Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    301
    Real Name
    Blake

    Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    I've fairly recently switched to a Nikon D90, but that means I have to get myself a longer lens. Being a starving student, I can probably do better with the used market.

    Now I think I have it narrowed down to the 75-300 f4-5.6 (the one with the tripod mount) and the 70-210 f4 (not the 4-5.6 that seems to always be ridiculously overpriced).

    From what I've read, optically they're both not half bad, but the 70-210 seems to be a little hard to find. Does anyone have any experience with either of them?

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,860
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    If you are a starving student; the f/4 - 5.6 55-200mm is dirt cheap and the f/4 - 5.6 55-300 is not much more expensive. Both are stabilized lenses; if your want to hand-hold; you really should be looking at one of the newer lenses. The 55-200 is the second lens I bought for my D90. The plastic lens mounts are the only thing I don't like about the lens.


    The other lenses you are looking at have the screw focus and don't have the VR functionality, so both would be less than ideal. I believe the 70-210 is a push/pull zoom; which is not something everyone likes.

  3. #3
    tbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dawson Creek British Columbia Canada
    Posts
    2,193
    Real Name
    Trevor Reeves

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    I use the 75-300mm f4-5.6. It is a good lens. The only qualm I have with it is that it is not pin sharp at anything over about 200 mm at all apertures and and at it's worse wide open. Not too bad at over f8 but that means you are at some longer times which can be problematic for anything that moves. Forget hand holding; entirely. Unless you like blurry images.

    Another irritant is the lack of a manual option for autofocus. The lens will hunt something grim if you shift the field of view and don't give the lens a definite edge to focus on. This can be a real problem if you present the lens with sky or water in the focal point. I mainly shot landscapes, I have resorted to switching to the manual focus option on the camera after focusing so the lens focus is locked. But if trying to follow birds in flight or wildlife in brushy terrain; hair tearing frustration will result.

    Final complaint: the push/pull zoom has only limited play over 200mm to 300mm. The travel between 75 and 200 is 3 cm between 200 and 300 it's 9 mm. So it is very easy to inadvertently zoom beyond 200 mm if you are trying for sharp images.

    Otherwise, a good serviceable lens.

    Samples

    300mm f13
    Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    102 mm f11
    Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    and this how soft it can be 102m f7.1 even worse at 300 but I chuck them out so no examples
    Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

  4. #4
    tbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dawson Creek British Columbia Canada
    Posts
    2,193
    Real Name
    Trevor Reeves

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    Okay that last one was ridiculous; the lens is never that bad unless you forget to focus but is it an example of how the lens will hunt if you shift the field of view even slightly and aren't paying attention. Here is a more realistic example
    250mm f7.1
    Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    301
    Real Name
    Blake

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    As far as hand holding goes, I should be okay. Mind you, I'm used to using my old Vivitar 80-200 (K mount manual focus) on an Olympus E-520. Might have been a bit faster at the long end though, I suppose.

    Anyway, as far as the 70-210, I would be getting the f/4 version, *not* the 4-5.6.

    The main thing I'm worried about is getting myself started. I will have to look into the 55-200/55-300 a bit more, but they're at least an extra 100 bucks over the 75-300, and if I can, I'd prefer to use full frame lenses since I may get a Nikon 35mm body eventually.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    301
    Real Name
    Blake

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    Okay that last one was ridiculous; the lens is never that bad unless you forget to focus but is it an example of how the lens will hunt if you shift the field of view even slightly and aren't paying attention. Here is a more realistic example
    250mm f7.1
    How is the 75-300 for CA?

  7. #7
    tbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dawson Creek British Columbia Canada
    Posts
    2,193
    Real Name
    Trevor Reeves

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    I have had to do no correction for CA with any images at any aperture or magnification. Of course you have to factor in that I am not one of those people spends much time investigating the technical aspects of my lenses. I would have to have obvious chromatic aberration to be overly concerned. But I do submit my images for stock and so far none of the reviewers (and they can be pretty picky about technical flaws, especially focus, sharpness and CA) have commented on a CA problem with submissions from this lens. The primary problem for rejection is softness as discussed in my first post.

