Welcome to Nikonians! Camera bodies come and go, "Fast Glass" is a lifetime investment. Lenses hold their value significantly better than camera bodies. That said, Tell us more about the lens that you are considering, what you shoot and the ambient conditions you will be shooting in. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I would buy an used 70-200 2.8 VR1. I don't have a D7000, but do have a D90. Though the D7000 is a good upgrade from the D80, and D90 as well, the best investment you can make is on the best lenses available. I find that when i offered an used D70s to my girlfriend and was quite surprised with the excelent IQ from files, almost as good as the ones i can achieve with my D90. BTW, if you take just a minute to fill your profile, concerning your equipment, it will help to get excelent advice provided here in Nikonians (not from myself, ).
Nikonians!!! My best investment made after my camera!!!
gree that glass ususally is best, I am lusting for more megapixels because when I need to crop, the quality of my photos are not as good.
i own several lens starting from the oldest whioch does not meter wwith my D80: a Nikkor AI-S 105mm f1.8, a Sigma AFZoom 70-210 F/3.5-4.5APO, an AF Zoom-Nikkior 35-70mm F/2.8 D and the latest an AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G VR. I don't want to be lugging all my lebnses when on field trip, etc. that is why I am torn between buying a very good all-aroung lens or a camera with more mp. The D7000 has 16MP and the D80 has 10.5mp.
I'm in a similar situation and have gotten some good advice: does a new camera do something your camera doesn't? You said you want to be able to have more usable crops. You already have a lens that goes to 210, so unless you're considering a 300mm lens, i'd say camera upgrade since the D7000 will allow you to shoot at higher ISO in adition to having the 16MP sensor
1. Upgrade the photographer. 2. Upgrade the support and shot discipline. 3. Upgrade the lens. 4. Upgrade your camera.
You should read the whole article for the full explanation of all of these, but you get the gist.
In general, I'm with John on this one: why do you need to crop? Is it because there was no way possible to get closer to your subject? In that case you might want to think about a longer lens - and possibly trade in some lenses you're not using. The other possibility is that you just need to get closer before you shoot. We can't tell you that without know what you're trying to get a picture of.
Since you already have a 200mm in your arsenal, and are considering a longer lens, such as a 300mm, you might want to take a look at this Nikon Simulator to see if, indeed, that extra 100mm will accomplish what you desire. 300mm isn't really all that long under certain conditions. Cropping may be your best solution, and thus a higher MP count on a newer body may be the answer. You can compare the reach of your 200, to that of a 300, to see the effect. Good luck.
I would normally agree with everyone that glass comes before body, but I have to weigh in on the D80. I absolutely hated my D80. Looking back on my D80 photos tonight, it amazes me how exposure and color were completely 'off' with that camera. I also notice a lot of focus inaccuracy and soft shots from my D80 photos. I always shoot RAW and the RAW files from the D80 require so much post-processing it used to make my head spin. I've owned a bunch of Nikon bodies and the D80 was hands down the worst. I loved the D50 so much I bought another after regretting selling my first. I briefly owned a D90 as a backup for my D300 but sold it to upgrade to a D800. Every one of these bodies made the D80 look like a bum camera.
So, I'd highly highly recommend getting rid of the D80 and moving to a better body. You won't regret it.
Thank you for saying this because I've had a D80 for a few years. Recently I have been so disappointed with my pictures, feeling like I have a pretty good idea how to take a decent image, and yet they are coming out lousy. My friend purchased a D7000 and I went shooting with her and WOW what a difference.
I was wandering if it could be my camera but kind of throwing that idea aside until I read this review. Thanks for sharing.
I have owned D80 for many years and still used it when I want to walk about shooting anything; I leave D300/800 for more specific shooting tasks. Lenses are for more long term investment. You always need a collection of lenses more than the bodies to extend your capturing capability, from macro to wide angle to telephoto. I found out the keeper images I have we're from D80 with various lenses because it is so easy to forget the equipment you are using and focus on the subjects. Just my 2 cents. Cheers!
Concerning your equipment, another option is to go for a fast prime 35 or 50 1.8, they are really bargains. My light travel kit is D90, 35 1.8, 16-85(some times the 10-24) and 70-300. The 35 1.8 sits on the D90 most of the time. I'm still in the process to "learn" how to shoot with a prime, but getting more involved.
Nikonians!!! My best investment made after my camera!!!
I do not think this is an either/or situation. A longer term plan could address specific weaknesses and shifts in priorities. What about selling the D80(yes, it is fine....until shooting with even a D90 when the display, noise performance, metering, etc are experienced it is a worthy upgrade for almost no money since used D90s are $400 or so) to improve in just about every category of performance, a little, not dramatically but those little improvements translates to a better image and use. Consider what you shoot and get at least one lens that you feel will work better for your main interest. For example if you are interesting in portraiture, a $450 85 1.8G is a great lens, at a great price that would sing on a D90, and up, even a D800. If you have an interest in more creative control of your lighting, getting a good speed light or adding to your collection. Nothing increases options and image quality as much as photographer optimized lighting. There is a total of about $1200 and almost assured of having more appealing images. Stan St Petersburg Russia
I upgraded my D80 to a D90 a few years ago. The step to a D90 or a D7000 is a significant improvement, and I recommend buy a new body rather than lens. The major improvements I immediately notices were better auto-focus (especially if you shoot sports or anything in motion), much less noise at hi-iso - D90 is good quality up to 1600; D7000 is good up to 3200 (though it will go to 6400). FPS is higher. You also get compatibility with the wireless speedlites (Commander Mode)