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What would you do? 70-200 or 2nd body?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by leahp26, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Hello all

    I have been evaluating my equipment, which lenses I use most often etc and I would very much appreciate your advice on numerous questions.


    1. Not a pro, just a HUGE hobbyist :biggrin:

    2. Big full-time job (supports major NAS disease) :biggrin:

    3. Mostly shoot people (rarely landscapes or events)

    4. Through dayjob, getting the chance to occasionally shoot corporate events (where we wouldn't usually have any photographer) e.g tradeshows, large training events, labs etc (fun and gives me a break from my desk!)

    5. Small family wedding in Nov (2nd wedding, no photographer - usual drill - have been asked to photo :eek: , have explained weddings are a real skill/require huge talent, am encouraging them to find a pro photog but worst case will photo for them as a gift and set their expectations to zero)

    6. With my D300, most of my shots are taken with the 85 1.4, 50 1.4, 17-55 2.8and occasionally (fun) my fisheye.

    7. I RARELY - if ever - use my 18-200 VR (came with the D300) and also a 24-85 2.8-4 D AF (misguided purchase/gift) - I seem to prefer my faster/shallower DOF.

    8. Feel I need/want longer/faster reach, but would also like the flexibility of a back up body (for these corporate events I'm playing at in work but also maybe for the November wedding ) mostly so I could try having 2 different lenses attached and just keep both cameras around my neck (humor me here - I am still a pretty mediocre photographer but I'm having a ton of fun with it!)


    - Thinking of selling/trading 18-200 VR and the 24-85 2.8-4.
    Calumet offered me a $285 trade for 18-200. Do you think I should sell to Calumet or maybe sell at the Cafe? Should I potentially hang on to the 24-85 even though I really have faster coverage (17-55 and 85) for it's Macro capability?

    - Interested in 70-200 2.8.
    $1700ish seems so pricey for the Nikkor lens plus v heavy but I know it's reported to be a phenomenal lens.
    Tamron version is in the $700 region - should I go for that instead?

    - Should I hold off on the 70-200 2.8 and get a second body?
    Not super necessary, not often in situations where if my camera fails it's catastrophic but if I am grabbing shots for the family wedding.....(and some of you may have seen an older post from me where I couldn't autofocus due to dirty contacts and it has completely freaked me out)
    If I did get a second body (ideally my budget would be $1000), I'm thinking:
    - Used D300? I know how it works and really like it (rental for the Nov wedding would be $175 for one day...)
    - maybe look at the D90 (I know I'd need SD cards) as the ISO seems to perform as good as the D300, screen is nice and large but....(no major interest in live view or video)
    - Other suggestions?

    Thanks for reading my lengthy ramblings, I was in Calumet this morning and had a play with the Tamron 70-200 and the D90 but thought I would consult the wise Nikoncafe members :Love:( plus others afflicted with NAS) before I make any decision
  2. panda81


    Feb 7, 2008
    $285 is a terrible price. I've seen people sell the lens for over $500.

    If you don't need VR, used copies of the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 is about the same price as the Tamron/Sigma versions. The most expensive version (has AF-S, there are other versions without AF-S) can be found under $1000 used.

    if you have a $1700 budget for the 70-200VR, but end up buying the 80-200/2.8 instead (or third party versions), then you'll still have leftover cash for a smaller body like the D80 or so. no idea what will be a good second body to shoot with, but sometimes people like having a smaller second body to carry around casually when a bigger camera can get in the way.
  3. nht800


    Aug 26, 2008
    Missouri, USA
    I sold my 6-month-old LNIB 18-200 on ebay and received around $US 550 after fees.


    - Thinking of selling/trading 18-200 VR and the 24-85 2.8-4.
    Calumet offered me a $285 trade for 18-200.
  4. Although shooting events is not my sort of thing, I would suggest that you look into hiring a back-up body for the upcoming wedding to give yourself a little more peace-of-mind. If that allows you to concentrate on getting great images for your family, it will be well worth the money. From the sounds of your style, the 70-200 would be a great lens for you and would make your 18-200 redundant- if you wanted to sell your 24-85 as well you could replace that with a dedicated macro lens.
    As far as selling goes, I would always suggest that you try to sell here at the Cafe first (and perhaps even try to buy here too).
    Good luck!
  5. NAS is a very troubling thing! I was struggling with this same decision earlier this year when thinking of upgrading from my D80 to the D300. I was lacking the 70-200VR in my collection as well and have wanted that lens dearly for quite some time. Ultimately, the features of the D300 suited my needs more and won the battle so I opted to get the body over the fast lens. :tongue:

    :redface: HOWEVER.......Only a few short months after that decision, I am now awaiting delivery of my brand new 70-200VR as of this morning. So, all the wrangling I did was basically for naught. I know this doesn't help you with deciding between the 2 but I thought I should pass along the warning of what might happen anyway! Sometimes NAS can make your head spin. :Swirl:
  6. $285 for the 18-200 VR should be considered insulting. I've never seen a used one go for less than $500. Put it up here for $500 and it'll go quick. $550 and you'll wait a bit longer, but it'll go.

    The 24-85 is a good lens. You should be able to sell that here quickly, too. In fact, I may even be interested.

