I'm going to eventually get both the 80-400 and one of the 70/80-200 lenses, but for now I just want to get one (unless the lenses grow on trees or someone wants to donate one to me!). I'm not as concerned about the difference in focal length so much as I am about what the different lenses will allow me to do that I cannot currently do. Right now I have a 24-70 F/3.5-4.5 and a 70-300 F/4-5.6.
I'm also interested in hearing pros/cons about the choice between #2 and #3.
Diezel From Netherlands, joined Oct 2002, 646 posts, RR: 12 Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2166 times:
I own the 80-400VR. The optics are great, the autofocus is slow. But in aviation photography I don't think that mathers a lot. I really like the lens and...yes...the VR does work.
The 80-200 can be bought second hand everywhere and has probably the best optics of these three lenses. Why don't you buy a second hand one. Try it out for six months. See if you like the focal length. You can probably resell that lens again for the same money you bought it.
And if you can spare the money for a 70-200VR, the other option is to buy a new 80-400VR and a second hand 80-200!
Pilothighflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2125 times:
Nikon 70-200VR F/2.8D G-AFS ED-IF
I own this lens and have tried all 3 listed above. I'm going to buy the 80-400 after i buy a 17-55 f/2.8 (next week or so). I picked this lens because the 80-400 was slow, both the AF and f-stop. Also the 70-200 was sharper. However it doesn't have the reach of the 80-400 which was not a pressing need for me @ the time. I'd say buy the 70-200 given the better optics and speed if u can get your subjects with in 200mm(300mm nikon digital) range. The 70-200 is a very sharp lens and offers very fast A.F. and f/2.8 speed but is big and heavy (its 1.8" longer and .3 pounds heavier for half the range).
"I'm also interested in hearing pros/cons about the choice between #2 and #3."
The real difference between these 2 is the VR, they are similar optically and both offer fantastic tack sharp images (As they should for the price). VR is very helpful because it alllows me to lose the tri/monopod and still be able to shoot 1/20 and 1/30 @ 300mm handheld. Also if u plan on shoot from a car/plane/train or moving object the "active" mood of VR is very helpful. VR is fully functional with a teleconvter and serves up 600mm @ f/5.6 with my TC-20EII.
If you've got any questions feel free to e-mail me, Good Luck
Jakbar From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 442 posts, RR: 27 Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2046 times:
Is it really the case that the aperture becomes f/5.6 on the 70-200VR when using a 2x teleconverter? I'm leaning towards getting the 70-200VR with the TC-20EII instead of the 80-400VR, but I'm concerned about having a lens that gives me a constant f/5.6 in the 200-400 range (when using the t/c for 200-400mm shots). The source of my confusion is that the B&H website says that the TC-20EII only increases aperture by 2 stops, but to go from 2.8 to 5.6 sounds like more than two. Do I have this all wrong? Some clarification from an experienced photographer would be appreciated. Thanks...
The reason for wanting the 70-200VR instead of the 80-400VR is, from what I have read online on various websites, that the 70-200VR is some of the best glass Nikon makes, while the 80-400VR is sluggish and not quite as good. If the 70-200VR can compete with the 80-400VR all the way through 400mm (using the 2x t/c), then it's a no-brainer for me. I just want to make sure that I have my facts straight before this investment. Besides, as I told Futt, if I get the 70-200VR and can avoid getting the 80-400VR, the next lens I can get is the 12-24mm made specifically for Nikon DSLRs. Art Brett's Caribbean pictures have convinced me of the need for that lens.
P.S. - I asked Futterman the same questions re: aperture, and he, even with his advanced general knowledge, was likewise confused. I think his confusion compounded my confusion.
Fallingeese From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2097 posts, RR: 20 Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2012 times:
I use the 80-400VR lens for now, and have for the last year. I love the combination with my D100. I'll admit the focus is not the fastest, but it's not too bad either.
I have actually talked to my Nikon rep about using the 70-200mm VR with a 2X tele-converter. He recommends combination, and says that it is sharper, and faster. I tried it out, but I really didn't like the feel of the lens on the teleconverter. I'm used to my solid 80-400VR.
That being said, I will buy a 70-200VR to use in addition to my 80-400VR.
