80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom Nikkor Lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by gsdbestk9, May 4, 2010.

  1. Hello, I have a question for you experts. I have and love to shoot action shots with my 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor Lens. I get awesome shots with this lense. However, everyone kept telling me that the 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom Nikkor Lens was better, so I bought it. Let me tell you, I DO NOT LIKE IT!!! I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, but I use the same settings as with my other lens and I get way more blurry shots with this one. Or maybe it will focus on the dog's head (I shoot dog sports) and have parts of the body blurry, like the legs and/or paws when I take a shot of the dog running.
    Don't get me wrong, not all the shots are bad, but I get way better pictures and have way less problems with blurryness with my 70-300mm lens. Why is this? I hear a lot of people talk so highly about the 80-200mm but I tell you, if I have a choice, I choose my 7-300mm over it any day!
    Is it something I'm doing wrong?
  2. I have used the 80-200mm that you speak of (my father has had it for years) and it has a reputation with auto focusing issues, primarily back focusing. Do a search in this Nikon section, as recently it has come up a few times.
  3. Are you used to what DoF mean?
    Are you shooting wide open?
    Is your shutter speed fast enough to avoid camera shake/motion blur?
    Have you performed a focus test?
    Could you post an example?
  4. I wouldn't leap to the "back focusing" bete noire just yet. Let's rule out the more likely problems first.
    The most likely factor is that Carolina is accustomed to a smaller, lighter weight lens with VR. Switching to a larger, heavier lens without VR will demand much more careful technique, which comes with practice.
    Several years ago when the 70-200/2.8 VR was fairly recent on the market I tried it side by side with a new 80-200/2.8 AF Nikkor. From a tripod, photographing static subjects, the results were nearly identical. Both were excellent.
    Handheld there was a huge difference. I could handhold the 70-200/2.8 VR down to 1/15th of a second and get sharp photos of motionless subjects. With the 80-200/2.8 AF Nikkor I saw motion blur at anything below 1/125th sec.
    And with moving subjects - people, cars - there was no contest. The 70-200/2.8 VR was superb, even down to 1/60th sec. Any motion blur was subject motion blur, not my own camera shake. With the 80-200/2.8 AF not a single photo was free of blur until I cranked up the shutter speed to 1/500th sec.
    Carolina, you'll need to either work on your technique or use a monopod. The latter - a good monopod - is probably the best solution to getting sharp action photos with that lens.
  5. Incidentally, another possible factor is the camera body. The EXIF data for Carolina's photos in the photo.net portfolio indicate you're using a D80. With that body it's entirely likely the Silent Wave Motor in the 70-300 AFS VR will indeed autofocus much more quickly than the mechanical screwdriver type AF Nikkor. A pro level body like the D2 or D3 series will drive the 80-200/2.8 AF Nikkor almost well enough to be comparable to the 70-200/2.8 AFS VR, but the AFS lens will still autofocus more quickly.
  6. it has a reputation with auto focusing issues, primarily back focusing.​
    This is mainly known for 200mm at close focussing distance; not the most likely scenario for sports. And I have a vague idea that this problem surfaces more on forums than in the real world (if my 80-200 is off, I suspect myself first, it's a quite heavy lens).
    In addition to Lex' points, if you use this lens at f/2.8, the depth of field will also be more limited, with fast-moving dogs, they may move out of the focus faster. In my experience, the D80 with this lens is not a very fast focussing whole (D300 seriously faster), so this also comes back to Lex' second post. If you're using it at f/2.8, you may want to give yourself a bit more leeway by going to f/4 or f/5.6.
  7. Carolina, I own both lenses, I use them on a D700 and the 80-200 AF D is a beauty. But, as Lex alrerady wrote, it has no VR so you need much shorter shutter times. The autofocussing on a D700 is fast enough, on your D80 it is probably much slower.
  8. I don't think the motor in the D80 body is very powerful. The motor in the D80 I have does not seem to be anywhere near as powerful as the motor in my D1h. Tha 80-200 2.8 has alot of glass to move and the D80 motor may not move it fast enough.
