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Thread: Refurbished Nikon 70-200 VR I 2.8 G vs Nikon AFS 80-200 with new motor

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    Ausphotography Regular NRandall's Avatar
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    Refurbished Nikon 70-200 VR I 2.8 G vs Nikon AFS 80-200 with new motor

    I need an AF zoom in this range and my budget is limited. I can get a refurbished 70-200 version I or an AFS 80-200 with a new motor for about the same money, - both just within budget. I use a tripod quite a lot, and don't do weddings. Has anyone here used both and can compare?
    Main Body D800E plus a bunch of other Nikon stuff
    "The eye sees what it wants to see and the camera sees the rest" Nick

    sapiens populus eo per camelus


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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Don't have either but I had a real close look at both before I decided on the Tamron 70-200.

    I was surprised on two counts by the 80-200mm. Firstly the excellent reviews it gets and the cult following it seems to have, and secondly that Nikon are still making it, albeit only in the AF version so it is not in competition with the 70-200 VR. I was leaning towards it when the Tamron hit the market and as I really needed OS I went with the Tammy.

    The only negative thing I came across with the 80-200 AF-S was that the motors were prone to failure but if this one has a new motor it should be good for years of service. If you don't need VR it could suit your needs if the price is right.
    Last edited by Cage; 31-05-2016 at 8:19am.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D800 & GAS

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The current 80-200 AF-D lens is a totally different beast to the old 80-200 AF-S version.
    Optically and menchanically.

    I used to have the 80-200 AF-D and never liked it other than bokeh and colour reproduction(SOOC).
    I eventually replaced it with the Tammy 70-200(older NON VC) in 2009.
    Much better lens in most respects, and close enough to the 80-200AF-D in terms of colour(easily edited anyhow) and bokeh.

    But now! .. I'd prefer the Tammy 70-200 VC model over the older 70-200VR I having tried both.
    Never tried an 80-200AF-S nor 70-200VR II tho.

    Just a note about the 70-200 VR I on full frame too.
    It's a notorious lens on Fx due to the low quality rendering at the edges of the frame.
    Even down to f/11 or so, many users reported that the edges on an FX camera aren't really acceptably sharp.
    Something to note if you're doing landscapey type images(eg. off a tripod).
    Hence why Nikon updated to the VRII soon after their first Fx camera(D3) was released.

    According to reports tho, the 80-200 AF-S is much better at the edges of the frame than the VR I.
    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


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    Thank you Kev and Arthur -
    I have also read today that the 70-200 VR I sample quality is somewhat varied, which kind of puts me off buying a used example.
    The only drawback I have read in the Tamron reviews is the relatively slow AF speed.

    The VR II would be the obvious choice but that is an extra grand on average.

    I had been reading mixed reviews, even over at nikonians.
    The Tamron was also recommended there with the AF speed caveat.
    Local Aussie knowledge is good, so thank you gentlemen

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    if you're not doing sport/birds/fast action with random focus distances .. not really an issue.

    The older(I have) non VC Tammy is slower for sure, and you feel it easily.
    I can't really say it's ever been an issue tho. Shot small twitchy birdies with it, gokarts are tracked easily enough.
    Only in low light with the kart coming towards me did I have issues focusing .. I remember it hunting a fair bit. But it was fairly low light and a black kart with rider in dark blue against a black background.
    I only tried the VC model in a camera store. Lights not bright, but not very dim either.
    Focus was fast(enough for me) and accurate. VC worked well too.

    If I ever update the old Tammy it will really only be for:
    1/. the ability to manual focus easier. Old model has this annoying puch/pull clutch/declutch system that loses focus if you switch between manual and auto
    (that's the main reason)
    2/. VC would be handy sometimes.

    No rush, but I reckon the next time I'm out and using it and want to confirm (AF)focus accuracy and switch to Manual mode .. I'll get fed up and next day go get the VC model

    Also, rumours abound that Sigma is close to releasing an Art or Sport version of their 70-200 soon.
    If their recent offerings in this range of lenses is anything to go by, you'd have to guess that it'll be up there with the best in terms of most comparisons to the opposition gear.
    That could be a trigger for my next bout of GAS

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRandall View Post
    The Tamron was also recommended there with the AF speed caveat.
    Local Aussie knowledge is good, so thank you gentlemen
    NR, as I said above I bought the Tamron VC model because my grip is not as stable as it used to be. I really don't understand the reason for all the discussion re auto focus. On a tripod I find it auto-focuses almost instantaneously, and hand held the VC sometimes takes maybe 1 second to lock in, mainly due to my shaky left hand, the aftermath of playing lots of top spin toward the end of my tennis days. I was so disenchanted with it's performance I backed up and bought the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC as well. I seriously like both lens.

