Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #15 · switching from Canon, need help with 70-200 |
I have owned all three and agree to some extent with many posters - and also that all three are excellent for specific reasons.
The 80-200 AFS was way ahead of its time. It has very good AF performance, especially in terms of initial acquisition where it is very impressive. Colors and contrast are good, and the lens is still a very viable option even against the other two newer lenses, especially on FX bodies where I'd take it at least even with, if not ahead of the VR1.
The VR1, if you are shooting on DX bodies, is likely without any significant flaw. I find AF tracking better with it than the 80-200, and smoother too. It's extremely sharp, and I like the bokkeh better on this lens than the 80-200. However, on an FX body I did start to question the lens in two ways... performance at 200mm and full-frame IQ at the corners and edges. These two niggles only became an issue for me in any way on switching to FX bodies full-time.
The VR2 is the best of the three for my tastes. Better on the long end, better on FX, the same great bokkeh as the VR1, and really exceptional AF performance. The breathing issues that seem to always get pointed out on threads like this are really a non-issue for my shooting since I use the lens for sports and haven't run into a situation where very close focus at a full 200mm has ever been required. I have a macro lens at 150mm if I need that.
If you plan on using the lens with teleconverters, might I also add the VR2 does the best of all three - maybe even significantly so - with them in my experience.
The good news is that all three lenses are impressive. However if there isn't much of a price difference you're looking at on the used market, the VR2 is my pick of the three.