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Comparing Lenses

September 16, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

I bought a higher quality tripod made by Manfrotto and order a cool ball head that lowers the center of gravity and can support more weight. That’s a good thing, since I’m comparing a few different lenses right now – some weighing almost 4 lbs. Our new camera weights about 1.8 lbs. on its own. Our current tripod just isn’t stable enough to support a heavier camera and lens.

I want a good zoom lens and have found a lot of good reviews on the following zoom lenses.

Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom: a good all-purpose lens that covers the range of my kit lens, an 18-70mm AF-S Nikkor. All reviews suggest just selling the kit lens since there’s really no purpose having a lens with the same aperture but less range of focal length. The aperture isn’t as open and I wouldn’t be able to use a teleconverter. VR on a typically hand-held lens like this would be a big help to reduce vibration.

Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom: a good zoom lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8 throughout. This lens would support a teleconverter but is quite large and pretty expensive. VR is also not recommended when using a tripod, and I’m really not sure how much shooting I’ll do on a monopod. I couldn’t use my current monopod since the bottom segment isn’t very sturdy, so I do plan on selling that along with the rest of our old digital camera equipment.

Sigma APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM: at about half the price of the Nikkor 70-200mm, this lens sports all the features of the Nikkor except it lacks vibration reduction. It’s a little shorter, which means it will fit in my Lowepro SlingShot 200 AW.

Price is certainly a factor, but so is quality. These three lenses have all received good reviews. With the Sigma we don’t have to pay for marketing, either. If anyone has any other good zoom lenses to add that are optimized for digital SLRs, or any opinions on these lenses, feel free to post a reply.

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