  9. I have to agree with Lex (hope you don't mind). When I bought my 80-200 it took me a while to get used to it's weight. I was using plasticky lenses and this was a chunk of metal!!! It also made me run out and buy a real ballhead (Arca B-1). After using it awhile, I became so good, that I can hand hold it with no problems.
    On my F-5, it produces consistantly sharp images. No issues what-so-ever. When I bought my D2x, the learning started over again. I knew the lens was good, so my technique was the problem. And I once again had to adjust as I was getting unsharp images.
  10. This is all very good info. Thank you all. I do have try to use the fastest shutter speed possible when using this lens, but I do not and have never used a monopod. Maybe I should get one?? I just think they are a pain. I move around the field a lot and like the freedom of handheld. Maybe I just need to get used to it. I do have pictures I could share but will have to do it when I'm home. Don't have any here with me to show.
    Jose, what do you mean by shooting wide open? And how do you perform a focus test?
  11. Also, can anyone give me a good monopod recommendation that will hold such heavy lens? Thanks!
  12. carolina, it's heavy, but not that heavy. the basic manfrotto monopod/head works perfectly well with the 80-200/2.8. we aren't talking a big investment here -- especially compared with the lens itself...
    to me, the lesson here is the pitfalls of buying gear just because "everyone" says it's the thing you need. i also am a big fan of the 70-300 VR lens, precisely because it's so lightweight, easy to handle and has VR. if you were getting satisfying results with that one, why the pressure to "upgrade"?
    not trying to knock your decision -- what's done is done, and you can still make beautiful photos with the 80-200/2.8, but you will need to take some time to master its use. meanwhile, keep using the 70-300 VR, too. if you're making good images with it already, why tamper with success?
  13. I have those same two lenses. I used them both on my D200 and now use them on my D300. I had the 70-300 first and then decided to upgrade to the 80-200 . Mine is the non AF-S twin ring version. I agree with William. If the 70-300 was working for you there was no reason to upgrade. The only time the 70-300 starts to show its short comings is in low light. That is why I upgraded to the 80-200. I shoot our marching band in the late evenings and at night and I couldn't afford the 70-200. I use it on a monopod and get great results.
  14. Yes, that is the reason I got the 80-200mm because of the low light, much faster shutter speed. Some times we train later in the day, specially during the summer time so that the dogs don't get too hot. BUT if I have plenty of light, I use my 70-300mm. I forgot to mention that you can see some of my pictures here: carolinak9photography.com
    Thank you everyone!
  15. monopod recommendation that will hold such heavy lens?​
    I highly recommend the Manfrotto 680B. Not too expensive (well under $100) and it's light weight. It weighs less than my D-300 w/vert grip or my D3. :)
    You didn't think the monopod was just to steady shots; did you? LOL
    When shooting for a few hours at a sporting event, the mono will save your arms from falling off! ;)
  16. Carolina, a wide open lens refers to the use of the maximum aperture of the lens`diaphragm. In yours it is f2.8.
    At such apertures the Depth of Field is shallow, and depending on the focus distance your subject could appear in just one point (dog`s head) while the rest could be definitely out of focus if it is slightly closer or further (parts of the body blurry).
    Your 70-300 doesn`t have that maximum aperture as big as the 80-200, hence the focused area will not be as shallow as with your new lens. It could specially noticeable if you compare your shots made at the 200mm setting.
    To check focus accuracy with your lens (although as Lex says, I believe it`s not the first probably cause) just shoot wide open to a measuring tape at an oblique angle (e.g. 45ยบ) with with something like a thin black pencil near it (you have to focus over that pencil, stick or whatever). Look at the image at 100% over the screen and check if the tape lines or numbers are in perfect focus at the point where the pencil meet the tape. If there is something wrong, the sharpest lines and/or numbers will be over or under the pencil.
  17. Typo: "... and depending on the focus distance your subject could appear in focus in just one point (dog`s head) while the rest could be definitely out of focus... ..."
