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Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses

Lesson 25 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses

Lesson 25 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

25. Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses


Class Trailer



Nikon Lens Class Introduction


Nikon Lens Basics


Focal Length: Angle of View


Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses


Focal Length: Telephoto Lens


Focal Length Rule of Thumb


Field of View


Aperture Basics


Equivalent Aperture


Depth of Field


Maximum Sharpness




Hyper Focal Distance


Nikon Mount Systems


Nikon Cine Lenses


Nikon Lens Design


Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon Lenses


Nikon Lens Vibration Reduction


Image Quality


Aperture Control and General Info


Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses


Nikon Super Zoom Lenses


Nikon Wide Angle Lenses


Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses


3rd Party Zooms Overview


3rd Party Zooms: Sigma


3rd Party Zooms: Tamron


3rd Party Zooms: Tokina




Nikon Prime Lens: Normal


Nikon Prime Lens: Wide Angle


Nikon Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Nikon Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


3rd Party Primes: Sigma


3rd Party Primes: Zeiss


3rd Party Primes: Samyang


Lens Accessories: Filters


Lens Accessories: Lens Hood


Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount


Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lens Accessories: Teleconverters


Macro Photography


Nikon Micro Lens Selection


Fisheye Lenses


Tilt Shift Photography Overview


Tilt Shift Lenses


Building a Nikon System


Making a Choice: Nikon Portrait Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Sport Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Landscape Lenses


Nikon Lens Systems


Lens Maintenance


Buying and Selling Lenses


Final Q&A


What's in the Frame


Lesson Info

Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses

All right, let's, move up to the telephoto zoom lenses, narrow angle of very valuable. So first off, we're going to look at the dx lenses for the crop frame users. There's a lot of lenses that are going to start at fifty five. Why did they started? Fifty five, because you're eighteen ends at fifty five. So you want to get a matching linds that goes from their upwards. Now these are going to be slower aperture lenses as you in c four or four point five on the aperture with a variety of technology's built in your basic fifty five to two hundred is going to be one of the cheapest lenses that you can buy from nikon and cost optically very much like the previous lenses that we talked about in this kind of genre, which is optically, you can get good photos from this construction wise amenity wise there's. Not a lot to offer on the lenses. No manual focus override. You can see it just says a or m on the side over here. This, uh, you know, is a good way to get kind of started in telephoto phot...

