Why do you have or how to you used the Nikon 80 200 2.8?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by savan_thongvanh, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. I've recently acquired and have been testing the much talked about 80 200 2.8 (AFD version), "the lens". I've still got more to learn about using it but have found that the softness while fully extended and wide open is softer than i thought.
    I previously had the slower 70 300G which was completely inadequate for indoor wedding stuff. I got the lens to improve in these conditions, it's used but usable.
    I know zooms have their imperfections but with a lens at this ticket price I expected it to be better all the way through.
    So, if this lens can't pay it's bills fully extended where does it shine? How do current owners/lovers use it?
    I'll continue to use and test it's limits but would love to hear about your experience.
  2. I got mine used because at the time I couldn't afford the 70-200 VR. I needed a fast telephoto for weddings and sports. I haven't noticed very much softness at any focal length with mine. I haven't had a chance to use it in a wedding yet so I cannot comment on that use, but I use it for portraits and sports and I have had great results so far. Maybe I'm just not seeing the softness, but I used to use a Sigma 24-70 2.8 for my weddings, and that lens had very noticeable softness, since then I've upgraded to the 80-200 and the 17-55 2.8 Nikon and they are so much sharper than the Sigma that I'll NEVER buy anything but Nikon. I don't know if you got a bad one or if you're just very critical of your images, but I wish you the best with your lens!
  3. I use my for wedding/portraits. It does appear to be soft wide open, but I'm usually in the f3.2 - f4. range where it pretty sharp for me. I enjoy reaching for it in my bag, but the wedding I shot this weekend was in a very tight location with a big wedding party. Even my 50mm was a little 'too big'.
  4. Savan,
    Are you sure that the problem you have experienced isn't motion blur? That lens is very good unless you happen to have a bad sample. Could you post examples of your problem shots?
  5. Have you satisfied yourself that it's the lens, and not technique? At 200mm, your D2X is showing a field of view like an even longer lens. At 200mm (and wide open) you've got the double peril of both very shallow DoF, and the fact that even very small movements in the camera will produce softness. Have you done your tests with flash, and relatively low ambient light, so that the flash pulse can help to really miniize the movement issue? Or, have you been shooting in enough light to get at least 1/500th?

