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Super zoom lenses

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  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Super zoom lenses
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Saturday, January 23, 2016 3:28 PM

To all the wonderful photographers out there, I have a question.  Last year, I finally treated myself to a DSLR, a Nikon D5300.  With it, I got the 18-55mm lens and the 55-200mm lens, by Nikkor.  I have found with the way I use the camera, I am constantly switching lenses, or having to move more than the situation allows to get the shot I want.  I have seen some super zoom lenses, with ranges from 16-300mm (Tamron), but was wondering what your opinion of them is compared to multiple lenses.  I would probably trade in the 55-200mm lens and relace it with the longer one, keeping the short lens as a backup.  There is also a Nikon version, but its a couple of hundred dollars extra.  What are your experiences and recommendations, please?  Thanks for the help.

John

  • Member since
    February, 2015
Posted by Bick on Saturday, January 23, 2016 4:36 PM

Hi John,

I think a lot depends on your expectations. It's probably a truism that no superzoom can, at all focal lengths, match the image qualitly of a prime focus lens. However, I have and use a Sigma 18-250 on my Nikon and am happy with it. Yeah, if you do pixel peeping you can find fault but for my use - well it works great and it saves carrying primes and frequent lens changing. Some will disagree but I think either the Tamrom or similar Sigma will probably do as well as your 50-200. My 22 cents.

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Saturday, January 23, 2016 6:07 PM

Bick, thanks for the info.

John

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, January 24, 2016 11:34 AM

I had one of the Tamron super zooms (28 to 270).  Loved it so much when they came out with the stabilized version I asked my wife for one for Xmas last year.  In fact, I had bought the original one because my wife bought one first, and let me use it a few times and I loved it.

Now, no zoom with that high a focal length and range of fl will give super sharpness at max aperture, so when you use it at the super long focal lengths, stop down a ways and use a tripod.  The IS works well at short and medium fls, but it is not reasonable to expect it to stabilize handheld at 270 or 300 mm unless it is really bright daylight, and even then at max focal length I still use a tripod.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Sunday, January 24, 2016 5:46 PM

Don, If I understood you correctly, if lighting is less than bright use a tripod if I'm out at 250-300mm.  Airshows should be ok, but otherwise use a tripod.  Am I correct?

John

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, January 25, 2016 8:44 AM

Airshows can be a problem if you are shooting moving aircraft.  Image motion will limit your resolution.  The problem will require short exposure times, which requires a big aperture (low f/#).  Such lenses are quite expensive.  Those wide range Tamrons are not really that big, have too high an f/#.  What you would have to do with those Tamrons is set the ASA/ISO way up, and the result would depend on the noise level and high ISO performance of your camera.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Monday, January 25, 2016 1:42 PM

John,

I'll tell you what a friend told me, buy the best lens you can afford.  The best pictures I've ever taken were when a friend loaned me his Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm zoom lens (maybe not pro-grade, but close enough). I was shooting the TBirds and Snowbirds on an overcast day and the pictures were some of the best I've ever shot, so equipment matters. F4/5.6 is more than fast enough for air show shooting in my experience. In the aftermarket world, Sigma seems to be better than Tamron, although they are close depending on the lenses. Google the lens you're interested in and read the reviews.  dpreview, is a good source, but read the reviews by actual users.  Most zoom lens users are birders and they can be brutal in their reviews.  Zooms or superzooms can be pricey, one used equipment seller I've used is KEH.  I've never had any problems with them and their prices are reasonable.  I'd keep the midrange lens.  

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 9:43 AM

All, I ended up going to my local camera shop, ProCam in Aurora and bought a used lens.  Spent a bit more than I had anticipated, but came up with a Nikon 18-300mm zoom with a 77mm front lens.  As I was buying the lens, another customer in the store commented he had one of them also and was very pleased.  I'll post some shots when I get to take some.  Thanks for the comments.

John

  • Member since
    April, 2008
  • From: Fox Lake, Il., USA
Posted by spiralcity on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 12:23 PM

If your shooting fast moving objects and you wish to freeze the image then exposure time is everything. You need to shoot fast, which mean you need more light to get proper exposure. Opening you diaphram a full stop (f stop) doubles the amount of light reaching your sensor. If you close the f stop a full stop, you cut the light in half.

