Decent telephoto lens for D50

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by peterparker, May 7, 2006.

  1. peterparker macrumors regular

    peterparker

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Houston
    #1
    I'm looking for a decent telephoto lens for under $300 for my Nikon D50. So far the only one I see in that range is the DX Nikkor 55-200mm. I'd like to get a VR, but looking way to expensive for now. I don't have any particular needs and have only just started with the DSLR. But there have been some occasions where the subject I was trying to shoot was not within the reach of my 18-55mm lens. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, California
    #2
    A decent one that I've used is the 70-300mm <B>ED</B> . The reason I bolded the ED is that there are two versions of this lens. One that's like $120 bucks that for me on a D-70s and D200 really doesn't work that well. Image quality is just horrible. Now the ED is a little better but that's was before the 70-200mm so my opinion changed a lot on the 70-300mm.

    Also, just to get it out there, and I know a lot of others will probably say it or agree to it, if you can - Don't Skimp On Lenses! Trust me, saving up that extra $100-300 will give you great results in the long run.

    ~Crawn
     
  3. peterparker thread starter macrumors regular

    peterparker

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Houston
    #3
    Yes I was just about to post about the 70-300mm. There are 2 versions on Amazon as you said. There is a D and a G, the G being roughly twice the price. The G is just outside the limit of what I was looking to spend but would probably be able to do it if it is indeed a much better lens than the 55-200mm.
     
  4. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #4
    Might want to check out the Ken Rockwell review on the 70-300mm Nikon.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/70300g.htm

    Of note:

    I have the cheaper one... got it used for next to nothing and it suits me.

    It currently is mounted on my D50.
     
  5. DinoAdventure macrumors member

    DinoAdventure

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    #5
    I am looking for a a telephoto lens for my D50 as well, as I will be attending a Formula One race next month. Last year I used my P&S Olympus with 8x optical zoom and I was able to pull the cars in quite nicely (but with terrible image quality of course). I stumbled across this website that recommends at least a 200mm lens, but preferably something in the 400-500mm range. Can any one recommend something in this criteria? I'm really only looking to spend around $200, because I will probably only use the lens 2 or 3 times a year when I attend races.

    Thanks.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    One of the best low cost telephotos id the Nikon 70-210. They make a new one that goes to 300 mm but the older 210 mm lens is better optically and mechanically and it focuses faster. Price is about the same.

    If you don't need AF you can find a used 135 mm f/2.8 for just under $100. Of course the AF zooms are useful but you will not find an f/2.8 AF zoom for $100

    In my opinion a 300 mm lens on a D50 is to long unless your using it with a tripod.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    One word: "Rent". It will cost you about $100 to rent the lens. Sam'y here in Los Angeles has a great rental department and they ship. I'm sure there are other places that are good. It makesense to rent ig expensive things yu don't use much.

    A lens like you are looking for sells in the low to mid four digit price range.

    Have you ever seen and handed one of these? The smallest in that range would be a 400 f/4. That lens has a 100mm diameter front element. That's about 4 inches across.

    Also. Watch what people who shoot with 400mm do. They will be using tripods and the tripods cost about over $200. 400mm - 500mm is truely withing the range of specialty, expensive glass
     
  8. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #8
    On "D" and "G" lenses

    Essentially, the only significant difference between a "D" type and "G" Type lense is that the "D" type has the Aperature Ring. And for those with Digital bodies D50, D70, D100, D200, D1, D2, etc, the body can control the aperature, so if you have the choice, get the "G".

    As for the original question, the most versatile, goo-picture lense I've used (and still do as a matter of fact) is the AF 28-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 G

    Yes, there is a newer one out called the AF VR-Nikkor 18-200 with VR (Vibration Reduction) but I found that the additional lense elements responsible for the VR functions reduce contrast at the long focals. So, IMHO not as good for pictures (kinda a killer for me :D )

    As for the 70-300 G, I had this lens very briefly, as I noticed it too has contrast issues at the long end. I replaced it with the AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm 1:4.5-5.6 D It's the size of a table leg and cost a small fortune, but it does what I need it to.

    No, I'm not showing off. My point is that if you want to go much beyond 200m with good contrast, one needs a lens with physically larger glass to collect all that light, the 400 has glass about 3x the size of the 28-200 to do exactly that.

    -DinoAdventure

    Yeah, ChrisA is right, rent it if you use it only a few times a year.
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #9
    I have been very pleased with the 18-200 VR and have found it to be a great all-around "walkabout" or travel lens for those times when one doesn't want to or cannot carry and use several lenses. If it is necessary I kick up the contrast a little in post-processing, but I haven't found this to be a major problem. I've never used the 28-200mm, so can't offer a comparison.

    LOL! I hear you on this one! Actually, when I first saw the 80-400 VR I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is not quite as heavy as it looks....fortunately, it's very manageable and hand-holdable, which was important to me. Now you want a hefty and expensive lens, take a look at the 200 f/2 VR -- wow!! She weighs in at around six pounds. Makes the 80-400mm seem a lot lighter all of a sudden.... :D And that glass on the front of the 200 f/2....whew! Nikon doesn't even provide a lens cap for it, as it's that large, and there are no threads to screw in a filter (it has a drop-in filter at the rear of the lens).

