Is the Nikkor 70-200 f4 really worth it?

mjcmt

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I've been thinking of purchasing this lens because of it's internal zoom, moderately fast glass, and reasonable weight and size to replace/supplement my 180mm f2.8 ED-IF prime on a D750 full frame camera.

I've been toying with it for some time now, never being able to pull the trigger on one. Somehow I think the slower 70-300ED AF-P may be a better option because of the zoom reach even if it is slower and marginally less sharp. I do have a 180 2.8 for low light if need be. But there is something captivating about the 70-200 f4ED G lens for me. I'm in two minds so does anyone want to chime in to help me decide?
 
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RVT1K

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I'm not sure what you shoot mostly but...

I do lots of nature and motorsports and personally I would sell the 180 f/2.8 and get a nice, used example of the 70-200 f/2.8. I don't believe there would be much difference in image quality, you'll have the speed, and the flexibility that a zoom brings. I had the 70-300 way back when and the 70-200 is waaayyy better. Bigger and heavier? Yes, but worth it to me. If I need extra reach, I have a 1.7x tele-converter that works very well.
 
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mjcmt

mjcmt

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Thanks RVT,
I'm not sure I want the weight and size of the impressive 2.8 version. Money is the biggest factor. Was the 70-300 you had the AF-S or AF-P version, because the AF-P is redesigned and much better than the AF-S from what I've read? And yes I'm looking for flexibility of my first zoom as I find limited use for the 180 prime, whereas I use my 24 and 35 primes a lot.
Mike
 

RVT1K

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That was a long time ago so I would have to guess it was the -S but I can't really remember.

I fully understand the money issue which is why I have almost always bought used including my 70-200 f/2.8. And I also understand that I am more willing than many to lug around big, heavy stuff.

I liked and took nice shots with my 70-300 but, in the end, I feel that I outgrew it.
 

greybeard

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I have the 70-200 f/2.8 VR. I bought it used incredibly sharp and contrasty. With that said, I also have a 70-300 AFS and it is fine from 70-200 and OK from 200-300. From what I have read, the AFP version is better and holds up fairly well against the 70-200 pro models. Given what you have written I think the 70-300 afp would suite your needs.
 

Kiron Kid

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Yes! A fantastic lens! Smaller, lighter and every bit as sharp as the f/2.8 version. And the VR works exceptionally well.
 

ac12

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Make a pro/con chart.
  • Do you NEED the extra reach of the 70-300 AF-P? The 50% greater reach is just enough to make a difference.
    • The 70-200 is short for your son's softball/baseball, if he plays outfield. But good for infield.
    • The 70-200 is short for football, if you are up in the bleachers. Although the 70-200 is great down on the field, on the sidelines.
  • Caution, the 70-300 AF-P is one of the newer lenses, and I've read that the AF-P is not compatible with all cameras. So, you NEED to check the compatibility chart to see if it will work on the D750. And if you need to update the firmware in the D750.
  • I understand that the 70-300 AF-P is a pretty darn good lens.
  • How BIG do you print? You may never see the quality of the 70-200 if you don't print big enough. Or crop deep enough.
    • In the film days, it used to bug me that people would spec compare lenses, to get the best lens. But then they would not print anything bigger than 5x7. WHY?
  • If you shoot primarily during the day, the variable aperture 70-300 AF-P would be just fine.
    • I use my 70-200/4 primarily for night football/soccer/lacrosse games. The 70-200/2.8 would be a better low light lens, but not the 2x heavier weight.
  • Do you NEED a tripod foot on the lens? The 70-300 AF-P does not have a tripod foot (as far as I can tell), the 70-200/4 does have a tripod foot.
    • I used my 75-300 AF to shoot aerial fireworks. Handheld VR does not work for a 15 second exposure, it has to be on a tripod.
 

