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70-200 VR - New or used ?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by fireman, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. As much as I hate to part with them, I am really contemplating selling my 85/1.8 and 180/2.8 and some other stuff I have lying around and buy myself a 70-200/2.8 VR. I have been quite happy with this duo as far as IQ is concerned but I came to realize that I lacked quite a bit of versatility when shooting in some venues so I am currently looking for a zoom.

    I know I could probably get a Sigma or a Nikon 80-200 for a fraction of the 70-200 VR but I don't intend to sell this one for quite a while so I guess I better bite the bullet now and get myself the real thing. :biggrin:

    Now... I'm not rich so I must weigh my choices carefully before I take a decision. First, with Nikon's lousy warranty potilics, only the first owner is entitled to the warranty. Also, living in Canada, if I buy a USA model, Nikon Canada will not touch it even with a 100 feet pole. That's a big factor for me. So if I go with a used one, I guess the savings I make should theoretically cover most of an eventual repair bill if I need to send it to the shop.

    If I buy it new, I get a 5 years Canadian warranty. That would cover the most critical period and I should be able to send it in before the warranty expires to have it thoroughly checked out. But we are now talking many hundred dollars more. Is it worth is in order to get 5 years warranty ?

    For those of you who own this lens, have you had any problems with it that is worth mentioning ? It will be my primary lens for shooting sports like dirt bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles and race cars. I will also use it for indoor sports - that's why I want the VR. As you can see, I'll use it in very different conditions and I just want to make sure I keeps on working.

    I am a serious amateur/semi-pro photographer and I eventually supplement my income with pictures I take at sport events so I don't want to end up with a very expensive paper weight.

    As always, your thoughts are always welcomed and appreciated.
  2. The VR feature only helps when you're shooting still subject, it won't be able to stop action if that's what you're after. Lens repairing can cost hundreds of dollars, the warranty covers 5 years so you'll be fine buying a new one.
  3. jaleel


    Apr 3, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    i would definitely buy new unless you can find a used one which hasn't been registered for warranty (rare)

    what are taxes like in Quebec?
    you could also try online stores from other provinces to save a few % in tax
  4. tanglefoot47


    Oct 18, 2006
    Tulalip Wa
    Or if you have someone willing to help you out if the need ever arises and there are many people here that are willing to do this. Has to be the original owner of coarse. I pretty much always buy new myself I just feel better having the warranty in my name. But then again I never keep a lens for 5 years or even 5 months lol. One of the best 70-200 I have owned I boght right here used but I got the bug and sold it.

  5. Well, I took the chance, bought mine grey market from B&H with a Mack 5 year warranty. I figured for the savings, I can ship it back to the US for repairs if necessary. I've banged that thing around in the kayak for two summers now and nary a problem.
  6. I've owned both the 80-200 and the 70-200 VR (x2) and would buy another VR if I could ever justify it... and I'd buy new just to get the warranty.

    I actually bought the second in a fit of post-partum depression I was suffering over selling the first one :biggrin:
  7. I would buy a new one.

    I bought a used one and wound up with a $540 repair bill from Nikon after only a few months. The original owner could not help me with warranty service.:mad: 
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    The VR feature only helps when you're shooting still subject, it won't be able to stop action if that's what you're after

    I will disagree with that to my grave.....I shoot action with VR alllll the time.
  9. Pixelographer


    Dec 22, 2006
    I just bought one from Nikon Mall, saving $300US . 90 day warranty and refurbished by Nikon. Playing the odds (that nothing else would go wrong with lens after owning for 90 days) for the savings seemed worth it to me. So far (only 2 mos.) so good.
    Best of luck.
  10. Greg V

    Greg V

    Feb 19, 2007
    SE Michigan
    If you can afford a new one get it. I had to send my D2x and 70-200 in for repair and they ended up replacing the VR element. A major repair covered. The lens was almost 4 years old.

    Odds are you will not need to send it in, but the extended warranty was nice. It's kind of like buying insurance, you may never need it but its nice when you have it!

    good luck.
  11. HappyFish


    Oct 19, 2006
    I have been looking for a good used one to add to my stable of glass. Now you fokes have talked me into calling my local shop or B&H and getting a nice shiney new one! This has been one hell of a week, I mised 3 things I wanted in the for sale area by mere minutes, the tranny in my big truck is in the shop, the weather killed every flower on the farm and my figs. It also cost me big $$$ Sat & Sun in lost sales. I turned 55 on 4-10. My computer monter is just about dead, so another call to B&H. My X called, yuck. I think I really NEED this lens to help cheer me up. Yup, a nice shiney new lens and a few days in a swamp fishing and photographing birds, that should do it!
  12. This one is a little tough. New, with warranty, I think the VR can be had for around $1520 (plus shipping and any tax). Used in good condition, I would guess $1250 - $1400 with no warranty (unless otherwise stated).

    I recently took a 80-200mm AF-S in for repair to fix a squeaky sounding af-s mechanism. The repair shop estimated $420 to replace the AF-s mechanism. I ended up living with the squeak.

    Despite the $200+ price difference, and the risk of having to pay a hugh repair bill, the 70-200VR I have now, as well as the one I had earlier before selling it, were all used and they work perfectly. However, I do feel like I'm rolling the dice everytime I do this - especially when I buy from ebay. Big ticket AFS/VR lenses and camera bodies always make me a little nervous when buying used - there's more that can go wrong.

