Need advice on a solid Telephoto

D-50

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Im looking for a good telephoto lens. The main things Im looking for are fast focusing and sharp focus. I have Nikon D-50. Cost is an issue So I would like to keep it as affordable as possible, are there any quality lenses in the 500-1000 range? I was looking at the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR Zoom-Nikkor lens, anyone know about this lens. Is the vibration reduction realy useful?
 

dsp921

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From what I've heard the 80-400 is pretty slow to focus and it hunts a bit. There are definitely quality lenses in the 500-1000 range they're going to cost big money. I just got a 70 - 200mm f/2.8 VR, awesome lens, but not cheap. Focus is fast and the images are very sharp. VR can be useful, but it depends on what you shoot. On a tripod it is not useful at all and needs to be off, hand held at slower shutter speeds it'll get you a few stops. It will help with camera shake, but not motion blur.
You might find some cheaper prices with the 3rd party lenses, but I prefer to stick to Nikkor.

Wait, you meant $500 to $1000 range not 500mm - 1000mm, ignore the comment above....
 

airgunr

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I've got the 80-400 and love it. Gives excellent results and is pretty fast to focus. Now if you compare it to the 70-200mm VR it is a little slower but not by much.

I've not had a problem with hunting either unless I'm shooting a bird in a tree or something and then it, like any of my other lenses, can hunt a little to lock onto the bird and not a branch behind it.

All in all it is an excellent lens and you will be very happy with it. It is heavy but the tripod collar works well.
 
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D-50

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How much did you get your 80-400 for?
 

huegostudio

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if you're going to use it handheld anywhere other than in the presence of strong sunlight, VR will help A LOT.

take my canon 300mm f/4 IS for example, without IS you would need around 1/500s. IS can compensate for 3 stops, so multiply the time by 8 (2x2x2)...gives you roughly 1/60s.
 

airgunr

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D-50 said:
How much did you get your 80-400 for?

I don't remember off hand but it was over a grand I think. I got it from B&H Photo. You can find a good deal on a used one sometime. Try the Nikonians Web site. I think there was one on there recently for sale. www.nikonians.org
 

benhasajeep

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Although no VR, people seem to really like the Sigma 50-500! Canon and Nikon people. About $900 from several stores (good ones). At that price its about $500 less than the Nikon 80-400. Best price on a discount store I might try was $1,369. Ones that I definately would buy from $1,429.

The Sigma will probably be my next lens.
 

Wally

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The Sigma 80-400mm lens is also very good, and has IS. costs $999 from B&H.
 

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