Debating whether to sell my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II or 300mm f/4E PF VR?

Sell either my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II or 300mm f/4E PF VR?

  • Keep the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Keep the 300mm f/4E PF VR

    Votes: 4 80.0%

  • Total voters
    5
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I'm thinking of thinning out the lens herd to help finance other things (namely my gravel biking :D), so I'm trying to decide which of these two lenses to sell? I'm leaning somewhat towards keeping the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II due to being a true pro workhorse, doubles as a fast focusing low light telephoto lens and is an excellent portrait lens when need be. The cons being, I'm not to fond of the weight and I have an 85mm f/1.4 for my Sony kit that renders portraits beautifully and can double as a very good short/low light telephoto lens. On the other hand I have the Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR, that's light as a feather, has no equal in other camera systems, effective VR, sharp wide open and I can mount my old Nikon TC-14E II with no loss in quality giving me an almost 400mm f/5.6 FOV. Cons being, I haven't shot much with it (due to current events) and well, it's an f/4 limiting it to mainly outdoor activities.

The old guard working pro in me says keep the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II because that's my old school bread-n-butter FL, but the now aging me says keep the 300mm f/4E PF VR lens, embrace lighter gear and think of all the long lens opportunities in the future once travel opens up again!

Any suggestions one way or the other are welcomed!
 
Last edited:
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you certainly outlined the predicament. I voted to keep the PF. I think that will hold more value and be versatile as a long lens for you + it does well with 1.7 TC too. IMHO, the F mount zoom will devalue more due to FL version and S versions. You don't say what bodies you have or may get. I also think the 300 PF does well on Z bodies. If you need mirrorless 70-200, then the S mount or Sony equivalent cold suit you. And by they way, you can't be that old! I saw your weight lifting! Biking will keep you young! I am 60 and plan of keeping on!
 
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That's a tough one. Is the 85 really the only other lens you have in that range? I've done a good number of portraits with an 85 (the old cream machine). But I was rarely a prime guy during events. What stuff are you mainly shooting these days?
 
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Not to confuse your decision, but I'd actually keep both the 300 and the zoom and sell the Sony 85. I find myself reaching for my 85 a lot less these days for my portrait work. In fact, I even purchased the Z-mount 85 and decided to sell it shortly afterwards. 85mm is simply not long enough to maintain a comfortable distance for a headshot and I seldom shoot portraits wide open. Also, in the case of the Sony GM version, it might be worth the same or more than the 70-200 VRII on the used market.
 
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That's a tough one. Is the 85 really the only other lens you have in that range? I've done a good number of portraits with an 85 (the old cream machine). But I was rarely a prime guy during events. What stuff are you mainly shooting these days?

I haven't shot as much event work lately and the 300mm f/4 was originally purchased for daytime event shooting. The 70-200mm f/2.8 VR tends to be used for lower light event and stage work, but I've been finding I have more flexibility lately and I haven't been in a position to use the zoom as much since I can just physically move. Both are very solid lenses, though I give the 300mm sharpness advantage with the 70-200mm being able to render nicer photos.

My current kit is split between Sony and Nikon:

Nikon:
16-35/4VR
28-85AF (Sleep sharp lens)
50/1.4EX (non-Art)
70-200mm f/2.8 VR-II
300mm f/4E PF VR

Sony:
18mm/2.8
35mm/1.8
85mm/1.4
28-200/2.8-5.6FE

Not to confuse your decision, but I'd actually keep both the 300 and the zoom and sell the Sony 85. I find myself reaching for my 85 a lot less these days for my portrait work. In fact, I even purchased the Z-mount 85 and decided to sell it shortly afterwards. 85mm is simply not long enough to maintain a comfortable distance for a headshot and I seldom shoot portraits wide open. Also, in the case of the Sony GM version, it might be worth the same or more than the 70-200 VRII on the used market.

I actually have the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 AF lens for Sony. This lens is better than Nikon's own 85mm f/1.4 AF-S and I feel it's very close to Sigma's 85mm f/1.4 Art DG and with less distortion.
 
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As much as I love the 300/4 PF, I don’t really use it as much as I think I should to justify keeping it.

for the times I want 300mm on Nikon, I have the 70-300 that I can use. I don’t really need a low light 300 to be honest.

the big thing I got the 300 for was to use it with the tc14eIII on a crop body in Yellowstone. That was 4 years ago now.

