Cheapest Telephoto Lens for D5000

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by anand_krishnamoorthy, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Hi -- am very new to this site and to DSLRs. Can anyone tell me what may be a reasonable and obviously the CHEAPEST telephoto lens that's compatible with the new Nikon D5000? Thanks.
  2. The cheapest? Look at the Sigma 70-300 but make sure it's the newer version with the built in motor. Their model naming is so bad the guys at Calumet couldn't tell me exactly what I was holding until I mounted it on a camera, tried the AF and listened for what it sounded like. It's also got some usefulness as a macro lens.
    But also do look at the Nikon 55-200 AF-S VR. It's reasonably priced and quite good as "kit" type lenses go.
  3. "Cheap" and "telephoto" aren't words that go together, and you gave NO clue what you will be photo'ing. I'll take a total shot in the dark and suggest the Nikon 70-300mm VR. If you're willing to focus manually, an older Tokina or Sigma 400mm f5.6 lens is probably the cheapest. Check E BAY. You'll need a tripod to get sharp photos from one, of course.
    Kent in SD
  4. The Nikon 55-200 VR is cheap and has decent image quality when stopped down. I think it goes for like $150 - $200, but obviously does not have as much reach as the 70-300 VR.
  5. There's an Arthur C. Clarke novel where an engineer says to an administrator, "Do you want it cheap, good or fast? I can give you any two." The same applies to lenses.
  6. Save up for the 70-300 VR at least.
    Cheap telephotos. Ugh. Sometimes you're better off cropping.
  7. The OP wants a lens to photo birds with. The cheapest I know of is the Sigma 70-300mm, which is about $160. While something longer such as 400mm would be better, the Sigma is at least decent for the money.
    Kent in SD
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Nikon also makes a very inexpensive 70-300mm/f4-5.6 G that is about $150 (not to be confused with the ED version or the 70-300mm/f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR which is also a G lens). It has no built-in AF motor, though.
    Keep in mind that the D5000 cannot AF with lenses without built-in AF motor inside the lenes. And any telephoto lens that is below $200 is likely be of poor quality.
  9. sigma also makes a cheapie 55-200 HSM model which is surprisingly optically-decent, but has a super plasticy build.
  10. I'd go for the 55-200 AFS VR, because it's the only lens i regret selling.
    It's good and cheap, the VR compensates a little for the 3rd element.
  11. You want to shoot birds?
    There's only way to shoot birds with an inexpensive telephoto lens.
    Go to the pet store.
  12. My apologies to the OP, but good one Peter. LOL.
  13. The Nikon 70-300mm VR is pretty capable. In the U.S. it sells for $500 ~ $600, which is not cheap in absolute terms, but it is among lenses that can produce good bird images. Although the VR doens't help with birds in flight, because the shutter speed will be rather high anyway, it can be helpful when they are perching. I don't know if the quality of the Nikon non-VR counterpart, which is very cheap, is as high.
    Still, everyone who photographs birds wants more focal length. I am looking into the Sigma 120-400mm HSM OS, which would also work on your camera. Its disadvantage, besides higher cost, is that it is very heavy. I often hand-hold when shooting birds, because a tripod (even with a first-rate ballhead) doesn't allow me to move fast enough. It is hard to hand-hold something as heavy as the Sigma.
  14. Shun--
    The Sigma 70-300mm fro $160 does have "AFS." While I agree the Nikon 70-300mm VR is probably the best "low cost" option, the reality is not everyone has $600 to spend on a lens. So, I came up with the Sigma. The 300mm end is as short as I'd consider for photo'ing birds.
    Kent in SD
  15. I think two of the best options for you are the 55-200 VR and the 70-300 VR. You'll definitely make good use of their SWM AF systems and VR. The 55-200 VR is an especially cost effective choice, and I don't see the need to get a 3rd party slow tele instead of it. (it is quite a good design with ED glass) The 70-300 would provide you with even faster ring type SWM AF with fulltime MF and a distance window; and it is also a FX lens.
    If you need a fast (constant f/2.8) telephoto lens, then you might want to look at Sigma's 70-200 f/2.8. It is one of the cheapest f/2.8 telephoto zooms around, and it does have good AF speed.
  16. Some of you guys have an interesting interpretation of the phrase "CHEAPEST telephoto lens that's compatible with the new Nikon D5000". He did put CHEAPEST in all caps.
    Nikon 70-300 AFS: A bit over $500
    Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM: About $800
    Sigma or Tamron 70-300 with motor: About $150
    Kent is correct, the built-in-motor version of the Sigma 70-300 is the cheapest tele that's fully D5000 compatible. (Unless you find the equivalent Tamron for less.) It's not as good as those other options but for a beginner on a budget it's a perfectly reasonable lens. I have one and have got some decent shots with it. It can also be used for macro.
    Also, I didn't see anything about birds.
  17. guys -- thanks much for your comments... appreciated...
  18. I bought a copy of the Sigma APO 70-300 f/4-5.6 Macro HSM a little while ago after considering the similar versions from Nikon (VR and Non-VR). I would have to say that the image quality is equal to any of the Nikon versions (thanks to the APO element) and the decent speed of the focusing moters was also comparable.
    The best part about this Sigma lens is that the price was less than $200.00.
    The two worst parts about this Sigma lens are that the front element rotates when focusing and the lens hood does not fit as tightly as I would prefer.
  19. If you don'g want to go with the expense of the Nikon, then the two Sigma's are an option. I have the non APO 70-300, and under many (most) situations, the CA/purple fringing will be visible with medium or high contrast subjects (birds against sky), etc. Stopping down helps, or if shooting in b/w or low contrast it may be fine. Some say it's much better up to 200mm but I've done all my testing wide open and at 300mm and can just say it's no great lens, but useable.
    The APO is only $50 or so more, some say while less CA, less sharp too. I have no experience with the APO version, but once you start creeping up from the base Sigma, you should seriously consider the Nikon with it's VR. The noise of the Sigma is also about 3x louder than 18-70 Nikon, and 2x louder than 35/1.8 Nikon.
    Consider the APO if you're going to be keeping this as your main telephoto or better. I'd only consider the non APO if very light casual use, b/w, low contrast, hobby type stuff.
  20. Another vote for the Sigma 70-300 APO with motor. It's noticably better than the DL version or the Tamron and much less expensive than the Nikon 70-300 VR. The Nikon 55-200 VR is a good lens and a great value, but if you're shooting birds, the longer the focal length the better.
  21. Another vote for the 55-200 VR... as someone said, sometimes you're better off cropping (do you really need all 12 MP for that web JPG? Or a print?).
    This lens is cheap, proven, readily available and everyone likes it (myself included). Plus, it has VR which is nice.
    Go to the pet store.​
    LOL. Brilliant. Maybe if I want pictures of kids, I'll show up at the elementary school?

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