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70-300VR & 80-200D or 70-200VR ??

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by danameless, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. danameless


    May 9, 2009
    I'm struggling to make a decision here so hope some words of wisdom can help me make a decision....

    I shoot mainly landscapes and architecture, with some portraits and the occassional street photography. I love shooting in low-light and don't always have a tripod with me. Especially in NYC where tripods are not allowed in most places.

    With that said, I am in the market for a telephoto zoom. Currently, I am handicapped with only a maximum length of 105mm in my bag, so this is my ideal next purchase.

    Here is the question: Do I get the Nikon 70-200mm VR or do I get both the 80-200D and the 70-300VR. Why am I considering this you ask yourself?

    First Option:
    I have not heard anything bad about the 70-200mm at all, and appears to be one of the most lusted lens out there. As I am building the experience to hopefully go into a side business, this lens would definitely be a plus to have in my bag. However, it is big and heavy and not sure if I would carry it on a long day of shooting or if I am traveling (minor negative really, but something to consider).

    Second Option:
    Get the 80-200D and 70-300VR. Although they both cover the same FL, I can get the benefit of good pro glass with the 80-200D and the lightweight and portable functionality of the 70-300VR, which also delivers good quality. The only problem with this, is that the 80-200 does not have VR, which can come in handy since I might be hand-holding most of my low-light shooting.

    Price wise, both options are similar. There is only a couple of hundred dollar difference between the 2 options.

    What do you guys think? Any opinions? My main 2 worries is #1, Am I going to miss the VR on the 80-200 and #2, will the weight/size of the 70-200 stop me from bringing it on days where I might need the distance.
  2. Some here will say to get the 80-200 and the 70-300VR because IQ will be the same and your only missing the VR on the 80-200. I own both the 70-200VR and 70-300VR and while the 70-300VR serves a purpose, I never leave home without my 70-200VR. The images that I have been able to capture with this lens have already justified the big price tag. Some may say its a bit on the heavy side but thats a matter of opinion. I am not a big muscular guy but I can handhold this lens all day if I had to. My 70-300VR is exclusively for places like the zoo, or concert in the park where I need a little more reach or some place where I might not feel safe with the 70-200VR. If you can afford it, go for the 70-200VR you will not be dissapointed, especially if you plan on someday doing this as a side business.

    The VR will definatley help in low light and its a legend for portraits. I have an idea, why not just purchase both the 70-200VR and the 70-300VR. :biggrin:


    Jul 27, 2007
    FWIW, I have had the 70-300VR since January 07, and recently added the 80-200 2.8 two ring to my arsenal. I have not had the 70-300VR on the camera since the 80-200 hit my doorstep. I am finding that I do not miss the additional reach. In your situation, an option might be to get the 80-200, use it a while, and then see if you need the additional reach and VR of the 70-300VR.


  4. Ed, you bring up a good point. My 70-300VR also has not seen the light of day for a long time. I used to own a MINT copy and I mean a MINT copy of the 70-200 f/2.8 AF-S but I found myself shooting in dark auditoriums, multipurpose rooms, recitals etc... where my keeper count was low because flash was not allowed. Outside in the sun, it was perfect.
  5. danameless


    May 9, 2009
    Some good points. That is one thing I have heard reading other posts is that some owners of the 70-300 do not use it that often, but have come in handy at times. Although not in the same league as the 80-200 or 70-200, for the price it appears to be a very good lens. I don't know how often I would use it, but definitely when I am traveling on trips and where I know I will need a longer distance.

    Ed Rod, that is one of my worries is the lack of VR on the 80-200. Considering I do shoot portraits and like shooting in low-light, the 70-200 might be the best option.
  6. you could also sell your Sigma 105 f/2.8 in order to put towards the 70-200VR. This would be an overlap in focal length and I could only assume that the IQ would be the same as I do not own that lens.
  7. I just got the 70-300VR, and have found the VR to be very helpfull at the higher focal lengths. From what I have read, the 80-200 will have better IQ, but I am unsure of its performance in low light vs. VR
  8. I have both the 70-200VR and 70-300VR and use them both. The 70-300VR goes in the bag when I go out for a stroll and take my camera with me. The 70-200VR is mainly used for sports (indoor and outdoor) or in combination with the 300/4 and some TCs (wildlife).
  9. danameless


    May 9, 2009
    I decided on the 70-200mm VR. Got a great deal on it so ordered it this week - can't wait until it comes! I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas to come!

