Nikon 70-200 VRII vs Nikon 80-200 vs used Nikon 70-200 VRI

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by karlstorpet, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. karlstorpet
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    karlstorpet New Member

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    Hello, I'm an amateur photographer with a Nikon D80 and I'm finally going to invest in a good lens. I take pictures of everything, mostly when on vacation. This time I'm looking for a medium range zoom. I'm considering the new expensive 70-200 VRII. But while reading some reviews I stumbled upon the older AF-D 80-200. At my local camera equipment shop it sells for half the price. I also came across a used 70-200 VRI also about half the price. I do have the money for the new 70-200 now, but if the difference is not noticeable I might be better of saving that money for my next lens purchase (the 14-24) As far as I can tell the main difference is the VR, and the AF speed. And I've also read the older 70-200 is not optimal for FX (could be an issue if I decide to upgrade in the future). Anyone have experience with these lenses? What lens would you recommend?
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  2. dhilberg
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    dhilberg New Member

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    I wouldn't get the new 70-200 VR II. Nikon is having some quality control issues with it, among other things.

    Here's a couple of related threads:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...190501-70-200-f-2-8-vr-ii-metal-shavings.html
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...34-nikkor-70-200-vr-ii-lens-thread-issue.html

    If you have the money look into a 70-200 VRI. I have the 80-200 f/2.8 two-ring and it's great, but the 70-200 VRI is a little bit better optically (although not by much), plus it has VR and built-in focus motor (AF-S). Supposedly the 80-200 doesn't vignette as much as the 70-200 VR1 on FX. That's something to consider between the 80-200 and 70-200 VR.

    Optically the 80-200 is excellent, and build quality is outstanding. You really can't go wrong with it. You can get them used for about $700-$800 USD. New, about $1100 USD. I wouldn't buy it new. If you have the money for it new then I would just spend a couple hundred more and get a used 70-200 VRI.
  3. MrLogic
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    MrLogic New Member

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    I have both 70-200 lenses (I'm about to sell the VR I).

    The VR II: its extreme focal length shortening at close subject distances makes it a "somewhat" controversial lens. It's the obvious choice for FX bodies, though (IMO). It's also better wide open at f/2.8 and at the tele end. And, of course... the VR performance is stellar. But it's not for everyone.

    Apart from that, quality control issues are... well... an issue, as dhilberg points out. But I don't know how wide-spread these are... my lens is fine. No issues whatsoever.


    If you're a DX shooter, the old one is more than good enough, IMO. I would always opt for a lens with VR, though. But that's just me.
  4. karlstorpet
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    karlstorpet New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the input. I have decided that I'll go for the used 70-200 VRI. Never bought anything this expensive used, hoping I'll not regret it :)
  5. inTempus
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    inTempus New Member

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    Personally, I would do what you're doing. The VRI is a fine lens which has been very popular. I would wait until Nikon works the kinks out of the VRII before I dropped that much money on it.
  6. Mitch1640
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    Mitch1640 New Member

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    there are responses on nikonrumors.com about how those shaving are just bumps of sorts that wont effect picture quality.
  7. MrLogic
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    MrLogic New Member

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    But it just might affect the resale value...
  8. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    Man all the problems about the VRII are completely unfounded. Every thread I have seen is just people complaining that the lens only works like it was built by the camera gods in a remote mountain of Japan, rather than actually looks like one.

    A few shavings that are no where near the lens element or moving parts doesn't change the fact that it is the highest performing 70-200 there is.

    Both threads have said they just see some shavings on threads, and the lens is otherwise completely unaffected and working fine... If I open the bonnet of my car and the engine looks dirty do I return it to the dealership?

    Well yeah, it's not even on an element, and if the shavings were on an element they still wouldn't affect image quality.

    The only reason to sell a fantastic lens like this would be getting out of photography, then you get no sympathy from me :). In any case it would take some quite weak negotiating skills to have the resale affected by an "issue" which makes no visible or usable difference to the lens.
  9. AtlPikMan
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    AtlPikMan New Member

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    Good move going with the VRI. I have it and i see no need in investing in the VRII. You will be more than happy....Congrats.
  10. PatrickHMS
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    PatrickHMS New Member

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    Unless you are bound and determined to spend a whole buncha money on a Nikon lens, have you ever considered a Sigma 70-210mm APO constant 2.8 ?

