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I recently bought the Nikon D5300 and currently have the 18-55mm kit lens. I am worried that with this lens I won't be able to take a variety of good photographs--not only landscapes. So I have been thinking of buying a second-hand Nikon AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 ED D.

With the 70-300mm, I guess I could take pictures of the moon or any other close up objects. However, before I buy, I would like more information about this lens.

What are some reasons a person might choose this lens (or not)? Are there other lenses that could fill this role for me? What should I consider before buying this lens?

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    "Worth buying" is not a question we can answer for you as we don't know enough about your circumstances. – Philip Kendall May 4 '16 at 8:46
  • @PhilipKendall what would you like to know in order to give me an advice?! – user3755632 May 4 '16 at 8:50
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    This just isn't a question which is a good fit for Stack Exchange, as whatever the answer is for you isn't going to help anybody else as their circumstances will be different and we aim to write Q&As which are generally useful, not just for one person. We can give you guidance as to what you can and can't do with a lens, but we can't make buying decisions for you. – Philip Kendall May 4 '16 at 8:54
  • Meta discussion: What about “review this item please” questions? – mattdm May 6 '16 at 12:08
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With the 70-300mm, I guess I could take pictures of the moon or any other close up objects

300mm doesn't really get you close enough for the moon. You could use a teleconverter, but you'd either have to get a third party one or make warranty-breaking modifications to a Nikon one.

However, you can get some nice wildlife pictures at 300mm, particularly if you can get close (e.g. with a hide).

Are there other lenses that could fill this role for me?

Dan Wolfgang has already pointed out that the lens you mention isn't AF-S, but there is an AF-S lens with similar parameters: the AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G VR. It's more expensive and heavier, because of the focus motor and the vibration reduction.

For moon photography, you could consider a 500mm f/8 mirror lens. They're third party and quite cheap. Some people don't like mirror lens bokeh, but that's not a consideration with moon shots.

What should I consider before buying this lens?

Check out Ken Rockwell's reviews for the AF 70-300mm D and the AF-S 70-300mm G for a discussion which goes into various aspects and suggests other alternatives.

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    "Nikon deliberately makes their teleconverters incompatible with their long lenses". This is not true. With only a few exceptions, their teleconverters are only compatible with long lenses. The TC-14E III was made incompatible with their older "D" lenses, but is compatible with all of their fast, long "G" lenses. – scottbb May 5 '16 at 17:06
  • @scottbb, thanks for the correction: I'll adjust. But I don't think you're quite right either, because the 70-300mm G lens isn't listed as compatible with any teleconverter. – Peter Taylor May 5 '16 at 18:27
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    I said "fast, long 'G' lenses". I don't consider the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G "fast", and apparently, neither does Nikon (there are no other lenses on their compatibility list with a max aperture that small). BTW, your edit was great, turned my downvote into an upvote (even though I prefer not support linking to the 2 review pages you linked). – scottbb May 5 '16 at 18:33
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The Nikon AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 ED D was a fair lens back in the day, but the problem you'll have now is that it's not an AF-S lens -- meaning it doesn't have an autofocus motor built in -- and will therefore be manual-focus only on the 5300.

  • Well put! Creative way to answer objectively :-) – motoDrizzt May 4 '16 at 21:07

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