DX 70-300 compared to DX 55-300

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by fotkar, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    READ the Thom Hogan Nikon D3400 review and pay attention to the sterling qualities of the 70-300 AF-P VR lens...it is __the best__ 70-300 Nikon has ever made, according to Hogan. With focusing he compared to the "big Nikkors"...the expensive ones!


     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Darrell, you must have missed the "all other things being equal" part of the post. Since when was price the determining factor in lens performance? Answer=never. When was generation a determining factor in lens performance. Answer=never. The determining factors are design and quality of manufacture. All things being equal, the more modest range lens will outperform the longer range one. Why? The modest lens requires less correction. Comparing apples to oranges is not an adequate attack on my post. Sorry.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not sure that is a glowing report. The 70-300 Nikkors have been pretty bad historically. I can tell you that without quoting an internet reviewer. This one must be less bad. The 70-200, for example is excellent. I'm not making a comparison because it is apples to oranges but there has to be some sort of concept of what "best" means.
     
  4. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    the 70-200 costs a lot more than the 70-300 :p
     
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  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Absolutely. That is why I didn't compare them and why I called them apples and oranges.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'll respond fully to you, "FMQ".

    No, I saw the your all other things being equal comment-but that's a strawman tack you took, because all things are never equal. You asked, "Since when was price the determining factor in lens performance? Answer=never."

    Since WHEN has price been the determining factor in lens performance? Never? Are you serious "FMJ"? It's a matter of not just price, but the quality level and the performance level the manufacturer has aimed the lens design at! Do you seriously think a $99 kit lens is designed to be as good as say a $2,400 zoom lens?

    You might want to re-read my comments, "FML". Lens design parameters are hugely determined by retail price! Very good-peforming zoom lenses demand complex designs, typically nowadays use aspherical elements, typically demand at least one to four elements made of ED glass, and always demand very high-precision grinding, critically accurate assembly, and rigorous quality control. That is why the best zooms are _expensive_ . The cost of manufacturing a high-grade lens is passed along to the consumer. This is very basic lens industry knowledge. Your $69 made in China lenses..do you think those are Zeiss Batis-grade lenses? Why is the Sigma ART series of lenses priced at 3 to 5 times the price of older-generation Sigma lenses? Cost is quite often an indicator of potential lens quality. The finest lens I have _ever_ owned was the 200mm f/2 AFD-S VR-G Nikkor...I payed $3,995 for that lens in 2004. It is one of the finest lenses in the world. No expense was spared in its design or manufacture. I's not quite the same as a gonna-break-down-in-a-year Rokinon. Price _may very well be_ related to optical performance, but also to mechanical longevity and robustness.

    When was "generation" a determining factor in lens performance. Are you kidding? Look at the "old" Nikon 80-400 VR, then look at the NEW AF-S version. One sucks a**; the other is a superb lens! The "old" 80-400 VR lens was fine on 6-MP Nikon D70 cameras, but it's crap on 24MP cameras. Same with the 70-200 AF-S VR G from the early 2000's: it was designed for APS-C, but it SUCKED on the edges on 24-MP full-frame cameras. The later-generation Nikon 70-200 VR lens design team recognized this, and corrected the issue. So, yet again, you seem unaware of the "generational" aspect of lens design. Nikon lens design experts, Canon lens design. Look at Canon's 70-200 f/2.8 lens designs...they went from good, to excellent, to superb...in three, different generations. Look at the newer, nano-crystal coated lenses: almost flare-free when shot toward strong light sources.

    Please kindly in the future spell name correctly if you wish address me. The correct spelling of my name been right there, below the same picture I have used since 2009, for 30,000-plus posts. Please make an effort to address me correctly, won't you, "FML"?

    Your lack of information regarding the new, designed for 24-million pixel APS-C,70-300mm AF-P VR lens is telling. We're not talking about your opinions on "historical" 70-300 lenses...we're talking about the ___BEST EVER__ performing 70-300 zoom Nikon has made, as determined by one of the leading authorities on Nikon gear in the world. But you get an A for effort in trying to belittle his opinion and his testing and his review of the lens on a the Nikon D3400 camera body. He has authored many books on Nikon equipment for the better part of two decades. I even bought a couple of them!

