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Thread: which nikon 70-200 for travel

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    Member torro's Avatar
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    which nikon 70-200 for travel

    Am wondering if any one uses the 70-200 f2.8 vr I/ii or the 70-200 f4 on their travels o/seas. The f4 is lighter, however are the optics as good as the F2.8? Would like to hear what people think as I would also be taking 16-35 f4 and the 24-70 f2.8. Will be using d800.
    Last edited by torro; 14-09-2014 at 9:58am. Reason: forgot info

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    Photoholic Goatch's Avatar
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    Far out , with all that glass your not worried about excess baggage or clothing for that matter LOL , I don't know about the 70-200 F4 , but I love my 2.8 VR11
    Does a one legged duck swim in an eliptic circle


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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I have the 70-200 f2.8 VRII and love it, such stunning IQ and sharpness for a zoom that it competes with the primes. In fact, according to DXO Mark, at 105mm from f4-5.6 and on a Nikon d800, it is as sharp as any lens tested in the centre!

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/lens...&fl2=105&av2=4

    Also according to DXO Mark, it is a tad sharper than the 70-200 f4.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/lens...l2=105&av2=5.6

    The beauty of having the 70-200 f2.8 VRII is that you can add the 1.4x TCIII and have a great IQ 100-280 f4!

    D810 + 70-200 f2.8 VRII + 1.4x TCIII, f7.1, 280mm



    Crop of above




    Or, you can add the 2x TCIII and have a 140-400 f5.6 which still gives excellent IQ.

    D810 + 70-200 f2.8 VRII + 2x TCIII, f9, 400mm.



    Crop of above



    My overseas travel kit is now:

    D810
    24 f1.4G
    16-35 f4 VR
    24-70 f2.8
    70-200 f2.8 VRII or 80-400 f4.5-5.6G
    1.4x TCIII
    2x TCIII

    If taking the 80-400 f4.5-5.6G, then I dispense with the TC's.
    Last edited by Lance B; 14-09-2014 at 12:01pm.

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    Thanks Lance, was looking at TC-14Eii to pair up with the F2.8. Do you get much use out of the 24 F1.4 G? great examples, thanks once again

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torro View Post
    Thanks Lance, was looking at TC-14Eii to pair up with the F2.8. Do you get much use out of the 24 F1.4 G? great examples, thanks once again
    Thank you for your kind comments.

    The 24 f1.4G is one of my favourite lenses, superb IQ and sharpness. Perfect for landscapes and travel.
    Last edited by Lance B; 14-09-2014 at 10:54pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Hi Torro,
    I took exactly a 70-200 f2.8G VR2 and a 24 1.4G on my honeymoon. Plus a little Canon G12 with an underwater housing.
    The 70-200 was very bulky to bring around and I probably wouldn't do it again. I have since moved to a mirrorless system for travels but there's no way I could have got the photos that I did without the gear that I took so I don't regret it.
    Nikon FX

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    Member ASD14's Avatar
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    I'm no pro photographer, but when travelling you want light weight and compact lenses/body, unless your purely going there for photography. So I personally believe a small prime (ie. 35mm F/1.8 OR 16-35 F/4 & 70-200F/4) is perfect as this will cover 99% of shots, give great IQ and be able to put them in a small bag.

    Cheers.

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    I'm with Swifty. Whilst a full frame body and f2.8 zooms covering 14mm - 200mm, it is a bit to carry around whilst travelling. However, it meant that I've been able to cover all bases and get some memorable shots.

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    Recently, I have used the 70-200/4 for one week on the D800 and the D4s. Personally, I'm not totally convinced by the IQ. I still prefer the rendering of the f/2.8 version, especially the VRII. If the weight is not an issue, the 70-200/2.8 VRII is the way to go.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I think the real answer to the question is reliant upon a more accurate description of the term travel.

    We all travel at some point in our lives, and the purpose of the travel event needs to be addressed in a more accurate manner.

    That is:
    Why do you travel?
    Do you travel to just have a break, ie. ' for some thing to do' .. or do you travel to go to different places ie. just to experience other things(cultures/lifestyles/etc) .. or do you travel for the photographic opportunities.

    If you travel for the purpose of photographic opportunities, then try to get the best equipment you can.

    if you travel for the purpose of unwinding, but want some way to catalog these travels, dies the idea of photographic opportunities come as a lower priority .. in this instance the gear may not need to be of the utmost importance, as long as you get some decent IQ from it all.

    My answer to the question posed will be appropriate for my traveling purposes, but it may not be for yours.
    I travel almost entirely for the purpose of photography opportunities.

    When I do travel for photography I take 'all my gear' which means about 9 lenses, 2 bodies two tripods and the majority of it in a 20(off) kilo backpack.
    I've hiked for hours with as much of it that I could carry which usually means the 20kg backpack and 1 tripod.(there's no point in bringing 2 tripods on a long walk .. the other sits in the car or something).
    On the rare occasion that I do travel for purposes other than taking photos, I even prefer the option of just having one camera and maybe a kit type lens. The only kit lens option I have access too is a Nikon 18-105VR lens.

