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70-200 f2.8 New vs. Used

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Mike126, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Mike126


    Aug 14, 2008
    Herndon, Va
    I'm looking to buy a 70-200 f2.8 in the next few months. (Still saving the pennies!) I was hoping to get some advice from the cafe. I have a few options that I'd like to get some feedback on. I'm not a pro so even though I don't need a top of the line lens I'd rather buy something that is good but it does not have to be the absolute best.

    My shooting is normally nature (landscapes, waterfalls etc. not much wildlife) and kids sports (baseball, basketball mostly). I have a D80 so this is effectvely a 105-300. I also use a tripod or monopod regularly so VR is not so much a feature I need/want.

    Options for the 70-200 F2.8:

    1. New Sigma HSM II 70-200 - pros: new and with a warrantee, fairly fast AF. Cost around $800.

    2. Used Nikon 70-200 F2.8 AF-D - pros: good glass and construction. May not be as fast as the HSM II but not sure. Cost used is around $600-700 depending on condition.

    3. New Nikon 70-200 f2.8 AI-S VR - pros: a very nice lens. Faster and better than the Sigma. Cost new: around $1600. I don't see any used ones but I would guess they run around $1200.

    So for the hobbiest, do I need the speed of the AI-S to shoot sports? Has anyone compared the AF on the Sigma HSM II to the Nikon AI-S? Is it significantly faster?

    Thanks in advance for all the great advice!
  2. Canadian market condition have the 70-200 2.8 @ 1668.00 new with a five year warranty. Most Kijiji/Craigs listers are asking on avg. 14-1500 used. Have seen some lower prices but these seem to be need the cash quick in your face people that aren't interested in shipping or waiting on a money order. I plan to buy new when the much talked about upgrade hits the shelves........


  3. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Several corrections are in order. First, there never was a 70-200 f2.8 AFD, only 80-200 f2.8 afd. Next, the 70-200 VRG is an AFS lens, AIS is a designator for a series of MF lenses. Your question should be, do I need afs speed?
    I had the 80-200 AFD and have the 70-200VRG. Optically, I think the 70-200 VR is better and the AFS is a very good feature. You have to decide if it is worth twice the price. If money is a concern, I think I'd go for the 80-200 AFD used. If it doesn't do what you want, you should be able to sell it for what you paid for it. If you are getting the 70-200VR, buy new. IMHO, the 5 year warranty is well worth the slight extra cost of buying new. There is much more to go wrong in the newer lenses, AFS, VR, etc which makes a warranty more important.
  4. wingspar


    Mar 16, 2008
    Good luck on finding a used 70-200 VR under $1,400. You don’t see many for sale, cause most don’t want to part with their copy of the 70-200 VR. I picked a used one up for about $1,485 a few months ago. A nice upgrade to my 80-200 f/2.8, which could be another lens for you to look at for less money.

    As for landscape, this isn’t a lens I would use, tho some do use it with success. I use the old 18-35 for landscape, and going to pick up the 12-24 for landscape one of these days.

    As for sports. Sports shooters love this lens, but for indoor sports, it will probably not yield good results, depending on the light in the gym you are shooting in. The gym I shoot in is so poorly lit, that I use only 1.4 glass for action shots, and will break out the 28-70 f/2.8 for static team shots. Outdoors for baseball, this lens will make you happy.

    AF-S lenses will focus faster on a D80, and for sports, you might not be happy with a non AF-S lens on that body.

    I have no experience with Sigma lenses, but I’ve heard good things about the Sigma HSM II 70-200, and it would be a good alternative to a 70-200 VR. Build is not as good as a Nikkor lens. My other half (a Canon shooter) has had Sigma lenses. While they feel like cheap lenses, they do produce nice images, but she is slowly converting to “L” glass as money allows.
  5. Mike126


    Aug 14, 2008
    Herndon, Va
    Baywing - Yes I stand corrected, my bad, I meant to say AFS not AIS. Thanks for clarifying that.

    Gary - For landscapes I do a lot of waterfalls and have found that my MF 200 is a good lens for this when I can't get to the right spot for a shorter lens or wide angle. You are right about the gym lighting. In the past I would shoot at around 1600 ISO and with a f3.5 be able to squeek out some decent shots. I'm planning on renting the 70-200 VR which may be a BIG mistake since I will likely fall in love with it. Hopefully I can do some basic AF comparisons with that and my 35-105 AFD lens.

    Any ideas as to when the VR II may be announced?
  6. Rumours are all over the place as to when/if a new 70-200mm will be released. As for new vs. used - if you wait (or find it in stock) you may as well buy it new. For instance, I recently sold my 70-200mm for $150 more than I bought it new. The market is pretty hot for this lens, because it is a really great piece of glass (and there seem to be shortages). I sold mine because I didn't forsee needing it in the next couple months and decided that (1) I could rebuy a new copy for less than I sold my old copy and (2) I may as well see if a new version comes out in which case street prices on a used VR1 would most likely fall. At that point, I could decide whether to buy Version 1 at a nice price or theoretical Version 2 with its features. The only risk is that Version 2 isn't as nice as Version 1 causing a rise in the Version 1 price - but Nikon seems to be firing on all cylinders as of late.

