Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions

Started Jun 18, 2012 | Discussions
Gravter
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Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
Jun 18, 2012

Is there anything I should be checking out or aware of when buying a new pro lens?

This will be my first "new" pro lens. I will be getting the 70-200mm VRII from my local pro camera shop (Vistek).

I was hesitating between the 85 1.4G and the 70-200 but find that I need more reach.

My goal this year is to get the trinity of Nikon zoom lenses and probably the D800 once it's available in strore (without ordering it!).

Thanks

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russbarnes
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jun 18, 2012

You can't really go wrong with the 70-200 VRII but if you buy that before the 24-70, you'll be disappointed with the 24-70 later....... my advice is to consider a top quality wide(ish) prime instead of the 24-70 like the 35 1.4.

The 85 1.4 is also very special and I couldn't consider that or the 70-200 as being in the same need set. The 85 1.4 is spectacular but it can't shoot at 70-84mm or 86-200mm but the 70-200 can't do what the 85 does at any aperture either in my view.

Gravter wrote:

Is there anything I should be checking out or aware of when buying a new pro lens?

This will be my first "new" pro lens. I will be getting the 70-200mm VRII from my local pro camera shop (Vistek).

I was hesitating between the 85 1.4G and the 70-200 but find that I need more reach.

My goal this year is to get the trinity of Nikon zoom lenses and probably the D800 once it's available in strore (without ordering it!).

Thanks

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cali4nia love
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jun 18, 2012

Gravter wrote:

Is there anything I should be checking out or aware of when buying a new pro lens?

This will be my first "new" pro lens. I will be getting the 70-200mm VRII from my local pro camera shop (Vistek).

I was hesitating between the 85 1.4G and the 70-200 but find that I need more reach.

My goal this year is to get the trinity of Nikon zoom lenses and probably the D800 once it's available in strore (without ordering it!).

Thanks

Go with 85mm 1.4G + 80-200mm 2.8 AF-D. 2 pro lens for a little more than what the 70-200 VR II cost.

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bkzstuff
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to cali4nia love, Jun 18, 2012

Be sure to do a thorough check of the autofocus and image sharpness across the frame. Don't assume that your expensive pro lense will be perfect out of the box. I returned my first copy because of misalignment of the lense elements (right side of images was blurry) and the replacement back focuses at 200mm and front focuses at 70mm (can't fix with fine tuning).

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The Big One
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jun 18, 2012

Gravter wrote:

I will be getting the 70-200mm VRII from my local pro camera shop (Vistek).

Make sure you confirm what their return / troubleshooting policies are. I have had bad experiences with Vistek in the past, and I was not alone judging from other online comments. I have heard that they are getting better now, but confirm things like whether you can return the lens if it is bad, etc.
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systemguy
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to The Big One, Jun 18, 2012

Has someone tried this lens with the Nikon 2X converter?

If so how is the image quality?

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slimandy
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jun 18, 2012

The lens is superb. There is one issue that has been well documented but you may not know about it - focus breathing. Due to the design of IF lenses they do not reach their max focal length unless focused at infinity. At their closest focus distance they are shorter than the stated focal length. The 70-200 MkII suffers more than most. It is about 135mm at it's closest focus distance. You will probably notice this sooner or later so you should know it is normal for this lens.
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slimandy
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to systemguy, Jun 18, 2012

Try a search. Samples have been posted. The 2x t.c.MKIII looks like a good match.

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John Motts
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to slimandy, Jun 19, 2012

The 70-200 VR2 is a stunning lens and highly recommended.

The only thing you might consider is the weight. Just make sure that it isn't going to be a problem for you.

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Peter v.d Werf
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to systemguy, Jun 19, 2012

systemguy wrote:

Has someone tried this lens with the Nikon 2X converter?
If so how is the image quality?

I tested various samples of the TC20III and the TC17II on my 70-200VRII on a D7000.

I ended up with the 17II as I found that TC to give good results wide open and very good stopped down. The 20III lacked contract mostly and needed to be stopped down to f/8 to get good/very good results (about equal to the TC17II at f/8). Having to PP more images wasn't worth the little bit extra range.

Do mind that there seems to be a difference in experiences from reviewers of this combinations that seem to show that a high density sensor (16MP apc-c) is pushing the tc20III too much, where FX users or DX-12mp users get better results due to a more forgiving sensor density.

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Peter v.d Werf
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jun 19, 2012

Gravter wrote:

Is there anything I should be checking out or aware of when buying a new pro lens?

Just one; is there enough credit on your account:)

This will be my first "new" pro lens. I will be getting the 70-200mm VRII from my local pro camera shop (Vistek).

I have no experience with that shop, and policy differs per country, but in the Netherlands I always buy online due to the fact that remote/online purchase warrants an 8-day return policy. A purchase in a physical store does not have that advantage.

Not that I intend to return items, but it makes it a lot easier should you have an issue like small damage or quality issues.
Something to keep in mind.

I was hesitating between the 85 1.4G and the 70-200 but find that I need more reach.

While the 85-1.4 is a great lens and having the 1.4 can't be replaced, I found that when doing some tests against my 70-200, when fully zoomed in for head-shoulder potraits and at 2.8, the 70-200 's bokeh is amazing and comes very-very close to the 85-1.4.

If I had too choose I'd go for the 70-200 due to it's flexibility, but the 85mm is less intrusive and easier to carry all day.

