Nikon Zoom lens 0ver 300mm - £500 budget

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5,045
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Fi
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#1
Hi All,

I have a big birthday coming up and a lovely member of my family has said they would like to buy me a new lens for my Nikon D7000. I enjoy animal photography - primarily zoo and macro stuff but I would like to try my hand at more wildlife photography in the future.

My lens set up at the moment is a 35mm Nikon prime, Tamrom 90mm macro, 50-200mm zoom and my beloved 70-300mm AF-s Nikon zoom. The 70-300 is my walkabout zoo lens and easily my most used - but I think I would quite like to try my hand with a longer lens. I have been given a £500 budget. Appreciate any advice or recommendations on what I might be able to get for this amount? I am completely on board with going second hand.

I was not expecting to be looking for a lens at all so don't quite know where to start!

Thanks in advance for any help,
Fi
 
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Name
Nick
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#5
I agree with Gramps about the 80-400mm, original version. It would be within budget but the quality would likely be very frustrating.

The Tamron and Sigma 100-400mm are close to the price range (£650) and would add some more 'reach'. Amazon (UK) has the Sigma 150-600mm on sale currently for £780.

The basic challenge is that there aren't good 400mm+ lenses available within the stated budget :(
 
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#6
at least within his price bracket Gramps and over 300mm. so there is a limited choice. I have the AFS version but that is nearly £1900
I agree the budget limits but I have seen the Tamron lens go for around the £500 mark, e.g. HERE at MPB. ( @Daysleeper40 this looks a good option).
I did have the old 80-400 in the past so can speak from esperience about that one.
 
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#7
Used Sigma 150-500mm, which can be a bit soft at 500mm normally around £400/450.
Used Sigma 150–600mm C you might be lucky and find one within your budget.
There is a used Sigma 100-400mm on Facebook marketplace £250.
Choice will be limited with that budget.
 
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#8
Consider a used lens, there are some great bargains to be had. Shop around and check pricing/quality but you can't beat the value for money. If you use one of the well known places MPB, LCE etc etc the return policies are pretty good if it's not up to standard when you get it. My son has just bought a sigma 50-500 for his Nikon for a shade over £400. Ok it's a little old but was in excellent condition and for £ to zoom length ratio it's hard to beat.
 
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#9
And he's using it on a d7100, so as mentioned above getting even more length due to the cropped sensor.
 
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3,499
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Mark
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#11
Hi Fi, from our previous chats, I think you said you had very small hands and were reluctant to go longer on glass. Ignore the long Sigma's, they are big and pretty heavy.
My suggestion would to be to try and find an older 300mm F4 (non PF version) as this is a stonking lens for not huge money - and it will take a TC, so gives extra versatiity.

I bought and sold one on here for around £500 ish, and TC14 can be had for £150ish.....

Personally, Im using a 70-200 2. VRII and TC's as my main glass these days.....
 
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#13
I have the sigma 150-600C and it’s a super lens if you can find a used one at the right price , but the other suggested option is the 300mm f4 I have also used that coupled with both the 1.4 and 1.7 tc,s it also turns into a super close up lens at the flick of a switch .
 
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Daysleeper40
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Fi
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#14
Thank you all - he is indeed a she ;) (it is a D7000 as well - not a D7100 btw)

I should have said really that I'm not opposed to adding a bit of my own cash if necessary but I can't stretch it more than about £800 total. I will have a look and see what is available for that amount. You are right though @Hertsman - I am worried about the extra weight etc being a problem. I probably need to get hands on and try a few options to see how they actually do feel. I had not considered a TC and know nothing about them but that defo sounds like a good option to look into. Lots of food for thought!
 
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Mark
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#15
Fi, if you want to try a 70-200 2.8 and or TC, let me know, happy to meet up and let you have a try. Would need a monopod for yourself I think.

Also, the 300 F4 is a pretty light lens as it doesnt need a load of elements.....probs not much different to the 70-300 if Im honest.
 
