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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Narrowed it down to 4 telephotos. Which ones is better?...I have about $300 to spend on a telephoto and I've narrowed it down to these three lenses. My biggest ...
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Old 11-10-2008, 20:22   #1 (permalink)
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Narrowed it down to 4 telephotos. Which ones is better?

I have about $300 to spend on a telephoto and I've narrowed it down to these three lenses. My biggest concern is IQ, and these lenses must have at least as much or better IQ than my kit zoom. I am not concerned with focal length at this time as long as it zooms further than 200mm. My ideal lens would be a prime telephoto (in the 105-200mm range), but I can't seem to find one for under $500.

Nikkor 55-200mm VR
Tamron 55-200
Tamron 70-300 AF
(and their Sigma counterparts).

And (going slightly overbudget and under focal length):

Nikkor 18-135mm

But if the 18-135 is worth it, I'll go over. Any other suggestions are welcome.


Remember, my main concern is IQ, however VR is nice too. Which one of these lenses has the best IQ?

Last edited by James; 11-10-2008 at 20:37.
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Old 11-10-2008, 20:32   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Narrowed it down to 4 telephotos. Which ones is better?

I have not had any personal experience of any of these lenses, but you might find these useful

http://www.pixalo.com/community/shot...tml#post178857

http://www.pixalo.com/community/shot...tml#post217835

http://www.pixalo.com/community/shot...ots-21046.html

http://www.pixalo.com/community/shot...tml#post215497

I'm sure that members who have used the lenses on your list will be along soon.
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Old 11-10-2008, 23:32   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Narrowed it down to 4 telephotos. Which ones is better?

I think the 18-200 range ,is to big and a compromise, I would not get one of these for sharpness.
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Old 12-10-2008, 17:55   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Narrowed it down to 4 telephotos. Which ones is better?

Yea, 18-200 is definitely out. I want a telephoto with the min and max focal length as close together as possible, preferably a prime. But since I can't seem to find a prime in my price range, and the 70-200 is also not in my price range, I guess I'll have to go for the 55-200.

Any way I can get a lens hood for that? If so, how much?
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Old 13-10-2008, 00:14   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Narrowed it down to 4 telephotos. Which ones is better?

I,ve got the Nikon 55-200mm but its not the vr version, however I,m well pleased with its performance.
I,ve also got the 18-200mm which I use as a go anywhere lens for convenience, I find the results quite acceptable but you have to keep in mind that the greater the zoom range the greater the compomise. It is rather large and fairly heavy but I think worth the convenience of not having to carry extra lenses ,plus the inconvenience of having to change them, when on a day trip or whatever. I also don,t understand the obession with absolute sharpness, its not always desirable.
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Old 13-10-2008, 09:18   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Narrowed it down to 4 telephotos. Which ones is better?

The 18-200 is obviously not what you're hankering after, but when judging lenses like that I would listen to the comments of those who have them. The times they are a-changin', and the days when only primes gave decent quality are past. One of Canon's most esteemed lenses is the 24-105 - quite a wide range. I use the Tamron 18-200 quite a lot, especially if I go overseas, and you would be hard pressed to tell much real-world difference between shots from that and, say, the 17-40L.
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Old 14-10-2008, 05:05   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Narrowed it down to 4 telephotos. Which ones is better?

I guess so, but that doesn't mean that primes don't give better image quality. I have a 50mm F1.8 and I love it. It has amazing IQ.
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