$2000 lens budget.. most/sharpest zoom???

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by DigiJay, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    I've got a $2000 (roughly) budget and I'm looking for the best zoom/sharness quality that I can get.
    Hoping for 300 or 400mm, as I'm mostly shooting wildlife.

    I'm shooting with a D200, so obviously I need a Nion setup.

    Any one have any suggestions?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Best quality would be a prime lens at either 300mm or 400mm focal length. I know nikon make a very good 200-400mm zoom and for your focal range ideas that is what I choose if you want a quality zoom - however I think it is outside of your price range.
    Look up the nikon lenses in the 300mm and 400mm focal lengths and have a look at what is on offer in that price range.
     
  3. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the response. I think my biggest concern would be the speed.
    I've owned a sigma 70-200 2.8 (which I'm selling) and I've used a Sigma 300mm 2.8 prime (which I'd love, but its still out of my range).

    I think that anything decent in the $2000 range is going to be a 4.0..
    Does anyone use a 4.0 (300 or 400 mm) for wildlife/ birds?
     
  4. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    These are a few that I'm considering.. does anyone have any experience with these? Or something else in the same range?

    NIKON VR 80-400F4.5-5.6 D ED AF

    NIKON 300MM F4 IF-ED AF-S

    SIGMA 100-300MM F4.0 APO EX DG NIKON
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The sigma 120-300mm (I think its that one) actually gets better reviews than the sigma 300mm! (one of the few cases where zoom beats a prime in similar qualty areas)

    Wildlife is certainly possible with an f4 lens - the only downside I would see is that its going to be less good (than an f2.8) in dimmer weather and it won't take a 2*teleconverter for added use - though a 1.4teleconverter would be a good way to get a 400mm+ lens (not as good as a 400mm prime lens, but with a good enough quality to be worth doing)
     
  6. Reel1

    Reel1 TPF Noob!

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  7. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    The Sigma 120-300 is a 2.8 (so $3500+ range).. It would be nice, but not this year.

    I would consider a 1.4 TC, but I would never again use a 2x TC. I just sold mine yesterday after 6 months of use, I never earned a single worthy shot with it (2.0 TC with the 70-200 2.8 sigma).
     
  8. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    Do you happen to have any examples of shots in the 300 to 400mm range that you could share?
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Digi - even on a canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens the 2* is a tricky beast to use. They generally work best on the topend prime lenses only (the f2.8 sort) and do take getting used to. I found that stopping down can help a lot!
     
  10. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    Being CDN with a $2000 budget and looking to buy new the Nikkor 300mm F4 with a 1.4 tele seems most logical...
     
  11. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    I would look into a Nikon 80-200 AF-S 2.8 and a teleconverter. This lens has prime quality, and is effectively 120-300 on a D200. It also works nicely with teleconverters, and costs less than half of what you are willing to spend.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use a 70-200mm and it is too short for normal wildlife work (I find).
    Its great in zoos and such- but even with a 1.4TC its just a bit too short. A 300mm prime would be a better investment for a wildlife lens (f4 or f2.8 variety).
    I consider my 70-200mm part of a set - which includes a 300mm --- I just have to get a 300mm
     

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