Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


PRIZES GALORE! Enter The ePHOTOzine Exclusive Christmas Prize Draw; Over £10,000 Worth of Prizes! Plus A Gift For Everybody On Christmas Day!

Which tele zoom on the D800?


woodworth 2 25 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2012 9:00PM
I've been pondering on the matter of a tele zoom such as a 80-200/2.8 or 70-200/2.8 or 70-300, 70-210 etc.

I don't think I really want a huge 2.8 zoom. I don't want to be spending 1000+ on a lens I won't use very often. I think I'd prefer to use something smaller and cheaper but that is still excellent quality and to use the 135/2 or 180/2.8 for low light work.

I have wondered about the old 70-210/4 as a possibility.

What do you suggest?

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

thewilliam 6 4.8k
11 Jul 2012 9:26PM
You need to check the performance of your intended zoom because the high pixel count will show up any shortcomings. If you're happy with manual focus, the old 80-200 f4.5 is a real cracker and almost given away.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
11 Jul 2012 10:56PM
The tele-zooms that I use on my D800 are the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRll and the Sigma 150-500mm OS. For travel, I use the Nikkor 28-300mm as an all-purpose lens.

But I have, and now rarely use, the Nikkor 70-300 lens which is much less expensive than the others but a superb lens for the money. It was the first zoom I bought way back in my D80 days and I can't bear to get rid of it. It is also much lighter than the bigger lenses.

By the way, not looking for a fight but I don't agree with thewilliam's comment above. I do not believe that the high resolution of the D800 will show up any shortcomings of lenses - that would not have been shown up anyway. I would put it round the other way - the D800 will help you get the best out of any given lens. Yes - even with the relatively cheap 70-300mm lens, the D800 can give me better images, when cropped and enlarged, than my D3s would have given with the same lens.

When the D800 with its 36Mp sensor was launched there was an incredible amount of tripe written about "the sensor out-resolving the lens". And most of it was utter tripe - spouted by people who talked through an orifice situated below the waist. Believe me, we are still a very long way from dSLR sensors out-resolving half-decent glassware.
puertouk 3 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2012 12:03AM
Strange that every review I have read, the pro's all say that you will not get away with cheap lenses and that the only way to get the best from this camera was to use the top end lenses. In fact, they said it may well be that the lenses available may let this cameras down. 36.3 million pixels is a lot for a DSLR and I would have thought you will need the best lenses money can buy to get the best out of this camera.
woodworth 2 25 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2012 7:32AM
There have been quite a few comments suggesting that the D800 needs the very best lenses with the suggestion that many lenses will simply be inadequate. There is some truth in this notion and some of the proverbial brown stuff as "hinted at" Wink in LeftForum's post. The way I look at it is that the combination of the D800 and the best glass will give you the very best result but that other lenses may not simply fail - as has been suggested. I have heard reports from other photographers that the (now very old) 24/2.8 and 35/2 are faring acceptably well on the D800 despite sites like Photozone giving them rather withering reviews (Photozone is let's sayultra critical in my opinion - lets put it that way). Leftforum put it that the D800 would get the best out of any lens which is a positive view on the situation and lets face it there are relatively few lenses that are simply so bad that they cannot be used.

Any thoughts on the old 70-210/4 Nikkor? I had one years ago and thought it rather good (on film at least) also any thoughts on the most recent Tamron 70-300 (the old one was soft at 300 if I remember correctly).
12 Jul 2012 7:52AM

Quote:I don't think I really want a huge 2.8 zoom. I don't want to be spending 1000+ on a lens I won't use very often. (snipped) What do you suggest?

Maybe a rethink on budget!
While any lens delivers more resolution on a high MP camera like a D800, only the best delivery the highest resolution.
The 70-200 and 200-400 are obvious "best lenses" but out of your budget.
At the top end of your budget the 300 f4 AF-s is optically the best, though not a zoom.
Not optically the best with more reach and near the top of your budget is the 80-400 VR. There are plenty second hand at Ffordes and similar outlets.
The 70-300 is the decent affordable option - without a lot of extra reach.
A Kenko Pro 300 1.4x or even 2x converter for your 180mm should be OK for occasional use.
You can crop D800 images quite a bit and still get 12 MP resolution.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
12 Jul 2012 9:22AM

Quote:Strange that every review I have read, the pro's all say that you will not get away with cheap lenses and that the only way to get the best from this camera was to use the top end lenses. In fact, they said it may well be that the lenses available may let this cameras down. 36.3 million pixels is a lot for a DSLR and I would have thought you will need the best lenses money can buy to get the best out of this camera.


Puerto,

You have fallen for the old scam.

Think about it - most of the "reviews" you read are written by journalists who, almost by definition, know very little about the subjects they write about.

Most of the garbage written about "the D800 out-resolving lenses" was penned by those guys before any of them had even laid a finger on the camera. And how many of them do you imagine have master's degrees in Physics? Damned few, I'll bet.

Have you yet heard anyone who actually uses a D800 verifying that premature mythology?

Yes, of course, use any camera with the best glass you can afford. But don't confuse glass quality with price - the sharpest lens that I own is probably the cheapest - a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D that cost 89. However, having said that, it is largely academic as every lens that I own produces better results with the *
D800 than it did with the D3s if I push it to the limits. Note though, that what I am doing is pushing the camera to to limits - and doing so is not reaching the limits of any of my lenses. And I have no way of knowing at what sensor resolution that might eventually change - 50Mp, 100Mp....??? I don't know, and neither do your review writers.

