Between 300mm f4, 70-200mm f2.8 and 80-400mm which one would you choose and why?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Dibyendu Majumdar Contributing Member • Posts: 766
Re: Between 300mm f4, 70-200mm f2.8 and 80-400mm which one would you choose and why?

Parry Johnson wrote:

Dibyendu Majumdar wrote:

I am thinking of:

  • 300mm f4 PF.
  • 70-200mm f2.8 FL.
  • 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 AFS.

The 300mm attracts due to size.

The 80-400mm because of the range.

The 70-200mm because it is fast.

The 70-200 VR2 is probably my most-used lens aside from the 24-70G. FX quality is top-notch at all focal lengths. On a DX body, it gives you all the advantages of 300mm with excellent sharpness and AF speed, plus the extra convenience of the shorter range. I'm also not afraid to use the 1.3X (2X FX equivalent) crop mode, or adapted to a Nikon 1 camera for 2.7X crop. In other words, if you're okay with some adaptibility, it performs in many different situations.

Yes, the 300 PF should be sharper, but it's just as expensive and won't work with all bodies. (Neither will the 70-200 E, and the VR2 version doesn't have an aperture ring -- something I miss with my previous 80-200.)


I'm not a big wildlife or sports photographer, so if that's your primary goal I'll echo the nod to the 200-500 or a Sigma/Tamron in that range. My really old Tamron Adaptall 200-500 f5.6 still works well for the odd situation when I need plenty of reach, and again with crop cameras.

I wanted the longest possible focal length without it being too big a lens. Because I know I would never take it with me if its too big. Ideally a modern 400 f5.6.

Price is a constraint too. All three I mention are within the budget so to speak.

As for type of photography - not wildlife or sports - but general photography.

Obviously zoom is preferable. Initially I was planning on the 80-400mm but I am undecided now because of reviews saying its performance at 400mm is weakest.

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