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80-200 or 180 f/2.8?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by craig.martell, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Ok all:

    I did it! I sold the 18-200VR that came with my D200 :eek: . It was a great lens, but it just didn't suit the way I shoot. I really want excellent bokeh, as fast as possible lenses. With the money I bought a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (which so far I really like), and now I am going to buy either the 180mm f/2.8 or 80-200mm f/2.8.

    There are pluses and minuses to both lenses, I know. But, I was hoping that those of you that made the same choice could tell me why you did and what joys/regrets you have.

    Thanks in advance for all your help.

  2. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    If you buy the 180 (which is a dreamy lens, btw) will you miss the ability to zoom? Only you can decide that!
  3. DrewC


    Jan 30, 2007
    Denver, CO
    180 vs. 80-200... exactly what i'm tryin to figure out too! and boy is it a decision.

    lets see what everyone has to say
  4. Maybe it's my practical side coming out, but the simple utility of the zoom would seem to make it a better choice.
  5. Both the 180 and the 80-200 are great lenses. I started with the 80-200, traded up to a 70-200 then added the 180 for times when I wanted to go lighter. Unless I need the VR, I find myself reaching for the 180 more often. I find that I am at or near the long end whenever I use the 70-200 anyway. Just my $.02.
  6. Nchesher


    Jul 7, 2006
    Sorry to hijack the thread but are you REALLY liking the Tamron 17-50? I've heard mixed reviews but I'm still thinking about it. I'm torn between that and the Nikon 17-55. I know there's an IQ difference in the Nikon's favor but I just dropped a hefty sum on a D200 and $1k for a wide is alot. If I sold my 18-70 I'd have almost half of what I needed for the Tamron. I really just want it for the fixed aperture.

    And as for the original question go with the 80-200. I love mine to death.
  7. Do you find the 80-200 too heavy to shoot without a tripod?

    On the 17-50, I need to do more tests, but my first response is that mine is very sharp and allows for very nice DoF control and for shooting indoors. Color, contrast, etc all seem to my liking. The 17-55 is sharper, but not sharp enough for me to justify the difference in cost. That difference will pay for either of the lenses I am considering!!! Also, the Tamron is MUCH lighter. The Nikon 17-55 is very big and heavy.


  8. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I don't have the 180, but the 80-200 is a great lens, one of Nikon's best
    it is hand- holdable, as long as you keep the s/ speed @ 400 and up
    which is not hard to do with the constant 2.8
    I was going to sell mine, but have since switched my mind and probably sell my 18-200 like you...
    I want the beast now.....
  9. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    I have both lenses, and I like them both equally. I like the versatility and longer FL the 80-200 offers, but it is bigger and heavier. That is the main reason I picked up the 180 also so that I could still have a good fast mid telephoto that was easier to carry around (to sporting events, etc). You can't go wrong with either...
  10. The 80-200 can definitely be hand held. I occasionally used it on a monopod and found that worked well also. The 180 and the 80-200 are very different, and both have their places. You can always buy one, see how you like it and then trade it in and get the other. That's what the Buy & Sell forum is for!:smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2007

  11. I have both, and each is my favorite, depending on what I'm shooting. I'd rather take the 80-200 when I go to the zoo or to the lake for birding...

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

    ... but I'd prefer the 180 for candids at a reception or party.

    View attachment 105159

    I'd hate to be stuck with a fixed focal length for a Little League game...

    View attachment 105160

    ... but the 180 is my choice to take to the theater.

    View attachment 105161

    I give the edge to the the 180 in terms of image quality, particularly wide open...

    View attachment 105162

    but it isn't a complete solution.

    If I could only fit one lens in my bag, it would be the zoom, but if there were room for 2 lenses, I'd leave the zoom home and take the 180/2.8 and 85/1.4.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2007
  12. I found myself using my 70-200/2.8 on the extremes (not necessarily a bad thing) so I sold it, picked up a 180/2.8 and I use my 24-60/2.8 as a companion. I carry these two and a Sigma 12-24 everywhere. I can fill in with a 105/2 DC and a 150/2.8 macro. Not a perfect solution for everyone but it works for me.
  13. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Nope, the 80-200 is not too heavy to shoot hand held, that's the only way I shoot mine as I have a crappy tripod and hate having to set it up. I like this lens for it's fast glass so I can keep my shutter speed relatively high all of the time which negates any movement I might make while taking the shot.

    As for the 17-55, I'm sure it is big (as I haven't held one myself) but I was comparing it's size and weight to my 70-300 VR lens, and it's about the same weight, but a little shorter...I can't wait to try one out!
  14. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    as much as i like my 180 i think you're better off aquiring the 80-200 first..a good sample is sharp @f2.8 all the way through and bokeh is pretty nice too ...

    couple of recent shots...@80mm
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 105164
    and 100% crop of the same
    View attachment 105165
  15. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    nuteshack, those are amazing images.
  16. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    thanks Brian ...it really is the lens..;-))
  17. [FONT=&quot]As everyone else has said, I too think that the 80-200 f/2.8 is the way to go. Even though the 180 only just edges out front in IQ, the versatility of the 80-200 would just be a plus. Not only is it a sharp lens at 200, but it works great at 80…[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot](Sorry but you may have to click on photo's to see correctly)…[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]D80, 80-200 f/2.8 @ 200, 1/400sec, f/2.8, EV 0.0, ISO100[/FONT]
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    [FONT=&quot]This one with a Kenko 1.4x TC….. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]D80 80-200f/2.8 @200, 1/640sec, f/2.8 EV-0.3, ISO160[/FONT]
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

  18. No it isn't. I have the same lens, and can't get shots like that at f/2.8. You're amazing, and I'm envious.
  19. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    I just spent my first weekend imaging at a Veladrom - I'm tell you the 80-200 got used at all lengths. Frank I bought mine because of you, and I've got to say mine is as sharp as my 300....if I ever get to stop working on major project's I've got a few that are worth the post.

    Me, I wanted to pair a lens with my 12/24 for a two lens travel kit, and the 80-200 is the perfect lens. and NS, your shots go to show.

    One of the tricks I'm finding with the D200 and zoom is that I really have to keep my shutter speed up to around 450/500 especially closer than 10'. I also use spot focus and metering with this lens.

    But I love it. But to work.....:( 
  20. I just asked the same question on the general discussion board. I should have gone here first.
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