70-200 VR2 with 2.0TC III combo - how is sharpness

Started 6 months ago | Questions
stevef1961 Senior Member • Posts: 2,035
Re: 70-200 VR2 with 2.0TC III combo - how is sharpness
1

Absolutic wrote:

Have a question about lenses and tc. I am thinking about getting 70-200 VR2 lens (now that used prices on that lens sometimes dip below $1000) and add a 2.0 TC III. I am aware of 70-200 VR2 focus shift issue, and it does not bother me in how I plan to use it. My question is how usable is this particular lens with 2.0 TC III in terms of sharpness? I've seen a very useful test on photozone.de of 70-200 VR1 with 2.0 TC, and it was very helpful, however, I have not seen the same test done with VR2 lens. If anyone uses this exact combo, I'd like to hear what you think! Will be using it on D800e and D7000.

Five years ago I had the 70-200 and a 1.7 tc.  It was no better than my 600 dollar 70-300.  I returned the lens and tc and got the 80-400vr for 2200.00 - it was much better.  Now I have the 200-500 and it blows the 80-400 away at the long end.

 stevef1961's gear list:stevef1961's gear list
Nikon D750
Absolutic
OP Absolutic Veteran Member • Posts: 5,423
Re: 70-200 VR2 with 2.0TC III combo - how is sharpness

stevef1961 wrote:

Absolutic wrote:

Have a question about lenses and tc. I am thinking about getting 70-200 VR2 lens (now that used prices on that lens sometimes dip below $1000) and add a 2.0 TC III. I am aware of 70-200 VR2 focus shift issue, and it does not bother me in how I plan to use it. My question is how usable is this particular lens with 2.0 TC III in terms of sharpness? I've seen a very useful test on photozone.de of 70-200 VR1 with 2.0 TC, and it was very helpful, however, I have not seen the same test done with VR2 lens. If anyone uses this exact combo, I'd like to hear what you think! Will be using it on D800e and D7000.

Five years ago I had the 70-200 and a 1.7 tc. It was no better than my 600 dollar 70-300. I returned the lens and tc and got the 80-400vr for 2200.00 - it was much better. Now I have the 200-500 and it blows the 80-400 away at the long end.

the new 80-400 VR II?   I am being told again and again and that the new 80-400 VR II kills 200-500 by a margin.

 Absolutic's gear list:Absolutic's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 +27 more
ijm5012 Senior Member • Posts: 1,626
Re: 70-200 VR2 with 2.0TC III combo - how is sharpness
2

Absolutic wrote:

stevef1961 wrote:

Absolutic wrote:

Have a question about lenses and tc. I am thinking about getting 70-200 VR2 lens (now that used prices on that lens sometimes dip below $1000) and add a 2.0 TC III. I am aware of 70-200 VR2 focus shift issue, and it does not bother me in how I plan to use it. My question is how usable is this particular lens with 2.0 TC III in terms of sharpness? I've seen a very useful test on photozone.de of 70-200 VR1 with 2.0 TC, and it was very helpful, however, I have not seen the same test done with VR2 lens. If anyone uses this exact combo, I'd like to hear what you think! Will be using it on D800e and D7000.

Five years ago I had the 70-200 and a 1.7 tc. It was no better than my 600 dollar 70-300. I returned the lens and tc and got the 80-400vr for 2200.00 - it was much better. Now I have the 200-500 and it blows the 80-400 away at the long end.

the new 80-400 VR II? I am being told again and again and that the new 80-400 VR II kills 200-500 by a margin.

Who's telling you that?

 ijm5012's gear list:ijm5012's gear list
Nikon D500 Olympus E-M1 II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR +8 more
BasilG Veteran Member • Posts: 7,358
Re: 70-200 VR2 with 2.0TC III combo - how is sharpness

Absolutic wrote:

stevef1961 wrote:

Five years ago I had the 70-200 and a 1.7 tc. It was no better than my 600 dollar 70-300. I returned the lens and tc and got the 80-400vr for 2200.00 - it was much better. Now I have the 200-500 and it blows the 80-400 away at the long end.

the new 80-400 VR II? I am being told again and again and that the new 80-400 VR II kills 200-500 by a margin.

I don't have either lens, so no personal experience, but I have never heard that the 80-400 VR II is better than the 200-500. Always the opposite.

Matsu Senior Member • Posts: 2,158
How is it on the FL ?

On a few occasions I've used it and though this is OK (when there's enough light) but I've never had a chance to use it on the 70-200FL, which is my current 70-200.

I've recently been asked to do a little surveillance work for a company, the money's not bad, but not if I have to buy some super-teles to do it.  I'm thinking crop camera, plus 70-200FL plus 2X TC should do the trick.  Or maybe a 200-500.

