Telephoto lens

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At long last: Nikon updates ancient 80-400 telephoto zoom with new Nikon AF-S 80-400mm ED VR Lens

For twelve years Nikon’s entry in the long end of the telephoto zoom market has been its aging 80-400mm model. In 2001, when Moose Peterson and I shot a dozen of the photos for our book on The D1 Generation of cameras with it, the lens was pretty cool. It worked well with DX sensors, had this amazing new thing called VR, and autofocused. Twelve years later it is a non-starter. Finally Nikon has done something about it, announcing a radically overhauled version, the Nikon “FX-format” 80-400mm lens, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400m f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens. It isn’t any wider as far as aperture, being f/4.5-5.6, but it is guaranteed to have improved focus, optics, and VR. Read more »

Superzoom faceoff: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS versus Nikon Coolpix S9300

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Digital Camera (Black)[NOTE: If you're looking for the Sigma 50-500mm lens review, click here. Sorry about that]

As impressive as improvements have been across the board in point and shoot cameras over the last few years, none have made greater strides than the superzooms. Formerly more of a novelty and avoided by anyone serious about performance or image quality, new models are finally worth serious consideration for anyone needing to isolate subjects with a small, light camera. For this project I borrowed a Nikon Coolpix S9300 and a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS and carried both around for a few weeks as my point and shoot camera. I knew that neither would live up to the speed or image quality of my personal favorite point and shoot, the Canon PowerShot S100, but of course that isn’t the point. These models have amazing zoom ranges, and actually cost less. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found… Read more »

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S Shoot Out–VR I model vs. new VR II version

djc_0994I really didn’t want to like the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S ED VR II lens. Sure I knew it’d be a great lens but since I already have the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VR and the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM in my bag I wasn’t looking for another $2K lens to add to my wish list. But so that I could pass along a real comparison of the three versions of this popular lens I got a review unit and took all of them out to put them through their paces at the local duck pond. Read on for what I found… Read more »

Sigma 70-300mm DG OS Lens: Another Lightweight Winner for Budget Conscious Shooters

djc_1617[3]Moving beyond the kit lens is a big and very common step in upgrading your photo gear. One of the first lenses most photographers want to add is a better telephoto zoom. But their jaws drop at the size, weight and price of the big “pro” lenses so their next best choice is the very popular 70-300mm zoom. Nikon and Canon have great products in that range but at nearly $600 they’re more than many photographers paid for their camera and more than many of them want to spend. Fortunately Sigma has upgraded its popular 70-300mm Zoom to include both a motor and stabilization and kept the street price under $400…