After reading many posts in the forum I have decided to purchase the Nikon D50--a definite step up from my point and click Sony digital. I'm also going to purchase a 18-70mm Nikon lens. What zoom lens would you recommend as a step up from the Nikon 55-200mm f4-5.6G? I don't want to spend a lot more than what this lens costs, but would consider purchasing a used lens. 200mm should be more than enough zoom for the shots I take and I am not a great one for using a tripod. My son is a swimmer, so I end up taking a lot of pictures at swim meets. Please excuse my newbie ignorance. Any advice from the experts (everyone is an expert compared to me)will be appreciated.
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#1. "RE: Zoom Lens for Nikon D50" | In response to Reply # 0Holmes375 Registered since 08th Sep 2006Fri 03-Nov-06 04:19 AM
You could consider one of the two Nikon 70-300mm f4-5.6 zooms. The ED version is reportedly better image quality. Both are often available used.
You might also consider a third party lens given your preferred price range.
Toss your query out on the '3RD Party Lenses' forum and see what the folks there have to say.
All of these lighter build long zoom lenses often cause camera motion issues simply because they're so light in comparison to their magnification factor - 300mm on a DX sensor yields an effective 450mm of focal length. Even at 200mm (where most of these lenses perform the best, BTW), the crop factor is 300mm effective, so you really want a minimum shutter speed of at least 1/250 second to get a sharp image. Good technique well practiced makes a big difference here as does the use of a monopod.
I'd seriously consider a used lens to save a few bucks and invest them in a basic monopod to get the captures you're after.
Good luck and welcome to Nikonians and the world of DSLR photography.
#2. "RE: Zoom Lens for Nikon D50" | In response to Reply # 0MotoMannequin Registered since 11th Jan 2006Fri 03-Nov-06 05:06 AM
I have the 55-200 and it's a surprisingly sharp lens. I actually like it quite a lot for times when I want to walk around with a telephoto that's not too big or heavy, and if you're sure you don't need >200mm then it might be your best bet in this price range.
If you can hold out a while and save some pennies then you should look out for some reviews of the upcoming Nikkor AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm VRII, which is expected around $500.
Other lenses to consider for a little less:
Nikkor 70-300G ~$130
Nikkor 70-300D ED ~$300
Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro ~$220
Nikkor 75-300 ~$275
Not an exhaustive list; I'm sure there are others I've never heard of.
All these lenses will focus slower than the 55-200 (altough the 55-200 claims AF-S it's not a true AF-S lens, but it's not as slow as these screwdriver lenses). All these start to suffer past 200mm.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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#3. "RE: Zoom Lens for Nikon D50" | In response to Reply # 0ehparis Registered since 25th May 2006Fri 03-Nov-06 07:01 AM
The handy 28-200 zoom 3.5-5.6 zoom is a nice little lens that doesn't have all the bulk of something like an 18-200mm. It's discontinued but you can still find examples, new, on eBay for around $300. Match this with a wide angle prime, say a 24mm f2.8 on the wide end, and you'd have great coverage.
Otherwise you're looking at a zoom which may overlap with a good portion of the 18-70. Another option would be to get the 18-70 then pick up a long prime, say a 135mm f2.8 or a 180mm f2.8. Either one of these two relatively fast lenses would be more suited for covering athletics than any slow zoom, i.e., with effective apertures smaller than f2.8.
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