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  1. #1
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    Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    Hi there all,

    I have a Nikon D80 - and can never quite get near enough to the action to take great wildlife images.... So - I'm looking to buy my first telephoto lens. I'm no great photographer - but keen to get better - so a cheapish one to start with is probably best (under 300?). Ideally one that compensates well for camera shake.

    My first post to the forum - so lets have lots of replies to encourage me to believe I've found the best

    Gareth

  2. #2
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    Welcome to the forums!
    This question might get more response in the nature and wildlife forums.
    What lens(s) do you have now. Do you want 300, 400, 500 ?
    My strongest right now is 300 but most of the wildlife people want stronger, especially for birds.
    Keep Shooting!

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  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    What Do You Have Now?

    Wecome to the site, Gareth! Hope you don't mind - I moved your post to the digital SLR forum.

    So what lens or lenses are you using now? We need to know what you have in order to be able to point you towards some alternatives. For wildlife, I think you should probably try to get something in the 300mm range. And image stabilization starts to get really important at that kind of length. Camera shake is a very real issue with long lenses.

    Take a look at this lens to start with:

    Tamron AF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 XR Di VC Zoom Lens >>

    It will be equivalent to a 450mm on your D80, with the digital crop factor.

    There will be an image quality compromise with your budget and that kind of focal length. But sometimes, for some photographers, the compromise is worth it to get the reach. If you'd rather opt for quality, a better, shorter lens is the way to go.

    So there's my suggestion, based on minimal information. Tell us more about what kind of wildlife you're shooting and what kind of lens you want and we can make more suggestions
    Photo-John

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  4. #4
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    To stay close to your budget, the Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED would get my vote (although I don't personally have any experience with this particular model).

    It may be a good starter lens for you and help acclimate you to VR lenses, longer telephotos, and working with wildlife. Once you master this lens, you will have a better idea which direction to go next. So I guess I'm saying that the 70-300mm is not a destination, but a start.

    You will find that a 300mm is too short (even on cropped bodies) for most mammals and birds. It is OK for macros but you will need other accessories for smaller subjects.

    Wildlife requires very specialized equipment. Zooms in the 70-300mm category are good at many things but not great in any one aspect for N&W photography IMO.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    I'm brand new to the S.F. East Bay area, and I'm only a block from Marina Bay. I walk down to the water all the time, and I'm in the same boat as garethgina. I have a D80 with a 18-55 lens. I love to take landscapes (so, maybe not in the *exact* same boat as Gareth), and every photo I take seems grainy. I was using the auto focus setting, then experimented with some other settings. Still, I can't get close enough to what I'm trying to take, mostly sunsets, mountains, water, boats out on the water, etc. I tried my manual Nikon long lens (70-210) with the D80, and although it fits all right, the camera won't focus well enough. For those posters who suggested the 70-300mm, do you think this is what I need? And I'm also of the $300 and under price range.

  6. #6
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    A 70-300 from one maker or another is probably going to be in your price range.
    When they go above 300 the price starts increasing exponentially. The BigMa,(Sigma 50-500)may be to your liking but might be above your price range.
    I have a Sigma 70-300 APO with a bunch of other letters that got good reviews and works well for me.
    It will auto focus on the D80
    Keep Shooting!

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  7. #7
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    Re: Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    Sounds good. I'll look for a Sigma and try it out. Thanks so much!

  8. #8
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Re: Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    I don't own nor do i know anyone with a Sigma lens, but I would do a lot of research before I ran out and bought anything. Here's a link from a Lens Rental company about repairs on their rentals.
    http://www.lensrentals.com/news/2009...repair-data-30
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    Nikon D90 w/18-105 VR, 70-300VR, 35mm f1.8G &Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5
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    Slik Pro 700DX tripod w/Vanguard SBH-200 ball-head
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  9. #9
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    Re: Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    A 70-300 from one maker or another is probably going to be in your price range.
    When they go above 300 the price starts increasing exponentially. The BigMa,(Sigma 50-500)may be to your liking but might be above your price range.
    I have a Sigma 70-300 APO with a bunch of other letters that got good reviews and works well for me.
    It will auto focus on the D80
    OK, argh! I'm looking at this web site to compare zoom lenses, after I was outbid on eBay, Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO Macro for Nikon AF-D. When I did some research, I couldn't find what the letters all meant. D, digital? AF auto focus, yes? Either way, I saw another "buy it now" on eBay that was a Sigma 70-300 DG AF lens. latest "DG" version. When I asked the seller (selling it new, it was less than the one I bid on ended up going for) how his was different from the one I had bid on but didn't get, his reply was that the one I bid on has APO glass elements, giving it less glare and a little sharper picture. But the reason I had to ask the seller anything was because when I put the two ebay items side by side they sounded exactly the same except for the DG or D lettering. Sorry this is so long, but I'm trying to understand this, and camera shops aren't helping me because no one in my area sells Sigma brand. So, a little help, here. There are no reviews when I compared four of the Sigma brand lenses on this web site, and there are not enough details for me. Again, I'm taking landscape-type photography with the zoom lens. I switch to my 18-55 for macro, but I seriously don't care about really close-up photos. I'm either taking portrait-type at parties or (mostly) landscape, mountains and such off in the distance. I tried out a Nikon 70-200 over the weekend and it was fine (and way too expensive). Sigma sounds great for me. Just which one?

  10. #10
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Telephoto lens for a Nikon D80

    Here is a site that lists all the meanings of their lettering.

    http://www.uae-photo.com/modules.php...article&sid=70
    Keep Shooting!

    CHECK OUT THE PHOTO PROJECT FORUM
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    Please refrain from editing my photos without asking.

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