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Daysleeper40
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5,045
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Fi
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#16
Hi Fi, from our previous chats, I think you said you had very small hands and were reluctant to go longer on glass. Ignore the long Sigma's, they are big and pretty heavy.
My suggestion would to be to try and find an older 300mm F4 (non PF version) as this is a stonking lens for not huge money - and it will take a TC, so gives extra versatiity.

I bought and sold one on here for around £500 ish, and TC14 can be had for £150ish.....

Personally, Im using a 70-200 2. VRII and TC's as my main glass these days.....

Is it this one you mean Mark?

https://www.wexphotovideo.com/nikon-300mm-f4-d-af-s-if-ed-lens-used-1705943/
 
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#17
Without wishing to sidetrack this thread both of you correcting my post are incorrect. My son is definitely a HE. He has bought a 50-500 and he is using it on his D7100. My second post was a simple continuation of my first. The op stated they they were using a D7000 so I thought the added detail was useful. Perhaps I should have just added it to the first comment but without another post breaking the two didn't see the harm or envisage that people would focus so quickly on jumping on to try and correct contributors.
 
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Daysleeper40
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#18
Fi, if you want to try a 70-200 2.8 and or TC, let me know, happy to meet up and let you have a try. Would need a monopod for yourself I think.

Also, the 300 F4 is a pretty light lens as it doesnt need a load of elements.....probs not much different to the 70-300 if Im honest.
Thank you - that is really kind of you! Tbh I think a monopod might pee me off a bit though so the F4 sounds like the better option.
 
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Daysleeper40
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#19
Without wishing to sidetrack this thread both of you correcting my post are incorrect. My son is definitely a HE. He has bought a 50-500 and he is using it on his D7100. My second post was a simple continuation of my first. The op stated they they were using a D7000 so I thought the added detail was useful. Perhaps I should have just added it to the first comment but without another post breaking the two didn't see the harm or envisage that people would focus so quickly on jumping on to try and correct contributors.
Thanks @Shanks - I was reading your second post incorrectly. I do appreciate your help ;)
 
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Mike
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#22
If you want to start getting into wildlife photography then I suspect you're going to want as much reach as you can get!
Good stalking skills apparently enable wildlife shots to be taken with more normal telephotos but for those of us who don't have the years needed to develop those skills long telephotos are the realistic answer.

The discontinued Sigma 150-500 should do quite well within budget, though I believe it's replacement the 150-600 is better if you feel it worth topping up into that price bracket. Both are heavy beasts so may only get used near the car (which can actually make a good hide potentially removing the need to lug the lens around). I have a 150-500 for my DSLR which I use mainly for the local airshow, despite being a big bloke I know about it after a few hours of waving it around!

If you can cope with manual focus there are a few mirror lens options that give reach without the weight. They have quite a collection of disadvantages (fixed aperture, slow, doughnut bokeh) but can give good results. The models with better reputations can sell for £150-200 so are well within the budget. I've had a few good shots out of much cheaper models when the light & luck has been in my favor.
 
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#26
didn't see the harm or envisage that people would focus so quickly on jumping on to try and correct contributors.
Come on, lighten up ... surely you can see how your 2nd post was easily misunderstood and my correction came with a light-hearted 'wink' emoji! :)
 
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Jeff
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#28
Thank you - that is really kind of you! Tbh I think a monopod might pee me off a bit though so the F4 sounds like the better option.
The native lens is a F4 but once you add a t.c that alters , a 1.4 becomes a F5.6 and a 1.7 becomes a F6.3 at 500mm BUT saying that I found it a super lightweight combo and I’m also thing about getting another one once funds permit . The lens has no I.s but doesn’t really need it ,there pin sharp to. And the close focus ability often does away with the need for a macro lens will post some pics from all combinations later
 
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#30
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Daysleeper40
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5,045
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Fi
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#31
If you want to start getting into wildlife photography then I suspect you're going to want as much reach as you can get!
Good stalking skills apparently enable wildlife shots to be taken with more normal telephotos but for those of us who don't have the years needed to develop those skills long telephotos are the realistic answer.