I could be in the same situation as you.

I too have an 85mm fast prime and use it rarely. I could get away with using the 70-200/2.8 at 85 for portraits of need be.

you’ve made me think about this again, and if I need extreme reach, I can go m43 for that or really, look into a 400 or 500 mm prime instead.

so my bottom line would be to sell the 300mm if shooting long telephoto is not really your thing.
 
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Aging you? Haha. You were in pretty amazing shape the last time I saw you and it seems you've been quite busy since then. How about sell the 70-200 and pick up a 180 2.8. Would gap the 85 and 300. Affordable, light and sharp. AF is a little antique-ish but your skill set can make up for it.
 
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As much as I love the 300/4 PF, I don’t really use it as much as I think I should to justify keeping it.

for the times I want 300mm on Nikon, I have the 70-300 that I can use. I don’t really need a low light 300 to be honest.

the big thing I got the 300 for was to use it with the tc14eIII on a crop body in Yellowstone. That was 4 years ago now.

I could be in the same situation as you.

I too have an 85mm fast prime and use it rarely. I could get away with using the 70-200/2.8 at 85 for portraits of need be.

you’ve made me think about this again, and if I need extreme reach, I can go m43 for that or really, look into a 400 or 500 mm prime instead.

so my bottom line would be to sell the 300mm if shooting long telephoto is not really your thing.

I originally bought the 300mm f/4 PF to shoot down the line shots for races, but I think in retrospect I could have obtained the same look using my 70-200mm with the 1.4 TC. My other thought for the 300mm was for travel since it's so lightweight, but again that's not happening anytime soon! The lens I really liked is the 70-200mm f/4 VR, due to weight and just being incredibly sharp, but it doesn't have the same rendering as the f/2.8 zoom lens, making it less useful for portraits. My 85mm is definitely staying in my kit, I think anything 50mm and 85mm with at least an f/1.4 aperture is where I like to shoot for people.

Aging you? Haha. You were in pretty amazing shape the last time I saw you and it seems you've been quite busy since then. How about sell the 70-200 and pick up a 180 2.8. Would gap the 85 and 300. Affordable, light and sharp. AF is a little antique-ish but your skill set can make up for it.

The other option is to keep the 300mm for Nikon and the use the 85mm on the wider end. I have the Tamron 28-200mm to cover the mid-end. I'd loose the 2.8, but it'd give me a lightweight kit option with lots of focal range. I have no problem mixing and matching my kit since I gaffer tape the logos and don't get brands mixed up! :ROFLMAO:
 
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My current kit is split between Sony and Nikon:
The other option is to keep the 300mm for Nikon and the use the 85mm on the wider end. I have the Tamron 28-200mm to cover the mid-end. I'd loose the 2.8, but it'd give me a lightweight kit option with lots of focal range.
Since you have three fast normal primes, and it sounds like you can live without f/2.8 for telephoto work, this sounds like a very sensible solution.
 
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Aging you? Haha. You were in pretty amazing shape the last time I saw you and it seems you've been quite busy since then. How about sell the 70-200 and pick up a 180 2.8. Would gap the 85 and 300. Affordable, light and sharp. AF is a little antique-ish but your skill set can make up for it.
It's too bad the 180mm is the only option between the 85mm and 300mm that's not $$$ or manual AF.
 
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Look at your photos to decide which you use most. I know that's hard to sell premium glass, even if used only occasionally. I have a simple system of 24/1.8, 35/1.8, 180/2.8EDIF and have thought many times of buying a 70-200/4 but don't think I could part w/ my 180 so I've not made the move.
 
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Look at your photos to decide which you use most. I know that's hard to sell premium glass, even if used only occasionally. I have a simple system of 24/1.8, 35/1.8, 180/2.8EDIF and have thought many times of buying a 70-200/4 but don't think I could part w/ my 180 so I've not made the move.

I've had lots of premium glass throughout the years and some lenses I just flat out miss! The 70-200mm f/4 VR is amazing, but as I've mentioned on this thread, the difference between f/2.8 and f/4 is slightly noticeable for many types of subjects. It was one of the reasons why I sold mine! The 180mm is a lens I've always wanted, but I've passed up on several times.
 

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