In the process of ordering a D800 to be used mostly for sports (rodeo and high school indoor and outdoor). Currently own a 80-200 f2.8 and wondering if the investment in the 70-200 would be wise. Mostly print no larger than 11x14. If there is not enough improvement over my current lens then I will order other new lenses
I suggest getting the D800 and trying the 80-200mm for yourself, as "not enough improvement" is an inherently subjective criterion. The 70-200mm is faster focusing, but depending on the shutter speeds you want to use VR may or may not be useful for sports.
I've had my 70-200mm for about a year. While I think the optical quality is a bit better than my old 1-ring 80-200mm f/2.8D, I would not have upgraded based solely on the difference in optics. On the other hand, within 2 hours of buying the lens I was using it to get shots I could not have gotten with the 80-200mm.
One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it. - Galen Rowell
Thanks for the input. VR probably wont come into play as much because shutter speeds are generally pretty high. Faster focus will be more of a benefit. Was trying to convince myself I didn't need the 70-200, but I failed, guess I will order it also. I will keep the 80-200 as a backup on a D90 and let 15 year old grandson try his hand at it.
There are quite a few of us that shoot fast action sports with the 80-200mm 1:2.8D. Check out the Nikonians Sports Forum. It is true that the 80-200mm focuses slower than the 70-200mm lens (I can personally attest to this...I owned the 70-200 VR before I went to my current 80-200 lens) but not so slow as to be an impediment to photographing fast field sports. This may not be true for cycling and motor sports. Cheers, Dave
"Stupidity is a gift from God, but one mustn't misuse it" - Pope John Paul II
Everything I have read suggests that the two-ring, tripod mount 80-200 f2.8 focuses significantly faster than the older one-ring version. It's not as fast as an AFS lens, but on a pro camera, it is a lens that photographers used for sports for years before the 70-200 VR. And, it's less than half the price. My advice: If you have the one-ring, then upgrade. If you have the two-ring, try it first, and maybe you can save yourself some money.
VR is inconsequential for action/sports. I shoot sports, and almost never turn it on.