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Looking for a companion lens to my current kit

bullitt411

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After shuffling lenses around a bunch in the past few weeks I think I've finally settled on 2 of them. I'm currently shooting a D7000 and have decided on the Tokina 11-16 2.8 and the Sigma 17-50 2.8 os. What I'm looking to get advice on is what might be best to follow the Sigma in the next focal range.

A little bit about what I have and what I'd be shooting with that next lens. Although I would love to upgrade my camera some day to a full frame, I have to be honest with myself and admit that's just not going to happen. I would never have the funds to afford a body and the requisite good glass that the FX sensor would deserve. I don't shoot professionally so I have no source of income and really no need to be shooting at a professional level. As far as a budget goes, I'd like to stay at 500.00 or less, used or new doesn't matter. I would primarily be using the lens to shoot local wildlife, occasional moon shots, my daughters soccer games, some indoor hockey games.

I'm not certain what would best follow, to start at 55mm or jump to 70mm as the starting point for the new lens. Additionally, at the price range I'd like to stay in we're obviously not talking about f/2.8 so what can I realistically get away with for the indoor and outdoor action shots? Weight is also a concern as I have a physical disability that would cause a lot of stress on my injuries the heavier I go (a lesson learned when I tried carrying around a 70-200mm Sigma 2.8 for a few days).

A few of the model's I've been looking at are the Nikon 55-300mm vr, Nikon 70-300mm vr, Sigma 70-300 os, or the Tamron 70-300mm vc. Any personal experience with any of these lenses or recommendations based on my needs would be greatly appreciated. Any further input needed on my end, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks for looking, Dennis
 
I'd say if weight is a factor you're going to want to look at the 70-300mm Nikon. It gets consistently high reviews for non-pro level glass and will be much lighter than any of the 2.8 max aperture zooms in that focal length range. My dad has the Sigma and it's a decent lens too but the Nikon gets better reviews.
 
For $500 you can buy a mint 80-200mm f2.8 af-d "push pull" version. The af on these lenses is quite slow, but optically its comparable to the new 70-200mm f2.8 which costs almost four times as much.
 
For $500 you can buy a mint 80-200mm f2.8 af-d "push pull" version. The af on these lenses is quite slow, but optically its comparable to the new 70-200mm f2.8 which costs almost four times as much.

Thanks for the suggestion. My main objection to this type lens again would be the weight. It's clocking in at only ~2 oz. less than the Sigma I sold solely based on the weight issues.
 
I don't get the weight issue at all. :scratch:

It has always been my experience that to hand hold really steady takes camera gear that has some heft to it.
 
I don't get the weight issue at all. :scratch:

It has always been my experience that to hand hold really steady takes camera gear that has some heft to it.

This is kind of tricky for me. My left arm is paralyzed below the elbow. Although I can rest a lens in my left hand for stability I really cant brace/hold it with any thing of considerable weight. Additionally, the injury that caused the paralysis is in my clavicle and extends up toward my neck. Any kind of pressure in that area would cause considerable pain. I can tolerate the weight of the camera and a lighter lens for short periods of time using the neck strap but the heavier it gets or the longer its around my neck the more painful things become.

I'd try to carry everything with my right hand, but I seriously don't trust myself w/o the neck strap. My right hand was never my dominant hand so it is still kind of clutsy. Hopefully that's a little better explanation.
 
I could have just traded you my 70-300 vr plus cash for the sigma. I just sold my 70-300 vr on ebay

It was a great lens. Just not 2.8 of coarse

Im sorry about the injury. I broke my back almost a year ago from a motorcycle accident. Still suffer with pain. Had a huge back fusion surgery with 2 12" rods and 12 screws.

I think the 70-300 would be a great lightweight lens. My only gripe was the aperture. It was sharp enough throughout the focal range with a bit of softness at 260-300 area. Still took a lot of pictures racked out at 300 and f5.6 that i thought looked good.

I think for its weight / price / size its the best option.

Realistically indoor shooting is going to be an issue with any non 2.8 telephoto. Unless you have a full frame that can support 4000-5000 iso, your images are probably going to be too dark in the f5.6 range
 
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Among the options you list, I would recommend the Nikon 70-300VR as well, I have the lens, and it is a nice light weight option for shooting wildlife. It would possibly only let you down in the indoor hockey games ... but a great lens in decent light.
 
i can post some samples. mostly taken with my d5100 before i got my d7000.

all of these pictures and videos where taken with the 70-300 vr
click here ->>> orseinv.com bunch of pictures taken with the 70-300

luis_z06_11.jpg


animals_18.jpg


misc_1.jpg


luis_z06_7.jpg


rwalk_17.jpg
 
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also here is a sample picture with a 100% crop. also this was taken with a d5100

example1.jpg


and here is the 100% crop, i would say pretty sharp.
example2.jpg
 
I could have just traded you my 70-300 vr plus cash for the sigma. I just sold my 70-300 vr on ebay

It was a great lens. Just not 2.8 of coarse

Im sorry about the injury. I broke my back almost a year ago from a motorcycle accident. Still suffer with pain. Had a huge back fusion surgery with 2 12" rods and 12 screws.

I think the 70-300 would be a great lightweight lens. My only gripe was the aperture. It was sharp enough throughout the focal range with a bit of softness at 260-300 area. Still took a lot of pictures racked out at 300 and f5.6 that i thought looked good.

I think for its weight / price / size its the best option.

Realistically indoor shooting is going to be an issue with any non 2.8 telephoto. Unless you have a full frame that can support 4000-5000 iso, your images are probably going to be too dark in the f5.6 range

I would have definitely done that deal. As it is I need to wait till the end of the month to get a new lens in this range. I'm hoping to get most of the way with some $$ for my birthday. I was leaning toward the Nikon 70-300mm, which I can test in person if I borrow my friends, but I don't know anyone personally with any of the others listed in my op. Thanks for the pics too, it's always helpful to see real world examples.
 

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