Looking for a Better 70-200mm ...

Joined
Jan 1, 2012
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1,299
Location
Idaho
I currently use the Nikon 70-200mm f/4 with the FTZ but I am wanting something better, and preferably 2.8, but I cannot fit the Z version into my budget (unless I delay my upcoming retirement).

Planning on buying used, so am looking to you guys to come up with suggested lenses. My main use is for landscape, along with occasional low-light situations. I would probably do some outdoor portrait, as well. I no longer shoot sports (a couple of seasons shooting minor league baseball on my Nikon DSLR is enough, and the lenses that I used are long gone).

As far as Nikon options, how much better is the 2.8E over the G VR2? Are third party viable options in both quality and for my planned usage?

Thanks in advance for helping me to spend my money :D
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
1,550
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Central Ohio
Real Name
Andrew
I usually get a lot of flack for this but I love Tamron.
for me the price to quality proposition is hard to beat.
I use the 70-200/2.8 G2 with the FTZ all the time and it works great. AF accuracy on the Z bodies at f/2.8 is dead on. Getting a used one is right around $1000 or less.

I highly recommend them. I’d also make sure to spend the extra and get the tap-in console so you can do firmware updates to the lens or AF fine tuning if needed.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
634
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I recommend you look at the specs.

The f/2.8 lenses are about 2x the weight of the f/4 lens. That is the major reason why I bought a f/4 lens, the 70-200/4.
I just retired, so for me, the weight was a critical spec. I shoot for 4-6 hours; high school football/soccer/lacrosse, JV+Var. Even with the f/4 lens, I shoot the JV game on a monopod, to rest my arms, so that I can shoot the varsity game free-hand. Were I 20 years younger, the heavier f/2.8 lens would not be a problem.

What I am saying is your health and the length of your shoot affects how much weight you can carry. The longer the shoot the less weight you can carry. If your shoot is somewhat short, the heavier f/2.8 lens would probably be OK. Only YOU know your body.

I am partial to Nikon lenses, but Tamron seems to be good.

I have not used the Tamron 70-200/2.8, but I used the smaller/lighter 70-210/4. It is a NICE lens. The forward position of the zoom ring concerned me, but in use, it worked just fine. I quickly got used to it and liked it. The zoom ring is easily turned with my fingers, so it works in the forward position.

I would NOT get a Sigma zoom. The Sigma zoom ring turns in the opposite direction than the Nikon zoom ring. If you zoom with muscle memory, as I do, that can be very confusing to your zooming hand when you turn your hand to zoom out, and the lens zooms in. :confused: I used a Sigma zoom, once, and lost MANY shots for that very reason.

How long will it take for Tamron and Sigma to make a Z lens is an open question.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
27,006
Location
Moscow, Idaho
I recommend you look at the specs.

The f/2.8 lenses are about 2x the weight of the f/4 lens. That is the major reason why I bought a f/4 lens, the 70-200/4.
I just retired, so for me, the weight was a critical spec. I shoot for 4-6 hours; high school football/soccer/lacrosse, JV+Var. Even with the f/4 lens, I shoot the JV game on a monopod, to rest my arms, so that I can shoot the varsity game free-hand. Were I 20 years younger, the heavier f/2.8 lens would not be a problem.

What I am saying is your health and the length of your shoot affects how much weight you can carry. The longer the shoot the less weight you can carry. If your shoot is somewhat short, the heavier f/2.8 lens would probably be OK. Only YOU know your body.

I am partial to Nikon lenses, but Tamron seems to be good.

I have not used the Tamron 70-200/2.8, but I used the smaller/lighter 70-210/4. It is a NICE lens. The forward position of the zoom ring concerned me, but in use, it worked just fine. I quickly got used to it and liked it. The zoom ring is easily turned with my fingers, so it works in the forward position.

I would NOT get a Sigma zoom. The Sigma zoom ring turns in the opposite direction than the Nikon zoom ring. If you zoom with muscle memory, as I do, that can be very confusing to your zooming hand when you turn your hand to zoom out, and the lens zooms in. :confused: I used a Sigma zoom, once, and lost MANY shots for that very reason.

How long will it take for Tamron and Sigma to make a Z lens is an open question.
Mirrors my journey. I'm very happy with my Nikon f/4 glass.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
159
Location
NC, USA
Real Name
Aaron
I have used the Tamron 70-200 G2 with both a D750 and now Z6. It is a nice lens, better on the Z6 than the D750 (it was a nightmare to fine tune on a DSLR even with the Tap-In). I was all set to purchase the Z 70-200, but will hold off and consider the soon-to-be-announced Z 14-24 as I shoot ultrawide much more often

There are two minor issues with the lens: first is swirly “bokeh” in certain circumstances, simply a look I do not like; second is when using silent shutter on the Z6 with VR on, not allowing a moment for the VR to “lock” before firing the shutter can lead to rolling shutter distortion through the middle of the frame, ruining the shot. The bokeh issue is what it is, but the rolling shutter/VR issue is easily resolved by not using silent shutter or allowing a moment to let the VR to settle before taking a shot.

70mm:

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200mm:

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Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
4,579
Location
Columbia, Maryland
Real Name
Walter Rowe
I second the recommendation to consider the weight factor, regardless of which 70-200/2.8 you get (Nikon E, Tamrom, Sigma, etc). I have owned the original 70-200/2.8 VR1 for 16 years now and got the 70-200/2.8E about three years ago when I got the D850. It makes incredible images, but the weight is enormous. Carrying for hours at a time will really wear on a person. You may not feel it so much while you are out using it. As soon as you sit down and rest for a few minutes it catches up to you. By the time you settle in for the night you will be completely worn out if you carry it with you for an entire day.

I now have the Z7 and 24-70/4 S lens as my travel kit. So much lighter with comparable or better image quality to a D850 and 24-70/2.8E that I used to carry around. I'm only in my mid 50's and already feeling the exhaustion that comes with carrying heavier glass around.

I would spend some time thinking about what you really think you need f/2.8 to accomplish. Are you looking to shoot portraits with blurred background? Get a prime portrait lens for that purpose. Even better blur with a f/1.8 or f/1.4, and far lighter than any brand of 70-200/2.8.
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
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Joined
Apr 8, 2008
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22,077
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
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Karen
Your stated primary use is landscapes.....then that usually means greater DOF not smaller. If low light is the issue in landscapes, one's gear is usually mounted on a tripod. A slower shutter or slightly higher ISO is generally not an issue. Thus the f4 should be fine for you. A larger aperture is not necessarily a "better" lens. Determining the best lens depends on the user's needs.
 

JLH

Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
94
There are some situations where a "Fast" lens is useful to get a desired effect. It all depends on what you are shooting. I find for most situation I shoot that an f/4 lens does all I need. Fast lens are more technically demanding to engineer and produce so their cost goes up accordingly. They get big and heavy. With the very workable high ISO settings on modern cameras we can do more with lenses like the current common f/4's. Lighter, sharp and costing far less they help us do our work without breaking our backs or our bank account.
 

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