vaca05
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Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:44 am

Hi Everyone,

Need some advice on Nikon lenses.I have a Nikon D80 and I can't decide between a Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 with a teleconverter and a Nikon 80-400mm. I like the versatility of the 400 but like the the sharpness of the 200. I tried both and like both but obviously can't afford both.
So any advice would be great. Also any recommendations on creating sharper images. I have to learn Photoshop and I know you can do it through post.
Thanks for the advice. Love this website.
-Larry
 
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:01 am

80-200 or 70-200? Those are different lenses if I remember right, one is the old AF-Nikkor (D type) and the other is a modern AF-S VR lens (G-type).

I would suggest if 70-200mm F/2.8 VR is your intended lens - then that lens, along with a 1.7x TC-17E II will be a good combination. You get the range you want - plus a very good 70-200mm for any other time when you don't want a TC on it. More versatile than the 80-400 - which is a very old lens.

If you do mean the old 80-200mm F/2.8D - then I don't have any suggestions. I personally didn't like the 80-400 VR lens when I tried it briefly (fortunately I didn't buy it). But others will certainly have different opinions.

[Edited 2010-04-11 19:04:44]
 
ANITIX87
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:15 am

Quoting cpd (Reply 1):
I personally didn't like the 80-400 VR lens when I tried it briefly (fortunately I didn't buy it). But others will certainly have different opinions.

That's what he said. You mis-read, I believe. He's asking between the 70-200 and the 80-400.

Quoting vaca05 (Thread starter):
Need some advice on Nikon lenses.I have a Nikon D80 and I can't decide between a Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 with a teleconverter and a Nikon 80-400mm. I like the versatility of the 400 but like the the sharpness of the 200. I tried both and like both but obviously can't afford both.

I just recently had a similar debate in the Canon lens range. I couldn't decide between the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM with a 2x converter and the 100-400 f/4.0-5.6 L IS USM. I tried them both out, compared prices, and was wracking my brains. Finally, I read a simple comparison online that made my mind up for me. I'm sure you can find something similar for the Nikon lenses. Basically, while the 70-200 is much sharper throughout its range, it loses some quality with the converter attached and, at the long end of the zoom range, the 100-400 simply blows it out of the water, especially at wide-open apertures. That sealed my decision and I went with the 100-400.

TIS
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:23 am

Quoting vaca05 (Thread starter):
Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 2):
70-200 and the 80-400.

As above in the quote - see. Which is why I asked which lens - because I wondered if 80-200 might have been a typo. 80-200 also exists, but it is a much older lens. You'll see the reason I asked soon enough.

Should be no problem with a 70-200mm and a 1.7x TC - it delivers reasonable results.

[Edited 2010-04-11 21:04:37]
 
vaca05
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:36 am

Thanks for the advice everyone. Yeah the lens I was looking at is the AF Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED (2.5x). I guess it's an older lens that has no VR which I'm kool with. I just can't afford the one with the VR. A bit pricey still. Thanks again.
 
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:46 am

Check the TC's you are planning to use it with - newer ones might not be compatible. I've not used the 80-200 - so I can't tell for sure. But I know TC-14E II and TC-17E II will not even connect with my 300 F/4.0D, which is a similar vintage and type of lens.

In your case - and thinking of the 80-200, I suppose the 80-400 will be a lot easier. Plus it is VR, and that is always useful when the light fades and you might like to try lower shutter speed photos (eg, panning).

[Edited 2010-04-11 20:47:07]
 
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alevik
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:46 am

I still have an 80-200 2.8, it is an awesome lens. If you can't afford the 70-200, the 80-200 is a great lens. I don't know how it does with teleconverters. I wonder if you have other uses outside of av photography? The 80-200 is a great portrait and multiuse lens.

The 80-400 I use for travelling, I would say 70% of my photos on anet are with that lens. You won't be shooting any sports, but any decent photog can get excellent av photos with it. I hear lots of negative things about it, but I have several hundred shots on anet with it.
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NIKV69
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:56 am

I think Royal had the best advice on what to do with the 80-400VR   

I don't know what your budget is now or down the road but if you can only buy one lens and you plan on needing the extra range your better off with the 80-400VR and not slapping a TC on the 200 tele. I own the 80-200 2.8 and also had the 400 but sold it to get a 300 prime. A TC works much better on that than a tele.
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ruudb
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:09 pm

I wouldn't opt for the 80-400mm better idea to buy a 70-300 VR in my opinion, I am not sure about the 70-200mm but I owed a 80-200mm and I have to say the 70-300mm is sharper, maybe I had a bad sample of the 80-200.
The only thing is you need more light for a good result.

