How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?

Started Dec 9, 2013 | Questions
KayW
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How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
Dec 9, 2013

I have a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and am looking at the following telephoto zooms:

Nikon 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR

Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

I'm leaning towards one of the 70-300 lenses for what appears to be better AF plus manual AF override, but am wondering how much I'd miss the 55-70 mm gap between my two lenses. My use is all personal pleasure: friends, travel & nature, school sports.

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Nikon D3100
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Zlik
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 9, 2013

KayW wrote:

I have a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and am looking at the following telephoto zooms:

Nikon 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR

Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

I'm leaning towards one of the 70-300 lenses for what appears to be better AF plus manual AF override, but am wondering how much I'd miss the 55-70 mm gap between my two lenses. My use is all personal pleasure: friends, travel & nature, school sports.

That small gap will never be a problem. The problem will be that when your future telephoto will be attached, you will want to shoot some wide stuff as well without changing lenses, and that's when you'll see the biggest difference in convenience between those lenses. Having the possibility to zoom out to 55 in stead of 70 will spare you a couple of lens switches.

Only you can decide if you want better AF/quality (70-300) or more convenience/weight (55-300).

If you plan to upgrade to FX, the 70-300 has an advantage obviously.

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Bing Chow
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 9, 2013

KayW wrote:

I have a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and am looking at the following telephoto zooms:

Nikon 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR

Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

I'm leaning towards one of the 70-300 lenses for what appears to be better AF plus manual AF override, but am wondering how much I'd miss the 55-70 mm gap between my two lenses. My use is all personal pleasure: friends, travel & nature, school sports.

You won't miss it. If you have 18-55 on and it is not close enough, just walk closer. If you have the 70-300 on and you're too close at 70mm, just back up. Choose your lens based on its optical performance and feature set.

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KennyXL
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 9, 2013

KayW wrote:

I have a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and am looking at the following telephoto zooms:

Nikon 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR

Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

I'm leaning towards one of the 70-300 lenses for what appears to be better AF plus manual AF override, but am wondering how much I'd miss the 55-70 mm gap between my two lenses. My use is all personal pleasure: friends, travel & nature, school sports.

The only way you'll truly miss it is if you are the obsessive type who, once something gets in their mind, they can't let it go.  The simple fact is a few steps forward will pretty much cover the gap.  However, there are times when you simply cannot take those steps and you have to make do with a subject that is either slightly too small or too big.  In cases like that default to the too small and crop to taste and don't look back.  However, if you are the obsessive type mentioned earlier, maybe trading a little AF speed for peace of mind is a small price to pay for long-term sanity.

 KennyXL's gear list:KennyXL's gear list
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dasams
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 9, 2013

KayW wrote:

I have a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and am looking at the following telephoto zooms:

Nikon 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR

Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

Nikon's 28-300 is also a nice lens.

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KennyXL
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to dasams, Dec 9, 2013

dasams wrote:

KayW wrote:

I have a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and am looking at the following telephoto zooms:

Nikon 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR

Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

Nikon's 28-300 is also a nice lens.

It's softer at 300mm (which is a big reason why people buy these zoom lenses) than all the lenses mentioned above.  I have had 3 models of the Nikon 28-300mm VR lens and they all exhibited this attribute.  They weren't particularly wonderful at 28mm either, but they were passable.  By the way, I've also had multiple copies of all the lenses above as well except for the Tamron (which I had only one copy of, but it was the sharpest of all the lenses mentioned at 300mm).

 KennyXL's gear list:KennyXL's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +3 more
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Brev00
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 9, 2013

I shoot more by purpose than focal length.  When I want action/wildlife, I use my Tammy 70-300 vc.  When I am walking around shooting flowers and landscapes I use my Sigma 17-70 os.  That covers the range, too, but I got the 17-70 after the telephoto and liked the closeup shooting at the long end.  A purpose.  I did not get it for the smooth range transition.  So, identify your purpose and the purchase will follow.

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vepar
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 10, 2013

You got pretty much everything covered, that small gap in 55-70 range should not be an issue. Maybe, it could be annoying doing portraiture, because it is possible you would swap lenses more often, but you got portraiture also covered with that in mind. Other than that, IMO you should't have any significant issues with the gap.

