D80 + 70-300VR or D90 + Tamron 70-300VC

Started Apr 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
Richard Weisgrau Veteran Member • Posts: 3,530
Re: D80 + 70-300VR or D90 + Tamron 70-300VC

Having owned both the D80 and D90 in the past, I advise that you stop considering the D80. It was a good camera for its time, but the D90 is a better camera that still stands out for it performance in the DX field. I replaced my D90 wit a D7000 last year. The D90 was a back up to my D300. Now the D300 is a back up to my D7000. Sometimes I wish I has kept the D90 and sod the D300. As a back up the extra weight of the D300 is not appealing and the quality difference between D300 and D90 is minimal if any at all.

I own the 70-300 VR Nikkor. It is an excellent lens on DX and very good on FX. I use it on my D700 all the time. I have never shot the Tamron 70-300 VC lens. However, from what I have read about ti, it is also a good performer. I have come to trust Tamron lenses, and I currently own 2 of them, the 17-50 and 10-24. The 17-50 is top-notch and the 10-24 is one notch lower, but still very good.

You will save money buying the Tamron. You will probably have a tint bit less quality than the Nikkor, but I'll bet that you will not see that difference in day to day use. Unless you shoot test charts I doubt the difference will show unless you get into some really big prints.

The Tamron build quality will be less than the Nikkor, but again, like optical quality, unless you are going to push it to near physical limits, it means nothing in a practical terms. If I had not had the 70-300 Nikkor already, I would have purchased the Tamron. My DX gear gets used for limited work, and it does not take the beating that my FX gear takes. All my FX lenses are Nikkors. I do that so that I can fast repairs through Nikon Professional Services if and when needed. My DX gear is my walk around kit and used for outdoor sports when I want the extra reach that DX provides with a 300mm focal length.

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Richard Weisgrau
Author of
The Real Business of Photography
The Photographer's Guide to Negotiating
Selling Your Photography
Licensing Photography

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