Why is the Nikon 70-300mm SO cheap?!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hello.there, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Hello.there macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
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    Couch
    #1
    Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 G AF Zoom Lens

    Is it really that bad?!

    It's on sale on Ebay (brand new) at £39.95......how can any Nikon lens be that cheap? :confused:
     
  2. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #2
    To Ireland -- £25.00

    He's charging $50 for shipping, thats how. Its a hong kong seller, so no warranty (or store warranty). Real cost here is $130 shipped, which is what a reputable seller like Amazon sells it for.
     
  3. Adrien Baker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca.
    #3
    It's not a "bad" lenses per say. It's just a lower end Nikon lens. I believe the imported version sells brand new for about $110 from say B&H or Adorama.

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

    Adrien
     
  4. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #4
    It's an alright lens as long as you have plenty of light. At the longer end you need to stop it down to f/8 or f/11 to keep color fringing in line.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    It is not "bad" it just has low specs. Nikon and Canon both have some low-spec'd lenses that they sell at (I assume near cost) so that people will buy the DSLR bodies.

    It's a 300mm f/5.6 lens that only covers the DX format sensor. The price of optics depends on the surface area, doublingthe number of elements doubles the surface area and price but going from f/5.6 to f/2.8 makes the surface grow by 4X and the faster lens is going to need more corection which means more elements and then more metal parts and the cost just cascades so the f/2.8 version costs 10X more to build. And then there are econoomies of scale. Nikon must sell a lot more cheap f/5.6 leses and can invest in a more automated off-shore factory. While the better lenses are still hand made in Japan using very expensive Japanese labor.

    Everything is that way. You can buy a pretty nice bicycle for $350 that is good enough to get you around and will hold up to daily use but the "beter" bikes get very expensive very fast because they can't be mass produced in China and so few are sold so prices are 10X between "decent" and "top quality".
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #6
    Well, don't forget that this particular lens doesn't use any ED glass. The ED version costs $200 more. With this lens I'd guess chromatic abberation and flaring are issues, and the contrast may not be as good (unless you use a hood full time).
     
  7. Hello.there thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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    #7
    I thought in lens-speak that was one and the same thing? :)
     
  8. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #8
    This is the entry level lens in this range -- it's entry level in every respect, and you probably don't want to shoot wide open or all the way at the extreme ends of the range. Without getting into pro glass, the top end is the 70-300 VR for around $500-600, which is a pretty good lens if you have light (since it has a f/5.6 max aperture at the long end).

    If you want higher quality, you need to get into something like the 70-200/2.8 VR with a TC14E (to give you a 100-280/4), but you're at $2K retail for that. It's what I use to shoot auto races. Or the 300/4 prime for around $1K (an excellent lens), or the older 80-200/2.8.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    No, a lens that simply has low specs means that it works well but lacks features. That is different from a lens that does not work well. I don't think Nikon makes a bad lens but they do make a few that lack many desirable features

    With nikon's line you can buy a good lens that allows you to shoot at f/5.6, f/8 f/11 and f/16. If you want to add f/4 and f/2.8 to that list of usable apertures it will cost you an extra $1K. At first it seem like a lot to pay for two more stops but as I wrote those two stops mean that the surface area of the glass inside the lens increases by nearly a factor of 8x.
     
  10. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #10
    It works fine in bright outdoor conditions up to about 200mm. Very soft after that and anything but BRIGHT natural light looks horrible with this lens.
     
  11. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #11
    What about the 70-300mm AF-S ED-IF VR version? My friend is thinking about buying it for his new D40 because he wants some zoom. It's almost $500, which is his budget.
     
  12. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #12
    That's a better lens. I haven't used it myself, but some people like it a lot and consider it very good value. I've seen some pretty nice pictures taken with it on display over at NikonCafe.
     
  13. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #13
    Apologies for somewhat repeating myself; but I had the non-VR predecessor to this lens and liked it a lot. The reason I dumped it was the lack of VR - it's really the one I would have liked to buy, had it been available at the time.
     

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