Photography FAQ #3

Happy Friday! Big thanks to our readers for continuously sending questions to us and participating in the comments section of our blog. We truly value your feedback and we do our best to respond to your queries as soon as we can. Here is the third compiled list of FAQs from the last two weeks:

  1. What lens do you recommend for architectural photography?
    If you are serious about architectural photography, you should get a tilt and shift lens like the Nikon 24mm PC-E f/3.5D, with an ultra wide-angle lens such as Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G. Both are superb for most architectural photography needs.
  2. I have heard so many stories about a thread problem and debris inside the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II lens. Is this something to be worried about? Also, how does the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II behave on older camera bodies such as Nikon D70s?
    Forget about the thread/debris problem in the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II, because it is NOT a problem. People started complaining about this so much that they made Nikon provide an official response, in which they are stating that the lens thread is normal, it will not release any debris inside the lens and the performance is not going to be affected in any way. Although the lens was released specifically for FX cameras, it will work even better on DX cameras, including the older Nikon D70s/D80/D200 cameras.
  3. Do you recommend the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G lens for landscape photography on a DX body?
    No, I do not. The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G is wide enough for FX, but on a DX body is equivalent of 35-105mm lens, which is sometimes too long for landscape photography. If you are shooting on a DX body, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G or the new Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 VR would work better, because they have a bigger field of view, which means that you can fit more of the scene into the frame. I love the 24-70mm f/2.8G lens and it is definitely one of my favorite lenses for landscape photography, but when shooting on FX.
  4. What should I buy, a lightly used Nikon D300 or a brand new Nikon D90 for the same price?
    If you know the person who is selling the D300 and know for sure that the D300 is slightly used, then get the D300 of course! Although noise-levels on the D90 on high ISOs are slightly better, the D300 is a solid professional camera with a better AF system, faster speed and tougher weather sealing (in addition to many other features) compared to the D90.
  5. Will Nikon be releasing a VR or f/1.4 version of the Nikon 35mm lens anytime soon?
    Rest assured that the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens is not going to get VR, at least not anytime soon. Adding VR would make this lens heavier/larger in size and would add to the cost. In addition, there are many other lenses that are due for updates. For example, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D needs an update, hopefully with VR. As far as an f/1.4 version of the 35mm, it is definitely long overdue and many photographers have been desperately waiting for an AF-S version of this lens.
  6. I am afraid to purchase the Nikon D5000, because it does not have an autofocus motor in it. What do you recommend?
    I do not know why this question keeps coming up, but stop worrying about having or not having an AF motor in the camera body. Sure, having no motor was a problem in the past, but Nikon has released so many new excellent DX and AF-S lenses that having no AF motor in the body is no longer an issue. Instead of wasting money on an old, used lens that you think is a bargain, just buy the cheap and excellent Nikon 35mm f/1.8G lens and you will not regret it.
  7. What Nikon lens do you recommend for indoors and outdoors sports photography?
    For outdoors sports photography, it all depends on how far away you are from the subject. The Nikon 70-200mm VR II would be a great choice for medium range photography and you could add a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR for subjects that are further away. If the above lenses do not fit your budget, try the inexpensive Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens – it works great when there is plenty of available light. When it comes to indoors sports photography, the choices are limited to either expensive f/2.8 lenses or fast-aperture fixed lenses such as Nikon 85mm f/1.4, considering that you cannot change the lighting conditions.
  8. Will Nikon be releasing updates to current DSLR cameras this year?
    I honestly do not know, because I do not work for Nikon and manufacturers always keep camera and lens announcements in secret. But you can get a pretty good picture of when Nikon will be releasing an update based on the schedule of camera releases by Nikon in the past.
  9. Do you really respond to all comments by your readers?
    Yes, we do. At least we try. Sometimes it takes me several days to catch up with all the comments, but Lola and I do our best to respond to every single query. I am not sure that I will be able to continue responding to all comments going forward, because the number of comments has dramatically increased and I sometimes spend more time responding to comments than writing content for the website. But I promise to do my best.

Please let me know if you have any questions!


  1. April 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks for all your great work… I always learn so much!

  2. 2) WebMonster
    April 3, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Nothing for Canon users? :)

    Thanks guys for your hard work, we really appreciate it.

    • April 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm

      Webmonster, unlike many other websites, I can’t write about something that I don’t use or know :)

  3. 3) sm
    April 3, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Thanks. Helpful as always.

  4. 4) Pasquier
    April 4, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Hi Nasim, great set of tips.
    Have you used the 24PC-E….. curious to hear what it is like.
    We bought the 16-35mm following your report, and are delighted with it – really superb lens.
    Best, P.

