Lens Choices

06 Dec 2014 20:47 - 07 Dec 2014 09:03 #2573 by Bagheera
Bagheera created the topic: Lens Choices
A two part question here really and a subject on which it would be good to hear other peoples preferences and opinions.

First part is What lens do you use for your wildlife photography? Second question is what lens would you ideally like to be using?

I'll go first, I have a Canon 300 f2.8, I got it because I had been waiting in vain for the much anticipated Canon 200-400 f4 with an inbuilt 1.4 converter. I had waited and waited for that lens as I wanted to have it for an upcoming India trip. Anyways finally Canon announced it would take longer than first expected and simultaneously released a price estimate, the latter being the moment I realized that my dream 200-400 f4 was way out of my league. So I decided on the 300mm as it was designed in conjunction with the new converters Canon brought out at the time and so I figured I could get 3 focal lengths in one fixed length lens. The reality is though I rarely use the converters as the lens has been pretty sharp making it easier to just crop a photo rather than go through the hassle of changing a converter in the field.
The 300 I reasoned in my head would be just that little bit more maneuverable and manageable than a longer fixed lens when out in the field or a crowded jeep.

The 200-400 f4 I think would have pretty much covered every photo possibility that I was interested in, and with the 1.4 TC built in could be a 560mm at the flick of a switch. Sadly though Canon priced it quite high so it wasn't to be, it does however remain the lens I dream of..

Very interested to hear what other people are using and there is no right or wrong or better or worse, I was just curious as to what others thought!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Dec 2014 09:15 - 22 Apr 2015 08:07 #2576 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices
Heres my simple list of my most commonly used lens:

General wildlife usage/grab shots - Nikkor 80-400
Tripod/Hide - 500 mm HSM with a modified Nikon 1.4 convertor
Macro - we could be here for weeks as I use both Nikon and Canon set-ups and multiple lens for each.
Scenes - Nikkor 16-35

I have a whole bunch of other lens that never really get used much at all.

In the "General wildlife usage/grab shots" category the 200-400 (Nikon and Canon) have not really piqued my interest as I only take pictures in Thailand - where the len's technical advantages are muted because of a) the conditions I like to photograph in (quick grab or walking in forest) and b) its size. The downsides of the 80-400 is its useless with convertors in field/low light and it suffers from focus shift when trying to lock onto distant animals with busy backgrounds. But.... cameras have advanced so much in terms of sensor size and supposed ISO capability these past years they mute a lot of the disadvantages. I say "supposed ISO capability" because high ISO photography is an area I am still unable to master :oops:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Dec 2014 09:53 - 07 Dec 2014 09:54 #2577 by rushenb
rushenb replied the topic: Lens Choices
It is a bit pain in the bum until one get correct set of lenses. It really depends on what one is after.

Here are mine;

- Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 - For birds and mammals. If I can afford, will go for a prime 500mm or 600mm in couple of years time. Sigma of is not too heavy, only 2.7kg.

- Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 - I love this lens, it is pretty sharp despite not being a prime lens. I take this with me when I walk longer trails. Will never change this lens to anything else.

- I like my Tamron 60mm for macro shots, but since it doesn't support full frame I put it in a dusty corner and use a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens nowadays. I found out on my recent trips that 90mm is quite perfect for close up snake shots too. I use my 28-300mm only if I need a safety distance. 60mm is the best lens I have for portraits but haven't used it much.

- Nikon 24mm f/2.8 - photo quality wise, my best lens but I am not using it often. Will change it to a wider lens for milky way experiments (including time-lapse). May buy a wider one within a year.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Dec 2014 11:58 #2579 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Lens Choices
Even though this thread is about lenses, I agree with Trekker that the new range of cameras could make a difference in what you need/ want to carry.
At first I was thinking of buying a Nikon DX body as a second body. Something like the D7100 to get extra reach because of the 1.5-crop factor. But then I realized that if I would buy a D800 (which I've seen for very reasonable prices second hand in Thailand) or now perhaps even the D810 (if my wallet allows...) it would offer me such a high resolution that I could switch in-camera to DX mode (1.5-crop) and still get a 15+ million resolution, so more than my current 12 mpixels from the D700 which are enough anyway. So whatever I choose, I will upgrade to the D800 or D810. I don't need much speed, and still if set in DX mode these camera's offer enough images per second for my liking.

