1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

70-300 vs 70-200

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Hartawan, Jul 8, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hartawan

    Hartawan Guest

    I do mostly automotive photography right now but I am hoping to get better at portraits. I also want to hit up the local zoo and take some pictures of cute animals. I currently shoot a D300 + 17-55mm. I also have a 3 SB800 setup with a SU800 and I wish I could step back a little more because with 55mm, sometimes I cant even trigger my lights.

    I know these two lenses are in different leagues, different price range, and one is faster compared to the other. I have some questions before I pull the trigger on one of these lenses.

    1. How are the IQ between these 2 glasses? Fairly close? 70-200 owns all?
    2. I have enough to buy the 70-200 but if I get the 70-300, I can use the rest of my moolah on something else. So do you think it's worth it to spend the extra $1200?
    3. How accurate are the colors in both lenses? I remember switching from 18-70mm to my 17-55 and the white balance dramatically improved (I set my WB to auto). With my 18-70 when I used "Auto color" in PS, its totally a different color while in the 17-55, auto color will slightly change color.

    Sorry if this is a repost, if it is, please direct me to the other thread. I would really love feedback from photog that has experience with both lenses but any input is greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2008
  2. As you already have the 17-55 you know what f2.8 can do for subject isolation. If you want to achieve this you'll need the 70-200. If you are mainly shooting between f8 and f11 I don't think you'll notice any difference. I've seen some decent portraits posted here taken with the 70-300.

    For the zoo the 70-300 has the upper hand but you could add a 1.4 or 1.7 TC to the 70-200 and have the same (or a bit more) reach.

    I have the 70-200 and 1.7TC but I'm still considering buying the 70-300 because it is a more lightweight walkaround solution to complement my 18-70.
  3. I don't understand. I can trigger my remotes with my su800 when I use my 35mm lens. It's just a matter of keeping the stobes ahead of the su800, and orienting their sensor windows so they can "see" the su800's signals.

    It depends on what your primary use will be. If it's people pics, get the 70-200. The selective focus and bokeh make it the clear choice. But if it's general purpose stuff, like nature photos and zoo pics, the reach of the 70-300 make it very attractive.

    I sold my 80-200/2.8 and bought a 70-300VR. Since I have a couple of excellent portrait lenses (85/1.4 and 180/2.8), my primary need was for a good nature/zoo lens. The 70-300VR is very cool at the zoo!

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

    View attachment 224163

    View attachment 224164

    It's not too bad for people pics, but not in the same league as the 70-200.

    View attachment 224165

    You might find some posts of interest on this thread.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  4. Hartawan

    Hartawan Guest

    Mmm those pictures make the 70-300 look tempting.

    Once in a while I would take a close up picture of a car's wheels and with the 55mm I dont stand far back enough to trigger the flashes. So something with 100mm+ will do the job.
    For automotive photos with the vehicle tilted diagonally, I would probably have to use f5.6+, however when doing side shots, the wider aperture would be awesome to use.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  5. it's not even close....one is pro quality and one is not.
    the 70-200 was the best zoom on the planet before the 14-24 and 24-70 so maybe now it's #3.
    The 70-300 is a nice inexpensive pedestrian lens that when stopped down to f7 has nice IQ. At 5.6 and 300mm it is at best average IQ.

    if i was you I would consider the sigma 70-200 2.8, used for approx $500 and the 70-300vr, new for $420
  6. andrzejmakal


    Apr 30, 2008
    I had 70-300VR, and it`s gone. End of story.
  7. whewww
    i expected to get jumped after my post with all this talk of how great the 70-300 is
  8. I agree Randy. I can't see any comparison between the 70-300 and 70-200. Trying the 70-300 in the store, it was agonizing how slowly the thing focused, even with the D3. I haven't shot with the 70-300, but the images I see, while decent for the price, just don't have that same quality to my eyes.

    This is my favorite shot of mine with the 70-200. Just handheld with the D2X at ISO 400.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  9. I think what defines 'pro quality' is somewhat subjective these days. Not that I am defending the 70-300 VR, but it only seems to get knocked around by those who don't want this 'pedestrian' lens encroaching on the likes of it's more expensive brethren. As someone who has owned/rented other 'pro' optics, I can honestly state without any hesitation that this lens does deliver in spades and the limitations/quality of work are more or less limited by the photographer.

    Here are some 'at best average IQ' shots taken from the 70-300 VR @ 300mm.


    Full size samples @ 300mm wide-open




  10. Now if you hadn't of quoted my post I would have left yours alone but since you did...
    what i like the best about these kinds of arguments is what people post to defend the lens....
    your last shot is nice, slightly above avg, your 1st 4 shots are avg iq (sorry but you posted them)....your 1st shot could have been done with alot less than the 70-300

    now some folks here have posted some nice pics w/ the 70-300....our Uncle posted some nice ones and when I asked him how he did it his reply was 'shoot alot so you get some good ones'

    The 70-300 at 7.1 does a nice job. So if you don't care about BG-s it is a great lens for the price
  11. this will surely turn into a 70-300 war but I'm bored so let em bring it on.....

    nice shot btw, way above avg :smile:
  12. I am not starting a war at all, just proving that the 70-300 VR is capable. I won't argue any more on the subject as I do wish to remain civil. Just to be fair, please post some of your work with the 70-200, i want to see what this lens is capable of.

    Sorry if you feel my shots are average, they are only there to show the rendition of the lens, not to publish in a magazine or anything
  13. Never apologize for your work but also be careful what you ask for

    D50 + 70-200 at 1/60 handheld, VR on







  14. Nice picture, not average at all, sharp, good contrast, nice bokeh.
  15. DJVCuda


    Jun 13, 2008
    Atco, NJ
    sorry, but the cat looks upset about an up and coming war over glass...lol
  16. The best and most respected photographers I have ever known are the humble ones...
  17. i hope i didn't come across as arrogant, ask around here and you will understand I am not

    the best shooters I know are self confident about their work and willing to help others. They also state their opinions about gear and back it up with examples. The OP asked us to compare the 70-200 and the 70-300, not to defend the 70-300. If you think the 70-300 compares to the 70-200 then have fun.
  18. Randy I never compared the 70-300 to the 70-200, all i did was state that the 70-300 was capable and somehow I opened up a can of worms. You, however, did compare the two and made some very subjective statements like 'it's not even close' and 'iq is average at best @ 300'...so who is really being definsive ? If the 70-200 is really all that, than what is there to worry about ? The lens should speak for itselt should it not ?. Your pictures look great and I don't feel the need to knock them down or call them average to justify my purchase, but I don't see anything you posted that could not be taken with the 70-300...honestly..
  19. Hey Randy, we must have visited the same ostrich farm lol

    These with the notoriously horrendous combo of 70-200/D3, by the way.

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

    and through glass in a fairly dark room, I don't think the 70-300 could have done this shot, but maybe.

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

    I really don't mean to get into a glass war, and have no concern what other folks buy or what they think of what I've bought. I just think there is a difference in the two lenses which is noticeable.

  20. WOW
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.