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Tamron 70 200 2.8 v. Nikkor 80 200 2.8

Savan Thongvanh , Sep 30, 2009; 10:35 a.m.

So here's a little twist on a combination of threads that I haven't seen yet.
Would anyone like to throw in their two cents about the choice between a new Tamron 70-200 2.8 @ $700 v. a KEH BGN two touch Nikkor 80-200 2.8 @ $750?
I think I might be able to guess what some of you full timers would say but would still would like to see it. As well, I'd love to hear some input from the cost sensitive "semi pro/part timers" out there.
I'm in the latter category and I do up to 5 weddings/year and family and commercial portraits. Also I use it on a D2x.
Thanks for the input-


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Wouter Willemse , Sep 30, 2009; 11:06 a.m.

Amateur, so cost sensitive...never earned a dime with my pictures :-)
The 80-200 f/2.8 nikkor. In fact, I've got one, bought new some 3 years ago. The claimed "slow AF" of this lens isn't all that bad, I use it on a D300 nowadays, and I find very little problems with AF. The quality it delivers is great, from f/2.8 on. Build quality is good.

When I bought it, the only other alternative was the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM version II. I tried that too, on despite the HSM, I found it slower to focus (esp. to acquire initial focus, tested on a D80), and not so sharp at f/2.8. The Tamron wasn't out yet at the time, but when I'd go now, I'd still have the Nikon on the top of my list. Too much reports that the Tamron is very slow to AF (but I'd still try in the store!).

Mark S , Sep 30, 2009; 11:08 a.m.

Put Nikon glass on a Nikon body, unless cost-prohibited.

Savan Thongvanh , Sep 30, 2009; 11:16 a.m.

how 'bout one more twist? same price, KEH BGN 80 200 2.8 two touch v. EX push pull?
can you tell i've been obsessing about this lately? :)

ryan smith , Sep 30, 2009; 11:46 a.m.

I am not a pro, definitely an amateur. I have had both lenses. To get right into it, I would only consider the Tamron if you can test it first. I bought the Tamron understanding that the AF was not the greatest and the picture quality was absolutely stunning. I didn't mind this as I am not doing sports and am more worried about sharpness than speed. Some people said that the Tamron wasn't as bad as advertised, some said it was. I say it is as bad as advertised if not worse. The lens caused me to miss several shots. I was outdoors in perfect conditions and the lens really struggled on my camera to AF. When it did focus properly the pictures were extremely sharp from about f/4 on. Below f/4 I would say the pics were pretty much useless b/c of how soft it was. Needless to say, I got rid of it.

I have since purchased a two-ring 80-200 AF-D and it is not as sharp when shooting f/4-f/5.6 (the Tamron beats a 70-200 here) but is not horribley soft wide open like the Tamron was. I have not, don't think I will miss a shot with this lens as the AF system is accurate. As far as AF speed goes, I would say a slight edge to the Nikon but neither are of course AF-S speed. AF accuracy is not even debatable - Nikon hands down.

I am planning on getting rid of my 80-200 as I have determined this length is not for me. It is in flawless condition (seriously) and I will give you a great deal on it. Email me at rsolti@gmail.com if interested.

Michael R. Freeman , Sep 30, 2009; 11:52 a.m.

"how 'bout one more twist? same price, KEH BGN 80 200 2.8 two touch v. EX push pull?"

Easy answer. Two-ring BGN, every time. The tripod collar is an absolute must if you ever intend to use this lens on a monopod or tripod.

Rick Helmke , Sep 30, 2009; 01:32 p.m.

For a price difference of fifty bucks?? Nikkor every time. Rick H.

Hamish Gray , Sep 30, 2009; 03:16 p.m.

I've tried the Tamron. Not good at all. Hunts for focus in almost perfect conditions. Have not tried the nikon 80-200, but I can only imagine it is MUCH better at focusing. As far as image quality goes the Tamron is quite good, but that doesn't really help if the pictures are out of focus :-)

LA Whitlock , Sep 30, 2009; 05:24 p.m.

The thing I've found w/ Tamron, Tokina, Sigma and the rest is the varied quality you get from different individual lenses of an exact identical model. In a way, the off-brands are like racy chicks... you can take 'em out and have fun, but maybe you're not going to bring 'em home to meet mom. I've seen great off-brand lenses. I personally own a Sigma 28-105 f2.8 that is one of the best lenses I've ever owned. But I've run across that exact same lens on a friend's camera and it shoots like crap. Quality Control is the thing. With a Nikon lens, it's like your wife of 20 years, you know what you're going to get. I've got a Nikon 35-105 that is a very good lens... but its also kind of boring.
Sometimes, the racy girl is way more fun and unpredictable. And sometimes, if you can afford to just keep dating a lot of different racy girls, you'll find the perfect one for you.

Eric Arnold , Sep 30, 2009; 06:02 p.m.

if you can afford to just keep dating a lot of different racy girls, you'll find the perfect one for you.

LOL. how'd you know?

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