Ruud.
 
unattendedbag
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:06 pm

Quoting cpd (Reply 3):
Should be no problem with a 70-200mm and a 1.7x TC - it delivers reasonable results.

I think the 70-200mm & the 1.7x teleconverter is about the same price as both the 80-200mm and 80-400mm vr combined.  
Quoting ruudb (Reply 8):
I wouldn't opt for the 80-400mm better idea to buy a 70-300 VR in my opinion,

I have to agree with Ruud here. With the d80, I would go for the 70-300mm vr. You will have a little cash left over for an 18-70mm if you want, a flash or whatever. You will still get great results with the D80/70-300mm vr.
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sluger020889
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:32 pm

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 7):
also had the 400 but sold it to get a 300 prime.

Same here, blew the 80-400 out of the water in just about every category.

Quoting cpd (Reply 5):
But I know TC-14E II and TC-17E II will not even connect
with my 300 F/4.0D

You talking about the Nikkor 300 F4 AF-S?

Joey
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:34 pm

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 9):
I think the 70-200mm & the 1.7x teleconverter is about the same price as both the 80-200mm and 80-400mm vr combined.

Oh stop picking at the details.  Wink You can see why I mentioned that - merely because I thought 80-200 might have been a typo at first - it's a very old lens and not seen so often these days.

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 10):
You talking about the Nikkor 300 F4 AF-S?

No, the old D type lens, not the modern G type.

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 10):
Same here, blew the 80-400 out of the water in just about every category.

And it's equal to the 200-400mm F/4.0 VR, as well. It's a very good lens, old version or new one.

[Edited 2010-04-12 15:37:30]
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:16 pm

There is no such thing as a G(elded) 300mm F/4 lens. A G lens, at least in Nikon terms, is one that does not contain a dedicated aperture ring, and therefore aperture is controlled by the camera body.

The current 300mm F/4 AF-S lens contains an aperture ring.

The difference between the "new" and "old" 300mm f/4 is the newer one has an ultrasonic (AF-S) motor built-in to the lens, where as the old one uses an old mechanical screw type, which is much slower and much louder.
 
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:45 pm

Well, whatever - it's early in the morning here, I'm half asleep - but the newer teleconverters won't fit on the older lens (or they won't on mine), and hence I suspect they won't work on the old 80-200 either.

Now, I'm still half asleep, so I'm not going to say anything more for fear of saying something incriminating.
 
vaca05
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:50 am

Cpd,

you are correct. I was wrong. You cannot use a TC on an old 80-200mm f2.8 lens. I checked it on this website and he seems to know alot of camera gear.http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm . He states "For instance, the 70-300mm AF-S VR, 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D and 80-400mm VR lenses can't even be mounted to this converter. Nikon designed them this way." I would like to thanks everyone for helping me make this decision.
Thanks
-Larry
 
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:57 am

Quoting vaca05 (Reply 14):
I would like to thanks everyone for helping me make this decision.

Usually we just end up confusing the thread starter even more.   Let us know what the final verdict is when you make it.  
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:51 am

Quoting vaca05 (Reply 14):
I would like to thanks everyone for helping me make this decision.

Make sure you show us some images from the combo..  
 
Alberto Riva
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:17 am

I have an 80-200 AF-D and a bunch of photos here taken with it. Indeed, you can't use TCs with it. Maybe older manual-focus only TCs are ok, I think the TC-16 works on it.

As for 70-200 VR vs. 80-400 VR for aviation photos, right now I'd go with a 70-200 and add a TC if needed -- Nikon just released the new 70-200 VR II so the first-generation 70-200 VR can be had used for cheap. Cheap meaning about US $1500 which is just a little more than an 80-400 but far, far better optical quality. I've shot sports with both and the difference is noticeable, and huge when it comes to AF speed.
 
diezel
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:45 am

The old AF 80-200 F2.8D works perfect with the Kenko pro series teleconverters (as do most AF-S lenses). The Kenko Pro TC's are of excellent optical quality.