    I use the 70-200, which has a very similar optical recipe. I use it wide open at 200mm all the time, with a DX body like yours. I am acutely aware of how easily a bit of technique variation on my part can make the difference between an apparently soft image, and a nicely sharp one.
  6. Matt-
    I am pretty satisfied that it's not my technique, this time :) I've done several variations of frames at 200mm @ f/2.8 On/off Tripod/monopod and hand held. Low ambient indoor w/ wo speedlight. Also outdoors in good light, 200 f/2.8 @ 1/1250.
    All seemed to exhibit some softness at 200mm and f/2.8 and the softness also seems to be corroborated by my other research and another thread I started specifically about the softness (http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Udq4).
    This is my post asking, in what conditions are you getting your sharpest photos with the lens.
    I'll post some samples later today of the variations. Maybe my pixel peeping is just too extreme.
  7. it might take a little getting used to with the weight difference from the 70-300mm that you used for quite sometime. in line with what matt said above, even a slight movement of your toes will result in a slight movement of your upper body that will for sure transmit to your hands..................that's a little exaggerated but you know what i mean. different gears, different stance, different technique, sometimes even different breathing routine, different everithing.
  8. I bought mine new years ago. It is the twist zoom AF-D with the tripod collar (the AF-S wasn't out yet). I bought it for nature and wildlife use and it has been great. I usually keep one camera and lens attached to my tripod while I am out, and I keep a second camera with the 80-200 mounted on it hanging off my shoulder. Its speed and quick (relatively) focusing have allowed me to capture some surprise moments that I would otherwise have missed.
  9. Kinda' just depends on each individual's perception of what is soft and what is not.
    Sure, f/4 will look a little sharper than 2.8...so? Is it objectionaable? Not to me.
    Ya, maybe you are pixel peeking too critically.
    I won't part with mine unless it falls off a cliff..and even then I might climb down and get it because it probably survived the fall. :)
  10. If you want f/2.8 to look as good as f/4, and you can live without a zoom, you can try the 180mm f/2.8. It's a lot lighter, too.
  11. Hi all, sorry I don't my question is revelant, but does anybody know where can I find a pdf version of the user manual for this lens, pls?
  12. I've bought mine new a few years ago. The 70-200VR was too expensive, tried a Sigma 70-200 HSM, but to me the AF was slower and it wasn't as sharp at f/2.8 as the Nikon.
    I initially bought it for "generic wildlife use" (using DX camera), but found it is a bit short for that. But during the time I discovered that and started saving for the remedy, I found the 80-200 to be a great lens for portraits, details of buildings/interiors...and of course it still has its uses in nature too. It's a quite versatile tool. I'll be hard pressed to get something else.
    Soft at f/2.8? Not mine. Sure f/4 is sharper (actually: more contrasty) but that is like saying a Ferrari 599 is faster than a Ferrari 612. It's true, but in reality, you won't notice.
    So yeah, I get sharp photos with this lens under nearly all circumstances. I find it relatively easy to hand-hold since it balances very well with DSLRs I've owned so far. If the result isn't sharp, I screwed up. So far, I never found a reason to blame the lens.
    Sammy, I should have the user manual of this lens still somewhere. Let me know what you need to know, and I'll look it up. But if I recall correctly, 99% of the manual is about compatible TCs and recommended focusscreens for film SLRs.
  13. Like many of the other posters, I bought the 80–200 because I couldn't afford the 70–200 VR and because I heard it was sharper on a full frame camera.
    I love the lens. It's served me well for portraits, weddings, and low-light events. I don't notice too much softness, but I also use a monopod if I'm going to be working exclusively at the 200mm end of the lens. Definitely worth purchasing if you can't afford to spring for its pricier sibling.
  14. I often use mine wide open and I'm very happy with the IQ.....
  15. Hi Wouter, That's great if you could send a copy to me. I have just got this lens on ebay which doesn't have any manual with it. But I found it great! I have been dreaming to own one for over a decade!
  16. "... in what conditions are you getting your sharpest photos with the lens?"
    On a tripod or monopod. I'd not be at all surprised to see motion blur hand-held at 200mm and 1/1000sec. I'm sure some folks can manage it, but I just don't take the risk.
  17. On a tripod or monopod. I'd not be at all surprised to see motion blur hand-held at 200mm and 1/1000sec. I'm sure some folks can manage it, but I just don't take the risk.​
    True. I can get 1 sharp results in 10 with 1/250 on 200 mm hand-held (with mirror pre-launch) but need to go for 1/800 to be sure. It's just too heavy, especially after a long (e.g. wedding) day. And indeed needs to be stopped down to f/3.2-4 anyway.
    This is not an indoor lens... For longer reach indoors, 85/1.8 or a 70-300 4-5.6 (Nikon VR or Sigma APO DG) with flash are winners.
  18. This is not an indoor lens... For longer reach indoors, 85/1.8 or a 70-300 4-5.6 (Nikon VR or Sigma APO DG) with flash are winners.​
    Hmmm, not my experience at all. The 80-200 works fine indoors, and also works fine with flash. The 85 f/1.8 indeed works better, but not at 200mm.
    The weight is a personal thing, I don't mind it much and in fact find it easier to handhold than lightweight lenses as the 70-300.
  19. threads like this always intrigue me. someone buys a well-regarded piece of hardware -- lens, camera, etc. -- and then come here to state how disappointed they are in their purchase.
    i wonder how many people down the line will read the OP and take away from it that the 80-200/2.8 is "soft" wide open?
    sorry to be so blunt, but i suspect about 90 percent of these posters are themselves the problem -- and not the gear.
    in the present instance, it's quite possible the lens is out of alignment, to be sure. to be satisfied in my own mind that the issue isn't generic, however, i took my copy out on my walk this morning and made a few captures with the lens at 200mm and shot wide open.
    i really cannot find fault with the lens...
  20. William-
    I hope too that someone that drops a $grand on a lens and has questions about it, as I do, would read thoroughly. In my own research I've found that in this forum, several others, and in unsolicited reviews that people have said that this lens is a touch soft "wide open" at the long end. You might have a really good one or you might not be peeping as hard as I am (which admittedly maybe too hard).
    I had what I thought to be excessive softness in a lens of this calibur. It was KEH BGN and had a couple of defects in it that could've cause the softness. As I said before I tried many variation on testing at that length and aperture. Also, I had a chance to test it as a guest at a wedding (as I would use it) right after I got it. So, I blame it on that instance of the lens.

    TO ALL READERS THAT HAVE MADE IT THIS FAR :) I ordered another copy and hope/expect that it will perform as well as it has for many many users for many many years.
    I'll post a conclusion when I get the new copy.
    This is sort of crossing over the softness thread I started...I started this to find out how people are using it and at what settings or in what conditions people are finding the best results.
  21. I own the lens to get shots like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluemist/197723686/.
    Wonderful lens (though heavy).

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