Nikon Telephoto In The 70-200mm Range?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 103734, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. 103734 Guest

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    #1
    Well im looking for a fast telephoto lens, I really want to get a lens that will work when I do make the switch to full frame and something that will last. I also want to stay in the sub 1000 level.

    Here are the lenses I was considering
    Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 that is $711 on amazon
    Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 that is $640 on amazon
    Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D that is $925 on amazon


    What would you guys suggest?
     
  2. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #2
    A used 80-200 AF-S f2.8. I bought my copy of this lens used and have been using it for the past 4 years. It's an excellent lens and so far I have not been tempted to upgrade to the 70-200 VR. A very clean copy should go for $900 or thereabouts.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #3
    The only reason to buy the third party 70-200 is because you can't afford the Nikon. But even if that is the case, the Nikon sells for $650 on the used market.

    One of the biggest differences between Nikon and the others is that Nikon lenses have very little unit to unit variation. Every one is identical. The others are such that you might get a very good one or one that is just so-so.
     
  4. 103734 thread starter Guest

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  5. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #5
    Yes. The next question is which one. Which body do you have?
     
  6. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    #6
    As long as you don't have a D40, D40x, or D60, I would go with the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 D. As you've found, it's around $900 new, or good-condition used copies are in the $700-$800 range. Phenomenal lens; it's next on my shopping list.

    EDIT: I just realized who we're talking to...Steve's got a D90 I believe ;) so that lens would be fine.
     
  7. H2Ockey macrumors regular

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    #7
    I fourth that. The 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D in everyway i've experienced lives up to it's reputation, which is stellar.
     
  8. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Is that lens bad on the d40, d40x, or d60? or something?
     
  9. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #9
    It's a D so doesn't have the autofocus motor like the 50/1.8.
     
  10. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #10
    Well, actually I am in the minority here so you just thirded it. I am definitely on board with the notion of sticking with Nikkor lenses, but I favor the AF-S version of the 80-200 that was replaced by the 70-200 VR in 2003. It will have faster focus than the AF-D, especially on non-pro bodies, plus no auto/manual focus override switch to deal with. The AF-S lens has 5 ED elements to the 3 found in the AF-D lens, resulting in improved color saturation and CA control. It costs a bit more, but it's a bargain compared to the 70-200 VR and probably comes close to equaling that lens, minus the VR feature.
     
  11. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    #11
    I've heard (I have no personal experience with this lens, so I'm just asking) that the AF-S version is more prone to flare than the AF-D. Have you noticed a susceptibility to that?

    Has anyone extensively used both? Does the slightly faster AF time on lower-end bodies like the D90 make it worth it to go for the AF-S?
     
  12. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #12
    Flare is a problem with the majority of zoom lenses - their internal complexity leads to a propensity to flare. Rorslett's review mentions it with this lens, but I always use a lens hood and have experienced no problems. I would use the word significant and not slight to describe the difference between AF-S and AF-D focus systems. I have a couple of AF-D lenses (85 f1.4, 60 f2.8 micro) and I don't use them for sports or similar situations.

    The AF-S lens has two drawbacks. It's heavy, and the tripod collar is poor. I use a replacement collar from Kirk with my lens.

    edit: Then there is the ability to use Nikon's teleconverters with this lens. I have the TC14E and it works beautifully with this lens, and gives added reach if needed without compromising autofocus or image quality. Here's a 3-legged car photo using the 80-200 AF-S plus TC14E shot wide open at f4:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. 103734 thread starter Guest

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    #13
    Oh i have a D90
     
  14. H2Ockey macrumors regular

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    #14
    Cliff3, I was having a very hard time in the back of my head with the AF-S version. Now I remember why I didn't buy it when I got the AF-D... I couldn't find one!, and I shopped for a month. I've seen 3 pop in on Ebay since I got the AF-D, granted I haven't been looking for them recently though.
    I think that says enough about the lens quality. A replacement, the 70-200mm came out but you don't see the 80-200 AFS's flood the market. Like you i'm sure most are more than content.

    From everything i've seen it as well lives up to the hype.

    I have some, but limited experience with AFS lenses. From what I have seen they also live up to the hype. The difference in not only focusing speed but accuracy is impressive. I wish I could try some Sigma HSM lenses to compare to as I've heard some focal lengths they are faster but having never touched one myself I can't say. Anyone have input?

    I can't say how much more AFS and VR are worth to ME in a lens, but I do know they work; and for my future purchases it will be worth saving-up the extra $$ for it.
     
  15. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #15
    I've seen a half dozen of these lenses on Ebay recently. Some of them were pretty beat up, but a couple seemed nice. Unlike camera bodies, lenses are a longer term commitment. If you're in the used market, it's worth spending some time to find a suitable one as you will likely keep it a good long time.

    I'm kind of ambivalent about VR. I have never had an image stabilized lens, so I can't say from personal experience whether I am missing out on something great or not. AF-S (or the older AF-I) is definitely worth it if you're shooting action.
     
