Nikon 80-200 mm f/2.8. Any experience with it?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SLC Flyfishing, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    So my wife and I are going to buy a nikon system next month, and I asked for advice on it a while back and was reccomended the 80-200 over Nikon's 70-200 because of price and performance on FF bodies (we're getting a D700).

    Has anyone on here used the lens before and can comment on it? Build and image quality etc?

    Thanks in advance!

    SLC
     
  2. Nicholie macrumors regular

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    Huntsville, Al
    #2
    I have the 80-200. I cannot comment on its usage vs the 70-200 on Full Frame (shooting DX here), but from research am told that the 80-200 doesn't suffer as badly in vignette. Landscape shooters often find themselves displeased with this on the 70-200VR.

    However, they also rarely benefit from the VR of the 70-200 as they mostly shoot on a tripod.

    Many people use the 70-200 on full frame and find it perfectly fine. If you can afford it, I'd probably go with it for the benefit of AF-S and VR. However, if price is a concern, the 80-200 is a solid professional grade lens despite not having the latest greatest features.
     
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #3
    I assume you're talking about the current version of the 80-200 (as opposed to the AF-S version which uses different optics). I have an earlier version with the same optics and I love that lens. It's absolutely marvellous. It's also built like a tank -- and I doubt the new version is much different in that respect.
     
  4. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #4
    I am speaking about the non af-s version.

    It's likely going to cost At least $1,000 less to get an excellent used 80-200 vs a new 70-200 (I'm having troubles finding a used 70-200 out there) for $1,000 savings, I think I could learn to live without AF-S.

    The lens will be used in conjunction with the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 85 f/1.8

    SLC
     
  5. csau06 macrumors newbie

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    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brisbane
    #5
    There's rumours Nikon are about to update the 70 - 200 f/2.8, which may mean people updating and therefore a good supply of 2nd hand ones...

    Keep an eye on nikonrumors.com
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #6
    The lens is a keeper. (Click in the pic for a full-sized jpg. You can actually see that I've slightly misplaced the focal plane.)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. javiercr macrumors 6502

    javiercr

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    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #7
    careful with focus lock ring

    I that this lens, it is really good optically and (in general) in built quality but heavy. Be careful with the AF lock ring, some people had problems, mine broke soon after the warranty expired (of course) and it was 70 pounds to repair!
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    I have the push-pull AF-D version, the two-ring AF-D is more well-liked, but optically I have no complaints about the push pull model. It's a little noisy to focus- but that's a sample variation issue that I was well-aware of going in, and it dropped the price pretty well, I think I 've had the lens about three months, so I haven't taken lots of images, but those I have I've been pleased with on a D2x. If I were going full-frame though, I'd probably be hunting for a good price on a used AF-S version, as I think the newer lenses are sharper in the corners.- the MTFs I've seen tend to bear that out at f/2.8.

    I'd probably consider comparing MTFs with the current Sigma 70-200 if you're going full frame, wide open it'll probably give the older non-AFS 80-200s a run for their money, though I'd expect the Nikkor to still kick butt stopped down a bit.
     
  9. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    Thanks for your help everyone. We're porting over from Pentax, and as a result neither are really familiar with the intracies of the Nikon stable of lenses. We know that we'd like a constant f/2.8 in this focal length though.

    Are we on the right track looking for an 80-200?. I've read a review or two claiming that the 70-200 is less than stellar at the corners when paired with a D3 or D700. I would rather spend less on a less technologically advanced lens if it means the overal optical performance is better.

    Thanks again for your help, and please keep the input coming. And if anyone has used the 70-200 on FF let me know your impressions as well!

    SLC
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    The 80-200 is good pro-quality glass. The 70-200 is much, much better pro-quality glass. I can't really answer for you if it's worth the delta in price. However, I'll say that I actually believe that the fuss over the 70-200 on full frame is over-done. Nikon's official answer is "vignette control," but I suppose a lot depends on what you're shooting with it as to how pronounced it is- but it'll likely be there with both lenses.

    Here's an interesting thread...

