80-200 or 70-200

Mar 14, 2006
I need to get a 2.8 lens.

Considering both lens, which one should I get? Is the 70-200 really worth the money?

The problem is, I do have the money to get the 70-200mm but if I get that lens... I will not be able to get the 17-55.

Should I get the 70-200 and forget about the 17-55 for now? What should I do? Thanks for your input.
Feb 13, 2006
Pretoria, South Africa
I have the 17-55 and the 80-200 D.
The 17-55 is an awesome lens. I also love my 80-200, despite it's old design.
The two compliment each other, so it's difficult to advise anyone on what to buy - they serve different needs. Sit down and think what you need the lenses for, and buy based on your needs.

The 17-55 is almost permanently on my camera, with the 80-200 filing in for longer reach. I think it's not a question of which one you need, but a question of which one to buy first, and then it's up to your needs.

The 80-200 will give you slower autofocus, and lacks VR. If you can live with it, that may be a cheaper alternative. It now costs half of what I payed for it several years ago. The 80-200 is not compatible with newer bodies like the D40, and we may see in future more bodies that only support AF-S. Teleconverter is also an issue with 80-200: Nikon makes an AF-S converter, so I went for a Kenko. AF is very slow with the converter.

There is another alternative, and that is a second-hand AFS-80-200; if you can find it. Nikon stopped making it by about 2004, and it has the newer focus, lacking only VR. At this stage I have buyer's remorse that I never went for that one.

On the other hand, if VR and AF-S are important, the only choice is to go for the 70-200. It seems to be an awesome lens.
Feb 6, 2005
South SF Bay Area, CA.
Between the 17-55 and the 70(or 80)-200, there is only one question that you need to answer. The rest will follow.

Which focal length do you need the most?

It would make no sense to sink say $1500 in a lens used only rarely, when that exact purchase deprived you of a "bread-and-butter" lens that you'd use nearly all the time! Then again, you and your subjects may favor a longer focal...

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