Need help, looking at a new lens.

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Mikhal, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Mikhal

    Mikhal No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a Nikon D3400 camera. I am looking to replace the 70-300mm lens that it came with as it does not have vibration control. I was looking at the three following lenses and was hoping to get some feedback on which might give me the most bang for my buck. As of right now I am mostly taking pictures of wildlife (in nature and zoos) and landscapes including buildings. The Nikon 70-300mm is the same as what I have now but with Vibration reduction.

    Tamron-18-400mm

    Nikon 70-300mmVR

    Nikon 18-300mm


     
  2. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In general, the longer the zoom range the less the image quality.
    Optical compromise to get that ultra-zoom range.
    So I would get the 70-300 VR AF-P.

    However, for travel, you can't beat the convenience of a super/ultra zoom.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The DX-sensor oriented version of Nikon's 70-300 AF-P with VR. There are multiple versions of the 70 to 300 lens, and the older 70–300 AF-S VR is not nearly as good as the newer and less-expensive AF – P model. The older 70–300 AF-S VR model is well over a decade old, and is not as good a performe as is the newer,less costly lens on today's high-megapixel DX cameras.
     
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  4. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Have the Tamron 18-400mm f3.5-6.3 and can highly recommend it for a walk around lens. I bought it for family vacations where I wanted to travel light and for those times when family is more important than photography. It does have a couple of quirks, but nothing serious. I do keep a fast prime, like 35mm f1.4, in my pocket for those low light indoor shots. It certainly produces higher quality images than the Nikon 18-140mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens that came with the camera.

    Here's a thorough review: Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD

    The pic below from the Houston Zoo on 9/28/18 came from a D7200 with a Tamron 18-400mm at 400mm, ISO 800, f6.3, 1/200 sec, handheld, no crop. Don't forget you are looking at a jpg 1200 x 800.
    Tamron 18-400 at 400mm.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  5. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In my early days an 18-400 would have been a Science Fiction lens. No one could even dream of a lens like that, and today we have it :)
     
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  6. Mikhal

    Mikhal No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I noticed that the review mentioned at 300mm and 400mm that there was some hue, did you edit that out or was the review being overly critical of that point? I did notice this said 17.7 inch minimum focal distance through all zooms, another review said 17 feet, I'm guessing the 17 feet was a typo? Also how well does the vibration reduction help out at the higher zooms? I know that with my 70-300mm that doesn't have it that when I am zoomed all the way out I have to really either brace myself, put the camera on something, or really control the breathing to get shots that don't have some motion/shake blur to them, so that is why I do want the new lens to have some vibration control.
     
  7. Mikhal

    Mikhal No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I had the opportunity back in the 90s to shoot some for yearbook on the pentex cameras all we had was one fixed lens and one short zoom lens. Just how far these cameras and lenses have come since I last used a manual(film) camera blows my mind, even on the cell phones it's nuts.
     
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  8. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    this.

    I handled the DX 70-300 AF-P -- quite impressive especially over the old FX 70-300 VR. It's light, silent, and focuses very fast -- as fast as any lens I've ever own, even at 300mm.


    Just quickly looking at th MTF charts of the 18-400mm, at 18mm the Tamron looks incredibly soft anywhere but dead center. At 400mm it looks even throughout, but ultimately not really as sharp as it could be at most.

    the Nikon, however, is very sharp edge-to-edge at 70mm through 300mm.

    It also suggests the Nikon will have much better bokeh/oof quality/characteristics.


    But they are just two completely different lenses.
     
  9. Mikhal

    Mikhal No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm starting to lean back towards the Nikon 70-300mm, I was in that direction before I started looking around, but some of these all purpose zoom lenses caught my eye. I really liked the idea of one lens that gave me a little more distance on the long end than I do now, but not if it isn't going to be as crisp.
     
  10. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Opened LR to see what I did. I did not adjust overall hue or in any color family. I brought down the highlights and increased the contrast a bit and did apply lens correction (profile in LR). Nothing fancy at all. I was surprised to see I only applied minimal sharpening. Minimum distance is 17.7 inches. IMHO, Tamron has the best VR in the business. A lot of my shots are handheld (even birding with their 150-600mm G2) and it is amazing how stable the camera gets immediately upon pushing the shutter button 1/2 way down. The 18-400mm is light, which makes it easy to hold steady using good technique, then add in VR and you will get a very good keep rate even wide open at 400mm. Best thing to do is rent one for a weekend and have at it before you buy. While your add it, rent 2 of your choices for a head to head comparison. Don't overlook buying used from reputable dealers like Adorama.com and you can save yourself 20% to 30%.
     
  11. Jeff G

    Jeff G -Amateur Shutterbug- Supporting Member

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    I like the idea of a grab and go all purpose lens but there are always going to be a few concessions, I just bought a Sigma 18-300mm lens after reading the reviews I decided it was something I wanted to try.

    That being said I already have a Nikon 70-300mm and like it, but sometimes when I am out, and don't know what I am going to see, so I wanted to have the freedom of a little wider range while not having to carry as much gear.

    Quality wise Nikon is going to be a better choice but I was willing to trade a little quality for cost since I'm never going to be a professional photographer, and I do it for my own enjoyment.
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I chose the Nikon 18-140 as my GP lens. Smaller zoom range, so in theory, less optical compromises, for a better IQ. But I did not have a 18-300 to compare it to. But I do know that the 18-140 is still, not as sharp as other lenses.
     

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