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Thread: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

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    Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    Hi all,

    I'm still on the fence with a telephoto for my D800 for upcoming personal trips. I want to avoid a large heavy lens for summer travel but do want something in my bag in case I see that one great shot that requires a longer lens. My thoughts are:

    Nikon 105 Micro - good quality, fair price, lightweight, but kind of short at 105mm

    Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR2 - good quality, heavy and expensive

    Nikon 70-200 f4 - good quality, smaller than the 2.8 but overpriced I think

    Zeiss 135 f2 - superb but expensive and no AF (I will have one eventually if I stick with Nikon)

    Sigma 150 2.8 Macro - small, fair price but is it any good?

    Thoughts?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    Been living this nightmare since I went back to Nikon with the D800. Bottom line 200f2 and everything else is a compromise period. 70-200 F4 very good and liked it. Sigma 150 great sharp lens but focus hunted. 105 too damn short. Z 135 MF and expensive does not solve my real needs. 70-200 2.8 won't buy it but will rent it when needed. Nikon 135dc is a laser and focuses great and I could always go to DX mode, its my current one but I went through 3 lenses in this focal length area to solve the issues. Not sure I have a real answer because there is none for the best in the lot the 200F2 but this comes from a very picky lens whore and I'm never happy unless I have the best I can get my hands on. Like life its a compromise.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    Thanks Guy, I have them all in Canon mount and can see clearly which are too heavy and bulky. The 200 f2 would be fun but way too big for this purpose. Didn't consider Nikon 135 DC, as it's old school and all the other old school Nikkors I had were crap on the D800E. It's scary when you say you had to try three of them to find a good one. That is just so frustrating when a manufacturer can't ship only good ones. Maybe I'll take a closer look at the 70-200 f4. If it's small enough it may be a good backpacker but I still think it's overpriced when you add the tripod collar and hood.

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    Senior Member BSEH's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    The 70-200 f/4 is a killer - overpriced ? with collar maybe, but do you need it ? I don't.. Hood is in the box...
    The 70-200 f/2.8 is the best, but price is way to high for my use of long end.. and for travel - walk around in bag is good for loosing weight (personal kg) - do you need (I do) ?
    I find the 105 not that great - i sold my copy.
    Send me a free 200 VRII f/2.8 and i find use for it - but price is extreme - and big and heavy.

    For me the 70-200 f/4 is the winner...
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    I liked the 70-200 F4. I may get it again at some point.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    Like Guy ..I ve been working on this part of my kit now for a few years . The 70-200/2.8VR2 is an exceptional lens and were it not for the size and weight ..my first choice . I have adapted a whole group of Leica R glass to the nikon mount but haven t settled on a 180 to convert . In the Leica R line ..the 180/2 is the best but way too heavy for travel ..there are three 180 s worth considering . The 180/2.8 APO is the very best and considering size and handling would be my pick . Unfortunately its now over $4k used . The 180/3.4 APO has exceptional IQ but is optimized for infinity ..its very slow to focus making its weakness close focus . If its reach you are after this is the one ...about $1K . The 180/2.8 67mm was the lens before the 180/2.8APO it was introduced to provide faster focusing and better close up performance . The lens is decent wide open and stunning at f5.6 ..you can find these for $750 . I think either of the cheaper used R 180 s make great travel lenses .

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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    It depends on if AF is very important. For me most of the time it is not. But weight when traveling is a factor. I use a d800e and for traveling I favor an old 200mm f/4 MF. Some of the older designs perform well and exceed what the sensor can do. Especially in longer lenses. Used, they are a sin for how cheaply you can buy them for. The advantage is that it is a lightweight lens, mechanically well built and is sharp in the excellent range from f/4 to f/11 when diffraction starts veiling. They are so cheap that you can afford to buy it and try it. My travel kit weighs in at 6 lbs. A 17-35, a 55 micro and the 200mm plus the camera and an extra battery. If I wanted to go significantly lighter I wouldn't use a d800e. Joe

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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    I travel quite a bit (to some extreme places) and carry a 70-200 2.8 and 14-24 most of the time. however, the 70-200 is too heavy and with two bodies, it gets a bit much. I use the 70-200 for my work when home and it is amazing and has paid for itself many times over, it is just too heavy to lug around the planet. so i vote for a fixed focal length of the 70-200 4.

