D3200 new lens?

Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
19
Hi everyone,

New to the forum here. I have a question about equipment. I have a semi-old Nikon D3200 I bought in 2012. It came with the standard 2 kit lenses. 18 – 55 mm and 55-200 mm. I hve been getting tired of switching lenses, so I am looking at buying a Nikon 18- 300 mm from Amazon for around $600. With all of the latest changes in camera tech, just wondering if this is a good idea? The new lens cost more than the entire original package (which was $550 at the time). I am into Wildlife photography.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
2,313
Location
London
I have a Sigma 18-250, the latest one.
I think it is much cheaper than the 18-300 from Nikon.
I pair it with my D3200 on holiday.
It is perfect as a single travel lens.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
391
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Mainly wildlife visible from the beach, trails etc. The 200 just doesnt get me close enough. Afraid if I went longer that 300 the prices would get very high.
Welcome to the world of LONG lenses.
Yes, FL costs $$$$
Buying used helps a lot.

200 to 300 is just 50% more magnification.
Depending on HOW you do that it is OK or does not make sense.
To replace your 18-55 + 55-200 with an 18-300 does make sense.
Replacing the 55-200 with a 70-300 is not as clear.

But if you want reach, you will have to look at the 100-400, 200-500 or 150-600.
You can crop to a certain degree, but at a certain point, you just need more magnification.

Quick trick to determining a long lens.
Look at one of your pics shot at 200mm.
Then divide the image into half, vertical and horizontal. One of those quarters is approx what a 400mm lens will give you.
How does your subject match against one of those quarters? Do you need even more magnification, or is it good enough?
 
One problem with lenses that give what seem like great range -- say 18-300mm -- is that especially at the long end, they often are rather slow lenses, too, which can be hampering if one is in a situation where the light is not great for whatever reason. This can be problematic when trying to shoot wildlife at a distance or BIF. Most of those wonderful wildlife photos / BIF photos we see on here or in National Geographic or other places are from people who are using cameras with more functions and features than the D3200 offers, and they're shooting with dedicated lenses (300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, etc.,) and on a tripod with a gimbal to really nail the focus and sharpness of the shot. Just mentioning this in order to temper your expectations a little.....
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
9,955
Location
Western Slope of Colorado
The Nikon 200-500 is a gem. On a DX body it is a fabulous wildlife lens.
As Nick said, that is one terrific lens at a great price point for value: its built in VR could be a plus, depending upon your planned shooting. Do you imagine mostly walking around, or perhaps setting up in one spot with a long-ish lens stabilized on a tripod? If the former, it would be hard to top the 200-500; even though it is rather pricey, you might consider the benefit of buying something *really good* for the long term, rather than something *pretty good for now* for the short term (and then wanting to upgrade later). As I (and many others here) have done . . .

If thinking about setting up with a tripod, or just shooting hand-held in decent light, then another option might be a used 300/f4 with a 1.4 TC II attached to provide 420/5.6: I'd used that combo for a long time and was quite pleased with it. Those should be available readily at various reputable photo outlets . . .
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
19
One problem with lenses that give what seem like great range -- say 18-300mm -- is that especially at the long end, they often are rather slow lenses, too, which can be hampering if one is in a situation where the light is not great for whatever reason. This can be problematic when trying to shoot wildlife at a distance or BIF. Most of those wonderful wildlife photos / BIF photos we see on here or in National Geographic or other places are from people who are using cameras with more functions and features than the D3200 offers, and they're shooting with dedicated lenses (300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, etc.,) and on a tripod with a gimbal to really nail the focus and sharpness of the shot. Just mentioning this in order to temper your expectations a little.....
Wow - i kind of thought that was the case. Would love to develop the expertise someday to go there. Bucket list item #1. At this point my main goal is to get a bit better magnification and get over the having to switch lens issue, which is becoming a major Pain. But would definitely love to upgrade everything at some point down the road.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
19
WOW - thanks for all of the great tips and advice. It is obvious that I have some homework to do. But love the site. I will be back often, hopefully with more constructive input as my knowledge level grows!!!
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
391
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Just remember that to make a super/ultra zoom (more than 1:10 zoom ratio), optical compromises had to be made.
Optics are generally better in zooms with a smaller zoom ratio. Most PRO zooms are less than 1:3. But there are exceptions to any rule.

But for travel, a different set of factors come into play (size, weight, convenience) which affects the lens decision.
So for travel, I might want to carry just one lens (18-300), rather than two lenses (18-55 + 70-300), for convenience.
But at home, where weight and bulk are not a factor, I might prefer the two lenses (18-55 + 70-300), for better image quality.

For a "small" subject, you can crop into an image, to a point.
Note, how much you can crop depends on the quality of the lens. You can crop deeper when using an optically EXCELLENT lens.​
And how big the final image will be. As I tell my students, you don't need a lot for a 2x3 inch print.​
After than you really need more magnification.

The farther your subject is from you, the more air you have between your subject and you.
The more air there is, the more "stuff" is also between your subject and you, to degrade the image.
Stuff = dust, smoke, pollen, smog, water vapor, thermal distortion of the air, etc.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
19
Just remember that to make a super/ultra zoom (more than 1:10 zoom ratio), optical compromises had to be made.
Optics are generally better in zooms with a smaller zoom ratio. Most PRO zooms are less than 1:3. But there are exceptions to any rule.

But for travel, a different set of factors come into play (size, weight, convenience) which affects the lens decision.
So for travel, I might want to carry just one lens (18-300), rather than two lenses (18-55 + 70-300), for convenience.
But at home, where weight and bulk are not a factor, I might prefer the two lenses (18-55 + 70-300), for better image quality.

For a "small" subject, you can crop into an image, to a point.
Note, how much you can crop depends on the quality of the lens. You can crop deeper when using an optically EXCELLENT lens.​
And how big the final image will be. As I tell my students, you don't need a lot for a 2x3 inch print.​
After than you really need more magnification.

The farther your subject is from you, the more air you have between your subject and you.
The more air there is, the more "stuff" is also between your subject and you, to degrade the image.
Stuff = dust, smoke, pollen, smog, water vapor, thermal distortion of the air, etc.
Thanks for the reply - I really appreciate it. Definitely have a lot to learn.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
19
I did break down and spend $35 on a "Fundamentals of Photography" course by National Geographic. Hopefully it will help me get going. One of the "Great Courses" series.
Also been using Paint Shop Pro 2018 for touching up/editing images.
Again, thanks for all the tips and help - More to follow I am sure.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom