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70-200 Lens on a D70

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by allen_a_george, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. allen_a_george


    Apr 30, 2005
    I am looking into buying a telephoto zoom for my D70.

    I do not anticipate needing (at this time) an extreme telephoto, so I limited myself to a max focal length of ~ 200mm. I was also interested in a lens that had a fixed aperture throughout the range.

    Based on these starting critera, I found 4 lenses that fit the bill.

    Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM ($1200 CDN)
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 AF D ED ($1400 CDN)
    Nikon AF-S VR 70-200 f2.8 G IF-ED ($2220 CDN)
    Tokina AT-X 828 AF PRO 80-200mm f/2.8

    (All prices do not include 15% tax)

    I discounted the Tokina since it is unavailable in Canada and is also the lowest rated of the 4 in the FM review section. Also, realistically the Nikon 70-200VR is well outside my price range.

    I have a few questions about the remaining 2 and I hoped to get some advice.

    I realized that the telephotos would be heavy, but today when I tried the Sigma 70-200 on a Rebel XT (they had no Nikon mount demos) I was shocked at just how much. At 200mm, I was hard pressed to keep the image in the viewfinder steady. I feel much more comfortable shooting handheld, so my question to those who use non VR lenses is:

    Are you able to shoot handheld?
    How to you find the quality of the resulting pictures (sharpness etc)?

    Also, I've noticed that the Nikon is rated fairly close to the Sigma. From people who have used both (the store had no 80-200s in stock), what were your impressions when you compared them? Why did you choose one over the other?

    From a purely technical POV, in Canada the Nikkors have 5-yr warranties - the Sigmas 7yr w/ 48hr guaranteed turnaround time (?). Both take 77mm filters.

    I hoped to receive some advice on this.

  2. d70john

    d70john Guest

    allen if you go to our meetup group john riddel uses that combo all the time he would be able to answer you questions
  3. allen_a_george


    Apr 30, 2005
    I will try and make it for tomorrow then...

    Thanks John!
  4. Before you decide, try the VR and see how it works. IMO it's worth the extra $ for hand held.
  5. allen_a_george


    Apr 30, 2005

    Unfortunately I can't afford the 1150 extra dollars on the VR :~(
  6. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    You will end up doing it anyway. So just bite the bullet. I can't afford it either. Stuck it on my credit card and one day it will be paid off.. I am on SS and fixrd income.

    I fooled around with different stuff and finally got the 70-200 VR.

    Also have the 24-120 VR and the 80-400 VR and use a Kinko pro 300 1.4 with the 400 and the TC 1.7 for the 70-200.

    I find the guys buy and sell and buy and sell and still end up with the better glass in the long run.

    Excellent lenses.

    I don't think I could ever spring for a D2X or a 500mm though :<(((

    Wonder what will replace the D100. Whatever it is I would guess in the 2500 range ....eeekkkk

    So this D100 will have to hang on for a few more years perhaps. If I live that long :>)))
  7. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  8. JayR


    Jul 6, 2005
    Redmond, WA.
    I used the Sigma 70-200 for almost a year before I got the 70-200VR. If you do a lot of handheld work, I would recommend that you get the 70-200VR.

    VR really helps with these heavy lenses. IMO the 70-200VR also balances better on my D70 body. I also find that my keeper rate has also increased substantially. Images from the VR are more crisp with better 'bokeh' when compared to the Sigma. The 70-200VR is IMO a better lens for handheld work.

    Both are excellent lenses. You won't go wrong with either. Having upgraded to the 70-200VR, I do not regret selling the Sigma as the 70-200VR better suits my application where I handhold a lot and my handholding skills are not that great.

    Hope this helps.
  9. allen_a_george


    Apr 30, 2005

    These are all points I have to keep in mind. Unfortunately, I was thinking was complementing my kit lens with both a wide angle and a telephoto. So, buying the 70-200 would be...

    Oh man.
  10. Sorry Allen,

    My first year with the D70 was spent with the kit lens and a 70-300ED (on a monopod). This year I upgraded to the 70-200VR and never looked back. I have never regretted that particular purchase. I would say that the 80-200 or the 70-200VR would be excellent choices. I also like the ability to hand hold although it can be cumbersome.
  11. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I don't want to push you into the wrong decision (and yes, budget does come into play here), but I promise you that the 70-200VR will be in your bag long after most lenses you have owned are distant memories.

