View Full Version : Telephoto lenses for D70

Charles C. Weston
05-05-2005, 09:10 PM
I have had my D70 for a year now and want to start taking pictures of wildlife. I have a Nikkor 70-300mm G which I bought to get the feel of a long lens. Now I want something better with a longer reach. I am considering the following:

Nikkor 80-400mm VR for about $1500
Sigma 80-400mm OS for about $1200
Sigma 50-500 for about $1000

The first two have stabilization but the last one has HSM focusing. I do have a good tripod with a ball head.

I would appreciate some guidance

05-05-2005, 09:27 PM
Just to give you yet another alternative...you could get the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR and a 2x TC...That way you could have a superfast zoom with decent reach, and turn it into a reasonably fast zoom with great reach.

05-06-2005, 01:02 PM
George, you are usually pretty clear, but I'm confused. I found the Sigma 80-400 for $999, so that's in the ballpark, but what lens are you comparing it to? If you can find the 70-200VR for $799, I presume you have already sold your first born and gotten one. I find it for $1450 after rebate, and you have to add the $440 for the TC2E II.

The 80-400VR is about $1330, but I presume you can find it for a little bit less. But then your discussion of reach doesn't make sense.

OK, maybe you switched gears and went with the Nikkor 80-200 for about $800. Great glass for a little over half the price of the VR, but nobody's even named it. And 80 X 2 X 1.5 = 240mm, not 210mm.

Mixed Metaphors???

I'll buy it if you are just adamantly opposed to teleconverters. I had one with my old Canon A-1 and was never really happy when I used it. OTOH, it was pretty cheap, and the new ones seem to be priced in a manner I would expect decent performance.


05-07-2005, 04:08 AM
I own and regularly use the Sigma 50-500mm and I can highly recommend it. Also, contrary to what George says I've never even touched a tripod ;)

I shoot aviation and it's a very highly regarded lens in that field.

I don't have any experience of the other lenses I'm afraid but I can give you a brief rundown of the 50-500mm

Things I like about it:

1) It's got great reach. 500 x 1.5 = 750mm :D
2) It has very good optical performance
3) It's got very fast HSM focus. My 70-300G sometimes used to hunt all over the place. Not so with this baby.
4) It's a fantastic price for what you get...probably the best value superzoom available
5) You get a lot of attention when you use it :)

Things I don't like about it:

1) It's heavy. I hand hold this lens, and I'm far from being the biggest guy in the world, but there's no need to go to the gym after a day's shooting with this. Still, I think most lenses in this category are fairly heavy.
2) It's not the fastest of lenses. 6.3 at 500mm means that for hand holding I either need good light or I have to bump up the ISO. However, I haven't found it really problematic.
3) the zoom ring takes some moving to get from 50mm to 500mm, and it's a little stiff on mine so quick changes of focal distace can get a little awkward sometimes, again, in reality I haven't found it to be a huge problem.
4) You'll need a big bag to carry it around.
5) You get a lot of attention when you use it. :rolleyes:

05-07-2005, 04:45 AM
Here's a wee example.

500mm @ f6.3 ISO400


Charles C. Weston
05-08-2005, 09:20 PM
Thank you all for your advice. After much agonizing I ordered the Sigma 80-400mm OS today. I will post some results when it arrives, and I learn how to use it.