can't afford 70-200mm vr... good alternatives?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Rotary8, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Rotary8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    #1
    Ok, I have a kid on the way and most of my paycheck went to baby stuff. I'd love to get a 70-200mm vr for my nikon d80 for mostly lowlight indoor pics and right now, Can't justify spending $1800 on it just yet.

    Anyone know of other alternatives to this that could do indoor shots at 2.8f?

    I currently own an 18-200 vr and 50mm 1.8, but would love to have a telephoto zoom that does 2.8f all the way. Nikon, sigma, tamron... it doesn't matter to me as long as it's fairly inexpensive (compared to VR) and does the job under low light situations.

    thanks in advance!
     
  2. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #2
    If you're shooting indoors, the 70-200 2.8 is overkill.

    If money is tight, stick with the 1.8 you have. It's a great prime.

    For about $450, the Tamron 17-50 is a killer lens (in our experience) and allows you to zoom 2.8 throughout.

    Indoor shots are nice, as you have some control over the lighting.

    As far the the 70-200 is concerned, either save up and get that lens or just get the crappy 70-300 for $110. I've got a used one (barely used) for $75 including shipping if that'll solve your problem. Just don't try using it in low-light.

    Use a tripod indoors in low-light. Even a cheap crappy one beats not using one.
     
  3. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #3
    If the 70-200 is out of your price range, you next best choice would be the slightly older 80-200 f/2.8. No VR, but it can be had for about $700 here. Optically it's just as good as the 70-200.
     
  4. Rotary8 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    #4
    I plan on shooting plenty of indoor stuff. from events to sports. my 50mm 1.8 is great but I find myself needing the ability to zoom. I've read about the 80-200 nikkor and at that price it seems fair. Anyone tried tamron or sigma at this range?
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    The push-pull "one touch" version of the 80-200 f/2.8 lens typically sells on the used market for about $425. The two ring version of the lens, the one with the tripod mount sell for about $650.

    But you say "indoor" why would you want a 200mm lens for indoors? Even 80mm is on the long side for indoors on a DX format camera. Why not go with a 50mm f/1.4 or if you really want that telephoto look go with the 85mm f/1.8. I use my 50 and 85mm lens a lot. But even the 50mm is long for indoor shooting. All version of the Nikon 80-200 are excelent and dead-on sharp. get an older version if price is an issue
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #6
    Are you finding yourself in a place where you can't zoom with your feet? Perhaps this is dating myself but with large format photography I found I learned to use a prime lens and zoom by walking forward and backward. This is not always possible depending upon where you are at but it may be possible if you're thinking of shooting indoors. This will solve half the problem but clearly you need a zoom for sports.

    I would say the 80-200 would a great choice. IMO VR hasn't offered me a whole lot when I'm using a heavy zoom. It may be slightly more forgiving but I still always find a need to use a tripod or monopod.
     
  7. Rotary8 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    #7
    Yeah, I find myself being limited in my foot zooming with the 50mm quite often.

    80-200 sounds ok with me. Thanks folks,
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Ok, now I understand. when you said "indoors" you meant some large indoor spaces where there is not the possibility to walk up closer. I've used my 85mm f/1.8 and found it to be slightly short. I had an AI'd 135 f/2.8 that I liked to used on my F2.

    The ONLY reason to buy tamron or sigma is because you can't afford Nikon. But as I wrote above the used Nikons can be affordable. You can find a 80-200 f/2.8 for $400 if you look. The thing about lenses is that if it made good images 15 years ago it will make the same good images today
     
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #9
    For indoor pics, the 70-200 is not the right lens, neither are older versions of the 80-200. Before you think of a reply, I am a happy owner of a 2.8/80-200 Nikkor, very happy. But the minimum focussing distance is nowhere near good enough.

    For portraits and available light shots I suggest three alternatives, all are a lot cheaper:
    (i) Tokina's 2.8/50-135: This is the lens that corresponds to 70-200 on film. 70/80 mm is not ideal for portraits anymore. Tokina builds lenses like tanks, they feel as sturdy as my bazooka Nikkor. It weighs about half and focusses much closer.
    (ii) Sigma's 2.8/50-150: personally, I don't like the feel of Sigma lenses, but this is the only other lens that corresponds to `standard telezooms' on crop sensors. (Hello, Nikon, Canon, anyone home?)
    (iii) A 1.4/50~1.8/85: it's not a zoom, but perfect for portraits. Much cheaper, too.
     
  10. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

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    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    Perpetual Bondage
    #10
    Assuming of course it isn't moldy.
     
  11. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    MSRP of $1050?
    I thought I added that they sell for far less than that (bhphoto lists them for $749).
     

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