70-300 Telephoto for Nikon D90

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by holly_b|2, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. I'd like to get a nice Telephoto lens for my D90.
    I had a photographer friend mention that Tamron makes nice Telephoto lenses so I priced a Tamron and a Nikon. Only about $100 difference in price, but the Tamron goes to f/4 and the Nikon only goes to f/4.5.
    Here's the link for the TAMRON I am considering:

    And a link for the NIKON:
    Does anyone have any opinions on / experience with either of these lenses?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. I've used the Nikon and it's quite good. I haven't used the Tamron, but I'd like to - everybody who's written about it seems pleased.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have only played around with the Nikon 70-300mm VR, but the Tamron Di VC is excellent optically. I am less impressed with its construction quality, though. I have a lot more details in photo.net's review of the Tamron lens: http://www.photo.net/equipment/tamron/70-300di-vc/
  4. Thanks! I'll be sure to read the review!
  5. There is a new Nikon 55-300 VR that is less expensive than the 70-300 VR or Tamron 70-300 VC. I haven't seen any tests, but it should be worth considering. It is smaller and lighter than the other two if that is important.
  6. I had the Nikon 70-300 vr and wasn't overly impressed with the Image Quality - but I tended to shoot a lot of low light stuff - so it really wasn't in the wheelhouse for that lens.
    The other thing that I found is that the 70 mm just wasn't wide enough for a lot of the other stuff that I shoot.
  7. At $400 (on sale for $360) I wouldn't take the 55-300 over either of the 70-300 options.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have played around with the Nikon 55-300mm AF-S VR DX. It has a more consumer-grade construction quality and that is why it is lighter than the Nikon 70-300mm/f4.5-5.6 AF-s VR. The front element on the 55-300 rotates when you focus. I didn't get to check its optical quality, though.
  9. "I have a lot more details in photo.net's review of the Tamron lens..."
    Shun - there is a bad hyperlink at the bottom of your article.
    "http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=982385" points to "http://www.photo.net/equipment/tamron/photodb/folder?folder_id=982385" which returns a 404 error.
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Michael, thanks for pointing that out. The link I provdied is correct: http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=982385
    The problem is that photo.net's software automatically translates it to point to equipment/tamron and of course my folder does not exist under there. Unfortunately, I need to ask our IT people to fix it. There isn't much I can do about that link myself.
  11. The Nikon is superb. It shoots wonderful photos and handles great. There is functionally no difference between f4 and f4.5 at the wide end, really. The 55-300 does not allow for instant over-ride, which in a tele is especially problematic in my experience. Also, having the barrel rotate makes a polarizer worse than useless on a lens. I'd never consider a lens with this flaw.
  12. I like the Nikon 55-200mm VR zoom I bought for $150 as a refurb very much. I am sure I'd enjoy the 55-300mm more for the extra reach. I have the Nikon 70-300mm ED zoom as well, but prefer the 55-200mm as 55mm is a more useful focal length when I don't need a powerful telephoto. Plus it's lighter weight and more compact which is nice for travel. I've never needed anything like "instant over-ride" - I assume you are talking about focus? I don't map my AF to the AF-ON button to use that feature, I leave it with the shutter release.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I had fogotten about the lack of manual AF override on the 55-300 DX. Unfortunately, that is a "feature" on all lower consumer-grade Nikon AF-S lenses. See this recent thread by Alex C., as he/she found out that in real-life photography, having manual overrise is important: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00XZZn
  14. bms


    Nikon 70-300 is great for the money IMHO. Do not use it in low light, but VR works well and it is pretty sharp
    Shot at ISO 400, f5.6, 300mm, 1/2000, admittely in bright sun light
  15. Extremely sharp lens in the middle of its range, great for medium to bright light. Would buy it again in a heartbeat.
  16. the 70-300 VR is well-regarded and a staple of many photographer's bags. but the tamron is faster (slightly) at the wide end and has better IQ than its nikon counterpart. it's also $400 with mail-in rebate, which is a bit of a win -win, since the nikon costs more (unless you get a deal with instant savings). i would avoid a 55-200 or 55-300 if you ever want to move up to full frame.
  17. I'll be bold enough to say I like the Tamron better. It isn't built like 80-200. But neither is the VR. It matches the VR in focus speed and acquisition. VC is at least as good as VR in this case although maybe a little less smooth. Images are sharp throughout the focal range.
    I think it'd be hard to find a better choice for the money, size, and performance than either lens.
  18. The Nikon is reasonably sharp in good light. Excellent value!
  19. Found an auto focus VR 1.4-5.6 Nikon 55-200 lens for $179 and a Tamron 70-300 auto focus lens for $119
    at a pawn shop. Are they good deals and will the Tamron fit the new D7000?
    Haven't bought the new D7000 yet but its on my list.
  20. Yes and yes (assuming the Tamron is in Nikon mount), but the Tamron is probably the old non-VC version which isn't as good, optically, as the Nikon VR model or the newer Tamron.
  21. I bought the Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm 4.5 ED VR before traveling to Yellowstone in 2009. I really wanted to have a chance of getting images of wildlife that I was seeing in previous trips.
    It was everything I wanted in a midrange zoom and I don't regret the purchase.

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