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Old Jan 28, 2008, 1:17 PM   #1
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I'm making the move from my Oly E-510 to a D300. I mostly shoot wildlife and will buy the 70-200 2.8when I can scrape up another $1,600, but need advice on whether to get the 18-135 3.5-5.6kit lens with the camera or something else. Although the 18-135 seems like a nice, all-around lens, it also seems rather slow. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 28, 2008, 3:12 PM   #2
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The 18-135 is a very good lens (not great). It's sharp throughout the range and does a good job of handling CA. It focuses quick and is lightweight. Build quality is what you would expect from a $250 lens. It is slow, but alot of that can be negated by the excellent high ISO performance of the D300. That lens is on my camera when I'm just walking around.

If you're into wildlife, you may want to look at the 70-300 vr. It's inexpensive (comparitively) and will give you a bit more reach. It too is a very good lens. If you need to do any wider angle stuff, you could pick up the 18-55, which is in my opinion underated (it's a excellent value and dirt cheap used ($75-100). You could also get the 18-70 for a bit more.

This is a fairly large price gap between the consumer level and pro-level fast glass.
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 12:41 AM   #3
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IMO anything less than 300mm is too short for wildlife
I skipped the kit lens and got a 50-500 Bigma for birding, and so far this lens has done a fantastic job:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=11

-> For the wider shot a Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 may be...
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 2:38 PM   #4
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NHL wrote:
Quote:
IMO anything less than 300mm is too short for wildlife
I skipped the kit lens and got a 50-500 Bigma for birding, and so far this lens has done a fantastic job:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=11

-> For the wider shot a Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 may be...
I would agree. 300mm seems like a big number but in reality it's not a huge leap from 200mm. I used to have a Tamron 200-400, and it even wasn't long enough in some instances, and I coudn't hand hold it to save my life. That Sigma is probably the most affordable option out there, but even it is quite pricey. Fortunately, I don't shoot a lot of wildlife, and haven't needed to add one of these long, expensive lenses.
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 11:05 PM   #5
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Highly recommended - I'm just so amazed by what this Bigma could achieve with just one lens!
-> Could be the D300 too, but this is what this combo can do in the short time I've owned it:


Landscape @ 50mm






Wildlife @ 500mm






and even Macro in between @ (1:3)





BTW this Sigma 50-500 EX HSM has the ultrasonic AF drive which is silent and fast with full-time manual overide similar to the Nikon AF-S. It does not have an image stabilizer mechanism however, but then this lens is fast enough to allow me to capture some amazing action shots which VR won't do me any good anyway (i.e. late afternoon crummy lighting):
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=11
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=58

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Old Jan 31, 2008, 12:40 AM   #6
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I made the jump yeatserday to a D300, from a D80 (which I am keeping too) and I have accumulated a few lenses along the way. I have...

24mm Nikon

50mm Nikon Std 1.8

60mm Micro

18-135 Nikon

18-200 VR Nikon

24-120 VR Nikon

55-200 VR Nikon

70-200 Sigma 2.8 HSM with 1.4 Teleconverter

70-300 VR Nikon

For pure survival, if I had to choose just 2 lenses to try to cope with all my needs, I would choose the 18-200 VR and the 70-300 VR (would consider the Sigma 70-200 with 1.4 tele).

The 18-200 VR is without a doubt the most versatile lens I own. It's not a fantastic lens but it is an "everyone should have one" lens, because of its great shots vs its wide range of focal length and VR to boot. I got some ofmy best results with this lens on the D80 and it was always mounted on it, ready to go. The Sigma 70-200 is a great lens and yields great photos. Adding a teleconverter too a little bit of an edge off it but it gives me the equivalent of about 100-280mm but my shakes turn potentially good shots into blurs. The 70-300 VR Nikon takes the shakes away, so I might slightly favour this over the Sigma. Using a tripod, I would stick with the Sigma though...
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Old Feb 1, 2008, 2:17 PM   #7
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fewpics wrote:
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For pure survival, if I had to choose just 2 lenses to try to cope with all my needs, I would choose the 18-200 VR and the 70-300 VR (would consider the Sigma 70-200 with 1.4 tele).
I don't know... I just went through the same two lenses only process, but I ended up with two different selections altogether: the Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 and the Bigma 50-500 f/4-6.3 HSM

Here's why:
1. This two lenses selection is not only wider @ 16(24mm), but also longer @ 500(750mm equivalent)
2. Although I agree that the 18-200 VR is a great one lens solution, it falls short when one have the possibility of getting a 2nd lens - The Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 is in different optical league altogether as well as being faster @ f/2.8
-> Check out the Tokina numbers vs the AF-S 17-55 f/2.8 instead:
http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Nikk...report--review
http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Nikk...w--test-report
3. Like the OP my needs are for wildlife and a 300mm is just way too short! Beside both of this lenses are professional grade metal (and not plastic!)




Quote:
The 70-300 VR Nikon takes the shakes away, so I might slightly favour this over the Sigma. Using a tripod, I would stick with the Sigma though...
For many of my action shots like birds in flight one can't really use a tripod nor VR (beside the D300 has fantastic high-ISO capability so this lessen the need for both )
-> Plus the Bigma 50-500mm does an outstanding job @ "macro":



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Old Feb 1, 2008, 10:54 PM   #8
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Sure thing NHL,,

I was talking about the two lenses from my own collection. I could think of lenses which could do a far better job than those I chose but unfortuately, I don't own them...

I can go along with your selection - I couldn't argue at all but I guess I have to stick with what I have. Maybe some time this year I wil splash out and get a few real cracker lenses...


Nice pics by the way - very nice...
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Old Mar 22, 2008, 6:18 AM   #9
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rjseeney wrote:
Quote:
The 18-135 is a very good lens (not great). It's sharp throughout the range and does a good job of handling CA. It focuses quick and is lightweight. Build quality is what you would expect from a $250 lens. It is slow, but alot of that can be negated by the excellent high ISO performance of the D300. That lens is on my camera when I'm just walking around.

If you're into wildlife, you may want to look at the 70-300 vr. It's inexpensive (comparitively) and will give you a bit more reach. It too is a very good lens. If you need to do any wider angle stuff, you could pick up the 18-55, which is in my opinion underated (it's a excellent value and dirt cheap used ($75-100). You could also get the 18-70 for a bit more.

This is a fairly large price gap between the consumer level and pro-level fast glass.
rjseenew : few days ago, I got the new D300, and, I like to know if I can use the old Nikon Reflex 500mm f.8 on the D300 ???? Carlitin
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