Looking for suggestion to buy Telephoto lens

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New Member
Feb 26, 2006
1 22 N, 103 48 E
Hey all,

I just started digital photography about two months ago, and I owned a DSLR Nikon D50.

Recently, I have been thinking to buy a lens for taking distant photos. I've been looking around the forum for a while. But the more I read the threads about telephoto lens, the more i get confused :confused: The distance that I would like to take is maybe like to be able to take the face of a 2 metres tall statue clearly from 15 metres distance. And my budget is around $400. Any suggestion which lens to buy?

My current lens is AF-S Nikkor 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED
Can anyone give me a short explanation about what each words mean?
Last time I went to a camera shop and asked for the price of a 70-300mm lens for Nikon, and the guy asked me, 'Is it ED?' or something like that. So I was like 'umm... yeah!', not sure of what it is.

One more thing, can I used other cameras' lens for Nikon? Because when I search for Nikon lens in the search engine, some names appeared like 'Opteka, Sigma, Tokina, Quantaray'. But they also wrote 'For Nikon D-series'.


Senior Member
Dec 29, 2005
AF-S Nikkor 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED

AF = auto focus

S = silent

Nikkor = produced by nikon

18-55mm = focal range

1:3.5-5.6 = the f-stop of the focal range begins at f3.5 at 18mm to f5.6 at 55mm

G = computer lens that has no apeture ring on the lens, u got to control apeture size on ur camera body

ED = some gimmick by nikkon, which they supposed is a better glass compared to normal non-ed one and sharper, blah blah, and ED ones are much more ex

[for ur 70-300mm lens, there is 2 versions by nikon, one is 70-300G the other is 70-300 ED, the first one is abt $250, the 2nd one is abt $600+)

Nikon D-series = nikon digital series, so dun worry those 3rd party ones should work, u can also ask the shop ppl to help u

And for ur $400 budget, i think u can only get the nikkor 70-300G($250) and the sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro($340), and the latter is a better bet by many ppl


Senior Member
Nov 16, 2003
I'm a Llama!
ED means Extra-low Dispersion glass, it is a termed coined by Nikon for the type of element used in some of their lenses. For more Nikonspeak, check out this glossary.

To view a distant object upclose, you will need a telezoom. The 70-300mm you mentioned falls in that class of lens. The "70-300mm" indicates the focal length of the lens. The situation you used as an example would require 200mm of focal length or more to achieve.

Other third party lens manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron make their lenses with a variety of different camera mounts, Nikon being one of them. Therefore it is not unusual to find the same third party lens with varying mounts.


Senior Member
Dec 25, 2005
And don't forget to post in the Nikon sub-forum for more specific questions / information.

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