Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF

Started Jun 1, 2012 | Discussions
jmcarp
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Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
Jun 1, 2012

I have a chance to buy this lens used for around $800. I would be using it on a D7000. What's the general opinion of this lens from past and present users -- pros and cons, and how prevalent is the back focus issue I've read about in other threads. Thanks.

Nikon D7000
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hugolamb
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 1, 2012

I use this lens a lot for portrait work and conference work and it is a great lens. I have also used it for motorsport (superbikes) with good results.

I am using a D700 and can't say I have had any back focus issues at all.

I am using the latest 2 ring version.

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pajarrett
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 1, 2012

Wonderful lens, with limitations. Some backfocus at 200 at f2.8 at the minimum focus range. Move up to f/3.2 + no problems, except some softness at 200. I have use this lens quite a bit on DX camera, not so much on my FX camera. But for what you save over a 70-200, the 80-200 f2.8 ED AF is a bargin.

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PHXAZCRAIG
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 1, 2012

All the 80-200's are pretty good. Biggest difference by far is the focus speed.

I have the old push-pull/one ring, bought new in about 1995. Still like it a lot, particularly on FX. I generally don't shoot it at F2.8-F3.2 or so. It's nice at F3.5 and up. F4 is a pretty good aperture for me, shooting people at 150-200mm and getting just enough depth of field and nice bokeh.

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SpittyScent
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to PHXAZCRAIG, Jun 1, 2012

I've been using the 2 ring version for about a year now, bought used for $850. The limitations listed above may be true, but in real use the lens is awesome compared to any of the kit or third party lenses I've tried/owned. Once you get used to the weight and size of the Nikon pro glass, anything less is an annoyance.

I was in the Camera store the other day picking up my new 300mm F4 and tried the 70-200mm Vr2 for the first time, mostly testing focus speed and wide open performance. The vr2 just fell in my hands and felt perfectly at home, the responsiveness to focus changes is instantaneous, no doubt a dream to use.

For a hobbyist like me, the 80-200 is plenty quick enough and has enough of the 70-200 goodness to keep me happy for years to come, and at 1/3 the price.

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slimandy
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 1, 2012

It is an excellent lens no doubt but I really like having VR in this range. If you are shooting a DX body I would recommend a used 70~200mm f2.8 VRI instead.

Also I like having AFS and you need the AFS version if you want to use Nikon t.c's.. The 70~200 is AFS.
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Jo Van Damme
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 1, 2012

I bought the two ring version about 12 years ago, still in the analog period, new.
From 2007 I used it on the D80 and from last year on my D7000.
I use it mainly for portraits and indoor sports (gymnastics).
I can avoid motion blur when keeping the exposure faster than 1/250s

After all these years and thousands of shots, I will get this lens serviced to solve some issues.

  • I cannot longer use the manual focus (known weak spot), the AF still works perfectly

  • the rubber band of the zoom ring slips from time to time.

  • I had to put the AF fine tune on -20 to correct for back focussing.

So be careful if you buy this lens (or any other lens) second hand!

These issues aside, the pictures I get (almost always at 2.8) are still very good and I couldn't miss my heaviest lens in my collection for a minute.

Yeah, the 70-200 VRII would be nice but I'm not ready to spend the money (yet).

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jmcarp
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 2, 2012

Thanks for the comments. I snoozed too long and someone else beat me to it. Yes, I'd like the 70-200 VR, either version, but it's way out my price range -- at least until I win the lotto.

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dog010
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 3, 2012

I'd say the AF-D 80-200mm f/2.8 is good value for the price (used to own one before switching for the 70-200m VRII). But make sure you're fully aware of its limitations before committing.

It's a bit soft at 200mm and f/2.8 but stop it down to f/4 and it's excellent.

But then there's the backfocus issue. There is a well-documented design limitation in that the AF-D 80-200mm cannot accurately autofocus at distances closer than 3m/10ft when the focal length is set longer than about 150mm on DSLRs. This is vaguely mentioned in some camera instruction manuals (for example, D700 manual p 371 footnote 9. I recall seeing the same thing in the D300 and D70 manuals too). It's a design limitation and no amount of backfocus correction can fix it, in my experience. You'll just have to manually focus the lens at those settings, just as the manual recommends. Most of the time, that's a non-issue.

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Guidenet
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 3, 2012

jmcarp wrote:

I have a chance to buy this lens used for around $800. I would be using it on a D7000. What's the general opinion of this lens from past and present users -- pros and cons, and how prevalent is the back focus issue I've read about in other threads. Thanks.