If you don't require the range, by all means go with the 70-200VR, otherwise the 80-400VR is a lens that you will never regret buying.
Jakbar From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 442 posts, RR: 27 Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2000 times:
I've also heard that the 70-200VR even with the 2x t/c is sharper and faster than the 80-400VR. It's just the f/5.6 at 201-400mm that bothers me. That being said, I do need the full 400mm for a lot of the photography that I do here in NYC, so the choice is becoming a difficult one for me. Perhaps the best bet is to get both?
I feel a trip to B&H coming on...I think I need to try both lens combinations on my D100. Futt...if you're reading this, we may need to take a trip to B&H this weekend.
Pilothighflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1981 times:
I use the Nikon TC020II for my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 and think its AutoFocus is faster than the 80-400, its also sharper. The 80-400 seems to hunt a little more than this set-up. Also the VR still works with the teleconverter, so you can handhold 600mm.
Chris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2813 posts, RR: 52 Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1949 times:
The 80-200 handles better and is sharper than the 70-200VR! However the 80-200 is a little bigger! I would steer clear of the 80-400 as i have heard it is not the greatest! Still good, but not "great" in the leagues of 70/80-200F2.8 lenses!!!
5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
Jakbar From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 442 posts, RR: 27 Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1875 times:
I think the 200-400VR is a little out of my price range at the moment, but it would be a good compliment to the 70-200VR.
I'm going to B&H with Futterman tomorrow to check out all the various lenses and to ask for some further opinions. I'll post here when I've made a decision, which, according to my wife, has to be soon if I expect to get one of these lenses before my birthday in a few weeks.
Pilothighflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1865 times:
For the price of the 200-400 f/4 I'd rather have a 300 f/2.8D ED-IF II or pay the extra 400 bucks and get a 500 f/4D ED-IF II (a true super tele)
The 70-200 with a 2x teleconverter offers good coverage of the 200-400's range @ only a tick higer f-stop.
ChrisH From Sweden, joined Jul 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 18 Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1829 times:
Wow, just registered and already got plugs. Thanks Jofa. And It's true what you wrote, the 70-200 blows the 80-400 away. But that don't mean the 80-400 is bad. It's main con was the zoomring not being very smooth, I couldnt pan and zoom at the same time.
Futterman From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1301 posts, RR: 49 Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1826 times:
After plowing through three B&H sales reps in an hour and a half, Josh and I came to find that it's all down to preference. Some said that the 70-200 2.8 VR blows the 8-4 out of the water (which is not hard to believe), but others were firm in their belief that the 80-400 reigned supreme in the 201+mm range.
The range is perhaps the most important, at least when spotting at JFK.
It was recommended that Josh rent (or perhaps borrow) both the 80-400 and 70-200 and conduct a comprehensive study about how they behave and whether or not they accomplish what he would like.
From what I gathered, though, despite the lightening fast AF the 2.8 offers, the 80-400 may be the more versatile and practical lens at the moment.
I also gather that the 70-200 f2.8 VR with a 2x teleconverter is out of the question.
However, I think that the idea of renting the lenses to conduct a comparison is a good idea--the sales rep made a good point in saying that, "when you're going to spend thousands on a lens, you should know that it's what you want. Don't be the guy that comes back to return a 70-300 he bought for a birthday party. Spend the few hundred to rent, so you're comfortable."
Quality wise, the 70-200 f2.8 VR may work if Josh starts shooting large .jpg, allowing more room to crop shots that would normally require a 400mm zoom. I think that would work.
I think I'll...uh...I mean...he'll love whatever is decided on.
What the FUTT?
25 ChrisH: "Quality wise, the 70-200 f2.8 VR may work if Josh starts shooting large .jpg, allowing more room to crop shots that would normally require a 400mm zo
26 Pilothighflyer: Unless you are seriously intending to sell the images i find Large Jpg works prefectly fine for airliners. I have sold large jpgs and clients were pre
27 Cancidas: i've made my decision and will be getting the Nikon 70-200VR F/2.8D G-AFS ED-IF first. maybe my gf loves me enough to get it for me??
28 ChrisH: You won't regret it. They say with the TC 1.4x you don't lose any quality, but get some extra range, ask your gf to throw that in aswell.