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I'm looking to buy a zoom lens for amateur photography to use on my D90 camera. I would like to use it for landscape and wildlife/bird photography. I would like a lens that would autofocus and have VR. I zeroed down on 3 options but cannot understand which would best suit my camera and my purposes.

I've the option of buying the lens from India or US. The first product seems to have been discontinued in India but the others are still available in India.

  1. AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
  2. AF-P NIKKOR 70-300MM F/4.5-5.6E ED VR
  3. AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300MM F/4.5-6.3G ED VR

I'm open to other suggestions too.

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Looking at the Nikon Lens Compatibility Chart, the D90 cannot use AF-P lenses, so of those you've listed the top one is the only one that will work. You might check this one out, though you might contact Sigma to verify compatibility. The Sigma chart is here, in all its difficult-to-read glory.

Back in to more directly answer your question.

All the lenses are very similar. Obviously, focal length and aperture are the same. The AF-S lenses use Nikon's "Silent Wave Motor" in the autofocus system, and this will work with your camera. AF-P lenses use the newer pulse, or stepper, motor; neither of these will work with your D90. For more info, see this Nikon page. The AF-S lens you've listed is a full frame (FX) lens. In your crop sensor (DX) camera, it really won't offer anything special. It'll act pretty much like a DX lens of equivalent spec would act. The AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300MM F/4.5-6.3G ED VR is a kit lens for the current D7500, and has a plastic mount. If the images I've chased down are correct, the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED has a metal mount which should add to the life and long term health of the lens.

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    A 18-300 lens isn't really the same as a 70-300. Rather different compromises... I can't find a Sigma 70-300 but there is one from Tamron. – xenoid Sep 2 at 23:03
  • @xenoid: True, but it covers the focal length and feature he's after (VR/OS), and it's in the same price range as the AF-S Nikon lens. Macro may or may not be helpful, but it's there. – user86484 Sep 2 at 23:21
  • It's not a real macro lens, either. – Michael C Sep 3 at 20:23
  • @Michael C: True enough, but that's how they named it. Could have done better. They actually make a fine macro lens - the Macro 105 prime. And it (the 105) works with the APO TCs. I have one. i.imgur.com/Ugge85T.jpg – user86484 Sep 3 at 22:38

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