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Telephoto Lens Suggestion

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Good Morning Everyone,


Looking for a suggestion as I'm finding tons of information out there, most of it conflicting, so I figured this was my best bet to see if someone can help point me to what I'm looking for.


I'm in Law Enforcement and I'm looking for a good quality telephoto lens that can provide good zoom capabilities and light intake as some pictures will be taken in low light.


My current setup is a Nikon D3300 with a AF-S VR Nikkor 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 G-II and an AF-S VR Nikkor 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 G-ED.


I'm looking for a lens that can provide up to around the equivalent of a "10x" zoom.

Good aperture size as some shooting will be done in low light/night.

Cost is a factor as I work for a governmental agency and they don't like to spend money.


Any help will be much appreciated.



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In terms of value I'd say it's hard to beat the Tamron if you are looking for a F2.8 lens:



At 200mm this is over 10x your base focal length of 18mm, but it certainly won't give you more reach than the 55-300mm.


If you do need more reach there's the Sigma 150-600mm, which is also cheaper but also roughly the same aperture as your existing lens:




Another consideration which might make things more economical in the long run would be to upgrade the body to something with more sensitive AF / better high-ISO performance.  Then you'd be able to get away with using slower/smaller lenses :)

g4aaw pete

g4aaw pete

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Hello @tex


good suggestions there from Adam.

I've been using a D3300 for the last six years and have the AF-s 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 VR


Considering it's an entry level camera, this setup has worked well for me in many situations.

Much will depend how much you want to spend.


I recently bought a D800E, which means having to buy some full frame lenses.

If you don't already have a huge selection DX lenses, now might be a good time to look at a full frame or a mirrorless system?

  • Tex likes this



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A 300mm lens will give you about 9 times magnification compared to a normal lens for your camera. You have that focal length covered, do you need more magnification?


A 300mm F2.8 would be ideal, but cost double what an F4 lens will cost.


A 300/4 AF-S used:


Nikon Nikkor AF-S 300mm F4 D ED SWM IF Lens 300/4 AFS #109 | eBay


I have bought from this shop several times.


A 400mm lens is the next step up, Tamron and Sigma would be ones to look at. An F5.6 lens is affordable, but you need to ask yourself about the Lighting. A 400mm F4 will be expensive.