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  1. #1
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    Default Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Hi everyone,

    I'm hoping to get some advice & recommendations for a new lens for my D40.

    So far we have been using a Tamron 18-270mm lens, but have finally realised that we need something better for wildlife stuff.

    I'm looking at the following, in ascending order of price:

    Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens @ R15K: https://www.ormsdirect.co.za/sigma-1...ory-lens-nikon

    Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Lens @ R24K: https://www.ormsdirect.co.za/nikon-a...-6e-ed-vr-lens

    Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Lens @ R25K: https://www.ormsdirect.co.za/tamron-...-g2-lens-nikon

    Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens @ 29K: https://www.ormsdirect.co.za/sigma-6...s-lens-nikon-f

    Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport Lens @ R29K, https://www.ormsdirect.co.za/sigma-1...rts-lens-nikon


    Some questions:

    Is the Nikon a better buy even if it has 100mm less focus?

    Are the Sigma Sports lenses worth the additional R14K over the Contemporary one?


    Any advice welcome, thanks
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    That would depend very much on where you consider to be the point of diminishing returns to be.

    Those lenses are definitaly in the correct order in terms of performance, but keep in mind that the Sigma Sports are considerably heavier than the other two.
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Hi Orxy,

    Before you commit yourself to any of the above lenses, just have them a try, first on your Nikon D40. The D40 might have the power to handle a light weight 18-270mm but, when moving up it might behave differently (sluggishly, focus hunting, etc...).

    Secondly, when buying such a lens, buy the best you can afford, as it may stay with you forever and move from body to body as you upgrade.

    AP

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    That would depend very much on where you consider to be the point of diminishing returns to be.
    Those lenses are definitaly in the correct order in terms of performance, but keep in mind that the Sigma Sports are considerably heavier than the other two.

    Yep, every single review points out the heavy weight of these lenses. Might be an issue for my wife...
    Last edited by Orxy; 2020/11/07 at 09:58 PM.
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    What Peter Connan said.

    The 500PF is not heavy at all
    If you only want the best IQ - 100% of the time - go prime

    Sigma contemporary - I wont recommend whatsoever (from experience) - but not every one has money for a prime - or even for the Sigma Sports - or can even lift it up. I hear good things about the 60-600 - but no personal experience.
    My choice would be either the Nikon 200-500, or the Sigma sport.Remember many of the Sigma's need to be calibrated - and you might need to purchase a dock for that purpose too - more $$.
    Both my 200-500 copies were sharp on my bodies, out of the box. Try getting used to using support - it helps a lot with the long lenses. I use a Gimpro door mount on my vehicle when doing wildlife, so weight is not an issue for me.
    Whichever lens you buy - there will be limitations. Work out what you can compromise on, and what not
    Price. weight. focal length.ability to zoom.
    The D40 is already past it's expiry date and due for an upgrade - so consider that too
    Last edited by EHoffmann; 2020/11/08 at 12:54 AM.
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by EHoffmann View Post
    ... The D40 is already past it's expiry date and due for an upgrade - so consider that too
    Thank you for the advice.

    I was afraid the last part was inevitable

    Would a D500 be a good one to get now?
    Last edited by Orxy; 2020/11/08 at 08:18 AM.
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    My friend uses the Tamron 600 on a Canon 7D II.
    She is primarily a bird photographer and has won many competitions with the combination.

    The Tamron lens is sharp and lightweight.

    Don't disregard it.

    I agree that the Sigma 600 Cobtemporary is not to be considered, despite price and weight.

    I want to upgrade to Canon 90D and Tamron 600 or Sigma 600 Sport.
    Last edited by 4ePajero; 2020/11/08 at 08:30 AM.
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Orxy View Post
    Thank you for the advice.

    I was afraid the last part was inevitable

    Would a D500 be a good one to get now?
    The D500 is excellent. But you also have to consider it's already 5 years old. Who knows what is coming out next? I am hanging on to see what is launched - currently (and this is only my opinion) I believe the Nikon Mirrorless isn't good enough yet - and too expensive.

