Study Abroad in Costa Rica

So I am new to this forum, and I thought I would ask a big question, if no one minds.

I'm a college student, and from May 23rd to June 2nd I will be studying abroad in Costa Rica. I currently use a D3300, and my lenses are the AF Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4-5.6G and AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II. Since the 70-300 is only manual focus on the D3300, I was considering renting the new 200-500 lens to bring with me, as I am studying ornithology and really want the best possible images to remember the trip by, as this is also my first time out of the country since getting into photography. I currently don't plan on checking any bags to bring a tripod (I would rather not rent one that would support the lens unless I was guaranteed to be checking a bag), and the program I am going with is pretty fast paced so I don't expect there to be any time to really set up a tripod, unless later in the evening during free time.

Is this a good plan, i.e., a good lens to rent? Should I try to check a bag in order to bring a tripod for the lens? Or does anyone have other suggestions that may work, that are cost efficient, as being a college student really limits my funds for this trip.

Thank you in advance!

Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,055Moderator
    Welcome to NR Coltsfan2424: Your comment about your 70-300G being manual focus worries me - the G lenses have the focus motor built-in and so it should auto-focus without any problem.

    Regarding the 200-500, great lens, go for it.
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited April 2016
    Yeah the 70-300g is a screw lense.

    I would consider upgrading to the 70-300 VR version as rental of the 200-500 would probably be more than half the cost.

    I would also consider the nikon DL 24-500 or the coolpix P900
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • starralaznstarralazn Posts: 201Member
    edited April 2016
    well if you're borrowing from borrow lenses, 14 days + insurance for the 200-500mm is ~158 excluding tax, whereas the 70-300mm vr is 500 new.

    however you should consider whether the 70-300 you use is good enough for your birding. 300mm on dx is pushing it for most people. manual focus at that range seems difficult. if its enough then the 70-300mm vr may be a worthy investment..
    Post edited by starralazn on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited April 2016
    There is also the 55-300 dx vr .. sorry to say this but I would get rid of your 70-300g asap .... its consistently placed in the "worst nikon lenses ever" category.

    The 55-300 may not be the best lense for birds in flight (AF is slowish) but its got good center sharpness (good for birding). and for a student its good value.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    @Coltsfan2424 , Yes, rent the 200-500.
    As for support, pack a few large ( 1 gallon ) freezer bags. Once you're there, fill two or three with sand to make sandbags. You can opt to tape them up once closed. Don't pack them to tightly as you want them to be a bit loose and pliable. You can use them to support the camera/lens when on your belly, shooting out of a car window ( lay one across window opening), putting them on rocks or low tree branches in front of you, whatever... When you're done, it's garbage so nothing to bring back home. Have fun!!
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,072Member
    I've never done any birding, but I'd be a bit concerned about moisture in Costa Rica. You might hit some rain and you should be careful about your gear. Grab some extra ziplock bags not only for the sandbags that RX4Photo mentioned, but to protect your camera/gear too. The 200-500 would probably survive, the D3300 probably won't. The D3300 isn't weather sealed, and while it's tough, I don't think it'll stand up to a heavy rain. In a pinch, you can rip a hole in a large plastic bag large enough to fit your lens hood, tape the bag tightly around your lens hood and use the remaining hole to place your camera in there. They also make more dedicated rain protection equipment.

    You should also be aware of condensation in Costa Rica- if you move between air conditioned environments and the outside, all that moisture will condense on your mirror. Usually nothing bad happens if you leave your camera inside your camera bag so it acclimates gradually for a few minutes, but it'll definitely slow you down if you want to grab your camera for a quick shot.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,055Moderator
    Wow! I learn something new here every day - there is a 'G' lens that is a screw lens? I thought those were all 'D' lenses. For sure though I missed that it is the pre-VR horror - get rid of it and use the money you get to buy a cup of coffee :)
    Always learning.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @spraynpray Prepare to have your mind blown further. Nikon still sells this lens brand new for $173. Optically it is a good bang for the buck, although the 55-300 is probably a more practical lens on a body without a focus motor it is twice the price.
    http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/camera-lenses/af-zoom-nikkor-70-300mm-f%2f4-5.6g.html
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited April 2016
    "Optically it is a good bang for the buck" err ... its a magnifying glass .. I am embarrassed that Nikon still sells it ...

    just look at the MTF curves ... its really embarrassing ...

    http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/camera-lenses/af-s-dx-nikkor-55-300mm-f%2f4.5-5.6g-ed-vr.html#
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Bang... for the buck. It's $173 brand new. You can probably get it for half that if you are student on a budget. I'm not saying it's a great lens, far from it. I'm saying MTF/$$ it's a winner winner chicken dinner.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,055Moderator
    I knew it was a horror so am amazed you can still buy it new. I'd bury the stock in landfill out of embarrassment if I were Nikon.
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited April 2016
    If price for a 55-300 is really a constraint then I would go with the 55-200 vr over the 70-300g and crop to get to 300. the IQ will be better .. check the MTF here. http://www.nikon.com.au/en_AU/product/nikkor-lenses/dx-format/zoom/af-s-dx-nikkor-55-200mm-f-4-5-6g-ed-vr-ii

    That 70-300g really needs to be dead and forgot .. It does have one advantage over the 55-200.. it is an FX lense .. but I would still use the 55-200 on FX and crop ..
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,816Member
    What do the people running the course recommend you bring......
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    I guarantee you, 5 years after college, everything that you scrimped on, you'll look back and wish you'd spent the extra money on. Yes, it's all relative since most people are usually better off 5 or so years later so your perception is different. Nevertheless, that's why I say rent the 200-500 if you can. Also there's a particular way of shooting a long lens while cradling it in the bent elbow of the opposite arm that can often substitute for a tripod. Obviously this is not for long exposures but can be good for your purpose.
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

Sign In or Register to comment.