Replace 70-200mm f/2.8 VR1 with 70-200 /f4

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by evilsivan, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. I am not a pro, so I am getting tired of lugging around my 2.8s (17-55mm and 70-200mm vr1). I was thinking of
    selling off the 70-200mm VR1 and going with the f/4. I do shoot low light often, mostly of kids at home, and I have
    a D7000 (can see what kind of pics I take here https://www.flickr.com/photos/evilsivan/). I don't know what I'd replace the 17-55 with
    though, I definitely want to stay with ED lenses. To replace the 17-55mm maybe I would consider the 24-120mm,
    looking at an eventual move to FF someday, maybe a D750 or a D610 (oh NAS....).

    I would probably miss the stop of brightness that I'd lose going from f/2.8 to f/4 but if I ever upgrade the
    camera I'd probably make it up in sensitivity over the D7000. I have been happy with the high iso look from the
    D7000 so I don't mind pushing the sensor. But having lighter lenses would probably get me shooting more. For real
    low light I have Sigma's 30mm f/1.4 for DX.

    What'dya think, ditch the 70-200 f/2.8 for the f/4? Also should I sell it KEH or BH? I'd probably get more loot
    for it from CL or FleaBay but in my small college town it may never move on CL.

    Ofer
     
  2. If your looking for a standard zoom that's still f/2.8 and is super light and small Then check out the 28 - 75mm Tamron f/2.8 I currently use this on my Nikon D600 and get amazing sharp images and is very compact and light and is also very reasonably priced.
     
  3. idk, the 70-200/2.8 is a classic. i think you would regret it. it's heavy but such a good lens optically and performance-wise. absolutely reliable in demanding shooting environments. my go-to tele for DX is the older model sigma 50-150/2.8, you can get them used for pretty reasonable prices. super compact and lightweight for what it does. i use that on DX and the 70-200 VRII on FX, both are keepers as far as i'm concerned. if you shoot indoor low-light, i wouldnt recommend an F/4 at all--it's more of an outdoor, landscape lens. i would probably swap the 17-55 for a sigma or tamron 17-50/2.8--optically just as good but lower weight and stabilization. 24mm isn't that wide on DX, i think you would miss the 17-24 range if you went with the 24-120, although the added long range would be a big plus. if you really want to go light, my advice is to get a few primes. an 85/1.8 G on DX would be like having a 135. since the 70-200 has focus breathing anyway it winds up being pretty much the same thing at close distances (minus zoom capability).
     
  4. No disrespect to your comment Eric, but why do you need stabilization on a 24mm - 70mm lens when shooting portraits. You should be able to hand hold this without stabilization at 1/60sec at the long end of the zoom range. To capture sharp images of portraits and freeze people's movements you would want to be at least this speed for people standing still and I would recommend a much faster speed for children running around.

    This is the reason I opted for the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens that is non stabilized but is much lighter and smaller than the stabilized Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
     
  5. Hey guys! Thanks for your inputs.

    To your comment Eric I usually
    use the 70-200 outdoors and
    indoors using the Sigma 30 1.4,
    the 17-55 or the tokina 11-16.

    I think you're right about
    missing the 17-24 range. I use
    the 17-55 at 17 a lot.
     
  6. I shoot with a D7000 and a D7100. Some time ago I would up with both the Nikon 17--55 and the Tamron 17-50, and decided to keep the Tamron (non-AFS, non-stabilized) because of its lighter weight. The Nikon might test out a little sharper but, for me, the Tamron handled back-lighting better.
    Don't know what to suggest about the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRI . I made the switch from a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 (without VR) to the 70-200mm f/4 VR, which is a fantastic lens. I sometimes worry that I've lost a stop, but I'm much more likely to have the lighter (and better) lens with me. If I know I'll be shooting in extremely low light, I leave it home and at least cover the shorter focal lengths with an 85mm f/1.4.
    As to KEH vs B&H, they're both excellent stores, but neither can pay anything like what you get if you sell it locally to a private buyer.
     
