Decent zoom lens, under $200 dollars? Is it possible?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by RMThompson, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Ok guys, so this weekend I had a photoshoot at a softball game. I got some great shots, but the ones I got were with my 50mm 1.8 on the INFIELD. The outfield might as well have been 3 miles from me, since even with cropping, there were only a few decent shots.

    So I KNOW I need to get a decent zoom lens. I don't care if it's fixed or not, but at this point I just DON'T have the cash for something expensive right now.

    SO my question is this:

    Are the cheap zoom lenses WORTH using, assuming sunlight? (at the shoot I was able to set my kit lens at shutter speed of 1/2000 and get decent shots because it was really sunny)

    If so, here are the lenses I was considering, perhaps someone wouldn't mind telling me which of these would be best?

    1. http://www.adorama.com/NK70300AFG.html (OK I admit I like the silver color for some reason.)

    2. http://www.adorama.com/NK55200DXR.html

    3. http://www.adorama.com/TM75300NKAF.html

    4. http://www.adorama.com/TM2880K3NKAF.html (This is a kit, is it worth it?)

    Anyway, some advice would be really appreciated. I'm hoping to make one of these a present from Santa in a few months. If you have other suggestions, lay them on me.
     
  2. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That last link you posted has the 70-300 tamron. Get a hold of Sabbath999 on this forum, I believe he loves that lens hooked up to his Nikon.

    As for speed, in sunlight you ought to be ok. I understand the budget feeling....so definitely, don't let somebody try and to convince you to get an "L" series lens, or whatever Nikon's high quality lenses are (does nikon make high quality lenses?? j/k)

    I mean, if your budget is 200, you can easily get something that will suffice in that range. I have had great results with a similar Canon 75-300 that costs about 150.

    To sum it up, look into that 70-300 Tamron. I believe people (with a low budget) are very satisfied with this lens.
     
  3. ilockert

    ilockert TPF Noob!

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    if your going to do the 55-200 do the vr. I have the 70-300 nikkor g and its not to shabby.
     
  4. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Oh yeah they made a new VR 55-200. I couldn't find it on Adorama. Maybe I missed it?
     
  5. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I have the Tamron 70-300 you are looking at and I like it very much for the money. The other lens in that kit is total junk, though... I had one of those that came with one of my D80's and sold it after taking 2 pictures with it.

    About the 70-300... it isn't particularly fast, and it whirs quite loudly when it focuses... it is pretty darn plasticish in the body as well (although it does have a very good, sturdy metal mount).... having said all that, it is a $100 lens that is sharp as a tack.

    It is every bit as good, if not better, than the Nikon 70-300G (not the VR version that is $400 more)...

    The macro even is "not bad" considering (of course) that it is a 1:2 ratio...

    Here are some different shots I took this year with the 70-300 Tamron (the bikers were coming by me at 25-30 MPH)...

    [​IMG]
    High speed tracking

    [​IMG]
    Macro

    [​IMG]
    Eagle with fish at 300mm

    To me, that is a pretty good cheap lens...
     
  6. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    That is a GREAT Macro. Great.

    I think I might get that lens on that picture alone.
     
  7. johnmh

    johnmh TPF Noob!

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    Got some great shots with the Nikon 70-300 in its day. Eventually upgraded to VR. My 16 year old still uses the non-VR. A good lens for the money. We put it through a lot in back country hiking.

    I have a shot taken in Yosemite from Glacier Point across the valley with a D70. We later hiked the trail near the falls I was shooting so I saw things up close.

    When I later blew up that shot in photoshop and was astounded. I could make out the dead tree at the base of the falls - even the trail and the 'dots' - people on it.

    No tripod - just a braced shot on a fence post from a mile to half mile away.

    Also used that lens for various wildlife shots and kid's soccer.
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Just so you know you a zoom lens changes focal length and can range from wide to telephoto. A fixed focal length lens is called a prime lens.

    Whjat you are looking for is a telephoto lens - something that will provide greater magnification.

    Just so you know :)

    I always advise getting the best and fastest lens you can afford.
     
  9. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    Wow........ that tameron is $100? Is it like that for the Canon mount too?
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Well it's under $200 for the latest version, labelled "Di" for digital-specific coatings... but I have no idea if the "digital" coatings really make any difference, and I am happy enough with my older version of the same lens which you can probably pick up for $100.

    It's available for Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Sony/Minolta too, and should be identical in optical quality and price for each.

    Oh and btw, another vote here for this one. I compared it to the similarly priced Sigma 70-300mm "APO" lens, and decided the Tamron was better. Klaus Schroiff over at Photozone.de seems to have come to the same conclusion after testing both. As you can probably guess, a zoom covering this range at this price is not great wide-open especially at 300mm. Stop down a bit and you should be able to get good results out of it. Of course a $1000 lens would be better, but it would also be heavier and, er, cost $1000. For the price you can't really go wrong here.
     
  11. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here is a two-lens package for $189.99 from a reputable dealer whom I have used many times.

    Tamron 2 lens set.

    Immediately flip the other one (the 28-80) without opening the box for $50 or so bucks, that gets it down to $130 for brand new. Mine sold (opened) for $55, your milage may vary.

    Listed here from a dealer I know nothing about at $150...Tamron 70-300 for Canon but before I did that I would call Cameta and ask them to sell me one for $140 or so.

    I have seen them go for $119 in the past brand new (Nikon mount, never priced a Canon mount since I don't own a Canon)...
     
  12. cameramike

    cameramike TPF Noob!

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    i'm looking at that same tamron (70mm-300mm 1:2 f4-5.6 DI LD) and not sure which is better that one or just tamrons standard 70-300mm. but it seems you guys all like the DI LD lens correct?
     

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