70-200mm vr + TC or 80-400mm

Started Nov 22, 2005 | Discussions thread
Greg Lhotka Regular Member • Posts: 205
I tested both and Here is what I found (Pics Too)

I was looking at the same thing a few months ago. My local camera store has a rental unit, after talking to the sale guys they said if I rent both lenses and test them, they would apply the cost of the rental to my purchase. Here is what I tested and found:

Using my D70
I rented:
Nikon 70-200 vr
Sigma 2X TC
Nikon 2X TC
Nikon 1.7x TC
Nikon 80-400

  • The sigma 2X TC does not work with the 70-200, the camera would not focus.

  • The 70-200 with a 2X TC is just as sharp at 400mm as the 80-400 @ 400mm

  • The 70-200 with a 1.7 is sharper than with the 2X, plus you don't loose as may F-stops, the draw back is your zoom is only 360mm

  • The 70-200 no TC @ 200mm is MUCH sharper than the 80-400 @ 200mm

  • I also felt that the color was better with 70-200 than the 80-400 even with the TC

  • I also found, just walking around and shooting hand held I ended up with more keepers using the 70-200 with & with out the TC.

  • The 70-200 has a much faster focus.

  • The 70-200 just flet more solid and better built than the 80-400

In the end, I think I would have been happy with either, but the 70-200 with the 1.7 TC had a slight edge over the 80-400. Though I don't think you could go wrong with either lens.

For a puchase this big, if you have a camera store that rents gear, it is worth spending the $80-$100 and rent both set ups your looking at and test them your self.

I ended up buying the 70-200 with the 1.7 TC. A bit more in cost but worth it in the long run.

Here are some photos comparing the two lenses and setups, all where taken on a tripod with VR off.

you can find more of the 70-200 with 1.7TC here:


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