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Archive 2013 · Zoom lens advice
  
 
SEMiller
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Zoom lens advice


Thinking about getting a fast zoom lens for my D7100 and was hoping for opinions on which lens to get that's within my budget. My choices would be either an AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR, a used NIKON 70-200MM F/2.8 VR (older version, not VR II) or off brand such as the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM or Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 DI VC. The cost for these lenses ranges from about $1,250 for the sigma to $1,500 for the tamron, with both the F4 nikon and a used f2.8 VR priced between these 2.

I am not a new photographer, my background is from film photography, having shot with an F2AS for about 30 years. I went from a D90 to the D7100 and consider myself way behind on digital photography, so I'm hoping to learn a lot going forward.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.










May 28, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Mishu01
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Zoom lens advice


Go for Nikon. The new 70-200/4 is a great lens if you can live with f4. If not 70-200/2.8 VRI is perfect for a crop sensor but is bulkier. I used to own one but I replaced with the new f4 version because of size/weight advantage.


May 28, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Two23
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Zoom lens advice


I'm using a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR1 on a D7100 and like it. I shoot some weddings, and shoot at night a lot. Exactly what are you trying to photo, and are you getting paid? Use determines everything when it comes to gear.


Kent in SD



May 29, 2013 at 02:32 AM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Zoom lens advice


I had an older 80-200 Nikon f/2.8 pro lens. It was great, but it was really, really heavy. I recently grabbed a 70-200 f/4 and couldn't be happier. I don't shoot indoor sports, etc., so the lack of f/2.8 hasn't been an issue, and due to the light weight it stays in my bag almost all the time.


May 29, 2013 at 04:10 AM
jspytek
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Zoom lens advice


Consider the Sigma 120-300mm 2.8 - you should be able to pick one up for around $1,300





Photo I took with D7000 and Sigma 120-300 2.8 this weekend

  NIKON D7000    122.0-300.0 mm f/2.8 lens    300mm    f/2.8    1/3200s    220 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 29, 2013 at 04:57 AM
BenV
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Zoom lens advice


The Tamron 70-200 VC is supposed to be the best of the bunch. I have no personal experience with it. I was waiting for it to come out, and needed one asap, so I picked up a VR2.


May 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM
SEMiller
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Zoom lens advice


I'm not shooting anything I'm getting paid for, I expect to use it to shoot my daughter playing soccer (outdoors) and gymnastics (indoors). The faster lens at the slower lens price intrigues me, which is why I'm thinking tamron, sigma or the older vr lens. Having VR in the lens is important to me. I can see budgeting up to $1500 but not all the way to $2300 for the VRII.

The question really is go Nikon, older technology or newer technology but slower, or other brand.



Jun 01, 2013 at 12:49 AM
mike-in-ak
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Zoom lens advice


I shoot the 80-200mm /2.8 AF-D, great lens that you can get at a nice price since it has no VR.


Jun 02, 2013 at 03:09 AM
ja_joyce
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Zoom lens advice


If you're planning on sticking with DX the 70-200 VRI is the way to go IMO. It is a fantastic lens, and great with the TC-14 and TC-17 if you need more reach. If you're shooting gymnastics indoors you'll want f/2.8 IMO.




Jun 02, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Kyyo24
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Zoom lens advice


Definitely the vr1! You can find them for 1200-1300 no problem and for indoors gymnastics you'll want the 2.8


Jun 02, 2013 at 03:22 PM
 

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pbraymond
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Zoom lens advice


Based on the choices you listed, I would go for the 70-200 f2.8 unless the weight or bulk is an issue for you.


Jun 02, 2013 at 04:52 PM
CAlbertson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Zoom lens advice


SEMiller wrote:
I am not a new photographer, my background is from film photography, having shot with an F2AS for about 30 years. I went from a D90 to the D7100 and consider myself way behind on digital photography, so I'm hoping to learn a lot going forward.


With digital the ISO is much higher, or it can be much higher. So you'd likely want the f/2.8 nikon only for the reduced DOF effect. The f/4 lens is a more practical size. With digital post processing is so much easier, so if you really find you want to reduce a background you can apply a Gaussian blur later.

