New to Me Nikon D3200 - Have a Lens Question

Hello All! 

We are (Soon to Be) Doodle Moms and I found a really  sweet deal on a Nikon D3200, (read: in my budget).   It comes with a 55-200mm lens (as well as other accessories).  I haven't used an SLR in many, many years and never a DSLR.  I researched and decided on this camera.  The price was right, and it is RED!  My question is, after reading many discussions in this group:  Can I use the 55-200mm lens as an every day lens while I get back familiar with using an SLR and learning my new DSLR?

What I have found in reading, I think, is that I really need a prime lens, such as a 50mm for everyday photos.  And if I understand correctly, the aperture on the 55-200mm may not be the range I need.

If I need to go ahead with the 50mm, does anyone have any recommendations on good, used lenses from a reputable seller?

I have everything to learn and I am reading, reading, reading, and trying not to ask questions before I research my questions here, first. 

Thanks in Advance,

Zoey's Mom, Lynn

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  • I use mostly zoom lenses with my favorite being a Nikkor 28-300 which stays on my camera most of the time.  If it were me, I would stick with the 55-200 until you have gotten a good feel for the camera.  

    • Thanks!  I'll start testing it out this weekend!

  • I use longer range lens As my only lens - mine is a Sigma 18 to 300. I used to have an 18-55 and 55- 200 for my previous Nikon cameras. I am somewhat lazy didn’t want to change lenses. My husband has a really, really good 18 - 55 lens and can get some better close ups than I can, but overall, I prefer the lens ‘that can do it all.’  Especially if you are getting back into photography.  Be sure your lens has image stabilization. My first 55-200 Nikon lens did not. Lots of blurry photos resulted!

    • Thanks!  I am hoping to have a chance to start learning all of the buttons on the D3200 this weekend.  And that is good info about the image stabilization!  No blurry photos!!!!

  • I agree with F. I always prefer my zoom lenses and I use a 24-70 as my everyday lense. Unless I am in a controlled situation, (like taking portraits) and I know the subject won't be moving, a zoom is always my go to. I use Canon instead of Nikon but I don't think that matters for this question. 

    • I meant to give you credit for leading me to use the external flash!  You inspired me from the get go with your beautiful photos of your girls!

  • For my prime lens I bought a 35mm.  You just have to either step back or come in closer as there is no zoom on a prime  I love it for close up detailed shots.  I used to have a Nikon D3200...just sold it for $100 to a friend.  I bought the D7200 because it is more forgiving in low light.  I also bought an external flash.  To me the external is a MUST for capturing the gorgeous eyes of your furkids.  Good luck happy learning.

  • I did see the index.  This is very organized.  I'm still learning how to find answers using the search box.  I will go back and try again. 

    Thank you for trying to keep me in line!!!!!


  • I have always used Nikon dSLRs. My favorite lenses despite primes are the zoom lenses. With good lighting you should get fine shots even if the aperture isn’t ideal. That will give you time to decide after reading up on lenses what you want. I have prime lenses but rarely use them.

    • Thank you, F. Calla & Luca!  I don't want to repeat questions that have already been asked! I am loving this website.  There is so much good information!

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