Moving from Nikon 55-300 to 70-300 ED IF AF-S VR?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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Escape
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Moving from Nikon 55-300 to 70-300 ED IF AF-S VR?
11 months ago

Is there a general consensus that the 70-300 is a better lens?

I currently have the 55-300, and am just not happy with how soft my photos are at or near full zoom. I've posted examples in the past. Basically I need to keep it at 220mm or below to get acceptable quality. I've heard people generally getting better (sharper) results with the 70-300 lens, but when I look at some of the online comparisons and reviews, it appears to be a mixed bag, so I'm not sure anymore...

What would you recommend? Is it worth selling the 55-300 and picking up a 70-300? Or is there another lens in similar price range, not necessarily a Nikon one, that you would recommend instead?

By the way, I want to be able to use it on a safari. From that standpoint, I'm also wondering whether I should just get a 1-lens solution instead, like the Nikon 18-200. I really don't want to be swapping lenses all the time, losing shot opportunities and letting dust get in. The last safari I went to, often times we got really close to the animals. If this happens again, having a 70-300 lens on my D5200 may not provide enough wide angle coverage...  Alas, something like the Nikon 18-200 or 28-300 would cost notably more and I'm not sure if I'd be making any sacrifices in quality.

Thanks!

 Escape's gear list:Escape's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Nikon D5200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM | C
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon D5200
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