Discussion in 'Nikon' started by larry_g|4, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. I currently use a Nikkor 18-200 mm f3-5.6 with my D7000. For some time, I have been unhappy with the optics - doesn't seem sharp enough - and the lens slides around, doesn't hold its focal length position well. I am looking for opinions about the Nikon 70-2200mm f 2.8. Should I consider this lens? Is it too bulky and long? It looks to be a tripod only lens even though it has lens stabilization. I use a tripod whenever feasible. The price is high. What do you think about buying it used? Is it better than the Tamron look-alike? Thanks for you opinion. Thanks. Larry
  2. Nikon has made three different versions of the 70-200/2.8. Two G versions and one E. These are some of the most popular professional lenses that Nikon has made. They can be easily hand held, especially the latest one which is a bit lighter and balances very nicely. However, if your subject and shooting position are such that you can use a tripod and don't need the quickness of hand-holding, of course, you can use this type of a lens on a tripod (using the tripod foot of the lens to mount the lens to the tripod).
    These are very popular lenses and you should be able to find either of the G versions reasonably easily on the second hand market. I have not used any Tamron 70-200mm lens so I can't comment on that.
  3. "I am looking for opinions about the Nikon 70-2200mm f 2.8. Should I consider this lens?"​
    Back when I was considering a zoom that was similar in focal length to my 180mm Nikon prime, I performed a comparative test with the 70-200mm f/2.8G (first version). I was very surprised that at the same focal length, the zoom image quality was equal to the 180 prime.
    So in answer to your question, yes, you should definitely consider this lens.
  4. yes, get that lens and the TC-20E III too
  5. I think you will be happy with the optical quality of the 70-200mm f/2.8. However, whether we consider it too bulky and long is not the issue. After using Nikon's 18-200mm, you may find the 70-200mm f/2.8 to be huge. You should either get your hands on one before you buy, or get it from a store that has a good return policy. If you don't need the f/2.8 aperture, the 70-200mm f/4 is also excellent, and significantly lighter.
  6. The 70-200/4 Nikkor is definitely an excellent choice as well, if you don't need the f/2.8 aperture. It's excellent optically and mechanically reasonable as well.
  7. I just got the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC. It is a very good lens both on my new D750 and my F100 35mm film camera (an E series lens would not work on the F100). I have not had a chance to really "wring it out", but for me, it lives up to the DXO and Lens Rentals reviews of being one of the best lenses of its type for the D750 (I believe the reviews were written before the latest Nikon release of the lens). Even without the $300 rebate (which Tamron paid in about 3-weeks), the lens is about half the cost of the Nikon bought new (and for AF-S and VR lenses, I want a guarantee), and comes with a 6-year guarantee.
    The VR seems to give me at least three stops, possibly four (I am am in my 70's and not as steady as I use to be <grin>). The auto-focus on both my cameras is fast and sure even in subdued light.
    With the caveat that I have had the lens and my DSLR for only two weeks, I think you would be very happy with this lens.
  8. The lens is quite large and heavy. Do you really need f2.8? Do you photo in dim light quite a bit? If not, I think you'd be better off with the equally sharp but much lighter Nikon 70-200mm f4. The Tamron 70-200mm VC is an excellent lens as well, maybe better than the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR.
    Kent in SD
  9. The 18-200 is known to be convenience lens and not a
    stellar performer, at least after sensors got past the 6MP
    mark, so improving that shouldn't be too hard - the 55-
    200 or even the new 70-300 would show it up (but the
    70-300 AF-P won't play with a D7000 unless there's been
    a firmware update I missed). Any 70-200 should
    certainly beat it optically.

    Historically the advice has been that the original 70-200
    f/2.8 VR was a very good choice for DX (but the frame
    corners go to hell on FX at 200mm - this lens was
    designed when Nikon didn't have an FX DSLR, and I don't
    think that's coincidence). Reviews suggest the non-VC
    Tamron is optically decent but slow to focus; the VC one
    is perhaps a little worse optically. The Nikkor 70-200 vr2
    is very good (I have one) at f/2.8 and near perfect
    around f/4-5.6; it does have focus breathing issues and
    possibly a little worse bokeh than the mk1 (but that's only an option if you didn't
    need FX corners to be sharp). The new AF-P apparently
    has a significant optical edge if you want to shoot wide
    open, and there may eventually be one in my future for
    that reason despite annoyingly switching the rings. If
    others have jumped sooner the used market for mk2 70-
    200s may be rosy.

