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Thread: Ok if I had $1500 - $2000 to spend on NIKON Lenses 300mm+!

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    Ok if I had $1500 - $2000 to spend on NIKON Lenses 300mm+!

    Right I am hoping you can help me plan for the next purchase of the year....

    I want some length...but a bit of speed too!

    Primarily I am looking at Birding, Plane-ing, motorsports and a bit of wildlife. I am also looking for a step up in the glass stakes. However I am never going to be a pro and don't have $7000 to spend on 2.8 glass.

    Right.

    I am looking at Nikkor 300mm F4 + 1.4 Tele or the Nikkor 80-400 VR or a Bigma 50-500mm or 150-500mm. Argh!

    I am swaying towards the prime with the T/C but I have read that it can be a slow to autofocus, which would be no good with plane-ing and motorsports, esp with the T/C.

    The 80-400mm seems to be ok, but I can't imagine it would be as sharp as the prime.

    Please help, tbh I am not sure I know what I am talking about, but at least I have narrowed it down to 4!

    So come on Nikon folks.....please help!

    Roo
    Call me Roo......
    Nikon D300s, Nikon 35mm 1.8 DX, Nikkor 50mm 1.4 Af-S, Nikon 18-200mm VR, Nikon 70-200VRII 2.8, Sigma 105 Macro, Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM, Tokina 12-24mm, Sb-600, D50, Nikon 1.7 T/C, Gitzo CF Monopod

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    70-200 with 2x TC
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    There are other recent threads covering the 80-400, read those first and see if they answer your question

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    Member Harrier's Avatar
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    Check out the sigma 150 500mm group on Flickr, some excellent stuff there! Birding , some fantastic planes from England and the USA. I use mine on a Nikon D80. Even 500mm at times , is too short for birds!

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    Personally I would choose the Nikkor 300/4 + 1.4x TC

    The 80-400 is supposed to be very slow focusing.
    The 300/4 is a known performer with and without TC's, even wide open (going from what I've read... I don't own this lens yet).

    I do think the 300 is due for an update with VR soon though. How soon, only Nikon knows.

    Good luck!
    Paul
    Australian Nature Photography

    Nikon D7000
    Nikkor 12-24, Nikkor 28-70/2.8, Nikkor 50/1.8, Tamron 60/2, Sigma 100-300/4, Sigma 180/3.5 macro, Nikkor 500/4, 1.4x TC, 1.7x TC

    (Comments And Critique On My Images Most Welcome)

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    Well I'm desperate for more length too and won't fit a TC to the trusty 70-300 so my next lens will be the 300 f4 with a 1.4tc. Have tried this combo and it is a lot sharper than the 70-300 @ 300.
    regards
    Bill

    Nikon D90 with grip. 35mm 1.8G, 50mm 1.8D. 18-105VR. 70-300VR
    SB-600. GF Lightsphere. Stroboflip flash bracket.
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    and a bag full of gadgets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
    There are other recent threads covering the 80-400, read those first and see if they answer your question
    Thanks, I have and to be honest they just put more cream in the mixture....that is why I thought I would ask. I do like the look of the Sigma, but the draw of a prime appeals also.

    Thanks for all you replies. I wanted to make sure there wasn't an option I had missed!

    Roo

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    Just a thought,
    Have a look at the Sigma 100 - 300mm f4 with a Sigma 1.4 x TC. It is a very versatile combination.
    Cheers
    Darey

    Nikon user, Thick skinned and wanting to improve, genuine C & C welcomed.

    Photographs don't lie ! - Anonymous Liar

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    Member Harrier's Avatar
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    " I do not like the look of the Sigma" What does that mean!

    Just check out what it can do!

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    Harrier,
    You may want to check your quote.

    Rellik666 said " I do like the look of the Sigma, but the draw of a prime appeals also. "

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Have you ever held a 300/2.8?

    if so, and you can justify this kind of purchase there are many ways to get that type/size/speed lens for approximately 1.5-2K. The Nikon versions are very strong, durable and produce extremely high quality images, even though the lens may be 20years old and have been through the ringer for those 20years.

    been tracking their prices for nearly two years now.. maybe even three, and they appear to have become stuck in that 1.5-2K range(not only on ebay, but in some of the local shops).

    Handholding one of these things is not recommended for prolonged use without VR.

    Next time we meetup, try to remind me to bring my old manual Tammy 300/2.8.. which will give you an idea on how inconvenient they can be to use in 'everyday' use.

    BUT!!! If you reckon you may want a 300/2.8, get a 300/2.8 even though it'll be secondhand because a 300/4 will not give you the same kind of images.

    having said that, and with your budget there is only one other answer the Nikon 300/4.

    edit: ps. what body are you using.
    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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    Ok lets have a look at a few of your suggestions

    The 300 prime - why? just to say you shoot with a prime? Don't bother, its not worth it.
    The 300 f4 has the same support collar as the 80-400 - its crap and gives vibration from shutter action. It doesnt have VR. Its $2000 approximately and your getting 1 stop better than a 70-300 which is kit quality.
    Lastly its a prime, its big and a bit on the heavy side and you the photographer has to move, not the zoom ring, to compose your image or you take things a long way away and crop in post processing. Forget birds, even with a 1.4TC which is the biggest TC you can use without losing AF, at 420mm its just not big enough. Birds start at 500mm. Yes lots of people use smaller lenses but they either get lucky, shoot relatively tame birds (birds which don't have a flighty nature) or they are very skilled in this subject. The 300mm f4 is slow to focus for an AF-S ##### and once you add the TC it may not be any better than the 80-400. I dont own this lens but take my view from the lens specification, my experience with telephoto primes (500mm), and from reviews by Hogan and Rorslett.

    The 80-400mm
    This is a good travel lens, it wont take pin sharp at the long end with 100% crop but for the average photographer its one great lens especially for slower photography, ie large wildlife (anything bigger than a bird). It has limitations. The tripod leg is crap, its the same as the 300mm f4. Take it off, throw it away and use something better to hold it with - there are aftermarket parts available. The 80-400 is cheaper than a 300 f4 prime. It light and as the lens extends out when zooming, it packs away in a smaller foot print. The 80-400 has VR, it only version 1 but thats better than nothing and does help when hand shooting at 400mm. You cant fit a Nikon TC to the 80-400, you can use an aftermarket like a Kenko but I wouldn't go there as the image loss would be unacceptable. This lens is slow to focus and will hunt if allowed to, it has a focus limiter which should be used. I have owned this lens for a few years now.

    Your other two lenses Bigma 50-500mm or 150-500mm I cant comment on as I have no experience with either.
    Last edited by MarkW; 10-04-2010 at 7:52am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Have you ever held a 300/2.8?

    if so, and you can justify this kind of purchase there are many ways to get that type/size/speed lens for approximately 1.5-2K. The Nikon versions are very strong, durable and produce extremely high quality images, even though the lens may be 20years old and have been through the ringer for those 20years.
    Arthur are you some sort of magician - at $6k for the f2.8 and thats from DD, where are you going to get one for a quarter of the price - fall off the back of a truck

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    The AFS-I can be had for that sort of number, if you luck one

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    older ED and AF-I versions abound in various classifieds around the world.

    @ Roo. next trip to a good quality newsagency, get yourself to the magazine section and look(hard) for a copy of PhotoTrader. It's generally a yellow Trading Post looking cheap paper magazine type of publication. Contents are 99.9% classifieds of used photo gear, with occasional features of old gear and suchlike. worth the money,for those quieter times.

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    Thanks everyone. There is a lot to think about there. I think I shall just have to go out and try a few.

    I will go and have a look for said trader mag! Thanks for the heads up. I shall take you up on said offer of a go with the Tammy. I assume the meet next week is still on?

    I am using a D300s.

    Roo

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