Upload & Sell: On
great discussion of the MF glass - comes at the right time, since I am shopping for more glass right now. Having sold my DX gear, I lost some zoom range with the DX AF glass that went to ebay, and now I am down to primes and the 24-85mm AF lens that came with the D600 kit.
I've been looking at various zooms and the 180mm ED to fill the gap between 85mm and 300mm (yes, I have a 105mm, and I have a 135mm, but that leaves a gap from 135 to 300mm, plus I use my gear while hiking and skiing in the backcountry, so weight is an issue - I can't carry 5 lenses on those trips).
Soooo - 80-200mm f4.5 - how does it compare to the 180mm F2.8 ED MF lens? I don't care too much about the speed, just sharpness and contrast. And how do these two compare to the <shudders> 70-300mm AF lens? It fits my needs for weight and range, and a refurb can be found for a reasonable price.
When the 80-200 f/4.5 AI was produced it cost the equivalent of $2,200 in current dollars. A friend who was shooting Nikon at the time longed for the lens, which got great reception, but he simply couldn't afford the price of the day. I paid $76 for the one I own, perhaps among the greatest steals I've experienced in terms of value for money.
The lens is a bit longer than the 180 AI-s but weighs a bit less. It is wonderfully sharp wide open with great color and contrast. Personally, I like the push pull zoom and focusing ring. The lens is amazing with extension tubes. Rather than turning the focusing ring I slide the push pull to gain focus.
I know you shoot fast moving objects enough Peter that you know the limitations of MF lenses in that regard. If you want this focal range and are content with MF, you really can't do better than this lens if weight is of concern. I say that to stop those who love the f/2.8 brick from offering a contrary opinion.
Here's a shot taken wide open with the bare lens...
If you're shopping for this lens look for the one with a rectangular baffle on the rear end. That is the last AI version of this lens.