  7. why do you need stabilization on a 24mm - 70mm lens when shooting portraits. You should be able to hand hold this without stabilization at 1/60sec at the long end of the zoom range.​
    stabilization is nice to have, especially when shooting handheld in low light. FWIW, i also have the 28-75/2.8 tamron, and it is very compact and reasonably sharp, but it's just too long on DX, where it starts at 42mm equiv. tamron made this lens for DX bodies and came up with the 17-50, the original version of which is the sharpest standard zoom ive ever used, including the 28-75, sigma 17-50, and nikon 24-70 AF-S.
    I usually use the 70-200 outdoors and indoors using the Sigma 30 1.4, the 17-55 or the tokina 11-16.​
    if you dont use the 2.8 on the 70-200 too much and it doesnt get used indoors, then moving to the 70-200/4 makes more sense, although it's still a backwards step somewhat. the problem is that the 70-200/4 costs about $1400 new, which might be more than you'll get for a used 70-200 I. OTOH, a used 17-55 in good condition should fetch at least $800, which is around what you'd pay for a used tamron 17-50 ($350 or less) and an 85/1.8 G ($500 new). that way, you keep the same standard zoom capabilities, lose some weight and bulk, and gain a long fast prime for around the same amount of $$. a sigma 50-150 non-OS is less than 1/2 the price of the 70-200/4 btw. another option might be a stabilized 70-300 which is great for outdoor use in good light and gives you much more reach. the tamron version might be a little better than the nikon and is f/4 on the short end. but if it were me, i'd probably hold onto the 70-200 I and swap out the 17-55.
     
  8. I agree Eric that stabilization is nice to have but if your trying to cut down weight then as it seems an overkill on a 24-70mm lens that you would only make use of if shooting at 1/15sec or lower. I wouldn't recommend shooting anybody at these low speeds.
    I also agree that on a DX camera that the 28-75mm is a little long but the OP did mention that he was looking at moving to a full frame camera.

    This was shot at 1/60sec at f/2.8 ISO 800 with the D600 I can shoot up to ISO 3200 without noise being present so I really don't see the need for stabilization on this lens.
    00cv23-552123684.jpg
     
  9. Buy lenses for the camera you have now. If you buy used ones you can always resell later and will likely get about what you paid. I completely understand about the weight. I have both Nikons 17-55mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 VR. They weigh a ton at the end of the day, but are needed for weddings (which I'm getting out of.) You are on the right track with Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 OS or maybe the Tamron equivalent. If you don't regularly use a tripod and your shutter speeds are often under 1/500s, I would go for a stabilized lens. Buy the Sigma or Tamron used--you get killed on resale if you buy new.
    Kent in SD
     
  10. The 70-200/4 is an excellent lens. If you don't use your existing 70-200mm indoors and want a lighter weight lens without compromising quality, it is well worth consideration. You lose the option to shoot with the shallow depth of field at f/2.8 but the f/4 is a lot of fun to use because of its compactness and light weight. But this is very much a personal choice.
    As for the 17-55/2.8 I would keep it and if you do buy an FX camera in the future, then trade it in to get an FX standard zoom, but not before you are actually going to do the switch to FX. I think 24-120/4 is not of the same quality standard than the Nikon f/2.8 standard zooms including the 17-55/2.8 and 24mm is not that wide for indoor use on DX. I would stick to f/2.8 zooms in this focal range.
     
