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Thread: Affordable but nice 400mm option for Nikon?

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    Senior Member RomNYC's Avatar
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    Affordable but nice 400mm option for Nikon?

    Hey guys. I'm still new to this hobby and was wondering if you could recommend a 400mm lens for my D60 that doesn't cost an arm. I am no pro and there is no need for me to get professional equipment yet. Just something to get me closer to the action at HoBe for example.

    When I look at basic Nikon lenses, I'm always surprised that you can get a 70-300 for a few hundred bucks, and as soon as I look into the 400mm range, prices go nuts immediately...

    Any help?

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    I'm not a Nikon user, but my friend is and he's been looking for something in that range. I think your least expensive option is the Sigma 120-400 which is around $1000 through B&H. The next least expensive is the sigma 150-500 for about $1060. I'm not sure how the quality is for those, but they appear to be the least expensive. I'm sure though that one of the Nikon users on here could help you out better.
    Steve Furst

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    Senior Member Derf's Avatar
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    Canon user here...
    just wanted to say, good luck
    The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap".

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    Senior Member RomNYC's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve, I was looking at the Sigma 120-400 as you were posting. It does look appealing price-wise.

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    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Canon user here...
    just wanted to say, good luck
    We're all counting on you...


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    Hey Rom, I use the Siggy 120-400 on a D200/D100 and although it gets a little soft from 350-400mm, I've not been disappointed. It takes a little getting used to but once you find its sweet spot, you'll be golden.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Derf's Avatar
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    Shirley you can't be serious?

    The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap".

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    Senior Member MarkLawrence's Avatar
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    I am serious - and stop calling me Shirley...
    Mark Lawrence - KFLL
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    Senior Member MarkLawrence's Avatar
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    If you don't really need a 400mm and a 300mm will suffice, have a look at the Tamron 28-300 (it runs around $650) - I have that on my Nikon D200/D50 - sweet lens because it never comes off the camera...
    Mark Lawrence - KFLL
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Derf's Avatar
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    Actually my vote is the Tammy 70-300VC THAT IS THE BEST 300mm is lens for under $1500 and it is only $450!!!!!

    See this post
    http://nycaviation.com/forum/threads/39114-New-Lens-I-want!!!-Tamron-SP-AF70-300mm-Di-VC-USD-Lens?highlight=tammy
    The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap".

  11. #11
    Senior Member RomNYC's Avatar
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    Thanks you guys. I see that I have a lot of options to study!

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    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    The Sigma 150-500 is acceptably sharp at 400mm. Plus it goes to 500mm.

    I have a D40x and needed something that went beyond my 70-300mm AND that had a focussing motor in it without requiring me to take out a small consumer loan *cough, 200-400mmf/4cough*

    3rd party was the only way to go unless I wanted to manual focus. Had enough of that in my film days. One shoebox full of soft/blurry plane pictures is enough.

  13. #13
    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
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    i have a used 80-400 VR that i might consider selling as i don't really use it anymore. i've had it for about 5 years but it's still good as new. PM me if you're interested.
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.

  14. #14
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, Nikon lacks a high quality, inexpensive 400mm f/4 or even 400mm f/5.6

    The Nikon choices are 400mm f/2.8 over $9,000, the 200-400mm f/4 for over $6,000 or the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D for over $1,500

    all are excellent choices but there is nothing affordable in the high quality side. The 80-400 will serve you well, just look at Mark's photos from our local crew. Unless you plan to use edge-to-edge detailed frames, you can safely get the lens or any lens that does not have excellent edges since in our hobby, we mostly care about the center of the frame (generally speaking of course)
    Manny Gonzalez
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  15. #15
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Rom- do NOT get the 80-400 unless you want to be manually focusing it- your D60 can't turn the screw. I was looking at getting it because I also have a D70s body, but I found the Sigma for a lot less money and it works on ALL my bodies

    although the Nikkor IS a fine lens....

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