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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
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03/13/2008 07:47:33 AM · #1
OK...so I went to the zoo and realized that I don't have a zoom that's been able to really get in close enough to capture close up shots of some of the animals. I WANT a zoom...but I don't want to have to buy different zooms for different situations and the f2.8 is what's making this look sooooo nice. Reviews on it are all top notch...

I guess my question is, would this be worth the 1600USD investment? I'm not rich, but at the same time I'm not poor either...it's more about convincing my wife that I need it. I would love to have more reasons than "To get close ups at the zoo."
03/13/2008 08:01:24 AM · #2
I bought the very same lens not that long ago. It is a beast. It is incredibly heavy and even though it has VR, I find that it is just a bit too heavy for me personally. I think I probably just haven't got used to it yet, but I have found it hard to get a sharp image due I suppose to trying to hold it steady. Also, I haven't really used it much yet. I think a monopod is probably useful. This one below is the only picture I have on DPC taken with it.

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ETA. Most of the shots I have taken with it have been on dark gloomy days so as you can see here, the reason there is some camera shake is due to the lower shutter speed. I suppose it's not too bad given that.

I plan on testing it more over the coming weeks and fully expect it to live up to hype I have read.

Message edited by author 2008-03-13 08:03:44.
03/13/2008 08:09:37 AM · #3
Well, I have actually been given the go-ahead from my wife (Under certain conditions I do things around the house that need to be done first ie. CLEAN) Still, now that I have permission, I hope that this will be a good lens to compliment the coming festivals that Japan will have during the end of spring and most of summer.
03/13/2008 08:19:28 AM · #4
You'll never know how much i envy the canon 70-200f/4L IS USM!!!

Half weight, cheaper than the f2.8 and top notch optical quality.

Message edited by author 2008-03-13 08:19:54.
03/13/2008 08:19:38 AM · #5
It's a beauty of a lens with very few faults.The out of focus renditions are marvelous as well as the sharpness. I rent it every time I need to photograph an important event.

Is it worth the $1600... sure if you plan on using it. Looking at your portfolio, I would think it would fit in nicely.

Cheers and good luck.
03/13/2008 08:48:17 AM · #6
Originally posted by GabrielS:

You'll never know how much i envy the canon 70-200f/4L IS USM!!!

Half weight, cheaper than the f2.8 and top notch optical quality.


Cheaper, but it's f4...
03/13/2008 08:58:04 AM · #7
If you want the absolute best (and willing to pay for it), then the Nikon AF-S 70-200 f/2.8 VR is second to none. You really can't go wrong with it.

However, if you can settle for a lens without VR (along with a slight savings in size and weight), and a huge savings in price, you may want to consider the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM. I've been VERY pleased with the Sigma--excellent optical quality, sharp wide open, and 1/2 the price of the Nikon.
03/13/2008 10:02:11 AM · #8
That was my first lens aside from the kit lens that came with the camera. It has great sparkling bokeh shooting in sunlight, almost as much or as nice DOF as the fast 50mm 1.4. All movements are internal not like the 18-200 VR. This is built rugged. The auto focus is fast and smooth. It has a nice tripod mounting ring that rotates in it's own axis. That makes it a breeze to swith between Landscape and Portrait orientation. You can even do circular motion-blur. It's great at events and street photography, too. A great lens.
03/13/2008 10:19:15 AM · #9
Amazing lens.
03/13/2008 10:50:52 AM · #10
This is indeed a very well regarded lens. You really can't go wrong with it:

review here (70-200mm)

I personally own the Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED, from which the image quality is also very very good. I took some decent shots of animals with this lens. Here is one example (resized but not cropped):

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It is also nearly half the price of the 70-200mm...Of course no VR, no DX lens. Here is the review. In my mind, this is a cheaper alternative:

review here (80-200mm)

I wish you the best...

Max

PS: I will avoid the Sigma if I were you, I found the zoom ring very rough IMHO (maybe the copy that I used was not good enough, who knows?)

Message edited by author 2008-03-13 10:57:43.
03/13/2008 11:01:23 AM · #11
Originally posted by heavyj:

....I guess my question is, would this be worth the 1600USD investment? I'm not rich, but at the same time I'm not poor either...it's more about convincing my wife that I need it. I would love to have more reasons than "To get close ups at the zoo."

That's why I (just last week actually) purchased the Sigma 70-200 2.8 It's quite a bit cheaper than the "Nikkor" name brand glass. Not trying to downplay Nikon glass as it's at the top of the list for me but in comparison I don't need/afford that $$$. I'll get there but on my I'll get what I can afford.

That's just my $.02, FWIW. -BB
03/13/2008 11:17:01 AM · #12
Easily worth the money and IMHO one of the best lenses they make. It's considered a legend.

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Those are all handheld at the 200mm end with the VR on. The lens is sharp, side to side, throughout it's entire range. Really nice contrast. My best lens.
03/13/2008 11:23:13 AM · #13
Originally posted by pawdrix:

Easily worth the money and IMHO one of the best lenses they make. It's considered a legend.

