Friday, August 7, 2009

Buying Advice: Telephoto Lenses

If the 55mm of your kit-zoom lens doesn't get you close enough to the action, here are three (Nikon) telephoto lenses to consider. If you haven't read our post on buying equipment, you may want to check it out here.
  1. Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR At just over $200, this is a great lens for moms at a great price. It's light and small. It has VR and is a great companion for the 18-55 lens that comes with the D40 (and other cameras.) As far as picture quality goes, you won't be disappointed. Don't confuse it with the older version that lacks VR.
  2. Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR This lens is a fantastic do-it-all lens. It covers the full range of your kit lens and the lens listed above in one lens, so you probably wouldn't take it off your camera very often. It has VR and it isn't huge, though it's bigger than the 55-200. The major drawback is its price: over $700 (currently.) The picture quality is surprisingly good considering it's range (usually lenses that zoom this far don't do it this well.) P.S. Nikon just announced an update of this lens with a few minor changes - it's not available yet, though.
  3. Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR This lens give you a little bit more reach in a bigger package (1.7 inches longer than the 55-200.) It also has VR. It's great, but also more expensive than the 55-200 at $540. Again, don't confuse it with the older version that lacks VR.
Here's what the difference in the zoom ranges looks like:
The official Photomom101 recommendation would be door number one, the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR. Here's why:
  • It's a great lens at a great price
  • It's small and light weight
  • It doesn't overlap with a lens you already have
  • Getting from 200mm to 300mm is not worth $300
P.S. If you decide to purchase one of these lenses, please use the links provided to buy them through Amazon.  Using the links here helps support this site, so thanks.