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Start with Kit Lens or Upgrade to 55-300mm & 35mm Lenses

edited April 2013 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
I am new to this forum, and I did my research and finally decided to go with the Nikon D5100. This is my first DSLR, which I am really excited about. I am thinking of buying the 55-300mm and 35mm prime lens with the body rather than the kit lens. I will be shooting my 8 months old son, family pictures, outdoor sports and everyday photos.

Your response would be highly appreciated. Please help.


  • Hi Sonam,

    I bought the D5100 late last year with the exact lens set you're thinking of and it does give a good focus range. Just remember to read the manual as the camera can seem a bit complex at first.

    You might also think of getting a decent set of memory cards if you decide to shoot any video. I'm using Sandisk Extreme @ 45mb/s. Also, when shooting in this mode ensure you have the the vibration (lens) reduction on as it is next to impossible to get shake free footage without it unless you're using a tripod or the like.

    On our recent holidays at central Queensland I shot photos through a cyclone mesh fence and got perfectly clear shots of crocodiles. I then used computer software to delete the mesh fence. A simply wonderful camera. I truly recommend this camera.
  • edited April 2013
    Thank you, @archonthelawgiver for your comments, I really appreciate it. I am off to Best Buy now.
  • Howdy @Sonam - I agree with @archonthelawgiver, the 55-300mm VR and 35mm f/1.8 will serve you well for the types of shots you're after.

    The only thing to consider about this combo, is that it will be really hard to take family shots in small spaces. Other than than, I think you'll be really happy with this setup.
  • edited April 2013
    @Moose, thank you also for the comment. Can you suggest any other lenses that I should consider buying along with the one that I mentioned earlier? What's your take on the kit lens? Should I buy it?
  • @Sonam - If you plan on taking a number of family shots in low-light situations, I would strongly consider an external flash like the SB-400 or it's bigger brother the SB-700.

    While an external flash might sound scary, they are really easy to use and can greatly improve your indoor low-light shots.

    How you ask? Well, with an external flash you have the ability to bounce light off a ceiling which spreads the light evenly throughout the room giving you much more natural looking light and better looking family photos.

    This is much different than your built-in flash which blasts subjects with harsh and unflattering light.

    I'm not a big fan of the kit lens by itself. Pair it with an external flash and my feelings towards it aren't as harsh. Happy shooting! :)
  • edited April 2013
    I purchased my D5100 with the 18-55mm kit lens and the 55-300mm telephoto. There are no gaps between the two lenses and you get some wide angle capability with the 18-55mm. Despite being a kit lens and a bit slow, it takes surprisingly good images if you recognize its limitations and adjust accordingly.
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