ography. Chances are that if you get into photography and you have the budget you're going to upgrade this lands. This is not a long term lens. This is kind of something that's a stepping stone to stumping bigger there's. No problem starting out here, this is very much the telephoto zoom that I started with. No vi are on that particular version. So they added v r and when the added first added the are they put v r in red letters, we've got the our folks and had to scream it out to you now, it's more like uh, yeah, we do. We are! And they just kind of put it in the line along with everything else. So a lot of the good stuff edie glass in here reasonably low price simply added the in here a little bit slower on the auto focus. This has the focal length to reach out and shoot sports, but the focusing system isn't quite always up to the speed of your athletes. So sometime is that you're focusing on better quality athletes that are really quick and their movements, the focusing motors in this are not going to be as fast keeping up with their movements and so it's going to be a little hit and miss when it comes to shooting sports with this type of lands. The newest version of the lens was the one that actually had up here on the table, which had that retractable button on it. So if you wanted something that was really compact that you could take hiking with you, you can leave it in the retracted position, press the button and then extend the lens into its shooting position. And so that enables you to put this into a little bit smaller bag because having that is a two hundred millimeter lands is a very small package when you actually shoot it two hundred it's like that so very compact design this is going to be there lightest and smallest telephoto that you can get and compared to the other lenses that I just talked about, you do pay a little bit of a premium for getting that new compact design on it. If you want to extend your reach a little bit further out to three hundred millimeters, which is getting into super telephoto range on a dx camera, three hundred millimeters will definitely get you out there. It definitely increases the size and the weight of the lens. And so if you really wanted to get into wildlife photography, you're probably going to need more than the two hundred millimeters that we were just talking about. Getting up to this three hundred is going to do you that extra reach in order to get in for wildlife photography once again not those little things now you know what to look for on lindsay's does it have a focusing scale no. What about this little focussing a m I just am not the a m a m and so doesn't have that manual focus over right well how big is the focusing ring on it you can start to identify the features of a lens by just looking at it very quickly and so looking at the telephoto lenses you'll pay for the newer technology so you do pay a premium for that nuke compact technology and so this v r here this one has v r this one doesn't I don't know why that's cheaper but you know what things don't always make sense to me you are going to pay extra for that extended range all the way up to three hundred so if you're shooting sports wildlife motor sports planes and cars things like that that three hundreds going to really help reach out and grab those because it's just that narrower angle of you all right let's talk about our f x telephoto lens is our first category is the seventy two, three hundred and here we have a here we have the odd couple alright these two are very, very different all right this little guy well what I have to say about trying to find something interesting and unique to say about everyone and if I had to say if there was one lands not to buy this would probably be it I think this is the lowest and lands I may have ever seen nikon put out can you tell that I don't work for an icon it is just plasticky everywhere it's well I mean I guess it's got look at that focusing ring it actually has a focusing scale on it I will I will give it one gold star for that any case it's extremely lightweight extremely cheap lands for most of your average users who want a decent telephoto this is kind of my first recommendation seventy two, three hundred that has the technology innit here isa nice good range good quality land's much better construction has a nice focussing ring has a lot of the good technology and it's a step up in price but this is something that's going to last you many more years and be something that you're much more comfortable using on a regular basis so anyone who shoots on a regular basis I think very much appreciated you notice over here the m es means it's got the manual override so that you could just grab that focusing ring it's got that clutch motor in it and so we have a very low and lands and I guess I could recommend this if you said I needed telephoto lands and I got like two hundred bucks what can I do? I would say well look in the used market see if you can find something there first and if you can't this is a new lands the focusing system isn't great in the fact of how fast it can focus but it will get you out there if you really need to get out there all right straighten up everybody we're going to talk about the good stuff here okay so these are the nice ones all right I can recommend all three of these for somebody who wants to get into serious good quality telephoto work now the seventy two two hundred f four is kind of a new lands that they used to do back in the old days they used to have a same need two to ten I believe therefore and this I think is a great compromise for your weekend hobbyist photographer who wants a really nice lands but really doesn't want to carry around a huge chunk of lens with him and so this is a nice compromise when it comes to quality in a long focal length plans so I really like a seventy two two hundred and four good balance of size and quality great for travel in landscapes the f four is fast enough for most situations the problem with going two to eight is it's going to increase the weight quite a bit so we're we're under two pounds in a reasonable size lens here as we go into the higher in lenses this is part of their two eight premier siri's of zoom lenses. This is something that if you're going to be a news photographer I think for most portrait photographers for most wedding photographers this is almost you have to buy. This is on the required list of equipment for being a serious nikon professional photographer because it's so incredibly valuable it's a great range it depends on what you shoot. I shoot a wide variety of stuff and I really honestly like white angle but I shoot more photos in the range of this lens than any other age than in the other lands. So this is my most valuable range and having that two point eight aperture is really, really handy if you shoot people in action, which is why a lot of wedding photographers, news photographers, sports photographers will have this it's just so valuable in so many different areas, but we have jumped up to three and a half pounds so it is a big chunk that's going to be over your shoulder but pretty much everything about it is just really top quality now before they made that one. This is our classic class. This is for somebody who maybe doesn't mind having ah little older piece of technology the eighty two, two hundred two point eight not quite as much range about eighty rather than seventy novi our technology here but for somebody who said you know what, I just don't have the budget for a high end brand new technology I need that practical eighty two, two hundred range I need the two point eight aperture can you get it to me for less money and you could do it for much less money if you don't mind a little bit slower focusing system so it's not as good for action tracking focusing but if you were going to be a press photographer and you're going to be photographing the president standing up there at a podium giving their talk where you're not tracking their movement back and forth but you do need the faster shutter speeds this would be a very valuable lens for that it's also got the actual appa chewing on it it's part of their de serious lenses so you can use it on all their manual focus lenses so if you wanted to use it with a film camera, this is a way to use that range in a two point eight version. And so as we look at these three very different seventy two, two hundred ranges you do pay a premium for the newest technology with their vibration reduction at that fast aperture but you can actually get a two eight land's cheaper than an f for if you're willing to go with the this is the older a f technology this is the new f ask technology where the motors are built into the lance this