70-200 To VR or not to VR?

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by jeph, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. jeph

    jeph TPF Noob!

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    I want to upgrade to a 70-200 2.8. I have been lusting after the Nikon VRII but I have a little difficulty justifying the $2400. I am not a pro, but I do like to take great and sharp images. The lens will be used for many things but the emphasis will be on panning motorsports shots generally taken at 1/125 or faster and sometimes with flash. Lens reviews that I read mention 4 stops at like 1/40 which I won't really be using. Here is my question; should I get the more than half price sigma with no VR or the big bad VRII? Also, at those shutter speeds how important is VR?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    To me, VR is one of those things that if you have to ask if you need it, then you typically don't. As far as the Sigma goes, for the same money you can pick up a VG condition Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 with nearly as good IQ as the 70-200VR, and it will hold it's value better than the Sigma will if you do decide to upgrade later.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Obviously, the Nikon is clearly the better lens, both optically and mechanically, and it also comes with a five year USA warranty and will have high resale value compared to a Sigma. VR is nice for smoothing out really slow-speed pans, like those done at 1/3 to 1/15 second, when you want to really convey a fluid motion blur type of feeling. VR really helps quell camera movement, and it allows you to shoot in low light situations without a tripod, and keep the camera steady, so it's valuable in that area. I dunno...I bought the VR-1 the week it came out, and payed $1699, back in April of 2003,and the lens has held up very well and has held a lot of its value; a Sigma will not hold nearly the same value percentage.

    I think the 70-200 f/2.8 lens category is one where the camera-maker lenses are clearly the better lenses. If you go with the Nikkor, you'll also have the advantage of the newer Nikon teleconverters, like the excellent TC1.4e-II and the TC17e, as well as the brand new TC-20E-III Aspherical telephoto converter, which is pretty much unlike any other company's teleconverter, and which offers a whole new level of teleconverter performance, due to it being the only TC unit with aspherical optics and which is optimized for the "new Nikkors". The new TC20e-III (3rd generation) does amazingly well on the new 70-200VRII lens,as well as the 200mm f/2 and 300 f/2.8VR lenses. The TC14e-II is a pretty good choice as a one-stop light loss converter that will give you a 280mm f/4 equivalent without much loss of quality as long as the lens is stopped down one stop from f/2.8 or more.

    Overall, given how important a 70 to 200mm focal length range is--it is basically six or seven well-recongnized individual telephoto focal lengths all in one lens, I think the added focusing speed of the Nikon lens, the optics of the Nikon at wide-open as well as across the entire focal length range, and the suitability of the NIkon lens to three converters, makes the Nikon worth the extra money. This is a lens you can have and use for a decade,or longer. And, when you sell it after a decade, you will get back about the same number of dollars you sunk in to buy it--try that with a 10 year old car, or a 10 year old Sigma or Tamron.
     
  4. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There's not much left to say after Derrel. :thumbup:

    I am going for the VRII myself. I know I will regret any other choice. I always say buy the best, cry once.
     
  5. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I originally had the 70-200 VR on my list and then spent some time using the faaaaaaaar less expensive 80-200 2.8. In the end I opted for the 80-200 2.8 and am glad I did.

    Particularly in situations where you have plenty of light, the non-VR one works spectacularly well... and even when it doesn't, knocking up the ISO a couple points to compensate seems an overall better choice to me than spending over 2x as much for the lens.

    That said, if you have the money to spend and don't mind putting it into this, it's certainly an excellent investment to buy the VR.
     
  6. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    I have had the sigma 70-200 and returned it to KEH after 3 days. I now have the two ring 80-200 af-d Nikkor and LOVE it. I use it for 80-90% of my shooting. And I have learned to really listen to Derrel's advice, he knows best!
     
  7. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    boosting ISO?! bite your tounge!
     
  8. jeph

    jeph TPF Noob!

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    Well thanks for all the replies. So it sounds like the image quality of the VRII is so superior it might just be worth it. That said, I went out and rented on for the weekend and I will be going up to the Long Beach Grand Prix tomorrow. I will report back in a bit.

    Thanks again,
    Jeff
     
  9. cnutco

    cnutco No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's all good. You will stop crying when you start shooting with it!
     
  10. jeph

    jeph TPF Noob!

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