Looking for upgrade is nikon 55-300mm good choice?

Seventen

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Hello, I am looking to buying a new lens for my Nikon D5100. I am also on a budget of 250 euro. Is the nikon 55 - 300mm a good choice of lens. or is there something else thats worth considering?
I want to get into shooting wildlife. I do it at the moment but waiting for something to come close enough to shoot with only a 18 - 55mm is rather hard especially when the birds land to take the food they only show there backs.

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CouncilmanDoug

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The 70-300 vr is considered to be much better, and isn't too much more. I'd save for that instead of the 55-300.
 

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The 70-300 vr is considered to be much better, and isn't too much more. I'd save for that instead of the 55-300.

+1 I've used both and the difference in autofocus alone is night and day. The 55-300 hunts for focus too much. Plus it is better optically, it's compatible with FX and has better resale value.
 
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Seventen

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it ss seeming a rather large jump in price the 70 - 300mm is at 700 euro. Even my price range at 250 is over doing it sadly. (neck injury has left me on basic goverment money until operation and rehabilitation is completed in 5 months) If it really is that much better that i should wait i most likely will, But would have liked to attempt some kind of wildlife shooting from distance to get some better shots.
 
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Seventen

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I did just find the nikon 55-200mm only 95 euro secondhand. From what I have read its not wise to be under 300mm for wildlife but could something like this give me any joy with wildlife saving for the 70 - 300mm?
 

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The 55-300 is not a bad lens, but it is nowhere near as good as the 70-300. My recommendation would be to save your money and get the 70-300 because it truly is worth the difference.

That said, if you absolutely positively cannot wait then by all means go for the 55-300 over the 55-200. I have a 55-200 and a 70-300 (as well as a 150-500). The 55-200 is a very budget-minded kit lens whereas the 70-300 is a well thought out and implemented moderately priced lens. I'm not even sure where my 55-200 lens is, probably stuck in a closet somewhere. My 70-300 is in my camera bag. It is one of my favorite lenses and if something happened to it tomorrow I'd order another exactly like it.
 

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Another option is the Tamron 70-300 VC. I much preferred it to the 55-300. Most people rate it on par with the Nikon 70-300 VR. General consensus is AF is a touch slower in the Tamron (but much faster than the 55-300), The VC is incredible in the Tamron and which one is sharper is a toss up depending on sample variation. Mine was pretty sharp wide open. I'm not sure if Tamron does rebates in the UK? But UK amazon has it listed for 299...
 
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Seventen

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The Tamron is 380 euro here in Finland so not much more than the amazon price. It for sure is much closer to my spending limit than the Nikon version making it a purchase that i could get sooner rather than next year that would take to get the Nikon version. I am also sure i wouldnt want to wait so long to get it as the 18 - 55 is the only lens i own and though it has been amazing to me when it comes to shooting the moon and night sky i am greatly unhappy with it. I do use my telescope with my camera attached to it but its not really that portable to get into nature with. And its not really great for wildlife, at the moment the wildlife is for sure tormenting me looking all pretty knowing i cant get a decent picture. i am sure once i do own a longer lens the animals will just go into hiding!
Thank you all for your advice. Some great ideas to take in but am now leaning slightly towards the Tamron for now. Maybe in the coming years if i do really get into wildlife photography i can get a much larger lens .
 

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From what I have read its not wise to be under 300mm for wildlife but could something like this give me any joy with wildlife saving for the 70 - 300mm?

Yes, you really want at least 300mm when shooting Wildlife. I just got back from the beach shooting Sunset pictures and was able to find some Pelicans (type of bird) before I left. I was using a 18-200mm and still needed another 50-100mm. So a 55-300 VR or 70-300 VR would have been useful.

Anyhow, check out refurbished or used lenses. If you can't find a deal on a 70-300 VR, pick up a 55-300 VR.
 

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The 55-300 hunts for focus too much.

Understatement.

Still can capture some good clear shots at a decent price. But I've decided to only buy fast lens from now on, regardless of the price. With that being said, I'd still prefer it over the 55-200, which is what I replaced.

Random backyard pics with my 55-300:

DSC_6203.JPG


DSC_5714.jpg


DSC_6298.JPG



and some at the track:

(panning @ 1/80sec)
DSC_8489.jpg



and 1/2000sec:
DSC_9135.jpg




and this gives you an idea of the zooming capabilities:

vantage point:
DSC_9692.JPG


DSC_9724.JPG
 
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Seventen

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Them pictures have just made my choice even harder to make as seeing them shows i can still get some nice wildlife shots on a budget, Once allowed back to work I would most likely want to go for something faster but maybe even consider a larger lens also.
Thank you for sharing them pictures loved the one of the deer.
 

JoeCool76

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Them pictures have just made my choice even harder to make as seeing them shows i can still get some nice wildlife shots on a budget, Once allowed back to work I would most likely want to go for something faster but maybe even consider a larger lens also.
Thank you for sharing them pictures loved the one of the deer.

If you had the opportunity to get the 70-300 used for a price you can afford, you should do it; otherwise I think it is more important to stay on budget and get to shoot what you want sooner rather than later with a 55-300.
 

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I just went through this same decision making, considering the 55-300, the Nikon 70-300, and the Tamron 70-300. I decided on the Tamron (which supposed to arrive on Monday). In the US there is a $100 rebate, but I am not sure that applies in Europe. It got really outstanding reviews.
 

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I use a SIGMA 70-300 F4-5.6 DG for Nikon on my D5100 I'm not sure of price but I think they are a lot cheaper than Nikon lenses. Check out Currys on line store
 

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