Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 55

Thread: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

  1. #1
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Hi all,

    I'd love a longer lens for my 1.5 c/f Nikon D5000, my current max is 200mm, on the Nikon 18-200mm VR AF-S G, f3.5 - f5.6.
    Intended use for wildlife shooting at a distance, handheld by choice; e.g. birds in flight, etc.

    Having peered through a viewfinder on a friends 70-300 (on a 1.6 c/f Canon), I wasn't that impressed the difference between 200mm and 300mm gave me - I crop more than that with my current lens.

    Obviously budget is an issue, I'd have to be really convinced to go over 1,000.

    My current thoughts are;
    Nikon 300mm f4.0 D ED-IF AF-S Lens, price circa 999.
    This, being a prime, should be better IQ than the cheaper 70-300 zoom, but this has no VR.

    Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-S VR Lens, price circa 439.
    Concerned I'll be disappointed in minimal IQ improvement achievable from images compared to crop from my 18-200 - any thoughts?

    Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 D ED VR Lens, price circa 1200.
    Max mm is better, has VR and versatility of zoom over prime, but not AF-S, so only manual focusing on D5000.

    Or third party...
    But I've had bad experience with AF errors on a Sigma 18-250mm, so am VERY wary of going third party again - so, can anyone convince me?

    Obviously I will get the 1.5 crop factor multiplication on all the above focal lengths, but I left that out since, for comparison purposes, it is irrelevant.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Gorokan NSW Australia
    Posts
    408

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Go with the 300mm f4 Dave, pin sharp lens right from wide open, stays pin sharp with either the 1.4 or 1.7 teleconverter. It will be my next lens if the cash comes my way.

  3. #3
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    28,838
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Dave,
    The 80-400mm is about as good as you going to get on your budget. The longest shutter speed with a 400mm lens would be about 1/400" even with VR function, however the manufacturer states "Result of VR (Vibration Reduction) is equivalent to uisng a shutter speed three f/stops faster." I only mention the shutter speed in case you plan to use manual focus as you state you plan to use the lens handheld.

  4. #4
    benm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    315
    Real Name
    Ben

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    You could try a mirror lens. A Bower (3rd party, however) 500mm f/6.3 is only US$179. Only US$119 for a 500mm f/8. That's almost disposable!

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    Go with the 300mm f4 Dave, pin sharp lens right from wide open, stays pin sharp with either the 1.4 or 1.7 teleconverter. It will be my next lens if the cash comes my way.
    Thanks Bill,

    Having used a prime recently, I have to say, they do have their benefits.

    The alternative to a longer telephoto is a more usable macro lens for the D5000 and the 105mm f2.8 VR is a good candidate, I recently spent a weekend or two with just a 90mm on, and shot bugs and birds, of course, the birds were, on the whole, too small with 90mm and 105mm isn't much longer, but would help.

    If only the 300 had VR ...

    But then the other problem is when whatever you're shooting comes right at you and you can't zoom out to keep shooting

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Dave,
    The 80-400mm is about as good as you going to get on your budget. The longest shutter speed with a 400mm lens would be about 1/400" even with VR function, however the manufacturer states "Result of VR (Vibration Reduction) is equivalent to uisng a shutter speed three f/stops faster." I only mention the shutter speed in case you plan to use manual focus as you state you plan to use the lens handheld.
    Hi Shadowman,

    I would almost certainly use handheld, unless it proved really unweildy.
    Unless I change to a D90 or better body, I'm stuck with manual focus on this lens as it has no internal SWM motor. I'm just not sure my eyes are up to manual focusing, I can do it on tripod at f2.8 with plenty of light, but in the field, at f5.6 ....

    Like the VR
    Like the focal length range

    I find in practice I up the ISO to get shutter speed well above 1/1000s anyway for birds in flight, so I guess that makes VR less useful for camera shake on the image itself, but I bet it helps focusing too - I like to watch it kick in at 200mm (in V/F), so at 400, it'll be twice as useful when handheld.

    Thanks,

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    1,015
    Real Name
    Rick

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    So maybe your next purchase should be a second body, not another lens? I've been thinking about that myself. I only have two lenses I really use, but as soon as I get to three, I don't think I'll like the idea of switch-switch-switch. Plus, as people have been talking about in the thread about must-haves for wedding photography, if my camera body dies sometime I'm on vacation, I have about 40 pounds (weight) worth of lenses, flashes, and tripods, and "stuff" that I dragged along that will just be sitting there making me cry. So a second body would be some really good insurance.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Quote Originally Posted by benm View Post
    You could try a mirror lens. A Bower (3rd party, however) 500mm f/6.3 is only US$179. Only US$119 for a 500mm f/8. That's almost disposable!
    An interesting thought Ben, thanks.

    Unfortunately, I suspect while the IQ might satisfy a bird watcher wanting snaps of what they've seen through binoculars or telescope, when compared to decent camera lens I think it might be lacking.

    The other issue is the lack of versatility with such a long focal length, great from a hide perhaps, where you're not moving and neither is your prey, but out and about, I'm sure I'd get caught out.