    I am not a fan of Tamron. The quality of the lens is not as good as Nikon - But keep in mind the Nikon /Sigma lenses we are talking about here, are cheap lenses anyway. You can not compare their quality to that of say a Nikon Prime which is weather sealed and costs the same as a kidney.

    The 500PF is around 68k
    Nikon AF-S 500mm f/4E FL ED VR is 191k
    The 200-500 is on special around 24k

    Currently the D500 + Nikon 200-500 is regarded as the best wildlife combination on the market - in the world.
    That doesn't mean it produces the best photos - it means it is great quality, light, hand holdable, and the best available considering the price.
    Last edited by EHoffmann; 2020/11/08 at 08:55 AM.
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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Very good advice from everyone here - now there's just too much choice

    I tend to agree with the opinion on the lens quality of the Tamron - but at the time we prioritised flexibility over quality. Over the years it has accumulated a bit of dust inside the lens, and even a service by Tamron could not get rid of all of it.

    I must also consider weight, so maybe the D5600 and the AF-S 200-500mm would be a great combination for us.
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    I use a 300f2.8 prime, with the odd 1.4 and 1.7 converter, but will definitely go for the 200-500 Nikon if I had to change, just had too many focusing issues with 3d party long lenses.

    Have a look at EHoffmans photos with the D500 and 200-500 combo, it's brilliant.

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    This is what we're getting with my current setup, taken last week in the Kalahari:
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  21. #12
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Orxy View Post
    This is what we're getting with my current setup, taken last week in the Kalahari:
    where in the kalahari were you?

    you probably don't need a longer lens for the photos you did - all large subjects.
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by EHoffmann View Post
    where in the kalahari were you?

    you probably don't need a longer lens for the photos you did - all large subjects.
    We were on a private game reserve.

    That's the absolute limit of the current kit - when I look at the photos on a big screen, I then notice blurring, loss of detail, etc.

    Since we have a few more trips to game reserves planned, I'd rather get a better lens.

    For now I'm thinking of the Nikon 200-500mm.
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  23. #14
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Orxy View Post
    We were on a private game reserve.

    That's the absolute limit of the current kit - when I look at the photos on a big screen, I then notice blurring, loss of detail, etc.

    Since we have a few more trips to game reserves planned, I'd rather get a better lens.

    For now I'm thinking of the Nikon 200-500mm.
    Oryx - you need to look at your technicals and lighting as well. It's not only the gear. Good luck with your purchases - whatever you buy.

    A friend told me the other day, he would rather buy gear than spend money on fuel to go out and shoot
    Dont do that. But keep a balance all round.
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  25. #15
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Thanks, it is a delicate balancing act.

    I'm not that good a photographer, so I need good kit to make the shots look better

    Like you, I'd rather get out there and have crap photos than buy expensive gear and not be able to afford the holidays!
    Last edited by Orxy; 2020/11/08 at 05:21 PM.
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  27. #16
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Oryx I would like to also add that you can get very good second hand gear too, it is a hit and miss sometimes, but we have only 1 new camera and 1 new lens, the rest we all bought second hand.

    Paid 12500 for our nikon 200-500 a few years ago. The tamron g2 is really not bad and can be had for under 15000 second hand. Also a no on the sigma contemp.

    I think a newer camera might also be on the books for you.

    We have 2 second/third hand cameras d610 and d850 and they really work great.
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  29. #17
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Thanks, I have been keeping an eye on Gumtree and Outdoor Photo, but nothing close to me.

    I'm going to Orms tomorrow to try out some lenses, and possibly a new body as well - the D5600 looks like a good option for us.
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  30. #18
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Orxy View Post
    Thanks, I have been keeping an eye on Gumtree and Outdoor Photo, but nothing close to me.

    I'm going to Orms tomorrow to try out some lenses, and possibly a new body as well - the D5600 looks like a good option for us.
    D5600 - you are going to outgrow it very quickly...
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by EHoffmann View Post
    D5600 - you are going to outgrow it very quickly...
    Well, my D40 lasted me 13 yrs, but I'm a cheapskate
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  32. #20
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    Default Re: Lens for Nikon D40 for wildlife photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Orxy View Post
    Well, my D40 lasted me 13 yrs, but I'm a cheapskate
    have fun anyway!
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