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Thread: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

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    Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

    I know there were a few versions of the Nikon AF 80-200 f/2.8. I'm now in the position where I need one (I'm now shooting for the university newspaper, and they will frequently want sports shots). I'm still restrained by budget since I'm a student, so I'm looking into some used 80-200 lenses. Anyway, all I know is that some are push-pull and some are two ring. Does anyone have any feedback on them? Or are they all more or less the same?

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

    I believe that the camera(s) you are using will play a role in the choice.
    Maybe mention that info so the Nikonian Experts can better advise you.


    ***

    I haven’t used Nikon for a while, but my advice predicated on the fact that you DO HAVE a camera which WILL Auto Focus with this lens - is to look seriously at the:

    Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D ED Macro (‘new production’) – identified by the NON removable tripod ring mount.

    Rationale for my suggestion: very good AF speed.

    WW

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    Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

    I have a D90, it will autofocus AF lenses.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by blakemcguire View Post
    I have a D90, it will autofocus AF lenses.
    Here are a couple of thoughts for you, especially as you are planning to shoot sports:

    1. You want fast focusing, which means the internal motor is going to do a better job for you than the screw drive lenses. Your D90 can handle both. So look at this feature. I understand that the push-pull zooms are particularly slow focusing. This is going to drive you towards the newer SWM (Silent Wave Motor) models.

    2. Image stabilization is going to be useful for hand-held sports shots, especially if the lighting is not the greatest. Again, this is going to drive you towards the newer models.

    3. I don't like the auto / manual ring on some of the models. I have it on a couple of my lenses and switching from manual to autofocus means I have to take my eye away from the viewfinder, which is not something that I want to do when capturing action shots. This may or may not be an issue for you.

    The D90 images get a bit noisy as you crank up the ISO, but that may not bother you too much. I do shoot a D90.

    I have the f/2.8 70-200mm VRII model and it is a joy to shoot with (on both the D90 and the D800), but not being a student, my budget constraints are not the same as yours.

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    Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Here are a couple of thoughts for you, especially as you are planning to shoot sports:

    1. You want fast focusing, which means the internal motor is going to do a better job for you than the screw drive lenses. Your D90 can handle both. So look at this feature. I understand that the push-pull zooms are particularly slow focusing. This is going to drive you towards the newer SWM (Silent Wave Motor) models.

    2. Image stabilization is going to be useful for hand-held sports shots, especially if the lighting is not the greatest. Again, this is going to drive you towards the newer models.

    3. I don't like the auto / manual ring on some of the models. I have it on a couple of my lenses and switching from manual to autofocus means I have to take my eye away from the viewfinder, which is not something that I want to do when capturing action shots. This may or may not be an issue for you.

    The D90 images get a bit noisy as you crank up the ISO, but that may not bother you too much. I do shoot a D90.

    I have the f/2.8 70-200mm VRII model and it is a joy to shoot with (on both the D90 and the D800), but not being a student, my budget constraints are not the same as yours.
    Thanks for the response!
    I have seen an 80-200 used on a D90, but only briefly. It seemed at least comparable to my 55-200 in terms of speed, but the 55-200 does have more margin for error. You are definitely right about focus speed, but at least for now, my budget definitely eliminates the 70-200 as an option.

    I don't mind not having VR for sports, I need to have a high shutter speed anyway. I'd really love to have f/2.8 and VR at the same time, but my budget won't let me

    Anyway, as you might guess, budget is the number one problem. The older 80-200s seem to go for somewhere between 500 and 700 dollars around here. Are there any other sub $1000 lenses I can consider?

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by blakemcguire View Post
    Thanks for the response!
    I have seen an 80-200 used on a D90, but only briefly. It seemed at least comparable to my 55-200 in terms of speed, but the 55-200 does have more margin for error. You are definitely right about focus speed, but at least for now, my budget definitely eliminates the 70-200 as an option.

    I don't mind not having VR for sports, I need to have a high shutter speed anyway. I'd really love to have f/2.8 and VR at the same time, but my budget won't let me

    Anyway, as you might guess, budget is the number one problem. The older 80-200s seem to go for somewhere between 500 and 700 dollars around here. Are there any other sub $1000 lenses I can consider?
    You could also consider either Tamron or Sigma lenses:

    Aden camera (in Toronto) has a f/2.8 70-200mm on sale for $840 and the f/2.8 70-200mm Sigma for $1080. I usually buy my lenses from them (via their website) because they tend to have the best prices in Canada. I suspect these might no not stabilized lenses, but are autofocus.

    I don't have a Tamron lens, so can't comment on them. I do have a Sigma, and the zoom direction is opposite to the Nikon.

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    Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

    I think my decision now comes down to resell value. I will probably go with the push pull 80-200 simply because if I buy it used, it's likely I'll be able to resell it down the road and get most of my money back.

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    Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 - which version to get?

    Picked up one of the pre-D versions for $430 today! I figure if it doesn't work out, I can just resell it. Just from my playing around today, I'm impressed.

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