Digital is only a little different from film. Mostly 1) higher ISO, 2) you expose for highlights, like slide film and 3) post processing is very easy. So the f/4 lens might be the best best as you'd use it more than the monster size f/2.8



Jun 02, 2013 at 04:57 PM
SEMiller
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Zoom lens advice


Weight and size certainly are factors, which is causing me to lean towards the f4 or consider the sigma or tamron f2.8 offerings. Opinions I have read are all over the spectrum from stick with nikon/those lenses aren't as good to those lenses being a good alternative. Hmmmm...


Jun 03, 2013 at 02:09 AM
jyo1
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Zoom lens advice


I currently have the 70-200 f2.8 VR2 lense and it is great---I use it on my two DX bodies (D300 and D7100)---just terrific piece of gear---now having said that, I am starting to feel the call of the new 70-200 f4 just because of it's greatly reduced weight---24 ozs less! Also slimmer and using the smaller 67mm filter size. The D7100 is SO GOOD at higher ISOs that I don't think f4 will be an enormous disadvantage in indoor situations---and I can still use my TC14E---tough decision...


Jun 03, 2013 at 04:08 AM
SEMiller
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Zoom lens advice


jyo1 wrote:
I currently have the 70-200 f2.8 VR2 lense and it is great---I use it on my two DX bodies (D300 and D7100)---just terrific piece of gear---now having said that, I am starting to feel the call of the new 70-200 f4 just because of it's greatly reduced weight---24 ozs less! Also slimmer and using the smaller 67mm filter size. The D7100 is SO GOOD at higher ISOs that I don't think f4 will be an enormous disadvantage in indoor situations---and I can still use my TC14E---tough decision...



If that's the case my inclination is to lean towards the 70-200 f4.



Jun 03, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Ghostinz
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Zoom lens advice


I owned the 70-200 VRI with my D300. It probably has been the best lens I have owned. I tried converting to 4/3 format for cost and weight, but that lasted 6 months. When I came back to Nikon, I grabbed a 70-200F4. I figured I would use it for a week and decide if I wanted it, or wanted to go back to the 2.8.

Needless to say, I still have it, and shoot it on both my D600 and D7100. The reduced weight and size makes it a "carry with me all the time lens" , unlike the 70-200VR, which got left at home a lot for occasions.



Jun 05, 2013 at 05:53 AM
Kell
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Zoom lens advice


+1 on the VRI for the indoors sports obviously.. I'd be inclined to get one that will do everything you need and not be limiting/compromising


Jun 05, 2013 at 01:32 PM
D5100 Dude
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Zoom lens advice


Whatever you go for, I'd pick one with VR. I have a non VR Tamron 70-200 F2.8 and its very sharp but a little slow on focusing, I do miss VR sometimes..



Jun 10, 2013 at 08:57 AM
SEMiller
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Zoom lens advice


I greatly appreciate everyone's advice. I tried out the 70-200 f4 in the store the other day and really liked it; they said the focus is faster and it is sharper then the non-nikon brands so that will be the one I will get. I'm hoping that maybe the price will come down a little or I can get a deal somewhere that will help me pull the trigger. Maybe nikon will offer a rebate for lenses purchased apart for camera bodies (one can always hope).


Jun 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM
rddayton
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Zoom lens advice


Good morning,

You said you are shooting your daughter's soccer and gymnastics so I am approaching my answer as a sports shooter. Probably 90 percent of what I shoot involves a ball, a bat, a stick or a puck.

With that being said, the best lens to shoot sports is the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8. VRI or VR II is up to you. I have owned both, but went back to the VRI and shoot it on the VRI on my D3s and D300 and have never had any issues (some say there are vignetting problems with the VRI on the full frame bodies, but it won't impact you at all on DX.)

The full stop difference between the f/2.8 and f/4 version of the lens is HUGE. She may be playing daytime soccer right now, but as she moves up, it will be under the lights -- and I promise you the lights for high school soccer are miserable. Gymnastics is worse. I can't imagine hand-cuffing myself at f/4. And while I never use the VR for shooting sports -- I use it quite a bit when I need a little help with a really slow shutter speed in low light situations. I can hand-hold it with VR on at 1/10 and it gives you a lot of flexibility.

There is a reason the 70-200 f/2.8 is in the bag of every serious sports shooter. It is the gold standard for a reason.



Jun 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM
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