Telephoto lenses for D3100


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May 11, 2013
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Hello, I have been looking at getting a telephoto lens for my D3100 but am confused with all the choices. My main subjects will be my daughter, animals (horses and dogs so must have good capabilities there) and wildlife at a fair distance. I am trying to stay in the 300 dollar range, give or take. Any advice? The ones I have been going back and forth between so far have been the 55-200 or 55-300 and honestly I don't even know where to start. Perhaps one is better suited to my needs? I just don't know which. Before I spend the money, I would like to know if they will work for me and what the difference is.

Thanks in advance!
I got the 55-300mm a few weeks back for my D3200 and I like it a lot so far. I feel like I would have been disappointed by the 200mm as ive found the 300mm short for some shots.
The extra length makes any sort of wildlife shots much easier.

Ive noticed it is harder to get the same quality out of the 55-300mm lens as the 18-55mm kit lens but I think its just me getting used to its differences.
Here are a couple shots I took with it, the deer was at 300mm
Personally, I would look into an 18-200 VR. I use this for my all around family/travel lens and wouldn't trade it! I started out with a 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR and changing lenses got old REAL quick chasing our son around school events. That and forget about wild life sticking around waiting while you swap lenses.

Anyhow, you can pick up a used 18-200 VR for around $400-450.

Now, If you choose to go with either 55-200 or 55-300, make sure they are VR (Vibration Resistant). This really comes in handy shooting by hand with long range glass...a virtual tripod. I could be wrong but I think the 70-300 VR is a better glass than a 55-300 VR but not sure.

Hope it helps.
A used 70-300 can be had for around $350, and is probably the best compromise for price vs focal distance and quality
Another vote for the 70-300mm VR
Great, great lens, a bit soft near the 300mm but bump it down a bit and you get crisp pictures.
Got it used for 280$
Thanks! I am a bit skeptical of buying used, but if I can find a referbished 70-300 is the extra cost worth the better pictures?

Thanks again!
You really are limiting yourself preventing yourself from getting good glass just because its used.
Refurbished it a good idea too.
You really are limiting yourself preventing yourself from getting good glass just because its used.
Refurbished it a good idea too.

Yup, I own used and refurbished and no regrets! I've probably saved $500 or more doing it. I'm currently eye balling a used lens now that's selling $200-300 less than sold new.

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