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Question Low cost - long lens for Nikon DX suggestions

Ianfromnotts

Well-known Member
My GF is starting to get into photography and likes to take pictures of birds/animals etc she has a 55-200 kit lens but its not really long enough for her. She tried an old cheap 300mm I had lying around but it was fully manual and the resultant IQ not good, a tripod would have helped not doubt but I am thinking 300mm might not be long enought and she might be better with something that goes to 400mm or even 500mm.

Trouble is I cant see her wanting to carry a tripod around, so how long can you go hand held, with a 5300 body, and what is the cheapest way, used, to get their without loosing auto focus etc
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Depends on your budget but I have the Sigma Contemporary 100-400 which is compact and light and works well wide open. have a look at the lenstip review. Looks like there is now a Tamron version also available at a similar price and performance. However, these are around the £600-650 new and as they have not been around for long there aren't many second hand available at significant reductions.

That said there are a number of SH Sigma 150-500 or 150-600 available if you look out for them. Af is not an issue but worth looking for the image stabilised versions if you can (IS on canon, VC on tamron, OS on sigma, VR on nikon iirc). These can be had for around £300 if you wait for the right one.

Also worth looking out the Lenstip reviews as I find them to be objective and cover most lens aspects.

Example - no idea if it is any good though - Sigma for Nikon 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS | eBay
 

Ianfromnotts

Well-known Member
thats very useful, especially the lenstip link, think some google searches are needed now
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
For some of the longer lenses that are 2kg plus (plus the camera) e.g. Sigma 150-500 OS is 1910g then a monopod may be a good investment (or a tripod where one leg can be removed for use as a monopod), there are a few that also double up as walking poles and these are slightly more useful than tripods for use in the field (more flexible movement).

This is the sigma I have - Sigma C 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM review - Introduction - LensTip.com

Shot below taken with it at 315mm f6.3 ISO1000 1/500 on my canon 6D.


IMG_3898a
by A H, on Flickr

An a close up, close range at 400mm f6.3 ISO1000 1/1250.


IMG_3985a
by A H, on Flickr
 

rancidpunk

In Memoriam
Another to consider as a dedicated dx lens is the Tamron 18-400. Lighter and cheaper than the FX lenses, and a one lens does all solution.
There's obviously some compromise with such a large focal range, but it reviews pretty well and would be a big step up from the kit lens.
 

Ianfromnotts

Well-known Member
thats sounds interesting, looks like there are compatibility problems with Sigma firmware on older lens when used with the d5300
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I agree with the above post about image stabilisation which I find makes a huge difference, a while back I had a 100-400mm lens which I found pretty much unusable hand held until I bought a stabilised body and it became quite usable handheld. This is a photo taken with a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600mm (that's the actual focal length as it's full frame, it would be longer on 5300) and the stabilisation has worked pretty well:



The other factor to balance in is size and weight, I think you're right to look beyond 300mm as it doesn't offer that much over 200mm but at the same time you don't want something too bulky either. I bought the 150-600mm to give me a long option as my longest lens for that camera was 300mm but it's been a bit of a mistake as while I can handhold it, the lens is that bulky it's not practical to carry around with me so I've ended up not using it much.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
;);)
thats sounds interesting, looks like there are compatibility problems with Sigma firmware on older lens when used with the d5300
Have you seen this. Compatible digital camera chart list | SIGMA GLOBAL VISION

Looks like only a small selection of lenses.

The 80-400 or 100-400 is a compromise as they are more easily hand held but often loose out a half stop or so on max aperture. That said, trees, posts, walls and fences can act as a good steady and a bean bag improves it.


IMG_7228a
by A H, on Flickr

Guessing this is not what you want then :devil:;)


Kenya Safari
by A H, on Flickr
 
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Ianfromnotts

Well-known Member
After much thought I think the Tamron 100-400 is the way to go, e-infin have it at £435, just need the pound to gain a little more value or a black friday bargain to come along
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Bit late to the party but most points have been covered.

With wildlife you’re always wanting more reach. Get a 400mm and you want 600mm. Get 600mm then you want 900mm ;)

Budget and weight will often make your choice for you. I have the Tamron 150-600mm but it is heavy (1.9kg) so this year picked up the much much lighter Nikon AF-P 70-300mm (600g or so) when they had the cash back offer on, made it £420 iirc which is a ‘relative’ bargain. The 100-400’s are very good lenses too, giving you that bit more reach without too much weight penalty. I would definitely choose the Tamron over the Sigma.
 

12harry

Well-known Member
( recently read) johnmcl7 - that's a very fine picture (Post#7); well deserving of the £750 Tamron lens (Az Dec18) and your Full-Frame camera. The stab and steady hand shows.
Well done.
The only "snag" as I see it, is the 150mm starting f-l.... I recall my days with a Nikon ff film camera; where the 35-105 was almost permanently on, although I had a f/3.5 200mm.
Sadly in those days no stab!
Cheers.
 

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