Recommendations for zoom lens for Nikon d60?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TravelsofNote, May 8, 2014.

  1. TravelsofNote macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hello all! I have a Nikon D60 DSLR and am in the market for a zoom lens for it. I do LOTS of traveling and take pictures of cities, landscapes, wildlife, people, architecture and almost everything under the sun (and some things that arn't). The Nikon AF-S 18-55mm that came with the camera does most of the general stuff I do, but I also find my self in forests or jungles and can't seem to snag that nice photo of a bird on a branch or that porcupine booking it down the hill. I don't have the funds to buy the National Geographic/pro, $1,500+ lenses, but am looking for a middle ground. I don't mind buying used lenses so that may help. Anything in the $500-800 would be OK, but of course, the more affordable the better! Any and all recommendations are welcome. Thanks!
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    The 70-300 would amount to a 105-450 on your body.
    There is different versions of it. All of them very affordable. I recommend reading up on those.
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    This. I have the Nikon VR version of that lens. Bought it second hand (camera shop not eBay) and its really opened up a different world to me. It was only my second lens and I was surprised how good it is for a 'cheap' telephoto.
  4. TravelsofNote thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks Meister. It looks like a good choice. I'll look into it further!
  5. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    There isn't any middle ground when it comes to low-light situations, you either need (a) flash, (b) fast glass or (c) a high-ISO sensor. In this case, (c) is probably your best answer. Another low-speed lens will simply allow you to have closer blurry/dark images.

  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Try this experiment: Set up a shot using your 18-55 lens set to 55. Place a fake subject that is the same size as your intended subject in a bush or tree near the house. Walk back at the distance you expect to shoot and snap an image.

    Look at the image in screen and see how many same larger you'd like the test subject to be. Perhaps it fills 1/10 of the frame and you want it to fill 1/2. Then you are saying "I need 5X larger"

    Assuming the answer is "5x larger" multiply the 55mm lens by 5 giving 275mm. This means you'd need a 275mm lens. This is not exact but close enough.

    NEXT you have one more problem. Shutter speeds. All else equal on a 5x longer lens you need a 5x shorter minimum shutter speed to avoid motion blur. This means a 2-stop faster lens, or 5X higher ISO.

    That said a month ago I was able to get some really nice bird shots for about 30 feet away using an older version of the 75-300 AF nikon lens on a ball head tripod in daylight. The 300mm length was about right for the 30 foot distance and med. size birds but would not have worked hand held in lower light

    We also had a 500mm f/4 prime lens. It was really nice but VERY expensive and impractically large. But fun to try out.

    The difference in image quality is verynoticable. The 75-300 had some purple fringing and was not the most sharp lens I've seen. The 500mm was dead-on perfect but 10X the price.

    You might look at a 300mm prime lens. It will be lighter and sharper.

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