Buying 70-300mm lens for Nikon D5100. Which brand?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
mgd43
Senior MemberPosts: 3,385Gear list
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Re: Consider also the Nikon 55-300 VR
In reply to darklamp, 9 months ago

The D5100 requires lenses with a built-in focus motor in order to autofocus. Some of the older Nikon, Tamron, and Sigma lenses don't have the motor so they will not AF. The Nikon 70-300 VR, Nikon 55-300 VR, Tamron 70-300 VC, and Sigma 70-300 OS will all AF with your D5100.

IMO the Nikon 70-300 VR is the best all around lens of all of them. It's the best built and it focuses the fastest. The Tamron may be a little sharper at 300mm and it is a good lens all around also. But if you need fast focusing, like to shoot sports or birds in flight, the Nikon is the better choice. The 55-300 VR's strong points are good all around performance and light weight. As I got older my 70-300 VR got heavier and heavier so I replaced it with a 55-300 VR. Both are very good lenses, but the 55-300 VR is significantly lighter. I don't know much about the Sigma so I can't recommend it. I'm a little wary of it because it is not an HSM lens and Sigma's best lenses use the HSM motor.

To sum it up, if weight is not an issue, my first choice would be the Nikon 70-300 VR and my second choice would be the Tamron 70-300 VC. If weight is an issue, got for the 55-300 VR.

VC is Tamron's version of VR and OS is Sigma's version.

 mgd43's gear list:mgd43's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D5200 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +4 more
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