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View Full Version : Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR



yewsef
09-19-2007, 03:02 AM
Greetings all,

I'm planning to buy the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR sometime next year. I've read some reviews about it and its famous "bokeh" effect. I've been wondering if there are other cameras that would give me the same (or almost same) results as this one but for cheaper price. I don't mind paying more for "obvious" enhanced pictures but if the differences are very tiny I'd definitely want to save my money.

I have the 18-70mm lens that comes with the D70s and a 50mm 1.8 lens. So, I wanted to buy that lens for many reasons:

1. Very sharp photos taken without a tripod (portraits on the street, shooting objects while moving around).
2. The bokeh effect (I know the 50mm does a nice bokeh effect, wondering if the 70-200mm would do a better job)
3. Better quality (over all) lens that would make my photos look better

Do you suggest that I should go ahead and buy or probably I dont need it and there are other lenses that does what I want but for cheaper price.

Note: I am planning to buy the D300 as well.

tcadwall
09-19-2007, 07:17 AM
That is a tremendous lens, and you can research the internet for reviews, comparisons, etc. and you won't find much negative at all.

The Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 D is a great lens, while it won't focus on a D40, it will focus on your camera. Some people complain about sluggish focus time (specifically on D50 I think) since it is not AF-S, but when I have used it on my D70s and others have commented on use with a D200 the focus speed has been less of an issue. I think it has to do with how beefy the camera's focus motor is as well as what your expectations are, and of course the specific subject matter. This lens also does not have VR which is a very good thing to have especially on a tele zoom lens. However the optics on the 80-200mm are very good, definitely more resolving power than the D70s sensor but not quite the resolving power of the newer 70-200mm. This can't be said of my 18-200mm which I like a lot, but is more of a lens that is extremely handy than a lens that is extreme performance.

Since the 80-200mm has been replaced by the 70-200mm you can probably find a decent deal on it, but go to Thom Hogan's site (http://www.bythom.com/70200VRlens.htm)to get a good idea of a comparison between 80-200mm and 70-200mm.

--edit--

I just realized that there is an AF-S version of the 80-200mm f/2.8... The specimen that I did some shooting / testing with, was not AF-S... I am not sure how many of the AF-S version are available... But that would probably be the ideal version to purchase.

jcon
09-19-2007, 11:48 AM
If you can afford the 70-200VR, get it. Its the best in its range, by far! You do have cheaper alternatives that are great aswell, but nothing that will equal the 70-200VR.

Pair that with your eventual D300 and you will be one pleased photog!

rawpaw18
09-19-2007, 01:07 PM
Nice bokeh for sure, Just dissolves into the background.
Lost the exif on this one, but believe it was 200 2.8. I am not
A flower shooter(like I had to tell you), just wanted to show the
creamy background.

28781

Now as far as street shooting, it will draw attention to you.
So complete candids may be tough to get. Being around 9" long and weighing 3 pounds! It is not very stealthy.

It is a little softer wide open at 200mm, when compared to the
rest of the range of the lens. It is heavy. Have read reports of flaring,
but I have not experienced this. Use the hood in bright situations
and you should be fine. Something else to consider, minimum focus
distance is about 6'. Certain compositons may be out of the question.

Would not trade it for any other lens in this range!

XaiLo
09-19-2007, 02:40 PM
The 70-200mm VR is an awesome lens, sharp fast, fast sharp either way you say it! it means great results. Most of the time! it can't compensate for bad technique darn. :( By far it is my favorite lens, and I don't see that changing any time soon. I had the 50mm for a while it was a nice lens, but I'm a zoom telephoto type of guy. It did not fit in with my style of shooting.

Rooz
09-19-2007, 03:48 PM
the 85mm f1.4 is the bokeh king. anyone thats used one or has one can testify to that. even stopped down, it produces beautiful bokeh.

erichlund
09-19-2007, 05:00 PM
Greetings all,

I'm planning to buy the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR sometime next year. I've read some reviews about it and its famous "bokeh" effect. I've been wondering if there are other cameras that would give me the same (or almost same) results as this one but for cheaper price. I don't mind paying more for "obvious" enhanced pictures but if the differences are very tiny I'd definitely want to save my money.

Be careful about terminology here. The camera doesn't have any bokeh affect at all. Bokeh is a quality of the lens. There are lenses that are very good, very poor, and all points in between. Basically, good bokeh occurs when the background blurs to a creamy smoothness with no tendency to show multi-sided blobs (pentagons, septagons).