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Gravter
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Peter v.d Werf, Jul 4, 2012

Well, I still haven't made up my mind.
Tired of renting lenses for the weddings I do (3-4/year).

I usually rent the 24-70 and 70-200VRII. I have a simple D90 which I can't wait to replace with a D800. Got my name on a waiting list (4 weeks left).

My current lenses are the following:

  • 18-105 (kit lens)

  • 35 1.8G

  • 50 1.4G

I'm going to be keeping the D90 as my backup camera.

Since the D800 has 36MP, I'm wondering if I got an 85 1.4G, if I could "crop" my photo to let's say 12-16MP and use that as a "zoom" equivalent?

I know it's not the best way, but think of it, I have a 12MP camera wight now and have done 20x30 prints which are simply great! That 70-200 2.8 is big and heavy but don't bother me all that much. I have a "shoot sac" that helps carry those lenses on a wedding day!

I have a wedding in 2 weeks... the rental place is 150km away! And I miss 1/2 a day of work when I need to return the lenses! Very impractical.

Oh, The church I shoot mostly in, is fairly dark but a bit better on very sunny days!
So, this is why I love primes! Just have to be quick to change them!

Thanks again for your thoughts.

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fabgo
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jul 4, 2012

For wedding use the 70-200/2.8 should be a great choice. So would the 24-70/2.8. This is because they focus so extremely fast, and are very versatile. I would get those two zooms and skip the 85.

This kind of pro glass holds its value very well (at least in the US). I would do a cost-benefit calculation assuming 4 or maybe 5 years ownership. Estimate a resale value and see how that compares price-wise to renting these lenses 3-4 times a year. Add in the cost of doing four 300km round-trips a year just to get to the rental center (fuel, car wear, plus the cost of your time), and see where you end up.

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Fabian

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Gravter
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to fabgo, Jul 4, 2012

A quick, very quick calculation for 5 years worth of renting with expenses is about $3,000.

I also do some "studio" work (couples, maternity, babies, families) in my home. I don't rent for those.

The plus side of owning those pro lenses instead of renting is that I will have them with me all the time
Decisions, decisions...

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RBFresno
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jul 4, 2012

Is there anything I should be checking out or aware of when buying a new pro lens?

HI!

Some 'pro' lenses have more reports of problems than others (the Nikon 24-70 stiff zoom ring problem perhaps heading the list).

Just based on reading this forum and others, there are very few reports of defective 70-200VR II's other than those obsessing over a few inconsequential specks of dust.

Some day I'll get around to selling my "I" version of the 70-200VR and get the "II". The focus breathing issue is actually a plus for how I tend to use it, and the microcontrast/IQ of the "II" is better.

Interestingly, the 'improved' VR performance and the lesser degree of light falloff at wide apertures, so often cited by others as their reasons for updating to the "II", don't concern me as much. The light falloff is easily corrected in post, and while VR is useful under some circumstances, the modest improvement is not reason enough for me to update. But the improved IQ of the "II" gets my attention.

Best Regards,

RB

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Cenk
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to fabgo, Jul 4, 2012

+1

fabgo wrote:

For wedding use the 70-200/2.8 should be a great choice. So would the 24-70/2.8. This is because they focus so extremely fast, and are very versatile. I would get those two zooms and skip the 85.

This kind of pro glass holds its value very well (at least in the US). I would do a cost-benefit calculation assuming 4 or maybe 5 years ownership. Estimate a resale value and see how that compares price-wise to renting these lenses 3-4 times a year. Add in the cost of doing four 300km round-trips a year just to get to the rental center (fuel, car wear, plus the cost of your time), and see where you end up.

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Fabian

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StefanW
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jul 5, 2012

Gravter wrote:

Since the D800 has 36MP, I'm wondering if I got an 85 1.4G, if I could "crop" my photo to let's say 12-16MP and use that as a "zoom" equivalent?

Sure, but you should consider that by cropping a 85mm image to a 170mm image (zoom factor 2x) you go down from 36MP to 9MP in resolution (1/4th).

Or with factor 1.5 you get roughly the 16MP of a D7000 which is still an excellent camera, right?

But then with a 70-200mm you can crop as well and get the 300mm image in D7000 quality.

I believe using a D800 for zooming makes sense if the zoomed/cropped range is not your main focal length and your used ISO is on the lower side.

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Gravter
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to StefanW, Jul 16, 2012

Well, I ended up buying the 70-200mmVRII
What an awesome lens when used with the D800 (which I rented this past weekend).

My D800 should be in my hands in the next couple of weeks, just in time for my next wedding.
Thank you all for your insights and suggestions!

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SanMat
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to Gravter, Jul 16, 2012

Congrats on the purchase - that lens is very high quality. The best lens I own. Haven't done a direct comparison with the 70-200 VR II versus my Sigma 85mm for portraits, but I wouldn't hesitate using it for portrait work. The main reason I lean towards the 85mm in that situation is that I'm often shooting handheld, and the 70-200 gets a little heavy after awhile.

Pete

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Gravter
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Re: Buying a new 70-200mm VR II... got a few questions
In reply to SanMat, Jul 16, 2012

Yup, it is a heavy lens! That and the D800 together can wreck havoc on your wrist fairly quick!

I used a monopod this wekend as I was doing some video work also which helped a lot to give me wrist a break from time to time.

I will post a photo or two next weekend. I want the bride to see her pictures first

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