Cheap reach

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,570
Re: Cheap reach

Michael Benveniste wrote:

olindacat wrote:

Budget is under 500. I wonder (out loud) if the 80-200 in DX mode is the way to go. Can prob find one on the Bay for around the 400 mark. Has anyone bought from Japan? I wonder f they are scammers out there. Not the people, of course, just those selling in foreign countries, so heavily, as it seems thy do there...

I'd probably choose a 70-300mm AF-P FX over the 80-200mm in DX mode, especially since it looks like you are primarily shooting handheld. That lens is $550, but can probably be found used for less with your budget.

Even the cheap AF-S DX works great, except it vignettes a bit on an FX body. As with the FX version it might need a firmware update of your camera.

Two samples (test shots from tonight), with no crop in FX mode:

Sharp, very light, and very cheap (some managed to buy them new in the US for less than $200). Cropping to DX does away with all the vignetting easily. Very fast AF, always spot on!

Here are some other options.

  • At $649 new, the Sigma 100-400mm is a budget buster for you, but long term I think it's a better fit to your needs.

That's my favorite lens, simply superb. Well balanced, compact, and rugged, and weighs just a little over 1 kilogram.

  • At ~$500 used, the older 80-400mm VR is an option. I've never used one, but even by Nikon's own measurements the VR is less effective than on newer lenses, and its AF speed is quite slow.

I had the never G version of this lens, and it was a wonder in the wide end, but like AF-S 70-300 you have, it occasionally got into focusing hysterics and was like your lens not razor sharp in the long end.

  • Also at < $500 used, you could buy a Sigma 150-500mm lens. My copy took a 3-foot fall the other day, so I'm withdrawing my offer to sell it until I can have it checked out. I've used that lens successfully for motorsports, tall ships, the solar eclipse and some wildlife. It's not up to the standards of, say, the Nikon 200-500mm, but that's pretty much the definition of "cheap reach."

I used to own one of those, too, and it was OK up to 400mm (Talking about my copy, note, your mileage might vary). An eon away from the 100-400 C I use now, in every way. Its focusing hysterics was even worse than the 80-400. Used with manual focusing it was not that bad, but who does that today?!

Technology has moved forward a lot in the last 10 years.

One caveat on the 150-500mm -- It may require a firmware upgrade to work with the latest firmware on the D810.

That is true for the AF-P, too!

See this list  from Nikon!

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Owner of 1 Canon, 1 Olympus, 1 Pentax, 1 Ricoh, 1 Sony, and a lot of Nikon, cameras.

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