A&P Zoom lens recommendations (Nikon flavored)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Astro, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Looking at the shots I have taken with my current zoom lens, and remembering how much of I fight I have to put up with it when I do take shots, I'm wondering if I could make my life a bit easier if I get a new zoom lens.

    I have a Nikon D80. A full frame lens might be nice since I still have a Nikon N80 as well. My current zoom lens is a Promaster LD 70-300mm f4-5.6. I got it when I got my N80, which has to be 11+ years ago by now. I like this lens for the reach it gives me (300mm full frame on the D80 is nice and by my calculations, puts me in the 400mm range). My concern with this lens is lack of resolution, slow focus speed, if it manages to focus (it does a LOT of hunting when items are near infinity or there is any glare).

    I'm eying the Nikkor 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR. It is in my price range. The zoom range is good and having VR will be ideal, although the f-stop is making me a bit hesitant.

    The Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 G IF-ED VR looks like an AWESOME lens, but the price and the 200mm limit kind of turn me off.

    Anyone use the 70-300mm lens? Any thoughts on it? I read up on photozone.de and it seems the like image quality is pretty good. Any one have any samples they could post of this lens?

    Are there other lenses I should consider? I see the 70-300 comes in a non-VR flavor which is pretty darn cheap (I'm willing to pay more for the VR). If it helps any, I shoot the occasional autocross, air show, as well as travel photography (nothing professional). I have zooms for the lower end so 70mm or 80mm is about as low as I want to go.

    Any thoughts or recommendations? Post samples if you got 'em.
     
  2. FusionZ06

    FusionZ06 /\__/\__/\__0>

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    70-200VR is good it's really the equivalent to like 300mm on a film camera

    At one point they made a 70-210 like 10 years ago you could find one of those for pretty cheap however it is a little slow on the focusing
     
  3. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    I got the 80-200 2.8D, and it's amazing. I'd easily recommend it.

    very sharp, very fast, and it's built so well you could beat someone to death with it and then take pictures of their bloodied corpse.


    ya know, if it ever comes to that.
     
  4. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    :bowrofl:

    thats sig material right there.
     
  5. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    True, the 70-200 will be like having a 300mm on the D80. At ~$1700, whew, that one is a tough one to justify (looking at the f/2.8 flavor). How's the bulk? Would it do ok traveling? Is it something that can be hand held for 6+ hours?
     
  6. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    I wouldn't recommend it...but most zoom lenses wouldn't be all that fun to hold for that long anyways. the 80-200 is a great lens for the price
     
  7. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Well, I ended up going with the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR flavor. The other two lenses are definitely awesome. My concern was mainly price and portability.

    If I may say, "whoa!" I just tried the new glass out in the yard. This is significantly sharper than my Promaster. The focusing, compared to the Promaster, is amazing. Fast and accurate.

    I'm processing the snaps right now and will post some in a little bit.
     
  8. Mighty_Zeus

    Mighty_Zeus Guest

    I use the new 70-300 VRII regularly and am really impressed with it for the price. It's kind of a slow lens but the VR makes up for it.

    Here are a few 100% crops.

    [​IMG]
    1/320 f/5.6 ISO200 @300mm


    [​IMG]
    1/200 f/5.6 ISO200 @300mm




    [​IMG]
    1/500 f/5.6 ISO800 @300mm

    Not the greatest, but not that bad either. It manages the pin striping on the loons tapped out @300 pretty well
     
  9. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Nice!

    I just shot this from halfway across the yard, at 300mm:

    (its a snapshot, nothing too creative here other than playing with the lens)

    [​IMG]

    I tried my Promaster on this same shot. I would say there was definitely a difference. The Nikkor focused a lot faster and produced a sharper image, in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008
  10. Mighty_Zeus

    Mighty_Zeus Guest

    lol, right on, guess i was late getting in,

    grats on your new glass :cool:
     
  11. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    I support the 80-200 club. What a lens. $550 used :bigok:
     
  12. tetsuo

    tetsuo And shepherds we shall be...

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    i almost picked up a 80-200 on my local craigslist for 200 :eek3: i don't even shoot nikon but i was going to flip it for a profit. :mamoru: it was sold in about 20 minutes after he listed it. :o
     
  13. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    Jesus, man. Shoulda bought that and flipped it! Even if it was a push-pull type 80-200 still a hell of a deal.
     
  14. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    I have an 80-200 f/ 2.8 and love it

    i want the 200 f/2 :yum: or 300 f/2.8
     
  15. Dwight Schrute

    Dwight Schrute New Member

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    :wackit:
     
  16. tetsuo

    tetsuo And shepherds we shall be...

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    i was going to, but the guy sold it 15 minutes before he got my email :hsd: and it wasn't the push pull type :eek5:
     
  17. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    I'm sure the f/2.8 lens would have had a better chance of pulling these shots off:

    (70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR)
    [​IMG]

    I should have bumped the ISO up a bit to compensate. It is not the sharpest, but for the length the shutter was open, I'm impressed this even came out. The fish is out of focus since it was still flopping around. My hands can shake pretty bad.

    And another one...
    [​IMG]

    I need to work on my skills. The glass quality is just a world of difference from the old Promaster I have been using.

    Some more pics and full size of those above are available here: http://pathfinder.rsbauer.com/gallery2/v/MoreRecent/Nikkor70-300mm/ (be gentle, its behind a cable modem)
     
  18. Steef

    Steef New Member

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    I have the 70-210. It's actually a pretty good lens for being dirt cheap. But yea, the slow focus can get annoying. I want to replace it and my 18-55 with an 18-200VR for all around use.
     
  19. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

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    The 200 f/2 is sex... but I wouldn't mind a 85 f/1.4 and the 135 f/2 (?) plus save a $1000 or so for another lens. :o
     

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