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Just for fun, I looked around on one of my adventurings for some sort of object a bit of distance away, to try comparing the quality of the Nikkor 300mm f/4D AF-S and the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 VC. Given the latter only goes as wide as f/6.3 at 300mm, the exposure was quite a lot longer at 1/400th, versus 1/1250th for the Nikkor - so there's technically the possibility of some motion blur involved, though the Tamron's internal stabilisation should've taken care of that. It's only a quick test, therefore, but it does nonetheless give a useful indication of their relative merits.



These are, I should note, 100% crops - no rescaling involved, just extracting a particular portion of the image at original resolution. Not a subtle difference!

I was amused to later realise said construction was about fourteen miles away. =:D
Lens comparisons aside... what is that? It looks medieval! :)

Given Nikon's reputation, I'm not too surprised about the difference. The Nikkor probably cost a good deal more, and you get what you pay for with glass.
Apparently, it began just after the Norman Conquest. Looks like they did a pretty good job of the construction. =:)

Indeed - the Nikkor's double the price, and of course, a prime lens, whereas the Tamron's useful across a wide range, plus having a fairly decent stabilisation system. I do wish the Nikkor had a rear element, but I suppose that helps to keep it relatively affordable, at the cost of having to be on the quick side getting the rear lens cap on or off, to avoid possible dust or fungal contamination. For the price, though, it's an exceptional lens - professional quality, both in optics and mechanical construction. Anything better (longer or wider), and there's quite a hike in the prices.

(If I had the choice, I'm not entirely sure whether I'd go for the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8, or the 500mm f/4. It may be a while before I have to make that decision =:)
You're comparing a zoom lens and a prime lens, but I wouldn't have thought the difference should have been that noticeable... One mitigating circumstance was that the trees are not illuminated in the second picture, which might have made it easier for it to focus the picture (with the dark trees in front of the bright buildings). The first picture looks sort of out of focus, or perhaps you had some bad seeing at that time, which went away by the time you took the second one. You can definitely get fluctuations in the air stability over that distance.
No, that really is the sharpness of the Tamron - I've got months of other shots to compare with. =:) That's what led to me even considering the Nikkor - the Tamron's just rather soft, and prone to some noticeable chromatic aberration in places you'd expect, such as bunny tails contrasting against darker backgrounds. It's a bit of an extreme comparison, really - a rather soft lens, versus about the sharpest 300mm around.

If I were buying again, for the first time, the Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 seems reasonable well-regarded, though I might very well have satisfied the wider end with something like a cheap older 28mm prime, and the Sigma 150-500mm, given the great majority of my photography's in the realm of the telephoto. But, that's the way it goes, ne? Always compromises - the best costs more, with flexibility trading off against optical formulae that can be optimised for a single focal length. (Mind, the 14-24mm f/2.8 manages some excellent clarity despite its range. Gorgeous lens, though again, not exactly cheap. Definitely one I'd love to give a home to, though =:)
OK, then in that case, I suppose there's no use in mentioning that image stabilizing elements could also make the image slightly unclear, if they happen to have travelled far off-centre by the time the picture was taken.
No, because the lens just isn't that good, I believe you. :-)
I use the Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 myself. I haven't made a direct comparison to a prime lens, but now I think maybe I should just to see what there is to see.
Not knowing much about cameras, I'd say that's a pretty good shot of the Castle from 14 miles away! The difference is in the crenellations, methinks :P
I was quite tickled by it. ^_^ It's somewhat more interesting uncropped, as this angle meant there was little but trees and the castle visible - more of a view as originally seen.

And I think that would make an excellent marketing slogan. =:)