    Sorry. :roll:
  12. Tui

    Tui Guest

    80-200 2.8

    I owned the Nikon 80-200 2.8 D two touch version prior to buying the 70-200 VR. There is no doubt I will never look back but I understand how it is not to be able to justify the added cost f the VR. I'm not saying that I don't love the VR and its capabilities but if you decide to go for the "lesser" 80-200 you will still have one heck of a lens. It took fantastic photos with great bokeh. It is heavy but not as heavy the the VR. I have seen used lenses in good condition for around $650-$700. Worth every penny. I don't know about Sigma but I can tell you the Nikon is built like a tank and takes amazing photographs. I would pay a little extra for the the 2 touch version (current model) if for nothing else it does come with an integrated tripod ring. If you get the 1 touch you would have to add a ring to it (which is very cumbersome) and would put the cost of the combo about the same the the newer two touch. I would rate the 80-200 2.8 D as a 9.5 and the 70-200 VR as a 10.
    Hope this helps.
  13. I really like the VR on my 70-200mm and have shot handheld at 1/30th of a second and still had a sharp image. The extra $ when buying the VR are worth it to me. While in Italy on vacation I didn't even take a tripod and got excellen images with the 70-200mm VR lens.
  14. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Get used to thinking of 70mm as 'wide angle' and you'll be fine. ;) 

    Otoh, are you sure you need a zoom? Check out the less expensive and much smaller 180mm f/2.8. Depending on your shooting style, it has been compared favorably with the 70-200vr.
  15. There's no doubt that the 70-200VR is at the top of the heap, Allen. But unless you have an unlimited budget or are making money off your pictures, it may not be a wise allocation of limited resources. I chose to concentrate my bucks in the mid-range, with the 28-70/2.8, which has already paid for itself from event photography, and compromised at the long end by purchasing the 80-200/2.8 AF ED.

    Fortunately, the compromise isn't in image quality. It's so good in terms of sharpness, bokeh, contrast, and color that I doubt you could distinguish its results from those of the 70-200VR unless you compared shots under high magnification. VR is neat, but I've learned to stabilize with a monopod, which has the added advantage of keeping the weight off my arms and shoulders while I'm waiting to grab a shot... and when I don't have the monopod with me, I'll use the "Reznick grip" to get crisp results "handheld". It looks weird, but it's surprisingly effective.

    The biggest compromise is in focusing speed. On a d70 body, the 80-200 is probably 25% slower than the 70-200 AF-S in achieving focus lock. But since I don't use it for Mission Critical stuff, I'm willing to live with the slightly lower yield when I go birding.

  16. allen_a_george


    Apr 30, 2005
    Thanks guys...

    The reason I started looking at both a wide and a tele is because I noticed myself using both ends of the kit lens a whole lot more than the middle. It's weird - but if you look at the pattern of my focal lengths you see big bumps at either ends and very few in the middle.

    Unfortunately - I am a zoom kinda guy. I bought the single 50 f/1.8. While there's no doubt that it's a sharp lens with excellent quality, reality is that I use it a whole lot less than my 18-70. There's a lot of flexibility in looking through the viewfinder, saying "No - that's not what I see in my head" and zooming...

    For those who _may_ be interested in the future, the Sigma is extremely well built. I tried it at Henry's (downtown TO). They only had a Canon mount, so tried it on the Rebel. The lens was far bigger and heavier than the camera. Solid, very well-built, smooth focus ring...but a fairly stiff zoom ring. Compared it to an 80-200 AF-S that they were selling for 2G (the VR costs only $200 more brand new!). Seems to me that AF-S is faster than the Sigma's HSM...
  17. GreenCountry

    GreenCountry Guest

    FWIW, I have the Sigma 70-200 2.8, and only recently (i.e. too late to even claim under warranty) realized that it's got a front focus problem at 200 and 2.8. If you stop down the aperture to 4, it makes no difference already, even at the closest subject distances. But wider than f/4, you can distinctly tell that objects about 1-2" in front of the focus point are much sharper than those at the focus point. I've heard of this problem before; wish I checked my own lens before it was too late. I'm sure Sigma would have tuned the lens if it were still under warranty - that's what others' reports say anyway.

    Move just a bit below 200, and the focus is tack-sharp though.
  18. Gale,

    Good to hear you have the 70-200VR. I bought mine last year and really love it. I use it mainly on a tripod because of the weight of the D2X and this lens. The next lens I want is the 85mm 1.4 which I hope to get when BH gets them in stock. Hopefully this will be the end of my LLD. I don't have a 1.4 lens so I will love this lens and the great bokeh.
  19. I had the 80-200 and was verry happy with it. It is a verry good lens (in my opinion). Not long ago i traded it in for the 70-200 VR lens and i have'nt regretted it a second.

    The VR is a pleasure to work with, every shot is always tack sharp.

    I would adivse you to bite the bullet, save a little longer and get yourself the VR, you will never regret it, ultimately you wil swicht over if you have a 80-200 and get the opportunity to test the 70-200 VR
  20. Not that its comparable but I have the 28 to 200 G and the 70-200 VR. I can get sharp pics handheld out of the 70-200 with the VR on at 1/10 of a sec at 200mm. To get similarly sharp pics out of any other non VR lens its been a shutter speed of around 1/160th handheld, including my 28-200 and a borrowed 80-200. I suppose that it all depends on the hand holding technique but there are an awlful lot of stops between 1/10 and 1/160 for me. Plus the VR is just as effective when I use a 2x converter. 1/15 shutter at 400mm is pretty neat.
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