Ok.. Who can help me… I’m after the best 400mm or 500mm telephoto zoom lens that $1000 to $2000 can buy me.. ( to suit a Nikon D300s ) Is it worth paying extra for the Nikon 80-400mm compared to some of the other lenses.. Do you end up with better quality using a Nikon lens on a Nikon camera ? I have heard the Sigma 120-400mm is quite good.. I’d probably prefer up to 500mm.. but either way, needs to be sharp at the long end.
Which Telephoto Zoom ???(48 posts) (22 voices)
sharp at the long end? You will need to buy a 500mm prime, or a 400mm prime. Unless you go for the 200-400. Which is way over budget.
Best idea: buy the 80-400, its a good lens for the price. You will regret buying a 3rd party equiv because they are never as good, (hence the price)
Good luck :)
in this price range the best IQ You can get is the 80-400 (get one from ebay or craigs for +/-$800), if You want sth faster (not as good optically) get sigma 100-300/f4 + TC - if You want sth better than this You need to get more funds. I've tested pretty much everything what's in the market in this price range and above is my conclusion.
I'm going to suggest that if you already have a zoom in the 200mm range, get the nikon 300 prime and a 1.4 TC. That will give you the best overall image quality. My guess is that if you buy a telezoom you will probably always be at the high end of the zoom anyway so your are better off with the prime.
in the 400-500 mm range Consider the new 50-500 sigma OS. I have seen sample images from that and its lovely. Thats the lens I have put on my "to buy" list. Sharp and contrasty and much less of the Sigma colour tinge.
hearty - this lens is not worth it's money, it's almost twice as expensive as the old version
I am hoping the price will come down a bit by the time I have saved my pennies :-)
Its what I want in a telephoto lens. ie
* goes to 500
* Reasonably sharp at 500
* versatile Tele Zoom
* Goes down to 50 mm
* Less of a sigma colour tinge.
Hope the price comes down a bit more.
hearty - I know that the OS function is really nice, but I don't see to much use of it in such a long lenses. to get outstanding quality You will need to use tripod and once You mount any VR enabled lens on tripod You need to switch the OS off. also, the case with all sigma lenses I used is the need to close it down a little bit. my bigma was a really good example, and still I needed to close it down to f8 in order to see some sharpness at 500mm (although it was acceptable at 400mm/wide open). so, if You want to get a 500mm sigma, get the old version and invest in gimbal style tripod head (jobu design make decent ones), put it on a nice tripod and for the price of the new one You will have a much better setup.
one more thing, 500mm on DX makes 750mm - trust me, it's really hard to handheld it (not to mention that it's hard to find the subject, as even 1mm shift will change what You see in viewfinder.
and one other thing, if You really want to go for sigma, get 500/4.5 - I've seen it on ebay for +/-$3000 - and it's another (higher) league than bigma
yeah.. the primes in this range are the way to go.. .. But I love to hand hold .. I have a 200-400 f5.6. and I hand hold that sometimes. I use it on a tripod as well but I find it frustrating to use so I hardly ever use it. Planning to upgrade that to the 50-500 OS. I understand your arguments but I think the 50-500 would suit the way I prefer to use a lens of that length.
You can use VRII with a tripod/monopod. and the way I like to shoot is with a tripod braced against my chest/belt, I find that VRII works with that set up and I am hoping that the OS works that way as well.
I can get Grey market
* old sigma 50-500 for 1300
* new Sigma 50-500 OS for 1700
So its not bad.. just got to save up for it :-)
I have Tamron's 200-500 and am looking to upgrade. To get a sharp image you cannot shoot less than f8. Its focus is slow. I have taken some very nice images with it, but it makes you work for them. Hand holding a long lens like this does not work very well. Like Adam stated, get a good tripod.
I have its older brother.. the 200-400 tamron F5.6. I agree that it does take some work but I do mostly hand held shots anyway :-) Just the way I like to shoot.. :-) ah well .. I think the 50-500 sigma OS will fit my Modus Operandi well.
that dragonfly in mid flight blows me away. Very nice
Thanks .. lots of tries of different techniques but guess what.. all manual was best. Manual focus, Manual Zoom, Manual shutter, manual aperture, manual flash and patience :-) oh and no tripod :-) oh I also used extension tubes so that I could focus closer..
hearty - what kind of head are You using on Your tripod? is it a regular ball head or a gimbal one?
