Is it me or is the 80-200 sharper than the 70-200 wide open on a DX sensor?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dan_k|6, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. I had sold my 70-200VR last month because supply was low and demand was high. I
    made about $100 on the lens. I then went ahead and purchased a gray market
    80-200. I shot a Father's Day church service yesterday and I feel that the
    80-200 was sharper wide open and I actually felt it was sharper overall even at

    Have any of you tested both lenses out and would you agree?

    After shooting all day yesterday, I see how important VR is, If I was at
    anything below 1/250th with the 80-200, I most certainly would have motion blur.

    Surprisingly the AF on the 80-200 is not that much slower than the
    least with a D200.

    I should have bought this lens the first time around.
  2. I am not sure that it is sharper but that it is at least as good I do agree with. If you don't need VR (I don't - mostly) and you can live with the torque of the 80-200mm focussing (I can) then there is no obvious advantage to the 70-200mm. On DX they are both fantastic lenses and you rightly say that the AF speed of the 80-200mm is still very fast in spite of its supposedly more primitive screw driver mechanism.

    The 70-200mm was a disappointment to me on FX format where - for my particular needs - it falls far short of expectations but on DX it works a treat.

    But again, leaving aside the advantages of VR and AFS, the 80-200mm is a fantastic substitute that from an image quality perspective is in no way inferior to its more expensive sibling.
  3. Actually, I have to qualify that last statement of mine - the 80-200mm does produce more CA than the 70-200mm. However, that is relatively easily dealt with whereas the deficiencies of the 70-200mm (poor corner performance on FX in some circumstances) cannot be dealt with at all other than by cropping.
  4. "After shooting all day yesterday, I see how important VR is, If I was at anything below 1/250th with the 80-200, I most certainly would have motion blur. "

    I've always thought that motion blur is when the subject is in motion, not when the camera shakes. VR should have no effect on the former. Right?
  5. I had an older 80-200 that I thought was great. I just got the 70-200vr and it's way
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Unless you put both lenses on a sturdy tripod and test identical focal lengths and apertures on the same DSLR, shooting exactly the same subject, it wouldn't be a meaningful comparison.

    Personally, I don't care about any tiny sharpness differences. I bought the 70-200 to have access to VR when I need it.
  7. I had a 80-200mm for about two weeks (if even). It didn't take me long to understand that it had problems. It was back-focusing. I went to a 70-200VR & have not regretted it once.

    Sharpness - - my old 70-210mm f/4-5.5 did a better job than the copy of the 80-200mm I had.

    If you have a good copy that works well for you - - I'm happy for you. I'm staying with my 70-200VR


    Lil :)
  8. I think the CA of the 80-200/2.8 AF-D N is noticeable not a big deal, considering that
    you get a lot of quality for the price. I don't think it is sharper than the 70-200 except
    in the FX corners where the 70-200 images are like melted ice cream. :) If you're
    using DX the 70-200 should be the better lens (heavier, but but better optically and
    with more features). On FX, I now just use prime teles, love the extra clarity of the
    images, the cleanly reproduced texture in clothes, the corner-to-corner sharpness (a
    bit stopped down), and the fact that I don't have to correct vignetting. The 105 VR
    does have gross vignetting wide open (on D3) but it's a macro lens, which is mostly
    used stopped down, so I think f/2.8 is just for focusing and viewing. Sharpness and
    contrast are really good even wide open, so if you do need to use it wide open, the
    images probably can be used with correction. The vignetting on this lens has a
    smooth gradient which is in contrast to the 70-200, which has corners that "drop" to
    darkness, though again if you don't adjust the images for high contrast, this might
    not matter.

    I concur that the 80-200 AF-D N autofocuses fast. The push-pull versions are
    supposely less snappy. As for VR, I found it quite nice to have on DX (think
    "300mm EFL"), but didn't feel it was needed on the D3. 200mm isn't all that long and
    my subjects tend to move about.

    Anyway, I always thought the 80-200/2.8 was one of the great bargains that lured
    people into the Nikon system. It would be good to see an f/4 VR version of the 70-
    200 for "economy" and low weight, or a 50-150/2.8. As of now, there is just one
    current regular telezoom in the lineup which is faster than f/5.6 in the long end (the
    200-400/4 is a "long telezoom"), and it has some issues which should be dealt with
    quickly with a new version.

    It seems that with the DX format, just about any prime or pro zoom tele works in an
    "enhanced" fashion, compared to 35mm film.
  9. I've used my 80-200 AFD two ring for about three years now. Maybe I have a real good sample, but I find the lens hard to beat. Even wide open it is stellar. I'm mostly a film shooter, but even on digital (D300) I like this lens. I've never desired the 70-200 VR, just don't see how it can get much better.

    This lens is an absolute bargain for the quality you get.

  10. When I compared the 70-200/2.8 VR against the 80-200/2.8 AF on my D2H at a local shop the 70-200 VR was very slightly sharper at f/2.8. Stopped down there wasn't much difference.

    The 70-200 VR is far superior for handheld use. Not only is the VR handy but there's less felt chatter and jolt from the moving elements during quick shifts in autofocusing. For tripod/monopod use there's probably not enough difference to matter, especially with bodies that can drive the screwdriver AF lenses almost as quickly as the SWM in an AF-S.
  11. Well, maybe it is if you can comfortably use it. I felt that carrying the 70-200 for, say a 9-hour day of continuous walking and shooting in the city quite exhausting on my left hand and knee (having to hold the lens with the left hand while carrying it so that it doesn't hang from the mount causes all sorts of problems for me in extended use). I would think the lighter and shorter 80-200 is better for hand-holding and carrying around because of this, and the primes still better.
  12. I had the 70-200VR but I like my 80-200mm 2.8 AFS even more...

  13. I find the 70-200
    sharper than 80-200
    (AF and the AFS) I
    have a beat up
    80-200 which I got
    on the cheap but I
    will prefer the
    70-200 anyday.
  14. No. It isn't close. vs

    Look at the MTF chart at the tele end. The difference is especially stark on a DX sensor.

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