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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterSteve View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm still on the fence with a telephoto for my D800 for upcoming personal trips. I want to avoid a large heavy lens for summer travel but do want something in my bag in case I see that one great shot that requires a longer lens. My thoughts are:

    Nikon 105 Micro - good quality, fair price, lightweight, but kind of short at 105mm

    Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR2 - good quality, heavy and expensive

    Nikon 70-200 f4 - good quality, smaller than the 2.8 but overpriced I think

    Zeiss 135 f2 - superb but expensive and no AF (I will have one eventually if I stick with Nikon)

    Sigma 150 2.8 Macro - small, fair price but is it any good?

    Thoughts?
    If you live close to a Photography store I will suggest the 70-200 f2.8 VC.

    From the online reviews it fantastic when it works and crappy to say the less when it does not.
    So the idea will be togo and buy it with a lot of testing. It will be good to talk to the reatail person about this before hand.

    It's a little shorter than 200mm even at infinite setting but it's light.
    The other option if light is a priority will be the 70-200 f2.8 VR I.

    It's not as heavy as the V2 and you can deal with vignetting in post .

    Just my two cents.

    Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 VC review | Cameralabs

    DxOMark - Tamron Lens SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Nikon mount) review: High performance and excellent value

    The f4 seems very good but is pricey, and you lose the f2.8. I don't know if that is relevant to you or not, it will for me.

    Best regards,

    James

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    After using the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, i've found it to be the best wide lens i own for the D800, so with that in mind i'm eagerly awaiting the 120-300mm f/2.8 from their "Art" series lenses. A little different then what you've indicated, but a (imo) more useful range.

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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterSteve View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm still on the fence with a telephoto for my D800 for upcoming personal trips. I want to avoid a large heavy lens for summer travel but do want something in my bag in case I see that one great shot that requires a longer lens. My thoughts are:

    Nikon 105 Micro - good quality, fair price, lightweight, but kind of short at 105mm

    Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR2 - good quality, heavy and expensive

    Nikon 70-200 f4 - good quality, smaller than the 2.8 but overpriced I think

    Zeiss 135 f2 - superb but expensive and no AF (I will have one eventually if I stick with Nikon)

    Sigma 150 2.8 Macro - small, fair price but is it any good?

    Thoughts?
    Of the above, I have the Nikon 70-200 f4 and the Sigma 150 2.8 Macro. I would not recommend the Sigma 150 for travel. It's big & heavy and it doesn't autofocus well. It also not sharp wide open. I sent my original lens back to Sigma and they replaced it, but I would say the lens still isn't great shooting at distances compared to the 70-200 f4. The Nikon 70-200 f4 has better AF and seems at least as sharp as the Sigma at distance (however, the Nikon does exhibit more pincushion distortion than the Sigma). The Sigma seems fine for close up, however. The 70-200 f4 is quite portable as well. BTW, my original copy of the Nikon 70-200 has some weird occasional softness on one side. I swapped it for another which has been fine. I'm shooting these on a D800E.

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    Senior Member JohnBrew's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    Have you tried a 180 2.8? Just asking. I have one but I think I would rather have the 70-200 f4, but I've been a prime user for just too long to justify a zoom.

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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions - 70-200 2.8 Alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrew View Post
    Have you tried a 180 2.8? Just asking. I have one but I think I would rather have the 70-200 f4, but I've been a prime user for just too long to justify a zoom.
    Yep, the Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF is one excellent lens. I use it a lot and I'm always pleased with it in every situations. It is a very underrated product IMHO.

    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com
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