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I want a wildlife lens for my full frame D700 but around the £500 mark! Loads out there for dx cameras but not so many for full frame!
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At that price range (or perhaps slightly more!) you won't go far wrong with the Tamron 200-500, or the Sigma 50 -500. Both excellent value, but slightly lacking compared to a prime.
I have owned both over the years, but currently use a Canon 400 F5.6, which is considerably sharper than either of the the zoom lenses.
I guess the next step up from the third party zooms would be the Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED IF AF-S (plus 1.4 TC), but you will be extremely lucky to get one within your budget!
Another lens with an excellent reputation, although I have not used one myself, is the Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX APO IF HSM. This will also auto focus with a 1.4 TC attached.
What do you mean by 'wildlife'? Large mammals you can get away with a shorter lens than when doing bird photgraphy.
The Nikon 70-300 is decent by all accounts but if you want to go longer then there are the Sigma 120-400 for £700 or the Tamron 200-500 for £800.
If you are willing to go second hand your options open up a bit more.
Once you get to 400mm lenses, I think they are all for 35mm frame aren't they?
Personally i think your going to struggle for £500.00 to get a decent enough lens to do wildlife.
Sigma 50-500mm second hand is about your only option for max focal range, cheaper alternatives are the sigma 170-500 and the Tamron 200-500, i have no experience of the Tamron but the 50-500mm is the better of the Sigmas
I use a Sigma 150-500mm OS with both my D300 and D3S and am very pleased with it.
For most wildlife I tend to use the D300 to get the extra reach of the crop factor but it works very well on the D3S too.
I bought mine secondhand on eBay for just a few pounds over £500 about a year ago. Prior to that I used a non-AF Nikkor 500mm f/4 that cost only £200 on eBay but I haven't seen any more at that sort of price since. The Nikkor prime was an excellent quality lens but the advantages of a zoom can be an bonus in some wildlife situations.
I have seen the 50-500 Sigma and the 150-500 at a stretch second hand, whats the better of the two folks?
Quote: I have seen the 50-500 Sigma and the 150-500 at a stretch second hand, whats the better of the two folks?
I doubt if anyone will have used both, Peter.
I have no experience of the 50-500mm, just the 150-500mm.
The way I looked at it was: the greater the zoom range then, all other things being equal, the greater the likelihood of quality drop-off at the extremes. Plus, I have several other lenses that cover the 50-150mm range.
Prime, prime, prime every time if you can afford it. A prime with an extender will usually give better results than a zoom! My favourite lens, my Canon 300mm f4 as a walk about and I carry a 1.4 extender in my pocket.
Quote: Prime, prime, prime every time if you can afford it
Trouble is a lot of folk can't!......I can only speak for the Sigma EX50-500mm and have to say I've had the lens nearly 5 years now and it's served me wonderfully!......Loads of shots in my p/f of the lens in use, though you might have to go back a bit as I haven't used the lens for a while, been concentrating on my macro stuff......
Quote: Prime, prime, prime every time if you can afford it. A prime with an extender will usually give better results than a zoom! My favourite lens, my Canon 300mm f4 as a walk about and I carry a 1.4 extender in my pocket.
I think the operative word is "usually" but there are other considerations.
For example, in a dynamic wildlife situation (as opposed to a controlled display at a zoo or wildlife park), changing focal length almost instantly with a zoom might get the shot when having to dismount the lens, mount the converter and remount the lens would result in an opportunity lost.
Also, depending upon the final destination of the photograph and the means of viewing, it might be perfectly adequate to tightly crop the image, rather than filling the frame at the time of capture (applies to both primes and zooms).
As must have been posted 1000 times on the forum, "Horses for Courses".
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