Nikon 80-200 2.8 one -touch - is it still worth it?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mbaldea, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. I recently purchased a used one touch 80-200 f 2.8 ED AF Nikkor from a
    reputable online retailer for $465 + tax. Lens is in pristine condition and
    photos look great. As a newcomer to pro-grade zooms, I was a bit surprised by
    the shoulder crusing weight and by how difficult it is to stabilize this lens
    on a tripod (gitzo G1320 tripod, Gitzo 1275M ball head, stroboframe Quick
    release, Nikon D70), as it does not have a collar. I have seen that the Bogen
    3420 lens support has good reviews, so for $65 I would consider buying one. To
    cut to the chase, I am seeking an opinion on whether this lens is worth the
    price or, is it rather worth forking out double the money to get the 80-200 AF-
    D that can still be bought new.
    Bonus questions, has anybody had any experience using a polarizer on the lens,
    or experience shooting sports? (both are issues since the front element does
    rotate during focusing, and AF seems a bit on the slow side).

    Thank you in advance, and please forgive the long posting!
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I used to have a 80-200mm/f2.8 AF (1st version, non AF-D) that I bought back in 1989. Today, I wouldn't buy this lens again because it has no tripod collar. Not everybody needs fast AF and IMO a rotating front element is not that big a deal as far as polarizer usage. However, the lack of a tripod collar can make a big difference in your image quality.

    Back in the early 1990's, one of the biggest complaints about Nikon lenses in internet forums was the lack of a tripod collar on the 80-200mm/f2.8 AF. It wasn't until 1996 and the 3rd generation of this lens before Nikon added a collar. From that point on, every new version has a collar.
  3. Check out Bjorn's reviews.

    It appears that you have a good lens, if you can handle it's feature limitations.
  4. Here's a lens collar for the 70-200. Might be a bit more than you want to spend but thought I'd point it out.

    The only problem I see with the lens is the push/pull zoom, I've tried and just don't like it. I ended up with a new version and it was a great lens.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Zippy, the Kirk collar you are linking to is only for the 2nd-generation of this lens that is AF-D. I am not sure that is the version Michael has. Additionally, the Kirk collar cannot rotate to the vertical orientation.

    IMO, the real solution is to get the verstion with a built-in collar. Optically, there is no difference among the three non-AF-S versions. The big different is the built-in collar.
  6. "I am seeking an opinion on whether this lens is worth the price or, is it rather worth forking out double the money to get the 80-200 AF- D that can still be bought new."

    > I would spend your money on a D200 first.

    "...experience shooting sports?"

    > Very good and makes the tripod collar moot. AF performance is adequate on the D70 but on the D200 it is nearly indistinguishable from the AFS version.

    I have a massive tripod which I still use whenever I can, and on that tripod the lens mounted on a D200 (or even a D70) could be coaxed into very good performance. Bad technique and a lighter tripod has wrecked shots with my Nikkor 70-200 mounted on a D200, so the photographer is (as always) the most important factor. Another reason to consider spending your money on a D200 instead is that the D70 has no MLU, which will do more than a tripod collar to decrease vibrations ruining your shots.
  7. Michael

    I used this lens for years and had a great time with it. The image quality achievable is so
    near to the 70-200 AFS VR as you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

    I mostly used it in MF and the single zoom/focus ring was such an intuitive way of
    working that I vastly preferred it over the two ring design.

    On a D200 the AF was reasonable but I found it ultimately lacking with fast moving
    subjects and made the upgrade to the 70-200 VR.

    Depending on the speed of the subjects you're photographing I wouldn't be too hasty in
    trading it in, but if you do want to cover fast action sports then focus speed may let you

    It's worth making the judgement based on the success rate. That's what I did...weigh up
    the proportion of images that are out of focus based on the AF letting you down and if
    significant - that's the time to upgrade.

    If you want some more consideration - I go over my decision to upgrade from the 80-200
    to the 70-200 in my review here:

    All the best.
  8. Thank you everybody for the replies. The lens is the earlier version (AF), not the AF-D. As such, the Kirk solution would not work, and the Bogen support may be the only alternative. My tripod is pretty sturdy (although not as sturdy as it could be, since the ball head is a lateral design) but, with the camera attached to the tripod, the D70+ 80-200 AF setup is "nose-heavy" (for lack of a better term) and it will vibrate at the slightest touch.

    Unfortunately I don't have an AF-S version handy for a fair comparison of AF speeds. As for the camera upgrade, I'm waiting for the hopefully-FX-format D400 :)- Nikon wouldn't be Nikon if they didn't come up with a competitor for the EOS 5D, right?
  9. " will vibrate at the slightest touch."

    > So will any lens though. You see it more clearly with this combination, but it is present on others and also effects image quality (although less noticeably). For optimum results any and all vibrations need to be completely eliminated, even vibration from the mirror (something you cannot do with the D70).

    "Unfortunately I don't have an AF-S version handy for a fair comparison of AF speeds."

    > I am speaking from experience when I tell you that the D200 will make a significant improvement in AF performance, and that will be very nearly equal to what you would get by switching to the AFS version.

    "As for the camera upgrade, I'm waiting for the hopefully-FX-format D400"

    > I do not see FX as an upgrade for DX. Indeed, for shooting sports and using the 70-200 for more distant subjects it may represent a downgrade. What's more, you may find yourself waiting for awhile, perhaps a year or more.

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