    So if you think you're traveling mainly for the purpose of taking photos, and you don't want to compromise this opportunity, then the best gear is the answer .. ie. the f/2.8 version of this lens.

    If you're traveling for the purpose of taking a break, or some kind of event(eg. like Swifty's honeymoon) ... and all you want is access to photo ops with high quality .. then the f/4 version of this lens would seem to be the most appropriate.
    The point is, you don't want to be lumbered with stuff that will restrict the purpose of the travel event you're about to undertake.

    as examples of how to answer your own question:

    1/. if this travel arrangement is for your honeymoon to Bali or something(or for some time with the kids to 'see stuff'), the primary purpose of the holiday is to be with the missus/kids/etc and all your main priority for the gear is that it's not a burden, but will give you good quality(I'm assuming that good-high quality is a high priority for you as you already have a D800!) if you think you need a 70-200 on the trip then the f/4 version makes sense. Actually what makes even more sense is something like a 28-300 type lens instead.

    2/. if this holiday event is taking you to Africa to experience the wilderness, and hence focused more on the photography aspect of it, then you want to maximize the ability to get photos in almost any conditions. The f/2.8 version of this lens will make the most sense in this situation(for obvious reasons).

    In situation 1, larger(and hence higher quality gear) will probably be a burden(both to yourself and possibly others in the party) .. lighter gear makes more sense.
    In situation 2, smaller lighter (hence lower quality) gear will be a restriction and so you want the larger more able gear.

    Note that the term lower quality with respect to gear isn't a strict reference to some notion that it will produce inferior quality images. From what I've seen of lower quality gear, in some situations, you probably couldn't determine which it of gear took which image in many comparisons.
    The term lower quality is an overall generic terms. . eg. like an f/4 lens is of lower quality to an f/2.8 lens, simply because it can't ever allow in as much maximum light to the camera as the larger lens can.

    If you're in Africa on a wilderness trip obviously the f/2.8 lens will give you a better opportunity to capture that photo in near darkness that the slower lenses may struggle with!
    But if you're at a zoo in Bali(on your honeymoon) you may more likely be interested in the shared experience with your partner, more than the ability to capture an award winning photo.
    Chances are that it will more than likely be in broad daylight, so the faster lens is a bit of a waste in such a situation when the slower lens should be sufficient.

    So comments such as smaller lighter gear is best suited for travel, simply doesn't make sense.
    If the expedition is for the purpose of getting out into the Aussie bush to capture images of the rare Night Parrot, smaller lighter gear is useless to me. (don't ask me .. ask Tannin how useless small gear will be on such an event )

    Determine the intended purpose of the travel event first ... then work out what gear is best suited for your needs.

    Hope this helps.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  11. #11
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    I'm travelling to China, (third trip) where photography is a major focus. Having been on two trips before and looking at where I'm going on this trip I will need a longer focus like the 70-200m. Weight is becoming more of a concern as the F2.8 is not light. I guess I have to weigh up IQ vs a sore back. Still undecided which way to go.

  12. #12
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Arthur, you have summed it up perfectly. You ask the correct question and that is, "why do you travel?" and that is the crux of the matter and what everyone should ask themselves. For me, being a very keen photographer, I travel in order to take (hopefully) great travel photos and therefore, I take the best gear that I can in order to help get me the best shots that I can. Others that are not so keen may be satisfied with not needing the best gear to take with them, but lighter gear that doesn't intrude or weigh them down so much.

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    Member MrQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    Also according to DXO Mark, it is a tad sharper than the 70-200 f4.
    If you compare them at the same focal length (it's 200mm vs 105mm in the link provided) there's nothing in it. The 2.8 is a tad better in spots and the 4 is in others. It's splitting hairs though - they're both fantastic lenses.

    I'd go with the f/4 simply because of the size and weight advantage. Then again, if you're already lugging around a tonne of glass an extra kg probably won't make much difference. The f/4 (from personal experience) is a whole lot nicer to walk around using though.
    -- Mister Q

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The other thing to note with the difference btw the f/4 and f/2.8 in this situation is that the 2.8 version comes with a tripod collar, the 4 doesn't(and needs to be purchased separately if needed.

    if you do any non handheld shooting with such a lens(which I do mostly) .. the tripod collar issue can be a big deal.

    The difference in weight between the two types of lenses is only in the 700gr region .. but remember this is for the bare f/4 lens .. minus the tripod collar.

    So the extra weight of that plus the nearly $200 extra cost should be factored into the equation if the lenses are to be equally considered.

    Also note the tripod collar design of the 2.8 lens is also quite nice in that the square foot end of the contraption is removed(and hence easier to store if not needed) .. where the entire tripod collar of the f/4 lens needs to be removed if not required(or in the way).


    Just some more info to consider if this sort of thing is important to you.

