GR, a reader, asks:

Hi Michael,

a few weeks ago I attended one of your Nikon Workshops in Oakville. It was a great workshop and I took a lot of info home from it.

Now I’m in the market for my first Telephoto Lense and thought you could give me some help what to look for – just keep in mind I can’t afford a 2000$ lens like you prefer. I’m already looking around for a while and found 3 lenses, I would like your oppinion when you find a moment.

The two main reasons I’m looking for a tele lens are:  my boys play soccer, and we are going on vacation to Nova Scotia on August 9th.

First lense
Nikon AF-S DX 55-300mm VR 4.5-5.6G ED

In the online reviews I could find they say it’s a great beginner lens but it looses focus after the 200mm range. same goes for the next one

NIKON AF-S VR 70-300mm 4.5-5.6G IF-ED

Third lense
NIKON DX VR 55-200 F4.5-5.6G IF-ED

Can you give me some information what’s the difference between those lenses, which one you would recommend and why I should choose one over the other.

If you know off a lense in the same price range that would work better for my purposes, let me know.

Thank you for your help and see you at the NIKON 201 hopefully this fall


My reply:

I teach and coach privately – – and at Vistek Mississauga, and at Sheridan College.

In a word or two:

– The more a lens does, the more it is a compromise.
– The VR feature is important.

So the third lens looks like an option. Not too ambitious; good for outside where you do not necessarily need f/2.8…did you read the recent article on A few days ago? This will help you make the decision, and only you can make it!

(All that said… For travel, I would usually prefer a very wide angle lens.)


2 thoughts on “

  1. I’m trying to decide between those same three lenses myself….

    Since soccer was mentioned, it might be worth noting that the AF motor in the Nikon 70-300 seems to run a fair bit quicker than the 55-200 and 55-300. It might be worth having your kid run up and down the aisle in the store, with the body in AF-C mode, to see if it can lock focus quickly enough for you.

    As for this “unsharp at 300 mm” business that I occasionally hear about these lenses… 300 mm on DX format is a very long lens. VR will buy you a few stops of shutter speed but it can’t do anything about atmospheric haze and shimmer, which any long lens (yes, even the 300mm f/2.8 that costs $6100) will amplify. People who shoot a moose two hundred metres away on a hot day, then complain “the lens is fuzzy”, are usually just seeing atmospheric effects.

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