.
rhol2 e2
3 320 1 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2012 10:18AM

Quote:The tele-zooms that I use on my D800 are the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRll and the Sigma 150-500mm OS. For travel, I use the Nikkor 28-300mm as an all-purpose lens.

But I have, and now rarely use, the Nikkor 70-300 lens which is much less expensive than the others but a superb lens for the money. It was the first zoom I bought way back in my D80 days and I can't bear to get rid of it. It is also much lighter than the bigger lenses.




As I'm looking for a budget 70-300mm. I would be interested to know which version it is that you have and recommend please..
thewilliam 6 4.8k
12 Jul 2012 10:28AM
In the good old days of film, we had to be more careful when using the slower fine-grain films because they showed up any shortcomings in our lenses and technique. In the latest Grays mag, Jim Brandenberg mentioned that he had to use a tripod more often with the D800. He was also far more aware of lens performance. This is one writer that I do respect, especially when his experiences remind me of my own use of the very high resolution 25 ISO Kodak Tech Pan in the 1980s.

Newer lenses always seem to be bigger and heavier than those they replace. When I started serious photography, most lenses took 52mm filters but now the standard seems to be 77mm. Some older lenses are fine performers, even in comparison with the modern offerings. We just need to choose carefully.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
12 Jul 2012 4:40PM

Quote:



As I'm looking for a budget 70-300mm. I would be interested to know which version it is that you have and recommend please..



Mine is the AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 G VR. I think that is still the current model. I'd certainly recommend it as a (relatively) inexpensive tele-zoom to get you started.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
12 Jul 2012 4:52PM

Quote:In the good old days of film, we had to be more careful when using the slower fine-grain films because they showed up any shortcomings in our lenses and technique.


Technique - yes. But only because they had less latitude and were less forgiving of exposure errors (or processing parameters).

Lenses - they may have shown up a really poor lens but not anything from any of the "quality" manufacturers or even the rather superb lens that came with the Zenit-E. Certainly Panatomic-X and Pan-F never came close to showing up "defects" in normal good lenses.

In respect of the Jim Brandenberg quote, I suspect that he was merely repeating what was said about tripod use in the Nikon Technical Note that I drew attention to here back in February. That suggested that the high resolution would accentuate the ill-effects of camera shake. Nikon have now amended (and I suspect regretted) that statement and explain that what they really meant was that if you use the higher resolution of the D800 to push the limits beyond what any other current dSLR can achieve, then factors such as camera shake might become more observable. That's what I meant by "pushing limits" 4 or 5 posts up the thread. But my experience is as I stated - stick any decent lens on a D800 and you will get better results than you would get with the same lens on any other Nikon dSLR. Yes, you might get better results with a 1600 Nikkor than with a 200 Sigma - but that would apply whether you were using a D800, a D300 or a D3200.

Certainly, no-one upgrading to a D800 should worry that they are going to have to throw their existing lenses - with which they have, so far, been satisfied - on to the scrapheap.

.
woodworth 2 25 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2012 6:47PM
I spoke to a nice Lady from Grays called Tabitha who encouraged me to use a tripod more with my D800, despite the VR on the lens I bought, saying that the higher resolution sensor would show up any camera shake that wasn't evident on a D700 or D3. There is an element of truth in what she says in as much as when you have anti shake you are tempted to push it to it's limits, but I have to say that in my limited experience of the D800 the pictures do not suffer hardly any more from shake than the pictures I took with my 24mp Sony A900 (with it's in-built anti shake). I think the element of truth is that any shake may be more evident compared to the 24mp images I was used to simply because the resolution is higher and so more detail is evident and so small blurring by shake can now be seen where before the limit of the resolution masked it. That said as I suggested before I see no real evidence that this is anything other than a small difference. I have been getting sharp hand held pictures at 1/15th where the chance of subject motion blur is just as likely to ruin the picture as camera shake. For detailed, important pictures where tripod use is possible, one should do the sensible thing and use a tripod - it makes sense! Also, don't be afraid to hand hold, it could make the difference between getting an image and not.
Railcam 8 483 Scotland
12 Jul 2012 8:12PM

Quote:Mine is the AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 G VR. I think that is still the current model. I'd certainly recommend it as a (relatively) inexpensive tele-zoom to get you started.


I use the same model lens but on a D700. Superb value for money. It has a small amount of pin cushion distortion towards the 300mm end but that is fully corrected by Lightroom.

I would drfinitely recommend it as value for money.
rhol2 e2
3 320 1 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2012 9:20PM
Re. Nikkor 70-300mm.

Thanks to Leftforum and Railcam for your comments..that looks like a good bet..
20 Jul 2012 10:25PM
Controversial maybe but all reasonable lenses faster than f5.6 are very good performers at f8-f11.
Provided you accept this any decent lens will produce very good results with good technique.
Digressing to the sub topic of "sensors out resolving lenses" - that has never been true.
Image resolution is part made up of lens resolution, part made up of lens resolution, and never reaches 100% of either when tested in isolation.
Putting an 18-55 DX on a D800 will produce a lot more file information than an a D70. That said the usual reason for using a D800 is high image resolution so good FX lenses are important if you want good resolution at wider apertures.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.