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December 26th 2012 5:56 am

What's the best zoom lens for the Nikon D3100?

So, I took the leap towards DSLRs and got the D3100. I was happy with my Coolpix L110 bridge camera but wanted something a bit more professional. My experience with SLRs before the D3100 was the 80s Olympus OM10, making me completely new to the world of DSLRs.

The L110 has a 15x optical zoom, which was fantastic. However, the quality of photos wasn't as fantastic, and I disliked the lack of control I had over what the camera thought was a good shot. While I'm waiting for power adapter to charge the battery, I took a few shots with the D3100 before it ran out of power and was suitably impressed - the images looked fantastic (I bought the camera as the bundle with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX NIKKOR lens 'kit').

However, when zoomed all the way in with that lens, everything is 1:1 scale as my eyes see it, which isn't exactly a fantastic level of zoom... (not that I was expecting it to be). So, what I'm looking for is the best possible zoom lens (I'm talking lots of magnification needed here) for this camera. I spotted the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens on Amazon, but is there a lens available with even greater zoom?

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It depends on your budget and what you want to shoot, but the 18-55 is all you need really. For telephoto zooms, I can think of the Nikon 55-200 and the Tamron 70-300. For a good "all-in-one" lens, I'd recommend the Nikon 18-200.
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