    To Dino Adventure: I agree with the others that if you're only going to be needing a long and fast tele a few times a year, it would pay you to just rent one for the times you'll need it.
     
  10. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    a profane existence
    #10
    How about the older AF Nikkor 70-210mm f/4-5.6D or AF Nikkor 70-210mm f/4 (which I have)

    These are much heavier than the 70-300mm lens. But also feel much more sturdier. Oh, and I also have the 70-300mm and the thing at times sort of squeaks when I use the zoom.
     
  11. peterparker thread starter macrumors regular

    peterparker

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Houston
    #11
    I've been looking at the AF Nikkor 70-210mm f/4-5.6D, and the rest of his site. There is a used one I believe on the site he recommends purchasing it from. But he also recommended the 70-300mm f/4-5.6G for digital SLRs in the same review.
     
  12. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #12
    Ahem....I would take Ken Rockwell's comments with a grain of salt. His "reviews" are more like subjective opinions than they are actual reviews. A good site for reviews and assessment of Nikon lenses is Bjørn's at http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html; also Thom Hogan has an excellent site at http://bythom.com. Another good source for discussion of various lenses is the "Lens Lust" forum at http://www.nikoncafe.com
     
  13. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #13
    -Clix Pix

    Forgive me but I'm reeeeeeally old-fasioned in my shutterbugness. I just have a hard time "posting" from an "edit reality" perspective. Yeah, I know, just the act of snapping the shot edits reality, this has to do with how far do I want to push it.

    They're very close in performance actually. Only differences I'm sensitive to are those already talked about.

    Perhaps I was a little understated in my enthusiasm for this lens.

    I looooooove this lense. I was up at Aquatic Park yesterday for the first "Swim Around the Rock" race and fired off 859 shots, about 750 of them through that lense. Well balanced, surprisingly good at shooting from the hip despite the fact the camera is merely an appendage to it. 'course I had my monopole there too :D

    I knew you were going to go there. ;) Yeah, the thing is rediculous. I think it qualifies for weapon status. I know one needs at least three axles on one's vehicle to transport it.

    Oh! Check out Lowepro's "Slingshot" bag (I use the 200AW). Holds my D70s, 28-200, 12-24, 60mm Micro, SB-600 flash, battery chargers and the 80-400. Works well for holding all that crap and booking it from the end of the Aquatic Cove pier all the way to the bleachers.


    PS- Thanks for tolerating my spling in dat lazt mesage, I thynk dat cofee war owf two suun.
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #14
    I hear you on this -- what I meant was that sometimes I do kick up the contrast values a little if an image doesn't quite show on the computer what I had envisioned at the time I made the exposure. My training in black-and-white photography has definitely ensured that I produce good contrast in images. I, too, tend to be much of a purist and get annoyed with people who cavalierly say, "oh, well, I can fix it in Photoshop." I also am not crazy about excessive manipulation of an image so that it no longer resembles a photograph at all but instead is actually another media altogether: digital art. Fine if people like to do that, and I've seen some wonderful work, but don't continue to call it a "photograph" when it is clearly beyond the scope of any photograph due to the reworking of many elements in the image.

    Yes, I really like the 80-400mm lens, too -- it enables me to capture subjects that otherwise would be just too far away or inaccessible.

    Surprisingly, the 200 f/2 is well-balanced and handholdable, too (although not for long periods of time and I wouldn't want to take a ten-mile hike with it! Someone on the Nikon Cafe wrote in the Lens Lust forum that he had one for a while, loved the images he could get with it, but eventually sold it because he didn't care for the attention he was drawing when he tried to use it at his child's soccer games and other activities. His comment was something along the lines of he had the feeling that other parents thought he was pointing a nuclear missile or something at their child. LOL!

    Sounds like you've got a bag that's just right for you and your gear. I"m a Domke fan myself, have several Domkes in various sizes that I've collected over the years. I also recently bought a Think Tank roller bag so that I can give my back a rest when carrying several lenses. The plan is to use this for traveling, also, on those trips where I want more than just the 18-200mm. In the meantime at home it serves nicely as a great place to store almost all of my lenses (except the larger ones that have their own cases, such as the 80-400 or the 70-200). So far this has worked very well for me.
     
  15. DinoAdventure macrumors member

    DinoAdventure

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    #15
    Well I may go for the 70-210 or the 70-300. Renting a lens is a good idea, but I don't think I really want to carry a huge lens around the whole weekend. Also, I will be sitting in grandstands most of the time so a tripod is not really an option. I don't need perfect images on this trip anyways, I just want to have a little fun trying to capture a few cars as they fly by. The main focus of the weekend is enjoying the racing with my friends and family, and photos are just a little bonus to look at afterwards.
     
  16. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #16
    A friend of mine took these photos at the Brickyard 400 last year with the 70-300.. not sure which version.
     

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