Good zoom for out west???


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Sep 6, 2015
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I pulled the trigger on a Nikon D3300 and got bot kit lens (18-5mm & 55-200mm). In playing around with the lens, I am a bit concerned that my 55-200mm might not have enough zoom for our western vacation next year. For example, if I want to take a photo of an antelope out on the prairie or an elk up on a hillside at a distance, I'd like to be able to zoom in them. With that said, what would you suggest for a zoom lens?
Pronghorn are very will likely be a minimum of 150 yards from any you happen to see. Elk are hard to find in many places. If you want to take close, clear photos of elk, the Jewel Meadows elk viewing area would be good with a 70-300 or the 80-400 VR lens. ODFW Visitor's Guide - Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk seen at distance on hillsides would require a 2,000mm telescope I would say. There are a lot of scenic vistas where a zoom like the 70-300 or 80-400 will be really handy, to show narrow-angle views of landscape features.
We spend a lot of time in Colorado and have had Elk walk up within cell phone camera range. You just never know. I've done good with my 70-200mm as well. Thats about as long as I go when out hiking. I generally take my 28-70mm and 18-25mm (old set up, my new carry around lens is a 24-120 F4). Anyhow, I would consider the 70-300mm VR as mentioned above over the 55-200mm...much better glass but make sure it's a VR plus you get slightly more range. I started out with a 18-55 & 55-200mm my self but traded those for a 18-200mm...not the best lens but it made my life easier when traveling.
You cant beat the Nikon 70-300mm VR for practicality, affordability and performance considering its price but since it looks like you are new to photography I want to remind you that the D3300 has 24MP which means you have a lot of cropping power so even if the animal looks small you can crop a lot the shot and get the animal close to you.
I'll go with the 70-300 as well. It's easily one of my most used lenses.
Elk seen at distance on hillsides would require a 2,000mm telescope I would say.
Well, theres that Nikon P900 (a superzoom compact camera, not a lens).

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