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sportshots Oct 14, 2009 11:35 AM

70-200mm 2.8 dilemma
i have always received great input from posts on here so here goes...

i went to my local camera store with $1000, ready to buy a new lens. do you think i could find someone decent to make a sale with and answer the questions i had, nope! so no sale!! so here i am racking my brain, i tend to do this before every purchase.....

i used to shoot sports in high school and then some after for a hobby and for my job at a local newspaper. then started taking senior portraits and weddings as a hobby that has (some how or another) turned into a great little business in the past 6 months so.

i used a nikon d70 for years, and now shoot with a d80. i have a 50mm 1.8 , 18-70mm (the one that came with the d70 in 2005) and a cheaper nikon 70-300mm that i use outdoors.

i use mostly the kit lens and the 50mm for my portraits and weddings and sometimes barrow an old sigma (i think 70-200mm) 2.8 to use in the church.

my question is, i am ready to spend about $1000 on a lens, (obviously i would choose the newer nikon 70-200 with VR HANDS DOWN, but can't afford it at the moment) i need something to hold me off for a couple more weddings until i am ready.... i also am thinking about updating my camera body sometime in the next year, but right now i think that a good 2.8 zoom lens would be the best investment.

i am looking at the older nikon lens, 80-200 2.8, and the similar but newer tamron.

what are the differences between these two, or and a similar sigma. i have used sigmas before and have gotten great photos with them.

i am just linking nikon with quality in my head, because i have never had a problem with any of my nikon lens (even though, they are all cheapys) they have produced GREAT photos.

i would appreciate any input or even total new paths....

NHL Oct 15, 2009 5:24 AM

The Nikon 80-200 2.8 and the newer Tamron will focus a little bit slower as they don't have the ultrasonic motor built-in to the lens. The Tamron is the sharpest of the trio though so for your kind of shoot (portraits, weddings) I'll lean toward the Tamron

The advantage of the Sigma is its HSM motor which is comparable to the Nikkor AF-S (i.e. silent fast and full-time manual override) which will be better for action shots... ;)

sportshots Oct 15, 2009 10:25 AM

i was kind of leaning in that direction anyways (tamron) mostly for the price. i hopefully will be going much bigger and better (new nikon) within a year or so.

i just need something now to get the job done. i have a feeling that might be the best route.

just to make sure im staright with're saying the sigma is significantly faster than both the old nikon and new tamron, but the new tamron would win the clarity battle, right?

NHL Oct 15, 2009 1:28 PM


Originally Posted by sportshots (Post 1009549)'re saying the sigma is significantly faster than both the old nikon and new tamron, but the new tamron would win the clarity battle, right?

That's correct! :)

JimC Oct 15, 2009 1:37 PM

I'd tend to think the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 lenses would be faster than the newer Tamron, although I haven't seen their AF speed compared.

The Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 lenses (either newer D models or older push-pull models) have a reputation for fast AF, and the push-pull variety are very inexpensive on the used market. Of course, the AF algorithms and processing speed are usually going to improve on higher end bodies, but the question in my mind is how the body based focus motor in the D80 performs compared to higher end Nikon models (D300, D3, etc.) to get a better idea of performance compared to newer AF-S lenses.

sportshots Oct 15, 2009 10:49 PM

I am really most interested in clarity. Although speed is a factor too, just not as important for the price difference at this moment in time.

I'm hearing that the tamron is pretty amazing for the price.

NHL Oct 16, 2009 8:13 AM

The Tamron is probably one of the sharpest 70-200 f/2.8 at this moment... Unless you have a fast ultrasonic AF motor in the lens then its focusing pretty much depends on the body on the Nikon. A pro body will definitely focus faster than an entry level.

It's best to check it out at the store if you can :cool:

Franko170 Oct 22, 2009 10:53 PM

You'll want to keep a tripod or monopod around with the 70-200 or 80-200 because of weight, a bit unwieldy at times. Might be worth it to be patient, save up your nickels and get the VR lens if you plan on handholding shots. A good lens will keep its value for many years, unlike a camera body.

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