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Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Louis Champan, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. I've almost got myself convinced to purchase a 70-200VR, but have one reservation. I currently use my 80-400VR at the long end to shoot birds, with the 70-200VR at the long end I'll be short by 300mm. Will I be able to compensate for this by cropping and end up with similar results as with the 80-400VR?
  2. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  3. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Gale, who likes to shoot birds, sold her 80-400VR and got the 70-200VR, now she wants to get another 80-400VR.

    I have th 80-400VR, but not the 70-200VR and am considering the 70-200VR, but I would not give up the 80-400VR because of it's versatility and reach.

    Here a post with an informal test I made with it: https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=7207
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  4. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Louis :

    Yes and no. :lol: I've shot a lot with both lenses.

    You'll get better more focused results with the 70-200mm in part because of the AFS function that the 80-400mm VR lacks. By and large, the 70-200mm AFS/VR also has crisper optics than the 80-400mm.


    You simply won't have 400mm of reach. Even the crops from the 70-200mm may not meet your needs. 200mm is not 400mm.


    The 80-400mm VR has slower focusing, is "slower glass" (i.e., f/5.6 at full zoom), and is a bit soft at 400mm (not terribly so, but perceptible if you look at the image carefully).

    Let's look at the results for these lenses.

    If you look at the work of Janet Zinn, you'll see just how well the 80-400mm VR can shine in the hands of a photographer. She coaxes better quality out of that lens than almost anybody else I've seen.

    If you look at various other folks on the forum, you can see just how nicely the 70-200mm functions, but generally, without the same reach. They generally can land shots where fast focusing is a requirement.


    I'd suggest having a long hard look at what you deem more important in this match-up, testing each lens if possible, and then coming to a decision based on those.

    John P.
  5. Hey, Louis, I'll note this here for others as well but you might also consider the 70-200 with a TC-17E. The TC-20E will get you the reach at 400 but some folks think it loses too much in quality. The TC-17E gets really great reviews for quality and you would not lose nearly as much in focal length while keeping most of the AFS advantage.

    Good luck.....
  6. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I am prob going to buy my BABY back..

    will keep the 70-200 for a bit...

    But I want my 80-400 VR VR VR

    since I could never afford the 500mm..

    i will just forget flying birds, for the most part. Maybe Harry B can teach me to do it like he does with the 80-400.

    I like to shoot manual so I just may get the 20 TC for the 80-400.

    lord knows it is bright enough in Florida to make up for F stops.
  7. twig


    May 23, 2005
    If you are shooting little birds, going down in focal length is simply a mistake that you will regret.

    The 70-200 is a superior lens in many regards, but not for your intended subjects. Cropping is just not going toget you there either.

    I would stick with the 80-400VR as it is the best solution for you.

    IF you have a good rtipod and intend to use it, then look perhaps at a used 300/2.8 AF-S, you can find them around $2k if you look hard enough, as people are dumping for hte VR lens now. Couple that with a 1.7XTC for a good, fast 500/4.5

    Or sigma makes a 120-300 that you could couple with a TC.
  8. Thanks all for your inputs. I'm going to continue shooting with the 80-400VR and post some photos. The 70-200VR is tempting from all I've read and heard about its optics, but I think I'll hold off until I can see where it would exactly fit it for me.
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