I have the 18-70mm lens that comes with the D70s and a 50mm 1.8 lens. So, I wanted to buy that lens for many reasons:

1. Very sharp photos taken without a tripod (portraits on the street, shooting objects while moving around).

Tripod is your friend. However, yes, sometimes you want to hold the camera by hand. 70-200VR is not really an up close and personal lens for street photography. It's more of a pick a target out of a crowd lens. I guess it's good if you are a stalker. It's monstrously huge though. 17-55 f2.8, one of the wide primes, 17-35 f2.8, 35-70 f2.8, these are good street shooters. You get right in there with your subject. I would say the 28-70 f2.8, but it's nickname is the beast. It may be a bit intimidating for street shooting. The new 24-70 is much slimmer, so may be a better choice. The 70-200VR is more of a sports shooter, event shooter, something to get you closer, but where you don't need one of the big guns.

2. The bokeh effect (I know the 50mm does a nice bokeh effect, wondering if the 70-200mm would do a better job)

18-70: OK bokeh, nothing to write home about.
50mm f1.8: not so good. Creates distinct septagons.
70-200: Awesome bokeh
85mm f1.4: Incredible bokeh (beyond awesome)

3. Better quality (over all) lens that would make my photos look better

70-200VR has this in spades. Unless the new 14-24 or 24-70 has surpassed it, many think this is the best zoom Nikon has ever built.

Do you suggest that I should go ahead and buy or probably I dont need it and there are other lenses that does what I want but for cheaper price.

This is not something I can say. It's for you to choose.

Note: I am planning to buy the D300 as well.

Cool camera. If it had been FX, I might have pulled the trigger, but for now, I'm sticking with my D200.

yewsef
09-20-2007, 01:31 AM
Amazing feed back!

You guys are great, thank you :)

OK, let me state my conclusion so far:

1. There is a AF-S version of the 80-200mm f/2.8 which could be a cheaper version of the 70-200mm (will check it out)
2. The 70-200mm is the best in its range by far. (so if I can afford it, it will give me much better results for its price range than the other lens) <-- this statement seald the deal here for me I guess :D
3. Heavy and Noticeable (not the ideal camera for street shooting). Well, that's a turn off there :( but i think I can get away with its weight and size in tourist spots, but very hard for a candid shot.
4. It does't have a "bokeh effect" but it does indeed give an awesome bokeh-like effect, which is a big plus.

I think I'll check the 80-200 AF-S version and the 85mm 1.4f lenses too, but I've 90% decided on the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR. Thanks again for the feed back.

P.S: What's the difference between Nikon and Nikkor lenses?

rawpaw18
09-20-2007, 04:23 AM
You mentioned in your other thread about shooting soccer, this lens 70-200vr is great for that as well. Af-s lenses are what you want for sports because of the faster focusing the AF-S motor in the lens allows.

You can only buy the 80-200 af-s used at places like keh.com, you will
see that at the price you might as well go top shelf. The thing is if
you buy the best one you do not have to say to youreself if only.
This lens is an investment, it does not depreciate much if kept in good condition. Check out the prices it goes for used on ebay, keh and other forums.

Nikon usually announces its rebates in the fall, the 70-200vr will probably be on the list.

XaiLo
09-20-2007, 04:33 AM
yewsef, while it's definately not a stealth baby. you can still get great candid results from it. the five foot min distance can be a pain at times, but I usually just take a step backwards and zoom in, problem solved. And it is an attention getter but most of the time you can compose adjust and shoot before anyone knows what happened. The weights not an issue for me and for the preformance and range it stands alone.

erichlund
09-20-2007, 08:26 AM
Amazing feed back!

You guys are great, thank you :)

OK, let me state my conclusion so far:

1. There is a AF-S version of the 80-200mm f/2.8 which could be a cheaper version of the 70-200mm (will check it out)
2. The 70-200mm is the best in its range by far. (so if I can afford it, it will give me much better results for its price range than the other lens) <-- this statement seald the deal here for me I guess :D
3. Heavy and Noticeable (not the ideal camera for street shooting). Well, that's a turn off there :( but i think I can get away with its weight and size in tourist spots, but very hard for a candid shot.

Candid merely means unposed. It does not mean that the subject is unaware of the camera. It is true that a "traditional" street shooter would scoff (and I mean, literally, scoff) at the use of the 70-200VR for "traditional" street photography, you can still make it work. You are not going to get inside the scene like you do with a wide angle lens. You become more of an observer. But that can be a useful form of photography in its own right.

4. It does't have a "bokeh effect" but it does indeed give an awesome bokeh-like effect, which is a big plus.

No, what I said was the camera doesn't have much to do with bokeh, although it does have an effect on depth of field. The 70-200VR has incredible bokeh. The 85mm f1.4 has better bokeh, but that lens was designed from the ground up to be one thing, a portrait lens. It's supposed to have great bokeh. The 70-200VR is a zoom, so it can fill several roles. The fact that it is extremely well made, and therefore has very good bokeh, is a side benefit.