    It's a great lens and won't disappoint - so even if you bought it today and a new version was announced tomorrow - your photos will still look great.
  7. I'm by far the minority around here, but I had the 70-200mm VR and let it go with no regrets. I was finding my shutter speeds were far more often determined by action than how steadily I could hold the camera/lens... so VR was of little use to me. I caught an amazing deal locally on my 70-200mm VR, grabbing it for $1k with receipt and unsigned warranty card. I used it for about 3 months and sold it here for $1500. I ended up replacing it with a LINB Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX D HSM (3 versions ago) for $450... it's nearly as sharp, focuses nearly as fast, is about 2/3 the length and 1/2 the weight, balances better, and does everything I need it to for less than 1/3 the price. I personally have not once regretted letting the 70-200 VR go. It's a great lens, but for my particular needs there was a similar tool that would do the job as well for far less money.
  8. What would a new version of this lens have to offer over the old? I have heard of the 'nano' coating but what is that and what does it offer? I would really be surprised if they came out with a newer version of this lens, I hardly think it needs improving. There was a copy that sold on this board for just under $1300 recently, I believe I saw it in the buy and sell thread, don't know what condition it was in.
  9. If you can tolerate a slower focusing lens, the new 70-200 2.8 Tamron is getting some rave reviews optically. Check out popphoto.com
  10. The Nikon nano-coating helps with ghosting and flares. There are nano-coatings that exist that do other cool things like preventing fog - so who knows what may be introduced.

    Second, there are reports of vignetting and corner sharpness issues when the 70-200mm is shot with an FX format camera.

    Third, most likely, you'd get VRII, whereas the current model is VRI, and thus approximately approximating 1-2 stops faster.

    These are just some of the items that are rumored to be the reasons for a re-issue. I'd guess that a new one is around the corner.
  11. If you can get a good enough discount (which is possible, but requires more looking around and patience) -- I'd buy a used one in good condition.

    The money you save will offset most of/all of the loss you might get if the new version eventually comes out and you want it. Nikon lenses have good resale value. But buying used and selling used works out better than buying new and selling used. A new version would likely mean a drop in the resale value of the current one.

    A new version -- and who knows when it will come out -- will probably be improved (Nikon has shown a knack for making great lenses even better, so I wouldn't underestimate their ability to improve on the current one). However, it'll probably have a nice price hike to boot.

    A used one in nice shape sold for $1,300 on the Cafe on Saturday, but such prices are hard to find for now.
  12. Rob T

    Rob T

    Aug 27, 2008
    If VR isn't a big deal to you, as you say in your post, why not consider the 80-200 2.8 D Nikon lens? Used ones are about half of what you can get the 70-200 VR for and image quality is comparable. A lot of bang for the buck with this lens.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    See this thread:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  13. Hermit


    Feb 11, 2008
    Minnesota, USA
    I doubt you would be disappointed with the quality of the 70-200vr - build or image quality. I think the alternative may be the Nikkor 80-200 f2.8D if you do not desire the vr function. Both seem to produce high quality images.

    I keep my glass a long time, so spending more for the Nikkors has always been ok for me.
  14. Mike126


    Aug 14, 2008
    Herndon, Va
    Guys - I know that I would be more that satisfied with the 70-200 VR. My only concern with the 80-200 f2.8D is how fast it would focus on a D80. That was primarily why I was looking at the Sigma HSM II. I'd like to stay under $1,000 since I have other lenses on my list.... It never ends! :biggrin:

    Thanks, Mike
  15. I am in the same boat - and am going to pick up the Sigma soon

    I just can't justify the Nikon - since I would buy it new and throwing 13% tax on there, makes for a BIG price

    I was looking at the Tamron, but have heard that it is slow focusing on the D80 - same as the Nikon 80-200 AF
  16. stphoto


    Feb 8, 2008
    Syracuse, NY
    I'd love to buy the 70-200 VR new but seems the supply has dried up fueling speculation Nikon will release a new version soon. I found one place that had it but the price was $150 more than other websites who had it listed but out of stock.

    Used prices are going for practically the price of the lens new on eBay and most Nikon boards. If you see it for less than $1600, I'd say that's a good deal currently. Also, have seen more and more of them coming on the used market (been monitoring it for the last couple of months) so I think people are thinking this is the best time to sell them before (and if) Nikon releases a new version in a couple of weeks.
  17. For waterfalls and hand held the AFS VR is the lens. I shot this hand held, 70mm, at 1/15 sec. Couldnt have done it without VR

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  18. I'm in a similar boat... though I will be waiting until the new release.

    If you check sources such as microsoft cash-back, you can get em for ~ $1530 (without tax and free shipping). Like many have said, however, it's usually out of stock.

    I see a lot of posts lately for used ones ~ 1550 and more. Don't really understand market prices of camera gear. lol...

    I'm considering the Sigma... but the lack of VR/OS is a big turn-off for me.
    Here's what should happen:
    Tamron should slap it's amazing VC on the 70-200 and come out with a better focus motor.
    Sigma should just put it's OS technology on it's 70-200 HSM. Then the decision will be clear for us <$1000 buyers.

  19. Mike126


    Aug 14, 2008
    Herndon, Va
    I think I'll take a harder look at the 80-200 AFD. I'm hoping I can do a side by side comparison with the 70-200 AFS at one of the local shops. They also have great prices so I can purchase it there when the budget is met.

    In checking KEH, used for the AFD is about 100 - 200 less than new. I think I'd go new to get the warrantee. But then again, I've never had to return a lens yet, but they were mostly manual focus.
  20. pward76


    Apr 6, 2008
    I just sent back the Sigma 70-200 HSM. Images were soft wide open and didn't start getting sharp until f4.

    I'm waiting for Photokina later this month to see if Nikon updates the 70-200 as is heavily rumored. If the used prices start to drop, I will pick one up.
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