Then about lenses.
Would love to have one of the high quality, fixed long telephoto lenses just to have it in the back of the car.
But in the end I prefer actively searching for wildlife over just waiting in a hide, even though the latter will likely get you the better shots. So I need something not too large/ heavy.

My current lens is the fixed nikkor AFS 300mm f4. I think I already have this lens for about 10 years now and it still works perfectly even though the outer body is full of scratches and lost most of the paint. It's around my neck all the time when I'm in the jungle, and has traveled to quite a few countries around the world. It's a very sharp lens, and I also liked the shoter focus distance it had over the f2.8 versions, though as most lenses it gets even sharper when stopped down a bit, so I always shoot at f5.6. I don't have stable arms, and with the poor light in 80% of the cases I just have to shoot a LOT of images to hope for one or two sharp ones. No vibrate reduction in this lens :( . Nikon doesn't seem to want to update this lens with VR. Instead they let Canon come out with all the stuff that wildlife photographers would like. I just don't really want to switch as I'm so used to my Nikon cameras that I can operate them without taking my eye of the viewfinder...
I have the feeling it will take me quite a bit of time to get that feeling with another brand. Also the pro lenses of Nikon, like the longer lenses are more affordable than the Canon counterparts. Some say the Canons are better, but they'd better be at the extra price you pay. Nikons are sharp enough for me...

I'm still not sure what I would choose if money was not an issue.
For sure it would be something with VR (image stabilizer) and I would like to get some extra reach, though as Bagheera said that is possible with teleconverters and a high resolution body that allows serious cropping.
The lenses that are playing in my head are:
300mm f2.8 (together with 1.4 teleconverter, and possibly other converters)
The f2.8 and VR make this a really good lens.
200-400mm f4 (with 1.4 converter) Nice, but not sure if a 300mm 2.8 with converter isn't actually better in quality. But zoom is nice. Though I think 95% of the shots will anyway be at the longest end. It's usually only when seeing elephants that I feel stuck with my fixed 300mm getting only a half head and tusk (can be nice occassionally, but anyway...)
80-400mm f5.6: The zoom range is nice, but if I may believe the online reviews it is closer to 300mm when focused closer than it is to 400mm, which it probably only is when focused on infinity... The slow F stop is a bit of a shame. And probably to get the best out of it you need to stop it down an extra stop, so little light. Still it hads VR, and I have tried it once, and offered me a much higher percentage of keepers than I usually got with my 300mm F4

300mm f4 VR (this lens doesn't exist for Nikon yet; add a 1.4 teleconverter) Whenever Nikon upgrades this lens to VR it would certainly be a contender, being lightweight, close focus distance, and probably more affordable than the lenses mentioned above. Add a 1.4 converter and it will get to a nice 420mm and shoot it in DX (1.5-crop) and then you have a 630mm.

I was not a big fan of Sigma in the past, but it seems like they are catching up quality-wise.
Their 120-300mm f2.8 looks interesting.

Still a long list to choose from...

Other lenses I use are 50mm f1.8 and a 17-35mm f2.8
In the end I love these wide lenses a lot more than telephoto, to get unusual shots of animals in their habitat. Sometimes I get bored seeing all those perfect long telephoto shots of an animal (or more often birds) posing and a very soft, perfectly out of focus background. Aesthetically beautiful, everything perfect, but still a wide angle shot where the photographer has put the lens right in the face of the animal excites me more... but well that's just me... Still would love to have a 600mm and get some of these shots myself, haha, at least for the animals that you simply can't get closer to.
To get interesting images with wide lenses you need to get REALLY close, and that is simply often not possible, or just way too dangerous here in Thailand. However for snakes and other reptiles, it works great. These days it is common practice to photograph reptiles with wide-angles so it is not that unusual anymore, but still I love the looks.

In the end. photographers always keep dreaming about better equipment, but of course we should not forget that you can win the biggest photo competitions with just the gear you have right now.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 Dec 2014 08:34 #2582 by Bagheera
Bagheera replied the topic: Lens Choices
Very interesting to hear everyones choices and personal reasons. I reckon this will quite useful information when some of us come to next buying a lens.
Agree on the crop factor of the body being an important factor aswell, I actually would like a full frame camera at some point in the future but for now I am happy with my 7D.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
06 Jan 2015 22:42 #2619 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Lens Choices
I just read that Nikon finally announced an all-new design of the lens I am using, a fixed 300mm f4 but this time with VR (vibrate reduction).
It's an all new design which is a LOT lighter weight, 755 grams (though it does not include a tripod collar) instead of the 1295g of the previous AFS 300mm f4. And is about 7.5cm shorter!

