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

Joined
May 9, 2009
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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.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
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Orange County, CA
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:
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
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Alabama
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.

~Ed
 
Joined
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Orange County, CA
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.
~Ed

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.
 
Joined
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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.
 
Joined
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Orange County, CA
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.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
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Eau Claire, WI
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
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
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The Netherlands
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).
 
Joined
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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.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
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Utah
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.
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.
 

Butlerkid

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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.
 
W

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.
 
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Mar 21, 2009
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they're all good lenses, just buy what you can afford since the price difference between each lens you mentioned is about $500
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
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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.
 
Joined
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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.
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.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
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546
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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:
 
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
1,042
Location
NYC
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:
Glad my thread could be of help :D
 

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