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikond700/discuss/72157618122103742/

    The vignetting is going to be most noticeable in evenly colored skies and walls, so if you're shooting in those conditions, you'll see it. It's fixable in PP as well. I've looked at a couple hundred FF images shot with the 70-200, and I think it's an issue in less than 5% of them out the box- YMMV.

    I got the 80-200 because I wanted a small "walk-around" lens, if I regularly shot seriously in that focal length, I'd have bitten the price bullet for the 70-200. There's no telling if Nikon will issue an updated 70-200 with a wider or brighter image circle, but if it happens, it'll probably have to happen in the next six to ten months. The 80-200 is a fair hedge for that, though you'll give up sharpness and contrast, especially with the AF-D versions. However, you should be able to get close to what you pay for it if it's an AF-D version, and worst-case it's a good backup.

    If you plan on shooting a lot of stuff soon, and you're making some money with it, then I'd probably go with the 70-200 for overall IQ. If it's a 20% or less focal length, I'd go with an AF-S 80-200. If it's just for fun, or 10% or so of your shots, then I'd look at AF-D 80-200s. If you're shooting weddings or sports, this is the season, and I wouldn't skimp since what you get this year will be a lot of your marketing for next year.

    The production cuts Nikon made for the economy has everything in short supply- if there was ever a good window for changing the 70-200, this is it. They actually cut too much, but that means there's not a huge pile of lenses sitting around.
     
  11. Nicholie macrumors regular

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    #11

    REDACTED: The 80-200 AF-D lenses have the same optics as the AF-S. The only difference is in the Auto-Focus system/END REDACTION
    . And to note, the AF-D Push/Pull has a far slower AF than the AF-D with the two ring system.

    You lose no sharpness or contrast with the AF-D verisons of this lens.

    And even on a optical level, the 80-200 is almost on par with the new 70-200, and in fact considered possibly superior on Full Frame camera's by some pro's (like Scott Bourne).

    In short. Don't be afraid to pick up a 80-200 AF-D, but I'd recommend the two ring version (non push/pull) for the sake of AF speed.
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    That's incorrect. The AF-D versions (whether push-pull or with zoom and focus rings doesn't matter) have a 16 lens construction in 11 groups. The AF-S version has 18 lenses in 14 groups. Definitely not the same construction.
    That's correct. I also second your recommendation to take the ring version.
     
  13. Nicholie macrumors regular

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    #13
    My apologies, corrected in my post.

    However, from using both of them i've noticed no real difference at all in picture quality.
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #14
    No prob. You're absolutely right about the IQ (see picture above :D).
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    That's not born out by the MTF charts, especially on full frame, where sharpness at the corners is noticeably different even in the different AF-D variants. It's not born out by testing, and I'd challenge you to prove it if it weren't so obviously incorrect (data below.)

    ref: http://www.nikonlinks.com/~nicke/photo/lenstest/photodo/menu.html

    Note there are three or four MTF charts for the 80-200 there, and the AF-D versions are the worst of the lot.

    That's wishful thinking, the 70-200 is one of the finest zooms Nikon's ever made. The MTFs show 80-200 is not even close on full frame- the 70-200 is fantastic out to about 18mm from the center at the 200mm end. In fact, were it not for the light fall-off, very little would be said about the 80-200mm at all.

    I own an 80-200, and the lens meets my rather high quality standards, but it's simply outclassed by the newer design.

    Here's Nikon's own MTF chart for the 70-200

    http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/af/zoom/af-s_vr_zoom70-200mmf_28g_if/index.htm

    and here it is for the 80-200

    http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/af/zoom/zoom80-200mmf_28d/index.htm

    Here are the 200mm MTFs for comparison, first the 80-200:

    [​IMG]

    Now the 70-200:

    [​IMG]


    Note that these are the MTFs for the AF-S version, which is superior to the AF-D versions of the 80-200. The 70-200 is going to be noticeably sharper at the center of the frame, with better contrast. The 30lp/mm resolution curve for the 70-200 is basically a line out to 15mm, the best the 80-200 gets is as bad as the 70-200 at about 17mm or so from center.
     

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