* some rambling frustration here, sorry for the length.
* tl;dr - is the 28-300 worth hunting for a good copy?
I rented a 28-300 for my D600 last week and it was fantastic - very sharp, great colors & contrast, useful in so may circumstances that I never had to change lenses. Hallelujah! Although being quite heavy, it was a joy to use. After sending it back, I went shopping for a good price online. I bought a refurbished one. It arrived Thursday, and ... it's really not as sharp as the rental, despite the rental being banged up and worn.
Some reviews of the 28-300 hate it, others love it and some pros use it as their main lens. I seem to have experienced both in less than a week, and it's shaking my confidence in getting a good lens for my high resolution FX camera investment. Did I buy a Sigma by mistake?
It seems my D600 is not thrilled with less than excellent optics, which is making my wallet critically incontinent. The sensor also seems to have a kinky obsession with dust. These two factors have me hunting for a newer, sharper, better sealed lens that can do it all.
I can't decide what to do. I have a Tamron 17-35, a Nikon 28-105, and a Nikon 50/1.8. I really thought the 28-300 would be the One Lens for 80% of my shooting, and if I kept the rental copy it would be. But, I'm thinking of returning this refurbished lens, and buying & returning lenses over and over sounds like an exhausting and frustrating waste of time.
If the rumored 70-200/4 VR becomes reality, I'd be tempted by a 24-85 VR / 70-200/4 VR combo, but I'd still be changing lenses a lot. I could spend more on a 24-120/4 VR but I'd still be looking for a longer telephoto.
I shoot outdoors 99% of the time, in the woods, usually involving hiking to a location. I need/want sharpness, lightness, and hate dealing with dust spots in post. Zooms work very for me; now if only Nikon made a 20-200mm f/4 VR FX lens that's razor sharp and weighs no more than my 28-105 ......
Advice? Try another 28-300?
#1. "RE: 28-300 quality varies a lot?" | In response to Reply # 0mklass Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Sat 20-Oct-12 03:20 PM
Perhaps the refurbished lens wasn't refurbished very well. Was it done by Nikon?
If you are that unhappy with it, return it before you can't. Either get a replacement from the vendor, or go for a new one.
For a one lens, FX solution, the 28-300 is about it. Anything else will require 2 lenses.
You could pair the 70-300 (Nikon VR version or Tamron SP Vi USD version, are both very good) with your 28-105. Those are not very expensive, either.
Visit my nikonians gallery
#2. "RE: 28-300 quality varies a lot?" | In response to Reply # 1kevwil88 Registered since 07th Oct 2012Sat 20-Oct-12 06:33 PM
>Perhaps the refurbished lens wasn't refurbished very well.
>Was it done by Nikon?
Yes, refurbished by Nikon and sold through Adorama, a very reputable dealer.
I should mention that the rental was from LensRentals.com - I believe their techs do adjustments in-house, and I'm beginning to think they do a fantastic job of it. It makes me wish I could send the refurb off to LensRentals for adjustment.
>You could pair the 70-300 (Nikon VR version or Tamron SP Vi
>USD version, are both very good) with your 28-105. Those are
>not very expensive, either.
Yes, that's a good option, certainly within my budget. I've owned the Nikon 70-300 VR before, very good marks for sharpness, color, and contrast. That's probably my best low-cost setup - the current 17-35 & 28-105 I have + the 70-300.