Hand-held shooting and problems with hands: 80-200mm f/2.8 and 70-200 f/4 VR

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by javkin, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. I'm essentially an amateur photographer, but sometimes shoot events.I have tendinitis in both hands, and have trouble hand-holding camera+lens combinations greater than about four pounds. A while back I returned a D300 and bought a D90 because I couldn't take the pain of shooting for a full day with the heavier body. I sold a lovely Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 and use the Tamron equivalent. I currently use a pair of D7000, but I'm about to upgrade to a D7100, both in the same weight class, which seems to be all I can handle. I'm not ready to make the move to mirror-less yet.
    I shoot events with a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, 85mm f/1.4, and carry an 80-200mm f/2.8 for when the 85 is not enough. But hand holding the 80-200 f/2.8 is painful. I'm considering trading it for the 70-200mm f/4 VR and switching between that lens and the 85. Since some of the events I shoot are indoors, I worry about getting caught with the wrong lens mounted and the f/4 not being enough light for autofocusing and subject separation.
    I have seen earlier threads comparing the 80-200 f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/4 VR, but I don't know what to do given my situation. I would appreciate any advice.
     
  2. SCL

    SCL

    Maybe a monopod? It would give you more flexibility and response time than a tripod. Just a thought.
     
  3. Weight issue alone -- (approx.)
    80-200 AFD --- 45 ounces
    80-200 AFS --- 52 ounces (w/o mount I think)
    70-200 4 VR -- 30 ounces.
    Jim
     
  4. The 50-150mm f2.8 sigma (non os version) is ~770g, or ~21 ounces
     
  5. If you're worried about subject separation and low light, is the 180mm f/2.8 (27oz) an option? You may be stuck with a zoom for flexibility, but I just thought I'd mention it. Alternatively, you might get away with using the higher resolution of the D7100 with a shorter, faster lens - though I don't get along well enough with my 135 DC (29g) to suggest that using one and cropping is going to work. Others may disagree. Good luck, and I'm sorry to hear you have trouble - I hope you find a suitable workaround.

    One other thought: chestpod? (Not that I've ever used one...)
     
  6. Gup

    Gup Gup

    80-200 f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/4 VR​
    Hector, I use the AF-S 80-200. I've never used the 70-200 f/4 VR. According to Jim above you save 22 ounces with the VR lens and of course you get the VR, which sounds like a feature you could use. Also, I never use the AF-S 80-200 without a tripod, it gets heavy!
     
  7. I don't know how much heavy lifting is needed to make your hands hurt, but I've used both lenses and the 70-200 f/4 is noticeably less work to lift. Also, the VR on it works very well, so in a lot of circumstances that's going to offset not having f/2.8, and if handholding your camera for a long period is going to make your hands unsteady it will come in handy.
     
  8. Now that I traded the two-ring 80-200 AF-D for the 70-200/2.8 VR, I must say that the two lenses handle very differently. In actual fact, the heavier 70-200 is easier to hold than the lighter 80-200; the reason is that the 80-200 is rather front-heavy. Not sure it makes a difference for someone with tendinitis though.
    Re: 180/2.8 - rather slow AF I am afraid. Consider the Sigma 150/2.8 instead (31 oz). The OS version is heavier though - 41 oz. And the Sigma 180/2.8 weighs even more than the Nikon 70-200 zooms!
    Using two lenses on one body though will always leave you with the problem of being caught with the wrong one mounted.
    I'd go with the 70-200/4 - the one stop you are losing can be compensated for with the higher ISO the 7100 is capable of.
    Of course, f/4 isn't going to give you the same subject isolation that f/2.8 does - but that's why you have the 85/1.4, don't you?
     
  9. One major advantage of the APS-C kit lenses is their small size, and more importantly for you, their plastic lightness of being (e.g., 55-200mm VR). Also, they are far better lenses, dollar for dollar, than anything else in the line.
    As the APS-C (DX) bodies are getting smaller too, maybe there is a solution somewhere for you in this.
     
  10. honestly, if i was in your situation, i'd sell my entire Nikon kit and get an OM-D (or panasonic equiv.) with 12-35 and 35-70.
     
  11. Hector, I feel for you. I have muscular dystrophy and my gear keeps getting lighter. I all shoot with primes and VR zooms. When I have to use my Sigma 70-200 non OS I use it out doors with a monopod which really helps! Never tried it indoors at an event though. I'm thinking about getting the 70-200 f/4 VR for the lighter weight and VR which would work great indoors if you don't need f/2.8. My mid-range zoom is a 24-85 VR which can be obtained for cheap and the VR is fantastic and so is the optical quality. I shoot with a D700 and D800 mostly. When I need something lighter it's the D300s for now. I no longer use the battery grips to save more weight. I don't think you're making a mistake if you go for the 70-200 f/4 VR. In some cases VR helps when you don't have f/2.8. Over the years I've had to adapt my photography to my physical condition. 10 years ago I could hand hold heavy gear for a long period of time but time and muscle atrophy forced me to adapt. I should mention that I have most of the same gear as you in both DX and FX format. I also find using speedlights makes up for fast apertures indoors if that is allowed.
     
