80 - 200 f2.8 AF vs. AF-S

Started Apr 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
dog010 Contributing Member • Posts: 949
Re: 80 - 200 f2.8 AF vs. AF-S

What exactly are you trying to achieve with your 70/80-200mm telephoto? They're designed to be general all-rounder lenses but super close up work is not their main attribute. All of them stop at the 1.4-1.5m minimum focus distance. You'll need a 135mm prime or a macro lens to get closer than that.

I've shot with all four of Nikon's AF 70/80-200mm lenses. I'd say give either the 70-200mm VRI or AF-S 80-200mm a try if you still want a fast telephoto zoom to do most things; portraiture, landscapes, action etc. A good working example of either should get you accurate focus at the minimum stop (1.5m) and will track action a bit more smoothly than the older AF-D screwdriver version.

Optically, the AF-S 80-200mm is my absolute favourite out of the four Nikon AF telephoto zooms. It's not the sharpest (that goes to the latest VRII by a small margin) but I really liked the bokeh and it was better at 200mm wide open than the AF-D (and, I think the VRI too but I didn't shoot that one side-by-side). Downside is its lack of VR and its age. The youngest copies of the AF-S 80-200mm are approaching 10 years old so I'd be worried about long-term serviceability if parts become scarce.

For that reason I'd recommend the 70-200mm VRI as the better overall choice. There are more of them floating around, many of them are much younger and the VR is an added bonus.

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 dog010's gear list:dog010's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +4 more
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