    If I find the weight to really be a problem, I might consider looking for a used 70-300VR, but I'm happy with what I decided now.
  10. IsaacImage


    Mar 16, 2009
  11. Preston


    May 2, 2005
    Reno, NV
    Go with the 70-200 VR & a 70-300 without VR.
  12. StinkyD


    Nov 29, 2008
    Congtrats! Please report back.

    I have the 70-300 VR and like it a lot for outside but need something faster for indoor work. I've thought about adding a 80-200 or selling the 70-300 and getting the 70-200 VR. Sort of reverse-engineering your process :smile:. I think I'm going to hold out for an updated 135 or 180.
  13. Least heaviest, easy, affordable, and a great all around lens, 70-300VR...
  14. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    I owned the 80-200/2.8 and then upgraded to the 70-200/2.8 VR. This lens is tack sharp and fast. I can deal with the weight.

    I also own the 70-300 VR which I took to India for 3 weeks and left the 70-200 home. My reasoning - less weight. Guess what? I regretted that decision the entire trip. Lots of low light situations and my photos were not as sharp as I wanted.

    So - I'm ready to sell the 70-300 VR, right? Then I do a hummingbird workshop using multiple flahses. Used the 70-300 almost all the time and occasionally used the 70-200. With flash, the 70-300 was great!

    Guess I'm keeping both but will use the 70-200 most of the time.
  15. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    I owned the 80-200mm f/2.8 and loved it, but was missing a few of my shots without VR, so bit the bullet and got the 70-200mm f/2.8 and it's now my favorite zoom. Also, instead of getting the 70-300mm VR, I would recommend the 1.4x TC, either Kenko or Nikon (I have the Kenko). It bumps the 200 to 280 and f/4 - and still very sharp. When I'm shooting in lower light, first choice is the 70-200mm f/2.8, but sometimes the 85mm f/1.8 is the better choice for me.
  16. pbcstylez


    Mar 21, 2009
    BayArea, CA
    they're all good lenses, just buy what you can afford since the price difference between each lens you mentioned is about $500
  17. jonh68


    Sep 21, 2008
    I have the 70-200 and the 70-300 VR. I would get the 80-200 and 70-300.

    I like each lens for different purposes and don't consider them covering the same length. Each has a specific purpose. I use both them equally.

    If not getting the 70-200 VR enables you to get both the 80-200 and the 70-300, you will have a great serious lens, and another one when you need reach and want to travel light.
  18. danameless


    May 9, 2009
    Thanks! I can't wait till it comes in and try it out. I'll be using it mostly for portraits and street stuff and see what it can do in low-light/indoors. Hopefully, I'll have some nice shots to post.
  19. SteveAikens


    Jan 4, 2009
    Clovis, NM
    This thread opened my eyes a little. I own the 70-200 VR 2.8 and the 70-300 VR. Since buying the 70-200, the 70-300 hasn't seen daylight except when I opened the bag to put the 70-200 on the camera.

    Comments regarding the weight of the 70-200 don't apply to me. I'm hardly your perfect physical speciman at 63 and having suffered a stroke a few years ago the took some strength and control from my right side. I have no problem with the 70-200 as an all day walk-around lens. In fact, during the World-Wide Photowalk in Amarillo TX, I chose the 70-200 and left my bag in the car. No problem at all.

    When I bought the 70-200, My justification for the cost was partly based on what I could recover from the 70-300 when I sold it. I now realize I don't need the 70-300 and I'm putting it up for sale.

    Thanks guys - now I'm going to get some money back........:wink:
  20. danameless


    May 9, 2009
    Glad my thread could be of help :D 
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