Good price for a Nikon 70-200mm VRI

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by michael_scharf, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Hi All,
    I've been shooting part time for many years and never had any complaints from my clients. I was shooting with a D300s for many years with a basic 18-200 VR lens. I recently bought a D700 and now want to buy good quality glass. I was considering the 80-200 two ring version but seems like the price has gone up since I owned one 7 years ago. The VRII is a little too much money for me. The same guy I bought the D700 from is also selling a VRI in perfect mint condition for $1,200. Am I making a mistake by not going for the newest and best? Or should I just buy the cheaper 80-200? I only shoot about 5 jobs a month. Thanks for the help.
  2. Seems like a good enough deal, since you could (probably) try it out. I have noticed that the 2 ring D lens prices have crept up. On the big auction site, I can't figure out why they (now) generally go for more than the 80-200/2.8 AFS (that I have and use), too close to the price that you could get the VR for.
    The real world differences between all versions is fairly small, the VR certainly adds good functionality vs the D version. The new VR-II version is of course the best, but the one my friend has is not "dramatically" better than my AFS version, though I want one for the VR and all other improvements.
    There is the new f/4 version to consider, as well.
  3. Thanks for the reply. Old Nikon lenses seem to increase in value. Maybe the VRI will be worth $3k in a few years hahaha. I looked at the f4 but it's still $1,400 new. I'm paying $200 less and still getting the extra stop. Ken Rockwell seems to think the f4 is wonderful but I don't know anyone who personally has it yet. I can't seem to find any used yet either but I'm assuming they won't go for much less than new.
  4. Let me know if you don't get it, VR would be nice at times.....
  5. I will certainly let you know. I plan on looking at it later today.
  6. I've used the f/4 on a D800. I didn't end up keeping it because for my use pattern it was too heavy, but of course it's less heavy than the f/2.8 and all things considered a great lens. It's definitely a very, very sharp lens and performs well across the frame even wide open. The VR system is quite good so it's a bit better as a lower light lens than you'd expect. Unless the extra stop is important to you I think the f/4 is a good recommendation.
    But if you did buy the used f/2.8 at $1200, you could always sell it later if you don't like it without taking a loss.
  7. forget about ken rockwells advice. You will get much better advice on this forum from people who do not ask you to support their families
  8. Andy, thanks for the reply. The f4 seems to be on back order and as you mentioned I can always sell the 2.8 in a few months with hardly if any loss.
    Brian, I don't take Ken too seriously and that's why I'm talking to you guys (the pros). Does Ken get his equipment free or does he just play with them in the store and post reviews. I wish I could make a living doing that. LOL.
  9. Hi Michael:
    The VRI will probably have vignetting at the corners when used with the D700. That is why they make the VRII.
    Check and see if that vignetting bothers you.
  10. Yo Michael... I am absolutely not a pro but what I do know has all been picked up on this forum. Methinks there are some excellent photographers on this site and the reviews by Shun Chung are very very good. It is unfair to name any individual contributor to the forum but you guys who offer help and advice know who you are.
  11. I just bought the lens. It's in perfect condition. I wouldn't even know it was used from the looks of it. I doubt the vignetting will bother me coming from an 18-200 consumer lens. The VRII would be great but I could hardly afford this lens. The used VRII are going for $1,800 and more.
    Thank you all again for your help. Now I have to find a 24-70 used for a decent price.
  12. Purchased f4 70-200 VR recently from Amazon & there was no wait: Got it 2 days later. Attached is one of my first pictures with it of a restaurant mural taken at f5.6.
  13. lwg


    I sold my 70-200 VRI for $1400 back in September (it was in really nice condition). So $1200 seems to be a pretty decent deal. I sold mine because the corners were not that good on the D800. I haven't replaced it yet, but the new f/4 version is looking pretty good.
  14. Congratulations Michael! You got a really good deal. $1,200 for a mint-condition VR1 is a great price. I sold mine at a much higher price than that, and it was not mint cosmetically. There is negligible difference in image quality, if any, between VR1 & II.
  15. For what you're doing, I agree. There is some pretty serious corner vignetting ... I found it to be a couple stops, but it didn't creep in very far. Easily corrected in post, and mostly corrected by the automatic lens corrections in Lightroom/Camera Raw.

    I also found the corners to be pretty mushy, especially wide open. On the flip side, the 80-200, which doesn't have as much of a mushy corner issue, would be slightly heavier, slower to focus, lack the excellently designed tripod collar, and also lack both the VR and the gasketing, while being essentially the same price.

    Considering the sort of photography for which one would actually use a 70-200, I think you made the right choice. I finally had an opportunity not too long ago to shoot some portraits with mine and an FX camera, and I thought the images were fine. There was still some vignetting at f/8 and f/11, but the corner mushiness was either gone or unnoticeable. Were I shooting wide open ... well, you probably wouldn't even notice it on the sort of image you would get from a 200mm lens shot at f/2.8.

    Honestly, the only time I would pick the 80-200 over the 70-200 at that price is for product or landscape photography. Actually if I was doing something slow where I had plenty of time to zoom with my feet I'd pick a good prime over either of those lenses, so I guess I'd never pick the 80-200 :)
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It is well known that the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR version 1 is soft in the corners at 200mm. If that doesn't bother you, e.g. you mainly shoot people, sports, etc. where corner sharpness is not critical, version 1 is a fine choice. I am a bit surprised that it is available at only $1200 used; I would carefully check its conditions.
    See these old threads. We had those discussions before the 70-200mm/f2.8 VR II was announced in mid 2009, so they were all about version 1:
  17. Think this corner softness, which is rather mild to begin with, would not concern Michael, as he is using a D300s, not a full frame camera.

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