Zoom Lens Confusion
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Old 04-20-2014   #1
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Default Zoom Lens Confusion

Hi Techtalkers

Can someone please help me understand what is the difference between a Nikon 55-300mm and a 70-300mm Lens. My Understanding is that the 55-300mm in itself contains the 70-300mm. if so than why the 70-300mm is costlier than the 55-300mm. I believe the 55-300mm should cost more as both have the same aperture f/4.5-5.6G.

I know cost is not the only factor in everything, but why this is and why should someone pay more for 70-300mm.

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Taniya

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Old 04-20-2014   #2
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Default Re: Zoom Lens Confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniya View Post
I know cost is not the only factor in everything, but why this is and why should someone pay more for 70-300mm.
Why ? Because it is a much better lens all round and undoubtedly costs more to manufacture.

The 55 - 300 is a reasonable lens, it has one major "flaw" - the AF is very slow and it is cumbersome to switch from AF to Manual and even then the manual focus control is not good. The AF electronics and mechanics may be a "budget" version of those in the 70 - 300
The 70 - 300 can be used on DX, FX and film cameras without cropping.

BUT - if you can live with those restrictions the 55 - 300 is not a bad lens. I wanted a 300mm lens for my D90/7100 and felt that the 70 - 300 was too pricey so I got a used 55 - 300. I don't intend going up to FX and I don't use it for sports or bird (flying) use, so it suits me just fine.

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Old 04-21-2014   #3
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Default Re: Zoom Lens Confusion

Right, the big difference is the 70-300 is a bigger FX lens, and the 55-300 is a smaller DX lens.

The FX lens projects a larger image circle, large enough to cover the larger FX sensor, 1.5x larger dimensions.

The DX lens image only covers the smaller DX sensor, and so would not be properly usable on a FX body. The FX lens can be used on FX or DX bodies.
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Old 09-04-2014   #4
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Default Re: Zoom Lens Confusion

As far as I am aware, lens price depends not only configuration but also it's hardware and how recent it is. In newer lenses, you may expect better hardware.
I recently bought an old used Nikon 18-105mm and I compared it with my another new lens Nikon 105mm macro. The new one is much heavier. The old 18-105mm seems light and poor quality.

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Old 09-15-2014   #5
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Default Re: Zoom Lens Confusion

Nice post. and informative.
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Old 09-15-2014   #6
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Default Re: Zoom Lens Confusion

Another issue is alignment of glass elements throughout the entire focal range. In order to maintain image shapes throughout the entire focal range all the glass elements need to work together. An engineering marvel in itself. Larger focal ranges tend to suffer from a variety of other problems than focus sharpness, chromatic aberrations being one of them and edge focus being another (to name a few). In order to correct those problems lens manufactures use a variety of techniques that include reducing the focal range in order for other lens elements to work properly. Better glass elements, better engineering and higher build standards will have an effect on the final price.
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Old 09-16-2014   #7
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Default Re: Zoom Lens Confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakilearl View Post
As far as I am aware, lens price depends not only configuration but also it's hardware and how recent it is. In newer lenses, you may expect better hardware.
I recently bought an old used Nikon 18-105mm and I compared it with my another new lens Nikon 105mm macro. The new one is much heavier. The old 18-105mm seems light and poor quality.

I support moonrakerz information.
Your 18-105 is a kit lens sold as part of a package with entry level crop sensor (DX) DSLR's. Aperture is 3.5-5.6. The 105 prime is a fixed aperture f/2.8 lens. It is compatible with both DX and FX/35mm formats. This is all shown in the price difference -- 105 prime $899, 18-105 kit $199 for the VR, more for VR2.

Apples/Oranges.
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Old 09-16-2014   #8
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Default Re: Zoom Lens Confusion

My Nikkor 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G isn't as sharp at the long end of its zoom range as I would expect more expensive Nikon lenses to be. Photographers who demand top performance and can afford top quality lenses wouldn't be satisfied with it. However, it fills a niche for less exacting photographers.


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