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Thread: DSLR Lens

  1. #1
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    DSLR Lens

    Hi, I am a beginner in DSLR photography. I have a Nikon D5100 with a 18-55mm kit lens. I want to purchase a cheap telephoto lens with decent picture quality. I have considered the Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro and the Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG Macro as they both are similarly priced and fit my budget.
    Can you please tell me which is better? Any other suggestions will also be helpful.
    Please note that my camera does not have a autofocus motor built in its body, so the lens must have its own motor.
    Thanks..

  2. #2

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    Re: DSLR Lens

    Personally, I would not consider any long zoom that did not have VR (VS in Tamron-speak, OS to Sigma). If I needed a tele for about $150 on a Nikon cropped camera body, I would get the Nikon 55-200 VR lens. I have owned that lens in the past, and it is much better than its price would suggest. FWIW

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Lens

    Hi Asmit...

    If possible, a telephoto lens with some sort of vibration/motion compensation/stabilization (IS-VC-VR, etc.) would be more versatile for you. Because you would not be a captive to high ISO and/or bright light in order to hand hold it effectively. As an example, I started off with the Canon 70-200mm f/4L lens which is an excellent quality glass but. doesn't have Image Stabilization (IS). When I switched to the IS version of this lens; I was able to use it 4-5 times more often because I could hand hold in lower light levels. I can shoot down to 1/60 second using 200mm with IS turned on. Without IS, I need at least 1/320 second (usually higher) to get a sharp image. Using a lens of a maximum f/4 aperture, the light needs to be bright or the ISO very high in order to maintain a 1/320 or higher shutter speed.

    If you were shooting Canon, I would have absolutely no hesitation to recommend the 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS lens. That is a very reasonably priced lens which produces high quality imagery and costs under $200(USD) in the USA. I would assume that Nikon certainly should have a lens comparable with the Canon 55-250mm IS (Tom suggests that there is: the 55-200mm VR), or perhaps there is a third party lens which has some sort of stabilization would be available for your camera at a price you feel comfortable with.

    I am certainly not saying that you MUST have stabilization in a telephoto lens. People have shot for years with non-stabilized lenses. It is simply that you can shoot at a far slower shutter speed with a stabilized lens which equates to being able to use the lens in a lower light level.

  4. #4
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Lens

    Given the choice of the two, I would go with the Sigma as it is optically stabilized, while the Tamron is not. Handholding at 300mm with a relatively slow lens means this feature should be considered a "must-have". From a quality standpoint, these lenses are entry level, as are the slightly more expensive Nikon 55-200mm (which I own) and the Nikon 55-300mm.

    I don't think there any other third party lenses out there that would meet your requirements.

  5. #5

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    Re: DSLR Lens

    Manfred, I think you are mistaken about the Sigma the OP is discussing. There is an OS version of the Sigma lens, but it is more expensive than the ones being considered. The only stablilized tele lens that I am familiar with in the price range of the indicated lenses is the surprisingly-good Nikon 55-200 VR.

    [ETA: I just checked Adorama for pricing on the Nikon 55-200 VR. It is more expensive than it used to be, but can still be had as a Nikon factory refurb for under $200. The Nikon refurbs that I have purchased are all excellent lenses. I wouldn't hesitate to buy this lens as a refurb. Of course, YMMV.]
    Last edited by tclune; 13th August 2012 at 03:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    Manfred, I think you are mistaken about the Sigma the OP is discussing. There is an OS version of the Sigma lens, but it is more expensive than the ones being considered. The only stablilized tele lens that I am familiar with in the price range of the indicated lenses is the surprisingly-good Nikon 55-200 VR.
    Could be, but when I looked at the two lenses with my local discount retailer website, the OS Sigma was $15 more than the unstabilized Tamron. My only issues with the Nikons are the plastic lens mounts. I've had the bayonet of the 18-55mm break on me and the two Nikon lenses share this weakness. Optically, the lens (55-200) is quite good value. I still throw my D90 and those two lenses in my backpack when off hiking somewhere because they are so light. The D800 and pro level lenses are fantastic, but a bit of a bother after a couple of hours of lugging them around on my back.

  7. #7

    Re: DSLR Lens

    Have you looked hard at the Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR? It has a low cost and high performance combination of attributes. I've seen images from it blown up to over a meter wide and it is one of those rare gems. Worth playing with before you buy.

    Yes, its bayonet is plastic, but I've never had a problem with any plastic mount Nikkors in any of 9 lenses that had/have them. I'm sure they are vulnerable to falls and extreme handling, but replacing the lens's mount is cheaper than replacing the camera's mount. (Based on an actual experience with a metal-based 70-200 table drop attached to a D800. The story had a happy ending. But the credit card did not.)
    Last edited by BuzzMega; 18th August 2012 at 09:33 PM.

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