    Other common issues with mirror lenses are; Fixed aperture, low contrast, 'donut' bokeh on highlights.

    Also; no AF, no VR and (on my camera) no metering.

    So I think, even at a "disposible" $179, I rather put the money to something more versatile.

    Never the less, thanks for the idea - because I did have to research to confirm some of those shortcomings.

    With a different camera, and if I were a hide based birder - it could be worth a spin.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 5th May 2010 at 11:18 PM.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    So maybe your next purchase should be a second body, not another lens? I've been thinking about that myself. I only have two lenses I really use, but as soon as I get to three, I don't think I'll like the idea of switch-switch-switch. Plus, as people have been talking about in the thread about must-haves for wedding photography, if my camera body dies sometime I'm on vacation, I have about 40 pounds (weight) worth of lenses, flashes, and tripods, and "stuff" that I dragged along that will just be sitting there making me cry. So a second body would be some really good insurance.
    You're not wrong there!

    However, I currently have only one really usable lens, so that'll mean a new body and a lens!

    I agree and I'd love to do that, but can't justify it, well not without some serious thought


    What the heck, a D90 and the 80-400, that ought to do nicely.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    1,015
    Real Name
    Rick

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    You're like Colin. You take beautiful macro shots, but don't consider that a "usable" lens.

    But I'll support you if you want to go for the D90 and 80-400.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    You're like Colin. You take beautiful macro shots, but don't consider that a "usable" lens.

    But I'll support you if you want to go for the D90 and 80-400.
    What can I say except that (unlike Colin), I'm lazy and those shots were a bit too much like hard work* for me

    * manual focus, no VR and no metering meaning: shoot, review, tweak exposure and shoot again, if it has stuck around that long while I chimp the LCD for the histogram, blinkies and focus/overall sharpeness (on different screens) - like I said, I'm lazy

    I just do the best I can with what I have, doesn't stop me dreaming

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    249
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Hey Dave, . I have been reading up quite a bit on lens, cause I got nothing better to do, and it seems to me that you might not need the VR with the 300 f/4. If you are planning on shooting mainly birds, you will most likely be shooting during the day, in the sky, with fast shutter speeds. IE: 500 and above. I believe there should be no problem handholding at those types of speed. I have done it myself (with lesser lens) and have no problem. The only time it becomes a problem is the early morning or late afternoon when the is insufficient lighting. Then reduced shutters do not make good stop action anyway. And the 2.8 gives such a tight FOV that its hard to keep the whole bird in focus anyway. If you are truly concerned, what about a monopod? I actually works quite well and does not take up space like the full "Colin" ordeal. Well, good luck whatever you choose. Hope I made some resemblance of sense.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    1,015
    Real Name
    Rick

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Chris has a good point, Dave.

    I was out yesterday evening, hoping to get a shot of the hawks that sometimes circle around here, and I took the picture below of a contrail, just to see what I'd get (I knew I didn't see much in the viewfinder). This is a 70-300mm Canon, quite old, no image stabilization, all the way out at 300mm. The focus isn't great, but I don't think there's any shake. And I'm usually not good on that, so it isn't my rock-steady hands. I was using the "left-eye" technique that people have been talking about, with a kind of shooter's stance, which does improve things. But at 1/500, it did okay.

    I'm sure I don't have to say YMMV.

    Cheers,
    Rick

    Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

  14. #14
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    28,838
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Dave,

    If you have the technique established then go for the manual focus lens. I am the lazy sort who tries not to focus manually, but developing your skills for every possible shooting condition is the mark of a good photographer. Good luck with whatever choice you make.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Shadowman,

    I would almost certainly use handheld, unless it proved really unweildy.
    Unless I change to a D90 or better body, I'm stuck with manual focus on this lens as it has no internal SWM motor. I'm just not sure my eyes are up to manual focusing, I can do it on tripod at f2.8 with plenty of light, but in the field, at f5.6 ....

    Like the VR
    Like the focal length range

    I find in practice I up the ISO to get shutter speed well above 1/1000s anyway for birds in flight, so I guess that makes VR less useful for camera shake on the image itself, but I bet it helps focusing too - I like to watch it kick in at 200mm (in V/F), so at 400, it'll be twice as useful when handheld.

    Thanks,

  15. #15
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Dave, took this with the Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-S VR. 30, maybe 40 feet away. It's quite a heavy lens and not good in low light and I probably wouldn't use it for birding, but it's pin sharp with the VR in nice light like this. HTH's

    Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

  16. #16
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    28,838
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    There is another model, THE Nikkor 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G IF-ED AF-S VR that takes pretty good photos at night and is reasonably priced. PN 8176.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chelseablue View Post
    Dave, took this with the Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-S VR. 30, maybe 40 feet away. It's quite a heavy lens and not good in low light and I probably wouldn't use it for birding, but it's pin sharp with the VR in nice light like this. HTH's

    Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

  17. #17
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Quote Originally Posted by Chelseablue View Post
    Dave, took this with the Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-S VR. 30, maybe 40 feet away. It's quite a heavy lens and not good in low light and I probably wouldn't use it for birding, but it's pin sharp with the VR in nice light like this.
    My revised thoughts are;
    Nikon 300mm f4.0 D ED-IF AF-S Lens, price circa 999.
    This, being a prime, should be better IQ than the cheaper 70-300 zoom, but this has no VR.

    or, as you say; Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-S VR Lens, price circa 400 (via Amazon).
    Concerned I'll be disappointed in minimal IQ improvement achievable from images compared to crop from my 18-200.

