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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Lens help needed please

    Hi all, I need a little lens help please. Im soon to own the D3400 which will come with the 18-55 lens as standard. I am looking at purchasing 2 more lens, but im really stuck into which is best for me, ive read reviews comparing each… my choices are:


    • 30-700 VR Nikon
    • 55-300 VR Nikon
    • 18-400 tamron
    • 150-600 tamron


    My shooting MAINLY involves the following:


    • Animals (slow or fast moving, I like shooting our dogs in action) and also animals in zoos
    • Birds
    • Landscapes
    • Sun sets
    • Moon shots
    • Sports


    The last thing I want to do it purchase to find out its not the one I really need, so hopefully you guys could advise…..


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    pforsell's Avatar

    Re: Lens help needed please

    Lens help needed please
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveNewman View Post
    Hi all, I need a little lens help please. Im soon to own the D3400 which will come with the 18-55 lens as standard. I am looking at purchasing 2 more lens, but im really stuck into which is best for me, ive read reviews comparing each… my choices are:


    • 30-700 VR Nikon
    • 55-300 VR Nikon
    • 18-400 tamron
    • 150-600 tamron


    My shooting MAINLY involves the following:


    • Animals (slow or fast moving, I like shooting our dogs in action) and also animals in zoos
    • Birds
    • Landscapes
    • Sun sets
    • Moon shots
    • Sports


    The last thing I want to do it purchase to find out its not the one I really need, so hopefully you guys could advise…..
    I got a freebie 55-300 VR a few days ago and made about 1200 shots with it. A short review is here: Nikon 55-300 @ nikonites. The autofocus is too slow for anything that moves and the manual focus is too flimsy so one cannot revert to that either. Pre-focusing technique of course works but that is not always an option.

    There are three versions of the Nikon 70-300VR. I only have tried the oldest of the lot, the AF-S 70-300 G VR and while it focuses a bit faster than the 55-300 one cannot really call that fast either. Neither of them is truly sharp in the 200-300 mm range, but okayish though. Nikon has never made a really bad lens optically, they all are usable. The new AF-P versions are reportedly much faster to focus, but I have never seen any of them and personally the all-plastic construction would make me worry about the longevity.

    I have never used any Tamron lens and haven't seen one in flesh either, if I remember correctly. Some people like them, some hate them. Make a google search "tamron auto focus problem" and you get 52 million hits. Some people have never had auto focus problems, some cannot make the focusing work at all, and some have the problems but deny them loudly because they hate to admit they made the wrong purchase in the first place.

    For close range shots of the dogs the 18-55 might be all you need. Ditto for landscapes and sunsets. It is a superb lens for the price.

    Birds and fast moving animals from afar is where things get difficult. Nikon 200-500 VR is one option, but it is partly plastic too... I hate the wobbly inner tube that protrudes like a turtle's head when zooming. The autofocus speed is about as slow as that on the AF-S 70-300VR. Have a look: Youtube focus test. It is usable definitely, but sometimes more is more. Optically the 200-500 is good.

    How about a single focal length lens: Nikon AF-S 300/4G PF? Or a second hand AF-S 70-200/2.8VR and a teleconverter? Or an older second hand AF-S 300mm f/2.8D II or AF-S 300/2.8G VR? Maybe even AF-S 200-400 VR? I'd get one of those pro-grade lenses for three reasons:
    1) they are built to last, buy once for life
    2) bought second hand they don't lose value - if you decide to sell, there's always a market for pro glass
    3) cheaper in the long run - you don't constantly have to sell plastic lenses at great loss and upgrade to better ones
    4) optics are as good as they ever gonna be - I chose the Nikon system because of Nikon lenses, not because of cameras that are disposable at best, toxic waste at worst

    These are my opinions, feel free to disregard them. I am sure others will give their opinions which are diametrically different.
    Thanks/Like DaveNewman Thanks/liked this post
     
    9 Nikon single-digit pro bodies from D1H to D5.
    12 Nikon three-digit consumer bodies from D100 and up.
    56 Nikkor prime lenses from AIS 8/2.8 to AFS 400/2.8VR
    4 Nikkor zoom lenses: 14-24/2.8, 17-35/2.8, 28-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8VR
    My fastest lens is f/1.2 (x3) and slowest f/2.8


  3. #3
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Lens help needed please

    Lens help needed please
    If landscapes is an interest for you, then the 18-400mm is the only option listed that has a wide angle view. You will really want something wide in your arsenal. Since I have never used this lens, I can't comment on its performance. How well it will work on the long end (speed and sharpness) is something you will want to research. Eventually you might want to add some type of ultra wide zoom (something that starts around 11mm or 12mm). But for now, a lens starting at 18mm is very useful for landscapes especially on a DX body.

    With the Tamron 150-600mm lens, it depends on which version you want. The first generation has lots of issues. Several people here sent theirs in for repairs, but the repairs didn't always eliminate the problems. So without knowing which model you are considering, I wouldn't recommend it.

