My next lens: 85mm f/1.8G or 70-200 vr f/4G

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JustLuckey
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My next lens: 85mm f/1.8G or 70-200 vr f/4G
9 months ago

I know that everyone poses the question of 'which lens should I buy?', but I'm different.  Well, probably not, I'm just another lemming.

Anyway, I currently own at D5100 (upgraded a few years ago from a D40) and have the following lenses (18-200 DX VRI, 70-300 VRI, and most recently, the 35mm DX f/1.8).  My 70-300 is on the trading block, I think I've outgrown it and am stretching the bounds on it's potential in less than perfect light.

I don't have a specific type of subject, I'm kind of all over the board.  One day, I'm taking photos of my 2 young kids, the next I'm shooting birds out my window, taking shots of full moons, and my real passion (although only get to do it 1-2 times a year) sportscar racing (where races go into the dusk and night).

Recently, I've had my 35mm f/1.8 on my body the majority of the time.  Partly because it's the newest lens, but also because of the low light capabilities.  I was shooting well into the night on Halloween with some great results (for me).  I think it's making me a better photographer, I have to think about distance, framing, and not be lazy.

I do have aspirations in upgrading to a D7100 within a year, but not anytime soon.  I don't think I'm ready for the FX level yet, partly due to cost (I know, I could get a refurb D600 for cheap, but I'd need to turnover 2 of my current lenses and buy equivalents, so cost goes way up).

I used by buddy's 85mm f/1.8 at a recent endurance race (day/night) and really liked it.  Sharp, fast, great when the sun goes down.  I also liked the reach (FX lens on a DX) and the fact that it's rather small and light.  But I also used my other buddy's 70-200 F/4 (he was renting for the weekend) and was impressed, as well.  Granted, the lack of aperture compared to the f/1.8 was a big difference.  But it is better than my 70-300.

I didn't use either of them enough to see if the lack of VR would play a big role when comparing the 2.  I'm leaning towards the 85 prime partly because it's less than half the price and attainable today.  The 70-200 would take another couple of months to save up.  I understand that the 70-200 is "more versatile" due to the zoom, but I almost think the 85's aperture range makes it just as [versatile], if not more, being that it can be easily used indoors, at night, etc.

I think I've got my mind made up, but wanted to pose the question to others with experience.  I know it's different strokes for different folks, but I think I'm starting to jump on the prime bandwagon.

Any feedback/experience would be appreciated!

 JustLuckey's gear list:JustLuckey's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +1 more
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