Focal lenght question about 80-200 2.8 vs. 180 2.8 D

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dan_k|6, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. If two people were standing in 1 spot pointing at the same subject. One person
    had an 80-200 and the other had a 180mm. Assuming both were at 180mm and person
    #1 zoomed out to 80mm, how many steps back would the person with the 180mm have
    to take to also be at the equivalent 80mm perspective?

    I want to pick up the 180 2.8 for its sharpness and more importantly it's small
    size. I do a lot of work in the Church where I am in the first few pews,
    shooting the people on the stage. I want to make sure that when I am composing
    that I don't have to move around with the 180mm too much. I had a 70-200VR
    which I sold last month because it was too cumbersome to work with handheld for
    hours at a time.
  2. You would be FAR better off with the 80-200mm f2.8 than the 180mm fixed lens. The zoom will be the most important factor considering you won't be able to move around. If you aren't using a tripod, I highly doubt you'll see ANY difference in sharpness, and even if using one I doubt you'd see a difference. Sigma makes an 80-200mm f2.8 that has HSM, equiv. to Nikon's AFS. I wouldn't even consider a fixed lens for what you want, unless all your shots with the 70-200mm VR were made at 180mm maybe.

    Kent in SD
  3. For what its worth the person with the 180mm focal length will always be exactly 2.25x further back than the distance of the 80mm focal length in order to achieve the same coverage of the subject at the focal plane.
  4. I am not a zoom fan, you what you describe is a perfect use for a zoom.
  5. Alas, I'm sorry you sold the 70-200. The VR provides for better low-light shots, and far more versatility. If you must go with primes and get the 180mm, just also put an 85/1.8 in your bag, and switch when you need to. Otherwise, you sound like someone who would have been far better off with a nice, quiet, carbon-fiber monopod for those long events. That would still suit you well if you get the 80-200. The 80-200 isn't really any more pleasant to use than the 70-200, it just goes less wide, and doesn't have the benefit of VR. A monopod - especially the kind that uses four sections and collapses small enough to be inconspicious on your belt - and a quick-release system are perfect for what you describe.
  6. My 2 cents, What you described is also a perfect example of what a zoom can get you into. The prime shooter would have walk away and find a better perspective angle while the zoom shooter stuck with the same prespective for both 80 and 180mm. Zoom lens encourage single dimension shooting.
  7. You're probably better of with a zoom - wouldn't have sold the 70-200 but purchase a monopod instead.

    Your question points to a common misconception - moving back with the 180mm NEVER gets you the same perspective as the 80mm - just the same FOV - in much the same way as shooting from the same standpoint with 80 and 200mm doesn't change the perspective but only the FOV. Changing the perspective would entail moving closer with the 80mm until the main subject is the same size in the frame - now the relation between foreground and background (i.e. perspective) has indeed changed.

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