80-200 F2.8 or 70-300VR?

Joined
Feb 24, 2007
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Tennessee
I agree with Zachs, try out the Nikkor 180 f2.8 prime lens. Built to last a lifetime and produces wonderful images.

docshank
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
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Minnesota
peet, what about the 70-300vr want you to go to the 80-200 2.8? I like the size, IQ, price, and focal length of the 70-300vr however i am afraid I will miss the 2.8 aperature of the 80-200. I also worry that I may not feel comfortable carrying such a big lens around in public as the 80-200.
 
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Feb 11, 2007
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Orlando, Florida
Ok, for indoor or night time sports I can see the need for 2.8, but you know for most anything else, I could not see the 80-200 being any sharper than the pics below. This idea of pro glass, well, a lot has to do with the techniques and knowledge of the person behind the camera. IMHO :wink:
My 70-300VR I would not leave home without it!!

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Cheers
Nancy
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
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The 80-200 is an amazing lens. I've owned both the one and two-ring versions. I thought (for some reason) that I needed the 70-200. As it turns out the only thing I gained from my upgrade was a little bit of focusing speed and VR. I didn't necessarily need the extra speed. The VR is nice, but I'd lived without it to that point and still managed to somehow get good shots.

I've not used the 70-300VR, but by all accounts, it's a fine lens. Most likely, it would work fine for about 90% of the shots you want to take. But the remaining 10% will be lower-light shots that you will regret missing. If you put a TC on the 80-200, you're still shooting with a faster lens (f/4) than the 70-300 - which is f/4.5-5.6.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can compensate for the shorter focal length of the 80-200 with a TC. But you really can't compensate for the lack of speed with the 70-300 - although the VR will get you close if you have good technique.

Good luck with this decision.
 
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flygirl, those images are amazingly sharp. I don't question the utility of the70-300VR in good lighting. You and others have shown that in that environment it is very capable of wonderful images. In fact I may very well still get the 70-300VR thanks to pictures like yours. My only concern is that I do shoot some of my kids events outdoors and in less than ideal lighting and the VR won't get me the shutterspeed that I need to stop motion. I shoot a 85 1.8 for my indoor events and find that the 1.8 is even not eneogh in some poorly lit gymnasiums and schools. That is the reason I am also considering the 80-200 2.8. Thanks again flygirl for sharing the images and for the comments.
 
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WAF (wife approval factor) would not be very high if I bought both-although I like the thought process!! Leaning towards a used 80-200 two ring and a 1.4TC. With the way I waffle on things like this it will take me weeks of deliberating.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
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flygirl, those images are amazingly sharp. I don't question the utility of the70-300VR in good lighting. You and others have shown that in that environment it is very capable of wonderful images. In fact I may very well still get the 70-300VR thanks to pictures like yours. My only concern is that I do shoot some of my kids events outdoors and in less than ideal lighting and the VR won't get me the shutterspeed that I need to stop motion. I shoot a 85 1.8 for my indoor events and find that the 1.8 is even not eneogh in some poorly lit gymnasiums and schools. That is the reason I am also considering the 80-200 2.8. Thanks again flygirl for sharing the images and for the comments.

Thanks. And, I do understand about the speed for sports under lights and such. Well, I would vote on you having both:biggrin:. The VR and reach would come in handy when light is not an issue and the 2.8 great otherwise.

Cheers
Nancy
 
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Nancy:

Its also the creative control that the f2.8 gives you. The ability to blur the background and isolate the subject is often a critical aspect of wildlife photography. Of course its also why a f2.8 300 is four times the cost of the f4 version:)
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
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Rockville, MD
For me right now, my choice is neither. The 70-300 VR has the reach and VR, but not the low light shooting or subject isolation capabilities of an f/2.8. The 80-200 f/2.8 gives you the f/2.8, but doesn't quite have the reach, no VR (unless you spend a lot more), and it's also overbuilt for 1.5x DSLRs because it was designed to cover the entire 35mm frame which isn't needed. So you're paying for extra glass and weight that you'll never use. I'm hoping Nikon comes out with an equivalent of the (70)80-200 f/2.8 for the DX format. Should be a lot smaller, lighter, and also cost less too.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
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Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 might be what you're looking for, gives the old 70-200mm focal length for DX in a much smaller package.

Also, as lens manufactures have said, making big lenses DX only gives them a slight reduction in size and weight, and its not worth it over reducing compatibility.

