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Super zoom recommendations

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by Aspadora, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member

    Thanks :) I've had a bit more of a think about it and can't really justify the purchase at the moment.

    I'm going to put it off for a while, and try and get some hands on experience with on to test it out!
    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  2. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Sorry - couldn't tell from your original posting if you were a sensible potential purchaser (which this shows you are), or just another punter lusting a long lens (I've been been there, but never had the funds for the top-quality ones I wanted). I've tried my 20 year old 80-400 (at 400) at a local RSPB reserve, and used one of their hides, but found that something the size of a woodpecker at about 15 metres was still minute in the frame. Somebody else arrived later, equipped with a more modern APS-C Nikon DSLR and a current model Nikon 600 mm F 4 'vibration reduction' lens (about £11,000 new), and even he told me he was going find out if he could get a 1.4 X 'converter' to use with it. The lens weighs nearly 4 kilogrammes and he hadn't got a tripod - and he admitted that the lens was 'a bit heavier' than he had expected. So, unlike you, he obviously hadn't done enough research. Perhaps there's a nice 'like new' 600 mm F 4 VR on sale secondhand somewhere.
    Aspadora and Stephen Rundle like this.
  3. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    It's a hobby, you do not have to justify the purchase!

    What I think you are referring to,is a super-telephoto rather than super-zoom and as others have said, there are a few choices around including looking at used purchases from reputable dealers.
    Last year I traded some stuff in against a new Sigma 150-600 C lens, "OS" is Sigma's image stabilisation system and "VC" is Tamron's. If you are intending to hand-hold this on your camera, I strongly recommend you try it out first. A couple of weeks ago I tried to hand-hold this lens on a D5500 to shoot the moon and it was all-but impossible. I used the wheelie bin for support and have not had the opportunity to attempt repeat shots using a tripod owing to the moon hiding at the right time, and/or rain/cloud cover. However the night before the D5500/wheelie bin episode, I used a Lumix 100-300 lens on a Lumix MFT body and that was incredibly easy to hand-hold and get a sharp shot of the moon...... much lighter. less bulky
    Aspadora likes this.
  4. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    Sorry to butt in late. Look at Adrian Sadler's stuff in appraisal. He uses a long zoom and he told us what it was once but I've forgotten. His stuff is VERY impressive but I'm sure that a lot of that is down to him and not just the lens.
    Many people crave a long lens and then get disappointed with the results - because a long lens is NOT easy to use and to get the best out of it.

    Aspadora likes this.
  5. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I fully

    understand value / use either = worth it or expensive

    I have

    I have been pming him (and back to me)

    As it was PM I didn't post here but he is 100% genuine
  6. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    Aspadora likes this.
  7. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    This is nice (Me please)


    Also IF you only want to shoot birds and want a daily use kit get this (or similar)


    Or this


    and this


    If you look around consider RSPB, Skywatcher, Celestron scopes, BUT go for 80mm if at all possible for light gathering however I have the 72mm APO Skywatcher and it is ideal as a small scope

    Mounts EASILY on a Giottos tripod and with a suitable diagonal is great

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
    IvorETower and Aspadora like this.
  8. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I also have a D800 and a Sigma 150-500mm. I upgraded the firmware of my D800 to “future-proof” it for AF-P lenses, and found that my Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM and Sigma 8-16 mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM would no longer autofocus on that camera. (However, my 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A still functioned properly.) I bought them new, and fortunately I live fairly close to Sigma’s UK base at Welwyn Garden City, I drove over, and they updated the firmware on my lenses at no charge while I waited, restoring autofocus.

    When I bought my Sigma 150-500mm, I was aware that reviews warned it is rather soft at 500mm (the focal length I use most), and that is certainly true of my lens. But at that time there was nothing else with that reach available other than extremely expensive (and heavy) primes from 400mm f/2.8 upwards. This year I bought the AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6E VR, and with the relatively high pixel count of my D800, cropping and enlarging 300 mm shots from the 70-300mm produces about as much detail as 500 mm shots from the 150-500mm, with the convenience of a far smaller and lighter lens. The 150-500mm does have an edge with apertures of about f/11 or smaller; presumably the 70-300mm shots are being degraded by diffraction, while the 150-500mm is still gaining from reduced aberrations at small apertures. But such small apertures are rarely practical for super telephoto subjects. I believe your D3500, Michael, has 24 MPx on an APS-C sensor, which would out-resolve my D800, so would benefit even more from a sharper lens.

    As there’s now little point in using my 150-500mm, I’ve been wondering whether I would make enough use of a better super telephoto to be worth replacing it. There’s now quite a lot of choice. Sigma make two different quality 150-600mm lenses, their Contemporary and Sport. Tamron sell two generations of their 150-600mm, and Nikon offer their 200-500mm and 500mm f/5.6 prime. Reviews suggest the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary, as in your Amazon link, is the softest at 600mm. The Sigma 150-600mm Sport seems to be rated the best of the zooms, but as well as being the most expensive, it’s by far the heaviest. The Nikkor 200-500mm is heavier and more expensive than most, with a shorter maximum focal length, but slightly larger aperture. And I can dream of the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 prime, which lacks the convenience of zooming wider, but has stellar optics that would almost certainly work well with the Nikkor 1.4× teleconverter on my D800, but perhaps not on a D5300.

    I hope your choice of lens, or doing without, works out well.

  9. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I rarely ever remove the 150-600 sport from my camera, as I have said I was in the first 10 to get the lens in the UK (thanks LCE and Sigma rep)

    Here is an image and a crop with the Sport, handheld, and remember the limitations of the size of the upload here

    and this is at 600 so you can imagine how far away the plane was

    File768 (2018_10_24 14_15_36 UTC).jpg pla.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020

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