Nikon 80-200 f2.8 AF-D ED - Yeay or Nay?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ryan1524, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #1
    I came across a good sample of Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 AF-D ED glass. The exterior has a couple scuffs on it, tiny bit of dust in the range meter, but optics is pristine. Took some sample shots and it's gorgeous and clean. I can get it for CAD$729 + tax = CAD$823.

    Is this a good buy or a waste of time? Considering the 70-200 VR is already in its second generation, making this lens 3 generations behind. Still a nice lens though. The only downside being no AF-S, no VR and weight.

    My lens complement at the moment:

    - 11-16mm f2.8
    - 35mm f2
    - 50mm f1.8
    - 85mm f1.8
    - 18-70mm f3.5-4.5

    I've always wanted something beyond the 70 range. What do you think? Any comment/advice appreciated.



    [​IMG]
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #2
    The 80-200 EDIF comes in two versions, push-pull and two-ring. The one pictured is two ring. They are worth more than the push-pull design, and if I recall correctly are a slightly newer design. There is also an AF-S version, though I believe that Nikon USA (Sorry, that's who I tend to look at) still sells the AF-D two-ring version as new.

    Push-pulls go for $500-650ish US. Two-rings generally !$750ish and new I think they're around $900.

    It's a big, heavy lens for those not used to superteles. Most are very happy with the images from any version, though the 70-200's are optically better under most circumstances.

    I'm not sure how any of them stack up against the Sigma 70-200.

    I have an old push-pull that I got for a song used at a local dealer. I'm happy enough with it.

    Paul
     
  3. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #3
    The anecdotal reports I've read would indicate that people are happy with this lens. If the price is right, you have a body that can drive a screw-driven lens and you can live with slower autofocus speeds, then go for it. The 70-300 AF-S VR might be another option for you to consider.

    FWIW, the 70-200 was preceded by the 80-200 AF-S lens, so the AF-D version is more like 4 generations old.
     
  4. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    #4
    I do have a body that can drive it, but I'm a sucker for new tech, and VRII and AF-S is very nice. Everytime I rent or use something with AF-S, I always notice the lack of noise and the smooth operation.

    On the other hand, all these are just luxuries. The glass on the 80-200 is what matters for good pics. I'm really on the fence about this. I kept thinking...what if I really want a VRII after using this.
     
  5. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #5
    It's a great lens. That's one reason Nikon still sells it new. New ones go for around $1100, and you're in a good price range for a clean used one.

    Consider that this lens would cost you half (or less) as much as even the cheapest 70-200f/2.8 with VR and give you comparable images that you'd probably be unable to tell apart, it's a really good value lens, and in many ways a classic, since it's been for sale successfully for many years.

    It would make a great compliment to the lenses you already have. I've really enjoyed mine. AF is still extremely fast by any standards other than recent AF-S standards, and for most uses you won't even think about that. Even on my old D50, the AF was very responsive, and on a D300 it's virtually immediate. The older push-pull model was much slower to AF than the two-ring version, although the optics are very similar. If you want to see a few images I took with this lens, I just threw a few together into an 80-200f/2.8 set on Flickr.
     
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #6
    Not necessarily. I shoot a lot of motorsports and I would have a hard time without AF-S. I don't have any VR lenses, nor have I been tempted to buy any. Either I don't know what I am missing, or I don't need VR for the kind of shooting I do. I'm kind of inclined to think the latter is the case (and do note my use of the personal pronoun - my equipment purchases tend to be needs driven).
     
  7. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    #7
    @pdxflint - nice pics. Thanks. I am really leaning towards getting one after seeing those.

    @Cliff3 - It's good that you brought up that point. I am also into motorsports, and this lens would play a role in that area. But without AF-S....how did people used to do it? waiting for the perfect timing or location?

    My D70s is already a little slow on the focusing, this might be another handicap.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    The prices have been quite stable, you can always sell it for pretty close to what you paid if you pay a good price.

    I'm not a VR fan, and I don't shoot motorsports with VR lenses, but I assume they'd help some for panning. However, if you're shooting in the corners, I don't know that AF-S is all that necessary- prefocus and track should work. On the other hand, I've only shot motorsports in the last few years with AF-S and I shoot on the pro bodies where AF-D is driven faster by the higher-voltage batteries.

    I suppose though a lot depends on how often you shoot and what you do with the results. If I shot motorsports regularly, I'd want the new 300/2.8 II.

    Paul
     
  9. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #9
    Before autofocus, you'd prefocus a a spot on the track, set your aperture at F8 or F11 to give yourself some working room, and snap away when the cars are in the zone of focus.

    Have you tried shooting action with the 85? If so, how has that worked out for you? If not, it would be a worthwhile exercise.
     
  10. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #10
    I shoot with a 300/2.8 AF-S II (non-VR - no new exotic teles in my budget) on a D700, usually at fairly wide apertures. The plane of focus is too narrow for prefocusing to be of much use. I'm usually firing a 3-5 exposure burst as a car passes my location, and I am tracking the car (just like one of your birds).
     
  11. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #11
    Over at FM, I'm beginning to be well known for my 180/2.8 love. Before you get the 80-200, give the 180/2.8 some consideration. A great condition copy can be had for $500 or less these days. One went unsold over at FM for $410, which is insane.

