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Advice on 70-200mm zoom for Nikon

SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2012 9:28PM
Looking for anyone who has had experience or knowledge of different types of 70-200mm zoom lens for a Nikon (D3100) I am looking for a lens that will last me & don't mind 3rd party glass IF its got all-round quality, considering for example The Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD [IF] which is 1000 less than current Nikon version, and must be worth further research at this price difference.Also on my current shortlist I have The Sigma version & older Nikon G type.

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thewilliam 9 6.1k
22 Jul 2012 11:26PM
The D3100 has a DX sensor so the Mark 1 Nikon 70-200 will be fine. If you can live without VR, check out a used 80-200 AFS.

One advantage of buying Nikon lenses is that they usually hold their value better than the third-party equivalents. In 30 something years of Nikon ownership, I've only ever owned one independant lens and didn't keep that for long because it wasn't in the same league as the Nikon optics.
SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2012 12:53AM
Interesting. I probably would go for 80-200 except I don't think it will AF with D3100.
jimthistle73 14 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2012 1:34AM
I'm a bit behind on recent Nikon camera bodies. That said, I've had both 80-200 lenses and currently use a 70-200VRII. The latter knocks the first two right out of the field in terms of focus acquisition. It's there in fractions of seconds, rather than seconds. I suppose it depends on what you want from the lens - I've had brilliant results from a Tamron 70-300mm when out scouting for long lens landscapes too!
779HOB 6 1.2k United Kingdom
23 Jul 2012 7:23AM

Quote:Mark 1 Nikon 70-200 will be fine. If you can live without VR

I might be wrong but doesn't the Mk1 have VR - I have a MK1 (I think) and it's got VR on it. Really great lens either on the D300 or the D700. I prefer to buy Nikon lenses but I am sure the 3rd party lenses are good too.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
23 Jul 2012 9:00AM

Quote:Interesting. I probably would go for 80-200 except I don't think it will AF with D3100.

The advice was the 80-200 AF-s version - which does AF with a D3100.
The older design optically not quite as good 80-200 AF-D does not AF with a D3100.
Target price official import for the current 70-200 II is about 1,600.
Second hand price for the original 70-200 VR version is about 1,000.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
23 Jul 2012 10:16AM
When choosing the model of 80-200, some 12 years ago, the AFS version came out on top because it will focus about a foot closer - very useful for a people photographer and has very much faster AF. It's also sharp into the corners which the Mk1 70-200 isn't. That's probably why Nikon introduced a Mk2 70-200 to go with the FX digital bodies.

The bonus is it'll AF with even the entry-level Nikon bodies and it's the lens that makes the pictures. Bear in mind that the D3100 shares a lot of parts with its more expensive brethren so it's an excellent image-making machine.
SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2012 2:07PM
Has anyone used either the Sigma or Tamron versions - You pretty much know where you are with Nikon - but reviews and cost of these two, make worth serious consideration for me.
SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2012 7:38PM
How good exactly is 'VR' on the older Nikon 70-200 - I was worried about having to bump the ISO up too much on D3100 and grain the picture to get the shutter speed I want, which would kind of negate the point of buying such a good lens. Or if VR isn't so much of a difference I have Tamron in mind & I'll put money save towards a camera upgrade or wide-angle.
23 Jul 2012 9:29PM

Quote:I might be wrong but doesn't the Mk1 have VR - I have a MK1 (I think) and it's got VR on it.

It does..."AF-S VR-NIKKOR 70-200.......

The motorbike would go before this, and no way I'll give that up...absolute favourite lens..
RavenTepes 8 226 United States
23 Jul 2012 11:37PM
If you're willing to concider the Nikon 70-300, I'd go that route, especially if finances are an issue. Optically, the two are near identical, though the 70-300 is the slower of the two. Just my two cents
SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2012 11:58PM
Surely you wouldn't get the same image quality as something 4 times the cost & 100mm extra focal length??
RavenTepes 8 226 United States
24 Jul 2012 8:12AM
The 70-300 is the pro lens that should have been. What sets it apart is that its slow...but if you spend your time shooting at f/8 or smaller, you won't see much difference unless you're pixel peeping
snapbandit 14 2.3k 3 Northern Ireland
24 Jul 2012 9:37AM
I have both lenses & IMHO the 70-300 is a good lens (for the money!), but even without 'pixel peeping' it is not in the same league as the 70-200 f2.8. the 70-200 has noticibly better contrast, saturation & IQ as well as much superior build quality/solidity (if that's a real word!), not to mention the wider f2.8 aperture.
Don't get me wrong, I like the 70-300 & probably use it more often than the 70-200 now I have almost totally packed in the press/pro-sports work, as it's much lighter & handier to carry than the 70-200 & 300mm prime which would be needed to cover the same focal lengths, & I think it's great value for money. So if money not an object & you wanted the best IQ available then the 70-200 is superior, but if on a budget, then the 70-300 is hard to beat.

Quote:How good exactly is 'VR' on the older Nikon 70-200

I don't use VR very often, but have to say in the very slow shutter speed occasions, it has always managed to get the picture sharp when I would not be able to with hand holding.


Joe B
SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2012 1:04PM
I've decided to stick with Nikon for this size lens, just trying to find out how much difference VR is going to make, if its going to get me double the shots hand-held (as its about twice the price as 80-200) probably worth me getting 70-200 VR 1 as I like to move around a lot when shooting people. Remember I have a D3100 at the minute and love it at lower ISO, but not higher than 800, so anything to speed up shutter in lens should compliment it nicely.Thanks for advice.

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