I’ve been waiting to get nice telephoto to replace the manual focus zooms that I use for the telephoto range. I currently use the following lenses:

  • Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Sigma 30mm f/1.4
  • Nikon MF 50mm f/1.8E
  • Nikon MF 70-210mm f/4
  • Sigma MF 75-210mm f/3.5-4.5

I was debating between a 50-150 2.8 and a 70-300 VR.  I got a hold of a nice sharp copy of the 70-300 VR and I love it.  However, I am addicted to my 30mm 1.4 mostly wide open.  Debating wether to sell/trade the lens for a f/2.8 or keep it, I decided to give ExposurePlot a try to analyze my use of focal lengths.  I ran it on my D40 folder so it analyzed all of my photos.  Then I spent some and highlighted the ranges that are covered by other lenses that I am considering.  Note that in 3 major outings, the 70-300 VR was heavily used and the focal length statistics were similar in all three outings.  The result of the analysis is shown below: (click to enlarge):

focal length graph 300x167 Focal Length Analysis

I’m trying to determine what option would be ideal.  Notice the heavy use of the 30mm Sigma which was acquired after a long time of owning the camera.  The 16-85 VR would cover a nice range, but @ 5.6 max aperture, it will not satisfy my aperture needs/likes.  Also, the 18-55 shows a lot of use @ 55mm which to me is just a sign of wanting more zoom so I would not want to say that is a key number to use.  My suprize was really using the 70-300mm @ 70mm more than anything else. I’m assuming that I just got accustomed to the medium focal lengths.  I love shallow depths of field and background separations.  Only a 2.8 zoom or another prime would be able to satisfy that, the downside is that I own a D40 and the primes are limited.  I would like to limit the spending to $600.  These are some of the lenses I’m considering:

  • Nikon 105mm 2.8 VR
  • Sigma 50-150mm 2.8
  • Sigma 70-200mm 2.8
  • Sigma 150mm 2.8
  • Nikon 60mm 2.8
  • Nikon 50mm 1.4G
  • Sigma 50mm 1.4
  • The new Sigma 24-70 2.8
Well, thats my analysis. I hope you either learned something from it for your own benefit, or found some suggestions for me.
Thanks for reading…