Until the AFS versions and the 70-200 f/2.8 models arrived, the one and two ring 80-200 f/2.8 lenses were Nikon's professional short tele zooms. They don't have weather sealing and no VR, but they have professional optics and a professional build quality. The gearing and insides are all metal and solid too. They have been my pro-grade choices since the manual focus versions years ago. They still are today for me. They've paid for themselves many times over as studio and location portrait lenses.

All the 80-200 f/2.8 non-AFS models have the same exact optical formula. The only difference is the coatings and gearing. The older one-ring is a push pull zoom with one ring for manual focusing and to pull or push for the zoom. The newer two ring has much faster AF focusing with a more modern zoom by turning the zoom ring. Much faster gearing might be the reason for the much faster focusing. I think on my D300 or D700 it's almost as fast as the newer AFS models. You can feel the torque.

Of the slower one ring models, there's the AF and AF-D. The AF-D sends distance info to the camera and has a better coating. Otherwise they are the same.

80-200mm f/2.8 AF One-Rng sells for around $400-$500 used
80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D One-Ring sells for around $500-$600 used

All the two ring models are AF-D and are much faster with the better coatings. Same optics though.

80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D Two-Ring sells for around $800-$1000 used with tripod collar intact
80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D Two-Ring sells for around $1100 new with USA warranty

By your subject description, it looks to be a one-ring AF which should be under $500 in excellent condition. It's one of the slowest to AF too. It might be up to $600 in absolutely pristine condition but I think that's too high. I wouldn't pay $800 for any of the one-ring push pull models as good as they are.

Brand new Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom-Nikkor Lens with Bracket & Case - with 5 Year U.S.A. Warranty $1109

http://www.adorama.com/NK80200AFNU.html

Have fun and good luck.
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wy2lam
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to Guidenet, Jun 3, 2012

I've owned all versions of the 80-200/2.8 excluding the AF-S.

The AF-D one-ring model focuses quite a bit faster than the AF one-ring model due to faster gearing. In fact, it's almost as fast as the 2-ring model. There are Youtube videos about the AF speeds you can look up, too.

If you don't need a tripod mount and don't mind push-pull, the AF-D one-ring model is the best among the 80-200 AF-D's because it's all metal, cheaper and less fragile than the two-ring model.

Guidenet wrote:

Of the slower one ring models, there's the AF and AF-D. The AF-D sends distance info to the camera and has a better coating. Otherwise they are the same.

80-200mm f/2.8 AF One-Rng sells for around $400-$500 used
80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D One-Ring sells for around $500-$600 used

All the two ring models are AF-D and are much faster with the better coatings. Same optics though.

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Guidenet
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to wy2lam, Jun 3, 2012

I've also had a lot of them over the years, going back to even the manual focus models. I didn't mind the slower AF on the push pulls so much, but I've never had one nearly as fast at AF as my two ring. I guess your mileage may vary.

I also don't find the build on the two ring to be a cheaper build. I kind of like the crinkle black paint on that metal.
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jmcarp
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to Guidenet, Jun 3, 2012

Thanks for the really comprehensive description of the various versions. However, as I said, it's a moot point now because the particular lens I was considering has been sold to someone else. As much as I'd like the 70-200 VR (either version), it's out of my price range right now. Perhaps I'll consider a new 80-200, but I'm not going to rush into a purchase right now.

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Guidenet
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Re: Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF
In reply to jmcarp, Jun 3, 2012

jmcarp wrote:

Thanks for the really comprehensive description of the various versions. However, as I said, it's a moot point now because the particular lens I was considering has been sold to someone else. As much as I'd like the 70-200 VR (either version), it's out of my price range right now. Perhaps I'll consider a new 80-200, but I'm not going to rush into a purchase right now.

Let me make a suggestion. Why not consider a used 80-200 f/2.8 AFS model? They are discontinued and is a different optical formula than the 80-200 screw drives or the 70-200 AFS drives.Some say it was and still is the sharpest of all the lenses Nikon has made in this category. I don't know, but I do know it's killer sharp and killer fast at the same time. It came out to replace the screwdrive, but Nikon never did. I don't remember what the going price was new but they sell used for around $1100. It's only been a few years since they've been gone. They've got a somewhat cult like following because many think nobody will ever again build such a good lens.I'm not so sure of that either. Just consider it.

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/AFNikkor/AF-Nikkor80200mm/index4.htm

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