Travel tele-zoom for D7200

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Satyaa Senior Member • Posts: 2,476
Travel tele-zoom for D7200

Hi. I am going on a trip in November. I plan to take the D7200 + 18-140, which will cover most of my trip without an issue. My 3 batteries fully charged will last all three weeks (based on past experience). An external flash might help on occasions but I'm not planning to carry that for use less than 10% of the time because the batteries and charger will be a hassle.

There is one day visit to the local zoo where I want to take a telephoto. I don't know if there is any place that rents lenses for a day where I am going. If not...

I currently have an FX 70-300 VR, which is my default option. It works well when the zoom reach is sufficient. I am looking around to see if there is a better option that is practical for this trip.

The recent Sigma 100-400|C caught my attention. Seemed like a good option at first but as I look deeper, I am not so sure. The reach is not significantly more than my 70-300. The disadvatages I see are the lack of a tripod collar and AF issues reported for moving subjects. I tend to use monopod with big lenses and this might be a problem.

I have seen samples posted on this forum but less than 50% are impressive.

  • Nikon 70-300 = 6" and .75 KG
  • Nikon 300 f/4E PF = 6" and .75 KG!!
  • Sigma 100-400 = 7"+ and 1.2 KG

The next two are close in price, size and weight. Both have tripod collar. The Tamron gives the most telephoto reach while the Nikon seems to have better AF. I probably won't spend this money unless I am sure to use the lens frequently for other things beyond my trip. That's a possibility but definitely heavy for the trip.

  • Tamron 150-600 G2 10" and 2 KG
  • Nikon 200-500 10" and 2 KG

The classic 80-400 at 8" and 1.5 KG seems like a good performer but even a used one costs more than the above options. Also, for that price, 400 is not significantly longer than the 300 mm.

Finally, the 300 F/4E is compact and very good performer but for the $2K its 300 mm is short on focal length. If I add a converter, it is stil manageable in size but each converter adds about $450!! At $2400, it will be a 420/f5.6 or a 600/f8. Such a long prime is least flexible for that day trip. I will need to change to my 18-140 several times.

After all this, I am leaning back to my 70-300 for now.

Any suggestions?

Nikon recently announced the AF-P 70-300 FX lens. I sometimes feel that they should have made it 70-400, 80-400 or 100-400. At those small apertures, I don't think that it would have added more than an inch to its size.

Thanks.

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'Knowledge is the only form of wealth that increases when shared' - unknown
My FZ2500 album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskQU7Thb
My D7200 album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskQjybAS

 Satyaa's gear list:Satyaa's gear list
Panasonic FZ2500 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +4 more
Nikon D7200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
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