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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 15:53   #1
CSG
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Which ___ to 300mm zoom?

I have a D7200 but my longest lens is the kit 18-105 that came with my old D90. Nikon makes 55-300 and 70-300 zoom lenses for both DX and FX bodies and with or without VR. I'm suffering analysis paralysis. I've been thinking of the one that's designed for the FX bodies as it has a metal mount but it's heavier and slower than some of the other models.

I'm open to non-Nikon brands but generally like to match the the body brand to the lens brand.
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 17:50   #2
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Of the two you mention they are both decent but after having them i would say the 70-300 is the better,i do wonder though if you want them for bird photography if you should go for something longer.

After a lot of years using Nikon i think you should consider something like the Sigma 150-600C, 300mm is not very long and you cant add a converter to the ----- to 300mm lenses.
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 18:34   #3
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I won't carry the heavier lenses as I'm not a serious bird photographer. Elsewhere on BF, I've written about my new experiences with trying digiscoping (using a Kowa 883, their cell phone holder, and my iPhone SE). But for walks where I want to try a little photography I want something fairly portable. I tried the Nikon P900 but wasn't as impressed with the zoom to size to sensor ratio (although I get that the small sensor is how they can get the big zoom) so I sent it back. I picked up the little Lumix ZS50 at Costco a few days ago (30x) and it's got most of the features I want (manual control options, for instance) but it's slow and doesn't take high ISO well. However, it's fine for walking around as it carries in my shirt pocket. On occasion, however, I'd like to use my D7200 with something longer than the 18-105. My guess is that with the 450mm equivalent on the 300mm zoom lenses, the ability to handle higher ISO and fast shutter speeds, I can get a better cropped photo with the D7200 than a non-cropped image from the little Lumix.

I want to be able to easily override the AF with manual but don't know if I really need VR or not if I'm shooting higher ISO and shutter speeds. No VR saves me some money. So which 70-300 do you like, nikonmike?
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 18:50   #4
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It was the AF-S version i had i think you may be looking at the newer AF-P version if i remember right it comes with and with out VR.

If thats the case i dont want to recomend one as the P versions came out after i moved to m4/3 so have no real knowledge of them.

Wait untill a P user comes along.
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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 03:08   #5
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I have the Nikkor AF-S FX 70-300mm f/4.5 5.6G (product # 2161) and would not recommend it for birding. At 300mm the image is noticeably soft. And every photographer I have met which admitted to owing this lens admitted to moving on to something better.

Id suggest giving the Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G VR (product #20062) a try. VR will be usefull at shutter speeds less than 1/600. As for it being f/6.3 at 300mm, not much of an issue. I normally stop my 70-300mm down to f/8 to overcome the softness.
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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 04:25   #6
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Thanks, BC.
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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 14:00   #7
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Why not go for a prime lens, as you're already covering focal lengths up to 105mm anyway?

I've got a D7200 with a 300mm f4 PF, and it is both light / easy to carry around and produces high quality images. I know 300mm is on the short side for some, but it can take fairly heavy cropping, plus you have the teleconverter option.
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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 14:45   #8
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Nikon AF-P DX 70-300/4,5-6,3G ED VR

Light, cheap and OK image quality for the price.

Tamron AF SP 70-300/4-5,6 Di VC USD

Might be an alternative (f5.6 makes it twice as heavy.)

For twice the price, and three times the weight of the Nikon AF-P you could get the not yet released

Sigma 100-400/5-6,3 DG OS Contemporary

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Old Thursday 27th April 2017, 20:18   #9
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I've learned the AF-P lens is not fully compatible with the D7200 and there is no info from Nikon when a firmware update to correct the issues will be available. I think that leaves me with the AF-S version. I have yet to speak to anyone who recommends the AF-P for the D7200 over the AF-S.

So now, I'm on the search for a nice used AF-S. No refurbs available anywhere in the USA but plenty of used ones.
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Old Friday 28th April 2017, 05:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSG View Post
I've learned the AF-P lens is not fully compatible with the D7200 and there is no info from Nikon when a firmware update to correct the issues will be available. I think that leaves me with the AF-S version. I have yet to speak to anyone who recommends the AF-P for the D7200 over the AF-S.

So now, I'm on the search for a nice used AF-S. No refurbs available anywhere in the USA but plenty of used ones.
A couple from the AFS 70-300mm @ 300mm using the Nikon V2
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Old Friday 28th April 2017, 13:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSG View Post
I've learned the AF-P lens is not fully compatible with the D7200 and there is no info from Nikon when a firmware update to correct the issues will be available. I think that leaves me with the AF-S version. I have yet to speak to anyone who recommends the AF-P for the D7200 over the AF-S.

So now, I'm on the search for a nice used AF-S. No refurbs available anywhere in the USA but plenty of used ones.
Can't say which is best as only have the AF-P but can say that the only thing that is not possible with the D7200 is to turn the VR off (I checked with Nikon before buying) and since somewhere on their website they recommended leaving the VR on even when on a tripod I didn't think that it was much of a problem. Not had the lens long but it seems good value for money.

HTH

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Old Friday 28th April 2017, 20:46   #12
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I decided to order the AF-S 70-300 VR. It has a metal mount, two ED elements, fast autofocus and is similar in design and operation to my other Nikon lenses. Will make a report and post a couple photos after it arrives and I use it a bit.
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Old Tuesday 2nd May 2017, 18:29   #13
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Arrived this morning. It's a handful (but not like fast prime teles and tele zooms). I think it will work out well for my casual birding photography and be a good walking around lens. At 70mm (105 effective on my D7200), it could be a decent portrait lens. And through the range, it could be good for landscapes where a WA lens is not ideal.

I took a couple quick snaps of some Brewer's blackbirds at 300mm (450 eq) with VR on and higher shutter speeds (500th). With a little practice, it will work out well, I think.
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Old Tuesday 2nd May 2017, 19:43   #14
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Two quick images at 300mm (450 eq). The Brewer's blackbird was taken across the yard and the fly on dandelion was taken at close to minimum focus. These are better than 50% crops.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/433410...n/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/433410...n/photostream/
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Old Thursday 4th May 2017, 02:18   #15
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Well, strike what I said in post #13. After a couple hundred images with this lens, I'm totally not satisfied with its over 200mm performance - just like so many reviews said. It's packed up for return. Back to the drawing board...
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