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Cheapest Telephoto Lens for D5000

ANAND KRISHNAMOORTHY , Jun 30, 2009; 10:08 a.m.

Hi -- am very new to this site and to DSLRs. Can anyone tell me what may be a reasonable and obviously the CHEAPEST telephoto lens that's compatible with the new Nikon D5000? Thanks.


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Andy L , Jun 30, 2009; 10:13 a.m.

The cheapest? Look at the Sigma 70-300 but make sure it's the newer version with the built in motor. Their model naming is so bad the guys at Calumet couldn't tell me exactly what I was holding until I mounted it on a camera, tried the AF and listened for what it sounded like. It's also got some usefulness as a macro lens.

But also do look at the Nikon 55-200 AF-S VR. It's reasonably priced and quite good as "kit" type lenses go.

Kent Staubus , Jun 30, 2009; 10:14 a.m.

"Cheap" and "telephoto" aren't words that go together, and you gave NO clue what you will be photo'ing. I'll take a total shot in the dark and suggest the Nikon 70-300mm VR. If you're willing to focus manually, an older Tokina or Sigma 400mm f5.6 lens is probably the cheapest. Check E BAY. You'll need a tripod to get sharp photos from one, of course.
Kent in SD

William T. , Jun 30, 2009; 10:58 a.m.

The Nikon 55-200 VR is cheap and has decent image quality when stopped down. I think it goes for like $150 - $200, but obviously does not have as much reach as the 70-300 VR.

Andy L , Jun 30, 2009; 11:03 a.m.

There's an Arthur C. Clarke novel where an engineer says to an administrator, "Do you want it cheap, good or fast? I can give you any two." The same applies to lenses.

Peter Hamm , Jun 30, 2009; 11:42 a.m.

Save up for the 70-300 VR at least.

Cheap telephotos. Ugh. Sometimes you're better off cropping.

Kent Staubus , Jun 30, 2009; 11:45 a.m.

The OP wants a lens to photo birds with. The cheapest I know of is the Sigma 70-300mm, which is about $160. While something longer such as 400mm would be better, the Sigma is at least decent for the money.
Kent in SD

Shun Cheung , Jun 30, 2009; 11:52 a.m.

Nikon also makes a very inexpensive 70-300mm/f4-5.6 G that is about $150 (not to be confused with the ED version or the 70-300mm/f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR which is also a G lens). It has no built-in AF motor, though.

Keep in mind that the D5000 cannot AF with lenses without built-in AF motor inside the lenes. And any telephoto lens that is below $200 is likely be of poor quality.

Eric Arnold , Jun 30, 2009; 11:52 a.m.

sigma also makes a cheapie 55-200 HSM model which is surprisingly optically-decent, but has a super plasticy build.

Bart van der Borst , Jun 30, 2009; 12:01 p.m.

I'd go for the 55-200 AFS VR, because it's the only lens i regret selling.
It's good and cheap, the VR compensates a little for the 3rd element.

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