    You are spreading rather simplistic and, I think, outdated "advice" regarding zoom lenses. Your effort to belittle the "historical" performance of prior-generation Nikon 70-300 lenses as a way to denigrate the newest lens efforts in the 70-300 category has been duly noted. I shot the f/4.5~5.6 model, AKA the "old champ" 70-300 AFS VR-G against the 180mm f/2.8 Nikkor AF~ED this summer....the photos were almost indistinguishable until I got to about a 4,000-pixel wide image and zoomed in to 100% view. The now decade-old AFS VR-G at f/7.1 or f/8 and at focal lengths of up to around 200mm is a good lens; Thom Hogan says that the newer AF-P VR lens is even better than the "old champ" in the category. Faster focusing, on-par with $2,000-plus lenses. Why? Because of the AF-P focusing protocol, which drives the focus faster, and with more accuracy, and greater precision--on a CHEAP, low-end Nikon D3400 body. Times change. Generational improvements are well-known,and expected, by many of us. We realize that as generations advance in photography, so does the performance level of the goods designed and offered for sale.

    Look at the 85mm f/1.8 AF-D Nikkor...very poor compared the the latest-generation 85/1.8 AF-S G-series. Twenty years but only one generation, and a major leap in performance.

    You obviously have not read or seen the actual photos from the 70-300 AF-P VR lens from one of the world's leading Nikon experts. You obviously, by your own admission, have abandoned the Nikon system and have no knowledge of the NEW, AF-P focusing protocol (Similar to Canon's STM protocol).
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    So, to the OP...

    here you go... the Nikon D3400 review, and Thom Hogan's comments on the NEW 70-300mm AF-G VR lens.Nikon D3400 Camera Review | DSLRBodies | Thom Hogan

    "
    One thing that was very surprising was the Live View autofocus speed. At least with the two AF-P lenses, the D3400 has far faster Live View autofocus than any previous Nikon DSLR. It also seems to work better in low light than before.

    This is one of the reasons why I think Nikon is experimenting with AF-P: DSLRs benefited from lens motors that were able to make large jumps quickly but didn’t need to make very small changes of focus position in real time. Even a 12 fps DSLR doesn’t need the lens to move particularly fast in small incremental tracking.

    But Live View (and mirrorless) does require not only fast large moves by the lens focus system, but also fast incremental adjustments (essentially a minimum of 30 fps, but generally 60 fps these days; even faster than that to demote implied shutter lag as an issue in Live View while tracking subjects). The D3400 and AF-P lenses seems to be the first big change to how Nikon is handling Live View (and thus video) focus, and the difference is dramatic. Putting an older 18-55mm AF-S lens on the same camera resulted in far more sluggish focus tracking.

    I was curious to see if the same thing was true of putting the AF-P lenses on a D500. The answer: no. The D3400 not only is faster to initial focus in Live View with these lenses, the D3400 tracks decently while the D500 doesn’t. (This is just another of the firmware things that are still obviously not addressed by firmware updates to the D500. What the heck, Nikon?)
    "
    **********
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So we disagree or at least have different priorities. You are right. I have never used an AF-P lens and probably never will. My different priority is that AF speed is trivial to me. Like you, I came from the manual focus world and am perfectly content in it. AF is handy but hardly critical to me. I didn't see any numbers explaining what is different about the design of the newer lens or how that relates to what matters in a lens - the images it makes. I'll take your word for it.

    My comment was that a shorter zoom range is easier to correct and hence is optically better - all other things being equal. And it is possible for the quality of design and manufacture to be equal. When it is, the shorter range zoom will outperform. I stand by that statement. How the lens renders a photograph is all that matters in a lens. The rest is trivial. I stand by that as well. Take care.
     
  9. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My 70-200 f/4 VR was a HUGE upgrade over the 70-300 VR I had. Yeah I lost 100mm, BUT the image quality, focusing, VR tech and the extra light was such a huge difference. Also closer focusing as well...3 feet vs 5 feet. BIG difference.

    A used 70-200 f/4 VR is more affordable than the 2.8 counterpart. Picked mine up for $900 with the tripod collar and box!
     

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