    If you are patient, you should be able to find one for less than $300.00.

    I know there are fancier lenses out there, but this is a really nice, and fast lens, especially for the money.
  11. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    There are NO SHAVINGS inside of the lenses! Man, this has been yet another case of newbies making a huge deal out of something they do not understand. Nikon has published an official response:

    “The 70-200mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VRII lens features a component in the lens design which may appear to have surface pits or a rough texture when viewed through the front lens element. This rough surface appears in a very small confined area within the lens barrel and is caused by air holes remaining in the metal portion of the lens during component construction. Due to the magnifying effect of the front element this rough surface will appear greatly enlarged when viewed through the front of the lens."

    "This components function is to reduce and remove internal reflections from the lens and due to this the texture of the surface will have no effect on the lenses performance or operation. Nikon would like to assure customers that the lenses optical performance remains unchanged and that this component will not release any dust or particles into the lens itself.”

    Some photos are available on the the Flickr user's group on the subject! Flickr: The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII thread problem Pool

    One of the better photos is this one Flickr Photo Download: DS1_6352

    which shows the edge of a lens element. What is good about this photo is that it allows people to see what the edge of a lens element looks like where it joins the edge of an inner spacer or lens barrel assembly and a strong light is shine through the lens:
    http://www.divingandphotography.com/PixieDust.jpg
    That is a Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8~4 zoom lens

    Here is a shot of the "threads" in a new 70-200, which are magnified by the front element of the new 70-200 VR-II lens. Only, these are not "threads", these are anti-reflection baffles, designed to stop light reflection. Most better lenses use either flocking or physical baffling (ridges) to stop light from bouncing round http://www.flickr.com/photos/trick_77/4265902862/sizes/o/in/pool-1283774@N25/

    As for the threads people are alleging are 'missing' or 'damaged':the plastic baffling is made by a moulding process, and the "missing parts" (lol) are caused by air bubbles in the manufacturing process. In a non-moving part that does nothing except stops stray light.

    What's funniest about this ENTIRE thing is that the lens design has excellent resolution, contrast, flatness of field, low vignetting, and superior optical performance, but newbies are looking into the lens and getting worried. Why is this scenario so amusing,and yet so annoying, and so Internet-Retarded??
    Well, pick out **your** very-best performing lens, and then take it in hand and shine a strong flashlight into it from the lens mount side forward and take a look inside. If the lens is a year or two or three years old, you will probably be literally aghast at how much crap is inside the lens. Your lens. Your "best" lens.

    Then, read this article The Flashlight Test
  12. djacobox372
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    djacobox372 New Member

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    Tamron has a 70-210 f2.8 that also goes for around $300 when they come up on fleabay.

    Then again, you can snag an af nikkor 80-200 f2.8 for as low as $500; which is what I'd recommend.
  13. IgsEMT
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    IgsEMT New Member

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    LOL
  14. Steelhead
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    Steelhead New Member

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    The 70-200 VRII is a spectacular lens but for me the 80-200 just makes more sense. I seldom if ever use VR on a mid-range telephoto anyway as I use this lens on a momnopod for indoor sports or tripod for everything else. I don't use VR ever for fast action or shutter speeds longer than 1/200th. For me the question of auto focus speed is a bigger issue. While the 80-200 is not as fast as the 70-200, it seems to be about 80-90% as fast with the camera's screw drive. It is noisier however for sure. I try to make up for some of this difference with practice and being fimiliar with the sport I'm shooting so that my anticipation is improved. I also use this lens for outdoor portrait shooting ith a tripod. For walk around, this is not a lens I like to carry around at all, so for that I use a 28-300 or 70-300. So for me the 70-200 VRII while a really great lens, adds little overall capability over the 80-200.
  15. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    The thread died almost 2 years ago, but thanks for your comments. They are indeed relevent to the topic.

    Unlike this situation, many times old threads get dug up by spammers

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