help! decisions, decisions (Nikon lenses)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Wolfgang Schmittenhammer, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. I have a Nikon D-70 with the following lenses:
    18-70 Nikon 'kit lens'
    105 mm macro Nikon(non vr)
    70-300 4-5.6 Nikon(cheapo lens) decent pictures, but would like longer
    lens at times.
    Have saved some money and want to purchase a new lens.
    Two thoughts,

    70-200mm f2.8 vr, not really long enough (for wildlife etc), but fast
    and good all around so would probably get a 2x converter. If I get this
    lens, would there be any reason to keep the 105mm (non vr) macro?
    80-400mm f4.5-5.6 vr not as fast (reviews also say slow focusing) but
    quite a bit cheaper, especially since I won't need 2x converter. Looked
    at 400mm prime lens, but price is out of my range.
    Any thoughts/feedback greatly appreciated.............
    Dave M.
    Wolfgang Schmittenhammer, Dec 14, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. Have you looked at the nikkor 300/4?

    I havn't used it but if you want a telephoto prime without spending 5x as
    much on the 300/2.8 then I'd say it's worth a look.

    cheers adrian
    Adrian Boliston, Dec 14, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. Wolfgang Schmittenhammer

    gpaleo Guest

    Wait a couple of weeks and get the new 70-300 vr2.
    Looks very promising.
    gpaleo, Dec 14, 2006
  4. This is probably one of the most economical and best "kit" lens you'll find
    from any manufacturer considering it is a "DX" lens. I recently acquired
    the dreaded 18-200mm VR and I must say that it is the biggest piece of $750
    shit Nikon has ever made.
    This is a superior macro lens for up to 1:1. Under no circumstances sell
    this lens. I have both the AF-D and VR versions of this lens and I prefer
    the AF-D. For 2.85:1 magnification just pop on a reversing ring and an old
    50 and you're living the good life.
    The 70-200 is a great lens and is an absolute must have. It can be a little
    soft with a 2x TC, but it's not too bad. Again, NEVER SELL THE 105! If you
    do a lot of macro you will never use VR. You will be sorry if you sell this
    lens. Don't get sucked into the VR hype. Good technique will improve your
    VR and non-VR shots.
    The 70-200 will be your best bet for fast focus and low light performance.
    Some say the 80-400 is a bit shaper at 400mm than the 20-200 with a 2x TC.
    I have the 70-200 and 2x TC and would never ever consider the 80-400.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 14, 2006
  5. I make use of this a lot on a D70 and D200 with petty good results. You'll
    find most of my wildlife photos taken with this combo.
    Take a look at the 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
    I picked up one of these this summer and am quite happy with it. Though for
    my use it's more limited that the above combo, as a lot of wildlife I shoot
    is done walking with the dog and the 200-400 is just too big for this type
    of use.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 14, 2006
  6. Has the thought of selling the 200-400 ever crossed your mind?

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 14, 2006
  7. Wolfgang Schmittenhammer

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    This is a great lens, one of the very best. If you really need to go
    longer, look for a longer lens, not a teleconverter, though. A 2x
    converter will reduce quality and make the lens too slow for a lot
    of wildlife use.
    Yes; macro. Also, the 70-200 VR is so big you'll need a special trailer
    to tow it behind your car, and there are times when you'll just need a
    smaller lens. Use it in public and people will stare. Point it at
    people and they may think it's a rocket launcher and run away.

    If you're trying to do wildlife, a 300mm fixed-length lens might be a
    good compromise. Zoom is not important for that kind of shooting, and
    300mm is pretty much "just" long enough; you'll end up wishing for more,
    but you can make do -- and you'd be wishing for just a little bit more
    even if you had a 600mm lens.
    This lens is in a different league entirely from the 70-200 VR. It might
    be decent, but it's probably not fast enough for wildlife. If you find
    that most of your wildlife shooting is actually okay with such a slow
    lens, it could be worth looking at, but I'd say you really don't need a
    zoom at all if you're looking for a wildlife lens.
    Jeremy Nixon, Dec 14, 2006
  8. Wolfgang Schmittenhammer

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    I have this and very much like it. I alternate between that and
    the much heaver 35-135mm f3.5-4.5 as walk-around lenses.
    I have heard very good reports of this lens, and hope to have
    one of these someday.
    As others have said -- keep the 105mm macro -- unless you plan
    to *never* take any macro shots.
    Hmm ... IIRC, a 2X converter is also two stops slower on any
    given lens, so you would be down from f2.8 to f4.5 anyway using the TC
    and the 70-200mm f2.8 vr. This is a bit better than f5.6 at the long
    end of the zoom, but not that much better.
    What about the prices for used lenses? The only two lenses on
    my D70 which I have purchased *new* were the 18-70mm kit lens and the
    28-105mm f3.5-4.5. Everything else was purchased used at one time or

    I've also got a 500mm f8 Nikkor Cat lens which works on the D70
    (of course without built-in metering). I've got a 300mm prime which I
    need to convert the aperture ring to AI to allow mounting on the D70
    (and to allow metering on a future D200 whenever I get that.
    You have my thoughts above.

    Good luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Dec 15, 2006
  9. Why? I bought it knowing this. I still use it when I can and the situation
    presents itself such at specific events. I had it with me last weekend when
    I finally got a full frame GBH shot:
    Linked to full res image.