    You'll notice all of them in terms of weight - they're long,
    pro lenses, if not in the supertele prime category. Are
    they unmanageable? Absolutely not - I've carried one
    around all day as a general shooter with my D810, and
    my wife carried it on a D500 while I was shooting with
    other lenses. It's like carrying a 2l (70oz in the US) soda
    bottle. You won't forget it, but it's not going to cripple
    you. A little while with a 200 f/2 or 200-500 f/5.6 will
    make you think it's light. The biggest issue is that I
    always support these lenses by the lens, not the camera
    mount - so I've always got a hand taken up with the foot
    (which I use more as a carry handle than for the tripod).
    There are solutions for neck carrying though.

    I have no problems shooting the 70-200 hand held - but
    then I can hold a 200-500 or 200 f/2 for a while too (and
    a 400 f/2.8 for less long); tuck your elbow against your
    chest and you'll be fine unless you actually have medical
    issues with your hand. The 70-200 is noticeably nicer to
    the wrist/back than its big brothers if you hold position
    for long. I am not, for the record, remotely fit.

    But as others have said, it depends whether the f/2.8 is
    really what you need. The 70-200 f/4 is quite a bit
    smaller and cheaper and optically still very good. The
    original (-f/5.6) 70-300 AF-S VR is cheaper, and if not
    optically brilliant it's at least a step up from your 18-200
    while giving you more reach. The 55-200 and 55-300 are
    less strong, but very cheap and light - and still better
    than the 18-200.

    I think whatever you get will be an improvement - but as
    others have said, I'd try to hand hold a 70-200 f/2.8
    before splashing out on one. Just remember you can get
    used to the weight before it scares you off. I'd certainly
    give at least the 70-200 f/4 a look as an alternative,

    Good luck!
  10. I echo the above mentioned positive sentiments for the 70-200/4. If you don't require a larger aperture ,the VR on this lens is truly excellent and portability is as good as it gets. I hand hold this lens 100% of it useage and have an excellent rate of 'keepers' I don't consider myself to have very good hand held technique at short tele lengths but the 70-200/4 works well for me never the less.
  11. I owned the first VR version of the 70-200/2.8 and the two-ring 80-200/2.8 before that. While I had no trouble handholding either, their bulk and weight were an easy when traveling, necessitating a large bag to accommodate them. I ended up trading the 70-200/2.8 VR for the f/4 version, giving up f/2.8 but losing about half the weight and a quite a bit of the bulk of the larger aperture zoom.
  12. Plus one on the 70-200/4, very sharp lens, good VR, more compact to match the D7000 body size.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The 18-200mm DX superzoom is f5.6 on the 20mm end. Even the 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR is already one stop faster (and quite a bit more expensive). The f4 version is an excellent lens:, but I am sure the 2nd and 3rd versions of the f2.8 are also excellent.
  14. It comes down to whether or not you want the extra stop of f2.8 or the convenience of the smaller f4. If you do weddings, the choice is obvious. If you travel or hike a lot with the lens, the choice is also obvious.
    Kent in SD
  15. Ilkka,
    Thanks for all of your helpful information. As I am not in a hurry to make a purchase, I will take your advice and get my hands on both Nikons, the f.2.8 and f.4 as well as the Tamron to try them out. I appreciate your input. Happy New Year. Larry
  16. Hope we've helped, Larry! Good luck, and happy New
    Year to you too.
  17. Since you are not in a hurry (I was not either; it took me almost two years to figure out that I wanted the Tamron), check the Tamron Web Site later in the new year and see if they are having any "road shows". Tamron goes to camera stores in various locations and give people a chance to try their lenses (take your camera); they also give "classes" (marketing presentations) which are informative. Since these shows are held in camera stores, the store personnel usually will let you try non-Tamron lenses, too (after all, the store wants to sell lenses) . I had a chance to test the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 against the Nikon 70-200 f/4 (the Nikon f/2.8 was out of my budget).
    Have a very Happy New Year.
  18. Larry, just to echo what Andrew wrote: do not dismiss the cheaper telezooms either. Even the cheap 55-200VR will perform better than the 18-200. There is a new AF-P 70-300VR DX lens that gets good tests, and the Tamron 70-300 f/4.5-5.6VC also is worth mentioning for performance per dollar. For sure the 70-200 f/4 and f/2.8 lenses will be better, but in case you do not feel comfortable with their size and/or weight, these slow aperture lenses are decent alternatives too.
    In case you don't really need to go to 200mm often, something like a 18-140VR could also be worth exploring.
  19. A couple quick comments:
    1) the 55-200 consumer zoom is quite excellent, if that focal range is what you need. On the other hand, I had one get bumped and the image quality went to hell, easily seen in comparison shots.
    2) On a recent bird shoot, (Nickerson Beach, shooting black skimmers, many reasonably close), while most of us had longer lenses (200-500 f/5.6 and bigger) on tripods or monopods, the pro carried a 70-200 f/2.8 with a multiplier on a DX body. She got excellent shots with her very hand-holdable rig. I'm suggesting 70-200 f/2.8 with a multiplier is an option for longer shots.

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