Telephoto Zoom for Z6

Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
20
I’m new to the Nikon world so don’t have an existing lens selection to fall back on and I’d like to add a telephoto zoom to my kit. I currently have a Z6, 24-70/4 and 50/1.8. I’ve just ordered an FTZ adapter and so far I’ve considered the following options:
  • Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD
  • Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED V
Apart from the obvious comparison that one has a constant aperture whilst the other has a better zoom range, is there anything that should sway me towards one over the other?
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
1,524
Location
Winter Haven, florida
You found a wonderful site with many experienced shooters willing to share and teach.
With that in mind, we will need more information.
At a minimum we would need to know:
What do you shoot? You will get different recommendations if you are trying to shoot fast birds in flight or stationary zoo animals- just as an example.
What are you doing with your images? Images that are destined to your facebook page can use different equipment than images going to large gallery prints.
The 70-300 is a pretty nice lens, and well respected. It is a little slow, but that may not be an issue.
I have shot with Tamron glass in the past and was pleased with it, but never used the 70-210 tamron.
If it was me, 210mm is not all that long, I would look for longer glass. But again, depends on your needs.
Gary
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
241
Location
North Springfield VA
Real Name
Bill Walderman
I have the Nikon AF-P 70-300 and use it with my Z6 with the FTZ. I mostly shoot 70mm and below, and I don't need the extra speed of the Tamron, but when I do want to shoot longer than 70mm, I've found the 70-300 to be an excellent lens, very reasonably priced, and the FTZ combination works well for my purposes. The Nikon weighs in at 680 g while the Tamron is 810 g, and for me that was a big consideration. I get good results hand-holding the Nikon -- very satisfying to me, but I'm probably not as critical as some, and my uses for this lens are casual. I enjoy using it at the dog park, for example. I don't shoot birds in flight, sports, or other types of photography that call for a fast lens with professional-level IQ, and I don't make prints. The two lenses are priced roughly the same, but you can get a refurbished Nikon for somewhat less if price is an issue.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
20
Thank you for the responses. I’m looking for a lens that I can use for a bit of landscape when out walking, the odd trip to the zoo and general family stuff. In my previous system I’ve had 70-200 and 70-300 equivalents at f/2.8 (although being mu43 the lenses were much smaller than FF f/2.8 zooms). I’ve tended towards the 70-200 one (Panasonic 35-100) because they it was smaller but often missed the range.
I was leaning towards the Tamron but that was before I heard about the 70-300. The obvious disadvantage of the Tamron is the need for the tap in firmware updater to be sure the firmware is up to date to work with the Z6. Coming from mu43 I see the 70-300 as being roughly equivalent to the results I would have got with the Olympus Pro 50-150mm f/2.8, and with the 70-300 being smaller and lighter it looks like a good option. I just wanted to be sure that there wasn’t a performance issue that would have definitely swung it either way.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
20
I'm relatively new to Nikon too. My wallet and I are trying to stay pure and only use Z lenses, where the main rule is patience.
Patience? I don’t know that word! But that is also a factor and why I don’t want to spend much. I think both lenses are less than £400 used and I can move them on when pure Z lenses appear.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
1,105
Location
Huntsville, Alabama
The Nikon 28-300mm VR lens is my walk about lens. I have been using it for years on my DSLRs and now on my mirrorless cameras. I must have gotten a very good copy because it works well on my D850 which is very demanding of a lens.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,235
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I'd stick with Nikon glass due to compatibility issues with Tamron lenses and the Z system. It's only worth investing in third party glass if you plan to add more Tamron/Sigma lenses to your collection making the USB dock worth the investment. Also I see you're from the UK. I'd go check out used Nikon 70-200mm f4 VR lenses as well. That lens is one of the most underrated telephoto lenses in Nikon's line-up. Razor sharp, fast to focus and lightweight. Plus it takes all Nikon TC-14E I/II/III teleconverters to give you additional reach. I kid you not, the lens is so sharp it you shoot portraits, your model better have flawless skin, because it shows every blemish! It's also N coated for better micro contrast and color pop in back-lit conditions.

I checked MPB's UK site and they have several used copies available. If you get the 70-300mm AFP FX VR lens, you might later regret it and wish you had that fixed f/4 aperture! ;)
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
477
Location
MN, USA
My only caveat is to make triple sure you are ordering the correct version of the 70-300 - particularly if you are buying it used from a 3rd party! Nikon for some reason currently have five or six versions floating around. Thom Hogan has a good write-up on various models.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
20
I think the 70-300 is where I’ll put my money. I’d like a 70-200/4 but I’m willing to wait and see what’s on the Z roadmap. Money is a factor too and I’ve seen the 70-300 FX AF-P down as low as £320 on eBay (someone got in there first though!).
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
478
Location
Viera, FL
70-300 AF-P unless you need a faster aperture
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Joined
Jan 11, 2020
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20
The lens arrived today:
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I had a brief chance to try it out down by our local beach:
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Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
388
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Pretty remarkable for a variable-aperture, slow "consumer zoom" lens, eh?
Yup.
I think there are some on the various forums that think ALL of the consumer/non-pro lenses are JUNK.
Maybe they have a 50 inch monitor to look at the images.​
But for many of us, the consumer zooms, when used within their limits, work just fine.
As I tell my students, you don't NEED a $3,000 pro lens to make a 2x3 INCH picture in the yearbook.

It is about matching the photographers needs (not wants) to the gear.
  • If I am shooting a football game in broad daylight, I may want a pro 70-200/2.8, but I do NOT need it. A good consumer grade 70-300/4-5.6 would do just fine. There is PLENTY of sunlight for the slower lens.
  • If I were shooting at night under lights or in the high school gym, that is a totally different story. Then I would NEED the faster f/2.8 lens, in order to not be shooting at ISO 12800 or 25600.
    • Or a camera that has GOOD high ISO performance, in order to use the slow lenses.
    • I told my high school AD, at night and in the gym, it IS about having the right equipment, for the LOW light level.
 
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