variety of focal lengths is desired on a single project, a zoom lens saves a lot of time rather than changing lenses. The zoom feature sometimes comes at a cost, and I'll get to that.

Beside a lens fitting and completely functioning on a camera and having the appropriate focal length, there is one last issue to be resolved in making sure a lens is compatible with the job and that's the aperture. Pictures require light and lenses focus the light into a small enough beam for it to fit on the sensor/film. Lenses do that job by passing the light through magnifying glass inside. Not all the light that starts outside the lens gets all the way though to the sensor. How much light the lens can allow through is expressed as a ratio (1:1 would be read one-to-one and would mean for every one part of light inside the lens it take one part outside to get through. This would mean all the light was getting through the lens with no loss) The less difference, the more efficient the lens. We mostly drop the 1: from our discussions. A 2.8 lens requires 2.8 times the light outside for one part to get through. A 5.6 lens needs 5.6 times as much light for the same one part to get in. Its techo babble, I know but its kind of important. Kind of get the grasp that a lens set to 5.6 will only let half as much light through as a 2.8. That equates to needing either twice the light or twice the shutter speed.

Many zoom lenses are not efficient in transferring light and the more they are zoomed the less efficient they become. As an illustration, a zoom lens of 70-300mm might have a maximum aperture that varies from 4.5 to 5.6 as the zoom increases. When a lens' aperture can't open wide to let in a lot of light, we call that lens a slow lens, because it will take a slow shutter speed to get a picture out of it. A lens with a really wide aperture is called a fast lens, or bright since it would allow for a faster shutter speed or the lens lets in a bigger portion of light making the camera-end "bright".

Now I made all that jabber just to lay a foundation. You mentioned that your going to photograph a wedding and you are looking for a lens to accomplish this. Weddings are conducted in all manner of places, under all manner of conditions. Many times the ceremony is held in a dimly lit venue, perhaps even lit by candle light. If that's the sort of wedding you planning to shoot you are going to need lenses that have very wide apertures. Your zoom lenses also need to be the sort that have a constant maximum aperture. If I were thinking of shooting a wedding, I'd want at a minimum a 24-70 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8 and I'd really feel more comfortable with something wider angle just in case I had a group in really cramped quarters. The down side to all that is, the two lenses made by Nikon and purchased new together exceed $3000.

There's why wedding photographers who know what they are doing, and have the equipment required to get the job done right are so expensive.

Best wishes on all your endeavors.

Steve
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Old 08-08-2010   #4
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

Steve,

Thank you very much for all your information. I just started school @ New York Institute of Photography 4 months ago and I am low on cash BUT the wedding is in family and I am doing it for them because they asked me. I explained to them that I realy don't have the "correct" equipment for it but they don't care, they love the pictures I've been taking with the D5000 for the past 3 months. Personally I am not happy about it but my cousin is broke and connot afford a photographer.

I have created 3 albums (so far - putting more together) with my best work (my feeling -although I am harder on myself than others-I am OCD). I have shown some of my photos to 2 professional photographers in my area and both have said that I have "the eye" and I have the potential to be successful. They both said that I should be just fine once I finish school AND as long as I continue with the passion for photography. I really love doing nature and lanscape shots, but I really want to do sports, unfortunately for me I have a champaign taste and beer pocketbook. So I am going to work my tail off and try to sell some of these photos locally and save money until I can afford to get the equipment I want/need.

Thank you again for all the information,
Steph
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Old 08-08-2010   #5
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

I posted this list a while back. I still think it should be a sticky.

Focus Motor Lens List for Nikon
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Old 08-08-2010   #6
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

Mike,

I just joined Photocamel a month ago, so I thank you for posting the link for me. I haven't had the time to really get to know everything about Photocamel. I kind of feel out of my league since I joined. One of the professional photographers I spoke with told me about this site.

Thank you again for the link I am going to print it out so I have it with me at all times if I am out and able to purchase a lens at a good price.

Take Care,
Steph
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Old 08-08-2010   #7
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokeegirl View Post
I kind of feel out of my league since I joined.
Steph,

Please don't feel out of your league. Hopefully there are very experienced, highly knowledgable and even professionals here. If this site were occupied only by newbies who's experience or education could we learn from?

There are photogarphers from all over the world with all levels of skill and education. You should feel right at home here. We're a friendly bunch, really.

Steve
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Old 08-08-2010   #8
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

Steve,

Thanks, I truly appreciate that. I am still learning and you have a great point. I tend to let my insecurity get the best of me at times. I know I can take a great shot and be successful someday, I just don't have the money or the patients to make it happen...LOL, I want it yesterday, BUT that doesn't keep me from studying 5 days a week and go on day trips every weekend to test out what I have learned in the lessons from school.

Thank you again Steve,
Steph
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Old 08-08-2010   #9
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

Well then, welcome to the Camel. I've learned so much since joining. The search function doesn't seem to be that great so don't hesitate to post a question, even if you think its stupid. There are no stupid questions. People are always willing to help.
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Old 08-08-2010   #10
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Default Re: Nikon D5000 - compatible lens???

You might consider searching (and posting) your Nikon related questions in Nikon Forum


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