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Old Apr 24, 2009, 6:06 PM   #1
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My D90 is set to arrive on Monday, and the only lens I have for it right now is a Nikon 50mm f/1.4. I'm used to the 12X zoom on my panasonic FZ20, and am wondering what kind of lens would be similar. I was looking at the 18-200VR lens, but I'm not sure that will be long enough. I mainly would need it for outdoor wildlife pictures (birds). The most I could spend would be around $1,000. What can you suggest to me? Also, I see some similar lenses made by different mfg's (nikon, tamron, sigma, quantaray) - does it matter which one I get? Is one a nice, cheaper alternitive to the more expensive, top-of-the-line lens? I'm a total newbie, and don't need the best thing out there. I just want to take some clear, crisp pics.

If you want to see the types of pictures I take (to help me with my lens choice), they are at www.mkklein.smugmug.com

Thanks!
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 6:16 PM   #2
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I'd probably look at the "Bigma" (Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM) for birding with your budget. You'll probably appreciate the longer focal length

It's a well liked lens and sells for a tad over $1000 at most popular vendors ($1029 right now at B&H). Just make sure you're OK with it's size/weight.

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Old Apr 24, 2009, 6:57 PM   #3
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JimC wrote:
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I'd probably look at the "Bigma" (Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM) for birding with your budget. You'll probably appreciate the longer focal length

It's a well liked lens and sells for a tad over $1000 at most popular vendors ($1029 right now at B&H). Just make sure you're OK with it's size/weight.
The Bigma is definatley on my list, but I am hoping for something that I can carry around a little easier for when I'm out hiking.
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 7:34 PM   #4
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You'll probably find that a lens like the 18-200mm is not long enough for filling the frame much for good detail, unless you're very close to a bird.

Tamron has a newer SP 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD IF that's lighter (it's 2.7 pounds) compared to the Bigma (which is about 4.1 pounds). It should fit within your budget (it's around $849 now).

But, the Bigma is a more versatile lens (thanks to it's 50mm wide end), and it's going to focus faster (thanks to HSM).

There are lots of choices out there. But, some are going to be sharper than others, especially on their longer end. So, I'd look for reviews on any lens you consider.

Hopefully, some of our wildlife shooters will chime in with suggestions.

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