  18. Awesome! Thank you Jose Angel.
  19. Thank you for the recommendations! I bought the Manfrotto monopod, hopefully I will like it. LOL
  20. It will be real awkward at first. It took me some time to get used to it. But after I got used to it I wonder how I ever got along with out it.
  21. Easy problem to fix. Hit the person who suggested you use a portrait lens for sports. This is a very slow focussing lens, and although it's fabulous for stationary subjects, you'll need bright light...very bright direct sunlight to get any continuous focusing happening. Sell it to someone who needs it, and get the 70-200 nikon or sigma lens. both are heaps quicker.
  22. WOW, that's a big surprise, they told me it was great for sports. LOL And not one but a few people.
  23. WOW, that's a big surprise, they told me it was great for sports. LOL And not one but a few people.​
    Don't worry it is "great for sports"....... Once you get used to the lens I bet you will love it.
    The shallow depth of field at wide apertures (f2.8) is a valuable feature to isolate your subject from a busy background. Your slow 70-300 does not give you the same options.
  24. "David Blair , May 04, 2010; 05:13 p.m.
    Easy problem to fix. Hit the person who suggested you use a portrait lens for sports. This is a very slow focussing lens, and although it's fabulous for stationary subjects, you'll need bright light...very bright direct sunlight to get any continuous focusing happening. Sell it to someone who needs it, and get the 70-200 nikon or sigma lens. both are heaps quicker."
    SAY WHAT???
    My 80-200 f/2.8D ED has paid for it self many times over shooting NOTHING but sports.
  25. This is a very slow focussing lens,​
    Funny, mine can track running people with a D300...
    And I checked a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM prior to buying it, and found it about as fast on my D80 as the Nikon.
  26. I guess many astounding sport and action pictures has been taking with this lens; it could be an updated model (no Silent Wave motor), but not a vintage lens! :)
  27. The 80-200 is an excellent lens for action / sports. It is far from slow and focuses quickly with a body that can drive the screw and move the elements. I've used it on an 8008s and found it to be very good.
  28. Can anyone recommend a good but cheap LOL ball for a Manfrotto 681B?
  29. Carolina. I have been photographing a lot of fast moving sports (motocross and hydroplane racing) over the past few years with the 80-200 with the D200 and while at first, because of it's weight, it took some getting used to. I learned this much: Handheld shots of objects from the side panning with them is very difficult but not impossible when you set the right shutter speed and use continuous AF. It is superb with the subject moving toward or away from you. A monopod is an absolute necessity, but useless with panning shots. Unlike those who complained of slow focus, I've never had that experience. And I too tired of the heft but my solution, the 18-200 VR, was not the answer. And I've never regretted saving the six or seven hundred bucks difference between this lens and the 70-200 VR. Bottom line conclusion: All lens have limitations and trade offs, but if your ultimate goal is sharp, quality images never settle for less than good glass.
  30. Thank you Bill, I can't wait to try it with the monopod. :)
  31. The monopod is great for supporting the lens/body for extended periods of time, but it sure sounds like the D80 cannot keep up with the action because of the AF-D lens.
    If staying with the D80, is it possible to return/exchange the 80-200/2.8 AF-D for a used Nikon 80-200/2.8 AF-S? They are equivalent prices.
  32. I'm not sure about the current market, but the last time I checked prices for used copies of the 80-200/2.8 AF-S Nikkor the prices were far out of proportion to the actual value, close enough to the price of the 70-200/2.8 VR that it didn't make sense to buy the older lens.
    Technique is as important as the equipment. I've taken good, sharp action photos of skateboarders with a Nikon N6006 and 28-85/3.5-4.5 AF Nikkor. Almost every Nikon dSLR has technically better AF capabilities than that combination.
    One of the main advantages to the AF-S Nikkors is the ability to manually adjust focus without needing to mess with any switches or buttons. You can preset the focus to the desired zone, which gives the lens less rotational travel to deal with when locking focus on the subject. That's difficult to do with an AF Nikkor because it can strain the screwdriver-AF linkage to physically manipulate the focus ring without first disengaging the switch. It's one of those quirks that Tokina resolved to some extent with their design that used a clutch controlled by the focus ring.

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