The right beginner telephoto lens for my D3100

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by shezza, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. shezza

    shezza TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    The Nikon D3100 is actually dad's, but he is letting me borrow it to see if photography is my thing before I go all out myself. I started by looking for a telephoto lens. Naturally I bought too impulsively and bought the Nikon Camera Lens AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6G. I had read it was a good entry level telephoto lens for bird photography. I failed to understand a basic thing about this camera. That being... It does not have motor and relies on the lens having the motor. Ok great, so I am returning the above mentioned lens and am pretty certain the one I should get is the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR. I do not want to make a 2nd mistake, so I thought I would look to some people who know more than me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks


     
  2. ruifo

    ruifo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You will always need to buy AF-S lenses, once their autofocus motor are inside the lens. AF lenses need the motor in the camera body, which the D3100 lacks.

    I'd focus on these options for your D3100, in that order:
    1. Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4-5.6G ED VR
    2. Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD (Nikon model)
    3. Nikkor AF-S 55-300mm f/4-5.6G VR
    But you will need a sunny day to use them, once at 300mm they don't let much light in.

    To double the amount of light in, at 300mm, I'd recommend this option (bought used): Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D ED-IF.

    Good luck!
     
  3. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    70-300mm is a bit short for wildlife photography, an can be a bit short especially for birds unless you are confident you can get pretty close. I'd suggest considering a 2nd hand Sigma 150-500mm (as the prices have dropped dramatically due to the release of the 150-600mms) or a 2nd hand Tamron 150-600mm (which should drop in price as they have realeased a new version). They are not great in low light but the reach is fantastic.
     
  4. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'd put the Tamron over the Nikon, and then move the 55-300 to like number 10 on a list of two.
     
  5. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Tell me about it... I just sold mine :(
     
  6. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Yeah mate I saw your post putting it up for sale. I have one too and I'm just planning to soldier on with it, it's a great focal length to have
     
  7. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    I'd recommend # 2 on that list
    with his listed lenses I don't think the 300/4 would fit in his budget.
     
  8. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have used the 70-300 AF-S VR model for years now and it is a nice size lens that is easy to carry around. This is not a bird photography lens. I have a number of bird shots, but it was just having the lens on the camera and being able to move in close to the bird.

    That said, this is a good focal length to start out with for a telephoto.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    I too would recommend the AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G VR.
    But as mentioned for birding 300 mm is often has insufficient reach unless the photographer has excellent field skills or uses a blind and is able to get quite close to the subjects.

    While the D3x00 and D5x00 Nikon cameras do not have an auto focus motor in the body, as long as the lens you're using has auto focus electronics (except a focus motor) in it, they do have a nice manual focusing aid called Rangefinder mode.
    See page 144 of the D3100 Reference Manual that is on the software disc that came with the camera.

    In Rangefinder mode the camera will show in the viewfinder what direction, and how much, you need to turn the focus ring on the lens to achieve focus. The camera will also turn on the in-focus indicator in the viewfinder when focus has been achieved.
     
  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    you're still failing to understand what this means.

    that lens has a focusing-motor built in, so no need to return it or use the rangefinder and manual focus [rofl]
     
  11. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    My understanding is that particular "G" lens does not have a focus motor built in. It's not an AF-S lens.
    AF Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4-5.6G from Nikon

    from B&H photo website
    Nikon AF Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4-5.6G Lens 1928 B&H Photo Video

     
  12. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    oh assumed the VR version which also says G. carry on. hard to keep track sometimes.
     

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