Also, look for second hand lenses. The 80-200 AFD is usually available second hand at a good price. I think together with the 300mm F4, the 80-200 AFD is one of those hidden Nikon gems. Relatively cheap but of the best optical quality.

Roel.
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bcaltabiano
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:39 pm

Just a note for this discussion here. Unless you have the cash to blow, vaca05's D80 has the AF motor in the body of the camera and therefore can use AF-D lenses in the same manner as AF-S.

The difference is that the AF-S lenses have the AF motor in the lens which allows D40, D3000 and D5000 (I think) to AF. There is nothing wrong with an AF-D lens and since we aren't talking about super high-end lenses with ultra-mega-super-color-awesome coating....it is going to come down to the inclusion of VR and focal length.

Ruud, I don't think he would be happy with the 70-300 VR....since he is looking at high-speed lenses, that one doesn't fit his needs...at least from what I can tell.

Just my opinion.
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ruudb
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Quoting bcaltabiano (Reply 19):
Ruud, I don't think he would be happy with the 70-300 VR....since he is looking at high-speed lenses, that one doesn't fit his needs...at least from what I can tell.

It is fast got a motor build in and has VR2, it is simply a better option than the 80-400VR, you keep some money in your pocket and you will be able to buy a 300mm F4 in the end, which is really one of the best lenses around in my opinion.
But as he is looking for a zoom I can recommend it.

Ruud.
 
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Kereru
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:37 am

Go for the 80-400 VR lens it is compact with a big range of focal lengths to choose from and doesn't weigh your bag down too much. Sure it takes a bit of getting used to and needs a bit of patience but can return superb results with practice. I picked up a TC-201 2X converter second hand for $60 and have used it with the lens set on either 250 or 300 to give me focal lengths of 500 and 600 mm, manual focus so a bright sunny day is best but it worked well. You can always move on to the more expensive lens combinations later when you have more cash.

Colin   
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sunilgupta
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:35 am

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 10):
Same here, blew the 80-400 out of the water in just about every category.

Care to elaborate? Did it blow the 80-400mm in the 300-400mm range  

You just have to know how to use the lens to its fullest potential (see my next reply).

Sunil
 
sunilgupta
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:38 am

Larry, the text below should sound very familiar, but since you asked in a public forum I'll post my reply here too:

For me the 80-400mm VR is the ideal lens and my real workhorse lens. The 80-400 VR is not the sharpest lens in the world (but see below); however, it is very versatile and the only lens you need for 95% of aviation photography. I say this because I travel all the time and can't afford to carry around a lot of lenses. The lens should work just fine on the D80 as long as the D80 has the focusing motor in the body (which I think it does).

The 80-200 f2.8 is probably one of the sharpest zoom lenses you are going to find. I know that when you use that lens with the 1.4 t.c. the results are excellent. I don't know about the 1.7 however. The *big* problem with using this lens and a t.c. is that you have to take on and off the t.c. all the time - this is a real pain in the butt, not to mention that each time you remove the lens you have the potential to get dust on the sensor. If you only shoot at airports where 200mm is good enough then I would go for this lens; but in reality, at most airports you need longer range.

If you decide to get the 80-400mm (which I recommend), then you should always shoot with Aperture Priority and set the f-stop at 7.1. This lens is sharpest at f7.1 throughout the full zoom range. Of course, this means that you may need to vary the ISO settings and/or exposure compensation as lighting conditions change. I always keep the VR turned off unless I'm shooting in low light conditions. This saves your battery power. I would recommend that you pick up a dual battery grip for the D80 if you get this lens because it will (or course) give you room for another battery (more juice), but also helps to balance the camera against the weight of the 80-400.

Sunil
 
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:54 pm

I got the 70-300VR just recently and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised by it.
It's sharp, even if softish at the long end but still usable.
I've had two or three episodes of focus hunting but it usually focuses fast.

