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Thread: Newbie buying first telephoto lens

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    Newbie buying first telephoto lens

    I just purchased my first DSLR. Nikon D3300 as the offer was excellent. Came with an 18-55mm kit lens and I have been very happy with the results and enjoying it immensely so far.

    Been a lazy photographer in the past, but I do miss the zoom of my point & shoot camera and want to get a telephoto lens. Will be used at school events, kids sports etc.

    Seems an easy choice for the beginner, Nikkor 55-200, 55-300 or 70-300mm. Done enough reading to ensure it is AF-S for auto focus, VR or VRII to counter my wobbles and DX for the correct lens.

    Which lens - I know the 55-300 is apparently lighter than than the 70-300, which I assume would have a better build quality. Also aware of the softness that creeps in with these lenses at 300. Therefore, would a beginner be better off starting with a 200 maximum? If a 300 maximum, would the lighter (and cheaper) 55-300 be a better choice as it will also cover the full range, given my current 18-55?

    Where to buy from - I have seen some good deals new on *removed - please read the site rules, in particular rules 3-7 : Admin* Is this reputable and would Nikon honour the warranty? Are there any online places that could be recommended for value?

    Have been watching a few second hand *removed - please read the site rules, in particular rules 3-7 : Admin*. Is second hand typically ok (much mention of the absence of fungus and dust)? As this is a cheap purchase, the risk factor is of course not that great.

    Was hoping to spend about $150-200 on the lens, as I don't want to drop a bundle and then find my interest wanes. Nothing like a new hobby with an expensive upgrade path!

    Any advice appreciated.
    Last edited by ricktas; 24-01-2016 at 10:21pm.

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    New Member EmzDad's Avatar
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    A good second hand AF-s 18-200mm VR or VRII will be around the $300 to $500

    Gets a really good review.

    I am in the same situation, new to the sport

    I have a search saved on two of the main second hand trading websites for the above lens. So have been watching every sale I can since Christmas.
    Last edited by EmzDad; 24-01-2016 at 11:12pm.
    My 12 13 year old Daughter may be able to do everything via touch screen on the D5500, but at least there is still a button to press to take the photo, so I feel confident...


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    Ha! Looks like we will end up bidding against each other!

    Missed a Nikon D3200 with a 18-200mm f/3.5 for $500, barely used on *removed*. Went too quick and I hesitated as I wasn't too sure.
    Could have sold the body with my 18-55 for around $300 and got a really decent lens for a song. oh well. Good luck with the hunt!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Apologies to the mods for mentioning external sites (doh!). Had posted this on my hifi forum and simply copied and pasted the question.

    Lesson learned.

    *once you have 30 days membership and 50 posts you can name these sites all you want, but please refrain from doing so till then: Admin*
    Last edited by ricktas; 25-01-2016 at 6:54am.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    All of these lenses you are looking at are referred to as 'kit lenses'. All of them offer a good build quality and are quite capable of capturing light well and transferring it to the sensor. Depending on what Sport(s) you are interested in, would determine if 200mm is enough or if 300mm is a better choice. For example, netball courts are not that big and 200 will work well. Soccer fields are bigger and if you want to get in close to the action at the other end of the field, you might find 300 is a better choice (for you).

    All of them are capable of allowing you to take good photos, the rest is up to you as the photographer to get the right compositions, aperture, shutter speed and ISO selection to achieve the photos you want.

    As you have registered as a beginner, for now, pick the lens length that best suits the sports you photograph, and then work at improving your own photographic skills. Then one day soon (if you persist), you will start to learn the limitations of kit lenses and then start seeking a more pro level lens, knowing why you need it. You can always sell the lens you buy now, cause as you have seen there is demand for them second hand.

    So pick a 200 or 300mm lens based on the sport(s) you are going to photograph and the distance you will be from your subjects.

    As for the risk of buying second hand, that is always there, whether you are buying a second hand phone, lens, car, house. All could have faults. We cannot give advice on that, beyond buyer beware.
    Last edited by ricktas; 25-01-2016 at 7:06am.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've done a fair bit of research, Danter, and now it only remains that you make a choice.
    Definitely stick to the idea of VR, or OS. It's worth having on long lenses, and though an image might
    "look OK" at first glance, finding motion blur on closer examination is a real down-letter.