  11. Yes it seem like the most sense would be to hang on to the 17-55 until such time as I get a FX body. In the meantime the 70-200 f4 might make sense although what I'd get for a used 70-200 2.8 vr1 would not cover the cost of a new f4. Its a shame Nikon doesn't have an wide constant f4 for either DX or FX. Thanks guys always fun to hear from you!
    Ofer
     
  12. stabilization is nice to have but if your trying to cut down weight then as it seems an overkill on a 24-70mm lens that you would only make use of if shooting at 1/15sec or lower. I wouldn't recommend shooting anybody at these low speeds.
    I also agree that on a DX camera that the 28-75mm is a little long but the OP did mention that he was looking at moving to a full frame camera.​
    if you're a portrait shooter, you might never need stabilization on a standard zoom. but there are other types of photos which can be taken, and it's better to have it than not. it would be a huge mistake to get a 28-75 before getting an FX camera.
    You lose the option to shoot with the shallow depth of field at f/2.8 but the f/4 is a lot of fun to use because of its compactness and light weight. But this is very much a personal choice.​
    as an event/portrait/PJ shooter, i would never willingly lose a stop of aperture. especially shooting DX where you dont have as shallow DoF as FX to begin with. it's true i dont take the 70-200 II everywhere, but then i have the 50-150 which still gives me 2.8.
    Yes it seem like the most sense would be to hang on to the 17-55 until such time as I get a FX body. In the meantime the 70-200 f4 might make sense although what I'd get for a used 70-200 2.8 vr1 would not cover the cost of a new f4.​
    wait, why does it make sense to keep the 17-55? it's big, heavy, and more importantly has a higher resale value than 3rd party alternatives which are just as good optically. as i mentioned, you can sell it and get a fast standard zoom and a fast telezoom prime--which gives you a lighter option than the 70-200. by the same token, i dont think it makes a whole lot of sense to downgrade to a f/4 zoom on a DX body, especially if you lose money in the switch. if you were going to do that, you might as well get the 50-150 as starting at 50mm is a better proposition than starting at 70 on DX.
     
  13. There is a little over 1lb of difference between the 70-200mm VR f2.8 and f4 lenses - not a huge difference.
    The 24-120mm is 1 1/2 ounces lighter than the 17-55mm.
    Have you considered keeping what you have so you have your low light photography covered and then getting a couple of light weight similar focal length lenses for good lighting? While Nikon's 'kit' lenses are inexpensive and lightweight, when it comes to image quality, they are actually very, very, very good. Nikon's 18-55mm (weights only 9 oz) and 55-200mm (weights only 12 oz) or similar could be the way to go.. Considering how little each of these lenses cost, both under $100 each used, this option could work for you, allowing you to keep the excellent lenses you have and solve the weight issue when you want to shed a few pounds. And not hurt your wallet too badly.
    Another option that would be just to add a couple of lightweight primes, again, keeping your current lenses.
     
  14. here is a little over 1lb of difference between the 70-200mm VR f2.8 and f4 lenses - not a huge difference.​
    It's actually closer to 1 1/2 lbs in difference - and it does make a difference. I am actually considering the same switch as the OP because especially when traveling, the f/2.8's weight becomes cumbersome and the lens either stays in the bag, or doesn't come along at all. In addition, trading for the f/4 certainly means an upgrade in image quality, particularly for FX where the older f/2.8 has a few well-documented weaknesses.
    As an alternative, I am considering taking the 85/1.8G and the Sigma 150/2.8 (possibly with Sigma 1.4x extender but without the tripod collar) along, forfeiting the convenience of a zoom and retaining the fast aperture. Together, the two weigh about as much as the f/2.8 zoom.
    I traded my 80-200/2.8 two-ring for the 70-200/2.8 VR just a short time prior to Nikon announcing the 70-200/4 - otherwise I would likely have made the same trade that Hector did as I had been waiting for the f/4 for a long time (and given up hope that Nikon would ever produce one).
    Re: 17-55 - I owned one and it taught me the expensive lesson that I don't need a fast mid-range zoom with such a limited focal length range. It also taught me that one can lose a lot of money on a lens when competitors bring attractive (and dare I say, better) alternatives to the market that cost less new than the 17-55 costs used.
     
