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I almost don't know anything about lenses and cameras and photography, I just have D800E camera and I want to buy a lens that I can shoot photos of my family in travel.

I have "Nikon AF FX DC-NIKKOR 105mm f/2D" but its "too zoomed in" and I have to go far away to take photo, don't get me wrong, I love it and I use it inside house because its taking great indoor photos, but not that good for outdoors.

I want a lens that a) I can use outdoor and not having to walk far away to take a shot b) Not having background blurred much, like when we are travelling and we are in front of a statue or something, the lens I have doesn't really include anything from background, they all appear blurry.

I know my questions are super basic stuff in photography, sorry about that. I just want to take great photos and lets say cost doesn't matter much. Just want crisp 36MP photos that includes all background details and it takes clear and bright photos outdoors.

I know my lens should have higher aperture, like f/22, but how do I know which one will be better for my camera? What else is there other than f value?

Thank you in advance

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    "Not having background blurred much" – That's the opposite of what everyone else is trying to do. – xiota Apr 12 at 20:00
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    @xiota Thats actually weird to me. I want to take a photo and include all my surrounding, lets say I'm in front of a statue, I want my family and statue and all surroundings to be very clear and visible, no idea why people like to blur background – GMX Rider Apr 12 at 20:02
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    People like to blur the background because backgrounds are often distracting. The easiest way to remove a distracting background is to cause it to blur. Also, in portraits, it helps to isolate the subject. The way a lens can cause the background to become a swirl of color is very important to portrait photographers. – Hueco Apr 12 at 20:07
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    @Hueco Photography is science/art. I, as a total newbie (not even newbie, just someone with a camera) can't understand complex stuff in it without studying. Appreciate all responses I got today. Hopefully will find some free time and study a bit more about photography and learn basics. – GMX Rider Apr 12 at 20:14
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    You are very correct - photography is a product of both science and art. As cameras have evolved over the last ~100 years, they've been designed to remove as much of the science as possible. Obviously, this expands the market opportunities for camera manufacturers. However, learning about the science aspects (really, all you need is Exposure and DoF to get started) will make a huge impact on your ability to "get the shot." – Hueco Apr 12 at 20:18
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In the spirit of "Teach a man to fish"...

I almost don't know anything about lenses and cameras and photography, I just have D800E camera and I want to buy a lens that I can shoot photos of my family in travel.

I'm genuinely curious how someone who doesn't know a thing about photography wound up with almost $2k sunk into their first camera. Photography shopping is like car shopping - the more you know about it, the more you can actually find something for your needs and not the salesperson's commission needs.

Always take recommendations with a grain of salt and do further research pairing the gear with your functional need. If you can't, it's a bad buy (unless you really just want to collect the gear)

I have "Nikon AF FX DC-NIKKOR 105mm f/2D" but its "too zoomed in" and I have to go far away to take photo, don't get me wrong, I love it and I use it inside house because its taking great indoor photos, but not that good for outdoors.

This is because it's 105mm. The scales for lenses go: super wide angle, wide angle, normal, telephoto, super telephoto. The breakpoints are, roughly, ~24mm or less, ~35mm, ~50mm, ~70mm, and ~300mm.

As you can see, your 105mm lens sits right in the "Telephoto" category. These are lenses designed to make far away objects appear closer ("zoomed in"). They take some wonderful head and shoulder portraits - but one has to have a lot of room to take a waist up or full body shot.

I want a lens that a) I can use outdoor and not having to walk far away to take a shot

See above. You need to get a lens that has a wider angle of view. From where you're at, that's a normal, wide, or super-wide lens. Keep in mind that all are built around various trade-offs and you need to determine your functional need before trying to pair it to gear.

b) Not having background blurred much, like when we are travelling and we are in front of a statue or something, the lens I have doesn't really include anything from background, they all appear blurry.

Background blur, or Bokeh, is a product of the lack of Depth of Field. DoF increases when your focus approaches infinity. This is easier to do with wide angle lenses as you don't need to stand as far away to get everyone in your frame. Aperture also affects DoF. F/2 is very open, and on a 105mm lens can produce a DoF that is mere millimeters wide. Stopping down will help - I highly recommend you research "Depth of Field" as a topic and begin to learn how aperture, focal length, and focal distance combine to create the "blur" or lack of "blur" in the background.

I know my questions are super basic stuff in photography, sorry about that. I just want to take great photos and lets say cost doesn't matter much. Just want crisp 36MP photos that includes all background details and it takes clear and bright photos outdoors.

Great Photos with a DSLR mean knowing more about photography. Sorry, this type of camera isn't aimed at beginners. The more you know, the better your shots will be.

I know my lens should have higher aperture, like f/22, but how do I know which one will be better for my camera? What else is there other than f value?

You are incorrect. Lenses are marked by their maximum, most open aperture. Your 105mm f/2 has f/2 at it's widest setting. That same lens can also stop down, or be set to: f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22. It may even get up to f/32. Your camera probably allows for the 1/2 and 1/3 stops in between these. These, by the way, are the full f/stop increments. You should learn them and learn what they mean for Depth of Field and Exposure control.

To make it clear, you don’t have to buy an ##mm f/5.6 lens to use f/5.6. You need simply buy a lens whose max is wider than what you want because you can always stop an f/1.8 or f/2 lens down to f/8 or f/11. You can't, on the other hand, open up an f/5.6 lens to f/2!

