The Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 ED-D lens is one of 4 variants of the Nikon 80-200 lens series. The push-pull variant had an older Non-D version and the ED-D version which allows for 3D lighting information. There are 2 newer lenses that have 2 zoom rings. This review is on the ED-D lens which I recently bought through ebay.
Recommend this product?
The 80-200 lens has great optics. The pictures shot with this lens are excellent at 2.8 and outstanding if you stop it down to f4-8. Of course, at 2.8 your depth of field (DOF) is more shallow and you can blur out all foreground and background detail, thus only showing your audience the subject of your shot. As an example:
Note how the ballplayer is clearly in focus, but the ground just behind him is blurred? That is because I shot the lens 'wide open' which focuses just on my subject. As a corollary, even if I shot this picture with faster shutter speeds, the ball would probably not be in focus, as my DOF is shallow.
Another example where you can see the runner is nicely in focus, but the pitcher just behind him is blurred out. I want to show people the runner trying to steal second...
You'll read online that the lens's autofocus is slow. However, since I am an amateur the slower AF doesn't really bother me too much. This lens was a professional's lens for many years before I bought it off of him. Professionals will want a lens that is faster in AF. In relation to some of the other lenses that I've used (Sigma 18-200, Nikon 18-55, NIkon 55-200, Sigma 28-300), the AF speed is about the same. Here's a trick if you want to focus faster, if you have a second or two before you need to shoot pictures, focus on a distant object first. The lens's AF works faster focusing on a closer subject. If you do the reverse, the lens takes time to zoom out. Just something I've noticed on all my zoom lenses.
The lens is heavy. But if you carry it with a shoulder strap for the hard case that comes with the lens, it's not a big deal. I dont bring this lens with me everywhere I go, as it is a bit heavy. However, for special occassions like baseball games, it's a great lens to lug along.
The build quality of this lens is professional grade. Like I said earlier, this is a pro's lens. Its supposed to be built for rugged use. Of course, I baby all my equipment, and I've never dropped or even jarred any of photography equipment.
The lens does not have a tripod mount. I bought a Manfrotto 3420 for use with this lens if I ever need to put it on a tripod mount. I am uncertain if this was really needed. I may just try some fiberglass around the zoom to see if this will hold things steady. The Manfrotto does what it's supposed to...it keeps the 80-200 and my D50 rock steady on my tripod.
Overall, I'd say that this is a great lens. I got mine on ebay for $350. It's certainly worth the price if you want to take great pictures but dont want to pay professional lens prices.
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