Shadowy Daisy

Shadowy Daisy
by damned-truths

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I currently own an AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED lens, but I feel that the 200mm maximum zoom is not enough always.

I've found two cheap options:

  1. Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro (Motorized)
  2. Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO (with Motor)

Would it be a good move to sell the Nikkor 55-200mm and replace it with one of the above lenses? Are there any other lenses that you'd suggest?

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Going from a 200mm to 300mm lens isn't a HUGE jump in my opinion. And you are are already on AF-S it looks like. You may be better off with a dedicated 400mm lens? – dpollitt Jul 5 '12 at 19:56

You are going to take a hit financially whenever you buy or sell lenses, so it is best to work with what you have until you can afford what you really want.

Neither of those options seem to be significantly better than what you have so all you are doing is trading cheap lenses. If the goal is to get a longer range, then a good solution might be to get a Nikon Teleconverter. The Nikon teleconverter does not support the 55-200 though, so another option is to go with a Kenko 1.4X Teleconverter.

The benefit of going that route is that it will allow your current lens to be more versatile, and if you later want to get a higher quality lens (like a 70-200) you can still use the teleconverter.

Lens Compatability:

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In my experience consumer quality lenses do not take teleconverters very well and the already marginal image quality of most 70-300 or 55-200 consumer grade lenses take way too big a hit with the addition of the TC. And at the long end f/5.6 becomes f/8 and makes AF all but impossible. – Michael Clark Dec 20 '15 at 18:12

Only you can determine if it is a good move. If you're a professional the cost should be factored into the business decisions and expensed/written off as appropriate. If you're an amateur where you're using discretionary funds then it's an easier choice.

You certainly won't get much money from a kit lens and they are very plentiful. But there are people out there who would buy it. So I think you shouldn't consider how much money you get from that lens in the decision to get a new one. If you're going to update, I would recommend first looking at the Nikon 55-300. It is an inexpensive way of getting to 300mm with good quality. Or go with the 70-300 VR which has a better reputation than the lenses you mentioned and the 55-300.

Of course, these are the lower-cost options. But the difference between 200 and 300 isn't always as big as you think. If you're looking into birding/wildlife or such then you'll get a lot more out of learning how to approach your subjects better and being closer than simply having a longer lens.

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You'd have to state what you're trying to take pictures of.

I found by lots of trial and error, shooting my son's soccer games, that 200mm lens on a APS-C body can reach across the narrow dimension of a high school football/soccer field, e.g. about 160 feet, but no way near enough to reach the long way (net to net, about 350 feet).

Even 300mm on an APS-C is just at its limit if you're standing next to one net or goal, trying to shoot players at the opposite end, about 325 feet away, next to the opposite net or goal.

If you're shooting birds or wildlife, you have to get a feeling for how far away your subjects are. I have a co-worker friend, who has a less expensive 300mm fixed focal length lens for her canon, who uses a 2.0 teleconverter and its still not enough reach for some far away shots. And at that effective focal length of around 600mm, camera shake is very significant with longer shutter speeds.

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