Thank you in advance

No worries, mate. Good luck in your endeavor. As Wayne said, a ~24 - ~70 will probably work for you. But like I said, take this with a grain of salt and research a bit more into how photography works so that you can make informed purchase decisions.

  • Thanks for very detailed answer. I learned a lot here, although I think I have to research each paragraph of your answer and learn more. To summarize your answer, I think I should find a wide or super wide lens with a high aperture. – GMX Rider Apr 12 at 20:08
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    @GMXRider Probably. The max aperture will make it handy at night / dim shooting but 28mm may be too wide for your tastes. You really should try out (rent) a 35mm, 28mm, and 24mm to see the differences in angle of view and distortion when forced to shoot close to your subject. It could be a great buy for your needs, but then again, it may not. I suggest you rent before you buy. – Hueco Apr 12 at 20:15
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    @xiota just because I'm saying to take recommendations with a grain of salt doesn't mean I can't throw mine into the wind. Personally, I'd go with 35 as the angle of view any wider just seems a bit extreme for most travel snaps (or a midrange zoom). But, seems OP is obsessed with pixel peepers reviews of primes. – Hueco Apr 12 at 21:22
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    @xiota I'm assuming based on the fact that OP doesn't know much about photography yet has such a pro(sumer) kit and talks of clear, crisp photos. Reviews of primes will always show them to be sharper than zooms (mostly anyway) but it's an uneven comparison. So, I assumed that OP simply researched "the best lenses" and quickly fell down the sharpness rabbit hole. – Hueco Apr 12 at 22:14
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    @MichaelC hopefully done and done. Though I would find it funny if op starts looking for 35mm f/8 lenses. That’ll be a long search. – Hueco Apr 13 at 6:28
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Nikon 800E has a full-frame sensor. This means 40-55mm is the normal focal length. "Normal" is usually determined by the diagonal of the film/sensor size. (362 + 242)½ ≈ 43.2666. What different people from different eras consider wide varies somewhat. Wide tends to be 35mm and smaller. What people prefer for longer, 70mm and larger, similarly varies.

Some options to consider; notice that they all include something in the "normal" range:

  • There is a 24-120/4 lens, which was *designed to be specifically what you want – a walkabout travel lens. It covers a wide focal length range for maximal versatility, without extending into clear superzoom territory. The F4 aperture is large enough for most uses. (WayneF mentions this option.)

    Beware the 24-120/3.5-5.6 lenses, at least one of the variants is known for lacking sharpness.

  • Tamron recently released a 35-150/2.8-4 lens that may suit your needs. It has a faster aperture at the wide end and a greater zoom range than the previously mentioned walkabout zooms. The trade-off is a longer focal length at the wide end. 35mm is the classic wide-angle focal length.

  • The film-era kit lens was often a 50/1.8 prime. If you want to use prime lenses, you should strongly consider a "nifty fifty". It may be combined with a wider lens, such as 28mm or 35mm, along with a narrower one, such as 85mm or the 105mm that you already have.

  • The modern full-frame kit lenses are often 24-70/2.8. They are wide to moderately long, midrange zooms. They tend to be large and heavy. The fast F2.8 aperture gives you the option to blur the background. You can increase depth of field (sharpening the background) by closing the aperture to F8 or F11. It is often paired with a 70-200/2.8 telephoto zoom.

    In some cases, there is a 24-70/4 option. This is a "slower", less costly, smaller kit option. The F4 aperture is large enough for most uses. You can still stop down to F8 or F11 for deeper DOF. It may be paired with a 70-200/4 lens.

  • Then there are superzoom lenses, covering ranges such as 28-300/3.5-6.3. They are a lot of fun to use, but they tend to be less sharp than the aforementioned options. Their apertures at the long end also limit their indoor usefulness. If you plan to progress in photography, you will likely advance toward the previously mentioned options.

  • You can try out some old lenses. Some people enjoy using old lenses because it reminds them of the good old days they have character that modern lenses don't have. The image quality of old primes is often good-enough for full frame sensors. Your D800E even seems to have a screw-drive motor, so it can autofocus some ancient Nikon lenses.

    Such lenses tend to be inexpensive, less than the cost to rent modern lenses, so you can try out a variety of focal lengths to narrow down your options before you start renting and purchasing "serious" lenses.

  • Some Nikon 'D' lenses are also AF-S lenses. Some Nikon G lenses are AF, rather than AF-S lenses. All 'D' lenses do not require a screw drive to autofocus, and some 'G' lenses do. – Michael C Apr 13 at 6:06
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I have the three Nikon f/2.8 lenses that I use around home with a D800, and they're great, but heavy, especially if all three (which is bulky too). What works really great for my traveling is the single 24-120 mm f/4 lens. I never choose f/2.8 anyway, and it is not 14 mm nor 200 mm, but it is a great compromise, not too much to carry all day, and images are of high quality.

  • Thanks for the detailed answer. So if budget is not issue and I don't really need any zooming, I just want the best, sharpest and crisp photos from couple feet away, if I have to buy one single lens for that to travel with and weight also doesn't matter, what should I get? – GMX Rider Apr 12 at 20:01
  • @GMXRider A photo of what from a couple of feet away? A flower, a person, a bed? If you are really only a few feet away you might need a macro lens. In any case, you probably need the zoom and the 24-120f/4 is an excellent option. – Eric Shain Jul 19 at 20:15

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