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Photography Question 
Mark Carter

Which Telephoto Lens to Buy for Nikon F80?

I have a Nikon F80 with the standard 28-80 lens. I have just come back from a family outing to the zoo and found I couldn't get close enough. I want to purchase a telephoto lens but am unsure as to how big I need to go. Any suggestions or recommendations?

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4/7/2002 9:12:20 PM

Robert Bussino   I shoot at the zoo a lot and would say that a zoom up to at least 200mm is required. A 200mm will get you around to most of the exhibits but I'm looking at going to at least 400mm because I like to zoom in tight to fill the frame and block out background and foreground distractions.

It seems that the shy critters are always just a little to far out with my 210mm to fill the frame or even come anywhere close to it. The size and nature of your subject is a consideration. Less dangerous animals like meerkats or huge animals like elephants are fine with a 200mm but for smaller birds in the aviary or the more dangerous larger animals that they keep farther away, 200mm (for me) doesn't get the job done.

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4/11/2002 12:57:18 AM

Suresh Basavaraju   Zoos are something I visit at every new city I visit. I carry a Nikon 300mm f/4 ED IF, as I want some close ups.

My earlier Pentax kit consited of a 70-210 zoom and I could get decent images in most zoos.

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4/11/2002 1:55:12 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  I agree with the first two posters. I have a 70-200 f/2.8 with 1.4x and 2x teleconverters which give great flexibility and stunning results. But my Canon rig is very expensive ($1,200 + TC's) as is the corresponding Nikon 80-200 f/2.8. The Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 VR (vibration reduction) would also be good, but is also very expensive ($1,200+). Sigma's 70-200 f/2.8 EX is very good alternative and about $800.

More economical, and much lighter to carry, are the 70-300 f/4-5.6 zooms from Nikon, Tamron and Sigma. The models in the $220-$300 range (Nikon ED, Tamron LD, Sigma APO) are preferred over the $100-$200 models (Nikon G, Sigma DL) or those with variable aperture to f/6.3 or f/6.7.

Without IS/VR lenses, camera shake is a problem at 200mm to 400mm. You'll need to have a tripod, monopod, or brace yourself against sturdy poles, railings, etc.

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4/11/2002 9:18:03 AM

Mark Carter   Thanks guys for all your comments. I'll look to buy in the $300 range and go for 300mm.

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4/13/2002 12:03:12 AM

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