Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF vs. Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XRDi Lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Clyde Torres, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Clyde Torres

    Clyde Torres Guest

    Zoom Telephoto AF VR Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G Autofocus
    The above is advice given by Paul Rubin on an earlier post. I went to a
    local store today to look at the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF lens, and the
    salesman showed it to me. He also showed me the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3
    XRDi lens, which he claims is MUCH BETTER than the Nikkor lens. I played
    with both, and the Tamron seemed a little bit tighter (less slop), but I
    know nothing about its optics and resultant photographic quality. Does
    anyone here have any data or advice about the Tamron lens and its comparison
    to the Nikkor lens? I normally wouldn't buy an aftermarket lens, but the
    salesguy said that Nikon makes some surprisingly embarrassing lenses, and
    Tamron is a major glass manufacturer. He also said that Tamron invented a
    way to mold glass such that it is cheaper, smaller and better than unmolded
    glass. I'm not sure if he's laying a sales line on me or not, and this is
    why I need your advice. BOth lenses don't weigh much, but the Tamron lens
    is smaller and lighter.

    Thank you very much.

    Clyde Torres
    Clyde Torres, Apr 10, 2005
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  2. Clyde Torres

    GTO Guest

    The Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF lens is a fine lens. BTW, it is 4.0 to
    5.6 and not 4.5 to 5.6! Sales people always want to sell you items that give
    them a larger profit margin.

    GTO, Apr 10, 2005
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  3. Clyde Torres

    Clyde Torres Guest

    You are absolutely correct, Gregor. It is a f/4-5.6 lens.

    I agree that salespeople will always try to sell you either what will make
    them the highest profit margin OR what they have in stock, whichever comes
    first; thus, the reason for my post.

    Clyde Torres, Apr 10, 2005
  4. Clyde Torres

    Tom Scales Guest

    I can't comment on the Tamron directly, but a 28-300 is unlikely to be a
    better performer than a good 70-300.

    I have the 70-300D and am very pleased with it.

    Tom Scales, Apr 10, 2005
  5. Clyde Torres

    Ben Cramer Guest

    Hi Clyde

    I have been using a Tamron 28-300 (non DI) for a couple of months. I bought
    it in a rush one weekend as I left my 80-400 at home and needed a zoom with
    reasonable reach.

    I was very surprised with the quality of the images I got from the Tamron.
    It has been my walk around lens ever since I bought it.

    Have a look here for some
    sample shots with the DI version.

    I found the non DI version is a little larger, heavier and seems more
    robust. It also has the advantage of being able to be used on non Digital
    SLRs as well.

    Hope that helps.
    Ben Cramer, Apr 10, 2005
  6. Clyde Torres

    Sheldon Guest

    Bear in mind that the Nikon lens is specifically made for digital cameras
    and will not cover the film area of a 35mm camera. So, having an aperture
    adjustment on the lens is a moot point unless you want to use it on other
    cameras. I have the Nikon lens and think it's very good, and the reviews
    mostly say it's a bargain. In the past I've had many off-brand lenses and
    found that no matter how they feel now, the Nikon lenses will generally stay
    "tight" for a long time. I'm using lenses on my D70 that are 35 years old,
    and all of them work just fine. My 80-200 was used professionally and
    thrashed around for many years, and while the zoom mechanism has loosened
    up, as far as using the ring to focus and zoom, there is absolutely no play
    or wobble in the lens at all.
    Sheldon, Apr 10, 2005
  7. The manufacturers have gotten better, but I personally have never
    bought a zoom lens from a camera body manufacturing company. I've had
    Tamron and Vivitar and Tokina zooms on Nikon and Olympus and Pentax
    bodies, but I've never owned a Nikon, Olympus, or Pentax zoom. Today,
    there are clearly some first-rate zooms from the camera companies, but
    also some quite ordinary ones. It was the third-party companies that
    really developed zooms and made them practical, and for a long time
    they retained their lead there. For a while in the 80s Olympus
    appeared to be spreading the rumor that Tokina made their zooms; this
    rumor *improved* the reputation of the Olympus zooms.

    The odds that a 28-300 zoom is better than a 70-300 zoom approximate
    zero, unless the 70-300 design is a total dog. I like Tamron well
    enough, but I think your salesman is talking through his hat.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 10, 2005
  8. Clyde Torres

    Tom Scales Guest

    Uh, no, it is not. The 70-300D and 70-300G are NOT DX lenses. They'll work
    fine on 35mm cameras.

