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Archive 2013 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm
  
 
kpc49
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


I'm doing a lot of sports photography for college and some pro level sports as well as other events for the local newspaper. I'm currently a freshman in college right now, I shoot with a Nikon D90 as well as a 50mm 1.4 and a 35mm 1.8. I've been looking for a little more reach in my sports photos recently and I'm not sure which will work better on a D90. Any suggestions??

Thanks

Ken Chaney



Jan 29, 2013 at 06:44 PM
tom lozinski
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


They are both fantastic. If you're shooting sports the VR will not matter much since you're always going to have subject motion blur which the lens won't help with. The 80-200 should go for significantly less and is a bargain.


Jan 29, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


I had the 80-200/2.8 because at the time I had other priorities but still wanted a lens of that ilk in the bag. It was very very sharp and AF fast. Since they can be picked up for less than half of the 70-200 VRII if you don't need that supreme lens then you'll still be very very happy with the 80-200 (late version not the early one).


Jan 29, 2013 at 06:58 PM
tonyc90
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


If you're referring to the Nikon 80-200/2.8 AFS version, that is a great lens. I had used it for over 10 years before upgrading to the 70-200/2.8 VR II. Highly recommend it at half the price of the 70-200. It performed very well on various SLR and DSLRs including the D90. Still very sharp and fast AF with the TC14E for extra reach.


Jan 29, 2013 at 07:08 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


Ken -

Unless you are referring to the focal lengths in general and not specific lenses, you need to be a bit more specific about the lenses as there are at least two version of each:

80-200/2.8 AF-D
80-200/2.8 AFS

70-200/2.8 AFS VRI
70-200/2.8 AFS VRII

The 80-200/2.8 AF-D is still a very good lens, but it's a bit slower to AF since it's does not have a built-in focusing motor. It has problems with AF accuracy at 200mm and near-ish objects, which may not be an issue for sports. It can have a little "glow" wide open.

The 80-200/2.8 AFS is a better wide open than the AF-D model, has a built-in motor so it has very fast focusing. Has no near focusing issues like the AF-D. It is now sold anymore so getting a new AFS motor may be expensive.

70-200/2.8 AFS VRI is better on crop bodies than full frame and may not take TCs as well as the newer version.

The 70-200/2.8 AFS VRII is likely the best of the bunch in almost all regards except "focus breathing" (you get less than 200mm focal length at near distances) and price.

I had the 80-200/2.8D for many years. I have the 80-200AFS and the 70-200VRII and optically they are quite close and I find the 80-200 focuses slightly faster. The VRII obviously has VR, slightly wider on the wide end, and it takes TCs better (but at ~2.5x the price).

As usual opinions on lenses are just that, so others may have different opinions. I think on a D90 the best bet for you would be the 70-200VRI due to its performance on DX, has VR, and is a (recently) current model.

Hope this helps.

- John

Edited on Jan 29, 2013 at 07:58 PM · View previous versions



Jan 29, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


tonyc90 wrote:
If you're referring to the Nikon 80-200/2.8 AFS version, that is a great lens. I had used it for over 10 years before upgrading to the 70-200/2.8 VR II. Highly recommend it at half the price of the 70-200. It performed very well on various SLR and DSLRs including the D90. Still very sharp and fast AF with the TC14E for extra reach.


Yes Tony, The AF-S and I used it with the TC14E too. Excellent combo.



Jan 29, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Steve464
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


I have the 80-200/2.8 AFS and be careful where you point it it is very prone to flair when there is bright/a lot of light. I bought mine used and did not know about the flair, thought there was something broken in the lens. Did some research and found out is normal, I think. It mostly happens in studio. On the good side it is very sharp through out and quick and silent to focus.


Jan 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Gregstx
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


I wish I had the money to get the 70-200 VR II but I am still plugging away with my 80-200 2.8D lens. My experience with this lens is that I have always been amazed how tack sharp it is when pixel peeping on my D7000. Last fall I shot some night HS football games. After reading about slower focus especially under low light conditions, I was very pleased and somewhat surprised at how quickly and accurately it would nail the focus under really challenging conditions.


Jan 30, 2013 at 02:49 AM
RKB58
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


Agree with Jhinkey above. In the used marketplace, the 80-200 AFS or 70-200 VR I are not that much more expensive than the 80-200 AFD. The AFS lenses seem to sell for about the same price as the 2 ring AFD while offering increased AF speed, accuracy, and sharpness.


Jan 31, 2013 at 02:13 AM
 

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James Markus
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


Ken, you are a college freshman, and looking for "reach" in camera lenses is an expensive proposition. All the zooms mentioned are good lenses. After 7 years use I ditched the AFS 70-200 VRI for the AF 180mm. I found some interesting things. The 180 has identical bokeh to the AFS VRI lens, almost identical reach, is much less expensive, smaller sized, more light weigh, and it is sharper. Coupled with a 1.4x tc and you will have more reach + a little better image quality + a little cash. You would lose some AF speed that a young guy like you could make up for with reflexes, and anticipation. *Or*, you could get the AFS 300mm F4 - which is a brilliantly sharp lens, with really fast AF. It also is less costly than any of the heavy zooms (there is like 15 pieces of glass in those things!), and it is lighter as well.