    Relatively light, sharp and easy to use.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    Last time I was credentialed trackside, I was shooting with my 400/2.8 AF-S II, also a non-VR version (I'd get the 300/2.8 VR II mostly because it's lighter than the older versions.) I didn't have any problems at all prefocusing once I'd gotten the hang of the angles and paths. I was generally shooting 1-2 shots per bike. Both the guys I talked to who were out shooting for a magazine and to sell shots to the racers were shooting with 300/2.8s.

    It's a lot easier to prefocus on a track and the let AF take over than it is to try to prefocus on a bit of sky. I've also used the same technique to shoot equestrian events where the jumps are as fixed as the corners of a track.

    Depth of Field depends on the light and what you're looking for- at both Indy and Summit Point, there was way too much light to shoot at f/2.8 and not freeze the wheels in motion, especially later in the day. The advantage of the 400 over the 300's of course gave me more depth of field, as I could shoot from further back. Since I had a good range of shooting distances and positions, I could choose the right distance/aperture combo to get the shots I needed.

    It's waaaay easier to prefocus with today's cameras and lenses and let AF take over as you track than it was to prefocus and have to just use that to nail the shot back in the old days- you can shoot at much wider apertures today than you could then because then you'd *have* to get it by calculating DoF- AF couldn't track that fast.

    Paul
     
  13. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #13
    Well, back to the "Yeah or Nay?" question...

    Luminosity makes a good case for the 180f/2.8, which is a stellar lens, and lighter and cheaper than the 80-200f/2.8 AF-D.... but it is a single focal length lens. Looking at the range of lenses you already have, and judging from my own experiences with the 80-200, you'll likely shoot at a variety of focal lengths with this lens. I've looked at a range of images I've taken with the 80-200 and found that some are at 80mm, some at 120mm, some at 170mm, some at 200mm, and there is not real pattern of being primarily at one end or the other as much as with my 12-24, for example. It may be because it's a telephoto on DX, which makes the variety of focal lengths much greater than with a wide lens, so for framing it becomes very handy. If I was shooting strictly with a 180 in place of my 80-200, I would have missed a lot of shots which would have been too close, with no way to adjust with my feet (like on a 5' dock, or edge of a dropoff, or taking portraits.) So, that's my main argument in favor of a "yeah" for the 80-200f/2.8.

    Ryan1524, the 300f/2.8 vrII and vrI and non-vr and the 400f/2.8, etc. that Paul and others are discussing... well, these are in a completely different category of lens from a normal-telephoto zoom, which you asked about, both in purpose, size and price, so I don't see them as viable alternatives to the 80-200f/2.8 at all. Would I like to shoot with any of them... no doubt! Would they replace my 80-200? No.
    Anyway, good luck!
    -phil
     
  14. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #14
    Thank you.

    I have been shooting with a 80-200 AF-S (as opposed to the AF-D being discussed here) for 7-8 years and its range of focal lengths are a good fit on a crop sensor body like what the OP is currently shooting with. Out of curiosity I analyzed the focal length metadata for my 80-200 in my Lightroom catalog and here's what came out (grouped):

    80mm - 819
    105mm - 313
    135mm - 457
    150mm - 158
    180mm - 166
    200mm - 761

    My W/A zoom focal length distribution is pretty much like yours: one end or the other.
     
  15. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    #15
    Thanks all for the replies. I'm digesting it all and taking it into consideration.

    As much as I love primes, I want something with flexibility in this range. I'm not sure yet what I'll shoot with this, but that's part of the reason I want one. I've been using the wider lenses for all sorts of thing. I feel there's an area of photography I haven't touched.

    80-200 would be 120-300. An interesting range to play in. :)

    For those without VR, what do you do to compensate? monopod, no coffee, shoot in better light?
     
  16. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #16
    Keep the shutter speed up, or use a tripod if I can't. My version of the 80-200 is larger than the one you're considering and it is easily handheld - I frequently remove the tripod ring when I shoot with this lens.
     
  17. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    #17
    definitely yeay to that lens. I had one until 2 months ago and it was a stellar performer. The AF was fast enough for anything I threw at it (shooting with a D700) and the IQ was really nice. I traded up for the 70-200 VR 1 and it surpasses the 80-200 but at that price i would expect it to :).

    Really, the 80-200 is probably the best bang for the buck in term of pro zoom lenses.
    But only the 2 ring one. the one ring touch not so much as its really weird to handle, IMHO.

    //F
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #18
    The optical construction of this lens has been used for quite some time. I own the push-pull variant with slower AF and optically, it is the best lens in my arsenal. Sure, the newer 70-200 mm zooms are even better, but they are markedly more expensive.

    If you're worrying about the optics being `old' and outdated, don't.

    Regarding weight, keep in mind that pro tele zooms weigh about twice as much as the consumer variants. Personally, I like it, although I did get a bruise from carrying my D80 + grip + 80-200 mm Nikkor on my hiking trip yesterday. (I need to get an R-strap ;))
     
  19. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    #19
    I've decided to spend some more time with my 85mm for the time being. In the meantime, this Want will have to stand the test of time.

    Thanks everyone for the input. I really want this glass, but can't justify swinging the money at the moment.
     

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