    In the end the decision for me mainly came down to value for money. While the Nikon 80-200mm AF-S is undoubtedly a stellar bit of kit, for a couple of hundred bucks more I got a new lens with manufacturers warranty plus VC. Really a no brainer for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    NR, as I said above I bought the Tamron VC model because my grip is not as stable as it used to be. I really don't understand the reason for all the discussion re auto focus. On a tripod I find it auto-focuses almost instantaneously, and hand held the VC sometimes takes maybe 1 second to lock in, mainly due to my shaky left hand, the aftermath of playing lots of top spin toward the end of my tennis days. I was so disenchanted with it's performance I backed up and bought the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC as well. I seriously like both lens.

    In the end the decision for me mainly came down to value for money. While the Nikon 80-200mm AF-S is undoubtedly a stellar bit of kit, for a couple of hundred bucks more I got a new lens with manufacturers warranty plus VC. Really a no brainer for me.
    Cheers Kev. I am giving the new Tamron some serious thought. At less than half the price of the Nikon VR II with great performance it is hard to disregard. The build quality as far as I can tell is not quite up to Nikon standards and it will not accept my Kenko 2x teleconverter where the 80-200 Nikon will.

    The Tamron's DXO scores with the D800E are really impressive and hard to ignore.

    I will wait another month or so to see if I can pad my budget a little and think a bit longer.
    Last edited by NRandall; 04-06-2016 at 7:45am.

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    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    I bought the tamron 70 - 200 vc some months back. Very happy with it.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRandall View Post
    Cheers Kev. I am giving the new Tamron some serious thought. At less than half the price of the Nikon VR II with great performance it is hard to disregard. The build quality as far as I can tell is not quite up to Nikon standards and it will not accept my Kenko 2x teleconverter where the 80-200 Nikon will.

    The Tamron's DXO scores with the D800E are really impressive and hard to ignore.

    I will wait another month or so to see if I can pad my budget a little and think a bit longer.
    Strange things happen with the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC and T/C's.

    I have the Tamron SP 1.4 T/C and auto focus is almost impossible with it. I also have a Sigma APO Tele Converter 1.4x EX DG which I acquired with my Sigma 150 Macro and it works a treat on the Tamron. Go figure.
    Last edited by Cage; 04-06-2016 at 10:22am.

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    Thank you for all you input peoples. In the end it came down to money and I could get a very good copy of the AF-S 80-200 for just a little over half of the new Tamron VC. I also found an old gem I just had to have - see separate thread. I will eventually go to either the Tamron or the Nikon VR II, but I am still undecided about the longer term. The copy I got is in great nick and given these longer zooms won't get as much use as my 24-70, it should last me a while.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Well done.

    As I mentioned above, from the reports I read it is a great lens and I'm sure you will be delighted with it's performance.

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    Cheers cage!
    One of the nice surprises is that it also works quite well with the Kenko Pro 300 2x teleconverter.
    Here are a couple of test shots tonight with the D800E and the kenko.
    The OOF areas are not nearly as nice as my 'new' 200 f2 AI but the in focus areas are quite ok.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by NRandall; 14-06-2016 at 6:32pm.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    In the first shot I wonder how the bokeh would look at f2.8 or f4

    And you should have lots of fun, and maybe the odd hair pulling moment, with your other new toy, the venerable 200mm f2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    In the first shot I wonder how the bokeh would look at f2.8 or f4

    And you should have lots of fun, and maybe the odd hair pulling moment, with your other new toy, the venerable 200mm f2.
    I tried some shots at wider aperture then realised that the flower next to the hummingbird is actually behind the bird by a margin and I could not get both in focus.

    This was the shot at 5.6 - not quite small enough.


    The nandina shot with the 200mm f2 was taken with the D7000, and the Kenko at f4, so its a bit hard to compare though to me the background with the f2 lens looks a lot more pleasing, even with an inferior camera.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by NRandall; 14-06-2016 at 8:05pm.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Wow, what a dramatic improvement in the bokeh between f5.6 and f8.

    Maybe just needs an adjustment in the focal length v shooting distance to bring it all into sharp focus.

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