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      04-23-2009, 01:15 AM   #1
TWiTCHY
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(Nikon) $1500 to spend on new glass

So I sold my beloved 17-55mm f/2.8 for whatever reason. I couldn't stand not being able to afford a decent telephoto lens, so I guess that's why I sold it (for profit! )

So now I'm left with about $1400 or less to spend on some glass, and I haven't decided which lens combination I want. But, I've already decided that I want the 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D, which leaves me with about $500 or so after tax.

With $400, I have a few mid-range zooms I could choose from (excluding DX format lenses since I don't want to deal with selling them if I decide to go FX one day):

24-85mm f/2.8-4 AF
24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-S
24-120mm VR f/3.5-5.6

Now the problem with the above 3 (besides the fact that some do not fit my price range) is that many people say the 24-85mm f/2.8-4 is too soft and that the 24-120mm VR is also WAY too soft at the corners and center (Damn Rockwell messing with my mind again). But the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 seems to be perfect. It's the cheapest out of the 3, and presumably the sharpest out of them all. The only thing it lacks from it's older counterpart is the wider aperture and macro function.

So, my question is would you rather have a lens that shoots faster and presumably has better bokeh, or a lens that shoots a little slower but sharper?

Or, suggest an entirely different lens combination that you think is better. No DX lenses, please.
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      04-23-2009, 01:29 AM   #2
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I would go with the one that shoots faster and has better bokeh because you can always sharpen up your pictures with programs. On the other hand, if your lens is slow you might end up missing many good shots.
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      04-23-2009, 01:45 AM   #3
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Why the 80-200 AF-D vs. the 70-200 AF-S, strictly because of cost? The AF-D will be slower and noisier when autofocusing, since it doesn't have a built in AF motor. I've seen a few on the local CL for $1,500-ish. I know that doesn't leave you any money for another lens, but then you compromising on lenses strictly because of cost.

I'd take one great lens over one good lens and one OK lens. I'd go for the 70-200 VR AF-S and save up for the 24-70 F/2.8 AF-S. Sure, that is nearly $3,000 for glass, but you'll have world glass for a long time.

You've still got the 18-200 VR, right?
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      04-23-2009, 01:56 AM   #4
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Buy my 14mm 2.8
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      04-23-2009, 02:02 AM   #5
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I've never had the 18-200mm. I bought the D300 body only. I figured I wouldn't need the VR on the 70-200mm since I could just buy a $30 monopod to support the 80-200mm, but I didn't really think about the focusing; you're right on that one, I just don't know if it's worth the difference. I can't really afford to wait that long to get the 24-70mm either. I have considered doing just that - buy the 70-200mm and try to survive with that and my 50mm f/1.4 until I get the funds to buy the 24-70mm, but I don't know if it's worth it. Maybe I could opt for a cheaper, used, 28-70mm?
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      04-23-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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what kind of use are you expecting for the 80-200?
what do you shoot that needs the telephoto so badly?
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      04-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
what kind of use are you expecting for the 80-200?
what do you shoot that needs the telephoto so badly?
My school wants me to take photos of their events, concerts, assemblies, all that stuff where I'd like to keep myself out of other people's way and stay back. They also like dim lighting...

It also works extremely well with automotive photography. Tomorrow I might be going to a track to take photos for the Washington people here.

I need to make the decision TODAY. And the 70-200mm is an option now. But if I go that direction, getting a 24-70mm 2.8 would be highly unlikely, and I'll be mid-rangeless for a long time, and I'm fearing I may miss some shots.

Is the extra $1000 worth the VR and quiet, faster auto-focus?
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      04-23-2009, 06:51 PM   #8
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      04-24-2009, 12:32 AM   #9
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Well, you will probably know when the school events are going to be photographed. In that case, maybe you should go for the 24-70 F/2.8 now and just rent the 70-200 when you need it. Keep an eye on CL because the occassional 80-200 F/2.8 AF-S do show up for $1000 to $1200 (made for a few years, disco'd in 2004 I think.) It has AF-S but not VR, which is why it gets cheaper.

My next lens will be the 70-200 F/2.8 because of the shooting I will be doing. But I'd love to get the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 plus a 1.4x telecon and eventually dump the 18-200. It is a great lens, but not nearly fast enough for the shooting I find myself doing (indoors and lower light.....) Just need to win the lottery (or rob a bank) to pay for it....
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      04-24-2009, 12:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
Well, you will probably know when the school events are going to be photographed. In that case, maybe you should go for the 24-70 F/2.8 now and just rent the 70-200 when you need it. Keep an eye on CL because the occassional 80-200 F/2.8 AF-S do show up for $1000 to $1200 (made for a few years, disco'd in 2004 I think.) It has AF-S but not VR, which is why it gets cheaper.

My next lens will be the 70-200 F/2.8 because of the shooting I will be doing. But I'd love to get the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 plus a 1.4x telecon and eventually dump the 18-200. It is a great lens, but not nearly fast enough for the shooting I find myself doing (indoors and lower light.....) Just need to win the lottery (or rob a bank) to pay for it....
School events occur on an average of two times per week, and not always on Friday where I can pay once and keep it for three days over the weekend. After a while those rental costs will add up and it would have made more sense to buy the lens from the beginning. Plus driving to Glazer's is a pain - returning it the next day on the specified time is too stressful for me when I have to deal with school.

It seems like a great idea, but only if Glazer's was closer to me...

Tomorrow I will be going to Glazer's to rent the 80-200mm. If I can live with its auto-focus and lack of VR (substituted for monopod) then I might as well buy it, save the $1000, and save up a little more for the 24-70mm.
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