    Advantages of the zoom are;
    half the price
    half the weight (I'm getting increasingly concerned about this)
    VR
    versatility - not getting caught with a fixed lens that's too tight if something gets closer

    I ruled out the 80-400 as not AF on my body and even on a D90, not being SWM focus makes it too slow for birds in flight

    Might afford the Nikkor 105mm f2.8 VR macro then

    Thanks (nice putty cat btw)

  18. #18

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Just to add to the confusion you might also want to take a look at the Sigma 50-500mm OS (or VR in nikon talk).
    I honestly don;t know the nikon lenses well enough to say where it fits in quality terms compared to the current ones you are deciding upon and it will force you to push your budget a little over the 1000 price mark that you have set yourself.

    If you have a look here:
    http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/article...on_100-400.htm
    Note that in the above review the OS gets a harsh view, however reading around Photography on the net (that canon group) it seems that the OS in that copy was possibly suspect since almost all the other views of users appear to have praised the OS in that lens (even those who have compared it to the 100-400mm)
    and here for the old version that came without OS (and is cheaper)
    http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/article...500_50-500.htm

    I myself was originally considering this lens because of its similar optical performance to the canon superzoom, whilst also having a longer native focal length without need for a teleconverter (which on my canon setup would have resulted with no AF).

    I will warn you that the superzooms (Be the canon or sigma make) do tend to be a bit fickle with quality control and you can get a duff copy of the lens (there is also the chance that you get a good copy, but that its calibration is not in line with your camera bodies - important to note this as it means even if you return for recalibration of the lens it won't nessessarily correct it).
    That kind of sounds like a bad deal for you, but I have to say in recent years the number of duff copies has gone down considerably and the OS failure above appears to be a more unique case rather than the rule.

    edit a load of images and first impressions of the lens (from various users) can be found here:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=841795
    Last edited by Overread; 15th May 2010 at 12:56 AM.

  19. #19
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Quote Originally Posted by Overread View Post
    I will warn you that the superzooms (Be the canon or sigma make) do tend to be a bit fickle with quality control and you can get a duff copy of the lens (there is also the chance that you get a good copy, but that its calibration is not in line with your camera bodies - important to note this as it means even if you return for recalibration of the lens it won't nessessarily correct it).
    That kind of sounds like a bad deal for you, but I have to say in recent years the number of duff copies has gone down considerably and the OS failure above appears to be a more unique case rather than the rule.
    I can substantiate this with personal experience; when I first got the D5000, I bought it with the Sigma 18-250 and after months of 90/10 soft/sharp pictures and 2 return trips for recalibration (even with my Nikon body) and trying another couple of lenses in the shop, my conclusion is that all Sigma auto-focus on Nikon cameras well behind where they should. I gather on Canon bodies there is a tendency to focus in front.

    I negotiated a refund and bought the Nikon 18-200G VR instead and have been MUCH happier with that; auto-focus is good, VR is better (although I had no complaints with the Sigma's) the focus ring doesn't spin with AF and can be used manually without switching off AF on lens barrel, the colour rendering/contrast seems better too. Just nicer all round.

    Thus, tempting as it is for that focal length range, I doubt I'd go that route, also, as noted above, I can see (or feel) weight being an issue, my current 18-200 lens is 600g, the Sigma is almost 2kg, then add the body of 650g.

    Never the less, many thanks for the thought though, I have been looking at that and the 150-500 and 120-400, etc. over last day or so, but I doubt I'll go there.

    I'm now almost decided on the Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR AND Nikon AF-S 105mm f2.8 VR; I can get both for about 1,000.

    Cheers,

  20. #20
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,995
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Ideas for a longer Nikon lens please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I'm now almost decided on the Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR AND Nikon AF-S 105mm f2.8 VR; I can get both for about 1,000.
    OK, the deed is done, just waiting on Amazon to deliver now
    (what do you mean "it's Sunday, I didn't pay for Express delivery and I only ordered an hour ago", aren't I allowed to be impatient yet?)

    At least with the macro lens, I'll have something that's faster than about f4.8 at 105mm and being a prime, the results may be more 'croppable'.

    Thanks all for your replies, they and the thought that followed from them, lead me to believe I have made the right choices for me.

    If I regularly shot from a hide with a tripod, a faster prime lens, perhaps with TC might suit better, or if richer, younger and stronger to bear the extra weight, but for now, these will get a lot of use when I'm 'walkabout' - not to be confused with 'hikeabout', I don't do long distances in remote areas.

    Thanks all,

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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