Choosing speed has considerations:

1. speed of the moving object

2. direction of the moving object

3. distance of the moving object

4. focal length of your lens

 

We talked about speed, if your trying to freezez a running rabbit compared to a speeding bullet, the bullet will require a much fater speed.  How about direction? Objects moving across your field of view, from left to right or right to left, appear to move much faster than an obect moving toward or away form you.

Distance plays a factor because the closer you are to an object, the larger the object will be when recorded. The larger the image, the faster it will move across your frame.

Focal length of lens? the longer the lens the larger the image, the faster it will move across the frame.

 

There are many factors at play, choosing a lens is a consideration not taken lightly by photographers. You must understand your needs and your budget. Capturing an airshow is very doable, you just need to understand your subject, your camera, and lens.

 

Zoom vs. Fixed Focal Length

Zooms are generally not as sharp at any given focal length as the best fixed lenses of that specific focal length.

The new age of Zooms are very, very good, but a fixed focal length of the same qaulity should out perform it in most cases.

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 3:56 PM

Spiralcity, I  have had fairly good luck with the camera a lens set up I had last year.  Please see below for an example of what I was able to grab with the Nikon 55-200 zoom.  I'm hoping that the 16-300 zoom will give me even more.

Blue Angels diamond

 

Blue Angels diamond, cropped in.

F-22 pulling Gs

Both pictures were taken at the Rockford airshow. 

John

  • Member since
    April, 2008
  • From: Fox Lake, Il., USA
Posted by spiralcity on Thursday, January 28, 2016 1:05 AM

wolfhammer1

Spiralcity, I  have had fairly good luck with the camera a lens set up I had last year.  Please see below for an example of what I was able to grab with the Nikon 55-200 zoom.  I'm hoping that the 16-300 zoom will give me even more.

Blue Angels diamond

 

Blue Angels diamond, cropped in.

F-22 pulling Gs

Both pictures were taken at the Rockford airshow. 

John

 

 

Great shots. I'm glad it's working out for you. Yes

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Thursday, January 28, 2016 10:49 AM

Most of the credit goes to the camera, its still a lot smarter than me.  But I'm learning, and its fun, so there.

John

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Illinois: Hive of Scum and Villany
Posted by Sprue-ce Goose on Saturday, January 30, 2016 1:25 PM

wolfhammer1

Spiralcity, I  have had fairly good luck with the camera a lens set up I had last year.  Please see below for an example of what I was able to grab with the Nikon 55-200 zoom.  I'm hoping that the 16-300 zoom will give me even more.

Blue Angels diamond

 

Blue Angels diamond, cropped in.

F-22 pulling Gs

Both pictures were taken at the Rockford airshow. 

John

 

Very nice photos.

Been decades since I attended that show.Surprise

Gonna hafta try and get back there.

Was at the end of the runway as a B-29 took off.

Those four engines still make an impressive sound when only a few dozen feet overhead.Stick out tongue

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, January 31, 2016 11:01 AM

Sprue-ce Goose

 Was at the end of the runway as a B-29 took off.

Those four engines still make an impressive sound when only a few dozen feet overhead.Stick out tongue

 

Absolutely!  Some of us really love the sounds of those big engines.  A Google search for aircraft engine sounds will find quite a few, but it would be nice if more folks recorded them, and posted them somewhere on the web.    The web site of the Aircraft Engine Historical Society, AEHS, has several.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Monday, February 01, 2016 2:05 PM

Went for a walk and found a couple of things to take pictures of and thought I'd share.

John

  • Member since
    February, 2015
Posted by Bick on Monday, February 01, 2016 4:45 PM

Very nice John! Looks like you're doing well with that 18-300 (and your Nikon). I enjoy birding as well and usually have my Sigma 150-500 on the Nikon when I'm out in nature. Are your pics cropped much? Catching an eagle in flight is on my "I really want to do it" list but no success yet Thanks for posting.

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Monday, February 01, 2016 5:07 PM

Bick, for the eagles, you are looking at about 10-20% of the full frame, they were pretty high up.  The hawk is perhaps 30% or so, as he was much lower.  I was just lucky to catch the eagles at all, I was just looking for the hawk as I see him around once in a while.  I suspect the eagles were migrating along the Fox River and wandered a bit over to my subdivision.  They were a total surprise.  I didn't have the camera set up right, I erased most of the eagle pictures as out of focus.  I think I had the AF set up in too small an area for what I was doing.  Next time I'm going for a faster shutter speed.  Thanks for looking.

John

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