  8. #8
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,860
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by blakemcguire View Post
    How is the 75-300 for CA?
    Nikon has been doing in-camera correction of lateral CA of lenses for the last number of years. It's certainly not something I ever noticed on any of the output on my D90 with any lens. As long as the lens profile is available to the camera, this should not be an issue in your shooting.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    301
    Real Name
    Blake

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    I have had to do no correction for CA with any images at any aperture or magnification. Of course you have to factor in that I am not ....
    Sounds perfect to me

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    301
    Real Name
    Blake

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Nikon has been doing in-camera correction of lateral CA of lenses for the last number of years. It's certainly not something I ever noticed on any of the output on my D90 with any lens. As long as the lens profile is available to the camera, this should not be an issue in your shooting.
    I don't believe that helps with RAW, and I want the option of shooting film too.

  11. #11
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Towen Mountain - Australia
    Posts
    3
    Real Name
    Uh, "Marc" ;)

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    I've just signed up to this community just so I can respond to this thread!

    Hey Blake... did you get your 75~300?

    tbob has described it perfectly and very fairly. For the price (that they are available for), it really is a wonderful lens with very little to complain about, other then the softness as you head towards 300mm. I hope you did get it and I hope you got a bargain as well. I picked one up for $50AU which I think is a steal for a lens of this quality.

    As to the plastic kit lenses, we have a 18~55 VR, a 55~200 VR and a 55~300 VR, all DX lenses, all plastic and all pretty awful lenses, built to a price. I also have a 24~70 2.8 and an 80~200 2.8 and that is why I am so critical of the kit lenses now. Yes, if you are going to use a film body (or if you are contemplating a FX sensor Nikon), definitely do not waste your money on any DX lenses. You'll be less than impressed with the results and then find yourself with basically useless lenses anyway.

    As for VR... well, I think Thom Hogan's article on it - http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm - pretty much covers the VR story and I wont attempt repeating him other than to say my good lenses are not VR, my cheap lenses are VR and the only time I have watched professionals working with a top shelf VR lens, VR was switched off!

    But I digress... did you get the 75~300 or did you find the seemingly elusive 70~210 f/4? How have you found it/them? Happy story or is the hunt still on?

  12. #12
    Black Pearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Whitburn, Sunderland
    Posts
    2,318
    Real Name
    Robin

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    As to the plastic kit lenses, we have a 18~55 VR, a 55~200 VR and a 55~300 VR, all DX lenses, all plastic and all pretty awful lenses, built to a price. I also have a 24~70 2.8 and an 80~200 2.8 and that is why I am so critical of the kit lenses now. Yes, if you are going to use a film body (or if you are contemplating a FX sensor Nikon), definitely do not waste your money on any DX lenses. You'll be less than impressed with the results and then find yourself with basically useless lenses anyway.
    Yes if you are planing on getting a FX body a DX lens may not be the best investment but to say you will be less impressed with results from DX lenses is a bit of a sweeping statement.

    How about the 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX or the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G or the 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX NIKKOR or the AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR I could go on but you get the point. Yes the 'kit' lenses have a relatively low build quality but they can still give fantastic results and they are relatively inexpensive so a good way to build a range of focal lengths without spending a small fortune on the pro lens range. Not everyone can afford a 24-70mm f2.8 and as the vast majority of photographers don't use FX bodies its not even an ideal focal length.


    As for VR... well, I think Thom Hogan's article on it - http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm - pretty much covers the VR story and I wont attempt repeating him other than to say my good lenses are not VR, my cheap lenses are VR and the only time I have watched professionals working with a top shelf VR lens, VR was switched off!
    So why did Nikon replaced your old 80-200mm with a newer 70-200mm and put VR on it - and why for that matter have they replaced that with the MkII version and not only still put VR on it but spent time updating the VR unit itself? Why have Nikon and Canon been updating their top end big pro lenses over the last few years and putting VR (IS) on all them all?
    You have to know when to use it to get the best results but to say its not a thing to look for is misleading.

  13. #13
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Towen Mountain - Australia
    Posts
    3
    Real Name
    Uh, "Marc" ;)

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    Sorry for not being clear enough in what I said.

    I referred to the 18~55 VR, 55~200 VR and 55~300 VR as being the "pretty awful" lenses. We have all three here and they don't get used any more. They all happen to be DX lenses but I did not say all DX lenses are bad. I also have the 35 1.8 and it was my 'leave on the camera' lens. Yes, there are definitely some great DX lenses, no argument there, but the OP said he is going to a film body so they would be a wasted purchase for him.

