CrissT|na 11:54am, 1 July 2012

I've just bought my first DSLR and I'm now trying to figure out if I'm any good at taking professional pictures.
My question is if you guys recommend 2nd hand lenses for a beginner ? I wouldn't want to invest a ridiculous amount of money and discover that I won't be able to get my money back.
Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you,
Big_Nikkors 6 years ago
Hi Criss,

I've had my D3100 for a few months having been a point and shooter until now. I too was investigating various lenses and have been buying various bits on eBay. I've picked up a Helios 28mm, Helios 58mm (both Russian glass) which I use an adapter to attach to Nikon's F-mount body. The lenses are, in my opinion, great for portraits, though because of the difference in mount, you can't focus to infinity so you're reliant on close work. I've since bought an adapter with correction glass which does the job, though some say it reduces clarity, I've not found it very noticeable. You can get hold of one of these lenses for under £10 on eBay and adapters are cheap, too (though you can spend more for better quality glass).

I've also got hold of an old Sigma 'macro' lens, though it's not a true macro and I'm not so keen on it, though it set me back only £16.

More recently, I've got a Nikon E Series 50mm which has an effective 75mm on the Nikon DSLR, which I am really enjoying. As with all the above lenses, as the D3100 doesn't have a motor in the camera's body itself, you're reliant on focusing manually, which I prefer as I'm having to think more about the shot, setting aperture and shutter speed in order to get the finished result.

I would suggest an older Nikon lens to get going, though most importantly, it depends on what you want to shoot. If you're interested in close work and portrait, a 50mm should be perfect. If you're more interested in wildlife, you'll need something far bigger and therefore expensive.

Anyways, there will be far more educated members to guide you but these have been my findings, albiet resulting from only a couple of months' researching and experimentation.

Good luck!

Groups Beta