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Archive 2011 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife
  
 
ChiShutter
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p.1 #1 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


Hello, all. My parents are going on an African safari trip in a month or two, and in preparation my dad and I ventured out on black friday and came home with a D7000 kit for him to take along.

The kit came with the standard 18-105 lens, but I suggested he may want more reach and he agreed. I had the 70-300 VR in mind, but the store we were at didn't have them in stock, and suggested the 55-300 DX VR instead, for $250. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the lens (didn't even know it existed, in fact, until I was handed one by the store clerk yesterday). We held off on the purchase until I could find out more.

Is the DX lens a suitable, decent substitute for the 70-300 VR? I'd love to hear your thoughts.



Nov 26, 2011 at 04:42 PM
hjanssen
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p.1 #2 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


Considder a Tamron 70-300 VC USD too, sharper at the long eind and the VC works perfect.


Nov 26, 2011 at 04:53 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #3 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


An additional 20mm and for less than half the price?

I'd expect it to have significantly inferior image quality.

The 70-300 VR is excellent; order it online and have it shipped.



Nov 26, 2011 at 04:57 PM
ChiShutter
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p.1 #4 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


Anyone have experience with the DX lens itself? Real world impressions?


Nov 27, 2011 at 05:46 AM
indiginess
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p.1 #5 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


i went down this road recently and decided on the 70-300/5.6 VR for these reasons...

(i own the 70-300/5.6 VR, but have not shot the 55-300/5.6 VR)


metal ring around connection to body... its a long lens.

the AF is faster (rated by internet people, and if the AF speed on the 55-300 VR is like the other kit lenses, its true).

price is really close considering the extra quality/durability of the 70-300/5.6 VR.

____

if you want to shoot wildlife, you are not going to miss the 55-70 range, IMHO, but you will miss the extra AF speed and sturdier build. go with the 70-300 VR. i'm very happy with it. the fact that it was made as an FX lens should tell you Nikon believes in it too.

-e

edit: to clarify, in my experience the 70-300 VR auto-focus is noticeably faster than: 18-55 VR, 18-105 VR, 55-200 VR.



Nov 27, 2011 at 06:07 AM
 

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Thorsten
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p.1 #6 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


I've compared them and the 70-300 is noticeably better, especially at 300mm. And it also focuses much faster.


Nov 27, 2011 at 07:58 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #7 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


Not even close, 70-300 VR (build/AF speed/sharpness/FX or DX) can be found on the B&S for ~$350 and sometimes even less. Go for it.


Nov 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM
AndreasE
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p.1 #8 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


ChiShutter wrote:
Anyone have experience with the DX lens itself? Real world impressions?


Yep.

Nothing wrong with the lens (except FX support is missing). Just another one in the 4 recent good DX lenses brought to market. 55-300mm, 85mm macro and 40mm macro (this is a great lens in itself). The 55-300mm does not loose to much to the 70-300mm VR. In some area's I would even say it is better. Are in the same class. If you need significant more quality at 300mm, then you need to jump into a completely different category like the 300mm/4.

My ranking on IQ and considering the price (all DX lenses):
40mm/2.8 macro
55-300mm VR
35mm/1.8G
85mm/3.5 macro


@150mm (Click here to download full size image)






AFS 55-300mm @280mm, D300






100% crop






@300mm, only resized






100% crop






@300mm, f5.6






100% crop






@300mm, f5.6






Distance more than 400meter (quarter mile)






100% crop







Andy



Nov 28, 2011 at 12:11 PM
ChiShutter
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p.1 #9 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


Thanks for the insight, folks. Much appreciated.


Nov 30, 2011 at 10:16 PM
krickett
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p.1 #10 · 55-300 DX VR vs 70-300 VR for travel/wildlife


I haven't compared sharpness, but when I tried the 55-300 in store, I did notice the autofocus was noticeably slower. It's really just a question of how fast you think the animals will be moving I suppose.


Nov 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM





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