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Telephoto Lens Question
Hello...I just got my first DSLR last night (Nikon D40X) and am playing around with it. I don't know a lot about photography although I do take a lot of pictures and have played around a fair bit with digital photography. I have a dumb question though, and Im hoping someone can help me out..

I would like to get a telephoto lens for my new camera, but I don't know what to get. My old Panasonic camera had a 12X optical zoom on it and I really liked that. I don't quite understand how the lenses for a DSLR work so can anyone suggest something that would offer a comparable or better zoom? The only one I could find (granted I did a very quick google search) was a telephoto lens that was 3 X or smaller...that doesnt seem to great compared to the 12 X optical on my old camera. Am I missing somethign?.

My second question (which may relate to my first), is how much should I expect to pay for a decent telephoto lens?.

Thanks in advance!.

My Camping Pics: http://elms.myjalbum.net/..

Comments (12)

This is a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' question. In your position I would get the Nikon 55-200 VR lens, which is designed to complement the 18-55 kit lens. At 180 (UK) it is good value and good quality. You could perfectly easily pay 6 times this amount for a lens with a similar zoom range but wider maximum aperture and higher image quality, e.g. the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 which costs 1200 and is more than four times heavier....

There is a clear trade-off between zoom range and image quality. You can get '12x' zooms lenses for DSLRs, like the Nikon 18-200 (actually 11x) or the Tamron 18-250 (actually 14x). the quality is not really as good as the lenses which have a smaller zoom range but the convenience is a lot greater, and whether or not one of these would suit you better is entirely a matter of personal preference and what sort of photos you take. If the Nikon 18-200 VR is within your budget (450) it would give you a good all-in-one lens..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #1

What do you need in a lens, do you need to have the biggest zoom range possible or do you need a specific range for a specific task?.

If we look at tele lenses, then good quality always means big, heavy and expensive with a small zoom range like 2X or 3X or even no zoom..

On the other side if you are used to the quality of the X12 on the compact camera you can just get any 18-200 and be happy with it.http://www.treklens.com/members/mr_pedro/photos/..

Comment #2

Ok thanks guys...so basically a 18-200 lens is comparable to a 12X optical zoom on my previous camera...That's about all Im looking for at this point I think. I enjoy wildlife photography and spend a lot of time up north and I found the 12X on my previous camera was not too bad. Having said that I've never even looked through the viewfinder of a camera with a proper telephoto lens on it.....

My Pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/hotelfive..

Comment #3

If you can afford it the 18-200 VR would do you well, particularly for wildlife photos..

If you can swing it go by a camera shop that stocks the lens and try it out on the camera. Switch the VR (image stabilization) off and on and you'll see what a difference it makes.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #4

Is this the lens you recommend?:.

Http://www.henrys.com/...tmentId=10404&categoryId=11802&itemID=160053.

My Pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/hotelfive..

Comment #5

Yep thats the one - I love it - sits on my d40..

Comment #6

Ok sorry I have one more stupid question here...(Pls excuse my ignorance)...Would that lense completely render the kit lens useless, or would there still be a use for the kit lens?.

Thanks again for the replies....

My Pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/hotelfive..

Comment #7

Hotelfive wrote:.

Ok sorry I have one more stupid question here...(Pls excuse myignorance)...Would that lense completely render the kit lens useless,or would there still be a use for the kit lens?.

It may have slightly better IQ, but I'd probably sell it. Get an AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D with the proceeds so that you have something for low light..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #8

You will probably want something with a longer focal length range than the 18-200 mm VR. 200 mm really doesnt cut it for wild life..

With different sensor sizes, the focal lengths have different fields of view. It is common to use the field of view of a 35 mm film camera as a reference point. The 12x lens on your Panasonic is probably somewhere near to the equivalent of 35-420 mm on a 35 mm film camera or full frame digital camera..

The 1.5x crop of the D40x makes the 18-200 mm lens equivalent to a 27-300 mm lens on a 35 mm camera..

If you want to get that telephoto field of view, I would strongly suggest looking at the Nikon 70-300 mm VR (106-450 mm equivalent). It is difficult to get enough telephoto for wildlife..

The 18-200 mm VR is more of a general purpose lens; a very good replacement for the kit lens. It would give you a good walk around lens for most things, but lacks the range at the telephoto end. The kit lens and the 70  300 mm VR would a good combination if you want to include wildlife..

Brian A...

Comment #9

You state you're into wildlife photography. That said, you will probably want to get a longer telephoto like 400mm or more. And at least a monopod for quick portability, a tripod if time permits. One factor would be the largest f-stop on the tele, as woods (timber, forest) is often shaded or somewhat dark. Sometimes to save money you can merely get a 2X teleconverter (as a tube or an add-on lens) much, much cheaper than a heavy glass tele.ngk20000..

Comment #10

Hotelfive wrote:.

I would like to get a telephoto lens for my new camera, but I don'tknow what to get. My old Panasonic camera had a 12X optical zoom onit and I really liked that. I don't quite understand how the lensesfor a DSLR work so can anyone suggest something that would offer acomparable or better zoom? The only one I could find (granted I dida very quick google search) was a telephoto lens that was 3 X orsmaller...that doesnt seem to great compared to the 12 X optical onmy old camera. Am I missing somethign?.

You are missing what the nX designation means. It just means that the long end of the lens is "X" times longer than the wide end, without specifying either..

Prime lenses don't zoom, and just are 1X, but that doesn't tell you anything, because you could have a 20mm, 50mm, or 500mm lens and they are the same "1X", but very different fields-of-view..

Do you need something like 18-250mm on your D40 or something like 100-500mm? The first is 13.8x, then second is 5x, but the second would give you much better pictures of stuff far away, like birds..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

It isn't that I like taking pictures, I just like playing with my camera; photos are just a side-effect...

Comment #11

The kit lens is great if you ever want a small, lightweight combination to carry around for general photography. If you are always fine with big and heavy, then the kit lens would be superfluous if you get the 18-200...

Comment #12

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