Those are all handheld at the 200mm end with the VR on. The lens is sharp, side to side, throughout it's entire range. Really nice contrast. My best lens.


Clearly I need to use mine more! (One afternoon of use so far does not make it very cost effective purchase!)
03/13/2008 11:24:54 AM · #14
Pawdrix,

Was the first image manipulated via software? In other words, did you add in the background some sort of addtional blur? I also noticed the white 'contour' around the body of the woman.

Just curious, thanks
03/13/2008 11:36:16 AM · #15
Originally posted by msieglerfr:

Pawdrix,

Was the first image manipulated via software? In other words, did you add in the background some sort of addtional blur? I also noticed the white 'contour' around the body of the woman.

Just curious, thanks


It was taken so long ago but I think I may have poorly cloned out an orange or red sign that really smacked the eye. Outside of that, there was almost NO processing except for a some added contrast and USM. Pretty clean otherwise, keep in mind that the lens renders a sweet bokeh on it's own...again, legendary.

ETA:Ok...here's one taken with the 70-200, three weeks ago, that's clean as a whistle except for a Sepia filter layered on top of the color RAW conversion. Probably shot at f2.8 or 3.5. Very little processing if any...
[thumb]657623[/thumb]

Message edited by author 2008-03-13 12:21:52.
03/13/2008 02:39:46 PM · #16
Theres plenty of alternatives... Sigma makes a 70-200 2.8, and Tamron will be releasing one sometime soon as well. You could also grab the Nikon 80-200 2.8, but all three of those options only really work if 2.8 is more important to you than VR.

If you'd rather have the VR, the Nikon 70-300 VR is excellent wide open up to ~220mm... I mean, at comparable apertures, its on par with the Nikon 70-200. But, you lose a stop and 1/3 to 2/3 across that range. It's less than 500 bucks though...
03/13/2008 03:37:00 PM · #17
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I love my 70-200 VR!

ps. If you haven't tried VR before, make sure there's plenty of room between jaw and table.
03/13/2008 06:04:09 PM · #18
[quote=option] ... I mean, at comparable apertures, its on par with the Nikon 70-200. ... /quote]

Not sure about this statement. It is hared to compare the two as the 70-200 VR is one of Nikon's best lenses ever made. I would find it surprising if the 70-300 VR comes close but I don't own one so can't say for sure.

You only buy glass once if you buy the best. It will be with you for a lifetime.

BTW - it is built like a tank. Mine has dropped to the floor twice from tripod height and shows no ill effects. Don't ask.

Message edited by author 2008-03-13 18:05:10.
03/13/2008 06:17:39 PM · #19
Originally posted by jbsmithana:

[quote=option] ... I mean, at comparable apertures, its on par with the Nikon 70-200. ... /quote]

Not sure about this statement. It is hared to compare the two as the 70-200 VR is one of Nikon's best lenses ever made. I would find it surprising if the 70-300 VR comes close but I don't own one so can't say for sure.


As per photozone...

70-200
70-300

On a D200, you won't see a difference @70mm, @200mm, the 70-200 is better but not significantly so.

Clearly, the 70-200 is better, and is a stop and a half faster... but its close enough that unless you're making money off it or have deep pockets, the 70-300 is a fantastic alternative. Myself, I have a 70-300 for personal use, and borrow a friends 70-200 2.8 for critical work... best of both worlds!

Ask yourself 2 questions:

1) Will this lens make you money?
2) If 1) is no, can you justify spending half a year of food on a hunk of glass and metal?

Message edited by author 2008-03-13 18:22:10.
03/13/2008 06:22:55 PM · #20
I have used both the 70-200 and the 80-200. Both are great lenses but the 70-200 is heavier. I am having a hard time deciding which one to get as I too am in the market for one of these 2 legendary lenses.
03/13/2008 06:38:09 PM · #21
It is not only sharp, not only among the best bokeh of a zoom ever made by Nikon, but it also has kickass microcontrast, excellent color rendition and focuses very, very, very fast. It is worth every penny and still remains excellent in all aspects with a 1.4x converter (which makes it an f/4 280mm -VR even more useful).
The VR rocks.

Mainly use it for motorcycle racing photography (nowadays with a teleconverter). It is not convenient for travel, I find myself choosing not to take it with me when I go on holiday or visit my fiancee (who lives abroad).

And it looks kickass as well. :)

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03/13/2008 08:22:44 PM · #22
Originally posted by option:

As per photozone...


Numbers, bah! Take a look a the pictures the 70-200 creates and you'll see the difference. Bokeh, contrast, color - this lens rocks as the kids say. And as for build quality I would hate to drop the 70-300 like I have my 70-200. But it is heavy.

Now you have the right idea of owning the 70-300 and being able to borrow someone elses 70-200!
03/13/2008 09:56:55 PM · #23
Originally posted by Azrifel:

...
And it looks kickass as well. :)

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yep
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