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I really have little clue about what I'm doing but maybe you can help me out. I have a Nikon D50 which may or may not be replaced (Nikon 3100) but I do want a zoom lens. Looking at the two options below I can't see enough difference to account for the $170.00 difference in price. Any ideas?
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http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-70-300mm-4-5-5-6G-Digital-Camera...

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras $520.00
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http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-55-300mm-4-5-5-6G-ED-VR/dp/B003Z...

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR $349.00
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I have not used either of those two lenses. To do research on your own, you could view a collection of reviews on those two lenses.

http://www.nikonlinks.com/equipment_lenses_zoom-telephoto.ht...
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You should check the tech specs on NikonUSA.

http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses...

http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses...

The 55-300mm has a large zoom range (obviously), but also a smaller minimum aperture. It also has a larger diameter (67mm vs 58mm). And it is ONLY DX. The 70-300mm is compatible with FX. Either will work with your D50 (which is DX).

You can use the compare tool at nikonusa to compare them side-by-side. I also agree with the other post about checking out some reviews (e.g. dpreview).

1poorguy
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Thanks for the help. I think I know enough now to make a good choice. (That I will certainly regret later but that is normal for me) :(
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If you don't mind, which lens did you pick?
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I haven't bought one yet because first I have to tie up my wife, then brainwash her into believing that my blowing $1600.00 on a camera I really don't need is a good idea.
Then I will probably buy the Nikon 5100 with the 70-300 lens and a speedlight to be chosen later.
I looked at Amazon and they are having a $xxx.00 off promotion if you buy a camera and qualifying lens.

The truly stupid part of this whole thing is I recently purchased a Canon Power Shot SX30 (which is a SuperZoom) with a speedlight but I have never been real happy with it. The pictures seem soft and slightly off color at the larger zoom levels.

Maybe my wife will save me from myself.
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Well, if you need to brainwash your wife, I think you should cash all your chips in and go for the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8. Why put a substandard lens on a new camera?

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-70-200mm-VR-II-Digital/dp/B002JC...
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FYI...the D5100:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5100/

(Since you haven't told us anything (that I've seen) about your uses/goals, I can't/won't comment on your choice. Looks like a good camera.)

1poorguy (spent a LOT more than $1600 on his outfit, and doesn't even have a speedlight)
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I have the older 80-200mm f/2.8...she's a beaut'...wonderful lens...
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I have the older 80-200mm f/2.8...she's a beaut'...wonderful lens...

I do recall that. There were four versions of the AF lens. I have the first generation push/pull one. Which one do you have?
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80-200m f/2.8 IF ED AF/S (I'm pretty sure it's the AF/S). I bought it about 10 years ago. Maybe 12 years.

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkore...
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maybe I can talk my wife into letting me get a speedlite so that I can take better pictures of the baby.....
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Grumppy... Don't skimp on the glass. I would 2nd a choice of an older 80-200/2.8. IMPO still outshines newer slower glass.

There are actually 3 versions of the 80-200 f/2.8

- push-pull (no tripod mount. 3rd party available)
- AF/AFD 2 ring (recommened)
- AFS 2 ring (recommened)



HTH...
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There are actually 3 versions of the 80-200 f/2.8

- push-pull (no tripod mount. 3rd party available)
- AF/AFD 2 ring (recommened)
- AFS 2 ring (recommened)


There are a total 4 versions of an AF lens. There were two versions of the push/pull lens.
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There were two versions of the push/pull lens.

~~~

It's still a P/P. I always saw it as one and the same. Still no pod mount.

I was happy to find an AFS copy.
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Is there nothing that isn't in wikipedia??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_F_80-200mm_lens

I have the AF-S. Love it. Will never part with it. It is what guarantees I will always be a Nikon guy because whatever camera I may get must be compatible with it.

Heavy beast, though...
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I have the AF-S. Love it. Will never part with it. It is what guarantees I will always be a Nikon guy because whatever camera I may get must be compatible with it.

If I had an unlimited pot of money, I'd probably swap it out for the 70-200mm f2.8 VRII.

PSU
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