The discontinued Sigma 150-500 should do quite well within budget, though I believe it's replacement the 150-600 is better if you feel it worth topping up into that price bracket. Both are heavy beasts so may only get used near the car (which can actually make a good hide potentially removing the need to lug the lens around). I have a 150-500 for my DSLR which I use mainly for the local airshow, despite being a big bloke I know about it after a few hours of waving it around!
Thank you for taking the time to post this - it has kind of solidified for me that there is no point me getting a great big lens as I'm pretty sure it would not get enough use. I would like to dabble in wildlife but realistically I would be better off improving my options for zoo / macro stuff which I know I love doing already. I'm just not going to enjoy lugging around a huge lens and I'm more off a little lady than a big bloke! If you know about it then I'm REALLY going to know about it!
 
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Daysleeper40
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Fi
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#32
The native lens is a F4 but once you add a t.c that alters , a 1.4 becomes a F5.6 and a 1.7 becomes a F6.3 at 500mm BUT saying that I found it a super lightweight combo and I’m also thing about getting another one once funds permit . The lens has no I.s but doesn’t really need it ,there pin sharp to. And the close focus ability often does away with the need for a macro lens will post some pics from all combinations later
Thank you - and thanks for posting the example shots too. I think this F4 / t.c. combo is going to be the way forwards for me. It 'fits' in with what I enjoy and sounds like it would be a great zooing lens with the close focus option plus extra reach. Sounds like the best of both worlds :)
 
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Daysleeper40
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#33
Yes Fi - try a wanted post on here - think I paid £525 and sold for the same.....

I was keen to try the length as I had my eye on the 300 F4 pf which is a mega bit of glass.....
Thanks Mark - I'm trying not to look at the pricy options... no good can come of it!!!
 
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Daysleeper40
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Fi
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#36
Hi Fi, from our previous chats, I think you said you had very small hands and were reluctant to go longer on glass. Ignore the long Sigma's, they are big and pretty heavy.
My suggestion would to be to try and find an older 300mm F4 (non PF version) as this is a stonking lens for not huge money - and it will take a TC, so gives extra versatiity.

I bought and sold one on here for around £500 ish, and TC14 can be had for £150ish.....

Personally, Im using a 70-200 2. VRII and TC's as my main glass these days.....
Mark (@Hertsman) - sorry to bug you but are these the 300mm lens you were talking about?

https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equi.../used-nikon-fit-lenses/nikon-af-300mm-f-4-ed/
 
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#37
No, thats the older version. There is one in the classifieds here

I lusted after one for years and when i finally bought one i found it to be superb with very little loss of IQ with the 1.4tc. It hardly gets any use now as i picked up a Nikon 200-500 last year as the zoom gives me much more flexibility.
 
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Daysleeper40
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Fi
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#38
No, thats the older version. There is one in the classifieds here

I lusted after one for years and when i finally bought one i found it to be superb with very little loss of IQ with the 1.4tc. It hardly gets any use now as i picked up a Nikon 200-500 last year as the zoom gives me much more flexibility.
Thank you - I thought they looked a bit cheap iykwim.
 
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Daysleeper40
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#39
No, thats the older version. There is one in the classifieds here

I lusted after one for years and when i finally bought one i found it to be superb with very little loss of IQ with the 1.4tc. It hardly gets any use now as i picked up a Nikon 200-500 last year as the zoom gives me much more flexibility.
...and I am a bit concerned about losing the zoom flexibility myself.
 
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Storm Trooper
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#40
...and I am a bit concerned about losing the zoom flexibility myself.
I have more than 1 body so could take a 70-200 and not worry about changing lenses but didnt want the hassle of carrying 2 bodies although i still find 200 a little long occasionally. The long stuff is mainly used at The Yorkshire Wildlife Park as its local and I have an annual pass.
 
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