What zoom for a D750?

What zoom for a D750?

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RizzoTheRat

Original Poster:

20,520 posts

156 months

Friday 26th February
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My wife has a Nikon D750 with the standard kit lens (24-120mm I think). She's been thinking about getting a zoom lens for it. and as she has a birthday coming up relatively soon I thought it might be helpful if I was able to make some informed hints, but I currently know very little about photography. She mainly takes photos of wildlife if that makes a difference, and walks a lot so weight might be an issue.

Looking a few articles and Nikon's lens finder web site, the AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED looks like a sensible option, but would the more expensive and presumably heavier AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR be a better bet?

I think AF-S means the lens has the autofocus motor built in, so an unnecessary option as the D750 has the motor?
Vibration Reduction on both presumably makes sense for a zoom lens.

Any others worth looking at?

Simpo Two

74,887 posts

229 months

Friday 26th February
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Any lens with a variable focal length is a zoom - what you mean is a telephoto zoom. I have the 70-300 you mention and find it excellent for general purpose work where you need more length, as it were. The limitation is the aperture, although in most cases the VR and high-ISO ability of modern DSLRs make it less so.

Generally the higher the zoom ratio of the lens, the less good it is, so all else being equal I'd expect the 28-300 to perform less well - but read the reviews and see. It will save lens changes if that's important.

You could also consider independent makers like Sigma; just make sure you buy one with a Nikon mount.

You're right on AF-S - the alternative is the screw-drive D lenses, but AF-S is faster and quieter so much better IMHO. And yes, VR is very handy on telephoto lenses. However it won't stop subject movement; you need a fast shutter speed to catch that fleeing squirrel.

It might be an idea to ask her what she wants. I think you're on the right lines but who knows!

RizzoTheRat

Original Poster:

20,520 posts

156 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
Simpo Two said:
It might be an idea to ask her what she wants. I think you're on the right lines but who knows!
Don't worry I plan to, but I figure it might be useful if I have a vague idea what she's talking about and can make the odd helpful suggestion. biggrin

The lower the f stop the higher the shutter speed you can use right? So the 28-300 with f/3.5 one might be better for shooting moving stuff than the 70-300 f/4.5, but not quite as good optically? Or is that not likely to be an issue except in low light conditions anyway?

Edited by RizzoTheRat on Friday 26th February 13:38

Simpo Two

74,887 posts

229 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
RizzoTheRat said:
The lower the f stop the higher the shutter speed you can use right? So the 28-300 with f/3.5 one might be better for shooting moving stuff than the 70-300 f/4.5, but not quite as good optically? Or is that not likely to be an issue except in low light conditions anyway?
There's a photographer in you struggling to get out wink

Yes, aperture (f-stop) and shutter speed are inversely proportional. But if my googling is correct the 28-300 is f5.6 when at 300mm, the same as the 70-300. It's only f3.5 at the wide end.

If you went for f2.8 lenses you'd notice a difference, not only in the achievable shutter speed but also in depth of field if that's important. The cheap way to get a faster shutter speed if the aperture is already maxed is ISO.

RizzoTheRat

Original Poster:

20,520 posts

156 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
See that's why it's useful for me to ask questions, I hadn't thought about max aperture changing with focal length.

Presumably the other place you'd notice the difference with the F/2.8 is in the wallet? A quick google found a 120-300mm F/2.8 sigma for 2 grand compared to €600 for the Nikon 70-300

A-level physics was a long time ago, but larger aperture means shorter focal depth right? I'm guessing that's good for photos of things like birds where you might want to blur out branches, but less good for bigger animals where you might wand the background/scenery in focus?

Are Tamron any good? They keep cropping up on searches. Browsing a local shop they have the Tamron SP AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon F-mount and Tamron AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Nikon F-mount, which presumably are supposed to be clones of the Nikon ones, but are they any good? They've also got a second hand Nikon 28-300 which is a pretty significant saving.

Simpo Two

74,887 posts

229 months

Friday 26th February
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RizzoTheRat said:
See that's why it's useful for me to ask questions, I hadn't thought about max aperture changing with focal length.
Some lenses are constant aperture; it depends on the lens design.

RizzoTheRat said:
Presumably the other place you'd notice the difference with the F/2.8 is in the wallet? A quick google found a 120-300mm F/2.8 sigma for 2 grand compared to €600 for the Nikon 70-300
Yep!

RizzoTheRat said:
A-level physics was a long time ago, but larger aperture means shorter focal depth right? I'm guessing that's good for photos of things like birds where you might want to blur out branches, but less good for bigger animals where you might wand the background/scenery in focus?
Yep again! We call it shallow depth of field ('DOF') - it's more thin than short. Due to the magnification of telephotos they are good at throwing stuff out of focus anyway.

RizzoTheRat said:
Are Tamron any good? They keep cropping up on searches. Browsing a local shop they have the Tamron SP AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon F-mount and Tamron AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Nikon F-mount, which presumably are supposed to be clones of the Nikon ones, but are they any good? They've also got a second hand Nikon 28-300 which is a pretty significant saving.
I've never owned a Tamron, but you can get an idea of how good a lens is by how much it costs. f5.6 and 6.3 are getting really slow though so I'd rule them out on that ground alone.