Jan 31, 2013 at 03:56 AM
kpc49
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


The thing that I think I'll like about the 70-200 or 80-200 (either AF-S after reading these awesome reviews!) is the flexibility. Whenever I have the 50mm on my camera I feel like I have to run to catch the action, which is fun except when I'm not allowed to run anywhere to get closer or move further away like being in a basketball stadium....I guess I'm just trying to have my cake and eat it too....how much on the used market would the 180mm f/2.8 cost?? And will it auto focus noticeably slower on my D90 than either pro tele zoom??


Jan 31, 2013 at 10:45 AM
RKB58
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


I have the 180 as well as a couple of the zooms. The 180 is a nice lens, for sure, and is much lighter, smaller, less expensive. But, it would be a big jump from your 50 to the 180 on DX format, think you would miss the middle. Focus is slower and maybe (subject for debate) somewhat less precise than the AFS lens version. Focus is on the slow side, probably OK on the D90 except when an athlete is running at you and is very close. There is at least one good one on the big auction site right now.

The other less expensive option is the earlier push-pull AF-D 80-200. I had pretty good success with it on a D200 shooting soccer a few years ago. It focuses at least as fast as the 180.

Though I have not ever used one, I am thinking that the earliest AF 80-200 NOT D with the mechanical distance limiter would not work very well for sports AF.



Jan 31, 2013 at 11:22 AM
James Markus
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


I sold my seven year old 70-200 AFS for $1625, and got the AF 180 for $470.

The lens has a "AF" switch...so you need the lens switch, and the camera body switch in the correct position to get the fastest AF with the 180. (Manual focus switch position engages a damper). It is a screw type AF (one turn for MFD to infinity), and it looks like the D90 takes those type lenses. It seems plenty fast to me, but this isn't based on any objective measure. I have used this lens with the D2X, D300, & D800 Nikon bodies - and it worked fine. DPR claims the D90 has the same AF system as the D300.

A search on "completed listings" on ebay shows the price range for sales (not just listings) are

$379.99, $390.69, $300.00, $355.00, $431.50, $600.00, $450.00, $365.00, $449.00, $381.25, $388.00, $365.00, $360.55 (<45 bids), $324.00, $340.38, $410.00, $499.00, $390.00, and $235.00 (a week before Christmas)

My guessimate would be that a good copy can be had for about $400-$450.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=78



Jan 31, 2013 at 11:49 AM
pdxflint
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


While the 180 is a great lens for the money, you'd get a lot more flexibility with the 80-200 for photojournalism in general. I have the 2-ring AF-D version which I bought used, and it has served me well. I shoot cyclocross and other cycling, and have no problems wide open at 200mm tracking cyclists coming toward me at fairly good speeds. I find that I use both ends of the focal length and actually a fair number of my shots are in the 140mm range. With movement, it's convenient to be able to frame better by zooming in or out just a bit while following action. I realize everyone touts the virtues of the AF-S model, but it has been out of production for quite a while now, and there is that issue of the AF motor, which could fail, which might be worth considering. The 2-ring model is really quite affordable used for what you get, and is a proven "tank" of a lens with excellent IQ and a very strong, useable tripod/monopod leg. Personally, I'd recommend getting a clean copy of this lens in excellent condition used in the $700 range if you can find one, maybe a tad more if the lens is really clean. The "weak" aspect of the lens has more to do with the plastic AF-Manual (ring style) switch on the barrel, which can break from all I've read, but so far on mine it's never been a problem in heavy use. It can move a bit while zooming because it's just in front of the zoom ring, but it's not hard to develop the habit of checking it by feel to make sure it stays clicked into AF, but on occasion if the AF doesn't work, that's probably because the ring-style switch has slightly shifted... Once you are used to that minor detail, it becomes second nature, and not a problem. The lens AF speed is surprisingly fast, at least on a D300, and not really much noisier than a built-in motor. There's a reason Nikon still makes this lens.

Good luck, and good shooting!

Selection of images taken with the 80-200 AF-D (2-ring)



Feb 01, 2013 at 10:46 AM
DaveOls
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


Since you are a college student and money might be tight, look at the 70-300 VR which is pretty inexpensive but slower. You may need the speed for low light however. I have a 70-300mm ED non VR which is even cheaper but supposedly not as sharp.


Feb 01, 2013 at 12:59 PM
RKB58
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


I have my friend's 70-300 VR in the lens cabinet right now. It is a nice compact lens. Compared to the various 2.8's, the contrast seems pretty low wide open. I would want to stop it down a bit, so in practice it is about 2 stops slower than the 2.8 zooms. Stopping down is not a huge issue in daylight although the backgrounds will be busier/more distracting. But, a deal killer under the lights for sports shooting. For basically the same used money, I would go for the old 80-200 2.8D push pull, or for some more money, the 2 ring 2.8D with faster AF, or the 80-200 AFS version which is a bargain for the used prices I have seen lately.

Even a better bargain is the old 70-210/4 AF. Pretty fast AF operation, constant f/4. Down side is noisy AF, and lousy bokeh. There is not enough light in many sports venues I shoot for an f/4 lens and action stopping shuter speeds.



Feb 01, 2013 at 02:23 PM
popinvasion
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 80-200mm vs 70-200mm


I would just buy a tamron 70-200 I think they are great.


Feb 01, 2013 at 02:26 PM





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