    • April 4, 2010 at 11:54 pm

      Pasquier, I have tried the 24PC-E once and fell in love with it. Since I don’t really do much photography that needs a tilt-shift lens, I have been putting off the purchase ever since it was released. I am planning to review all three PC-E lenses as soon as I’m done reviewing the 24mm f/1.4 :)

      I’m glad that you like the 16-35 VR! It is an awesome lens and it has not been off my D700 ever since I got it. My 24-70 is gathering dust now…

  5. 5) Dennis
    April 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Nasim, I have been reading quite a lot on lens of f2.8. Especially on 12-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm. Out of 100 reviews, all commented these glasses are super sharp. I have more or less decided on 70-200mm. 24-70mm seems a bit long on DX body though I don’t mind but I am just wondering if Nikon will release one with VR feature. It might be much more expensive I suppose. I see that you love this glass a lot. Without VR, are you trouble by it with just handheld?

    I am looking for a christmas gift for myself. =)

    Just curious, by any chance in the future, will you cover article on how to clean lens and sensors especially?


    • April 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      Dennis, I’m assuming you meant to say 14-24mm? :) Yes, the 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses are all super good!

      I am fairly certain that Nikon will not be releasing a Nikon 24-70mm VR any time soon. VR would make it heavier, bulkier and more expensive. Plus, Nikon has many other lenses to work on, including some primes like the Nikon 85mm f/1.4.

      Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G works well without VR, as long as you are following the hand-holding rule (shutter speed should not be lower than the focal length) and know how to hold a DSLR properly.

      And yes, I am planning to write an article on how to properly clean lenses and sensors. I just need to put some thought together on how to do it with pictures :) I guess I need my wife’s help with that!

      • 5.1.1) Dennis
        April 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

        Nasim, apology, yes is the 14-24mm I am referring to.
        I have read little about the 85mm f/1.4, looking forward to it.

        Thanks for the advice on 24-70mm f/2.8G. I pretty like what this mid-range zoom can give me. Yea, proper holding of DSLR is certain.

        Thanks for the highlight. Even after watching couple of videos on cleaning camera, I still quite afraid to clean those expensive glasses. Especially the sensors, one thing that I haven’t reach in yet. Looking forward to this article and will appreciate if you can also recommend the basic cleaning kits or must-have ones. There are quite a lot of cleaning kits out in the market and is troubled not knowing what is real needed and useful.

        Lola need a treat!

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          April 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

          Dennis, let me finish some of my current articles and I will write a detailed guide on cleaning lenses.

          As far as a basic cleaning kit, check out this kit from Nikon – it is about $10. I also highly recommend getting the Giottos Large Rocket blower to get dust out of the camera and lenses.

          • Dennis
            April 27, 2010 at 11:39 am

            No hurry Nasim, pls do it at your own pace. I’m just glad you are willing to share with all readers about your experience.

            Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. 6) zlata
    May 31, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I have a nikon d5000 and I wanted to purchase an external flash unit. I was wondering which one you would recommend. Thank you

    • June 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm

      Zlata, go for the Nikon SB-600 – it works great when mounted on a camera and is not as expensive as the SB-900.

  7. 7) zlata
    June 6, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Thanks so much.
    Someone mentioned something about vivitar flashes. Are these flashes imitations? Are they good flashes?

    • June 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      Zlata, Vivitars are OK, but not as good as Nikon flashes. TTL will not work on Vivitar flashes, so you will have to learn how to control flash power manually. If you have not used a flash before, I would highly recommend to get the Nikon SB-600 instead.

  8. 8) Chilly
    January 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Good site and lots of information, keep up the good work!

    I have gotten my D7000 in Christmas. Without knowing this site, I order the 18-200mm with the camera because a lot of the good reviews about this “all round lens”. This is my first DSLR and still learning about it.

    I am now thinking of a standard lens for landscape and portrait (wedding, etc, got a couple coming up this year). Because of the crop factor, 50mm seems too long. I am thinking of the 12-24 which will be 18-36, close the the 35mm standard. Is this a good choice for D7000? Thanks

  9. March 23, 2012 at 11:38 am

    How often do you use HDR in your architectural photography? Are some lenses better for this function than others?

  10. March 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I was reading an article about using Adobe stitching software if your lens cannot fit in the field of view. I think this is a dangerous practice as panos are never 100% seemed perfectly. Have you ever had to this? What are you thoughts on panoramic softwares if your lens field of view is too low?

  11. 11) Alis
    March 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Hi Nasim
    I discovered your website a while ago but hadn’t discover the FAQ series yet, great! Thank you for all the info you are constantly sharing. I really appreciate!

    I don’t agree with you statement about camera autofocus. I found it very useful. I am on a budget and while I’d love to get the Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 VR/VRII I can’t justify to spend so much money on a lens for my Nikon d7100. So I got myself a Nikkor 180mm 2.8 AF. No AF-S and not as fast autofocussing as newer lenses, but the IQ is so great!!!! I also own a Tokina 50-135mm 2.8 that doesn’t have a builit in autofocus. I take pictures of dogs and it’s not always easy with a slow autofocus, but I guess if I learn how to use it properly (and even switch to manual focus from time to time), af-s will be a blast when I can finally afford the 70-200 2.8.

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