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Telephoto lens
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Feb 19, 2018 11:56:14   #
ChiefEW
 
We are going on a 15 day National parks bus trip this year. Yellowstone, Arches, Mt Rushmore, Grand Canyon, etc. I shoot with a Nikon D5300 camera. I have a Nikon 18-55, and a 55-200. I am looking at adding the 200-500. In addition I like to take pictures of birds and wildlife. I would appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you.

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Feb 19, 2018 12:03:06   #
roxiemarty (a regular here)
 
Just keep in mind you have to carry your gear. A really good backpack for hiking the trails; you will have to hike in to the best photo areas. I use one with a waist belt that helps keep the weight of my gear off of my shoulders. Enjoy that trip! Sounds like a dream.

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Feb 19, 2018 12:04:06   #
ELNikkor (a regular here)
 
I have the same lightweight, versatile system you do. Though I've been tempted by the reach of the 150-600, or 200-500 lenses, the weight and expense have restricted me to my little system that is so easy to manage. Yes, you might get a shot of that distant little bird with the big lens, but on a trip like that, it will probably be more of a cumbersome burden. A compromise might be to save yourself some expense and get the lauded Tamron 18-400 lens, which could stay on the camera the whole trip.

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Feb 19, 2018 12:04:31   #
Rick Fox
 
I suggest a Tamron 18-400. It does nothing perfectly, but it does everything (including birds) well... Plus, only one lens to carry on the bus.

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Feb 19, 2018 12:05:39   #
taco40
 
You might be interested in this topic in the main photography area - "Sigma 100-400mm vs Tamron 100-400mm vs Canon EF 100-400mm".
I was going to purchase a 100-400 mm lens. I had originally thought I'd get a used Canon lens for my EOS 70D. Then was directed to the Sigma lens. After researching Canon, Sigma, and Tamron; I asked about them in the above topic. Take a look at the link for how the Canon lens was made at lensrental.com. I'd imagine that there is something similar for the Nikon lenses.

Link: http://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-512554-1.html

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Feb 19, 2018 12:10:21   #
danlsmith
 
I agree with the 18-400

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Feb 19, 2018 12:13:02   #
danlsmith
 
And a decent tripod. Doesn't have to be expensive.

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Feb 19, 2018 12:16:08   #
rjaywallace (a regular here)
 
Consider renting whatever you want for a week or two rather than purchasing outright. Renting will give you a first-hand opportunity to see how the lens performs with your camera, subject matter and shooting stye. Rental lenses are available from a variety of sources, such as, for example, Lensrentals.com, and the rental charge may be applied to the cost of purchase.

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Feb 19, 2018 12:27:38   #
Paul J. Svetlik
 
In order to avoid a disappointment, I would leave your DSLR with all the gears on the bus as a backup - and get a practical bridge camera with a super zoom.
Have a fabulous trip!

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Feb 19, 2018 12:55:58   #
bwana (a regular here)
 
ChiefEW wrote:
We are going on a 15 day National parks bus trip this year. Yellowstone, Arches, Mt Rushmore, Grand Canyon, etc. I shoot with a Nikon D5300 camera. I have a Nikon 18-55, and a 55-200. I am looking at adding the 200-500. In addition I like to take pictures of birds and wildlife. I would appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you.

Consider leaving all this heavy equipment at home and buying / renting a Sony RX10 IV with its excellent 24-600mm zoom lens and 1" sensor.

I own both a Sony A7S and A7R II with several long'ish lenses and find I grab either the Sony RX10 III or IV the most often for general purpose shooting. If I'm going after really low light targets, I will take the Sony A7+ equipment.

Have a great trip!

bwa

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Feb 19, 2018 13:01:45   #
MT Shooter (a regular here)
 
ChiefEW wrote:
We are going on a 15 day National parks bus trip this year. Yellowstone, Arches, Mt Rushmore, Grand Canyon, etc. I shoot with a Nikon D5300 camera. I have a Nikon 18-55, and a 55-200. I am looking at adding the 200-500. In addition I like to take pictures of birds and wildlife. I would appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you.