    I have to say I'm not your average dog walker and when I say walk the dog
    it mean 3+ mile daily walks on the shore of the James River, or the
    Yorktown waterfront or through the woods, not necessarily on any trail,
    around the Yorktown battlefields. So I get a real chuckle with Jeremy's
    statement of needing a trailer for the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR as I often carry
    it on these walks, such as the just this afternoon. Still not enough light
    to get a good shot of the owl we passed in the woods, even at iso1600, but
    I gave it a shot.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 15, 2006
  10. Please, a little restraint. The primes and the 200-400mm f/4 VR maybe, the
    70-200 f/2.8? I carry it most of the time I walk the dog.
    Not my experience and frankly who cares if they stare? I get more looks at
    my 95# white GSD I'm walking many times carrying this lens on my D70/D200.

    And you say the 70-200mm f/2.8 needs a trailer, come on, at least be
    logically consistent in your response.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 15, 2006
  11. On 15 Dec 2006 01:19:02 GMT, in
    No, it is f/5.6, but the 70-200 f/2.8 VR is an AF-S lens the 80-400 is not.
    you also have the lens by itself to use at f/2.8 which you never have with
    the 80-400.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 15, 2006
  12. Well, I thought you might be sick of lugging it around and I could take it
    off your hands if the price is right. I didn't think you would part with
    it, but it never hurts to ask. I do have a stack of $100s with your name on
    it should you change your mind. I'm in no hurry.

    I love that GBH shot. I hope you are considering getting this printed?
    I agree. I first hated lugging the 70-200 around when I first got it, but
    don't even know I have it now. I tend to take the hound out on long walks
    as well and have my backpack fully loaded with equipment. The 70-200 is a
    must have lens that is awesome at indoor events, weddings, and other

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 15, 2006
  13. Wolfgang Schmittenhammer

    Paul Furman Guest

    I suggest revising your expectations and shoot for a better lens, not
    longer. Already the 70-200 on a dSLR is a 35mm equivalent of 300mm. The
    only nice option for longer is a 300/4 as mentioned with 1.4x TC at
    420mm. You might find with a sharper lens, you can crop and enlarge more.

    I'm not happy with the 2x on my 70-200 for sharpness... sometimes it's
    useful... but for the price of that TC??? Better really with 1.4x & that
    gets you a beautiful 280mm f/4.

    I did a lot of playing around with macro on the 70-200 with a Canon 77mm
    2-element closeup lens 'filter' on the front and the 2x on the back.
    That's real handy for bees & butterflies but all those elements on the
    zoom just do not compare to a fixed length macro. I've got the 105 VR
    now & it's noticeably nicer for all sorts of closeups & long shots. That
    thing works nice with a 2x as a tele if your macro is compatible with
    the TC.
    Paul Furman, Dec 15, 2006
  14. Wolfgang Schmittenhammer

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    It's still enormous, and bringing it or not is a decision.
    I've gotten stares and verbal comments *every time* I've used it with people
    around. That's not even an exaggeration.
    My 300mm is much smaller and lighter than the 70-200 VR. It's also slower,
    though. But if you're doing wildlife, you need big lenses; that's not the
    point. The point was that yes, there is a reason to have a 105mm macro if
    you also have a 70-200 VR. I have a 105mm non-macro, even, and find it
    very useful.

    For shooting wildlife you need the really big lenses. If that's *all*
    you're doing, then okay, you don't need that 105, but then you didn't
    need it in the first place.
    Jeremy Nixon, Dec 15, 2006
  15. Wolfgang Schmittenhammer

    Smokey Guest


    Those are some beautiful wildlife shots!
    I'm trying to learn to shoot that well. Practice, practice, practice,
    for me.
    That 200-400 lens is very sharp.
    Smokey, Dec 15, 2006
  16. Please excuse my ignorance, what exactly does the 50 and reversing ring
    do??? Guess, gives you a 'very' macro lens, i.e. the image on the sensor
    will be 2.85 times 'lifesize'?????
    Wolfgang Schmittenhammer, Dec 15, 2006
  17. It works as a diopter (closeup lense). The 50mm lense is
    achromatic and designed to focus relatively close to the "back
    end" of the lense (i.e., the film plane is close to the lense),
    hence it performs fairly well in that mode. A 50mm lense is a
    +20 diopter! When mounted on a 105mm lense it will slightly
    more than double the magnification. If you get 1:1 on a 35mm
    format camera, you'll get 2:1 using a +20 diopter.

    Other focal lengths, for diopters, are:

    focal length diopter
    20mm +50
    50mm +20
    100mm +10
    200mm + 5
    500mm + 2
    1000mm + 1

    Almost any prime lense between 20mm and 100mm will give fairly
    good results when used in this fashion. The effects of a
    diopter are greater when the lense it is attached to is longer,
    so what ever combination you have, use the shorter one reversed
    for maximum effect.

    However, reversed lenses often cause vignetting, and of course
    all the other typical effects of high magnification exist too.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Dec 16, 2006
  18. Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 17, 2006
  19. What 300mm are you taking about?
    Looking at
    The 300mm f/4 has 77mm filter size objective and is (diameter x length -
    in.): 3.5 x 8.8 and weighs 50.2oz, while the 70-200mm f/2.8 has the same
    objective and is (Diameter x Length): Approx. 3.4 in x 8.5 in which is
    slightly small and weighs 3.2# or 51.2oz. Seems like a wash to me.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 17, 2006
  20. Wolfgang Schmittenhammer

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    It's a 300mm f/4.5 ED. It's just short of being too slow for wildlife,
    but it's also just long enough.
    Jeremy Nixon, Dec 17, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.