I dont have a Gimbal head. I have 6 tripods . 2 big ones, 2 small medium and 2 small/tiny ( which I mainly use to hold my Flash or P&S. One of the Big ones I use for Pano and 360 stitches as its got levels and degree markings .. etc. The other Big one is Just big and strong. May get a nice strong Ball head or trigger thingi for that so That it is more convenient to use in a home studio (when I get one :-) .
One of the medium/small ones is the one I use most of the time. Its got a ball head and I mostly use it propped on my chest or belt. The other one is short and the feet cannot extend. but really convenient and looks like a short fat mono-pod when the legs are not unfolded I use that for events and parties.
Nice pics Hearty!!!
hearty - that's the reason You don't like to use big lenses with tripods - the lack of gimbal head. trust me I was in the same situation, was so angry when I needed to use long lens on ballhead, all of this changed once I got gimbal head.
I had the opportunity to play with the new bigma os, and...
- sharper than the older one, although I still wouldn't use it wide open
- very fast AF
- OS works nicely
- feels cheaper than the old version
- the zoom is not as slick as it was before
- the hood could be a little bit longer
will send some pics tomorrow (to tired today :( )
Nice shots Hearty.
thanks adamz, I will have a play with a gimbal sometime and see if it helps :-) thanks also for the mini/micro review! :-) of the new sigma 50-500 OS. Looks like whats important has been improved :-) Looks like its definitely staying on my "to buy" list :-)
Thanks guys.. even old lenses have some life in them ! My uncle gave it to me as he went over to a FF canon !! :-)
below two shots taken from the sigma 50-500 os - I've applied the same PP as I apply to any other shots I take (apart from cropping):
Continuing on the reply from the other thread,
check B&H, Adorama and Nikon USA web site for refurbished 70-300 VR. the price sould be around what you would like to pay.
Nikon refurbished equipment is equipment that has been returned under warranty for some reason.
repaired, parts changed and adjusterd by Nikon to new specs and put back on the market as refurbished.
I think, if you are buying lenses they are a great deal, as these are double checked before being sent out, much better than used, and they may be better than new simply because they are tested and adjusted.
the ones that I have seen look brand new and perform flawlessly.
if you have good light the 70-300mm vr will not disapoint and the VR is a must for a lens of this length.
when the light starts to drop, may I suggest the 50mm which works out to be about 75mm a short telephoto.
f1.8 f1.4 depending on your pocket will give you the low light coverage and speed you will need indoors.
D or G really does not matter with the D7000, they are both fast and IQ is fantastic however a search of this site will give you good reviews on the 50mm .
good luck with your quest.
My only concern about 70-300 f4.5-5.6 VR is that it could be slower in the nights. How about using the above lens until the light reduces and then use nikkor 135mm f2.8 Ai-s? It doesn't have VR but the used ones are less expensive in ebay.
It's prime and should be fast. It can also autofocus on D7000. What do you guys suggest?
My only concern about 70-300 f4.5-5.6 VR is that it could be slower in the nights. .... What do you guys suggest?
What or who are you trying to photograph???
If you are photographing a back cat in a coal hole, then you are right, F5.6 is not wide enough, but nether is f2.8 you need f1.4 get the 50mm and try and closer to your subject
I'm currently thinking of faster lens (f2.8) for indoor events, not using bright lights, musical performance and get-together with buddies and community meetups. I don't think of any other situations to use this lens.
Since my usage is going to be less compared to my other lens 35mm f1.8, I'm thinking of push pull version of the lens ($500).
I guess for me I have no idea what you are trying to do. Do you really need a telephoto lens? How close do you think you can get? I mean you have the 85 F3.5 which should work pretty well for protrait type pics. An F2.8 lens will only add one stop for you and if it doesn't have VR then you are losing stops. I am not sure you would really gain anything from the 135 F2.8. Like I said with no VR which is usually good for at least 3 stops you will actually get 2 stops better performance than the F2.8 which is only a stop faster than the F3.5. My only suggestion is maybe the 85 F1.4, or 50 F1.4, but to me it seems like you really aren't sure what you need/want. Or we have no idea what you want :) The only lens that is more telephoto that I would suggest is either the 105 F2.8 macro or one of the third party options such at the Sigma 150 F2.8 with OS....they are both around $800-900 though. I think you are wanting something that you aren't going to get for the price. The only options I see are expensive.
I left out the obvious 70-200 F2.8 VRI or VRII, but once again $$$. The problem with any of the cheaper, older lenses is no VR.
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