nikon d60: please help me choose a telephoto lens!!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by I'm a Mac, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. I'm a Mac macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I have a nikon d60, which I love, and the 18-55 kit lens, but I need a telephoto lens. I'm can't decide between the 55-200 VR, the 70-300 VR, and the tamaron 70-300 with a built in motor, and is significantly cheaper than the nikon vr one. Or, should I get neither and go with an 18-200?

    I'm really torn. I hate the idea of redundency with lenses, like having an 18-55 and an 18-200, or like having a 55-200 and a 70-300. I also don't know if the extra 100mm is worth it, or if the vr makes it worth getting the nikon over the tamaron.

    I really appreciate your advice
     
  2. theblueone macrumors member

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    #2
    I wish I had more time right now to respond to your entire post in depth, but I'll touch on one point and come back to it later if someone else hasn't picked up where I left off.

    In short, just because two lenses overlap in focal length doesn't necessarily make them redundant. Conversely, just because you have a lens that comprises the focal lengths of say, 18-55, doesn't mean you have all focal lengths within that range "covered" so to speak. You might have heard of a phenomenon on photo websites called "Lens Buying Addiction." There are lots of reasons, some better than others, that people suffer from this!

    Like I said, I wish I had more time to be more helpful right now, but I've got to go pick up my wife from the airport!
     
  3. I'm a Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    that's good to know, because I was thinking about getting a 18-200, but then again I hear it's heavy.

    also, how much of a difference does nikon's vr make?
    the 55-200 vr sells for about $200-250, the 70-300vr sells for about $600 but the tamaron with the built in motor (non vr) sells for only $200

    also, which kind of lens would be good for sightseeing? I'm going on a trip to israel, and it would be nice not to lug a bunch of lenses- that's why starting to think about the 18-200, but I heard it's really heavy. I wouldn't be so terrible if I had to carry two lenses though.
     
  4. 66217 Guest

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    Jan 30, 2006
    #4
    The 18-200 is not heavy. Really, you get used to it quickly. The 18-200 is an excellent lens for travel.

    If you ask me, an 18-200 is WAY better than the combo 18-55 + 55-200. It is true AF-S, the build quality is much better and the image quality is also a bit better.

    As for the 70-300, it is also a great lens if you need the extra 100mm. Make sure you get the latest version (AF-S, VR), the previous ones were not very good and won't autofocus with your camera.

    The VR gives you an extra 3 stops. For portraits it is very nice and do comes in helpful.
     
  5. I'm a Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    so if I got the 18-200, do you think I would use the 18-55 ever again?
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #6
    You are going to have to tell us what kinds of subjects you want to shoot. It might be that none of those lenses are what you need. All those lenses are good. It tis just that each is good for something different.

    Also think about exposure. What shutter speed would you be shooting at? All of the lenses on your list are f/5.6 so the shutter speed may bump into the f/(focal lenght) rule which means you are going to need either VR or a tripod. As the lens get to 200mm and certainly at 300mm it is really a speciality lens and yo are going to need a tripod. What subjects are you shooting?
     
  7. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #7
    If you want a nice tele lens, I recommend you have a look at Sigma's 50-150 f/2.8 zoom: much better optical quality and more create freedom because of the larger initial aperture.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    Heavy is in the eye of the hauler, and is a matter of perspective too. I often haul 35+lbs of photo gear into the field. My 400/2.8 is 9.7lbs all by itself.

    Depends on the lens and the VR generation, but generally 2-3 stops of photographer/camera movement. If you don't use a tripod regularly it may save you from issues with non-moving subjects.

    In general, Nikkor zooms tend to be better than Tamron zooms, though there are some low-end Nikkors that suck. The 70-300 @ 300mm has sucked in the past, the current VR version seems to suck less than prior models, but only you can decide if it sucks more that the equivalent Tamron or Sigma lenses. Tamron may actually be making the Nikon lens, but theirs focuses to 2:1 macro- that may or may not be important to your shooting needs, but it's a significant difference.