    Case in point, my D200. I bought my D200 as a demo from Cameta and saved about $200 at the time over buying "new". Cameta offered a 90-day Nikon warranty and a 1-year Cameta warranty. The camera had 264 shots on it when I received it. It was virtually new. 10 weeks after buying it, the AF mechanism broke and Nikon USA repaired it under warranty for free. Needless to say, I was lucky to have purchased it with a warranty.
  13. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    I've about reached the conclusion that since Nikon glass holds its value pretty well, the relatively small savings you gain in buying a used, like new condition lenses, isn't worth the risk of not having a warranty. I've heard just enough horror stories from folks with relatively new lenses that were purchased used and that have had large repair bills....especially AF and VR lenses.....that I don't think it's worth the savings. The exception to this may be the ultra expensive lenses that sell new for $5k or so and can be purchased used at a savings of b/w $800 and a thousand dollars. (YMMV)

    As for the 70-200VR, I sold mine because I hadn't used it much, but like others have done, I almost immediately replaced it. It has been in my top three of most used lenses since I received my second copy and I seriously doubt I'll ever sell it again.

    I highly recommend it for portraits and small field sports like the youth soccer I shoot occasionally and it obviously makes a pretty nice lens for birding too.....especially if you have a camera that shoots high enough resolution to handle a large crop.

    If you can handle the invoice......buy it and buy it new.
  14. The lowest I found for a new one is from Henrys. They are selling one on eBay for 1756 $ CAN + 6% GST (1861 $ CAN) or buy it now at 1834 $ CAN + 6% GST (1944 S CAN). I could also get one locally for 1830 $ CAN + 6% GST + 7.5 % PST (2085 $ CAN). As you can see, I am paying almost 14 % taxes here in Québec so I am very tempted to shop elsewhere in Canada.
    It is really freeking me out to buy such an expensive and complex item without warranty. Every single piece of photo equipment I currently own was bought used. Every thing I currently own cost less than a grand so I guess that's why it doesn't bother me as much. But 18 hundred dollars is mucho pesos for me right now so that's why I am looking for options.
    I thought about that option too but with the current price from Henrys, I will avoid the hassle from shipping across the border and I'll get Nikon's warranty so this option doesn't appeal to me at this time.
    Aside from buying new, that's curretly the option I find the more appealing. I have to check with Mack though to see if I could buy an extended warranty from them. If so, that might be the way to go. If only they would have a few in stock...
    I can feel your pain Robert. Can't wait to hold one of those babies in my hands too ! :biggrin:

    Yep, new one seems like the way to go...

    Now I have to schedule a meeting with the finance department. I hope the CFO is in a good mood. :biggrin: Do you think she'll notice I have something in mind if I send her flowers to the office...
  15. jaleel


    Apr 3, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Henry's on ebay only charges you GST? I thought they added PST depending on which province they ship it to?

    Ontario has 8% PST as well so it sucks buying expensive gear here.

    You can try thecamerastore.com . It's new in stock for $1899 + GST + Shipping. They're in Calgary so they won't charge you PST.

    Good luck on the purchase and please let us know which route you take. I'm probably going to get one in the near future pending on CFO approval as well :) 
  16. JeffP

    JeffP Guest

    thanks for the link Fireman. It's always a pleasure for me to shoot with you
  17. Same thing here JeffP. Can't wait for our next event together. Maybe by this time I'll have my new lens and you'll be able to try it out !!!
  18. InitialD


    Mar 12, 2007
    I'll play devil's advocate here since most are hung up on VR this and that. :biggrin: Like what hoanginc mentioned, VR does not help you freeze action for indoor sports. You need to invest in a camera with good high ISO and glass that will give bigger aperture than f/2.8 preferably for that high shutter speed required to freeze action. Selling the 85mm f/1.8 is a big mistake then in my view.

    For the sake of staying on topic, I would go with the two touch AF-D 80-200mm f/2.8 since you have the D2H. They can be had 2nd hand for very reasonable price and no worries about AF-S motor or VR mechanism failing. If you want, you can still get them brand new. They are really rugged lenses.

    VR is also moot when you're in the heat of the moment trying to capture images instantly at high shutter speeds. You would not want VR to slow you down when you instantly want to capture images. My 2 cents.
  19. cadman


    Dec 4, 2006
    Johns Creek, GA
    just lucky

    I think I was just in the right place (online) at the right time. Got a 3 month old 70-200 and 5 month old 17-55 with blank warranty cards with a combined price so low I don't want to tell you. Was able to purchase with Amex knowing that if there was a problem, they would back me up.

    No problems. Love my new glass and still can't believe my good fortune.
  20. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Here's my 2 cents. I bought a 70-200VR new. I had waited a while, wanted to let the initial bugs get worked out. By now, most people know about the ground wire issue, Nikon found they had to add one after the early versions were having issues with Af and VR function, mostly with TC's. I thought I had waited long enough, and bought one new with the 5 year warranty. I'm glad I got a new one. It has been back to Nikon twice in 3 years. Same issue, stops AF and VR randomly. Yes, it is the lens, it does it on all my bodies. This time, it looks like it has been repaired correctly.
    In the old days, I'd buy a MF or AFD lens used without a second thought. Now, with AFS and VR, there is much more to go wrong and the repair bills are that much higher. I will only buy new with a warranty. I'm finding the price differences aren't that much, only a few hundred dollars which to me is worth the peace of mind. The likelyhood of a problem isn't great, given the number of units out there, but to me, that warranty is worth every extra penny.
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