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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G vs f/4-5.6D
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11/11/2004 03:26:39 PM · #1
Hi, I'm a poor college student looking for an inexpensive zoom lens. Do any of you have any experience w/ these two lenses? I read a review at kenrockwell.com, and he believes they are almost identical and recommends buying the G version ($100) compared to the $300 dollar D version. Anybody else agree with this? Is it worth the extra 200 dollars? Anyone have any other inexpensive lenses that they would recommend over these?

Thanks,

Denny
11/11/2004 03:32:32 PM · #2
Buy the ED glass version. My wife had the G version on a N80 35mm and it has huge chromatic aberration problems, she returned it for the ED version and the problems are gone. Just so you know this is a very slow lens, and takes forever to find its focus. I would really push a prime 135mm for about 350 at adorama.com.

Message edited by author 2004-11-11 15:34:24.
11/11/2004 04:02:47 PM · #3
I have the G version and it's okay for the price. Well, lets just say that it's not my favorite lens. It does hunt for focus alot. I have not used the ED or really looked at it, but alot of people on this site rave about the Nikkor 50mm f1.8, I myself shall be purchasing that lens soon. You can buy it for $100.00 (USD) if that is the price range you were looking for.
11/11/2004 04:17:17 PM · #4
There is a $50 rebate on the ED version right now. Just got mine today fron B&H.
11/11/2004 04:51:28 PM · #5
official nikon response!

right HERE

Message edited by author 2004-11-11 16:52:12.
11/11/2004 04:52:58 PM · #6
I bought the G version on the assumption that I probably wouldn't be thrilled with either the G or the ED. I too am a poor college student but I wanted some reach beyond the 70mm of the kit lens so I bought the G as a stand-in until I can afford some better glass. I will probably keep it as a light telephoto lens once I get something else (70-200 VR).

The G is probably the better value, I've heard its performance is close to that of the ED. I try not to shoot the G wide open as it gets a little soft, stopped down its better. I can't comment on chromatic abberation as I haven't used the lens that much yet. That said, if I want a quality shot, I usually reach for my 18-70 over the 70-300..
11/11/2004 08:34:52 PM · #7
I have the ED version and it works quite well (need that reversing ring and have fun with the 50mm and macros). I am definitely gonna want to move to faster glass someday (when the 2 year old starts getting into sports...especially wrestling. (C: )and the 70-200 looks great, but money is an object right now.
the VR, never tried, but watched/talked to a freelancer (owns a stock company) with a gigantic piece of glass and VR, handheld. Told me , when you can afford it, GET IT! Otherwise stick to what you have and learn. Actually he said there is a good side to no VR...you start to develop a steadier hand!
11/12/2004 01:32:04 AM · #8
Speaking of 70-300mm lenses, is the ED the best one for its price? Or would you recommend another lens?
11/12/2004 02:46:10 AM · #9
Originally posted by kidchico:

Speaking of 70-300mm lenses, is the ED the best one for its price? Or would you recommend another lens?


Buy the ED, I have had experience with both. I have uploaded a file with full exf data that was shot on the 70-300 g version lens that I loaned from a friend to compare to the D. Its 2.3MB Jpeg fine, from a d70. You can see the chromatic aboration on the beak. This just dose not happen with the ED version of the lens. And it gets worst with out of focus shots.

//homepage.mac.com/ajschmidt/DSC_3109.jpg

Adam

Message edited by author 2004-11-14 17:27:36.
11/12/2004 03:29:15 AM · #10
I really think you could get a better deal buying 2nd hand glass, most of mine has been bought from recycle shops and i have found some amazing deals, you get the chance to see the lens and try it on your camera too at the shop, some are not so friendly but hey... I think if you looked around you could find a nice peice of cheap glass. I managed to get a Nikkor 28-200AF-D 3.5-5.6 bit slow but focus is not so bad and for $100 it was a bargain. E-bay is a bit different because you cannot try the glass out but saying that, its still a good place to buy if you find someone with a bit of cred' to their name.. Happy shopping my friend.
11/12/2004 04:16:56 AM · #11
I got the ED version, it works great. Didn't have any problem with is so far. Haven't tried the G version tho, so i can't make a comparison comment.
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11/12/2004 07:56:17 PM · #12
Originally posted by clenny:

Hi, I'm a poor college student looking for an inexpensive zoom lens. Do any of you have any experience w/ these two lenses? I read a review at kenrockwell.com, and he believes they are almost identical and recommends buying the G version ($100) compared to the $300 dollar D version. Anybody else agree with this? Is it worth the extra 200 dollars? Anyone have any other inexpensive lenses that they would recommend over these?

Thanks,

Denny


Denny....I also was a poor college student (30 years ago). I have a Nikkor 75-300 f/3.5-5.6 D series that I would part with for $100. It is in 1st rate condition. You would need to pay shipping. It has had a UV filter on it since new. It would come with both lens caps. It has a tripod collar and has a macro selector. I post publicly here solely for the purpose of giving you "evidence" of my claims and offer. A possible reference of my "integrity" could be dpc member "calvus" whom I met while on a shoot in Texas. If you have an interest, please PM me or send me an e mail.

