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need a telephoto

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by davidzvi, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. Nikon 70-300 AF-S VR

    27 vote(s)
  2. Nikon 80-400 VR

    22 vote(s)
  3. Sigma 80-400 OS

    2 vote(s)
  4. Sigma 50-500

    4 vote(s)
  5. Tamron 200-500

    1 vote(s)
  1. Ok, I'm headed to Alaska in about 3 weeks and need a telephoto. And I need help:redface::confused: . All opinions welcome. I have it narrowed down to these:

    70-300 AF-S VR
    50-500 Sigma
    80-400 Nikon
    80-400 Sigma
    200-500 Tamron

    Issues 70-300:
    I can afford it, but many say it is soft above 220-240 and I think it might be a little short so I will probably at or above the 220-240 most of the time.

    Issues 50-500 Sigma:
    Probably bigger than I want but 500mm would be real nice. But unlike the the VR/OS lenses it would require at least my monopod.

    Issues 200-500 Tamron:
    Don't know much about it, it's gotten ok reviews but most qualify its performance with price for the range. would also need the monopod.

    Issues 80-400 Sigma:
    Bigger and heavier than the Nikon and hard to find. But better priced if I can find one.

    Issues 80-400 Nikon:
    If I had the money it would be my first choice (wish I had not sold the one I had).

    I thought about a 300 f4 AF-S but I have a problem with long primes. I see mainly with one eye so tracking with the eye not looking through the lens is not really possible. I find it much easier to zoom.
  2. I have the 200-500 Tamron, and while it is an OK lens it definitely is a SLOW lens, which can be significant in terms of lighting conditions and active animals, flying birds. I also have the 70-300mm VR and the 80-400mm VR; the former is lighter weight and less bulky and to me seems quicker to respond than the 80-400mm VR. Since you've had an 80-400mm VR before, you know the good qualities of that lens. If it were me making this decision I would go with either the 70-300mm VR or the 80-400mm VR.
  3. Thanks Connie.

    The Nikon 80-400 is my first choice if I can swing it. I was really wondering about the Sigma 80-400 though. It's my third choice and is cheaper than the Nikon, although bigger and heavier I have heard it focuses a little quicker.
  4. tasnim_fahim


    Oct 2, 2006
    my first choice would be the 70-300 vr.

    have a nice trip.
  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    My 70-300 VR with Kenko Pro 1.4 TC is not soft on the long end

    Good choice for you
  6. snakeman


    Feb 26, 2006
    you not considered the sigma 100-300mm f4?..Awesome lens.
  7. I have, actually I had it on my list originally. But for the range and if I added a Sigma 1.4tc to the price (even used), I'd be really close to the Nikon 80-400, so....
  8. You use a Kenko with the AF-S lens? Not a Nikon tc?
  9. snakeman


    Feb 26, 2006
    so?..lol..I would rather the sigma over the 80-400mm any day...:wink:
  10. I picked the 70-300vr, for 2 reasons, one it has good IQ for its FL, but also, you have to carry it with you and this would probably be the lightest and smallest out of them all.

    If your traveling you really don't want to be lugging a bunch of large and heavy stuff around with you and you will be less likely to be leaving it in you room and you will take it with you if it's light and small... Also as Gale said, you could put the Kenko 1.4x TC on it if you want more reach....
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2007
  11. Tough decision

    I only own one of those lenses so I can't fairly compare it to the rest. Any way you can try any of these out before making a decision ?
  12. I had the 80-400 Nikon and would buy it again if I could afford to (trying to figure out how, and really wish I had not sold it:frown:) . My son has the 70-300 VR, so does my father in law. They are both going to be on the vacation, but there will actually be 4 of us with Nikon bodies, so only 2 zooms just won't do.

    I have more than the cost of the 70-300, but not enough for the 80-400 Nikon(still hoping). that's why I've been looking at the others that are in between.
  13. Gandalf


    Nov 15, 2006
    I went to Alaska 2 years ago and took my Sigma 50-500. I really liked the reach when photographing eagles, sea lions, sea otters, whales, etc. However, I have since bought the Nikon 80-400 VR, and on the next trip I will probably take it instead of the Sigma just based on sharpness and VR.
  14. Gandalf


    Nov 15, 2006
    Also, you might want a 12-24 or something similar to photograph the majesty of the Alaskan landscapes. I didn't have one, and wished I did.
  15. Though about it but will probably make do with the fish and CS3 photo merge using the 17-55 or even the 28-105. I tried to pick up a Tokina 17mm a few weeks ago, but I was not willing to go as high as it ended up just to save the weight of not bringing my 17-55.
  16. I will be heading to Alaska this Friday. Hope we both have great trips and have lots of good pics to show off:biggrin:. I have the camera bag all packed with: D200, D70, Nikon 70-300VR, 300 2.8 with TC's, Tokina 12-24 f4 and Nikon 18-70, oh and my SB 600. I am packing my smaller tripod with a ballhead because I understand in Ketichen, near the docks, lots of eagles, so might be able to set up my 300 2.8 with the TC's. Anyway, just take lots of pics and have fun:biggrin:.

    All the best
  17. acena


    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    I would bring the biggest baddest lens you can afford. I've been to AK once a year since 2003. There were times I wished I had a 10.5mm and other times I wished I had a 600/4. All I had on the last trip was a 300/2.8 and a 17-55/2.8. though I took better pictures when I brought the N90 with 24-120 or one year I brought a Contax G2 with a 45mm. But then I was in the wilderness for up to 2 weeks on foot and canoe so I was limited to what I could carry in the canoe or on my back.
  18. Davidgolf45

    Davidgolf45 Guest

    I have both the Sigma 50-500 and the Nikon 80-400vr. The Sigma is big and heavy and does require the use of a tripod. I love the 80-400mm
  19. Right now the plan is:

    10.5mm fish
    17-55mm (maybe)
    28-105mm general use and 1:2 macro
    30mm 1.4
    and whatever I get for a telephoto
    at least one flash

    17-55mm (maybe) It's my main event lens, that my 50-150 and 85 I make money with, and cannot afford to replace. So I will probably leave them safe and sound at home. After all this is a family trip and not a photo tour.
  20. Then, I would definitely get the 70-300VR. I love mine!

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