70-200 Lens on a D70

Started Aug 14, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Allen George
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70-200 Lens on a D70
Aug 14, 2005

I am looking into buying a telephoto zoom for my D70.

I do not anticipate needing (at this time) an extreme telephoto, so I limited myself to a max focal length of ~ 200mm. I was also interested in a lens that had a fixed aperture throughout the range.

Based on these starting critera, I found 4 lenses that fit the bill.

Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM ($1200 CDN)
Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 AF D ED ($1400 CDN)
Nikon AF-S VR 70-200 f2.8 G IF-ED ($2220 CDN)
Tokina AT-X 828 AF PRO 80-200mm f/2.8

(All prices do not include 15% tax)

I discounted the Tokina since it is unavailable in Canada and is also the lowest rated of the 4 in the FM review section. Also, realistically the Nikon 70-200VR is well outside my price range.

I have a few questions about the remaining 2 and I hoped to get some advice.

I realized that the telephotos would be heavy, but today when I tried the Sigma 70-200 on a Rebel XT (they had no Nikon mount demos) I was shocked at just how much. At 200mm, I was hard pressed to keep the image in the viewfinder steady. I feel much more comfortable shooting handheld, so my question to those who use non VR lenses is:

Are you able to shoot handheld?
How to you find the quality of the resulting pictures (sharpness etc)?

Also, I've noticed that the Nikon is rated fairly close to the Sigma. From people who have used both (the store had no 80-200s in stock), what were your impressions when you compared them? Why did you choose one over the other?

From a purely technical POV, in Canada the Nikkors have 5-yr warranties - the Sigmas 7yr w/ 48hr guaranteed turnaround time (?). Both take 77mm filters. The Sigma has HSM - the Nikkor is AF only (Does this make a substantial difference?). Also, the Sigma has full-time manual override. This seems like a "nice to have" although I'm unsure whether it would be useful. I'd appreciate any insight on that too.

I hoped to receive some advice on this.

Thanks,
Allen
--
Terminal Musings: http://www.allengeorge.com

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