An Affordable Telephoto

Photo of the Week

In preparation for a trip this summer, I was looking for an affordable telephoto lens that would deliver acceptable, if not better quality for my Nikon. I selected the Tamron 70-300. Priced less than $200 it was affordable, but would it provide the quality–principally a sharp image under daylight conditions?

My routine working lens is the Nikkor 18-135 telephoto, used to take the first image of Mount Rushmore.

01-Normal Lens (900x602)

Mount Rushmore from the main viewing deck using the 18-135 telephoto lens that I normally use.

I selected a 300mm lens because it still permits reasonable control when hand-holding the camera–especially braced against a solid object. Still, for consistently sharp photos, a tripod is recommended.


Detail of Washington’s face using the 70-300 Tamron lens on a tripod mounted camera.

The above photo was taken from the same point using the 70-300. The bright overcast sky did not offer a flattering sky, but did allow me to focus on the details of the sculpture. Detail is sharp enough for larger enlargements. The fact that the zoom range begins at 70mm means that you can compose an essentially “normal” image and quickly zoom to a reasonably tight telephoto shot.

I used this same lens to get my first ever shots of a grizzly bear in Yellowstone. At the 70mm end of the range, the field of vision is only slightly less than a normal 50mm lens, making this a functional single lens for a day’s hiking.  It is also fully automatic, including auto focus, on the Nikon body.


Tamron AF 70-300 f4-5.6 Tele-Macro Lens


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One Response to An Affordable Telephoto

  1. Freckles22 says:

    Looks like it captured what you wanted. Good choice!

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