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Author Topic: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon  (Read 4038 times)

NicoChina

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Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« on: October 07, 2012, 08:15:00 PM »

Hi,
I'm going to a 2 weeks photo trip in Guizhou & Hunan, and will be mostly moving on foot most of the day. I'm looking for a lightweight tele, mostly for landscapes (i will mostly use wider lenses). I do currently have a 70-200 VRI and a 135DC, which are nice for portraits and shooting wide open but not so much for carrying all day and shooting landscapes.

I do just need something light and that is ok at >F8.
I was thinking at Tamron or Nikon's stabilized 70-300, or to go all the way to some 28-300-ish lens, but i have no idea of the real value of these lenses.

PS : just upgraded from D700 to D800.

Anybody has some advice?

Regards

Nicolas
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 09:26:22 PM »

Have you considered the Nikon 180mmf/2.8D AF-Nikkor? http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/127/cat/12
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 12:20:46 AM »

Hi Nico,

How have you been?

The 70-300 VR is very decent between 70 and 200mm at f8-f11, it gets a bit soft beyond 200mm. I shot in Nepal with this lens on the D3 and it performed very well.

The 180 f2.8 AF is good but I somehow preferred the old AI-S version compared to the latest AF one. Still, it is superior to the 70-300 at 180mm. It is not stabilized though.

The best option optically is probably the 200f4 macro.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 12:36:07 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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Hulyss

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 03:26:45 AM »

Have you considered the Nikon 180mmf/2.8D AF-Nikkor? http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/127/cat/12

Great recommendation for an unexpected lens :)

Weight wise, sharpness wise, the 180 is better than the 200 Makro (and shorter). 180f2.8 is a gem.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 07:12:22 AM »

Weight wise, sharpness wise, the 180 is better than the 200 Makro (and shorter). 180f2.8 is a gem.

Here is the data measured by Photozone.

180mm f2.8
http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/226-nikkor-af-180mm-f28-if-ed-review--test-report?start=1

200mm f4
http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/227-micro-nikkor-af-200mm-f4-d-ed-review--test-report?start=1

Short summary:
                         200m     180mm
resolution at f8    1950       1950
CA                     0,1         0,59
Vignetting           0,03        0,04
Distorsion           0,05        0,34

But the best part of the 200 macro is the bokeh.

I personally like to carry a macro lens because you never know what opportunities may show up, but only the OP knows whether that is relevant or not. But it is clearly indeed a heavier lens though.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 07:40:04 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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Colorado David

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 09:56:01 AM »

I bought the Nikon 70-300 VR lens thinking I would use it when weight was a factor, but so far I haven't been able to keep myself from carrying the 70-200 f2.8 and the 200-400 f4.  I know it defeats the purpose and maybe one day I'll change my mind.

HSakols

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 10:01:51 AM »

I sure wish Nikon would make a 70-200 F4.  I must admit that I use the 70-300 on my D800.  I probably will eventually cave in and purchase the 20-200 2.8 VRII, but I don't need fast auto focus and I don't need f 2.8. Maybe it is time to look a 3rd party option?  I used to just bring an 200 AIS macro, but I didn't find it to be any sharper than the zoom stopped down.
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kers

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 10:28:49 AM »

I was a month ago in the Alps going up and down with a backpack for two weeks...

I had 2 lenses : 35mm d2 nikkor ( normal + panorama's) + macroring (little flowers)
and the 70-300 4,5-5,6 vr  ( for animals)
(and the d800e)

I liked the combo...
the 70-300 is very cheap considering its quality- the centre is good wide open 70-200; the corners are good 70-200 at d11
between 200 and 300 the lens hangs down (I guess) and becomes less good- still the centre is good at d8-11
the VR works really well- also you can focus very close

« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 10:30:28 AM by kers »
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Dustbak

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 11:26:12 AM »

Another option might be the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 180/4.0. Really small, sharp, gorgeous rendering and totally void from CA. I have one and I think it is one of those forgotten gems.
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Michael N. Meyer

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 02:47:25 PM »

If you're only going to use the lens a handful of times on the trip, maybe consider the 200mm f4 AI or AIS manual focus lenses. It's fairly sharp, cheap, lightweight and compact. The minimum focusing distance isn't amazing, which is the only negative I can think of for it. An extension tube or closeup lens takes care of this easily enough. I've got one though I use it rarely; I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've used it in the last five years.

I've seen them listed for under $100 at various shops.

Ellis Vener

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 09:48:08 PM »


 But (the 200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor) is clearly indeed a heavier lens (then the 180mm f/2.8D AF-Nikkor is) though.

Cheers,
Bernard

Also the 180mm f/1.8D is a heck of a lot cheaper!
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pgmj

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2012, 04:10:42 AM »

I converted a Leica Vario-Elmar-R 80-200/4 to Nikon and it is amazing. Tried it on the D800 and it seems to outperform the 70-200VRII. It might still be a tad heavy for your needs. If you want something lighter, buy a Zeiss 80-200/4 and Nikon mount (from leitax.com), and test if it performs well enough on the D800.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 04:12:27 AM by pgmj »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2012, 05:27:13 AM »

Also the 180mm f/1.8D is a heck of a lot cheaper!

http://page15.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/t244623164
http://page3.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/c367289549

Difference second hand in Japan is around 600 US$. I don't know whether that is the heck of a lot for Nico.  :)

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 05:44:23 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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pgmj

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2012, 07:47:54 AM »

The Nikkor 180/2.8D isn't a really great performer, especially on the D800.
http://diglloyd.com/blog/2012/20120512_2-NikonD800-lens-Nikon180.html

The Voigtlander APO 180/4 would be great if you can find one.
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Hulyss

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2012, 08:48:02 AM »

The day I will trust only one reviewer I'll stop photography. But perhaps my 180 is exceptional ... At least it beat my 70-200 VRII, matter of facts.
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NicoChina

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 09:54:54 AM »

Thanks all,

I heard a lot of good things about the 180, but i don't find long fixed lenses so convenient for landscape, i'm hesitating between taking my 135 and/or getting some second hand 70-300. I don't have much use for another tele except for that trip in fact, so i think it will depends on what they have in the local second hand shops.
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Colorado David

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 10:49:03 AM »

If it's a one-time use, have you considered renting?

Hulyss

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2012, 11:26:57 AM »

If it's a one-time use, have you considered renting?

Exactly !!
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NicoChina

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Re: Looking for a lightweight Tele for Nikon
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2012, 07:08:51 PM »

I'll have a look, but that will be a 16 days trip (+ maybe a long week end in Huangshan once there is some snow there, later this year), so maybe i'll be better with buying whatever 2nd hand they have here and selling it back after unless i really like what i find.
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