I don't have much experience with super-tele focal lengths

 Matsu's gear list:Matsu's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II Nikon D800 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
stevef1961 Senior Member • Posts: 2,035
trust me...

Absolutic wrote:

stevef1961 wrote:

Absolutic wrote:

Have a question about lenses and tc. I am thinking about getting 70-200 VR2 lens (now that used prices on that lens sometimes dip below $1000) and add a 2.0 TC III. I am aware of 70-200 VR2 focus shift issue, and it does not bother me in how I plan to use it. My question is how usable is this particular lens with 2.0 TC III in terms of sharpness? I've seen a very useful test on photozone.de of 70-200 VR1 with 2.0 TC, and it was very helpful, however, I have not seen the same test done with VR2 lens. If anyone uses this exact combo, I'd like to hear what you think! Will be using it on D800e and D7000.

Five years ago I had the 70-200 and a 1.7 tc. It was no better than my 600 dollar 70-300. I returned the lens and tc and got the 80-400vr for 2200.00 - it was much better. Now I have the 200-500 and it blows the 80-400 away at the long end.

the new 80-400 VR II? I am being told again and again and that the new 80-400 VR II kills 200-500 by a margin.

Trust me, the 80-400 is a very very good lens, I mean it has a wider range than the 200-500, BUT,,,, for wildlife when you need the reach, and for comparable photos in the 2 to 4 hundred range, the level of detail can’t be matched by the 80-400.

I never got feather detail like thisfrom the 80-400 from a four inch bird 30 feet away.

Just cant do it.  Dont know how this will display here but its spot on -  Not to mention the 200-500 is a thousand dollars less.

 stevef1961's gear list:stevef1961's gear list
Nikon D750
Reggie Stration
Reggie Stration Regular Member • Posts: 173
Re: 70-200 VR2 with 2.0TC III combo - how is sharpness
1

I have the 70-200 VRII f2.8 and it's a truly excellent lens. I also bought the newest TC-20E III to use with it based on its great reviews over the previous TC-2.

However, I found that even using a tripod and mirror lock up I wasn't really happy with the sharpness of this combo at 400. I then bought the AF-S 80-400 G and am very impressed. It only weighs about 1 oz more and is pretty much identical in length when zoomed in. It's a bit fatter to hold than the 70-200 but not a big deal. The tripod collar is a bit wimpy so I got the RRS collar for it which is a substantial improvement.

The TC-20E III is surprisingly heavy too plus not inexpensive. It weighs 330 grams which is about 12oz, so if you just carry the 80-400G instead of the 70-200 plus TC it's also easier on the back.

I sold the TC for about half what I paid for it but had just decided that I wasn’t going to be using it anymore.

Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 31,245
Re: trust me...

stevef1961 wrote:

Absolutic wrote:

stevef1961 wrote:

Absolutic wrote:

Have a question about lenses and tc. I am thinking about getting 70-200 VR2 lens (now that used prices on that lens sometimes dip below $1000) and add a 2.0 TC III. I am aware of 70-200 VR2 focus shift issue, and it does not bother me in how I plan to use it. My question is how usable is this particular lens with 2.0 TC III in terms of sharpness? I've seen a very useful test on photozone.de of 70-200 VR1 with 2.0 TC, and it was very helpful, however, I have not seen the same test done with VR2 lens. If anyone uses this exact combo, I'd like to hear what you think! Will be using it on D800e and D7000.

Five years ago I had the 70-200 and a 1.7 tc. It was no better than my 600 dollar 70-300. I returned the lens and tc and got the 80-400vr for 2200.00 - it was much better. Now I have the 200-500 and it blows the 80-400 away at the long end.

the new 80-400 VR II? I am being told again and again and that the new 80-400 VR II kills 200-500 by a margin.

Trust me, the 80-400 is a very very good lens, I mean it has a wider range than the 200-500, BUT,,,, for wildlife when you need the reach, and for comparable photos in the 2 to 4 hundred range, the level of detail can’t be matched by the 80-400.

I never got feather detail like thisfrom the 80-400 from a four inch bird 30 feet away.

Just cant do it. Dont know how this will display here but its spot on - Not to mention the 200-500 is a thousand dollars less.

As much as I think the 200-500 is a better wildlife lens it is mainly due to it's extra reach. Also, when at both lens's are at their maximum focal length they are both at their weakest (as with many zooms of this nature) and the 200-500 is better wide open at 400mm than the 80-400 is at 400mm but by f8 they are basically the same. However, for AF speed the 80-400 is a better bet.

