Old 09-21-2017, 01:52 PM   #1
Joseph Cermak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Cleveland, Rochester, Erie
Posts: 295
Default Nikon Telephoto Lens

Alright guys, I shoot with a Nikon D3300 and currently have a Nikkor 18-105mm lens. I'm looking to add a telephoto lens to my arsenal and am looking for thoughts and recommendations. Budget is about $500-$1000 but I'd like to keep it on the lower end as much as possible. So far, I've found three options:
1. Nikkor 70-300mm with VR https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...om_Nikkor.html

2. Sigma 70-300mm APO https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._6_APO_DG.html
The very low price point worries me regarding the quality or performance, even though it is a sigma.

3. Sigma 100-400mm https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...6_3_dg_os.html
This one is a bit more, and the 300mm zoom of the other lenses is probably enough for me, but I wonder if the extra $$$ for the extra zoom and Sigma lens is worth it.

Any help appreciated, thanks!
Joseph Cermak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2017, 02:09 PM   #2
ShortlinesUSA
Senior Member
 
ShortlinesUSA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 759
Default

I can't add any advice because I shoot with a manual Nikon, but have you tried KEH.com? If you haven't searched them for used gear, it is worth looking. I have never gone wrong with them-- consistently good equipment at hard to beat prices. And they are very conservative on their grades; if they say something is in good condition, it looks like it was taken out of the box maybe once or twice over the years.
__________________
Mike Derrick

Shortline and Regional RR forum moderator
ShortlinesUSA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2017, 02:55 PM   #3
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,861
Default

Hi Joseph,

I can't speak for any of the Sigma lenses. All of mine are Nikon, so I can only comment on their product offerings. I have amassed a reasonable collection of Nikon FF lenses, including several telephotos: 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR, 70-200mm f/4G ED VR, 7-200mm f/2.8G ED VR, and 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR.

WRT the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR.... This is an old lens offering. A new version has recently been released. More on that in a second.

First and foremost, this is a FF lens, and since you are using a DX body, the effective focal range on your camera would be 105-450mm, which sounds great, but this lens has an older generation of the VR (stabilization) technology and in my opinion, is a bit hard to hand-hold at the long end when shot with a DX body. On FF, hand-holding at 300mm is fine.

Quite honestly, of all of my FF lenses, this is my LEAST favorite, primarily due to the older VR and less than snappy AF. On a FF body, this lens does OK when shot at stationary or slow-moving subjects, but not so well when shot at fast-moving ones. I used to take it to airshows. Now I rarely take it anywhere. Shooting airplanes requires faster AF. I now use the 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G VR for airshows, which of course is a pro lens and is more than 4x the price of the lens we are discussing.

If you are interested in a Nikon 70-300mm, get the NEW VERSION, which is the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR. While I don't own one, I think I can safely say that this new lens will be significantly better than the old one. Nikon is in the process of revising many of its lenses because of the newer, higher resolution sensor cameras. The new version is $750 (vs. $500 for the old one), but I think the increase in price will be justified in terms of the image quality and better AF. Read the reviews and decide for yourself. Since glass is something you will probably keep a fair bit longer than a body, I would not spend new money on older technology.

Now, if you think you can scrape together a few more bucks, I have one more recommendation. Nikon's 70-200mm f/4G ED VR lens is a really nice piece of glass. I have both of Nikon's 70-200 G lenses, the f/4 and the f/2.8. In my opinion, the f/4 has the sharpness and the AF speed of the 2.8, but is half the price and half the weight. Yes, it is $1,400, but this lens has internal zooming....it is not an air-pumper like the 70-300. Although it does not have the weather sealing of the 2.8 version, it has a solid, pro feel, because it is a pro lens (gold ring, nano-crystal coat.) When I travel to shoot trains, this is the lens I take for telephoto shots (vs the heavy 2.8 beast.) I know that Moose Peterson uses this lens for air-to-air (formation) shoots, and he's pretty high on it too. If you are patient, Nikon does occasionally put it on sale, although the current discounts are like $100 vs. $200 when I bought mine. On your camera, this would be a 105-300mm lens, which in my opinion is about as much as you'd normally ever need for shooting trains.

Anyway, good luck with your decision. Bodies and glass are both important, but when shooting on a nice day, I'll take the pro glass on a cheap body over cheap glass on a pro body any day of the week.
__________________
/Kevin

My stuff is here.

Yeah, I do Flickr too. Tons of non-RP stuff there.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2017, 03:02 PM   #4
Joseph Cermak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Cleveland, Rochester, Erie
Posts: 295
Default

Kevin good to know that. I would definitely have to look at the newer version of the lens if I go with that. Hopefully someone can comment on the Sigmas vs the Nikon, as the new version of the Nikon puts it in about the same price point as the Sigma. Thanks.
Joseph Cermak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2017, 03:50 PM   #5
lalam
Senior Member
 
lalam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Pune, India
Posts: 176
Default

I have used AF-P 70-300 VR on my D3300 recently. It looks good in fast focusing and sharp. Being compact it fits in medium camera bag along with other lens.
Following are images taken by the lens standing at same place with different focal lengths.
Image © Lalam
PhotoID: 623265
Photograph © Lalam

300mm
Image © Lalam
PhotoID: 629710
Photograph © Lalam

175mm

and at 70mm
https://flic.kr/p/YESMQJ

By the way did I make any mistake in photoid= thing?

