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Am I crazy ? Trade 70-200 VR for 120-300 !!!

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by fireman, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. I have owned the Nikon 70-200 VR for a few months now. I love this lens but I always find I need a little more reach. While browsing the Cafe tonight, I searched the forums and noticed that the Sigma 120-300/2.8 zooms sold on the Cafe were sold at about the same price my almost new 70-200 VR would sell.

    And then, I had this little voice inside my head start telling me I could trade my Nikon lens for a Sigma zoom and have the reach I want and still have a fast 2.8 aperture all the way.

    I know I could get a 1.4 teleconverter and get the reach although at a smaller f/stop but I'm not sure that's the way I want to go. Shooting sports, I need/want all the light I can get from fast glass. Also, it is a lot more convenient not to have to add the TC when the action is moving fast.

    Comments and LL therapy would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Jean-Pierre,

    I understand your pain! Selling off my 70-200 VR for precisely the same reason just this past May. Be warned though that the 120-300 f/2.8 is a wonderfull lens but it has a very high "learning" curve before you can consistanly get great images from it. It is a large and heavy lens, it has no VR. It's not a easy lens to hand hold and shoot with and most likely it will tax your current tripod/head system to the limit. Though having said all this when you master your long lens technique the lens will reward you with outstanding images. The Sigma TC 1.4 EX will work perfectly with no IQ degradation you wind up with a 420 f/4 and that has some real nice reach to it. At the end of the day what you lose by giving up the 70-200 VR are those opportunities when you find yourself in bad light with out a Tripod. That is where you will miss the 70-200 VR and it is for that reason that I purchased and took delivery earlier this evening of an other new 70-200 VR. I guess for now my lens lust is quenched?
  3. No, you're not crazy!! But, you might need to add additional cash to afford the newer model of the Sigma 120-300 2.8 lens. The older model is almost equal in value to a 70-200VR; therefore I think it's a great idea!! :rolleyes:  In fact, I'm glad you posted this topic. :biggrin:

    Rich Gibson recently purchased this lens and added the Sigma 2X teleconverter to double the reach at F 5.6, I think... I am considering this lens for birding in the Fall. Sorry, LLD never dies, it just goes to sleep until the credit card bill is paid...:biggrin:
  4. I've got a 1.4 for you!
  5. Hi Jean Pierre
    Personally I wouldn't do ot - I have had issues with my own copy of the 120-300, it is not sharp until F4 and the tracking is nowhere near as good as the afs lenses. Saying that I know other forum members use and love this lens so it may just be my copy / me. I am trading in for a 300vr once I get the funds in place.

    Good luck with your decision.
  6. Jean-Pierre,

    It makes sense depending on what you want to shoot with it, for a beach volleyball tournament, no as the 70-200 is a lot easier to work with and walk around with however for birding, football and nature shots, then yes - on a stable tripod or a monopod instead of a tripod and this will work well with the 120-300/2.8.

    It is possible to hand hold it but it is 2.6 Kg hence that would be a tiresome proposition by the end of the day. Go with what works for you and what you shoot with your lenses, if the 120-300 is what you need then go for it or get a 1.4 teleconverter and bump the ISO up a little :smile:
  7. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    IMHO Crazy yes
  8. I hear ya and that's why I am a little hesitant before posting a WTT 70200 VR for a 120-300 in the fore sale forum. Not owning a fast shorter zoom is the reason I am just not sure right now. I have been thinking about getting the Nikon 17-55 or most probably the Tammy 18-50/2.8 and a 85/1.8 that would fill the gap between the 50-55 zoom and the 120-300. That would make things just about right and could do it without having to take a second mortgage on the house.
    From what I've read here on the Cafe, the newer version is not necessarily sharper than the older version so I'd go with the older version unless someone would let the latest version go for the same price :biggrin:
    Nope... You just sold it !
    I would have to make really sure I get a sharp copy before I'd let go of the 70-200. I could track the sports I shoot with the 180/2.8 screw drive so I'm guessing I could do the sale with the 12-300. I'd go for the 300VR or most any Nikon 300 for that matter if I had the cash to do it but that is not the case so I have to find other ways to do it.
    I know I would loose quite a bit of "freedom" by using this lens but I wouldn't mind using a monopod with it. As you said, at 2.6 kg, I could handhold one for a short period of time but I wouldn't do it all day long.
    Gale, I know how much you love your 70-200VR and I can understand your reaction :wink: Having an extra 2 000 $ in my pocket would make this question obsolete as I would be looking for a 300/2.8 prime and that would end the discussion right there. Unfortunately, with a child in private school and a car and a house to pay, that is not an option for now.

    Quite a few Cafe members have bought one during the last year and I would definitely be interested in hearing their comments even if they are not mostly shooting sports.
  9. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I don't have a 70-200 VR
    I did a couple years ago for a short time....
    I had to sell it.

    I would keep that lens if you can
    With a 1.7 TC you will get good images still.
    Just to good of a lens to let go if you do not have to.

    Adding other lenses is fine as well.
  10. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Listen to Gale on this!!! She is Right!!
  11. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Thanks John

    I have experienced alot of stuff with the Nikkor lenses.
    I would love to have them all I think:>)))))

    80-400 VR is my buddy though...lol
  12. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005

    That 80-400 can really produce sharp images! Every time I get ready to list mine, I look at a few of the images I've captured with it, and see how easy it is to pack on a trip compared with the larger glass, and I decide to keep it!
  13. I've been away most of the week-end so I did not comment much on the Cafe. I have a little catching up to do and I'll let you know where I am going.

    I'd still like to hear from Cafe members that own the Sigma 120-300 though.
  14. asterix


    Jun 19, 2007
    i too am about to plunge for this lens, After looking everywhere including ebay, 1 seller (digitalrev) has stated the D200 produces exposure problems with this lens, Has anyone else heard this? It obviously sorries me before buying and need to check.
  15. yoyo


    Nov 9, 2006
    The Netherlands
    Crazy indeed...
  16. I don't know what kind of sports you are shooting but for me the 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens is just super. I have the 300mm f2.8 lens but for most sports I find it too long and too heavy to be really effective. I may think differently if I had a Wemberly but alas, I do not.
  17. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    You sure need a full Wimberely and a great tripod for that 300 2.8:>))))))))
    What a monster
  18. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Lots of owners read the "official" 120-300mm thread in the Lust forum, you can ask in there, although as far as I'm aware its just as sharp or sharper than the Sigma 300mm prime.
  19. Jan-Pierre,

    you're insane for even considering it. I have the 70-200 VR & I use it for the horses, hummingbirds, portraits - simply for everything - I use it with the TC17E-II & it's really great.

    Do not give up that lens.

  20. I own both and am not selling either one of them. They are both excellent lenses. I stop mt 120-300 down to f3.5 and it is hard to get a sharper image. I have to stop my 70-200 down to f/4 to get as good. Maybe just my copies of the lenses.:confused: 
    I often think that these 2 overlap too much, but I often pull out both on different bodies at the track and find I favour one over the other at one corner, and then the situation is reversed at another corner. Go figure.:eek:  So, I can't help you other than to say it took until the 3rd copy of my 120-300 to get one that I was happy with. If the seller is happy to swap for a week to let you get the feel of the 120-300 to decide if it is what you want and a good copy, then go for it.
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