Which 70-300?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by leifw, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    We've just jumped into a DSLR. We sprang for a used D80, an 18-135, and 50 f/1.8. I definitely like the speed of the 50. I definitely want something longer than 200. I definitely don't have the money to shell out for a nice, fast, long lens. In the cheap, longer than 200 range, it seems like there are a few options, most of which are 70-300, all of which are slow.
    1. Sigma 70-300 non-APO (~$120)
    2. Sigma 70-300 APO (~$180)
    3. Tamron 75-300 (~$130)
    4. Tamron 70-300 (~$180)
    5. Nikon 70-300 non-VR G (~$140)
    6. Nikon 70-300 non-VR D (~$300)
    7. Nikon 70-300 VR (~$470)

    Does anyone have comparative experience with these lenses?

    While I've seen plenty of posts happy with the 70-300 VR, does anyone have experience with any of the cheaper lenses?

    Am I missing any good alternatives that match my "cheap, longer than 200" parameters?

    I've been leaning toward either Sigma or the newer Tamron because they feature macro modes which bring the minimum focal distance down to about three feet, which is useful as I'm planning to ask this lens to double for macro work for the time being.

    I suspect this question has been asked before, but I couldn't seem to find such a thread using the cafe's search.

    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. I once had the Nikkor 70-300 D ED version which produced very good results. It did get a little soft on the long end. The G version does not have ED glass in it.

    From what I have seen recently, if I were going that route again, I would stay with Nikon and get the new VR version.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Huff09

    Huff09

    311
    Feb 25, 2007
    Carmichael, CA
    leifw,

    I owned the Tammy 75-300 for a short while and I currently own the Nikon 70-300 VR. I love the VR lens I have. I think it is arguably the best "bang for buck" lens available for a Nikon mount today.

    That being said, the Tamron I owned was a very nice, very sharp lens. I sold it not long after I bought it, but that was during a period of "lens uncertainty" where I was buying and selling lenses because I couldn't figure out what I wanted or what I was doing. The only reason I sold it was to buy another lens (which I have since sold).

    If you can afford it, buy the VR lens. Since you aren't having to decide between a fast or slow lens, the VR is a very nice tool to have in your bag.

    If price is an issue, I would probably go with "G" version of the Nikon. From what I have seen and read, you aren't really getting a big jump in IQ by going to the "D" version (although others may have different experience).

    Good luck!
     
  4. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Why would recommend the Nikon G over the 75-300 Tamron which you were happy with?

    Yeah, price is always an issue. :wink: If price weren't an issue, I'd just spring for the 300 VR f/2.8 and be done with it.
     
  5. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yeah, getting the VR seems like the easy decision. The question is if I'll be 3.5 times happier with it than the 3 cheap options.
     
  6. In the long run, I think you will. Been down that road before.
     
  7. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Somehow I knew you'd say that. :biggrin: Thanks!
     
  8. Takeda

    Takeda

    Jun 9, 2006
    Durham, NC
    The Nikkor 70 300 non- VR G lens came with my D70 as one of the kit lenses. I have found this lens to be very soft!
     

  9. YES, YES, YES without a doubt!!!!

    Nancy
     
  10. Huff09

    Huff09

    311
    Feb 25, 2007
    Carmichael, CA
    The pics I've seen from the Nikon lens have also been nice. If I were buying one I would stick with Nikon since it will probably have better resale value down the road.

    I owned the Tamron, not the Nikon, so I was just offering my .02 on its performance. However, I didn't get as much back on resale as I probably would have with a Nikon lens.
    Well, if price is an issue then your decision seems a lot easier. Go with the "G" (or "D" if it's in the budget). If you have a tripod or monopod you can use it for situations where the VR helps. Also, practicing good technique goes a long way toward this as well. Lots of people took lots of nice, clear, sharp pictures with long glass way before VR was an option

    In the end, however, if you can swing it I would go VR. You will ultimately be much happier. It is also nice when you want to do a quick walk-a-bout and don't feel like lugging the tripod.

    I got mine at Beach Camera when they had them for $425 with no tax or shipping. Haven't found any better than that yet.

    Good luck and have fun with whichever one you choose.
     
  11. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Thanks for explaining.

    When did Beach have them for $425? That's a great deal.

    Thanks again for the feedback.
     
  12. Huff09

    Huff09

    311
    Feb 25, 2007
    Carmichael, CA
    They had that price about two months ago. Their prices go up and down all the time so I have learned to keep checking with them.

    Right now they have it for $469 which, with no tax and shipping, is still a great deal.