Slightly closer focussing distance, but maximum reproduction ratio is 1:4.2 instead of the 1:3.7. in other words, Nikon cheats a bit, the focal length is less than 300mm at closer range. But well, I guess I can live with that.
The much lighter weight and of course the vibrate reduction are great improvements.
If it is as sharp or better than the previous than this looks very promising. Maybe together with a 1.4 converter. It would be interesting to see how it competes with a converter against the new 80-400mm.

Not sure what it will cost, I'm afraid they will upgrade the price too :(

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jan 2015 06:53 - 22 Apr 2015 08:03 #2620 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices
Its about 60,000+ baht (which for some reason to my strange logic sounds less daunting than $2000).

DPreview has some pictures of it in someones hands and the size does look very nice and manageable.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jan 2015 10:20 #2622 by Bagheera
Bagheera replied the topic: Lens Choices
Flipflops, I don't have any direct experience with this but how would the 3rd party fixed lens image quality stand up against your nikon 300mm? Do Sigma and Tamron have a 300 f2.8 with image stabilisation of a similar price and therefore a possible alternative?

Curious to hear other peoples thoughts on this aswell!

Trekker,
" Its about 60,000+ baht (which for some reason to my strange logic sound less daunting than $2000)"

I get this aswell why is this??!!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jan 2015 13:14 #2624 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Lens Choices
I've always been a bit afraid to go for third-party.
And just returned from Huai Kha Khaeng where the person I was with was using a Sigma 120-400mm and the autofocus stopped working the second day in the park. (2-year old lens, but seemed like they treated their equipment a lot better than I do...)
Luckily, despite the presence of a half-eaten carcass of a young Sambar, the big cat did not show up, haha. So no missed shots, ;)
But yes, I understand this also happens with Nikon or Canon lenses.

Anyway, it is an endless story for me. There is no such thing as the perfect lens. There is no lightweight, light-sensitive, long telephoto lens with perfect optical quality.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jan 2015 17:36 - 08 Jan 2015 09:27 #2625 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices
Bagheera - If I want to get the lowdown on a particular lens I usually have a look on www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/ its the only thing I visit the Fred Miranda site for.

For me the intriguing thing about the new 300 will be that it should a) be quite low light capable and b) be extremely maneuverable and easy to carry. It could fit a very interesting niche. I had a look at the nikon provided test shots but without any ISO ratings and cam details they are useless to look at. I would love to see....... f4, iso 800/1200/above, VR on, 1/60th, 100% crop, handheld at dusk , no edits, on a D7100, D800 and D4 side by side. Not strong sunlight shots at f8 and above. This is the kind of real world test I would like to see. I need a lens/sensor/focus combo that caters to that niche.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Bagheera

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jan 2015 21:53 - 07 Jan 2015 22:04 #2626 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Lens Choices
Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt Nikon would release a newly designed lens that was lower quality than its predecessor. That together with the light-weight and the addition of VR, I'm sure I will love this lens for daily use on hikes in the jungle.
I expect it to be faster focussing than the model I have. And honestly for me the old one is fast enough. The VR is rated for 4.5 stops. Which would mean shooting hand-held at 1/60 should be no problem at all.
I only hope it will not have a plastic feel. The model I have feels like it will last a long time, and I've had it now for 10 years, heavily abused, and it still goes.

Guess it is time to start saving for a D800 + 300mm f4 VR + 1.4 converter ....
Not sure if my wife will be happy, haha ;)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Feb 2015 10:26 - 05 Feb 2015 12:06 #2673 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices
My god its tiny.......

......... available next week in Bangkok stores for 58,000 baht. I was considering a totally different lens (a two point eight) for my next lens purchase but ..... I might have to follow flipflops!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 Feb 2015 17:49 - 11 Feb 2015 17:56 #2684 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices
Release of the Nikon 300 PF in Thailand now delayed until next month. After seeing the sample shots with and without the 2x I have put my name down for one.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Apr 2015 08:00 - 22 Apr 2015 08:05 #2813 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices
After a long delay due to issues with the firmware of this lens and use with VR on certain camera bodies, Nikon has finally issued the new firmware to it distributors and the lens is now on sale in Thailand. I will be giving it a spin this weekend to see if it suits one of my "niches".