Second-hand lenses can be a great way to get more lens for your money so that could be another way forward - if she doesn't mind s/h!

SCEtoAUX

3,575 posts

45 months

Friday 26th February
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RizzoTheRat said:
My wife has a Nikon D750 with the standard kit lens (24-120mm I think). She's been thinking about getting a zoom lens for it. and as she has a birthday coming up relatively soon I thought it might be helpful if I was able to make some informed hints, but I currently know very little about photography. She mainly takes photos of wildlife if that makes a difference, and walks a lot so weight might be an issue.

Looking a few articles and Nikon's lens finder web site, the AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED looks like a sensible option, but would the more expensive and presumably heavier AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR be a better bet?

I think AF-S means the lens has the autofocus motor built in, so an unnecessary option as the D750 has the motor?
Vibration Reduction on both presumably makes sense for a zoom lens.

Any others worth looking at?
D750 and D500 user here.

Wildlife photography generally demands lenses with long focal lengths, and as you have already discovered, that means 300mm and f/5.6 under most circumstances for consumers. You can go longer at f/5.6 with Nikon's 200-500mm lens, which is very good, but it costs over £1,100 and is pretty heavy. Nikon also offer an 80-400mm (two versions, ignore the old one) but again it is expensive and heavy (£1,600 or so) and still offers no more than f/5.6 at the long end.

For a walkbout kit lens the 28-300mm will be ideal, again it is f/5.6 at the long end, but you are still looking at £750.00 but at least it doesn't weigh as much as the other two. The most recent version of the 70-300mm comes in at around £580.00

If you want a larger aperture at 300mm (which photography types will refer to as a 'faster' lens) Nikon sell a 300mm f/4E PF but again, we are talking £1,600. By all accounts though it is sublime. It is also lightweight.

There are options from Sigma too, but the main wildlife consideration from them would be one of the 150-600mm options. The cheaper one comes it at around £900.00 but again it is big and heavy. It is also slower at 600mm (f/6.3).

What to buy? Well if we are talking almost exclusively wildlife then your wife will be at 300mm almost all of the time, and assuming you'll be buying new, then it's a case of whether the much wider range of the 28-300mm is worth around £200.00 more than the 70-300mm. If it were me I would read up on the image quality of both, I would probably discover the 70-300 was better, and save some money. If flexibility means more then the extra money will be well spent.

Don't forget that these lenses have a reasonable second have value too, which might be useful when your wife decides that she would like the 200-500mm.

The f/5.6 isn't a problem these days, you can shoot that D750 at 6400 ISO by which time the wildlife has gone to sleep, and whilst that aperture doesn't offer the creamy shallow depth of field that the 300mm f/4 will provide, you are unlikely to wish you'd spent a lot more money to get one more f-stop.

If it weren't a gift I would recommend used lenses all day long though. interestingly the 200-500mm costs almost as much used as it does new, but the 80-400 is a lot cheaper used than new (if you can find one).

In summary: Unless you spend big bucks you'll be getting a lens that reaches to 300mm and f/5.6 - decide on your budget, consider used, and go from there.

Turn7

19,856 posts

185 months

Friday 26th February
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Used mk2 70-200 2.8 and some TC's......

Simpo Two

74,887 posts

229 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
Turn7 said:
Used mk2 70-200 2.8 and some TC's......
For Rizzo who may not have discovered TCs yet, TC = teleconverter. Fits between camera and lens, extends focal length, usually by 1.4 or 2x, with accompanying loss in aperture (hence the need to start at f2.8). Effective, but cumbersome.

mike80

1,761 posts

180 months

Friday 26th February
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RizzoTheRat said:
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon F-mount
I used to have the Canon version of this, and it was a great budget zoom in reasonable light. Well worth the price I think.

I'd personally avoid something as extreme as 28-300mm, starts to feel like too many compromises to me. Are you going to keep the lens you've already got, if so you already have the wider stuff covered.

RizzoTheRat

Original Poster:

20,520 posts

156 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
Thanks folks, useful stuff here. I'm assuming her idea will be to keep the current lens, so the only benefit of the 28-300 would be not needing to carry both.
Her previous camera and lenses were all second hand so no issue with that, a local shop is listing the 28-300 and one of the Tamrons second hand at the moment so I'll keep an eye out for a other second hand stuff.

How big can you realistically go to and still get steady shots hand held, these lenses all have stabilisation built in but there must be a point at which you just can't hold it steady enough.

