Telephoto for my Nikon D90

Discussion in 'Camera Gear' started by vb86, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. vb86

    vb86 Privileged Users


    I've wanted a telephoto for a long long time. A trip to South Africa towards the end of the month seems like a perfect excuse to go buy one.

    I've done some research and have shortlisted the following:

    Nikon 55-300mm: This is an entry level lens known to have slow AF. It's relatively new.
    Nikon 70-300mm: Relatively older, but supposedly has faster AF.
    Tamron 70-300mm VC: Reviews seem good online.

    Now, I have used the Nikons - 55-300mm and 70-300m to get some shots of the moon. My cousin and a friend have them. I was not particularly pleased with the sharpness of the 70-300mm at 300mm. It was quite soft. The 55-300mm was MUCH sharper. This goes against any review I have read online. I researched a bit more and found that some 70-300mm stock does seem to be soft beyond 200mm. This makes me a little skeptical. However, I'm still leaning towards the 70-300mm, hoping that I get a good piece since the slow AF on the 55-300mm is a no go.

    I also read a bit on the Tamron 70-300mm VC, and it's seems alright. It's listed at 26k odd on Flipkart and the Nikon variant will cost me around 27k with bill.

    I was actually eagerly waiting for the new 80-400mm and was willing to pay upto 70k for it, but at $2700, it's rather steep, no matter how good it is!

    Any suggestions would be welcome.

  2. _pappu_

    _pappu_ Privileged Users

    I have used the 70-300 several times, and have never found it lacking. What you have to realize is that lenses often are at their best when stopped down by one stop. Use the 70-300 at F8 and see what its like.
    If not this, then go for the 55-300. With the tamron 70-300, you lose the focus speed anyhow.
    I want to add another option, the nikon 55-200, if you donot need the reach. I have it and it is super-sharp.

    PS : When websites say that the 70-300 is soft beyond 200 mm, that is on full-frame. On a DX camera, only the middle is used so it will be sharp anyhow. Similar to the 70-200 2.8 (old version). Soft corners, but sharp across the frame on DX.
  3. vb86

    vb86 Privileged Users

    Bro, I'm quite sure I wasn't shooting at F5.6!
  4. terence_fdes

    terence_fdes wizened Dinosaur

    I am using the 55-300 now for almost 2 years & just love it. Never found issues with sharpness or speed of auto-focus (even when travelling in an autorickshaw at day/night).

    Never tried the much acclaimed 70-300. But I still consider the 55-300 as total VFM.
  5. vb86

    vb86 Privileged Users

    Thanks for your response (both of you).

    By slow AF, I mean not good enough for shooting birds and wildlife. I know that the 70-300mm won't really cut it either, but it's still faster than the 55-300mm.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 21, 2013, Original Post Date: Mar 8, 2013 ---
    Just an update:

    I bought the 70-300 VR.
    rads likes this.
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