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brightcolours
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 10, 2013

KayW wrote:

I have a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and am looking at the following telephoto zooms:

Nikon 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR

Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

I'm leaning towards one of the 70-300 lenses for what appears to be better AF plus manual AF override, but am wondering how much I'd miss the 55-70 mm gap between my two lenses. My use is all personal pleasure: friends, travel & nature, school sports.

You won't miss it, unless it keeps being in your mind. I do not know if the Tamron has manual AF override (a feature I never "get" anyway), but the Tamron is the best of the lenses you list (in my opinion).

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JP Scherrer
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In reply to KayW, Dec 10, 2013

...so, to fill the gap, just WALK back or forth ! ...much cheaper than buying a new lens, and very healthy !

J-P.

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KayW
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 10, 2013

I've thought about the 28-300, too, but not sure I want to spend that much at this time...

Thanks for all the input. I appreciate it!

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Kuvasauna
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In reply to KayW, Dec 10, 2013
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marco1974
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Gaps are actually beneficial!
In reply to KayW, Dec 10, 2013
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afoton
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 10, 2013

KayW wrote:

am wondering how much I'd miss the 55-70 mm gap between my two lenses.

No, you don't need all focal lengths. In my photo bag right now, there is a 20mm, 35mm, 85mm and 200mm. In the summer I have a 55mm and a 105mm, both closeup lenses, instead of the 35mm and 85mm with bigger aperture I use in the dark season.

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calson
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 10, 2013

Go with the gap - i.e. the much better 70-300mm lens. If in doubt take a look at your photos and see how many fall into the 56-69mm zoom range.

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Jon Ingram
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 11, 2013

KayW wrote:

I have a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and am looking at the following telephoto zooms:

Nikon 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED VR

Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

I'm leaning towards one of the 70-300 lenses for what appears to be better AF plus manual AF override, but am wondering how much I'd miss the 55-70 mm gap between my two lenses. My use is all personal pleasure: friends, travel & nature, school sports.

You will absolutely never miss the gap. Trust me. If the main reason you are thinking of the 55-300 is for the gap, then don't worry about it. But as others' have said though, you may miss be able to go as wide as 55, but there are trade-offs between the two lenses. Just know that for Dx 70mm is very zoomed in, so the 70-300 lens will be most useful as a specialty lens for head portraits, wild-life, and compressed landscapes. It will probably not be an all purpose lens that you keep on your body all the time.

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vepar
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to vepar, Dec 11, 2013

You got pretty much everything covered, that small gap in 55-70 range should not be an issue. Maybe, it could be annoying doing portraiture, because it is possible you would swap lenses more often, but you got portraiture also covered with that in mind. Other than that, IMO you should't have any significant issues with the gap.

Previously I forgot to mention, one situation where 55-70mm range is very usefull and handy. Photographing soccer from the goal line. There is a lot of situation where wing player runs by the side and in the end of action is doing center-kick - you won't be able to capture that decisive moment. I noticed how american style of photographing soccer differs much from european style, americans do it often from side line in portraiture style, but we europeans do it always from the goal line trying more to capture decisive moment.
Other than this, which might be trivial for you, I really can't think of any other situation where 55-70mm could be crucial.

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Tom Nokin
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 20, 2013

Go with the 55-300mm if you know, that you stay with DX go for the 70-300mm if upgrading to FX is an option. Great lvalue ens by the way.

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Cope
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 21, 2013

Depends, but for most of what you say you shoot, it's not likely an issue.  To be safe though, I would recommend the 55-300 for your second lens.

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timbyers11
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Re: How much would I miss a small gap in focal length between lenses?
In reply to KayW, Dec 23, 2013

It is very unlikely you would be missing anything with a 7.4 degree difference in FOV, especially at distances between 3 feet and 30 feet.

If shooting at 55mm, you would crop few pixels to get the equivalent view of a 70mm lens.

The number of pixels to crop would be even less for something inbetween 55mm and 70mm.

If you were working professionally, and needed every last bit of quality obtainable from your equipment, to make up the entire difference between 55mm and 70mm at a 3 foot subject distance, you would have to move a maximum of 5 inches to cover the 55mm to 70mm gap.

At a subject distance of 10 feet, you would have to move a maximum of about 1.5 feet to cover the gap..

At a subject distance of 100 feet, you would have to move a maximum of 14 feet.

At that level of quality and detail you would probably be more concerned with relationship of subject to background, but you also wouldn't be economizing on "consumer-grade" lenses.

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