  15. The 1st version of 70-200/2.8 is a good lens but it has a number of minor weaknesses including 1) softness at 200mm, f/2.8 (I had to stop down to f/4 to get good sharpness on D200), 2) soft corners on FX and 35mm film, 3) vignetting on FX and 35mm film, and 4) a prolific tendency to flare and ghost when the light source is on the back side of the subject. However, it has very nice rendering of out of focus areas. The second version of the 70-200/2.8 corrects the corner softness, the softness at f/2.8, the vignetting, the tendency to ghost and flare but it introduces two new problems: 5) ring like rendering of out of focus edges at medium to long distances, and 6) it reduces its focal length substantially when focused close. The VR 70-200/4 has none of these six problems mentioned and I consider it the best of the series because of its well rounded performance and good handling, but all three are good lenses. In addition, the f/4 VR system is a bit more effective in reducing shake than the ones in the f/2.8 versions. Ultimately the quality of a lens is subjective.
    If the OP can keep the f/2.8's while buying lighter weight lenses for outdoor use, that's a possibility to consider. Selling good lenses always means losing at least some money in the trade and may result in later regrets if the lens turns out useful in a future situation. Prime lenses can also be a practical way to reduce weight on the hands while shooting, but then this may or may not be practical depending on the subject matter and how much trouble the photographer is willing to go through to get the shots. I think trading in the 17-55 for a 3rd party lens means losing some money a second time when/if the OP gets an FX camera and sells the DX specific lenses, which is why I would keep the 17-55 Nikkor for the time being. The 70-200/2.8 is the heavier of the two after all.
     
  16. I would make that change without hesitation. In fact, I did, from the 80-200/2.8D-AF to the 70-200/4VR. The only nit against the 70-200/4 is a bit of geometric distortion, but that is easily corrected with Nikon's in-camera distortion correction. The 70-200/4 image stabilization is peerless.
     
  17. Thanks guys. Much food for thought here. I am thinking to get a used 70-200 f4 at KEH, see if it's up my alley, so to speak, and then decide whether to keep it or return it, and then sell or keep the 2.8.

    Do you guys really think a non Nikon 17-55 2.8 zoom will focus as quickly as the Nikon? Man, those Nikon 2.8s are zippy (focus-wise)! BTW if the 17-55 had VR I wouldn't mind... (although it would be even heavier!)
     
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Last year, I reviewed the 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR for photo.net: http://www.photo.net/reviews/nikon-70-200-f4-ed-vr-af-s-zoom-lens-review
    At the end of the review, I have a chart that compares the f2.8 VR II version and the f4 version (I know the OP has the first version of the f2.8). The f2.8 lens actually weights almost twice as much as the f4 lens, 1540g vs. 850g. The difference is around 24 ounces, i.e. a pound and half. If you hand hold it all day or go hiking with it, the difference is not trivial. If you merely pick it up and capture a few images and then unmount it, maybe you don't care about the weight difference.
     
  19. Personally, I'm not sure if I would make a change with the 70-200mm f/2.8. If you sold it and bought a new 70-200mm f/4, you're basically paying extra to lose a stop of light in exchange for a lighter lens. Seeing the photos you have on Flickr, I feel like you have the best lens combo possible for your situation. I typically use my 70-200mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4 on a D7000 to shoot sporting events. Although they start weighing me down by the end of the day, I wouldn't trade the one stop of low light performance for a lighter lens. Also, considering you take pictures of moving kids, that one stop of light from your f/2.8 lens is very helpful when you need to capture motion.
    I would recommend keeping your current lenses (as they're both some of the finest lenses in their focal ranges) until later on if you decide to go full frame.
     