is where it uses a motor built into the camera so you got to have a camera that has a motor built into it which means this would not work at least in auto focus on a d three thousand or five thousand siri's camera from ed storm b s eleven hi there what is it good lens to shoot the moon on the expensive side? Well that's about as challenging as you could get because you want the long lens you want fast lands and that isn't easy to do and so I would take that eight hundred five six which is right here this would be a nice lands would probably want to use one of the double ear's on it I wouldn't mind using one of the five hundreds here with a doubler they don't make a tripler be nice uh and that's if you want to get a close up shot of the moon now maybe you want to get a picture of the moon in its environment well then you could use just about england's want and so if you're just trying to do a shot that competes with nasa well you're going to have to compete with nasa's optics and that's not gonna be easy tio dio and so you just want the longest lines you get and then it's like what's your budget ten thousand okay, how about five thousand? How about two thousand? They just came out with a new two hundred to five hundred that's really reasonably well priced and so that might be the best of the new lenses that are currently available. All right, so let's get into our big telephoto zoom lenses and here we have three different lenses that there really shouldn't be too much comparison between what I'm not sure I'm thinking about this one or this one it's it's pretty going to define you into one category of the other eighty two, four hundred two hundred, four hundred and two hundred, five hundred but very different apertures and very different price tags all right, so the eighty two, four hundred is probably going to be the biggest lens that most people would put in their camera bag and take with um a lot of places they go. This is what I have called the biggest lens that you will hang hold for the most part. I know when I was working in the camera store selling cameras to people who were going to africa on safari ah four hundred five six lands was about the most that most people would budget carrie and hand hold in the field and that was practical for that situation there's plenty of lenses that are bigger that would do a better job but that's kind of a nice break point getting something that goes out to four hundred with a five point six apertura is a pretty long reach and a reasonable but not super fast aperture costs a lot of money to get faster than so if you want to do a lot of outdoor telephoto work whether it's landscapes, wildlife this is going to be a good range for that this is a lens that most people are going to be ableto hand hold it is three and a half pounds so it is a little bit heavier but it does have there ve our technology in it and so it's well designed well built lands it is a little bit slower on this aperture and it's just not really easy to get this faster. You know, if you say I want this f or well then you can take a look at this lands which is a completely different beast. This is a two hundred, four hundred f four constant and so this would be a favorite of wildlife photographers. Now we have just jumped into a completely different arena at seven and a half pounds on this one so this is a very heavy lens. This is not a lens that anyone is going to hand hold for more than a short period of time this is going to be typically used off of a tripod or off of a mono pod which allows you great portability but still allows you to the weight to be supported by some other device than your arms and so if you're shooting big game that you have reasonably good access to so if you're going to africa on safari where the thie animals have become acclimatized to the vehicles and they come somewhat close they're not like on the other side of the field this is gonna be a great lands and the two hundred four hundred range of always by a three hundred two point eight or just buy a four hundred two point eight but when you have unpredictable animals coming closer and further away that zoom lens could just totally saved the day for you and so very useful mostly for the wildlife photographer and so reasonably fast it f or price and weight are going to be on the steep side brand new from nikon is something that they've not had before two hundred to five hundred if you look back in icons history their manual focus lens is there was a period back in the seventies where there was a bit of an arms race with other manufacturers in all the long lenses that they could make and they actually made a number of really interesting like three, sixty two, twelve hundred millimeter lenses it's like how big a lens can we make and they hadn't really done that recently and part of the problem is is that our cameras, for the most part, we saw an exception earlier need a five point six aperture in which to focus. So the question right now for the designers is how big a lens can we make and keep it within a five point six aperture? And so what they wanted to do is they wanted to design a lands that reached up further than four hundred, up to five hundred, but stayed at five point six. And so this is the first lands. Actually, it is the first learns that I've ever seen that is a five six zoom, which is kind of a usual stays at five, six the whole time. So two hundred, five hundred this is going to be wildlife and motor sports. So whether you're a nascar formula one fan or you like to go to the air shows, this is going to be a really nice lands with that. Now it is three and a half pounds it's kind of heavy. This is something that you're probably gonna want to use off of a model pie. But looking at the stats this lands and if I was to say, john new lands from nikon, guess what price it's going to be? I would have said twenty, five hundred bucks. This looks like a twenty five hundred dollars. I don't know the image, quality and that's kind of the factor that we were still waiting to see on it because it is brand new but it's coming in at under fifteen hundred bucks. So this is very much within the range of somebody who's, a pretty interested hobbyists tilts around under fifteen hundred bucks, and so the price difference on these is huge. You're paying a huge amount for that f or aperture. And so the problem with the two hundred to five hundred, in my opinion, is that that is not a lens that you're going to want to throw around in your day to day camera back. That is a specialty, linds. You take out for special places that you go in events that you go to the one hundred, four hundred that's maurine. The range is for us, the size and the weight that some people are going to keep in their camera back on a regular basis. And so it really depends on how you were going to shoot, but three very different long lenses.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon® Lenses Part 1
Nikon® Lenses Part 2
Nikon® Lenses Part 3
Nikon® Lenses Part 4
Field of View
Nikon® Lenses Part 5
Nikon® Lenses Part 6
Nikon® Lenses Part 7
Nikon® Lenses Part 8
Nikon® Lens Data

Ratings and Reviews


Outstanding class! This is a must own. You will refer back to this class many times during your photog career. John has put a ton of work into this class and it shows. Being able to download the slides and other Nikon glass info is wonderful. Even if you're not a Nikon shooter you will still gleam tons of information from this class, John covers in great detail the strength and weaknesses of each lens and when you might consider using it. I was expecting a good class, but this turned into an epic class. I watched multiple videos several times. The only bad thing I can say is I "had" to order a few more lenses! Thank you John Greengo for making a truly amazing class.

Anna Fennell

Wow! What a course! Very in depth, lots of valuable information. John instructs with great knowledge and integrity. I have taken other online courses, NOT from Creative Live (my bad!) and was left feeling like a monkey who had learned tricks without understanding or knowledge. Now I feel I have the confidence to move forward on my photographic journey securely knowing how lenses function, what to look for and what price range I can expect. Bravo John! I'd love to see a 2020 update video as an addendum.

Fusako Hara

Finally I have some sense of what lens do, know what I have, what I would like to have, what lens to use, and how I can get images that I see. Best part of this session is it was made so clear, simple, logical, and practical. I am glad that I purchased this product. Now, I am going to look for more from John Greengo so I can take better understanding and take better images. Thank You.

Student Work