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Apr 2015 09:53 #2814 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Lens Choices
Does this mean they have solved the trouble with VR at shutterspeeds between 1/80 - 1/ 160?
In reviews I read that the VR hardly makes a difference in this shutterspeed range, however at slower and at faster shutterspeeds it works great ...
Was not so happy to read this, as I think this shutterspeed range is where I need VR the most in the forests.

Can't wait to hear about and see your results. Hopefully you can test the above, though I guess it would take quite a bit of work. Shooting a significant amount of images at these shutterspeeds with and without VR, and check the 'hitrate'.

Thanks

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Apr 2015 10:10 - 22 Apr 2015 11:58 #2815 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices

onflipflops wrote: Does this mean they have solved the trouble with VR at shutter speeds between 1/80 - 1/ 160?


That's what they are saying...................... all lens were held back until the new Firmware was available for them. I have to say even though I have big hands its even smaller than I was expecting:
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Apr 2015 17:04 #2818 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Lens Choices
That's sounds good!
And love the size! Perfect for hiking.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
19 Jun 2015 11:55 - 19 Jun 2015 11:57 #2903 by roblgs
roblgs replied the topic: Lens Choices
Hi,

I'm shooting Pentax K-5 and K-3 bodies, matched with either an old Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro, or an even older Pentax F* 300 f/4.5, or if I need a little more reach, a Tokina AT-X AF 400 f/5.6.

The latter has some serious purple fringing issues in certain (especially backlit) conditions, but is excellent if those can be avoided. The Pentax 300 is smaller and substantially lighter, and the AF is quieter... a joy to use.

What I'd like would be a newer Pentax 100 f/2.8 weather sealed macro lens, and possibly a Sigma 500 f/4.5 at the long end... or the new Pentax 150 - 450mm f4.5-5.6... although both these long lenses are heavy hits to the wallet! Throw into that the excellent Pentax 1.4x weather-sealed converter and the whole kit would be weather, jungle and sweat resistant.

The problem is getting pentax compatible kit in Thailand at anything approaching reasonable prices, if at all... I've been using Pentax for very close to 40 years, so changing system isn't going to happen, despite the difficulty of being a pentax user here in Thailand... I've scored some very good deals on eBay and on pentax specific online market places, and import costs have generally been 'comfortable'.

Some samples

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Jul 2015 20:33 #3003 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices
In an interesting development regarding the "PF" designs, Canon has just applied for a patent based on its "DO" system (same as Nikon PF but to be fair Canon released a DO[/PF] lens way before Nikon) of the only DO/PF design over 400 MM (Canon already has a 400 DO and Nikon only a 300 in this technology).

And they have gone for the big one.... Patent: Canon EF 600mm f/4 DO IS ....... but its is just 2 mm shy of 400 mm long! Nikon's new NON PF/DO 600 mm is 432 mm long. Theres something afoot - maybe a drastic weight reduction.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Jul 2015 20:40 #3004 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices

roblgs wrote: Hi,

The problem is getting pentax compatible kit in Thailand at anything approaching reasonable prices, if at all... I've been using Pentax for very close to 40 years, so changing system isn't going to happen, despite the difficulty of being a pentax user here in Thailand... I've scored some very good deals on eBay and on pentax specific online market places, and import costs have generally been 'comfortable'.

Some samples


Never say never Rob! I have been a Nikon user since I started playing at wildlife photography. A good friend went over to Canon and after seeing him use their macro flash system and MP-E 65, I threw caution to the wind and moved my macro photography to Canon. It was an expensive decision, made more acceptable by used deals at Fotofile. But its a decision I definitely do not regret. I still use Nikon for all my WA and long stuff, and don't intend to change but my macro world firmly belongs to Canon now.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Jul 2015 15:24 #3005 by roblgs
roblgs replied the topic: Lens Choices
Hi Trekker,

Yes, I suppose I shouldn't go making sweeping statements like 'never', but any change of system is currently impossible both financially and maritally! ;)

Flash is one of Pentax's weak areas, and the Canon MP-E 65 is certainly an extremely interesting lens, but one (currently) beyond reach or consideration.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
29 Sep 2015 09:48 - 29 Sep 2015 10:02 #3162 by NN
NN replied the topic: Lens Choices
My long lens is a Tamron 150-600, the IQ might not be on par with much more expensive lenses, but overall I am very happy. I paid B42,000 about 18 months ago.
Weight is around 2kg, which makes hand holding easy enough. I think this is a big advantage because it means the lens is more portable and gets used more often. It's got IS and is not too bad in low light. The pic below is at ISO 3200, F9, Ex 400 on a Canon 650D.



