Where oh where is the 80-200 f/2.8 AFS-II VR?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by efusco, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. This has been bugging the hell out of me....

    I'm a long time Nikon shooter, not trying to start a flame war or
    anything of that sort, just a legitimate (I think) question...

    Why hasn't Nikon made a 80-200 f/2.8 AFS-II VR lens? Any ideas, is
    there some techinical snafu? I mean, geez, there have got to be a
    couple hundred thousand photographers out there that would dump their
    current zoom in that range for that particular lens with AFS and VR--
    I would even if it cost in the $2K range.

    Sure, I heard they're coming out with the 70-200 f2.8 VR, but it's a
    G lens (i.e. no aperture ring so not useable on older bodies--useless
    to me without duplication of focal lengths and I just can't carry
    that much), and it doesn't have AFS...no telling what it will cost
    and still not meet the needs of us technology and quality hungry semi-
    pros/advance amatuers--and I suspect 'real' pros too.

    I just don't understand the delay--the technology and need and market
    are there, so where's the damn lens?!

    Rant over.
  2. That 70-200 IS an AFS:
    AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED

    I'm guessing that it'll be the only one we see...Heck, Nikon didn't put VR in the updated super teles, now they're coming out with VR 'G' lenses. Who knows what they're thinking?
  3. I suspect Nikon is dumping the aperture ring. I don't like the feel of the rings on their modern lenses anyway. My trusty old manual Nikkors put the new rings to shame.

    Too bad for those of you using older bodies though.
  4. It is supposed to ba available about the end of Nov, just in time to have your wife/girlfriend put it under the Christmas tree. Expected street price to be about US$ 1600.

  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Can someone explain why VR is that important in the 70/80-200 focal length range? What kind of photography do you have in mind, like shooting from a boat, etc.?
  6. Shun,
    If shooting everything off a tripod I suppose it isn't that important at all. For me I can't get tack sharp hand held photos shooting a 200mm lens at 1/250 or even 1/500 in a lot of cases (tracking, fast moving action, etc.) Have I done ok working around, yea, but I've also wished for slower speed capability indoors, dim/overcast lighting at outdoor events, or when I really wanted to shoot at the f/8 and f/11 apertures. To me the technology is there, I want the lens with the capability to let me maximize my options be it lighting, film speed, AF capability....gimme, gimme, gimme....
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In my case, I use my 80-200 on a tripod most of the time, and if I hand hold, the 1/focal length rule works pretty well for me. In other words, if I use 1/250 sec or faster, hand holding a 200mm is not a problem. If it is action shots, I'll need 1/500 sec or faster to freeze the action anyway.

    So VR at 70-200mm is useful to me if I must shoot (1) hand held of some (2) stationary subject (3) at a slow shutter speed. IMO that combination simply doesn't happen often enough to justify the additional cost. And as I mentioned in an earlier thread, I don't like the fact that the VR has 21 elements. My AF-S version has enough problems with ghosting in sunrise/sunset shots. The additional elements for VR will only make things worse.

    I have some friends who really sware by their VR and IS lenses. At least in their case, VR lets them get away with not using a tripod while they should. You can look at it as a convinence or the new technology encourages photographers to empoly sloppy techniques.
  8. Evan,

    VR does no miracles. Will save you 1 maybe 2 stops, but than you are at the very limit. In fact VR will never give you the sharpness of a lens mounted on a tripod. The detector which drives the VR mechanism has to detect movement before acting. That initial movement (which starts the VR to compensate) will cause some blurry edges anyway. I agree completely with Shun. I would buy no VR lens unless I would own 500 pounds in a second like Billy. :)
  9. Reports on the net claim that with the 80-400 VR, reproducable and reasonably sharp shots at 400 mm can be obtained at ridiculously long shutter speeds, such as 1/15th of a second. Nikon claims that the effect of the VR on handholdability is about three stops. What is "sharp" depends on your standards of course. And at least the Canon big-tele users seem to swear by using IS on a tripod, improving the sharpness at very long focal lengths (500 ... 1200 mm). So, while at 80-200 mm you will get sharper shots on a tripod than hand-holding with IS/VR, the IS/VR feature should improve the sharpness of all handheld shots when properly used.
  10. It can make a big difference to me. It can mean I'll get shots that aren't going to be possible without it.

    There are too many times when a tripod is not allowed or isn't practical, or the light is just not quite enough that I know I'll benefit from this lens.

    Also, I have tremor which isn't noticable most of the time but can show up in photos. Before I got the 80 - 400, shots at beyond 105 were beyond what I could do handheld. Now I can take these shots with confidence that I will get a shot that is sharp.

    Especially in the US with the aging population this is a welcome lens.

  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I think it really depends on what you shoot. But in my case I feel that it will only make some occasional difference to my photography. Currently the Canon 70-200mm/f2.8 non-IS and IS are around $1100 and $1700 respectively (varies a bit depending on US/grey models and rebates). A roughly $600 and >50% difference is very difficult to justify IMO.

    Recall that in the early to mid 1990s when Nikon didn't have any tripod collars on its 80-200mm/f2.8, there was endless complaints and companies such as Kirk came up with those very inconvenient add-on tripod collars. So apparently a lot of people use these lenses on tripods. Moreover, these are not exactly light lenses; a tripod would help supporting them.

    Those friends of mine who use the 80-400 VR also claim that they can hand hold 400mm at 1/15 sec. I find that hard to believe. That is a typical wildlife lens anyway and most likely your subject will show (major) movement at such a slow shutter speed. I can see VR being very useful on 500mm or 600mm/f4s so that you can snap on a TC-20E while maintaining reasonable stability on stationary subjects.
  12. I had been unable to find the press release on the Nikon USA site about the lens but a google search produced the URL below for the
    AFS VR 70-200 ED-IF G lens. I wish it weren't a "G" lens, but otherwise it does have the AFS and VR I was gripeing about. Sorry for the confusion...

  13. I've been using the 80-400 VR lens for a couple of years now and find it invaluable for shooting wildlife and sports where there is a lot of movement. With a moving subject, its a matter of percentages. I find a much larger percentage of images are satisfactorally sharper with the VR lens, especially at 1/100th second or faster. Even at 1/15 the of a second, I can take 5 shots of deer in the forest and at least one shot will turn out sharp. While that's only 20% success, there is absoultely no chance that the deer would give me time to mount the camera on a tripod. In fact, most wildlife flee faster than the wind when they see a tripod. For some reason a 500mm lens won't scare them away but a tripod sure will.
  14. Hello All!!

    Well I am with everybody when it comes to the eagerness of the AFS VR Lens to finally come out. I got an email today after questioning Nikon about a new lens....it reads:

    Dear Parker Eshelman:

    There is going to be a lens that is going to be released in
    March of 2003. It is going to be an AF-S 70-200mm f2.8G VR. It
    appears that it is going to have a suggested list price of
    $1,985.00 dollars.

    Thank you for contacting Nikon, Inc.

    Technical Relations
    Nikon, Inc.

    well that pretty much sums it up i hope. looks like we'll be getting rain checks for christmas.

    parker eshelman


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