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I am planning to buy a entry level telephoto zoom lens for my D5100.

I have boiled down to two lenses: The Nikon AF-S 55-300mm VR and the TAMRON SP 70-300mm VC USD.

My question is: Is the Tamron better than the Nikon lens given that it costs about $100 more? I'm on a tight budget and wont be doing any serious photography.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Is it better" often depends on circumstances, and "is it worth the price difference is subjective". However, questions comparing specific lenses for a specific purpose are on topic — see this meta discussion. Please edit your question with that in mind, describing what you're hoping to do with the lens. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 27, 2014 at 19:30

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I've got the Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD (Amazon -> 223€) for my Nikon D5100. I'm satisfied with it, the stabilizator is awesome.

A sample: https://500px.com/photo/61807535/cyclo-cross-sprinter-2-by-salva-j-garc%C3%ADa-barroso

Reasons I found to buy the Tamrom:

  • Tamron VC is superior to Nikon VR.
  • Nikon is weaker in range 250-300.
  • There is a non written Law in zoom lenses: "More focal length range worst optical quality"
  • Tamron 70-300 is more near to Nikon 70-300 quality, but it's far forward from Nikon 55-300.
  • The diference costs between Tamron and Nikon 55-300 ($100) is low compared with the diference costs between Tamron and Nikon 70-300 ($250), the real competitor.

See this comparation tests from DXOMark. DXOMARK test lenses

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