Needing a long zoom

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Chips Pringle
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Needing a long zoom
6 months ago
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I shoot a Nikon d5200 and a Nikon d800. The first is a crop sensor and the latter full frame. I'm leaning toward buying a f4 70-200 for about $1400.00 plus tax. Money wise I was considering the f4.5-5.6 70-300 for a lot less $ and using it only on my d5200. But with the f4 70-200 I can have better results on both camera bodies. I need it for outdoors, nature, animals, birds, kids and people in general and actual posed portraits. My dilemma is - what do you think between the f2.8 and the f4 70-200's? For the $1000.00 savings will I really miss or need the larger aperture of the 2.8 and it's DOF? I like the idea of having the 300mm focal length on my d5200 body. I will be printing 11x14 or larger from this lens, and from both bodies.
Chip

 Chips Pringle's gear list:Chips Pringle's gear list
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
gucio33
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to Chips Pringle, 6 months ago

Chips Pringle wrote:

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I shoot a Nikon d5200 and a Nikon d800. The first is a crop sensor and the latter full frame. I'm leaning toward buying a f4 70-200 for about $1400.00 plus tax. Money wise I was considering the f4.5-5.6 70-300 for a lot less $ and using it only on my d5200. But with the f4 70-200 I can have better results on both camera bodies. I need it for outdoors, nature, animals, birds, kids and people in general and actual posed portraits. My dilemma is - what do you think between the f2.8 and the f4 70-200's? For the $1000.00 savings will I really miss or need the larger aperture of the 2.8 and it's DOF? I like the idea of having the 300mm focal length on my d5200 body. I will be printing 11x14 or larger from this lens, and from both bodies.
Chip

Between the 2.8 and 4.0? Only you can know if the difference is significant enough to justify $1000. Rent the f/2.8 zoom and shoot it at 2.8 and 4.0.

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JWReagan
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to Chips Pringle, 6 months ago

The 70-300mm will work just fine on your D800, it's not a DX lens. Unless you are against purchasing second hand I would get the 70-200mm f2.8 VRI instead of the 70-200mm F4. I would even purchase the older 80-200mm with no VR over the 70-200 f4.

The 70-300 is a good lens. Unless you really need something to work in low light it is a heck of a bargain and easier to carry around.

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Chips Pringle
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to JWReagan, 6 months ago

The 70-300mm will work just fine on your D800, it's not a DX lens. Unless you are against purchasing second hand I would get the 70-200mm f2.8 VRI instead of the 70-200mm F4. I would even purchase the older 80-200mm with no VR over the 70-200 f4.

The 70-300 is a good lens. Unless you really need something to work in low light it is a heck of a bargain and easier to carry around.

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Thanks, I forgot the 70-300 wasn't a DX lens. Boy, I'm sure leaning toward an f4 70-200 though.
Chip

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Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
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Chips Pringle
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to gucio33, 6 months ago

Chips Pringle wrote:

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I shoot a Nikon d5200 and a Nikon d800. The first is a crop sensor and the latter full frame. I'm leaning toward buying a f4 70-200 for about $1400.00 plus tax. Money wise I was considering the f4.5-5.6 70-300 for a lot less $ and using it only on my d5200. But with the f4 70-200 I can have better results on both camera bodies. I need it for outdoors, nature, animals, birds, kids and people in general and actual posed portraits. My dilemma is - what do you think between the f2.8 and the f4 70-200's? For the $1000.00 savings will I really miss or need the larger aperture of the 2.8 and it's DOF? I like the idea of having the 300mm focal length on my d5200 body. I will be printing 11x14 or larger from this lens, and from both bodies.
Chip

Between the 2.8 and 4.0? Only you can know if the difference is significant enough to justify $1000. Rent the f/2.8 zoom and shoot it at 2.8 and 4.0.

Very good point. I think the rent money will go toward the lens if I decide to buy from this particular shop too. It will be so nice to have 200mm and 300mm with my two bodies. I can see the bird shots already.
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Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
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T O Shooter
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Re: Needing a long zoom. Well a 70-200 is anything but long and
In reply to Chips Pringle, 6 months ago

if you intend to shoot birds with it, it will need to be Big Bird    My suggest would be to buy used and buy a 300 AFS f4, TC1.4II ( 420mm on FX, 610mm on DX ) and add a 70-200 f4 and or 2.8VR1. You would not be much beyond the price of a new 70-200 VRII

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j_photo
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to Chips Pringle, 6 months ago

Chips Pringle wrote:

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I shoot a Nikon d5200 and a Nikon d800. The first is a crop sensor and the latter full frame. I'm leaning toward buying a f4 70-200 for about $1400.00 plus tax. Money wise I was considering the f4.5-5.6 70-300 for a lot less $ and using it only on my d5200. But with the f4 70-200 I can have better results on both camera bodies. I need it for outdoors, nature, animals, birds, kids and people in general and actual posed portraits. My dilemma is - what do you think between the f2.8 and the f4 70-200's? For the $1000.00 savings will I really miss or need the larger aperture of the 2.8 and it's DOF? I like the idea of having the 300mm focal length on my d5200 body. I will be printing 11x14 or larger from this lens, and from both bodies.
Chip

IMO, forget the 70-300. It's just not in the same league as the other lenses you are considering. And beyond 200 mm it starts to get soft anyway, so what do you really gain with it? I have one sitting in a bag I haven't used in years.

If cost is a major factor you might also look at used earlier versions of the 70-200/2.8 zooms. I picked up a used 80-200/2.8 (AFS) that focuses fast and is just unbelievably sharp. True, it has no VR, but for under $1000, it was a steal.

