Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

Started Sep 15, 2016 | User reviews
sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,494
Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

Obviously, at it's current price point (about $500 new) this is a decent, lightweight, compact lens for the money that offers a great range of focal lengths.  It's not the fastest one out there at an aperture range of f/4.5-5.6, but it is certain worth it in the end as a compact, but versatile and somewhat powerful lens.  Overall, I'm pleased with it.  It appears to deliver decent image quality, but can get more tricky at the long end (300mm; keeping the lens stable enough, but some practice should solve this issue--or use a tripod).  But it's a good super telephoto walkaround lens.  It does have some distortion that needs to be fixed in PS, but this isn't a painful task, as many lenses have some sort of distortion that needs to be addressed in post processing (unless you want the distorted look).

Overall, I'm pleased with the lens, because of it's versatility (range of focal lengths) and it's price, not to mention its light weight.  I would recommend this to someone who was looking for a decent focal length range, but didn't want to settle on the more expensive 70-200 (the lens to really have), or one of the larger and/or heavier models.

Obviously, at this price point and size, it has its flaws, but I can't seem to find many to not recommend it.

 sirhawkeye64's gear list:sirhawkeye64's gear list
Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 GoPro Hero7 Black GoPro Hero8 Black Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 +12 more
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
Telephoto zoom lens • Nikon F (FX) • 2161
Announced: Aug 9, 2006
sirhawkeye64's score
4.0
Average community score
4.4
rxbot Senior Member • Posts: 1,844
Re: Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

I spent a lot of time reading reviews and opted for the Tamron,  quite similar the Tamron is 62mm filter size less than the Nikon 67mm but the Tamron is slightly heavier 765 grams a little thicker and a slight bit longer. Starts at f/4 not 4.5. Got mine for $400 US. I am sure we will both get enjoyment out of our choices. The VC is a little different acting than the VR but results are about the same. I find the build on my Tamron 70-300 VC much better than my Nikon 18-140 VR but they are both made in China.

OP sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,494
Re: Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

rxbot wrote:

I spent a lot of time reading reviews and opted for the Tamron, quite similar the Tamron is 62mm filter size less than the Nikon 67mm but the Tamron is slightly heavier 765 grams a little thicker and a slight bit longer. Starts at f/4 not 4.5. Got mine for $400 US. I am sure we will both get enjoyment out of our choices. The VC is a little different acting than the VR but results are about the same. I find the build on my Tamron 70-300 VC much better than my Nikon 18-140 VR but they are both made in China.

Yeah unfortunately I got this one when I started out in photography and made perhaps one of the classic "novice" mistakes: looking at the focal length and not paying enough attention to the other aspects of the lens (distortion, speed, bokeh, etc).

But There are some workarounds for the nuances I've encountered so I can work with it. But it's not so bad I need to get rid of it either. But if I were to do it again, I now know what I should be looking for, and have a better working knowledge of lenses at this point.

And since the lens can only be resold (or has a used value) for about $100-$200 it's not worth getting rid of.  I might as well keep it for that amount of money.  New ones go for $400-500 still so the resale value isn't high.

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tom1234567
tom1234567 Senior Member • Posts: 1,970
Re: Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

Tamron 70-300 VC much better than, Nikon high priced 70-300

Tom G

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OP sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,494
Re: Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

tom1234567 wrote:

Tamron 70-300 VC much better than, Nikon high priced 70-300

Tom G

From what I just saw, they are priced about the same.  Didn't look at optics, but if someone gave me $200 for the NIkon, I'd consider going to the Tamron.  But price-wise they look to be about the same (about $50 difference).  I'd have to look at the reviews and benchmark/real world tests (maybe even rent one for a few days) before I'd commit.

But in all honesty, I sort of had my heart set on getting a 70-200 one of these days (Nikon or Tamron; new or gently used).

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rxbot Senior Member • Posts: 1,844
Re: Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there
1

I think once you go past 200mm you either have to put out lots of cash and carry lots of weight to get more than average performance. The performance you are getting is about right for the money you spent and light weight. One solution I heard to get moderate performance from 200-400mm is to buy used Sigma 150-500  and use it till 400mm but you still have to carry the weight. Why no one can make a 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 under 1000 grams and say $700-$800 that is reasonably good I do not quite understand. They can make 150-600s so if you take 200mm off the long end you would think they could come up with something. I used to think about the Tokina 80-400 because it was about 1000 grams but it scored so badly why bother.

OP sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,494
Re: Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

rxbot wrote:

I think once you go past 200mm you either have to put out lots of cash and carry lots of weight to get more than average performance. The performance you are getting is about right for the money you spent and light weight. One solution I heard to get moderate performance from 200-400mm is to buy used Sigma 150-500 and use it till 400mm but you still have to carry the weight. Why no one can make a 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 under 1000 grams and say $700-$800 that is reasonably good I do not quite understand. They can make 150-600s so if you take 200mm off the long end you would think they could come up with something. I used to think about the Tokina 80-400 because it was about 1000 grams but it scored so badly why bother.

I can kind of understand why they may have a hard time producing a decent 100-400mm lens that under 1kg.  I mean, there's probably lots of glass elements (lenses) in the barrel, thus adding weight.  And then when you start adding features like vibration reduction/stabilization, that adds more electronics to the lens.  So, I don't mind the heaviness of a lens (although I did try a Tamron 150-600mm once, and it was a bit of a chore--you almost need to ONLY use it in a tripod) but I can understand that superzooms, especially those that cover a long focal range, are going to just be heavy in general.

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EHK Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

I shot this with my 70-300. I bought it from Nikon refurbished for $299. I also own a 70-200 2.8 that I use for low light/night sports. The 70-300 works great in daylight and as a bonus, weighs about 1/2 the 70-200. This action was on the other side of the field from me so the extra length came in handy.

OP sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,494
Re: Good lens at the price point, light, but not the best out there

EHK wrote:

I shot this with my 70-300. I bought it from Nikon refurbished for $299. I also own a 70-200 2.8 that I use for low light/night sports. The 70-300 works great in daylight and as a bonus, weighs about 1/2 the 70-200. This action was on the other side of the field from me so the extra length came in handy.

Yeah I mean I still use mine, but only about 5-10% of the time, when I want to get in nice and tight on a subject, or if something is extremely far away (probably not the best way to do it, but in some circumstances--as it can affect composition a little--but sometimes I can't get closer so I have to resort to using the full 300mm zoom abilities).

It's not a bad lens, it's just not as fast as I would like, but then again, it was purchased without full knowledge of what to look for in a lens.  I am aiming for the f/2.8 70-200 as my next purchase (either from Nikon or Tamaron, or possibly Sigma--I have to do some research on that lens though first).

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