  20. Something else to consider...
    The f4 version does not include a tripod collar. I don't know if you ever use a tripod/monopod with with lens but if you do, this feature or lack of is something to consider. The genuine Nikon tripod collar for the f4 version is about $200. It will also add some additional weight to the lens.
    http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Miscellaneous/RT-1-Tripod-Collar-Ring.html
    I don't know the actual weight of it, but according to Amazon product info, it weighs about 7 oz., so comparing apples to apples, there is less of a weight difference between the f4 and original f2.8 versions (version I is slightly lighter than version II).
    If you don't ever use a tripod or monopod, it may be something you might want to consider at least using a monopod. When I use my D3 with the 70-200mm, I find the combo gets quite heavy quite quickly, and I have often used a monopod to lighten the load when I have had to use the gear to cover an event.
    Of course, if you never do, you can unclip the bottom part of the tripod collar to lighten your current f2.8 lens a bit. Either way, there is just not a huge weight savings from the f4 to original f2.8 version.
    Another very important consideration is AF in low light, as pointed out in Shun's review:
    "However, under dim light indoors or at night, there is still a difference between a lens whose maximum aperture is f2.8 and one that is f4. When it is dark, the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR still has superior AF, regardless of whether you actually use that lens wide open at f2.8."

    Since you state that you shoot low light often, this is something you need to be aware of.
     
  21. A tripod collar is not required to use the 70-200/4 on tripod.
     
  22. Good point! It doesn't sound like the OP is likely using one anyway. Trying the f4 version out prior to selling the f2.8 is a wise decision.
     
  23. I sold my 70-200/2.8 VR1 after getting the F/4 VR. I found that I was much more likely to take the F/4 version with me since it is considerably smaller and lighter, and optically better, IMO. The 70-200/2.8 often was left on the shelf unless I was concentrating on shooting an event.
    The only time I miss the 2.8 lens is night sports shooting. But, I have an 180/2.8 and/or 105/2DC to use, or I might get an old 80-200/2.8 to fill in.
     
  24. Do you guys really think a non Nikon 17-55 2.8 zoom will focus as quickly as the Nikon? Man, those Nikon 2.8s are zippy (focus-wise)!​
    it depends on the camera, to some degree. when i had a d80 + tamron 17-50 non-OS, focus was adequate. the same combo on a d300 was noticeably faster. the sigma 17-50 OS has HSM. i haven't done any scientific tests, but i don't notice it being slow to AF compared to my D3s+24-70 combo on a d300. on a d7000 it might be a tad slower, but i general i've found the sigma HSM to be up to the job of PJ assignments and event shooting. where the 17-55 is really the king is in build quality -- however that comes with a weight/bulk penalty.
    Personally, I'm not sure if I would make a change with the 70-200mm f/2.8. If you sold it and bought a new 70-200mm f/4, you're basically paying extra to lose a stop of light in exchange for a lighter lens.​
    basically.
    Since you state that you shoot low light often, this is something you need to be aware of.​
    this is where the rubber hits the road. if you intend on using a 70-200 as an everyday walkaround lens outdoors and in good light, the f/4 is probably a better choice. however, under those conditions, an el cheapo 55-200 will also do quite well in most typical situations. if you are shooting events, portraits, action, or low-light, the 2.8 has clear advantages, especially on a DX body. on a scale of 1-10, the possibility that you may regret forsaking the 70-200 VRI is probably around an 8-8.5. not all the time. but for those times when f/4 is too slow, you will curse the gods and the high heavens and start weeping uncontrollably.

    as far as keeping the 17-55, i'm not really hearing a convincing argument. this is an opportunity to shave weight and pick up a lens which does essentially the same thing in a lighter package, plus have some extra cash left over. the sigma 17-50 is down to $450 new at B&H and less on Fleabay. my copy was almost $800 back in 2010. since then, that lens has helped me win a Society of Professional Journalists award and get 1,000s of great shots as a PJ, event shooter, and hobbyist. if you ever do go FX, i'm sure you can sell it for 80% of its current retail price, which isnt much of a hit at all--far less than the hit incurred by selling a 17-55, which today retails for $1400 new and $839 used--one of the most significant depreciation hits among contemporary lenses. if the 17-55 was that good, the resale value would be higher. the fact that it isn't speaks to the quality of the 3rd-party alternatives. a used, non-VC tamron is even less than the sigma and even more compact and lighter. and, as i said earlier, with the money from the sale of the 17-55, you can finance an 85/1.8 for those times when you need telephoto but dont want to lug a 70-200.
     
