70-200 from 80-200?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by iflynething, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Someone selling a 70-200 on here for a GREAT price but I already have the 80-200.

    Thinking of selling it to finance the 70-200. Come next March, dance competition for my sisters studio will begin and will last through July.

    I'm wondering if I should go ahead and invest in one now for next year.

    While they about of equal sharpness, I think i might have a problem with focusing. I feel like in dim light (like stage lighting for dance compeitions) the camera won't focus good enough and I swear the images aren't as sharp as I would like them to be. In daylight or something more than just stage lighting, focus seems fine.

    I know it's really easy to spend someone else's money, but what do you think? Is there that big of a deal?

    From 70-200 I rented and used before buying the 80-200
    [​IMG]
    http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/99/l_c02f044d31fa4022b65f5969a3807213.jpg[IMG]

    From 80-200
    This one looks pretty good because she was stationary...
    [IMG]http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/79/l_502f62ef49f34f0781b999bbac57327f.jpg
    Sometimes that's not the case...The ribbon looks more in focus on the full res image that on her face, the focus point would have been on her face]
    [​IMG]

    Moving/jumping dancers
    [​IMG]
    ^^^ On this one, her face is greatly out of focus. EXIF would have been 1/320 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 1600-200

    I will be upgrading to a D700 and have my D300, which I have as my main body now as a back up and wonder if focus on a 700 will be better.

    It's just at 2.8 which I always shoot, the DOF is so narrow if I focus on the face, and they jump towards me that's when a foot, or ribbon is in focus, and not the face. I'm thinking an AF-S focus would be better, at the cost of almost $1,500

    I might be being too critical, but I just like good focus.

    ~Michael~
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    If you found a good price, I would... It didn't take me long to realize the 80-200 just wasn't going to focus fast enough for me so I returned it and decided to get a 70-200 instead (which I haven't yet).
     
  3. Aritay

    Aritay TPF Noob!

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    Are you going to be there just as an audience member, taking pics from when/where you can.

    Or will you have a more formal photographer role, and can therefore get closer to the stage, move about, etc.?
     
  4. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    If you have it on C focus and tracking it should not matter if they move.
    With the d700 you will be able to shoot at ISO 3200 and get clean photos if you expose properly. Your 80-200 may not be very sharp at f2.8 have you tested it?
    At that distance f2.8 has a wider depth of field than you may realize.
    If your 80-200 is sharp at 2.8 the 70-200 is not going to help you get sharper shots, the d700 definitely will by upping the iso and increasing shutter speed.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Err if you're going to get a full frame camera you may want to upgrade the 70-200 to the 80-200.

    No I'm not joking. Edge sharpness, vignetting and all that jazz may look fine on your D300, but the 70-200 was a big source of complaints from professional Nikon shooters. Some were returned, some bought the older 80-200, some really just sat on online forums bitching about the problem. Nikon has released an updated model which you probably won't find cheap yet.


    One thing though. On the D200 I have no problem tracking a football coming directly towards me with the 80-200. If you're sitting in the crowd and someone is moving say 1m towards you the ultimate focus adjustment that actually needs to be made by the lens is tiny. Definitely nothing that the old AF system can't handle on a good body like the D300.

    I'm saying you may want to rule out not so much user error, but camera settings before you potentially waste money. The VR won't make the subjects sharper, and I find it hard to believe in any way that the AF system can't cope. Check AF lock-on settings if they exist on the D300. I know the D200 in continuous will have a tiny brief lock for the continuous shooting AF. When this is disabled and I point my camera at something I can hear the focus system never actually stop, it just clicks backwards and forwards for every subtle movement making it very difficult to e.g. track a soccer ball since if I lose it for a split second it will start hunting for focus. But in this case this kind of lock on feature may be working against you.

    The AF system in the D300 is incredibly complex. Exhaust all modes of operation before you decide that you may need to upgrade :)
     
  6. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    While this may be a technical truth. It's the most overblown and over exaggerated thing on the interwebs.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    True it isn't a dealbreaker on this otherwise great lens. But it takes people to make something overblown and exaggerated. However the warning must be said, there's enough threads full of overblown complaints that if the OP is expecting the bees knees of a lens he may regret the upgrade if looking for edge to edge sharpness.

    Personally given the budget I doubt I'd buy the 80-200 over the first edition of the 70-200, however I would never upgrade to it.
     
  8. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    I think I'd agree with that. If I did already own the 80-200 and either had a FF or knew I was going to FF sometime soon I'd stick with the 80-200. If I was buying new though I'd probably still go with the 70-200vr
     
  9. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I found it for $1,450!

    While I'm at most competitions, I can move at will and get the best position possible. I do get some grief from other photographers that were hired by the actual competition. I usually talk to them and let them know I'm only shooting for my studio, and that's it. I usually get about 20 ft from the stage and am right behind the judges, they usally get in the way so from the front of the stage, I'm usually about 30-50 feet back and a little higher than their heads. I hate to get too close, because some dances will have up to 40 dancers and I like to get semi-group shots.

    I've seen 6400 on a D3 which I believe is pretty comparable to a D700 in terms of what the image will look like. I actually have tested it and it's not wonderful, but I have to shoot anything above ISO 1600 on my D300, therefore I can't stop it down anymore. I have reasonable sharpness at around f/4 - the usual place or starting to have sharp images on a 2.8 lens.
    Here is my lens test I posted here on the TPF with the techinal details on how I set it up.
    [​IMG]

    I have seen many many many threads on this subject. That other photographer that shoots with the D3 and saw his images at 6400 shoots with the 70-200. I will have to see what he thinks of his and if there are any downfalls that he sees. I may be able to let me do some tests while I'm at his house. As you can see by my lens test, I really am not sure if it's focus, quality "deterioration" from using a high ISO or just the lens. We all know, the higher ISO you go, the less sharp and images is (with some exceptions) and that's just something we have to trade.

    I think I'm just set on getting what I deem in my head as a better lens. I'm not exactly sure if there is even a way I could truly test tracking that I know of in the same lighting conditions - without actually being at a competition.

    I know for sure I'm going to FF next year. It's just something I have always wanted. My mom is like, so you're going to have THREE cameras?! Yeah.....they just don't understand. Mainly going there for higher ISO for the competitions. Parents are happy with images I produce and some would say why upgrade if the customer is happy, but I'm not personally happy with my images and would like to do better, at the cost of $2,600.

    ~Michael~
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Uh, those comments about the 70-200 VR,the first generation model, are incredibly off-base. There is no Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 model that can be considered an "upgrade" from the original 70-200 VR lens. Seriously.
     
  11. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I will always think of the 70-200 "better" than the 80-200, simply because of the looks of it, the IQ (in most cases).

    ~Michael~
     
  12. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    The 80-200mm uses old screw drive AF. It is slow and thus not great for action shots. But it is very sharp edge to edge and on a full frame camera I agree it is optically better than the 70-200mm VR I. I had both lenses at one time until I recently sold the 80-200mm. The 70-200mm VR I has SWM and it focuses way faster but seems to me it was designed for a DX body though it is a full frame lens. The 70-200mm VR II is another story. It has the best of both worlds. So I would buy the 70-200mm VR II! For a telephoto zoom lens you need VR.

    I would say if you have a DX camera the 70-200mm VR I is a great lens to keep.

    If you have an FX camera the 70-200mm VR II would be ideal, but the 80-200mm is optically superior than the 70-200mm VR I.
     

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