jakbar
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Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:32 am

I have to make the very difficult choice of whether to get one of the following two lenses:

1) Nikon 80-400VR F/4.5-5.6D ED

OR

one of the following two:

2) Nikon 70-200VR F/2.8D G-AFS ED-IF
3) Nikon 80-200 F/2.8D ED

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.

Thoughts?

Josh
 
Skymonster
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:34 am

Chuck all those options and change to Canon - you know it makes sense! Big grin
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
futterman
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:47 am

I thought we already discussed this, Josh!  Smile

I have no idea of what the optics and image quality is like, but I think the 70-200 f2.8 VR is the obvious choice.

Get the 80-400 first, though.


Brian
What the FUTT?
 
 
jakbar
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 5:49 am

Futt...I want to hear what others (perhaps others who actually have these lenses) have to say.  Big grin

Josh
 
diezel
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:02 am

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!

Roel.

[Edited 2004-07-12 23:05:28]
Never be afraid of what you like. (Miles Davis)
 
PilotHighFlyer
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Tue Jul 13, 2004 1:35 pm

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
Robert
 
jakbar
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:23 am

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.

Josh

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. Big grin
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:26 am

Its 2 stops.

f/2.8 + 2 stops = f/5.6

f/2.8 + 1 stop = f/4.0
 
jakbar
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:29 am

So does that mean it will be f/5.6 throughout the entire 200-400mm range?
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:41 am

yes, it would be 5.6 thru 200-400.

If it were my money I would go with the 70-200VR, if you are dead set on buying Nikon Glass. If not, how about the 70-200 EX Sigma and the 80-400 OS Sigma, together?
 
jakbar
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 7:14 am

Can you give me more info on those two lenses (the Sigmas)?

Can anyone who has used/owned the lenses I am interested in give me a comparison of the 70-200VR (w/ 2x t/c attached) and the 80-400VR for the 200-400mm range? Which lens wins in that range?

Sorry for all these questions...I just want to make an informed decision.

Thanks...

Josh
 
fallingeese
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 7:22 am

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.
Mark McWhirter...Contrails Photography
 
jakbar
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 7:52 am

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.

Josh
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 7:54 am

The 80-400 is only 4.5 at the short end, it will be very close, if not at, f/5.6 at the upper focal lengths.
 
PilotHighFlyer
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:47 am

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.

Here are a few examples.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Robert Friedlander
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Robert Friedlander



The Only problem i have with this combo is size.

Its very long and bulky and attracts alot of attention.
Robert
 
fallingeese
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 11:38 am

It certainly is a bulky combination, but a great one none the less.

No matter what combo you go with 600mm effective is easily possible.

Damn I now want the 70-200mm VR lens...
Mark McWhirter...Contrails Photography
 
chris78cpr
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:57 pm

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!!!

Chris
5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
 
AndersNilsson
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:46 pm

Maybe you want to buy Nikon's new 200-400mm VR F/4.0 later.
http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=5&productNr=2146

Review of this lens: http://www.imagepower.de/IMAGES/imgEQUIPMENT/AFS200400.htm

Anders

[Edited 2004-07-24 11:48:48]
Airliner photography is not a crime.
 
fallingeese
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sun Jul 25, 2004 3:55 am

The 200-400VR is also 4 times the price of the 80-400VR  Big grin
Mark McWhirter...Contrails Photography
 
jakbar
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sun Jul 25, 2004 12:07 pm

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.  Big thumbs up
 
PilotHighFlyer
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Sun Jul 25, 2004 3:41 pm

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.

Robert
 
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Jofa
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Mon Jul 26, 2004 5:08 am

I know Chris shoots with the 70-200 VR. He's very pleased with the results, especially compared to the 80-400 he had before.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Christopher Hammarborg
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Christopher Hammarborg

 
ChrisH
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Mon Jul 26, 2004 5:12 am


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.
what seems to be the officer, problem?
 
futterman
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Mon Jul 26, 2004 5:29 am

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.  Big grin


Brian
What the FUTT?
 
ChrisH
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Mon Jul 26, 2004 5:43 am

"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."

The 70-200 is good but not that good ;o). Btw, shoot RAW and gain even more quality. I've over 6000 exposures on my D70 and not a single one was jpg. Make sure to use a fast memory card though.
what seems to be the officer, problem?
 
PilotHighFlyer
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Mon Jul 26, 2004 9:02 am

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 prefectly happy with the photo. Its all preference, but when resizing them down to 1024 x XXX u don't need Raw, i use RAW when i know they images are going to be sold. I've taken over 20,000 shots with my D100 and vast majority were large JPG.  Big grin

Robert
 
cancidas
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:04 pm

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??
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
ChrisH
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RE: Poll: Which Lens Do I Want?

Mon Jul 26, 2004 4:27 pm


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.
what seems to be the officer, problem?

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