    I don't know what reviews you've read, but so read up on the lenses, and have a look at the DP Review site in the
    lenses section.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    D750 Shines cupic's Avatar
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    Quote
    Was hoping to spend about $150-200 on the lens, as I don't want to drop a bundle and then find my interest wanes. Nothing like a new hobby with an expensive upgrade path!
    Seems your in the deep end already
    A D3300 can be both for $400 new( With a $100 cashback offer till 31 Jan ) and with 2 yrs warranty newish sensor and a good foundation to start as for lens many many sites to dig into including this site from time to time

    Good luck

    cheers
    Last edited by cupic; 25-01-2016 at 6:00pm.




    Nikon D750,D700,D300s,Coolpix P7700
    Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR, Nikkor 70mm-300mm VR, 35mm DX f/1.8, 50mm D f/1.8, 85mm D f/1.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Tokina 100mm f/2.8, Tamron 60mm f/2 , Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 VC Di

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    Member bconolly's Avatar
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    Hi Danter, some good additional info on this thread: Advice on lenses for beginners
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...d.php?t=143156

    Brenden
    Olympus OM-D EM-1, 12-40mm f2.8, 45mm f1.8, Panny 25mm f1.7

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    For $150-200 I'd be looking for a 55-200VR .. easily found at those prices.

    18-200VR .. I'd be a bit more weary of, especially at those prices(obviously second hand!)

    Note tho that there are two versions of both those lenses, so you may see VR and VRII versions for each.
    You'd want to stick with the VRII options for either, whichever way you decide to go with.

    Problem with the 18-200VR(version 1) is that this will be an old and well used lens, so second hand you'd be taking more of a risk with such a complicated lens design.
    It doesn't take much of a knock to put such a lens out of kilter .. and my first thought on purchasing such a lens cheaply is why is it so cheap!

    55-200 lenses(both) are cheap to begin with, much more plentiful(because they are cheap to begin with) so the market will be flooded with so many out there in the wild.
    This lens's low price can easily be explained .. but again misuse/abuse is still a possibility.
    But the 55-200 is a much simpler lens design than the 18-200 is to begin with.
    The more focal length range a lens has, obviously the more complex it has to be in it's design .. so the more complex the lens is, the more that is likely to go wrong with it at some point in it's life .. from initial production to buyer .. to next buyer ... etc.

    The other advantage of the newer 55-200VRII is that it's an insanely compact lens given it's focal length range .. and that's because Nikon designed into the lens the ability to collapse for storage purposes .. the lens then increases in size when you want to use it.
    So being so compact(especially compared to the 18-200 lens!) and half the weight(300g vs 600g) .. you are more likely to take it with you when you go out taking photos.
    The disadvantage of the 55-200 compared to the 18-200 is simply that 18-55 range .. where it can be a PITA to change lenses sometimes.

    If you had more money to allocate for any such lens, I'd say the 18-200VRII ... but bought NEW!!! would be the best option of the three.
    But given the price constraint, I'd say a 55-200VRII would be the better option(to be safe) or the 55-200VR(would be the cheapest lens model of the 3 options) if you want a good balance of price quality and surety of product.

    Hope that helps.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Thanks for all the well thought advice. I found a D90 with a 18-200mm lens for a very good price. Will put the 18-200 on my D3300 and the 18-55 kit lens onto the D90 and sell it.
    Knowing my habits, the advantage of a single lens will I think encourage me more in the early stages, rathe than swapping in and out.
    I am also looking at a 35mm f/1.8 as I do take a lot of indoor pics at all the family occassions, and this has been recommended to me and gets a good review on [site I am sure I am unable to mention as yet].

    Picking up the D90 today, so hopefully my online crash course of what to look for in a used lens will hold me in good stead. If it all ends in tears, there seems to be a lot of new or barely used 55-200mm lens about on [site unable to mention].

    Re the 18-200 VR vs VRII. my research indicated that they are identical except for the newer version having a zoom lock to avoid potential creep. Of course, the newer version should have less miles on it, making it a safer bet. The one I am collecting is the older version (G with red VR lettering, not GII with gold VR). Fingers crossed.

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    Got the D90 and the 18-200mm. Surprised just how heavy the lens is compared to the 18-55mm. The D90 feels more solidly built than my D3300, but spec comparisons online favour the D3300, plus it is new of course.
    Only had a chance to take a few shots so far with both cameras, and so far, so good. Perhaps a 300 would have been a better option for kids sport as they all play soccer (yes Ricktas - you told me so!). But happy so far.

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