Flash
11/16/2004 12:31:07 AM · #13
I was wondering, why is that this 70-300mm lens is way cheaper than some lenses fixed at $1500 or more? Wouldn't a zoom lense be more valuable??
11/16/2004 12:44:47 AM · #14
Originally posted by kidchico:

I was wondering, why is that this 70-300mm lens is way cheaper than some lenses fixed at $1500 or more? Wouldn't a zoom lense be more valuable??


To make a fast lens (F2.8 or less) it takes much more time, effort and glass. Also fast lenses are in the realm of the the 'pro' market, hence the price. A F5.6 zoom like the ones in this thread, are plastic, slow at focus, have focus errors, the zoom ring can hang up, and many more problems too numerous to discuss. Also looking at weight, the F5.6 six is under a pound, were a F1.8 300mm is over 5 pounds. Over built and will last a lifetime.

Adam
11/16/2004 12:49:25 AM · #15
Duh, that makes sense. I feel stupid for not looking at f/. But this 70-300mm lense is a good one for sure?
11/16/2004 12:56:13 AM · #16
Originally posted by kidchico:

Duh, that makes sense. I feel stupid for not looking at f/. But this 70-300mm lense is a good one for sure?


The ED version is much better than the G version. For most shots it will be unusable. you need direct sun light to get the shutter speed fast enough for hand held shooting. Rule out an overcast day. Also I would, if I had to use this lens, i'd buy a SB-800 flash to chuck light the distance needed to shoot in sunlight to cancel the high contrast ratio. Thats $300 for the lens, and $400 for the flash. Just shy of the price of a F2.8 80-200mm. F5.6 is twice as dark (200% darker) as 2.8.

Message edited by author 2004-11-16 00:57:43.
11/17/2004 12:28:52 AM · #17
Originally posted by ajschmidt:

Originally posted by kidchico:

Duh, that makes sense. I feel stupid for not looking at f/. But this 70-300mm lense is a good one for sure?


The ED version is much better than the G version. For most shots it will be unusable. you need direct sun light to get the shutter speed fast enough for hand held shooting. Rule out an overcast day. Also I would, if I had to use this lens, i'd buy a SB-800 flash to chuck light the distance needed to shoot in sunlight to cancel the high contrast ratio. Thats $300 for the lens, and $400 for the flash. Just shy of the price of a F2.8 80-200mm. F5.6 is twice as dark (200% darker) as 2.8.


So would this 70-200mm lens be good for portraits then?
11/17/2004 12:39:31 AM · #18
Originally posted by kidchico:

Originally posted by ajschmidt:

Originally posted by kidchico:

Duh, that makes sense. I feel stupid for not looking at f/. But this 70-300mm lense is a good one for sure?


The ED version is much better than the G version. For most shots it will be unusable. you need direct sun light to get the shutter speed fast enough for hand held shooting. Rule out an overcast day. Also I would, if I had to use this lens, i'd buy a SB-800 flash to chuck light the distance needed to shoot in sunlight to cancel the high contrast ratio. Thats $300 for the lens, and $400 for the flash. Just shy of the price of a F2.8 80-200mm. F5.6 is twice as dark (200% darker) as 2.8.


So would this 70-200mm lens be good for portraits then?


No 70mm lens is good for portraits unless your subject is over 12 feat away. A mid zoom, say 28-105 on a D70 would work well.
11/17/2004 01:04:32 AM · #19
Originally posted by ajschmidt:

No 70mm lens is good for portraits unless your subject is over 12 feat away. A mid zoom, say 28-105 on a D70 would work well.

And you want the smallest f# possible. I love the (cheapo) 50mm f1.8 for portraiture.
11/17/2004 05:46:52 AM · #20
Originally posted by kidchico:

So would this 70-200mm lens be good for portraits then?

I use my 70-200/2.8L IS for portraits all the time. It is a great lens for this type of work IMHO. But my camera only has a 1.3X crop factor, making it a little "wider" than it would be on a Nikon body.

Conventional teaching has always said that 85mm-135mm (after taking into account focal length multiplier) is the "perfect" portrait focal length. On a D70, that means the 70-200 is 105-300mm. So if you stay at the "wide" end of that zoom, you'll be right in the "sweet spot". It will likely be too long for doing full-length shots and groups though. The problem with shorter focal lengths in head-and-shoulders (typical portraiture) is that they have a tendency to exagerate the size of things (like noses) as you get closer to "fill the frame". Longer focal lengths "compress" the image more.

The other option is something like a 24-70/2.8 zoom, where you shoot portraiture at the long end.

You can find a little more info on portrait focal lengths here (although this is a Canon-centric site; I just happened to have it bookmarked so it was easy for me to find).

Message edited by author 2004-11-17 05:52:59.
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