I think people are giving the 80-400 a bit of disservice as the 80-400 is in fact an excellent zoom capable of very sharp results and I would say it is at least as sharp as the 200-500 in the 200-300 area.

So, if you require a lens that goes down to 80mm and not so much up to 500mm, then the 80-400 is a better bet, it has faster AF and is smaller and lighter. Probably more of a travel, zoo and general purpose longish zoom with excellent IQ, especially up to about 350mm and then just drops off a tad at 400 but still holds it's own compared to many other zooms that go this long.

Compare Photography Life's results. This is just an indicator as it only gives one camera to subject distance test but it seems to be reasonably accurate with my use of both these lenses:

200-500:

https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-200-500mm-f5-6e-vr

80-400:

https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-80-400mm-vr/3

Some samples

D810 + 80-400 G VR,

100% crop of above

100% crop of above

 Lance B's gear list:Lance B's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II +13 more
stevef1961 Senior Member • Posts: 2,035
Re: trust me...

I agree with you about the 80-400 being faster focus and just as good in the 200-300 range.  The issue is 400 and of course no 500.  For a travel and general purpose config i’d be happy with the expensive 80-400 but when shooting wildlife especially on full frame, the 200-500 is a must.

 stevef1961's gear list:stevef1961's gear list
Nikon D750
Absolutic
OP Absolutic Veteran Member • Posts: 5,423
Re: 70-200 VR2 with 2.0TC III combo - how is sharpness
1

OP here.

Sorry I confused some of you saying 80-400 is not that sharp at tele end. What I meant was about 80-400 AF-D, not 80-400 G lens. The G lens is very sharp.

Since I ended up with 70-200VRII anyway, I just got a used 2X TCIII. I also got on a very big sale Tamron 18-400

Finally doing a few photo trades I was able to get Panasonic Leica 100-400 which gives me 800mm equivalent on m43 platform which i also have.

So I will try my D500 with Tamron 18-400 which many praise for surprising for this type of lens sharpness, 700-200VR2+ 2.0TCIII and m43 with 100-400 and see what performs better.

One thing I can already tell is that 18-400 suffers from focus breathing at tele end. And I am not talking about focusing at something 10 feet away from you. I focused on a flower about 60-70 yards away from me with 18-400 at 400mm. Then I switched to 70-200VR2 + 2XTC, without moving from where I was. What I got was much closer with the 70-200VR2. And 70-200VR2 is supposed to be the one with extreme focus breathing!.

Noted I was not focusing at the very infinity, but 60-70 yards away is not unreasonable.

On the other hand I am pleasantly surprised by 18-400. I've tried tons of 18-XXX lenses from every possible brand, and this one is surprisingly good in terms of sharpness. Toby Gelston's review on youtube is spot on, so is Jared the Fro.

 Absolutic's gear list:Absolutic's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 +27 more
briantilley
briantilley Veteran Member • Posts: 3,159
Re: 70-200 VR2 with 2.0TC III combo - how is sharpness
2

Absolutic wrote:

OP here.

Sorry I confused some of you saying 80-400 is not that sharp at tele end. What I meant was about 80-400 AF-D, not 80-400 G lens. The G lens is very sharp.

Since I ended up with 70-200VRII anyway, I just got a used 2X TCIII. I also got on a very big sale Tamron 18-400

Finally doing a few photo trades I was able to get Panasonic Leica 100-400 which gives me 800mm equivalent on m43 platform which i also have.

So I will try my D500 with Tamron 18-400 which many praise for surprising for this type of lens sharpness, 700-200VR2+ 2.0TCIII and m43 with 100-400 and see what performs better.

One thing I can already tell is that 18-400 suffers from focus breathing at tele end. And I am not talking about focusing at something 10 feet away from you. I focused on a flower about 60-70 yards away from me with 18-400 at 400mm. Then I switched to 70-200VR2 + 2XTC, without moving from where I was. What I got was much closer with the 70-200VR2. And 70-200VR2 is supposed to be the one with extreme focus breathing!

That is to be expected.  The 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II does exhibit focus breathing, but it's only really noticeable at distances under 20 feet or so.  At 60-70 yards, its breathing is negligible.

Noted I was not focusing at the very infinity, but 60-70 yards away is not unreasonable.

On the other hand I am pleasantly surprised by 18-400. I've tried tons of 18-XXX lenses from every possible brand, and this one is surprisingly good in terms of sharpness. Toby Gelston's review on youtube is spot on, so is Jared the Fro.

 briantilley's gear list:briantilley's gear list
Nikon Df Nikon D500 Nikon D5 Nikon D850 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED +23 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads