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Thread: What's the best Nikon or third party lens for nature photography

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    Question What's the best Nikon or third party lens for nature photography

    Any ideas on the above post?

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    AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
    Some Nikon stuff... gerrys photo journey
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    No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.

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    Ausphotography Regular knumbnutz's Avatar
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    unless you want Macro !

    What are you shooting specifically ?

    Nature is a little broad...

    and a budget. Long lenses with small apertures are expensive, $6K - $10K~

    There are also cheaper lens options in sigma, tokina and tamron but a budget and purpose will dictate the best option.

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    From what I have seen presented on this site by others (PeterB666, Nikon Nellie, etc: ) the best "Bang for buck" Nature lens would be the Sigma 150-500mm lens.

    Top end (open budget) glass would be the Canon 100-400 L, Canon 500 f4 L and the Nikon 400 f2.8 or Nikon 300 f2.8 & Nikon 2 x TCII combination.

    For what its worth I use a Sigma 100-300 f4 with a Sigma 1.4 x TC and find it a good combination for the budget minded.
    Last edited by Darey; 03-01-2012 at 2:35pm.
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    To answer a few of the above questions I was looking at distance shooting, I already own a Sigma 70 - 200mm with a x2TC and this works for me but was looking on this site as to what other people are using. I have taken a look at the Sigma 150 - 500mm (I would like to know peoples thoughts on this lens, would my x2TC work as well?), I am not in the market for $10,000 lens at this stage, but would like to own one some day. So I'm on a budget and would like to obtain the best value for the $$$$'s

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    Ausphotography Regular knumbnutz's Avatar
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    Dx or FX ? too many questions.

    IF you are happy to stick to sigma for value then 50-500mm bigma on DX is a good option but I would not go with a TC, they just wont have the resolution. (<$1800~)

    If you want to spent a little more then the next option up is the 120-300mm F2.8 + 2xTC especially if you have a FX camera. Effectively it becomes 100mm longer than the 50-500 and 1/2 stop better at F5.6 compared to F6.3. ($2500~)

    I have had a 50-500mm and can't say anything bad about it. Fantastic value. At 500mm the Zoom extends right out.
    I have the 120-300F2.8 + 2xTC and again, can't think of anything bad to say except it is too heavy to really hand hold at 2.5kg, you virtually have to use a monopod where as the 50-500 at 1.5kg you can sort of get away with it, mostly. Length is fixed as is F Stop through the zoom range. Professional quality build and IQ.

    Neither lens you would walk around with all day trying to hand hold, they both become too heavy then.
    The other benefit of getting the latter lens is that without a TC you get 300F2.8 lens which is extremely useful in itself.

    Both have OS now too. Both are extremely well regarded lenses in all respects.

    From what i can remember the 50-500mm is optically the best of the 500mm zoom sigma lenses, no idea why, but thats what i can remember although most regard the 50mm end as a little weak. Try www.photozone.de
    I dont think any of the sigma 500mm lenses will be that different at the long end though.

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    Thanks for that knumbuntz great info about the Sigma lenses. I use Dx and Fx bodies. So it looks like I should start looking for a 50-500?

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    Ausphotography Regular knumbnutz's Avatar
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    50-500 is great for DX not great on FX
    120-300 is best. (plus sigma TC for extra reach) on FX and DX.

    Check someone like DWI for price reference and JBHIFI in melbourne camera only store. Then bargain, its only money...

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    I agree with Gerry, that is the best.

    Best bang for buck is very much dependant on what you want to shoot exactly. Low light, long range, super fast focus and tracking, creamy bokeh, build quality, weather sealing etc etc all costs money. How much you value each of these attributes will determine what value to place on them.
    Sadly, you can't drink champagne for the price of beer, so you will not get the best on a budget. Tell us how big the cheque is and we will then be better positioned to advise. You can get excellent image quality from the Nikon 80-400VR, but it is slower to focus than lots of others, especially in low light, has ordinary bokeh, will not allow you to maintain low-ISO and fast shutter speeds in low light, but is well built and costs about $1K all the while offering one of the biggest zoom ranges going... It doesn't work well with TC's, and neither will the Sigma/Bigma with huge zoom range when zoomed long.

    The alternative at the other end of the spectrum is the $11K Nikkor 400/2.8VR which works a treat with all 3 of the latest Nikon TC's and offers the fstop of f/5.6 or faster...

    I value all of the attributes of the Nikkor 400/2.8VR highly, and it performs better than any 3rd party lens between 400-800mm in every way, so with that I sunk $10K into one and love it.

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    If you have not purchased your lens yet, you might want to consider the
    Nikkor 500 f4P IF ED...
    This is a manual focus lens...
    Cheryle

    He is!
    ><>

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    I have a sigma 120 to 400mm OS, it works OK but only equal to your Sigma 70 to 200mm OS plus 2x teleconverter. Incidently how do you find this combination are the pictures sharp at the 400 or 600mm end depending on whether you have the 1.5x DX factor.
    it really depends what you want the lens for. If it is birds then usually the longer the better, animals something shorter will do. The Sigma are OK to use for wildlife, especially if you stop them down to f8. Quality can be an issue, the OSon my latest Sigma failed whilst on safari which was unfortunate. Clearly the nikon zooms and primes are excellent but very expensive.
    My best suggestion is to consider what you want the lens for, how often you will use it and how much you are prepared to pay. Also remember lenses in this area are big and heavy. Always worth thinking about when you will be using the lens and whether you have to carry it there or its sitting in a Landrover.

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    Sigma 150 - 500 with OS (VR equivelent) works for me.

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    Since I last posted in February, I have purchased a
    Nikon 180 f2.8 af lens....
    I love this for landscape!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deepdiver View Post
    To answer a few of the above questions I was looking at distance shooting, I already own a Sigma 70 - 200mm with a x2TC and this works for me but was looking on this site as to what other people are using. I have taken a look at the Sigma 150 - 500mm (I would like to know peoples thoughts on this lens, would my x2TC work as well?), I am not in the market for $10,000 lens at this stage, but would like to own one some day. So I'm on a budget and would like to obtain the best value for the $$$$'s
    the Nikon 300F4 prime is quite a good lens for around $1000 from online sellers..thats coupled with a 1.4X nikon TC would be a good choice that would give you a 420mm lens on FX
    Cheers and my name is Steve


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommo1965 View Post
    the Nikon 300F4 prime is quite a good lens for around $1000 from online sellers..thats coupled with a 1.4X nikon TC would be a good choice that would give you a 420mm lens on FX
    +1

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    +2 the 300mm f/4 is great and affordable

    cheers




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