  25. "when f/4 is too slow, you will curse the gods and the high heavens and start weeping uncontrollably"

    Eric, you are killing me! It's true the 70-200 is almost never used indoors, so not sure how much I'd miss that stop. I don't have a feel for much I'd miss the shallow 2.8 DOF.

    In general my philosophy (with cars, cameras, lenses, mutual funds) is don't sell, just use it until it's dust. So I am always 'scared' to sell something perfectly good, like the 70-200 f2.8, which I've enjoyed. I'm still leaning toward get it from KEH, try it out for two weeks, then decide.

    Before I had the Nikon 17-55 I had a Sigma or Tamron version (this is mabe 5 years ago). I hated it so I since then I have tried to stay with Nikkors, though I enjoy the Tokina 11-16 and the Sigma 30 1.4, although the focus is not 'zippy' on either one. I"ll do some reading on the Sigma and Tamron 17-50's.
     
  26. This is a pretty good review of the f4 lens:
    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_Nikkor_AF-S_70-200mm_f4G_ED_VR/
     
  27. I upgraded lenses 2-3 years ago, and sold my 70-200 f2.8 to help buy the 70-200 f4, as well as the 16-35 and 24-120 f4 lenses. No regrets. For your info, I shoot with a D7100 and a D600.
     
  28. Before I had the Nikon 17-55 I had a Sigma or Tamron version (this is mabe 5 years ago). I hated it so I since then I have tried to stay with Nikkors, though I enjoy the Tokina 11-16 and the Sigma 30 1.4, although the focus is not 'zippy' on either one. I"ll do some reading on the Sigma and Tamron 17-50's.​
    hmm, okay. well, when i was mainly a DX shooter, i couldnt afford the 17-55. i chose the tamron 17-50 from the tokina 16-50 and sigma 18-50 options. it surpassed my expectations in terms of IQ and proved more rugged than it looked. the compactness was a BIG plus as i was always on the go. together with the original version of the 50-150, it made for a perfect PJ/event kit. that lens got stolen and i replaced it with the then-new sigma 17-50 OS which is apparently much better than the older 18-50. the 17-50 was unheralded at first but has since earned a quality rep, based more on actual use than pre-release hype. it's a lot heavier than the tamron but still fairly compact. i still use it to this day and it's been a dependable, go-to lens. anyway, i wouldnt get the nikkor now based on what i know. in fact, if i was a DX-only shooter, i'd look hard at the sigma 18-35/1.8 which is probably the best DX standard zoom out in terms of IQ. in your situation, that would leave a huge gap between 35 and 70, so that may not be the best solution, but having a 1.8 zoom on DX might just be worth the missing range. i also have the sigma 30. i find it performs about as well as the rest of the sigma HSM lenses i have, which is to say, pretty good, although the 24-70 and 70-200 are my 'zippiest' lenses. the tokina 11-16 is either screwdrive or micromotor so may be slower. again your camera's AF module has a lot to do with it. the d300s and d3s have more torque in their focus motors than the d7000. in any event, i wouldnt worry too much about AF WRT 3rd party 17-xx 2.8's, unless you get the tamron 17-50 VC which has a micromotor which is slower than the screwdrive version and less optical goodness. in any event, i wouldnt hesitate to dump the 17-55 unless you are really rough on your gear. that's the obvious place to shave weight.
     
  29. I sold my 70-200 f2.8 VRI and replaced it with the new f4 VRII and have been very happy I did. I was satisfied with the performance of the
    2.8 lens when I was shooting DX but when I started shooting FX I found the sharpness at 200mm away from the center unacceptable to
    me. The new f4 is much sharper than my old lens. The weight and size reduction is a great bonus. It's 1.5 pounds lighter and that makes
    a huge difference.
     

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