SCEtoAUX

3,575 posts

45 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
Simpo Two said:
Turn7 said:
Used mk2 70-200 2.8 and some TC's......
For Rizzo who may not have discovered TCs yet, TC = teleconverter. Fits between camera and lens, extends focal length, usually by 1.4 or 2x, with accompanying loss in aperture (hence the need to start at f2.8). Effective, but cumbersome.
Another option though at £1,100.00 used for the pair (at least) I'd be buying the 200-500mm. Gets you an extra 100mm whilst still at f/5.6 but at the cost of not having the 70-200mm and that lovely f/2.8

Turn7

19,856 posts

185 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
SCEtoAUX said:
Simpo Two said:
Turn7 said:
Used mk2 70-200 2.8 and some TC's......
For Rizzo who may not have discovered TCs yet, TC = teleconverter. Fits between camera and lens, extends focal length, usually by 1.4 or 2x, with accompanying loss in aperture (hence the need to start at f2.8). Effective, but cumbersome.
Another option though at £1,100.00 used for the pair (at least) I'd be buying the 200-500mm. Gets you an extra 100mm whilst still at f/5.6 but at the cost of not having the 70-200mm and that lovely f/2.8
Exactly......the 70/200 is a fabulous lens and the TC''s give versatility....

Yes,its not light, but chances are you will be on some sort of mount anyway....

The 70-300 isnt a bad bit of glass by any means, but its a compromise.

I had a 300 F4 for a while, and when I next actually get the chance to use my gear again, Id strongly consider the 300 PF to give the extra length when needed, coimbined with the 70/200.

Both the 300 and 70/200 will hold their value well if bought used, so can always be moved on for not much if any loss....

RizzoTheRat

Original Poster:

20,520 posts

156 months

Saturday 27th February
quotequote all
Turn7 said:
Exactly......the 70/200 is a fabulous lens and the TC''s give versatility....

Yes,its not light, but chances are you will be on some sort of mount anyway....
Main use will be when out walking, in which case I'm guessing it's probably better to sacrifice a bit of quality for light weight.

eltawater

2,425 posts

143 months

Saturday 27th February
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RizzoTheRat said:
Main use will be when out walking, in which case I'm guessing it's probably better to sacrifice a bit of quality for light weight.
My 200-500 is definitely a no-no for out walking, it's big, bulky and very heavy. The zoom ring also needs several turns to move through the 200-500 range which can be quite cumbersome when you just want a quick snap. I use it primarily for airshows and sports events where I can stand in one place and use a monopod etc.

The 70-300 AF-S is a fine walkabout lens, it's light and speedy. I wouldn't get too hung up on the aperture differences between the different lenses at the longer focal lengths.

I've had a few Tamron zooms in the past (18-270 being one) and they tend to get very soft at the longer focal ranges. Great quality Nikon 70-300 lenses can be had second hand from places like MPB for about £250 so at that price it's worth going for the Nikon.

D610 + 200-500
D500 + 70-300



Edited by eltawater on Saturday 27th February 10:21

Simpo Two

74,887 posts

229 months

Saturday 27th February
quotequote all
RizzoTheRat said:
How big can you realistically go to and still get steady shots hand held, these lenses all have stabilisation built in but there must be a point at which you just can't hold it steady enough.
The thing that determines camera shake is the magnification ie focal length. A heavier lens can actually be steadier.

The rule of thumb is that to avoid camera shake the shutter speed needs to be the reciprocal of the focal length (asusming no stabilisation). That sounds like a maths question but all it means is that if you have a 500mm lens, aim for a shutter speed of at least 1/500th sec. Add VR and a helping of ISO and as long as you have good technique it's rarely a problem.

GravelBen

14,330 posts

194 months

Sunday 28th February
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The 70-300 VR is a good place to start - reasonably light and compact for what it is, better image quality than you might expect for a 'consumer' (rather than 'pro') lens, and good value. Struggles a bit at the long end in low light, but the high ISO performance of the D750 will help with that.

If she gets more keen on wildlife photography from there then a longer/heavier/more expensive lens will probably appeal at some point in the future, but it would be a fairly big leap to go straight there.

The 70-200 f2.8 suggested (or older 80-200 f2.8 D which can be found much cheaper) are lovely lenses but IMO too short for most wildlife, especially on a full frame body.

I've had a few telephoto zooms - Nikon 80-200 f2.8 (nice but I found too short for wildlife), Nikon 70-300VR (which I keep for travel, hiking etc when I'm trying to keep weight down), Sigma 100-300 f4 (which is all-round fantastic, but nearly double the weight of the 70-300), Tamron 150-600 f5-6.3 (which is about 2kg and not much good in low light, but that extra reach is a game changer for photographing birds etc).

xeny

1,515 posts

42 months

Friday 5th March
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Nikon offer a range of 70-300 mm FX lenses.

https://dslrbodies.com/lenses/nikon-lens-reviews/n...

It looks as if the D750 is on the AF-P compatibility list, so the f/4.5-5.6E AF-P VR is probably better than the f/4.5-5.6G VR, and isn't outrageously more expensive.

Simpo Two

74,887 posts

229 months

Friday 5th March
quotequote all
xeny said:
It looks as if the D750 is on the AF-P compatibility list, so the f/4.5-5.6E AF-P VR is probably better than the f/4.5-5.6G VR, and isn't outrageously more expensive.
I read most of that article and can't see what the advantage of the 'P' is.

xeny

1,515 posts

42 months

Friday 5th March
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Simpo Two said:
I read most of that article and can't see what the advantage of the 'P' is.
Faster more accurate focussing and sharper images.

"But that G VR version of the lens started looking old and a bit underwhelming with the 24mp DX and 36mp FX bodies.." start of the fourth paragraph.