    With your first lens listed, I think you mean the Nikon 70-300mm VR. Between that lens and the 55-300mm you mention, the 70-300mm is the better choice. If it is the same model lens as is in the video below, it is terrific. It's a little soft at 300mm--what I do is shoot with it up to about 280mm. Overall, it is a better performer than the 55-300mm. Here is a video showcasing the 70-300mm:



    Although I also have a 300mm f/4 PF that I couple with a 1.4x tele, I find I use my 70-300mm more often as I prefer the option of zooming. Unless of course if I'm only interested in birding/wildlife, then the 300mm with the 1.4x tele works especially well.

    So between all these lenses you listed, my two choices would be the 18-400mm and the 70-300mm (providing it's the same one shown in the video). Nikon has several versions of this lens so be sure to choose the correct one you want.

    It's easy for us to say we'd rather you spend a gazillion dollars on expensive lenses, but sometimes that isn't always an option. Of the lenses you listed, the only one I have used is the 70-300mm that's in the video. It's a fantastic lens. There isn't going to be a lens that shoots at f/5.6 on the long end (which I'm guessing all your choices will shoot at) that will be as fast as an f/2.8 lens. So please don't get dissuaded if and when someone suggests something a lot faster. If a really fast lens isn't in your budget at this time, then go with lenses that work with your wallet and have fun with them! Good luck with your choices.
    Thanks/Like DaveNewman Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2018 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Re: Lens help needed please

    My wife has the Tamron 150-600mm G2. The second generation addressed the focusing issues and has improved weather sealing. Hers works fine and she is happy with it.
    Thanks/Like Woodyg3 Thanks/liked this post
     

  5. #5
    Staff
    Challenge Team
    Super Mod
    RocketCowboy's Avatar

    Re: Lens help needed please

    Of your list, I personally would avoid the 55-300. The 70-300 is a good lens, and I've heard great things about the Tamron 18-400, but you definitely don't need both of those. I would not buy two of any of the four lenses on your list, as there is quite a bit of overlap with those lenses.
    Thanks/Like hark, singlerosa Thanks/liked this post
     
    Charlie, aka RocketCowboy

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  6. #6
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Lens help needed please

    Quote Originally Posted by RocketCowboy View Post
    The 70-300 is a good lens, and I've heard great things about the Tamron 18-400, but you definitely don't need both of those. I would not buy two of any of the four lenses on your list, as there is quite a bit of overlap with those lenses.
    You're definitely correct that he may not need both the 70-300mm and the 18-400mm. That's why I mentioned he'd have to read reviews to see how the 18-400mm handles with its speed and sharpness. The 70-300mm is quite good on the long end (up to 280mm anyway). But I don't know if the 18-400mm will work well when fast AF is required on the long end.

    If we could get a budget, we might be able to suggest other options especially if he wants 2 lenses.
    Thanks/Like RocketCowboy Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2018 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  7. #7
    Happy to be Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: Lens help needed please

    I think that you'd be well served with a 70-300 (the new DX seems good and cheap) and a 35 1.8. A 1.8 lens is a must in every photographer's bag in my opinion. It can do a lot.

    Otherwise, a 70-200 2.8 would be great but it's way more expensive than what you paid for the camera kit alone...

    Good luck deciding.
    Thanks/Like RocketCowboy, Yan Lauzon Thanks/liked this post
     
    I'm beginning to see the LIGHT!
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  8. #8
    Staff
    Challenge Team
    Super Mod
    RocketCowboy's Avatar

    Re: Lens help needed please

    Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
    You're definitely correct that he may not need both the 70-300mm and the 18-400mm. That's why I mentioned he'd have to read reviews to see how the 18-400mm handles with its speed and sharpness. The 70-300mm is quite good on the long end (up to 280mm anyway). But I don't know if the 18-400mm will work well when fast AF is required on the long end.

    If we could get a budget, we might be able to suggest other options especially if he wants 2 lenses.
    I keep getting tempted to try out the 18-400, but I swore to myself no more DX only lenses ... and f/6.3 on the long end may not be too fast. But if it's as fast as Tamron's 150-600 G2, it'll do well!

    Budget would really help us spend other people's money faster.
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     
    Charlie, aka RocketCowboy

    Up For A Challenge??? Join the Weekly Photo Challenge!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: Lens help needed please

    hi guys... cheers for the replies..

    70-300 lens is no problem to purchase now....

    another purchase NOW would be a budget of £500/600

    the more expensive lens of £800 ish would be a saving effort towards the end of the year.
    Thanks/Like RocketCowboy Thanks/liked this post
     

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Woodyg3's Avatar

    Re: Lens help needed please

    Well, you listed birds as an interest, and you will want all the reach you can get there. The same is true for much wildlife. The new Tammy 150-600 is a great lens, and for close to the same money, the Nikon 200-500 is also a winner. Avoid the first version of the Tamron 150-600. I know, since I have it. It's a very good lens, except that it very occasionally refuses to autofocus. The 70-300 VR Nikons are generally very good lenses. I'd look for a used AF-S, which will be a great lens and can be found for very reasonable prices on the used market.

    With an 18-55, 70-300, and 150-600, I think you'd have most bases covered.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Thanks/Like Texas, singlerosa, RocketCowboy, DaveNewman Thanks/liked this post
     
    Woody Green

    Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

    D500, D7200, D7100, D70





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