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180mm or 70-200mm again

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scott Sherman, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. I apologize if this subject has been covered recently, but I did not find it in a search, so with your permission, I would like to raise the question again as it pertains to a decision I will make sometime soon.

    I once had the 70-200 and when I used it, it was a great lens, but the weight became a problem when I had to carry it all day while walking about along with other lenses. So I sold it and now regret having done so. However, weight is still a concern for a walk around lens and I am now wondering if I might be happier with a 180mm for moderate distance instead of a zoom lens that is almost three times the weight. I will also carry a 17-55 with a D200 regardless of whether I get the 70-200/80-200 or a 180 f.2. I just want to take scenery and wildlife, the occasional dear or bird in the forest for example. I am wondering if anyone has experience with the combo of 17-55 and 180mm who also has used or owns a 70-200.

    My thought is that I could use the computer to crop a shot at 55mm to equal the 70 to 180 range and carry significantly less weight and size of lens with the 180 f2.8.

    I know that I would not be able to use a teleconverter, but I always hated putting those things on and switching lenses, so I don't think this is a problem.

    I have said it over and over that photography is the art of compromise. Do you folks see this as a good compromise or should I shoulder the weight of the 70-200 or 80-200 and 17-55 combo or might I be just as happy with a 17-55 and 180 f2.8?

    Opinions and discussion appreciated.

  2. Hi Scott,
    If you don't want the weight what about considering something like the 18-200vr or 70-300vr? Both produce excellent results at the expense of not being the fastest glass.

    A belt pack makes carrying the 70-200 not that bad. I use a Kinesis and it is really nice.

    I don't think cropping 55mm shots is a viable solution must past maybe 80-100mm equivelant.

  3. photoshooter

    photoshooter Guest


    They are slower , but offer excellent ability to resolve.
    For daytime, they are very good
    A prime is limiting for what you may want to do.

    Walking around with a 70-200 is not so bad if you carry it correctly.
  4. Get both! That's what I have done. There are times when you know that the 70-200 is the best tool (you need the zoom or the VR function), and yet at other times, the 180 is more convenient and yet offers the same (or better!) image quality. For those occasion when I want a lighter kit, I went for the AI-S 180 ED. Just as nice as the more modern AF-D version, it just slows you down a bit, which is not always a bad thing! :wink::smile:
  5. Hello,

    My favorite walk around combo is my D2XS or D200 with the 17-55 and 70-200. This is a very sharp all around combo that fits nicely in my Lowepro 75 bag with an additional attached lens case and there is still room in the front pocket for my SB-800 It works well at the local arboretum, the woods and around town. Yes, it is a bit heavy...but it's an unbeatable combo and therefore worth the pain....non pain, no gain...lol.

  6. Thanks you guys for your input, it really is appreciated. I used to be a lens collector of the first class and have at one time owned and or traded much of the best glass in the Nikon lineup. I havce pretty much whittled my kit down to the lenses I used the most. I have the 10.5 the 10-20, 18-200, 17-55 and a very nice 200-400. Since throwing my back out, I must admit, the 200-400 is kind of intimidating and doesn't get out much. I like the 18-200 for a general purpose snap shot lens, but it pushes the limit to take pictures in the fading light of evening especially when the target is moving a bit and I know that backgrounds could be improved by the additional f stops.

    18-200 does do what it is designed to do quite well, but I can see that there is still a place for one of the 2.8 lenses in a mid zoom. I don't want to rush into anything again and honestly since we just moved, I am counting pennies a bit as well. Once apon a time, I would have just gone out and purchased both lenses and then sold the one I didn't use. I have the TC 1.2 and 1.7 which are not being used unless I haul out my big gun with the big big tripod and the big ball head and the big sidekick and the big bag to put it all in, which isn't happening so much for now. I guess, since I have the TC's it might be nice to have the 70-200 to use them on.

    So, having said all that, what is up with the lack of new 70-200's out there. If Nikon comes out with a rebate on the lens pretty soon, I might just dig deep and grab one when they come out again. I don't suppose a new 70-200 iteration is anywhere close to being released yet.
  7. Philippe,

    I thouroughly enjoyed looking at your smugmug images. I especially liked the puppy shots. What a gorgeous Golden you have.

    If you had to pick one or the other to keep, would it be the 70-200 for its' versatility despite the size weight or the 185 for the convenience of the lighter smaller mass?
  8. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005

    A lot of the times I carry the 35 f2 and the 180 2.8

    I don't own the 70-200 but have used several others

    I also sometimes carry the 12-24 and 180, or the 17-35 and 180. In fact I am on vacation now and all I have is the 17-35 and the 180, but my shooting on vacation is either long or wide.

    I too miss the middle area fast glass f2.8. One option I have almost done is the new sigma 50-150 2.8, much lighter than the 70-200 hsm fast focus speed and the range I am needing, but I still keep thinking nikon is coming out with something new in the middle range.


  9. I could actually accelerate the new release for you by buying a new 70-200 now. Because as soon as I buy this lens, it is guaranteed that the new one will be released.

    I have nothing against 3rd party lenses and agree that there are some excellent ones, but I am a bit of a Nikon snob. Except for my Sigma 10-20, I have never been happy with a non Nikon lens. It's a character flaw and I have learned to live with it. I must say, I m really torn between the 180 and the 70-200. On paper it sounds like it is much, much lighter and significantly smaller. I think if it took my Nikon TC's I would not hesitate to get it although to be fare, i am not sure how much I would ever use them on it. I hate having to make a choice like this.

    Perhaps if I get the 180 now, I could wait a year or so until the 70-200 is updated. All things are possible. I wonder why Nikon didn't make a 200mm f 2.8 since 200mm seems to be the most popular long end of the mid range. I know they have the 200 f4 macro and the 200 f2 a great expensive heavy lens but no 200 f2.8 fixed. Seems strange.
  10. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    The Kinko 1.4 works very well on the 180 AF D lens. Very very well. It is the choice for that lens.
  11. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    24-120VR- is a great walk around all day lens:>))

    Will shoot nice with a kenko 1/4 also

    Just a thought:>)))
  12. Scott,

    Thanks for looking at my galleries and for your positive comments. Yes, Belle is quite a beautiful doggie... and she knows it too! We are really enjoying her. In fact, I got my 70-200 initially mostly to photograph her... :smile:

    If I had to pick only one, it would be the 70-200. I only use the 180 when I really don't want to take on the size and weight, which, to me, is a bit more rare. Good luck in your decision: one thing is you can't really go wrong! :biggrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2007
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