It would be an excellent choice. Combined with your24MP crop sensor not much else would be better for wildlife shots on your trip. Certainly not a smaller sensored camera in ANY respect.

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Feb 19, 2018 13:24:43   #
bwana (a regular here)
 
MT Shooter wrote:
It would be an excellent choice. Combined with your24MP crop sensor not much else would be better for wildlife shots on your trip. Certainly not a smaller sensored camera in ANY respect.

Other than sheer weight and a cumbersome setup, particularly if it comes to shooting from inside the bus...

bwa

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Feb 19, 2018 14:50:29   #
Gene51 (a regular here)
 
ChiefEW wrote:
We are going on a 15 day National parks bus trip this year. Yellowstone, Arches, Mt Rushmore, Grand Canyon, etc. I shoot with a Nikon D5300 camera. I have a Nikon 18-55, and a 55-200. I am looking at adding the 200-500. In addition I like to take pictures of birds and wildlife. I would appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you.


If you need to get Nikon, then the 200-500 is a good bet. If you are open to getting something a little sharper, an extra 100mm of usable focal length* and with better dust and moisture sealing, configurable focus and stabilization parameters, has an Arca Swiss compatible lens foot, weighs quarter pound less and costs $100 less, then you might want to look at the Tamron 150-600 G2. I like it as much as my much heavier Sigma 150-600 Sport, which I also like as much as my Nikkor 600mmF4. The 200-500 isn't quite, in the same league, but I am being very critical, it is still a very good lens capable of taking great shots.

*by usable focal length I mean that it's not just a number - many lenses, including the 200-500, get a little soft at full zoom. Center performance on an MTF chart drops from a high of 2658 @ F5.6 at 300mm to 2143 @ F5.6 at 500mm - almost a 20% drop in center area sharpness. At 500mm and F8 it increases slightly to 2244.

https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-200-500mm-f5-6e-vr

The Tamron does not - it is just as sharp at 600mm as it is at 500mm.

The reviewer in this article came to the same conclusion:

https://photographylife.com/reviews/tamron-sp-150-600mm-f5-6-3-g2

I consider the Tamron to be every bit as sharp as the Sigma Sport, which in the 200-500 review provides an MTF figure of 2607 at F6.3 and high of 2711 at F8, both at 600mm. At it's best, beats the Nikon by 20%. I cannot put my finger on sharpness tests for the G2, but I did recently shoot with one and found no lack of sharpness at all, and I do recall reading that the sharpness was comparable and even a little sharper at shorter focal lengths.

Taking an 18-400 would leave me regretting not taking a better lens, and taking a bridge camera even more so. I shoot with a Sony RX10m4 which is about as good as it gets for a bridge, and though I am happy with the compromise of weight&size against image quality, they kind of trip you are taking would certainly warrant a better choice. Don't get me wrong - I love my Sony, but it is no Nikon D810 or even a D800, which is what I normally shoot with.

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Feb 19, 2018 17:44:41   #
imagemeister (a regular here)
 
ChiefEW wrote:
We are going on a 15 day National parks bus trip this year. Yellowstone, Arches, Mt Rushmore, Grand Canyon, etc. I shoot with a Nikon D5300 camera. I have a Nikon 18-55, and a 55-200. I am looking at adding the 200-500. In addition I like to take pictures of birds and wildlife. I would appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you.


If you have the money to spend on a 200-500 then you have enough for a Sony RX10 III or IV .....

Otherwise, the new Tamron 100-400 is the lightest of the genre ....

For this type trip, smaller/lighter is better.

You appear to be fairly serious about your imaging - which is why I rule out the Tamron 18-400 ....

..

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Feb 19, 2018 19:38:06   #
jcboy3 (a regular here)
 
ChiefEW wrote:
We are going on a 15 day National parks bus trip this year. Yellowstone, Arches, Mt Rushmore, Grand Canyon, etc. I shoot with a Nikon D5300 camera. I have a Nikon 18-55, and a 55-200. I am looking at adding the 200-500. In addition I like to take pictures of birds and wildlife. I would appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you.


I can't imagine using that lens much at all on your trip. I recommend an ultra-wide angle lens for these parks, instead.

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