I have no experience with the other mentioned lens, so I can't speak about their defects or virtues but the 70-300VR sure is a very good lens in my opinion. I don't foresee changing it in the near future (now I need a good wide angle lens... any one can suggest anything?)
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NIKV69
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:18 pm

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 22):
Care to elaborate? Did it blow the 80-400mm in the 300-400mm range

Yes it does, I switched from the 80-400VR to the 300 prime and with or without a 1.4TC it's not even close.
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sluger020889
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:11 pm

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 22):
Care to elaborate? Did it blow the 80-400mm in the 300-400mm range

Sure, I'll elaborate.

Of course it blew the 80-400 out of the water in the 300 to 400 range...that's the only range the lens has. When it comes to quality, primes are the way to go. In your second post you mention that the sweet spot for your 80-400 was f7.1. Not bad, with the 300 I do a majority of my shooting at f5.6, hardly ever getting above f7.1, unless the TC is on. The 300, and all primes for that matter, do exceptionally well when shot wide open, something you could never do with even the best examples of the 80-400.

I can explain it in words all day, but why tell when you can show?
(D200 with 300 F4 AF-S and Kenko 1.4x TC, ISO 125 f7.1 1/500)


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joey Collura



I know some will say the Kenko TC is not the best in the world but I'll save that debate for another day  

Joey

[Edited 2010-04-19 10:15:17]
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sunilgupta
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:56 pm

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 26):
When it comes to quality, primes are the way to go

My bad... I thought we were still talking about the 70-300 vs 80-400. I'll have to get my cranial optics checked again.

There is nothing to discuss with primes vs zooms. It's clear  

As much as I'd like to shoot with primes all the time, it is a total impracticality for me (and most people I imagine). Under controlled situatations like airshows, fine. At most airports shooting with a prime is an excersize in frustration unless you are looking for that special shot (like a banking turn on departure or something). I sold my 300mm f4 after it collected dust for several years.

Sunil
 
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:43 am

As Joey mentioned - 300/4 is stunningly sharp:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chris P Denton



I deliberately used my old camera for this photo. There aren't many zoom lenses that can match up - with the exception of perhaps the 200-400mm Zoom-Nikkor, but it is of course a very expensive lens.

The 80-400mm might be a good all purpose - but against the 300mm, it won't get close. That lens is light and sharp. If they put VR II on that thing, damn it'd be one awesome lens.

Very fortunate for me is that the 300mm lens is quite useful for all the areas that I take photos from.

[Edited 2010-04-19 18:44:51]
 
sluger020889
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:18 am

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 27):
My bad... I thought we were still talking about the 70-300 vs 80-400. I'll have to get my cranial optics checked again.

There is nothing to discuss with primes vs zooms. It's clear

haha alrighty.

Yeah a couple years ago i went from shooting mostly civilian operations to airshows, so i traded in the zoom for the prime. I do still shoot commercial operations every now and again and I usually don't find it too limiting with the 300.

Although I believe my next lens purchase will be an 80-200 2.8 or something of the sort.

Joey
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NIKV69
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:45 am

Quoting cpd (Reply 28):
300/4 is stunningly sharp:

Ya think?


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Vollaro



Killer lens!
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sunilgupta
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:01 am

Nice photos guys, but we have hi-jacked poor Larry's thread  Wow!

Fact of the matter is that on these photos which are resized, it is not possible to really see what the lens is capable of. The 80-400 is nowhere near as sharp as the 300mm f4, but with a web sized photo you would probably be hard pressed to tell.

Sunil
 
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:50 am

Still, for this purpose, as you say, even the 80-400 will be sufficient.

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 31):
on these photos which are resized,

I'd put larger images, but that makes them more useful for people who like to use images without paying. The original was very sharp, even at full size. You'd be surprised how little editing I did to that photo, apart from resizing it down and getting rid of a few dreaded dust spots.

I will suggest that the 80-400mm seems to be of a higher quality than similar lenses from the third-party manufacturers. It feels quite a bit more robust - so in that regard, I have little worry about recommending it.
 
NIKV69
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:46 am

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 31):
Nice photos guys, but we have hi-jacked poor Larry's thread

Fact of the matter is that on these photos which are resized, it is not possible to really see what the lens is capable of. The 80-400 is nowhere near as sharp as the 300mm f4, but with a web sized photo you would probably be hard pressed to tell.