I think I'll check the 80-200 AF-S version and the 85mm 1.4f lenses too, but I've 90% decided on the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR. Thanks again for the feed back.

P.S: What's the difference between Nikon and Nikkor lenses?

Nikkor is Nikon's brand name for their lenses. All Nikon lenses are Nikkors.

The 80-200AF-S is not made anymore, but the 80-200 AF is made. The AF-S version is rare and very expensive. And, it doesn't have VR.

Rooz
09-20-2007, 04:13 PM
also remember that bokeh is also influenced by;

the distance you are from your subject
the distance the background is from your subject
the aperture you are shooting atthats why telephoto's with long focal lengths and with low f-stops generally all produce very good bokeh because they satisfy all of the above.

for street photography i'd recommend the 85mm. if you can;t afford the 1.4, the 1.8 is also excellent. they are much less intimidating, much more compact and small so you can pack a light kit and are much, much lighter which means you can shoot all day without getting sore.

tekriter
09-21-2007, 11:06 AM
The Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 D is a great lens, while it won't focus on a D40, it will focus on your camera. Some people complain about sluggish focus time (specifically on D50 I think) since it is not AF-S, but when I have used it on my D70s and others have commented on use with a D200 the focus speed has been less of an issue.

Usually that's me - my experience with the D50 and the 80-200 f2.8 AF-D is that it focuses somewhat sluggishly - but I've used the same lens on a D200 and it focused much quicker.

I've given this issue a lot more thought, and I believe my type of shooting is partially responsible as well.

I shoot a LOT of night sports; football, soccer, baseball - and in may cases the quality of the lighting system just isn't very good. What this does is give the focus module less light to work with, and a slower focus lock as a result.

That's my conjecture - but it does seem to focus faster in good light.

tcadwall
09-22-2007, 09:04 PM
Almost jumped the gun and bought a 70-200 yesterday afternoon. Only $1099 Consignmnet sale at my local camera store. First look, she was purty... but then I started tinkerin' with it. I noticed that the "quick release" tripod mount did not come off very easy. Then when it did come off, it revealed that appearantly someone tried to clamp a different mount bracket and seriously dented the nount's "mount". Still worked, but enough to make you start looking closer. I had my camera with me, and mounted the lens. Second to-do was to remove the UV filter that was on it. I figured that I wanted to get a few images and didn't want to later wonder if something was messed up on the filter. Well, there was something messed up on the filter. It was either cross-threaded, or had been dropped. I couldn't get it off with minimal power, so I asked the salesman to give it a shot. He gave it a bit more pressure, and the end of the lens un-screwed instead of the filter. I passed. If these problems weren't reported by the previous owner, then I wasn't interested in it.

But I certainly was tempted, and trying to decide which credit card to put it on even... whew... the power of good glass on your emotions.... lol thankfully I escaped that one...

rawpaw18
09-23-2007, 04:47 AM
It is really something the way some people take care of the gear or Don't.
Seriously cross threading that far on that it will not come off and some
kind of half rig tripod mount. What are people thinking?

Feel free to borrow mine, I keep it up on blocks in the front yard. Eastern Shore style.

yewsef
09-25-2007, 02:36 AM
Thanks guys for the feedback :)

Would the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR make owning a 85mm f1.4 trivial?

tcadwall
09-25-2007, 07:01 AM
Feel free to borrow mine, I keep it up on blocks in the front yard. Eastern Shore style.
LOL... Guess that is better than on the floor in YOUR basement.:eek::D;)

erichlund
09-25-2007, 07:34 AM
Thanks guys for the feedback :)

Would the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR make owning a 85mm f1.4 trivial?

I've used the 70-200VR but not the 85mm. The 70-200 is an incredible lens, but is big, heavy, and big. Did I mention big. Many people are already intimidated by the camera, so the 70-200 is perhaps not the perfect choice as a studio lens, especially considering that this is what the 85 was designed for.

Also, for portraits, I've seen comparison photos, and the 85 wins. Not by a gross margin, but still, in little subtle ways it wins.

So, no, in and of itself, it would not make the 85mm trivial. Of course, if you don't have use for the 85mm, that's a different matter.

rawpaw18
09-25-2007, 01:06 PM
LOL... Guess that is better than on the floor in YOUR basement.:eek::D;)

Funny, but I have finished off again for the second time. More than I can say for the roads around here, still a couple not even begun to have work done.