And if you want 300mm f/2.8, you need the Sigma 120-300mm which is a huge lens. It's highly unlikely that a DX format 120-300 would reduce the size or weight of the lens significantly.
 
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Also, as lens manufactures have said, making big lenses DX only gives them a slight reduction in size and weight, and its not worth it over reducing compatibility.
hmmm... interesting. I thought it would have been more significant.

Guess I'll have to check out the Sigma and other third party options then.
 
Joined
May 13, 2007
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Modesto, CA
David,

Between the 2 the 80-200 2.8 and the 70-300mm VR... thats a tough one but I still rather get the 2.8 and also the 80-200 2.8 built much better. the 70-300mm VR is built pretty cheap. I'd rather get the 55-200mm VR for 250 bucks. I have that lens and the 70-200mm VR 2.8, if you can afford it get that one instead but between the 80-200 2.8 and 70-300mm VR get the 2.8.
 
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Oct 28, 2006
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David,

....the 70-300mm VR is built pretty cheap....
I'll have to disagree with that statement. While the 80-200 is indeed built with the usual Nikon pro construction, the 70-300 certainly does not have a 'cheap' build.

The 80-200 is a great lens, no doubt about it, but its all in what you need. For me, the 70-300 displaced my 80-200. I like the extra reach, the VR, and the portability. If I could have them both, I would, but the 70-300 was being used much more than the 80-200.

I have a 300/f4 that's not being used anymore due to the handiness of the 70-300 and my individual needs. It will be going soon.

Great to have choices, eh?!
 
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May 13, 2007
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Modesto, CA
I should have qualified myself before making that statement. What I consider cheap is factor-ing all variables. The 70-300mm VR cost about 3 times as much as the 55-200mm VR and are built pretty much with the same quality... why? don't know. Pretty much the build quality is not the literal build quality but the build quality according the price.
 
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Feb 7, 2007
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peet, what about the 70-300vr want you to go to the 80-200 2.8? I like the size, IQ, price, and focal length of the 70-300vr however i am afraid I will miss the 2.8 aperature of the 80-200. I also worry that I may not feel comfortable carrying such a big lens around in public as the 80-200.
Personally the 70-300 VR is a great lens and I love it and probably will never get rid of it. Unfortunately though it is slow at f/5.6 at 300mm and I find myself more times than not at too slow of a shutter speed when I'm zoomed all the way in, even if it's sunny out. Thus, I have just traded my Sigma 50-150 for a Nikon 80-200 AF-D lens. This will give me both lenses to use...and I plan on buying a used 180 f/2.8 lens for a nice smaller lightweight f/2.8 tele that I can take to ballgames and such without having to whip out the big lens. :biggrin:
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
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Orlando, Florida
Nancy:

Its also the creative control that the f2.8 gives you. The ability to blur the background and isolate the subject is often a critical aspect of wildlife photography. Of course its also why a f2.8 300 is four times the cost of the f4 version:)
Well, to be honest I would rarely use 2.8 with my wildlife. For most of my wildlife shots it would be too little DOF. But, on the other hand, I do have the 300 2.8 for that if needed. I think the 2.8 comes in handy for action shots, especially at night under lights and indoors.

Nancy
Shooting from a plane the 70-300VR is hard to beat . I have a Warrior and have to shoot thru the vent window.
I do try to have all the windows cleaned before going out. The Cirrus does not have vent windows. I am looking forward to getting some shots from the air when I am in Alaska in a few weeks:biggrin:.

Cheers
Nancy
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
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1,120
Location
Myrtle Beach, SC
That is really a tough call

Both are fine excellant lenses that offer different features. The 80-200 has the obvious advantage of a faster apeture which is excellant for shallow DOF and low light shooting, also the 80-200 has a 'pro' level build and optics to match. On the other hand the 80-200 (non AF-S) is slow-to-focus on certain bodies (correct me if I am wrong here) and of course the 80-200 is a bigger heavier lens. The 70-300 VR has the obvious advantage of an extra 100mm on the tele end, has much faster AF-S focusing that some reviews have noted is good enough for amateur sports photography and of course VR which will give you a 4 stop advantage with non-moving subjects (does help with panning though).

If you need the faster apeture of the 80-200 that by all means choose the 80-200 as this is a top-rated pro lens - if apeture is not an important factor, than the 70-300 is going to be more versitle in other areas.
 

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