  12. Thank you all for your helpful comments and suggestions. I appreciate them very much.
    The 50-150mm f2.8 sigma (non os version) is ~770g, or ~21 ounces.​
    I'll think about that one, the weight is perfect, I think a little better than the 50-135mm f/2.8 from Tokina. I know that the new Sigma 50-150 with OS weighs nearly 3 pounds.
    Re: 180/2.8 - rather slow AF I am afraid. Consider the Sigma 150/2.8 instead (31 oz). The OS version is heavier though - 41 oz. And the Sigma 180/2.8 weighs even more than the Nikon 70-200 zooms!
    Using two lenses on one body though will always leave you with the problem of being caught with the wrong one mounted.​
    Thank you for the information about the slow AF speed of the 180. There is one for sale locally at a very good price, but I'll skip it--I even find my 300mm f/4 AF-S, which I only use on a tripod, rather slow to focus. I actually shoot events with two bodies: the 17-50 on one, and the 85 or 80-200 on the other, but the problem is the same. Even though I keep a third body in the car in case everything breaks, I think wearing all three would drive me crazy.
    One major advantage of the APS-C kit lenses is their small size, and more importantly for you, their plastic lightness of being (e.g., 55-200mm VR). Also, they are far better lenses, dollar for dollar, than anything else in the line.​
    I am O.K. with most of my body+lens combinations. I have a reasonably light 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, which I don't use for events, as it, and most of Nikon's lightweight lenses, are too slow. Right now the only lens I ever use hand-held that gives me trouble is the 80-200mm f/2.8.
    honestly, if i was in your situation, i'd sell my entire Nikon kit and get an OM-D (or panasonic equiv.) with 12-35 and 35-70.​
    I've been tempted to do exactly that, and just now again checked the lenses available for OM-D, but I have Nikon lenses that I don't use for events, and some film cameras. To switch would be pretty expensive. Ironically, in the 1990s, I switched from Olympus OM to Nikon film, because Olympus stopped supporting their OM system.
    Thank you all again. I'm vacillating between the 70-200mm f/4 and the non-OS Sigma 50-150 f/2.8. I want to add that I still very much enjoy photography, even when it hurts.
     
  13. Hector -- don't skip the 180. If the 85/1.4D is working for you the 180/2.8 will be fast enough and more precise. And, yeah, at 26oz it's quite a bit lighter than most of the other listed options.
     
  14. Hector I have been using a Bushawk gun stock with electronic release and arca style clamp for 10 years. It accommodates lenses with
    and without tripod collars. It works well for all day boat trips to photograph whales with the 80-200 2.8. Also recently purchased the
    Nikon 28-300mm vr to shoot full frame. Not Nikon's sharpest lens but great for a day long walk around. Good hunting.
     
  15. I have used a monopod for years. It doubles as a walking stick. It is an essential part of my gear. I hardly ever use a tripod anymore, unless I'm taking an exposure of more than a second with a long lens.
     
  16. Mark,
    Thank you so much for your encouragement and advice. We all have disabilities, or we will, if we live long enough, but muscular dystrophy, in any of its variants, is tough. You have my admiration. With your evaluation, along with all the advice above, I've decided on the 70-200mm f/4.
    Like some of the others, you suggested a monopod to hold the weight and provide a little added stability. I'll try it.
     
  17. Hector, I too have hand and back issues. Earlier this year I sold all my Nikon kit and bought an Olympus OM-D. In terms of image quality, the OM-D walked all over the D300 - better detail, colour and high ISO performance. However, it is small and button pushing can be tricky. Battery life is also very poor. I shoot occasional weddings and decided that the Olympus TTL flash system was not up to Nikon's standards. Therefore, I have added a D7000 to the arsenal. For my day to day amateur photography and those situations where I do not need flash, it's the OM-D which I use. The D7000 will be used when I can use a monopod/tripod and/or need to use flash. I have yet to compare the OM-D and D7000 IQ - the weather here is pretty terrible today.
     
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR is an excellent choice. It has the best vibration reduction I have ever used, as I managed to routinely get good results hand holding at 200mm and 1/15 sec on still subjects. Of course subject motion is a concern at such a slow shutter speed.
    Unfortunately, that lens is on the expensive side and the tripod collar costs extra. If you are getting it in the US, hopefully you can take advantage of the rebate in conjunction with a Nikon DSLR purchase this month.
     
  19. Hector, I think you'll do fine with the the f/4 70-200. Let us know how it all works out.
     
  20. I purchased the 70-200mm f/4 together with a D7100 from B&H and got the discount for the combination. I had wanted to upgrade from one of the D7000 bodies, mostly for a different interest--birds in flight--but the improved autofocusing will help with events as well.
    I plan to get the Kirk tripod collar. I'm familiar with the design, as it's similar to the one I have from them for the 300 f/4 AF-S. It's cheaper than the Nikon, and includes an integral Arca-Swiss type plate.
    I am amazed by the helpfulness of everyone who answered. Thank you again!
     
  21. +1 for monopod
     

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