New D60, what lens (and other equip.) to get?

Started Dec 11, 2008 | Discussions thread
NowHearThis
NowHearThis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,696
Answers.

emk35 wrote:

[snip]

Now, my father has decided to get me an additional lens to go with it
for my Christmas gift. I have been told by Ritz that if I bring my
receipt in, they will discount the 55-200 VR lens that I could have
gotten as a kit as if I did, which I believe is about $100 off the
lens price. I am not sure if they would apply this if we chose a
different lens. Originally I was just going to go with that 55-200
lens, but then my dad mentioned the 70-300 lens. I am looking for
some feedback on the two. Any thoughts as to which is the better to
go with?

Working for one of these Ritz affiliate stores, I know this: The 55-200mm VR can be discounted with the D40/D60, but the 70-300mm VR is only discounted with a D80/D90 purchase. And that (the 70-300mm VR) discount only runs through Dec 31st (At least that's what our promo signs say).

Now on the next part of your post: 55-200mm VR vs the 70-300mm VR.

Here's the pros/cons as I see them (which means you can take this with a grain of salt):
Nikon 55-200mm VR
Pros:
• Impressive image quality, even at the maximum apertures.
• Light-weight.
• Excellent value.
• Good, effective VR.
• Front lens element does not rotate. making special filters easy to use.
• AF-S, while not the "Pro" version, is silent and extremely accurate.

Cons:
• Plastic lens mount (I have had mine for ~ 18 months and it hasn't broken.)
• AF is fast but not as fast at the 70-300mm VR.
• Can't manually override focus w/o flipping switch on the lens to MF.

• No panning VR detection (Although I've done panning with my 55-200mm VR just fine) or Active VR Mode.
• DX lens. (Not a drawback for me, but worth mentioning.)

Nikon 70-300mm VR:
Pros:
• Impressive image quality through 200mm, still very good at 300mm.
• VR II is also impressive.
• Front lens element does not rotate. making special filters easy to use.
• Great value. USD$550 @ ritz, but bhphoto has it for $450 right now!!
• AF is quick, quiet, and accurate.
• FX lens, If I can call it that.
• Metal lens mount.
• Manual override of AF w/o having to flip a switch.

Cons:
• Nose heavy on a D60 (balances better on a D80/D90/D300 IMO).

• After shutter button push, VR seems to "jump" making your next shot framing off slightly. It's not by much, and it's not a deal breaker, just something that happens occassionally.

• Need to stop lens down to f/8 at 300mm for best image qualiyt results (sharpness, anyway).
• 67mm filters will cost you more. (not a "con" really, more of an FYI)

Now which would I buy? I've had the 55-200mm for a while, and optically it's the equal to the 70-300mm in it's range (except at 70mm, where the 70-300 beats mine hand down.) I think I'm now ready to upgrade though, but it's taken me while, because I've been so satisfied overall with the cheaper lens.

Here's a few shots with the 55-200mm VR, minimal PP on all the shots:

Also, any other equipment I should be thinking about? Remote, flash,
special filters, specific memory cards, etc.....

My list of other basic necessities include:

Flash (SB400 at least), with Eneloop batteries to power it, 1 or 2 extra EN-EL9 batteries for your D60, remotes are cheap so yes get one of those, good UV filters for each lens, fast SD memory cards (4 GB Sandisk Ultra III or 4 GB Lexar Pro 133x), get a lens pen, a microfiber cloth, a hurricane blower to blow dust/dirt out of the camera body..... I could go on and on for sure.

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