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No one can help you with this as it comes down to you deciding what's right for you. Figure out what you are going to use the lens for then pick the lens that is best for you after looking at competing lenses, read the specs, read the reviews. In other words, do your homework. Others may post they get excellent results from a lens that is not right for you, but is right for them. Don't let that influence you.

Here's the way I look at taking better images in order of importance: 75% knowledge of photography, planning a shoot, knowing my equipment, technique including composing the shot and a little luck; 15% post processing where you can improve the composition, bring out the detail you captured in the shot, separate the subject from the background, improve the color, adjust dynamic range, ... ; 10% equipment, as long as it meets a minimum threshold for quality. The sharpest image is not the most important factor in judging a photograph. Yes, we need the glass at the right focal lengths to capture the subjects we want to shoot, but our obsession on equipment is irrational.

Sorry for the rant. It's been a rough day.
 
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mjcmt

mjcmt

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No one can help you with this as it comes down to you deciding what's right for you. Figure out what you are going to use the lens for then pick the lens that is best for you after looking at competing lenses, read the specs, read the reviews. In other words, do your homework. Others may post they get excellent results from a lens that is not right for you, but is right for them. Don't let that influence you.

Here's the way I look at taking better images in order of importance: 75% knowledge of photography, planning a shoot, knowing my equipment, technique including composing the shot and a little luck; 15% post processing where you can improve the composition, bring out the detail you captured in the shot, separate the subject from the background, improve the color, adjust dynamic range, ... ; 10% equipment, as long as it meets a minimum threshold for quality. The sharpest image is not the most important factor in judging a photograph. Yes, we need the glass at the right focal lengths to capture the subjects we want to shoot, but our obsession on equipment is irrational.

Sorry for the rant. It's been a rough day.
Yes that is quite a rant.
 
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mjcmt

mjcmt

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Thanks everyone for you comments. At present I think I'll be keeping my 180mm instead of moving to the 70-200 f4. I really do love this lens and don't think the little extra flexibility would be worth the expense. The 180 is a spectacular lens, the colors are so rich, the bokeh is very impressive, and the extra stop of light comes in handy for late day and interior shots. Plus it's smaller and lighter. I like the idea of a 70-300's range better, but just wish it was a constant f4 or even constant f4.5.

Here's my lens...
MT1_3083.jpeg

and a few recent photos from it
winter weed_2835.jpeg
Pine row2_1789.jpeg
 
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ac12

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The 180/2.8 is a great lens, and one of the lenses that I drooled after for MANY years.
 

stapo49

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Probably a bit late now as you have made a decision to keep your existing lens but I have the AF-P 70-300mm f4.5-5.6E VR on a Z6 with an FTZ adapter. I took these two at the local zoo with it and was happy with the results.

tapatalk_-526194085_448x408.jpg
tapatalk_-1394181480_702x665.jpg


Sent from my CPH2009 using Tapatalk
 

mountainjunkie

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I also have a D750 and use a Sigma 70-200 F2.8 with it...great lens and slightly less costly and faster than the Nikkor F4. Something else to consider perhaps.
 
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mjcmt

mjcmt

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Probably a bit late now as you have made a decision to keep your existing lens but I have the AF-P 70-300mm f4.5-5.6E VR on a Z6 with an FTZ adapter. I took these two at the local zoo with it and was happy with the results.

View attachment 203517View attachment 203518

Sent from my CPH2009 using Tapatalk
The ape is a nice portrait and looks sharper than the other. What focal lengths?
 

stapo49

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Probably a bit late now as you have made a decision to keep your existing lens but I have the AF-P 70-300mm f4.5-5.6E VR on a Z6 with an FTZ adapter. I took these two at the local zoo with it and was happy with the results.

View attachment 203517View attachment 203518

Sent from my CPH2009 using Tapatalk
The ape is a nice portrait and looks sharper than the other. What focal lengths?
Both at 300mm. Lemur much further away so had to crop it a lot.

Sent from my CPH2009 using Tapatalk
 

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