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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:43 pm 
Hi, I received my D40 yesterday, I'm soooo happy, even though I only took a few test shots to completely wear out the battery before it's first charge, I was very impressed, to get some great shots with this camera just turn it on in green mode and start shooting, I won't do wrong, also the portrait and landscape mode are very handy, I haven't had too much time to try the advanced modes (P A S M) yet... :)

Anyway, the camera it's been in my hands for less than a day and I'm already thinking about it's first upgrade, I want a potent zoom lens, I was seriously thinking about the 55-200mm Nikkor VR, it's price is more than right and 200mm seems quite enough for travel and hobby shooting. I was convinced about this until I saw the 70-300mm Nikkor VR, it cost's about twice as much as the 55-200mm and though I've only seen it in photos, it does look like a much more serious lens than the cheaper one.

For example, it looks like the 55-200 (same as the 18-55mm kit lens) move the front element to focus (am I right?) while the 70-300mm keeps the front element in peace while focusing and it also has a window to see focal distance and a convenient focus ring. Build quality of the "big one" also seems superior, the barrel extends just about 2-3 in. at 300mm wich seems to me quite impresive for such focal length.

Perhaps I've already answered myself with what I've just wrote but, do you think it's worth to save a little more money and go for the 70-300mm? Will I miss those 15 mm betwen 55 and 70 (I currently own the 18-55mm kit lens)?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:28 pm 
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Working with my 18-200mm almost all the time I'd comment about the "reach" of the lenses:
1. Forget about the missing 15mm between 55mm and 70mm
2. I had quite a lot of situations where I would have loved to go further than 200mm

Consequence: If you can afford it, are willing to carry around and love to shoot things far away, go for the 70-300mm.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:30 pm 
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In the UK the 55-200mm VR costs £250 and the 70-300mm VR costs £330. I have the 70-300mm lens and have been extremely pleased with it. If you click on the lens name in my signature you can see some of the photos I've taken with it. It is a higher quality lens than the 55-200mm lens having a metal lens mount. It is also more solidly built. I would definitely get instead of the 55-200mm if you have the money.

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Nikon D80, Nikkor lenses: 35mm f1.8 G AF-S DX, 50mm f/1.8 AF D, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR, SB800 flash
My photos on SmugMug


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:46 pm 
Thanks both for your comments, and you've got some beautyful shots Phil. Surely, those extra 100mm can come in handy, I think I'll go for the 70-300mm.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:24 am 
Given the extra features, the difference in price is justified...
Among them, the 70-300 VR is a full frame lens (thus less vignetting on an APS-C camera), has true AF-S (autofocus with manual override), has the more advanced VR II and the extra reach...

In my case I opted for the 55-200 VR for 2 reasons:
- I felt that the 70-300 VR is too large and heavy for my D40 (tried one in a store)
- the 70-300 VR has more CA than the 55-200 VR

The front element of the 55-200 VR does not rotate during focusing/zooming.

Darrin


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:09 pm 
The 55-200mm VR is a clear winner over the 70-300mm VR when it comes to mobility, and traveling light. The lens also balances the camera better than the monster-sized 70-300 so you can wear the camera over our neck without it sagging down, I also like image sablization buisness. I heard the 55-200 VR isn't the best at wildlife, well I use tele-exentders and it fits the bill perfectly. AND its cheaper, easier to mount on a tripod (the 70-300 gets mean, wothout a tripod collar, which there isn't) the lens is also in DX format Nikon desgin these type of lenses to use on DX format D-SLRs. and lastly I think the 55-200 is slightly brighter in aperture (f/3.5-5.6 compared to f/4.5-5.6).

See what I mean of being mean (especially on a D40)
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pkroberts/nikon/70-300-extn.jpg


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:36 pm 
Thanks for your reply, first of all...

Nice picture of the 70-300mm, it really looks huge mounted on that D80 (?). As you can see in my signature, I took Darrin's advise and went for the 55-200mm and I couldn't be more happy about my decision. Yes, the 55-200mm may be an all plactic lens (the same material, I looks. as the 18-55mm kit lens and the D40 body itself) but its look & feel is not cheap or frail in any way, it seems sturdy enough to be carried or used almost anywhere while its light weight makes it a pleasure to do so.

You are right about the size of the 70-300mm, I saw it mounted on nothing less than a D200 and even on that camera the lens looked huge and heavy (and therefore, unconfortable), while the 55-200mm is a pleasure to carry around even when mounted in a light body as the D40. I suppose that the heavier bodies of the D200 and, maybe, the D80 can somewhat compensate for the bulkiness of the 70-300mm and make the lens easier to use on those cameras, but I must agree that it doen't look like the best lens for a D40 unless one's really in need of those extra 100mm. Besides, even if a heavier body will balance the body+lens while shooting, try to explain that to your neck at the end of the day! :mrgreen:

bye


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 7:05 pm 
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Well, another case settled...
Enjoy your new gear, beren23. I wish you a many good pictures!

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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