    I say get the lens. If you're not in need of a second body yet, the lens will stay with you longer. You'll eventually upgrade your body anyway (probably), and then your current D300 would be an excellent back up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2008
  7. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    NHT800 - thanks for the info on the 18-200

    Jerry - thanks also - it's a great lens, I just want something a little faster. Thanks for the heads up on the 80-200, I guess I could try to manage without the VR.
    Alas, my budget isn't in the $1700 region, that's why I was thinking about the Tamron. But then I was figuring that for a little more than $700 I could maybe get a 2nd body and make do with the 18-200 for now. Although I guess if I can get $500 for my 18-200 and add it then I'm getting there.... :)  Thank you for your suggestions.

    David - thanks for your comments, I looked into renting and it was $175/day for a D300 (the only one I could probably rent as it's the only one I'm familiar with). I'm about 60 miles from the nearest rental place so I'm thinking I'd probably have to do 2 day rental to give me time to get there and back. I'm not doing events very often but I'm thinking that approx 4 event rentals = same price as used back up body???

    I think I will take some pictures of the two lenses/ dig out the box/receipt info and maybe post on the FS area of the cafe tonight - thank you!
  8. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Danny - too funny!
    I used to have SAS (shoe acquisition syndrome) BIG time but since I got my D300 in maybe February, I have been cured of SAS (in fact I noticed this morning that the soles of my shoes are looking quite worn this morning!) but have developed NAS big time.
    At the beginning, I actually had the (probably common) issue of MNAS (Misguided NAS) - I didn't understand anything really but just couldn't control myself in Calumet/Ritz/B&H.....in fact I should probably go through all the stuff I bought that is in the basement that I've never used and probably never will (there's a Calumet Nova Softbox, bunch of other stuff) and try to raise funds for stuff I will really use!
    And congrats on your lens...

    Rich G - if I knew more I probably would have been insulted! Interestingly he said there was probably no use for the 24-85 and he would only offer me $35 - so I guess that's super-insulting!! It's a v nice lens, I just have overlap with the 17-55, 50 and 85. I will try to figure this all out and then post. Thank you for your comments!
  9. luke_28


    May 12, 2008
    My 2 cents - It seems as though you are okay with primes, so I'd say get a Nikon 180mm f/2.8 and a used D200. The 70-200mm VR is a great piece of glass, but it is heavy and pricey. The 180mm at 2.8 is still much faster than anything you are using now. It is also much lighter than the 70-200mm vr.

    Used D200's are going for cheap these days (compartively speaking). The body style and layout are the closest to the D300 (outside of the D700 of course).

    So for less than a 70-200 vr, you can have a great second body and a nice long prime. Keep the 180mm on one body and your 17-55mm on the other and you have a killer combo.

    Oh, and don't trade in your lenses...trade-in values on lenses are worse than cars. :) 
  10. You're just making me hate Calumet more and more. Here in NYC, they are by FAR the most condescending camera shop in town. And that's saying quite a bit!

    You will ALWAYS do better selling a lens yourself than to a store. That schmuck at Calumet would have taken your lens that he gave you $35 for and put a $475 price tag on it as he kicked you out the door.

    If you sell your 18-200 and 24-85, you're just about 1/2 way to the 70-200 VR, and right about at a new 80-200.
  11. neimac


    May 26, 2008
    I like Luke28's idea, but I have a weakness for primes.:biggrin:
  12. nht800


    Aug 26, 2008
    Missouri, USA
    I would agree with Rich.
    I sold my lenses on ebay 3 weeks ago( before ebay/paypal fee)
    18-200: $585 ( to buy 16-85) ( my copy is very new) :) )
    24-85 2.8-4.0: $350 ( to buy 70-300 VR)

    So I'm sure you will get a haft of 70-200 VR.
  13. eparr


    Jul 28, 2007
    S.F. Bay Area
    If you prefer to sell to a Camera shop you might also try KEH.com
    Not sure if you would get more from them but worth a try.
    Otherwise, here on the Cafe is a great place! I have had nothing but good experiences buying and selling here :) 
    Good luck!
  14. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Luke-28, interesting idea, I had a look on B&H and the lens gets AMAZING reviews! And I really love my 50 and 85 primes so maybe that's the way to go....

    nht800 - thank you for the price point into!

    eparr - I'm not set on selling to a camera shop, I just thought I would ask while I was in the store. And seeing the advice has made me reconsider - thanks!
  15. Primes are fantastic, but if you're going to be doing weddings and events then a bit of zoom range comes in handy. I just got the Sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM II and so far it seems like a wonderful lens in comparison to the Nikon. The focus is fast, silent and pretty decent in low light. You'll appreciate all three of these points over the slow, noisy focus of the Tamron during a wedding ceremony. Of course the Nikon is the mac daddy, but please don't write off the Sigma because it's third party - it goes for $799 and is a great value. Lenses generally hold their value really well, so in the future you could always upgrade to the Nikon, maybe when the new version comes out and there are a lot of used versions available.

    I'd get the long lens and wait/save for a second body - a used D300. I like the idea of having my backup body the same as my primary. That way, if anything ever goes wrong I can pick up my second body and it's a seamless change instead of having to recall how to adjust settings on a backup body that I never use.
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