    None of these lenses is going to be a stellar performer at 300mm, but they may perform fine for what you want-- only you can make that determination and really only by testing each of them.

    Any two lenses with the same coverage are likely to weigh around the same, if not more, but if your'e worried about the weight of the 18-200 maybe you should consider taking a small point and shoot instead? If you're not the sort of person who's willing to haul gear around to get the shot, then you may be much happier on the trip if you just have a P&S with you and don't have to worry about lugging around a DSLR.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #9
    Depends on how tolerable you are of the 18-200's defects. Some photographers are real perfectionists and look at their work blown up 100% on screen and complain about even slight amounts of optical distortion. If that is you you'd use the 18-55 when you can because inside it's range it is slightly better. Most casual shooters don't care and figure the connivance of having only one lens trumps everything.

    My preference is for faster lenses. I just don't like the "look" of f/5.6. One of my favorite lenses is the 85mm f/1.8. I also really liked my 35mm f/2.0 when I shot film and wish I had something like it but sized for DX format. I used my 18-70, 50mm and 85mm lenses most of the time.

    I do own a 200mm f/5.6 zoom but it sees little use. There are very few subjects where I can't simply walk up closer. The 200 only gets used when I take the kids to the zoo but even then at f/5.6 I can't get the DOF shalow enough to loose the backgrounds. I really need a 80-200 f/2.8 The 80-200 is one of the best Lenses Nikon has ever made and it's price is not much different from the 18-200 The f/2.8 lens is a lot more versitile and far superior optically over the 18-200 but it's not small and light weight.
     
  10. mattw126 macrumors member

    mattw126

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    #10
    I'm a Mac, if you already have 18-55 (27 - 82.5) covered, spend the extra money and purchase the above lens. The images it can capture will make up for any inconvenience in carrying it. Also remember with the DX format chip your actually getting a 120 - 300. I also have a Sigma 70 - 200 2.8 as a backup, which is a good lens, but has trouble finding focus and lacks as pleasing a bokeh (IMO) that the Nikon creates. Go for it and you'll never regret it.
     
  11. I'm a Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I like that idea of a great quality zoom lens that will go well with my 18-55. Although, how compatible is it with the d60? I know that af-s lenses are compatible but what about af-d? also does it have vibration reduction?

    p.s., I don't have a problem with carrying around an slr, I would just rather carry around no more than two lenses... can anyone reccomend a good bag that would fit two lenses... I love my promaster bag but it only fits one lens

    also, I'm really only a beginner photographer, so I'm not exactly sure what would ideally suit my purposes, but I do feel the need for a telephoto lens if I want to take pictures on a sightseeing vacation- and I would rather spend a little extra for quality pictures... but... $800 is a lot
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Only the AF-S versions of the 80-200 and 70-200 Nikkors will work. Both are expensive.
    Sigma has makes two more lenses that are compatible: a 70-200 f/2.8 and a 50-150 f/2.8 which I recommend over the former because of weight, price and focal length.
     
  13. I'm a Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I can't seem to find a sigma 70-200 with af-s. Also, how would this lens compare with the nikon 55-200 vr? am I really missing something without the 55-70 mm?
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Sigma's AF-S is called HSM. Both lenses, the 50-150 (about $750 at bhphoto) and the 70-200 (about $800 at bhphoto) will focus with your camera.
    The Sigma will make minced meat of the 55-200 VR, it's a much better lens.

    And yes, you will miss something in portrait situations. The 70-200 also weighs about twice as much (1380 g vs. 780 g), is larger and also more expensive.

    Original Nikkors will be better, but even more expensive.
     
  15. 66217 Guest

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    #15
    I don't think that spending on such a lens is a good idea. You don't even know if you're going to use that range often to justify the price. And believe me, if you think a 18-200 is heavy and big, the 80-200 will be unbearable.

