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Trip to Italy

Ok, so I am not an art person and never take pictures, but my girlfriend likes this stuff so, I want to get her a wide angle lens for a trip to Italy. I guess im safe with a 10 to 20mm? Any recommendations on lenses that arent going to cost more than the flight over there? She has a D5k.

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  • edited March 8
    The 10-20 zoom currently sold by Nikon WILL NOT WORK on a D5000. It will not work on any model below D5300, I'm sorry to say, and that includes the D5000,5100 and5200. It also won't work on a D3000 through D3200, or on a D7000. It will work on a D7100 and later, and on a D5300 and D3300 and later. It's too bad because that would otherwise probably be the lens of choice. But it will not focus at all, either manually or automatically. It requires an electronic interface and without it it's not only crippled - it's dead.

    Other Nikon wide angles are bigger and more expensive, so I'd look at third party possibilities, which might also be bigger and more expensive, but not by so much. Sigma has a lens in a similar range which was recently sold at a discount though it may no longer be. Worth looking at though. Sigma, Tokina and Tamron make various lenses that might fill the bill.

    Make sure, though, that any lens you get has its focusing motor built in (AFS in Nikonspeak). Older type AF lenses that work from a motor in the camera body will not autofocus on a D5000 or any of the DX body Nikons except for those in the D7x00 series. Be very careful in mail order as information is not always easy to get and not always dead accurate. A reputable dealer on or off line will give you the information you need.

    Depending on the amount you want to spend and what is available, it is actually possible that it would be cheaper to upgrade the body to a D5300 or later, and get the less expensive AFP lens Nikon now sells. A D5300 will also provide better high ISO performance, auto focus, and a denser sensor. Of course that's a big deal decision.

    Depending on what is already on the camera and what sort of use it gets, one option might be to get a decent used copy of the 16-85 MM DX lens. This gives a healthy wide angle, and has enough zoom range to make a really good walking-around lens. I have one of these, and it's well made and nice to use. They run pretty high even used, but probably less than a new ultra-wide zoom. The advantage of this one is that unless you're shooting wildlife or the like, it's likely to be the only lens you need to have on most of the time.

    On this format, 16 mm, (24 full frame equivalent) is good and wide, and 13 (a bit wider than 20 full frame equivalent) is very wide. Any shorter than that would likely be considered ultra-wide. I rarely find I need more width than the 16, but when I do, another alternative is to take panoramic shots and stitch them in post processing. Microsoft makes a very competent stitching program called "ICE" which works only on JPG files but does a good job. A stitched wide angle has more detail overall than an in-camera one, since it combines several images and has more pixels overall.

    Good luck here. You may find when you're done with this that you know more about photography and its art than you thought you would need to.
  • Hey, thank you for the detailed advice. I really appreciate it, especially the stitching advice, she is a graphic designer by trade and she talks about photo editing so I'm sure she knows how to do that.
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