The other decent lens I have is the Sigma 18-32 F1.8. I'm really happy with the IQ on this lens, it's supposed to be excellent for landscapes, but this is something I've hardly tried. Price is around B24,000.

Can anyone suggest a reasonable priced macro lens for shooting insects?
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
29 Sep 2015 10:30 #3164 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Lens Choices
Can not comment on macro lenses, not much experience. I do have a 200mm f4 micro lens from nikon but fungus has created a new ecosystem inside :(
Very sharp lens! Nice to have some more working distance, which wa the reason I chose this one because i planned to use it for close-up head shots of venomous snakes.
Still I guess for most people a more average focal length like 90 - 105mm range is nice.
Not sure what's available for your brand of camera (what brand do you use?).

I recently played a bit with that 150-600mm Tamron, and have to agree that I was quite impressed with the good image stabilizer and sharpness.
I did not expect it to be this quality.
Also makes me wonder how well the new Nikon 200-500mm will perform. The price tag is clearly meant to fight these long zoom lenses made by Tamron, and Sigma.

Nice Blue-winged Pitta shot by the way!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
29 Sep 2015 10:39 - 08 Oct 2015 12:21 #3166 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Lens Choices
The most versatile lens for macro (with flash) is "100mm". As I moved from Nikon to Canon for macro I have 3 lens in this range .... Nikon 105, Canon 100 and Tamron 90. You cant tell any difference in quality of image between any of them. Indeed when using Nikon the Tamron was/is my favorite - lighter, shorter, and great with extension tubes. When I moved to canon I had to change to the canon 100 as I moved to use the MT 24x flash (and the marvelous MPE lens) and it did not fit the Tamron (I am not sure if there's an adapter available yet). Sigma's 150 is also highly regarded (although I have not used one). If you are not using the MT-24x flash then I would have no hesitation recommending the Tamron.

Indeed in macro lens there really no need for any technological gizmos like autofocus ( ;+) ) so most macro lens are very good at what they do.

The longer macro lens (180 and 200) and shorter (MPE) have great benefits in certain situations, but are more difficult to use in others. The only focal length I have never liked in macro is the 60 mm as its just does not work well in the field IMHO - too wide and too close focusing at 1:1 ratio.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
30 Sep 2015 17:04 #3170 by NN
NN replied the topic: Lens Choices
Thanks for the info, I am using a Canon 650D.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
02 Oct 2015 16:47 #3175 by roblgs
roblgs replied the topic: Lens Choices
Hi,

I can't comment on ether Nikon or Canon original equipment, although agree that you'd be hard pushed to find a bad example of proper macro lens from any manufacturer.

I'll add a vote though for the Tamron 90mm f/2.8. Brilliant lens, always has been in it's decades of history, and was known to beat out more expensive lenses from the camera manufacturers... Fantastically sharp, great colour and bokeh, lightweight, and easy to use... comes with a focus limiter for use with autofocus.

Would agree also that, when doing macro I never use autofocus, so if you really want to get the price down then looking for an older manual focus only lens, or one of the newer ones from China or Korea manufacturers, would still give you a great lens, assuming they would be compatible with mounting on your canon body and properly couple with the meter.

Outside of Canon originals, then Tamron and Sigma are excellent, the older Vivitar Series 1 macro lenses had a great reputation.

Most flexible focal length would be in the 90 to 105mm range... longer lenses would give greater working distance, but get horribly expensive very quickly. Shorter focal lengths will reduce the working distance, which can be an issue if you need to get artificial light onto the subject, or if the subject is of a nervous disposition and runs away if you try getting too close.

Good luck!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Oct 2015 14:06 #3194 by NN
NN replied the topic: Lens Choices
Third party lenses are so much cheaper than original that I find it difficult to buy the latter. I'm very happy with the IQ on the two lenses I have, then again each of them one 'Lens of the Year'. However I did borrow a Sigma 70-300 and wasn't impressed with that.

