10 things we learned in this test

Here are a few things that came to light when we were out and about shoot­ing with this test group of lenses

NPhoto - - Test Team -

1 Don’t mind the gap

There’s no need to worry about the gap in fo­cal lengths cov­ered by, say, 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses. In prac­tice, the miss­ing fo­cal lengths be­tween 5570mm aren’t a prob­lem.

2 Su­per­sized reach

The ‘ef­fec­tive’ 450mm fo­cal length achieved by a 70-300mm lens on a DX body en­ables su­pertele­photo lev­els of reach with­out hav­ing to use a big, heavy lens.

3 Fil­ter frus­tra­tion

Apart from the Nikon 55200mm (non-VR), all other lenses on test that lack in­ter­nal fo­cus­ing have front el­e­ments that ro­tate, mak­ing it hard to use po­lar­is­ing and ND grad­u­ated fil­ters.

4 In the hood

Tele­photo lenses can be par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble to ghost­ing and flare. It pays to use the lens hoods sup­plied with all lenses in the group.

5 Pan­ning gold

It’s nat­u­ral to think that the heav­ier lenses in the group will also be more cum­ber­some, but the ex­tra weight of­ten helps to en­able a smoother hand­held pan­ning mo­tion.

6 Feet apart

When pan­ning, it’s best to have your feet slightly apart and to swing from the hips. Keep on pan­ning even af­ter you’ve re­leased the shut­ter but­ton.

7 Fu­ture-proof­ing

Sigma and Tam­ron have stopped mak­ing their DX-for­mat tele­photo zoom lenses in the range cov­ered by this test. An FX­for­mat lens can be a bet­ter choice any­way, in case you de­cide to buy a full-frame body in the fu­ture.

8 At the limit

With most lenses in this budget class, sharp­ness drops off a lit­tle at the max­i­mum tele­photo zoom set­ting.

9 Into the cor­ners

At any fo­cal length, you can gen­er­ally in­crease sharp­ness to­wards the edges and cor­ners of im­ages by nar­row­ing the aper­ture slightly from its widest avail­able set­ting.

10 Sin­gle AF

For very fast-mov­ing ob­jects, like rac­ing cars or bikes that are com­ing di­rectly to­wards you, con­tin­u­ous aut­o­fo­cus is un­likely to be able to keep up with the ac­tion. Use sin­gle AF and pre-fo­cus on the point where you’ll want to take the shot.

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