I have never shot with the new f/4 zoom, so can't speak to that. I shoot a lot of low-light theater and need the wider aperture.

You might also want to keep track of which lenses work with the TC converters. Maybe a 200 mm f/2.8 zoom with a 1.4 or 1.7 converter is what you really need?

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Cliff Fujii
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to Chips Pringle, 6 months ago

The 70-200 is not a long lens.  If you are interested in a long zoom and will be shooting in daylight, I would recommend that you consider the AF-S 80-400G.  It's about the same price as the 70-200 f/2.8G but it has twice the reach.  Unless you have great stalking ability, the longer lens will do you well especially with BIF and animals.  I have both lenses and I usually use the 70-200 f/2.8 for night scenes, portraits, and performances.  With the wide f/stop, it's very easy to throw the background out of focus.  Both lenses have good Bokeh.  My favorite lens for portraits is the 105 f/2 DC.

If you are interested in the lens' performance, SLRGear.com has published test results for this lens.

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Cliff

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ormdig
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to j_photo, 6 months ago

With a TC-14, 280mm at f/5 (3.5). Through a double pane window, handheld.

With TC-14, 280mm at f/5 (3.5). Same conditions as above.

F/2.8

Hi Chris, I would definitely miss the f/2.8 because I shoot between 2.8 and 4 a lot with the 70-200. I shoot a lot of indoor sports at f/2.8-3.5. I use a TC-14ll with it for a lot of things. There is very slight image degradation with the TC that I can notice at 100% magnification but the lens is so sharp anyway it's not objectionable. It is way sharper with the TC than any of the zoom x-300s at the long end even wide open. The 70-300 is the best of the 300 zooms but it is soft at infinity at the long end.
If I didn't use it so much at f/4 and wider I would look at the 70-200f/4. You use what you can afford and make do, that's how it is. If I could afford a long tele or the 200-400 I would buy one in a minute for birding but for backyard shooting what I have is just fine. With the resolution of the D800 you have the luxury of being able to crop some for reach,

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Pete

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mais51
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to Chips Pringle, 6 months ago

Chips Pringle wrote:

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I shoot a Nikon d5200 and a Nikon d800. The first is a crop sensor and the latter full frame. I'm leaning toward buying a f4 70-200 for about $1400.00 plus tax. Money wise I was considering the f4.5-5.6 70-300 for a lot less $ and using it only on my d5200. But with the f4 70-200 I can have better results on both camera bodies. I need it for outdoors, nature, animals, birds, kids and people in general and actual posed portraits. My dilemma is - what do you think between the f2.8 and the f4 70-200's? For the $1000.00 savings will I really miss or need the larger aperture of the 2.8 and it's DOF? I like the idea of having the 300mm focal length on my d5200 body. I will be printing 11x14 or larger from this lens, and from both bodies.
Chip

200 is not really long zoom, just a moderate focal length

If you really want long zoom you should consider the new AFS 80-400 and if money is an issue should look at the Tamron 70-300 people swears by it, I only have the Nikkor 70-300VR, don't use it much because I only interest in people not BIF. A 300 lens is nothing if you want to shoot filed sport, my D300s can't make out much details from a few hundred yards away and that is equivalent to 450 lens, just remember we don't have ringside positions like those press photographers do.

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wasserball
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to Chips Pringle, 6 months ago

From what I heard the 70-300mm is soft at 300mm.  It is a slow lens and based on your needs, I would discount it.  The 70-200mm VR is an excellent pro quality lens.  The vignetting only shows up with FX cameras.  Most of the time it is not concerning to me as I crop most of my sports photos.  I also hear the f4 is a very nice lens compromised only in 1 stop, but the less weight and cost make up for it.

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Chips Pringle
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to wasserball, 6 months ago

From what I heard the 70-300mm is soft at 300mm.  It is a slow lens and based on your needs, I would discount it.  The 70-200mm VR is an excellent pro quality lens.  The vignetting only shows up with FX cameras.  Most of the time it is not concerning to me as I crop most of my sports photos.  I also hear the f4 is a very nice lens compromised only in 1 stop, but the less weight and cost make up for it.

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and those are a few reasons why I'm leaning toward the f4 70-200 VR. Thanks.
Chip

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Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
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Chips Pringle
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Re: Needing a long zoom
In reply to ormdig, 6 months ago

With a TC-14, 280mm at f/5 (3.5). Through a double pane window, handheld.

With TC-14, 280mm at f/5 (3.5). Same conditions as above.

F/2.8

Hi Chris, I would definitely miss the f/2.8 because I shoot between 2.8 and 4 a lot with the 70-200. I shoot a lot of indoor sports at f/2.8-3.5. I use a TC-14ll with it for a lot of things. There is very slight image degradation with the TC that I can notice at 100% magnification but the lens is so sharp anyway it's not objectionable. It is way sharper with the TC than any of the zoom x-300s at the long end even wide open. The 70-300 is the best of the 300 zooms but it is soft at infinity at the long end.
If I didn't use it so much at f/4 and wider I would look at the 70-200f/4. You use what you can afford and make do, that's how it is. If I could afford a long tele or the 200-400 I would buy one in a minute for birding but for backyard shooting what I have is just fine. With the resolution of the D800 you have the luxury of being able to crop some for reach,

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Pete

Thanks for passing along your wisdom. I haven't given much thought to a converter/magnifier. Good point.
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Chip

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Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
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