  16. H2Ockey macrumors regular

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    #16
    Based on all the action shots, surfers and motorsports you've posted i'm not sure VR would do much either. Where I've noticed it is being able to gather a few more stops by slowing the shutter speed and not getting camera shake... Subject motion would then become a problem in action shots. For a quick hand held shot even down to 1/4sec for me (an admittedly shaky person) VR works as advertised.
     
  17. 103734 thread starter Guest

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    #17
    Wow nice picture, I did that with a 67 mustang i used to have, except it was the rear passenger wheel off the ground, man that car handled terribly.
     
  18. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #18
    A live axle will do that to you.

    And I see your one wheel off the ground, and raise you two:

    [​IMG]


    Anyway, I my vote goes for the AF-S 80-200, you'll have an easier time finding it, and the cost difference won't be all that great.
     
  19. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #19
    This car handles pretty well, and the driver usually finishes in the top 5 or 6 cars in his class at the local BMW car club autocross. The front-drivers that show up for fun runs - VW's and Hondas - usually lift their rear wheels.

    Not on a BMW it won't. The owner of this car runs really stiff sway bars.
     
  20. chocolaterabbit macrumors regular

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    #20
    It's a good thing there are many levels of the 70-200 zoom, (or 80-200) and each is slightly more expensive than the next, so you have to stop somewhere. On ebay 80-200AFS are slightly more than 1000, so i would suggest going for the D if you must stay below 1000, otherwise perhaps the 70-200 VR is the best choice after all, and you won't regret being cheap down the track. i have no experience with 3rd party zooms, but everyone says you get what you pay for, so personally, if you ask what i would do, i would skip everything else and go straight for the 70-200. (i just ordered one :D)
     
  21. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #21
    There are 2 auctions for the 80-200 AF-S at the moment, both around $500. The one that is currently above $500 looks like a decent copy of this lens (link). A review of completed auctions for this lens shows that 6 out of 10 sold for less than $1000 and the remaining 4 sold for $1000-$1100.

    Now, as to the 70-200. Reviews of this lens reveal disappointing performance on FX sensors, and many expect a revised version of this lens from Nikon in the next year or two. The current price of the lens, sold new with a US warranty from B&H is $1900. That puts it way out of the price range specified by the OP.
     
  22. chocolaterabbit macrumors regular

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    #22
    I have read of the performance issues of the 70-200, and while i do have a D700 and therefore should be concerned, i decided to order it anyway. The reason is 2 fold: 1 because i think the performance is enough (i don't use 12MP usually, personally it's overkill and i wished that the D700 had even less pixels) plus i'm convinced VR is more useful than what sharp corners, and 2 i think nikon has plenty of gaps in the lineup that they need to fill, such as fast primes, pro f4 zooms, and a revised 80-400mm, that i don't think they'll update it so soon, but that's just speculation. Plus a used 70-200 is around 1300, so not that much more than the 80-200 AFS.
    Anyway, enough about the 70-200, if the OP can get a cheap copy of the AFS for less than 1000, then it's definitely a better deal. more than that, you need to evaluate whether VR is more useful for the extra cash, if you can spare it. But buy the best that you can afford, in order to not be disappointed later. That happened to me, as well as other people i've talked to, and we all agreed we regretted wasting the money.
     
  23. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    #23
    Nikon is more than likely going to update the 70-200 soon like another poster said. I have been hearing this year, but who knows. I bought one when prices were way down a couple of months ago, but it is a waste right now to buy it (prices are way, way up and new one is probably coming soon) in my opinion unless you have to do it for professional reasons. That said, it is a nice lens, but it doesn't have as great reviews on a FX body. VR is nice, but honestly you don't need it if you shoot sports or anything with fast action. Stationary things yes it will help, but even without it you can take super pictures. VR is nice, but not $700-1000 more nice nor is it a necessity at all.

    I'm thinking about selling mine right now because prices on them are outrageous and I can get a lot for it now (more than I bought it for--so I had it for free and will make some money on it). I most likely will buy the new one when it comes out which will be better anyways. I need it because I shoot sports a lot.

    The Sigma 70-200 is really nice. My friend has it along with the 1.4 Sigma TC (which extends the reach to 98-280) and it works really, really, well. It is fast and if you are a decent photographer will produce sharp images(this is the case with any lens--it is just easier to blame the lens so people do that most of the time). I was very impressed and it costs less than half of that of the Nikon. The Nikon isn't worth over twice as much. I borrowed his Sigma for a day and like I said it was pretty awesome. If you go to dpreview or any other dedicated photography site (all independent reviews give it a thumbs up) it has really good reviews.
     
  24. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #24
    I was talking about the 67 Mustang.
     
  25. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #25
    My impression of the DPR lens review of the Sigma was that the Sigma wasn't nearly as sharp as the Tamron or Nikon lenses. I admit I haven't chased down the MTFs though. In fact, if Tamron has fixed AF speed, or if the Tamron AF for Nikon is better than it is for Canon, it seems like the better lens overall if you're looking for a reason to not buy the Nikon.
     

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