Wide angle lens for D300
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14-09-09, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
I use the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 (mentioned by ap4a) on my D300. I find it an excellent standard zoom. Optically it is of very high quality - extremely sharp and with good contrast and colour. It has a very good autofocus, which will work well in the low light conditions you mention and also if you wish to track moving subjects. It is well built and will take some knocks but not excessively heavy or unbalanced. The Nikon is of course pretty good on those fronts also: to inform your thinking I've summarised some of the key differences between the two lenses.
The Sigma is a good deal cheaper than the Nikon and would leave money in your budget for landscape filters or a tripod. Although it is very well-built the Nikon is even more substantial. With the Nikon you can change from auto to manual focus by moving the focus ring but with the Sigma you need to push a switch at the side of the lens to change from auto to manual. I am fairly sure that if you move to full frame at some time in the future you could use the Nikon for part of its range - say from 30-55mm, whereas the Sigma is unusable on full frame except in crop mode. If this last point is important please check the details to confirm - I am fairly sure about this but not 100% and wouldn't want to mislead you.
The Sigma lens has a useful close-focussing feature which allow 1:3 reproduction - useful for shots of flowers and small details in the landscape. I don't know how close the Nikon will focus.
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