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Customer Discussions > Nikon Lens forum

Nikon D60; best lenses for long distance photos?

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Showing 1-14 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 25, 2009 12:37:18 PM PDT
paulsa_4 says:
Nikon D60; best lenses for long distance photos (a 55-200 mm with a 2X telescopic lens doesn't come close to what I want)? Please, any suggestions? Thanks.

Posted on May 25, 2009 3:59:57 PM PDT
K. Calalang says:
what's your budget and is a fast f-stop lens a requirement?

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2009 6:21:07 PM PDT
EdM says:
I have to ditto Calalang about your budget and do you need a fast lens.

For example, Nikon makes a great lens, 600 mm f4, but it's in ~ $10,000+ territory.

For around $500 or so, the AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED tele zoom is very nice and fairly portable, not like the 600 mm lens which is close to 10 lbs. <G>

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

When you say a 2X telescopic lens, I presume you mean a 2X extender, like the AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E II. In the first place, you should carefully check with Nikon for the recommendations of which lenses can take an extender. This excludes your 55-200 and the 70-300. All consumer type lenses with variable maximum aperture should not be used with extenders. The reason is they are already at f5.6, at the long end.

When you use a doubler [2X extender], you loose 2 more stops of light. At this point, this is shooting at an aperture of f11. You will hardly be able to see anything because it's so dim, unless you use a "darkcloth" like large format photographers use. Also, autofocus won't work due to too little light, so you'd have to focus manually.

One more possibility is the AF VR Zoom-NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED lens.

Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED Autofocus VR Zoom Nikkor Lens (OLD MODEL)

This lens is about $1000 more than the 70-300. By the time, you should have noticed a trend of the longer the lens, the more it costs, and the wider the aperture, the more it costs.

For a middling possibility, you can use a doubler with the AF-S VR NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens, which is a prime lens, but with a doubler, it goes out to 600 mm reach at f5.6. This lens is only in $5000 territory, and you already have a doubler, apparently. You do loose some optical quality with a doubler, but you also save some $$, compared to the 600 mm lens.

There are actually longer lenses that that, occasionally used, but these cost even more.

I'm sorry, but everyone, regardless of brand, needs to learn that long lenses, and especially wide long lenses, are the most costly thing to do in photography.

In comparison, the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED lens, not as fast as the f2.8 lens, also costs only around $1500, compared to the 300 mm f2.8 at around $5000. You can use the 1.4 extender on the NIKKOR 300mm f/4D lens, and the quality loss is minimized. Considering the FoV crop factor of your D60 body at 1.5, a 1.4 extender and the 300 mm, this is at 630 mm equivalent, which is quite a lot of reach and quite good image quality, if not in 300 f2.8 territory. The current 300 mm f2.8 may be the sharpest lens that Nikon has ever made for regular photography.

Posted on May 25, 2009 7:02:26 PM PDT
Philip Long says:
I'd echo EdM with the following addtions -

The 70-300 VR is a fantastic lens, and works full frame (FX as well as DX). It may be the best value in the nikon lineup and it's very portable. (It will fit in a ThinkTank urban disguise 20 on a D90 along with an 18-105 and SB-800, for example. If you need more reach and you don't feel like spending megabux, the 70-300mm VR is the ticket. If you need more reach practice getting closer ;)

I've seen some great pictures taken with the 300mm f/4 ... but ... it's got no VR so that means you're on a tripod. Always. Also, there are web reports of the foot being _so_ bad as to make the lens much less good than it should be. Rather than the 300 f/4, the 70-200 VR + TC-14EII or TC-17EII teleconverter is probably a better (though more expensive) choice.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2009 7:46:31 AM PDT
paulsa_4 says:
Thanks for the quick response. I do not want to spend $5,000 or more, as this is my first SLR camera. I don't mind spending $1,000 or so, but I want it to be worth it, of course. You are correct, I didn't understand the terminology.... it's a 2X extender. I am not concerned about the speed of the lens. Thanks alot for the information. I really appreciate it. -paul

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2009 7:48:45 AM PDT
paulsa_4 says:
Thanks alot for the quick and informative response. I am new to the SLR camera thing, so, the terminology and exact use of each type of lens is hard to understand completely. Thanks. -paul

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2009 12:03:43 PM PDT
paulsa_4 says:
Budget is around or less than $1,000, and fast f-stop is not an issue for me. Thanks. -paul

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2009 12:18:09 PM PDT
Philip Long says:
For $1k budget and telephoto it's either the 70-300VR for $540, 55-200mm VR for $220 or a 3rd party (sigma/tamron/tokina) lens. I'd go with either the Nikkor lenses. If you don't like either one and want to trade up you could always sell it used and not lose very much money.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2009 12:22:42 PM PDT
paulsa_4 says:
Okay; sounds good. I appreciate the quick response, and I appreciate the info. It helps big time! Thanks again. -paul

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2009 12:24:44 PM PDT
paulsa_4 says:
Another question.... if you don't mind. What lens should I get if I want really close-up shots that my 18-55 mm lens doesn't get for me? Thanks. -paul

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2009 1:57:50 PM PDT
EdM says:
IMO, the AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED which is near $500 and close to your 18-55 top end. Otherwise, the 105 VR macro, but that's almost twice the cost.

This is the short and simple of it, as there are other possibilities. For bugs, the 60 mm will probably be too close, making them fly away. Otherwise, look at the close limit of focus for normal lenses. Sometimes they tell you the magnification level, which can be as good as 3:1, say, which is fairly decent.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2009 2:44:13 PM PDT
paulsa_4 says:
Hey - thanks for the info. I am new to this camera and to new to SLR, so, it can be confusing. I guess the biggest thing is finding the lens that fits what I want. Thanks alot for the info. Have a nice day. -paul

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2009 5:33:34 AM PDT
Philip Long says:
A less expensive way to get into macro/micro/closeup photography is to buy the canon 500D closeup lens (possibly with filter thread adapter) or buy extension tubes and use either/both on your telephoto lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2009 8:56:43 PM PDT
You want an AF lens with built in motor; they're more expensive than just the AF lenses for the D50 etc, but you should be able to get one reasonably. I have an Ebay Nikkor 55-200 for my D60 coming for less than $150; you do have to be patient though, there are 20 AF lenses for every one motorized. I would recommend the same lens. My D50 carries a Tamron 75-300.
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Discussion in:  Nikon Lens forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  May 25, 2009
Latest post:  Jul 31, 2009

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