View Full Version : Telephoto for D60?

22-11-2010, 7:43pm
Im looking for a telephoto lens for my D60.
Ive spent a bit of time searching around for what is available and trying to get an understanding of what all the numbers and letters mean.
Even had a good read through the Nikon section here on the site (I really like the Similar Threads function!)
I am really just learning in full manual and shooting lots, experimenting with various combinations of settings through ISO, shutter speed and aperture.
(Learning just as much from what doesnt work as what does)

What I currently have:
Nikon D60 with the kit lenses: 18-55 AF VR and 55-200 AF VR

What I want:
A telephoto out to at least 300 or maybe 400
I think I also want the auto focus as well (but have noted that not every lens will run autofocus on the D60

What I want to shoot:
Motorcycles (moving ones! on the track and out on the roads)
Martial arts and combat sports (medieval reenactment - think swordfighting)
I also enjoy macro stuff, but really very amature about this!

What can I spend:
I certainly dont want to go over $1000 and would prefer to keep it under $500

I do have a tripod but dont always carry it
I do have muscle shakes in my arms / hands

I honestly think the Nikon lenses will be out of my price range but is it worth buying the cheaper lenses such as Tamron and Sigma? (considering the results)

I have looked at:
70-300mm 1:4-5.6 DG MACRO "With Built-in Motor"
70-300mm AF Di LD Macro (A17NII)

any other things I should know?
Other possibilities?
Any suggestions?

Very much appreciated...

22-11-2010, 8:06pm
If you are looking for a fast telephoto (max aperture greater than f4 eg:- f2.8) you will have to spend a lot more than $1,000.

Maybe you should consider the Nikon 70 - 300mm VR lens. Some togs on this forum get excellent results using this lens.

23-11-2010, 9:05pm
Reading through reviews of the Tamron and Sigma... I am not left with a feeling of dizzy excitement to obtain these lenses...
I will keep looking and perhaps keep saving!

23-11-2010, 9:12pm
Hi Tengu,

As Darey's suggested, I'd also go the 70-300mm VR. It rates VERY well (see http://www.bythom.com/70300VRlens.htm as an example review). It's also my next lens and you can easily pick one up new in the sub $500 range (imported) and under $1000 Oz stock.


23-11-2010, 9:23pm
The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6VR is highly recommended and can be had for approximately $600 from various online stores(can't be recommended highly enough too!)
This is completely different to the f4-5.6 version that Nikon also sells too. The VR version is much better.

If you want the Tamron version, look for their VC variant too. Be afraid.. be very afraid to go cheap, at this end of the lens scale.
Almost invariably the first thing the newbie wants from their new longer telephoto is great images at the long end of the focal length scale. Impossible! You may get good results, but not great results.. so be very discerning with your money here.

Almost all zoom lenses lose some quality in the images they produce as you zoom towards the long end, but can still produce some great quality images at about the 75% mark of the focal length scale. ie. if you want a 300mm lens at this end of the price range, then get a xx-400mm lens and try to shoot at 300mm. if you want a 400mm lens, then get a 500mm lens and shoot it at 400mm. .. etc,etc...
This way you get good quality images that may have enough quality so that you can crop them just a bit(not too much), and still have more than acceptable results.

I think I'm sure that I've seen both the Sigma 120-400OS and 150-500mm OS lenses for approximately $1K mark(maybe from DWI.. but I can't remember)
From what you say, and what you've already listed in the lenses that you already have(55-200VR being the lens of most importance here).. I reckon either of those two lenses will be about the best compromise of focal lengths and focal length crossover range(with your 55-200mmVR).

(Yep! just checked: Sigma 120-400mm OS lens @ $750, 150-500mm OS @ $879) Going on them prices, you're best advised to check ebay too. the Aussie dollar is very favourable for importing your own gear now.

24-11-2010, 7:48pm
Thanks folks - I appreciate the food for thought
I am not sure if spending money now is worth the effort for an xx-300 as I already have the 55-200; considering the loss of quality out towards the 300 mark (Id realistically only be getting another good 50mm?!)

For what I want, which would be for sports, and therefore needing a faster lens I feel Id be better saving up a bit longer tho some of those fast tp lenses are dang expensive!

I thougth about a teleconverter but that will slow my lenses down even more

Perhaps I should try to get closer to stuff and get a faster short lens instead?

24-11-2010, 8:39pm
For the sport you mention I'd b using a 70-200 2.8 anyhow, look the sigma, and maybe also a 1.4 tc

24-11-2010, 11:54pm
Thanks Kiwi
what kind of effect does the tc have on the aperture? wouldnt it drop the 2.8 back to around 4 anyway?
and only out to 280mm?

SO much to think about now! ha.. brain and eyes hurt now
its a steep learning curve

25-11-2010, 7:34am
Yes on both counts, but in daylight thats fine

Next step 300 f/4 af-s

I dont rate the bigger sigma zooms, through the. 120-400 is the best of them

25-11-2010, 4:46pm
Ok so I am still finding more to learn!

what does the zoom ratio refer to? is it simply magnification?
or is it talking about the difference in zoom from the shortest focal length to the longest?

Tamron Lens AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD with 15x Zoom Ratio
Sigma Lens 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM with 13.8x zoom ratio
Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens with 10.7x zoom ratio
Sigma Lens 50-500mm f/4-6.3 APO EX DG HSM with 10x zoom ratio

01-03-2011, 4:59pm
For the record, I ended up ettign the Sigma 150-500 APO OS HSM
and rather happy with it