  15. #15
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrQ View Post
    If you compare them at the same focal length (it's 200mm vs 105mm in the link provided)
    On that link, you can alter the focal length and apertures to suit, that is the beauty of that particular test.

    there's nothing in it.
    I will have to disagree.

    The 2.8 is a tad better in spots and the 4 is in others. It's splitting hairs though - they're both fantastic lenses.
    They are but I still believe the f2.8 version is better in most areas.

    It is pointless comparing the apertures with both lenses wide open as one is f2.8 and the other is f4. The comparo really should be at f4 onwards, however, I have put it in my comparo below anyway, but the real comparison is at f4 plus for both lenses.

    At 70mm and both wide open they are line ball. When both at f4, I think you'll find the f2.8 is quite a bit better. At f5.6 and f8, the f2.8 version is well ahead mostly to the edges. At 70mm, points to the f2.8 version.

    At 85mm, both wide open, the f4 version is quite a bit better. When both @ f4 to, they are about equal. Again, at f5.6 the f4 version is a tad better, but at f8 it is line ball. At 85mm, I would say maybe a very slight win to the f4 version but nothing in it really.

    At 105mm, both wide open, the f4 version is a little better. Both @ f4, the f2.8 is miles ahead an as sharp as any lens tested on DXO, in the centre area. At f5.6 and f8 the f2.8 version is still a little better. At 105mm, points well and truly with the f2.8 version.

    At 135mm, both wide open, the f4 version is quite a bit better. Both @ f4, the f2.8 is a tad better in the centre but not the edges. At f5.6 and f8/11, they are line ball. I would say line ball at this focal length, maybe slightly favouring the f2.8.

    At 200mm, both wide open, the f4 version is a bit better. Both @ f4, the f2.8 version is much better. Again at f5.6 the f2.8 version is better mainly in the centre not so at the edges. At f8 the f2.8 is a tad better. I would say the f2.8 version is better at f200mm.

    I'd go with the f/4 simply because of the size and weight advantage. Then again, if you're already lugging around a tonne of glass an extra kg probably won't make much difference. The f/4 (from personal experience) is a whole lot nicer to walk around using though.
    There is no doubting the credentials of the f4 version, it is a wonderful lens considering it's price and weight advantage. However, I still believe the 70-200 f2.8 VRII is the king of this focal length range, the bread and butter lens for many a pro as it is with the Canon version. Not only that, but you can take a 1.4x TC and have a very handy 100-280 f4, or use the 2x TC and a very credible 140-400 f5.6.
    Last edited by Lance B; 20-09-2014 at 6:22pm.

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    Member MrQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    On that link, you can alter the focal length and apertures to suit, that is the beauty of that particular test.
    Yes, but my point was that you should compare them at the same settings, not at the different settings that the original link went to. The chart is great btw, it really shows how close the two lenses are in performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    I will have to disagree.
    ... At 70mm, points to the f2.8 version.
    ... At 85mm, I would say maybe a very slight win to the f4 version but nothing in it really.
    ... At 105mm, both wide open, the f4 version is a little better.
    I don't think you're disagreeing at all. It reads more like a more a more detailed way of saying:

    Quote Originally Posted by MrQ View Post
    The 2.8 is a tad better in spots and the 4 is in others.


    No argument from me that if you need f/2.8 or want to use teleconverters then the f/2.8 version is a better choice. The size/weight advantage of the f/4 shouldn't be underestimated though - it really makes a huge difference. It's the reason I bought the f/4 and only rent/borrow the f/2.8 on occasion. I really have to think about whether I want to lug the f/2.8 whereas I'll grab the f/4 without a second thought.

    In any case it shows that the OP should be happy with whichever lens they end up choosing.
    Last edited by MrQ; 21-09-2014 at 1:31pm. Reason: Accidental click on the post button :P

  17. #17
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrQ View Post
    Yes, but my point was that you should compare them at the same settings, not at the different settings that the original link went to.
    Well, that was just where the chart ended up when I was looking through it and then decided to link it to here for reference. It was not meant to be compared at at those particular focal lengths and apertures that it was linked to and the point with it is, you decide what focal length and aperture you want to compare and the best way is obviously to compare at the same focal length and aperture.

    The chart is great btw, it really shows how close the two lenses are in performance.
    As are most good lenses when you boil it all down.

    I don't think you're disagreeing at all. It reads more like a more a more detailed way of saying:
    I am disagreeing a little. I do think the f2.8 is better overall being better at nearly all focal lengths, but by a slim margin in most instances, and as Sar states above, him having used both, that the f2.8 is a better of the two as far as IQ is concerned, but then it should be as it is almost twice the price!



    No argument from me that if you need f/2.8 or want to use teleconverters then the f/2.8 version is a better choice. The size/weight advantage of the f/4 shouldn't be underestimated though - it really makes a huge difference. It's the reason I bought the f/4 and only rent/borrow the f/2.8 on occasion. I really have to think about whether I want to lug the f/2.8 whereas I'll grab the f/4 without a second thought.

    In any case it shows that the OP should be happy with whichever lens they end up choosing.

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