    As to the VR argument, well, it's another 'holy war' (Mac vs wintel, VHS vs Beta) and while it has a purpose, it's not the yardstick.

    FWIW, the 80~200 2.8 AF D is possibly Nikon's longest production lens. In fact, it has only just disappeared form the catalogue after how long?... 13 years? It's less than half the price of the 70~200 VR II but that 70~200 VR II is definitely not more than twice the lens. As for Nikon producing VR lenses now, they are still not the majority. Nikon of course produce what is demanded by the buyers but a quick look at the current catalogue of lenses I believe shows they are still not the majority, be it DX or FX.

    Writing off non-VR glass would be silly (I know you didn't) as there are some stunning non-VR lenses available, both old and new.

    So yes, the DX lenses you mentioned are great but for a film body (or FX sensor), they'd be a wasted purchase for the OP.
    Last edited by marc; 12th June 2012 at 10:52 PM.

  14. #14
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,860
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    Quote Originally Posted by marc View Post
    As to the plastic kit lenses, we have a 18~55 VR, a 55~200 VR and a 55~300 VR, all DX lenses, all plastic and all pretty awful lenses, built to a price. I also have a 24~70 2.8 and an 80~200 2.8 and that is why I am so critical of the kit lenses now. Yes, if you are going to use a film body (or if you are contemplating a FX sensor Nikon), definitely do not waste your money on any DX lenses. You'll be less than impressed with the results and then find yourself with basically useless lenses anyway.
    Let's agree to disagree on that statement. I own the 18-55VR, 55-200VR, and the pro f/2.8 14-24. 24-70 and 70-200(VR). The cheaper lenses perform quite nicely and I will throw them in my backpack along with my D90 when I'm out all day long. They weigh almost nothing, are fine in good light and other than my not liking the plastic lens mount and flimsy construction, I have nothing to complain about regarding image quality. If I want to do low light or serious shooting, the big guns come out on the D800. The cost of these lenses is significantly lower than my pro FX lenses (like 10% - 20% of the cost). There is no question that my FX lenses a much better build quality, are optically great, but they do weigh and cost a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by marc View Post
    As for VR... well, I think Thom Hogan's article on it - http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm - pretty much covers the VR story and I wont attempt repeating him other than to say my good lenses are not VR, my cheap lenses are VR and the only time I have watched professionals working with a top shelf VR lens, VR was switched off!
    Hogan has a lot of it right, but some of it quite wrong. He clearly does not understand the physics and engineering as to how in-lens stabilization works. That being said, your best pictures with a long lens will be shot on a tripod with VR off. The corrective circuitry in the lens will result in small movements if the floating element, and of course this will, in theory, be reflected in the final image. I did some testing using a tripod using a cable release and quite frankly did not see any difference in image quality in VR off and VR on. On the other hand, with VR I've been able to get hand-held shots that were extremely share at shutter speeds well below where I can hand-hold without VR. I'm not going to get into an argument regarding VR versus not VR lenses; but I will say I personally do notice a difference and do recommend them, especially for hand-held shots at longer focal lengths.

    Anyhow, Blake has clearly stated that (a) he has a limited budget and (b) he is shooting a D90, so the discussion of FX versus DX versus film is a bit irrelevent.

  15. #15
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Towen Mountain - Australia
    Posts
    3
    Real Name
    Uh, "Marc" ;)

    Re: Nikkor 75-300 or 70-210 f4

    Agree to disagree? Damn fine idea

    But the thing is, I don't disagree totally. I do however get very cranky at people saying not to buy a great piece of 'old' glass in favour of the new, bottom shelf offerings. That's why I bought in to this discussion in the first place. Yes, I'm an opinionated twat but I don't think the guts of my advice to Blake is bad advice. I do think telling him NOT to grab the 75~200 or the 70~210 is bad advice, in light of what he has said throughout the thread.

    Blake's post had three things that stood out for me... a) he's on a tight budget, b) he's already looking at what is a great lens (that I bought for $50) and c) he's wanting to use whatever he buys on a film body. That all adds up to a no-brainer choice as far as I am concerned.

    PS: at least I didn't quote Ken Rockwell

    PPS: this thread has at least prompted me to stick our kit lenses on eBay... and that's a good thing!

    (now i'll crawl back in my box!)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •