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I'm looking at a 3rd party lens for my Nikon d5000. A friend of mine was shooting with a Canon and using a Tamron zoom telephoto lens (70mm - 300mm). The largest focal point I have w/ one of my lenses currently is 200mm.

I have found this one: http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-70-300mm-4-0-5-6-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000EXOXVA

which is $160 (normally $360).

I'm looking for something similar to the first party lens found here: http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-70-300mm-4-5-5-6G-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000HJPK2C

which is over $500 (normally over $660).

I need it to be able to auto focus (the Nikon d5000 body doesn't handle that, so the lens has to take care of that). Vibration Reduction is important too - I honestly can't tell if this lens has that.

I wouldn't mind paying a little more for a good lens (trying to keep it under $400), as long as it has VR, AF, and can go to at least 300mm.

Are there 3rd party lenses compatible with Nikon d5000 that can auto focus and also have vibration reduction?

Are these lenses quality lenses?

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2  
Really good lenses are expensive, so, unfortunately, your statement about "paying a little more for a good lens (trying to keep it under $400)" might indicate that your expectations need an adjustment. Or maybe not: for a lot of purposes, lower-grade lenses are good enough. –  mattdm Dec 19 '10 at 17:43
    
I think you'll find that a "decent" lens won't really come down below maybe $6-800. Most "decent" zoom lenses are typically over 1K. –  Nick Bedford Dec 20 '10 at 5:50

3 Answers 3

My site (shameless plug) http://lenshero.com makes it easy to find lenses, for example here are 14 lenses for the D5000 with image stabilization and focus motors for less than $600.

You can then easily filter by brand/focal length etc.

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Nice site... I think I may use that the next time someone tells me there's no lenses for the K-mount. :) –  John Cavan Dec 19 '10 at 18:21
    
Cool! thanks, glad you like it. –  Alex Black Dec 19 '10 at 18:25

Sigma Photo makes quite a few lenses for Nikon with those features. Their lenses range from consumer to professional grade, with corresponding price differences to go with them. As for quality, it does vary with them, but much less so than in the past and they're producing some very good optics these days, including some unique ones that nobody else has.

In any case, they have a lens finder utility that can help you out there. However, optical stabilization does add to the price, so I don't know that you're going to easily find one new for under $400 like the Nikon one.

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There are certainly very highly regarded third party lenses out there. Sigma uses the OS (optical stabilisation) designation for lenses with vibration reduction, and HSM for a hypersonic focus motor (I believe all Sigma and Tamron lenses have built in motors of some form so compatibility is not a problem). Tamron uses the VC (vibration compensation) designation for vibration reduction lenses.

The Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS ($399) is probably the closest you'll get to the Nikon lens:

http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-70-300mm-Multi-Layer-Canon-Mount/dp/B002M3SOQU/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1292776731&sr=8-4

The Tamron lens you list doesn't feature any sort of vibration reduction. They do make a 28-300 lens with vibration reduction:

http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-28-300mm-Vibration-Compensation-Aspherical/dp/B000V6MSRG/ref=sr_du_3_map?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1292776917&sr=1-3

but it's $610 and if you don't need the wide angle all in one lens, then the Sigma will do you better.

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