Last edited by lalam; 09-21-2017 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Thank you Mike Derrick.
lalam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2017, 04:06 PM   #6
ShortlinesUSA
Senior Member
 
ShortlinesUSA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 759
Default

Image © Lalam
PhotoID: 623265
Photograph © Lalam


Don't capitalize the P.
__________________
Mike Derrick

Shortline and Regional RR forum moderator
ShortlinesUSA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2017, 12:24 AM   #7
Noct Foamer
Senior Member
 
Noct Foamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 584
Default

The best 300mm zoom is the latest Nikon 70-300mm AF-P. They run $200 new. Looks like it is fully compatible with D3300.

https://photographylife.com/reviews/...0mm-dx-vr-af-p

This sound like the best bargain. It is a sharp lens.

The Sigma is interesting and has received fairly good reviews too. However, I did read that it flares a little easy when strong direct light hits it--not the best thing for a lens used to photo choo-choos. On the plus side it will work to photo wildlife too.

Another option is a used Nikon 300mm f4 AFS, for around $500. Excellent sharpness and is a fast f4. Downsides are no VR so I would mostly only use it on a tripod. Also won't zoom. I'm looking for a used 300mm f4 AFP and TC-1.4III myself, but those will run well over $1,000. The Nikon 70-200mm f4 VR is another outstanding lens, and I see them used on ebay for $700-800. Add a TC-14e at some point and you get to 280mm f5.6. To further complicate things, Tamron is coming out with a 100-400mm VC f6.3. All in all, you best value is probably the Nikon 70-300mm f6.3 AFP. If you want a step up from that, it's the Nikon 70-200mm f4 VR. I nearly bought one last spring to replace my Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR, but finally decided I just don't shoot zoom lenses enough to warrant it.


Kent in SD

Last edited by Noct Foamer; 09-22-2017 at 10:13 PM.
Noct Foamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2017, 07:14 PM   #8
cprted
Junior Member
 
cprted's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4
Default

Tamron has a 70-300 which has gotten decent reviews. Obviously doesn't compete with a 70-200 f2.8, but its also a fraction of the price.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._4_5_6_Di.html
cprted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 03:39 AM   #9
Noct Foamer
Senior Member
 
Noct Foamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 584
Default

Another review by the long time Nikon pundit Thom Hogan:

http://www.dslrbodies.com/lenses/nik...5-56-af-p.html

And also from Thom Hogan:

"The irony is that the recent [Nikon] DX AF-P lenses—10-20mm, 18-55mm, 70-300mm—form a really great set of optics for the consumer DX crowd. I can't think of a trio of consumer zooms from any other company that are this good. And quite reasonably priced for Nikon. Yet it appears that Nikon's terrible marketing just doesn't know how to promote their strengths. Those three lenses backed by the 20/24mp DX sensors Nikon are using produce some exceptional image quality at low price. Not just good image quality, mind you, but exceptional. Where does it say that in Nikon's marketing?"
http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/...ma-versus.html


Kent in SD

Last edited by Noct Foamer; 09-26-2017 at 03:56 AM.
Noct Foamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 05:30 PM   #10
Joseph Cermak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Cleveland, Rochester, Erie
Posts: 295
Default

So it seems like either the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR or the 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR are good options. Can anyone speak to the $400 difference, and if its worth making the initial investment with the more costly one or not? Is it that much better or what leads to the price difference? Thanks
Joseph Cermak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 10:06 PM   #11
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,861
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Cermak View Post
So it seems like either the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR or the 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR are good options. Can anyone speak to the $400 difference, and if its worth making the initial investment with the more costly one or not? Is it that much better or what leads to the price difference? Thanks
If you are talking about the two versions of Nikon's 70-300mm FF zoom, I believe that the difference is more like $250. The older G-lens is just a hair under $500, which is less than what it sold for a few years ago. The newer E-lens is just under $750. I wouldn't even consider the old lens. AF is not that fast and VR is early technology. The new lens will be an improvement in both areas and is designed for the newer, higher resolution sensor cameras.

To me, the only options for a quality piece of glass are the 70-300E or the 70-200 f/4 G. The latter is considered a pro lens.
__________________
/Kevin

My stuff is here.

Yeah, I do Flickr too. Tons of non-RP stuff there.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 11:56 PM   #12
Joseph Cermak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Cleveland, Rochester, Erie
Posts: 295
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
If you are talking about the two versions of Nikon's 70-300mm FF zoom, I believe that the difference is more like $250. The older G-lens is just a hair under $500, which is less than what it sold for a few years ago. The newer E-lens is just under $750. I wouldn't even consider the old lens. AF is not that fast and VR is early technology. The new lens will be an improvement in both areas and is designed for the newer, higher resolution sensor cameras.

To me, the only options for a quality piece of glass are the 70-300E or the 70-200 f/4 G. The latter is considered a pro lens.
Not comparing the new vs old, I'm comparing the new that you suggested to the one suggested by Kent.
Joseph Cermak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 03:00 AM   #13
Noct Foamer
Senior Member
 
Noct Foamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 584
Default

Unless you are planning on buying an FX camera in the coming year, I would buy the $200 version. It's an excellent lens and one I've thought about buying myself for use on my D5300. (I use that camera along with a Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 OS as my compact travel outfit.)

The 70-200mm f4 VR is optically a better lens, but not by much. It's main advantage is it's a stop & half faster--f4. This means when the light is low you can shoot with a shutter speed twice as fast without raising the ISO. If you often shoot in low light this might be something to consider. On the plus side for the 70-300mm AFP is it's 300mm--50% longer. If you mostly shoot in the daytime I think you'll find that extra 100mm more useful than f4. The lens is also smaller & lighter which makes it easier to travel with and carry. Finally, there is a ~$500 difference (for a used one.) That's enough to buy a a Nikon 10-20mm AF-P and have $200 left over. Or, use the $500 for a trip somewhere you've always wanted to visit. Anyway, I don't think you'll see any difference in sharpness between those two lenses, especially considering most people shoot them at f8 for RR photos.


Kent in SD
Noct Foamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.