    Tom Scales, Apr 10, 2005
  9. Clyde Torres

    larrylook Guest

    I wanted a walk around lens for under $500, so I bought the Tamron 28-300mm
    di 1week ago. It's early to tell you much. It's not great for low light
    without flash (I have nikon d70 and sb800). It's hard to focus manually
    (needs more sensitive focusing on manual setting). But given it's
    limitations you can get good shots. All hawk photos and many others here
    use this lens:
    I think it's nice to have a walk around lens that isn't real expensive
    (saves you from having to carry lots of gear), but in a year or two I'll
    probably end up replacing it with a 70-200 or 70-400 VR lens if I can afford
    the >$1000 for this hobby.
    larrylook, Apr 10, 2005
  10. Is this the one in the $150 range?
    Oliver Costich, Apr 10, 2005
  11. Clyde Torres

    andrew29 Guest

    Much better in what way? It has a higher zoom range, but othwise it's
    not so good. High range zooms suffer from softness, loss of contrast,
    and lens aberrations. And they're slow too.
    True, and true. But Tamron isn't going to get any gold stars for this
    particular lens.
    OK, you want simple truth, here it is: you can't get a quart into a
    pint pot. No-one can, no matter how clever they are.

    fast, good, cheap.

    Pick any two.

    And you can add "wide zoom range" to that list.

    andrew29, Apr 10, 2005
  12. Clyde Torres

    Clyde Torres Guest

    Andrew, the above link is a very good link giving comparison of this Tamron
    lens to several Canon lenses. I can definitely see the differences in
    contrast and color saturation. I am giving advice to my sister-in-law to go
    with the Nikon 70-300mm ED lens. Also, I have a Canon 20D and am looking
    for a similar zoom telephoto to extend my present 28-135mm range. This link
    has a comparison of the Tamron lens to the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
    AF lens, which is the lens I have been looking at seriously. I did go to
    pBase to find all these lenses and get example pictures. The Nikon 70-300mm
    ED lens and the Canon 100-400mm lens stood out above the Tamron 70-300mm
    lens, in my opinion.

    Thanks for your comments and web site link. I really appreciate it.

    Clyde Torres
    Clyde Torres, Apr 10, 2005
  13. But isn't this something that can be fixed with just about any digital
    darkroom software, including freebies? Adjust contrast, color...
    sharpen. Or am I missing something here?

    Petter Settli, Apr 10, 2005
  14. Clyde Torres

    Clyde Torres Guest

    Petter, the least post processing one has to do, the better the picture will
    be, and the less time one spends on each picture. In short, it's easier to
    polish a BMW than it is to polish a turd.

    Clyde Torres
    Clyde Torres, Apr 10, 2005
  15. Right, but my point is that even mediocre zooms aren't that bad, and if
    you're using a DSLR a lot of the deficiencies can be fixed in
    post-processing (or so I've heard. I don't own a DSLR and my
    post-processing skills are rudimentary). I'm commenting from my
    experience with supposed mediocre zooms from the the film world, both
    manual and auto-focus, of which I've had several. They've been
    perfectly OK. You learn to live with the limitations, like compensating
    for slow auto focus.
    Quoting from the link you gave:
    "The lens will produce considerably better images with your compact
    Canon dslr than you can produce with any number of point and shoot
    digital cameras. "

    This is something I've read in other forums and reviews. Even mediocre
    SLR zooms are better than most P&S lenses.

    Petter Settli, Apr 10, 2005
  16. Clyde Torres

    Clyde Torres Guest

    You do learn to live with limitations - that is a fact of life. The trick
    to living well, though, is to minimize limitations or at least manage them
    such that they don't consume the majority of one's time. One can spend the
    money up front and enjoy a lesser post-processing world, or one can go cheap
    and spend more time later post-processing pictures. My time is very
    valuable to me, but your time may not be. To each his own.

    That last statement is definitely true, but I'm not comparing dSLR zooms to
    P&S zooms. I'm comparing dSLR zooms to dSLR zooms. I'm not comparing a
    particular lens that fits on my dSLR to a P&S camera. Apparently, I'm in a
    whole different ball park.

    Clyde Torres
    Clyde Torres, Apr 10, 2005
  17. Clyde Torres

    andrew29 Guest

    For sure, but you'll boost noise and reduce dynamic range. Whether
    this makes the image unusable depends on the conditions.

    andrew29, Apr 11, 2005
  18. Clyde Torres

    andrew29 Guest

    But this Tamron 28-300mm isn't a mediocre zoom. The Nikkor 70-300 is
    a mediocre zoom.
    That's true, kinda-sorta. But when you manipulate an image things get
    worse, and boosting contast and sharpening tends to emphasize other
    This is probably true. On the other hand it is to damn with faint

    andrew29, Apr 11, 2005
  19. Clyde Torres

    GadgetChap Guest

    Yes, you're in with all the other arrogant, superficial grade A pricks.
    GadgetChap, Apr 15, 2005
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