The Tamron 300 2.8 seems cheap with good reviews. Has anyone experience with this lens?
www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/244

Another I'm interested in is the Tamron 70-200 2.8, www.lazada.co.th/tamron-70-200mm-f28-di-...as-black-296326.html

I was thinking this would be useful in low light for both marco and distance shots.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
30 Oct 2015 10:04 #3205 by NN
NN replied the topic: Lens Choices
This seems like a good deal. B32,900 for the Tamron 150-600. There is no warranty, which may be because it's a grey import. The price is possibly cheaper than 2nd hand. www.lazada.co.th/tamron-sp-150-600mm-f5-...rm=xxto0000srcvt0400

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
30 Oct 2015 12:40 #3206 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Lens Choices
That is cheap! Especially for that price this lens works very well!
I would not worry too much about grey import. It might mean you can not bring it in for service at an official service centre (maybe you can...).
But anyway, local photo shops can often do repairs for you.

2 months ago, when I brought some lenses to the Nikon service centre in Bangkok to clean some fungus. They told me the lenses were too badly affected, they would have to replace some of the glass elements. When they told me so, I already expected it to be very expensive.
For my old 300mm f4 it was quoted at 30200 baht to do the job...
The 17-35mm 2.8 would even cost 58300 baht to replace the glass.
For 58k baht I could probably buy a new similar lens.
I did not hope it would be that bad. I had just saved up money for a new camera and anyway planned to replace the 300mm lens, but I was certainly not counting for buying a new high quality wide-angle zoom lens.
I have to say that they were very friendly and helpful. But surely I decided not to spend this much money to save an old lens.

Next thing I walked into fotofile in MBK. For different reasons, to buy the new camera I had on my wishlist.
At some point, when I already purchased the camera, I talked with the seller about my visit earlier that day to Nikon service centre, and how my lenses could not be cleaned.
He asked me, to show him my lenses?
And so I did.
He looked through my old 300mm. And he told me to wait a minute. He walked back into his office. Few minutes later(!) he returned, handed over the lens to me, and I looked through the lens and the fungus was gone. I couldn't really believe it, haha.
When I asked the charge, he said, no worries. Free. So in a couple minutes he got the results I was hoping for, free of charge, where as Nikon would have charged me 30200 baht to save my lens... OK, new glass elements probably means it would have been 100%, while now, it might only be 99.9%... I can live with 99.9%

The 17-35mm was quite badly affected with fungus on various glass elements.
He looked at it, and told this would take possibly a few weeks, and would probably cost 1000 - 1500 baht.
For a lens of this quality, that was more than worth the try.
After a couple weeks they called. It was ready, and they charged 1000 baht. A bit different than the price Nikon wanted to charge, 58000 baht vs 1000 baht.
I can believe that changing the glass would be the best, but I would have liked it if the people at Nikon service centre would have told me that they could possible clean it for a reasonable rate, but possibly it could not be removed for 100%.
I would have settled for 99% clean and possibly had even paid up to 4000 baht for it to save this expensive wide-angle lens.

So in other words, you don't really need an official service centre, so buying grey import would be nothing to worry about, in my opinion.
And for this low price, I would say: go for it!
I played with this lens a bit in Khao Yai, borrowed from somebody. I was surpised how well it the vibrate reduction works even when shooting hand-held at 600mm.
And on my D810 body, it looked pretty sharp.
Surely it can not beat a fixed 600mm f4, but if the quality of one of these fixed lenses is really 10 times as good as the Tamron, and therefore worth almost 10 times the price, is the question.
Of course speed, and narrow depth of field are great, but with the Tamron you can get to places where you wouldn't get with the fixed lens without having serious back problems ;-)
And as much as I like great sharpness, it does not really make the overall picture any better.
A good picture is more than sharpness alone. See, e.g. the salamander silhouette image that won one of the adult categories in the BBC wildlife Photographer of the year 2015. Shot with a Canon G15. It shows you do not need a top-end DSLR to shoot winning images.

And again a way too long post that basically only tries to say: Go for it!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Nov 2015 12:52 - 01 Nov 2015 12:54 #3213 by NN
NN replied the topic: Lens Choices
That's an interesting story about the fungus. My Tamron had some, we rang the dealer and they were quick to say it's a big problem that might need replacement. Instead I took it to a family run shop at the bottom of Silom, they charged B2,000 to clean it.

I paid B43,000 for the Tamron. If anyone is considering buying from the Lazada link, I would see if pick up is available, so that you can check the lens before parting with cash.


I'm happy with the IQ of the lens. It's a bit long and slow for low light, but is great for open areas.and can be very sharp even hand held.



100% crop

Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More