To the contrary, I mean if you sit there all day with the 80-400VR your going to get a lot less usable images if yor shooting departures and need to zoom out all the way. Over the long haul the prime lens with or without a TC will give much more consistent sharp results. Especially hand held. Why is this not on topic?
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sunilgupta
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:58 am

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 33):
with the 80-400VR your going to get a lot less usable images if yor shooting departures and need to zoom out all the way

True, but you're not comparing apples to apples. The (my) 80-400 is pin sharp at 300mm f7.1. I usually don't have to delete a single shot for softness (camera shake is a whole different issue but with the VR the 80-400 will yield better results than without).

In any case, I was referring to typical resized images that one posts on a site like this... not the number of sharp images you get on the original photo pass.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 33):
Why is this not on topic?

Because Larry is shopping for a zoom, not a prime. It would be a mistake to drive him toward a prime based on what he asked for. As I said, for anyone interested in catching a variety of traffic at the average airport (CRJ to A340-600 and everything in between), a prime is a disaster.

In his case it boils down to a trade-off between swapping a TC on and off vs a little sharpness loss.

Sunil
 
sluger020889
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:30 pm

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 31):
Nice photos guys, but we have hi-jacked poor Larry's thread

I don't believe we've hijacked this thread, I see it as exposing another, equally affordable option, that may have not been originally considered.

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 34):
As I said, for anyone interested in catching a variety of traffic at the average airport (CRJ to A340-600 and everything in between), a prime is a disaster.

It's only a disaster if you want to come home at night with 300 identical side on shots, which in my opinion are beyond boring. But using your example, I have spent weekends at airports, ATL comes to mind here, that literally have everything from CRJs to A340s, and was never once limited by a prime, if anything creativity was increased.

I fail to see why so many photographers shutter at the thought of missing a side on, or not always being able to fit in the entire aircraft.

Joey
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unattendedbag
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:10 pm

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 35):

I fail to see why so many photographers shutter at the thought of missing a side on, or not always being able to fit in the entire aircraft.

There's nothing wrong with using a prime, as you have said. But, for someones first telephoto lens, I would suggest something with a little more range and option for diversity. At ATL as you have suggested, the focal lengths can range from 40mm to 400mm depending on where you are shooting from. A zoom lens will aid a new photographer in developing skills to track aircraft so that he/she can obtain multiple angles from multiple locations. If the photographer wand a tight shot, then it is available. If the photographer wants a full side shot, then it is available as well.

Let's also remember that the thread starter purchased a d80, not the d300, 700 or 3. This is a relatively economical body and should be paired with an equally economical lens. There is nothing wrong with putting the 70-200mm vr on a d80, but not many will spend $2,000 on a lens to pair it with $900 body as their first camera combination.
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sunilgupta
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:34 pm

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 35):
side on shots, which in my opinion are beyond boring
Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 35):
if anything creativity was increased

You know, funny thing is that I thought about these points when posting before and agree with you. But, at least in my case, I collect fleets of certain things and a zoom is the only way to catch what I want.

Believe me, I wish that I could carry around f2.8 primes everywhere... but I can't. So, if you travel frequently to airports away from your home area and want one lens to carry around that can stay on the camera most of the time (and shoot Nikon), I can wholeheartedly recommend the 80-400mm. It will allow you to get the boring side shots and at the same time let you reach out and get some creative shots too. My humble opinion.

Sunil
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cpd
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RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:01 pm

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 36):
This is a relatively economical body and should be paired with an equally economical lens. There is nothing wrong with putting the 70-200mm vr on a d80

I agree, nothing wrong at all, except it costs a fortune.

The 300/4 is more economical than the 70-200mm, and probably cheaper than the 80-200, I'm guessing.  
 
sluger020889
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:41 pm

RE: Nikon Lenses

Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:41 pm

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 36):
There is nothing wrong with putting the 70-200mm vr on a d80, but not many will spend $2,000 on a lens to pair it with $900 body as their first camera combination.

I gotcha, but the 300 f4 is only 1100, and actually as I write this I just looked up the price and saw that it went up to 1400, that's unfortunate. I sold my 80-400 for 1200 and then turned around and bough a 300 f4 AF-S brand new for 1100 about two years ago, i guess its a sign of the times.

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 37):
Believe me, I wish that I could carry around f2.8 primes everywhere...

Don't we all, that'd be nice. I respect your opinion, I understand different photographers have different goals.

Joey
I would love to fly a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!

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