    I would much rather buy an external flash, a 18-200 (the combo of a 18-70 and 70-300 is also a nice option) and then see what I like shooting the most.
    Another option would be waiting for the new 50 f/1.4, use it along with the 18-55 and then buy a 55-200.

    What are your reasons to get a telephoto? What special interest? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by sightseeing.
     
  16. I'm a Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I agree, I don't think spending a lot on a lens is necessarily a good idea. Anyway, I don't think the 18-200 is too heavy, I just hear it's a heavy-ish lens compared to a 55-200 BUT, i really do like the idea of only having to carry around one lens. If the 18-200 takes much better quality pictures then the 55-200vr and/or the 18-55vr then it would be worth it. Also, regarding reasons for a telephoto lens, I find that the zoom becomes very useful when in a city, or out in the country- taking pictures of tops of buildings, mountains sunsets, views, etc.
     
  17. JKitterman macrumors member

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    #17
    I have the D40 with the 18-55, 55-500VR and a 80-200 AF (not AFS). The 18-200 will give you a one lens solution to walking around and shooting for almost all your subjects unless you need more range for wildlife. An 80-200 AF is heavy. I have to focus manually with it and it appears to take the same pictures as the 55-200VR for snapshots. I would be hard pressed to notice a difference. For how you describe your photos, I would go with the 18-200 and just keep it on at all times. The 18-200 is about the same weight as a 18-55 and 55-200VR
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #18
    A superzoom like the 18-200 is made for convenience, it will not outperform the narrower zoom ranges in terms of image quality. It just means carrying only one lens and not having to switch between lenses. The 18-200 is a good lens for what it is, but it's a bigger compromise than most zooms because of the wide zoom range.
     
  19. I'm a Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    well now I'm leaning more towards to 18-200, especially because I'm starting to realize that it won't mean that I'll never use my 18-55 again (or will it?) I did read however, that the 18-200, since it's a dx lens, takes much better pics than the 18-55 and the 55-200.
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #20
    Not true, DX lenses have a smaller image circle so they work with cropped sensors only- but the 18-55 and 55-200 are also DX lenses. In general an FX lens (non-DX) will give a better picture on a crop sensor body because the sensor is in the sweet spot of center of the image circle.
     
  21. I'm a Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    the indecision continues... but I did read some great reviews of the 18-200
     
  22. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #22
    What? they are all "DX" format lenses. And why would that even matter. the term "DX" refers to the size of the projected image.
     
  23. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #23
    What are you going to take pictures of?
     
  24. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #24
    Photozone gave it a mere two stars in optical quality...ouch.

    Have you ever tried a prime lens? People often think they'll hate them until they try one. There really is no contest in IQ between a good prime lens and a superzoom. A superzoom gives you the "flexibility" to take soft, distorted images at a variety of focal lengths. :rolleyes: Nowadays, given that it's easy to crop photos on a computer, it makes even less sense to get a superzoom.
     
  25. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #25
    1. If you owned an 18-200 mm lens, I doubt you'd use your 18-55 mm again. Oh well.

    2. The 18-200 mm will not take better photos than the 18-55 mm and 55-200 mm separate. However, the slight penalty is what you get for the added convenience. For yourself, I think the convenience of the 18-200 mm is worth it.

    3. Between the 55-200 VR, and 70-300 mm VR, I'd buy the 55-200 mm VR. The 70-300 mm is sharp from 70-200 mm, and less sharp at >200 mm, so what's the point of the extra 100 mm?? It's there if you really need it, so I guess that's the benefit.

    4. The Sigma 70-200 mm will be better than both lenses, but the 55-200 mm may be sharper through its entire focal range. It's supposed to be a sharp lens. Also, the Sigma 70-200 mm is relatively heavy. If you were concerned about the weight of the 18-200 mm, you'll definitely worry about the Sigma.
     

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