what do people think of the 70-210 F/4 (constant)

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by DrewC, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. DrewC

    DrewC

    Jan 30, 2007
    Denver, CO
    i'm trying to get some decent telephoto range for as little as possible, and i certainly would like the fast aperture 2.8's... but right now its not in the cards, so my next best option is a constant f/4.

    who here has direct experience with this lens? am i goin' the wrong direction?

    opinions please!

    money is an issue as always. so if there are any recommendations, consider the price tag.

    take care
     
  2. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I've owned nearly every iteration of the 70-210 line that Nikon made... The F4 wasn't the fastest focusing by any means, but it was the best handling lens, as it does not change length during zooming. All of the 70-210's are about the same sharpness wise. I would recommend the 70-210 push/pull (D if u want super fast focusing, or non-D if u want cheap) simply because of how compact it is. The F4 constant was a good amount larger than the push/pull versions.

    My current 70-210 is the non-D version. You can pick it up super cheap and it's definitely a solid performer.
     
  3. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Also, the push/pulls only lose 1 stop of light at the long end. I've not found this to be a serious issue after using both the F4 constant and F4-5.6 versions side by side for several months.

    Thinking back... The focusing of the F4 was pretty slow. I wouldn't buy it again.
     
  4. DrewC

    DrewC

    Jan 30, 2007
    Denver, CO
    hmm... so mixed response... well, is there some lens i'm not thinkin about? i'm keeping all the 70-210's in my consideration for now, but i'm not sold yet...
     
  5. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
  6. genehsu

    genehsu

    594
    Apr 15, 2007
    Seattle
    Here are my shots with the 70-210/4 constant. link

    At the price range you're talking about, you're not going to be impressed unless you somehow score a used 180 AIS for under $200. I've used it as my general hiking zoom when I didn't want to carry around a heavier telephoto. I would consider the pictures I get from this lens anywhere from blah to how did I get that shot?

    Here's an example at the middle of the zoom range, wide open: (click to see the original, the ALL SIZES button)
    212942702_a138168fcf_b.

    Once you get to know it's limitations, it can be a fine piece of glass.
     
  7. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I agree completely. I've got some super sharp, beautiful stuff with my 70-210's.. and I've got plenty of plain blah images too. The nice thing about the 70-210 push/pulls is that they retain a good amount of their sharpness throughout the zoom range. It doesn't eat it like some other cheaper lenses once it gets out towards the end of the lens.
     
  8. Leif

    Leif

    Feb 12, 2006
    England
    I feel that Rorslett is too hard on this lens, and his comments to not agree with some tests, such as the one on Photo Zone, or user comments on various sites from people with a range of experience. My sample roughly matched with the Photo Zone tests. Rorslett might have had a lemon.

    I had this lens for a while, and it was surprisingly sharp at most apertures and focal lengths when used on a film camera with 100 ASA slide film. But I do agree that colours seemed muted, especially in flat light. As Rorslett says, it simply lacked sparkle. Also it is quite a large and heavy lens, and yet has no tripod mount. So you could mount it on a D200 on a tripod, but I would not be easy about doing the same with a plastic bodied camera such as a D70. I sold mine after I found that the images consistently came back looking very dull, and I noticed my film camera base warping when using the lens.

    By all accounts one of the more recent consumer zooms will have better contrast and yet be lighter and smaller. Also the old 75-150mm F3.5 lens is a better bet, and small and cheap, though again the contrast is a little lower than I would like, though better than the 70-210 F4.
     
  9. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    You may want to look at the 75-300. I've heard good things about it, plus it's got a tripod collar. I can tell you to avoid the 75-240 though. It's a 100% plastic lens. Definitely consumer crap. It had nasty corner sharpness problems at the long end, and that was on DX crop! I couldn't imagine what a full frame image looked like.
     
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