Looking for some advice as I'm planning on upgrading in this focal range. Looking at the 70-200/2.8 and the 70-200/4. Had been planning on buying the 2.8 version, but a bit concerned about the weight and carrying it around on trips. Plan on using either one of these with a teleconverter (thinking TC-17e) ... as I want to get some additional range. So concerned about using the F4 version with the teleconverter ... how good does it work? And i also like tripod shooting, so wondering for the 2.8 version, do i need to mount the lens on the tripod foot (meaning i'd have to buy an additional connector for my RRS ballhead), or can i mount the camera (D800) to the tripod as I've always done? Have a Gitzo 25xx CF tripod with a RRS RH40 ballhead.
I have both and like them both. Last year I took the 2.8 to Zed as my only tele and shot a lot with it on D800. Including the shot below. This lens works extremely well with the Nikon TCs. Be sure you have the TC2 is version III. It is quite a bit heavier, also more rugged. I rate it killer bee.
(Click to enlarge)
The f4 is definitely easier to carry. That said, I don't mind carrying the 2.8. I often carry the 80-400 walking miles. Others will disagree. Optically, this lens exceeding all expectations. If it is not as good as the 2.8, you need the charts to tell the difference. I haven't even tried it with TCs because I tend to avoid them for the most part, and the 80-400 moots the issue. But I have had good success with this lens. Had it soaking wet a time or two, without apparent damage. Shot below from this lens.
I've used the f/4 model with a TC-17E II on a D7100. It works fairly well. The autofocus is a little less snappy but it does work decently (probably even a little better on the D800), and you'll get good center sharpness even wide open. I haven't used it on a high-resolution FX body, so I can't comment on the corner quality of that combination.
As for the f/2.8 model on a tripod, I know that with the original 70-200/2.8 lens, it gets way front-heavy if you attach the body to the ballhead, and I think that would still be true with the II model. To the point where I would characterize it as unwieldy. I'd spend the extra money for a tripod foot or plate.
I have both and very strongly prefer the F4 version for everyday use. It is every bit as good as my F2.8 version 1 in the center and better in the corners (and better in the corners at 70mm than my 24-70mm F2.8). I almost never need F2.8 for my work (landscapes and architecture) and the F4 version is infinitely more carryable and usable than the F2.8 monster...
The F4 version is great with the TC-14. With TC-17 I prefer the F2.8 but if I frequently needed that much focal length I too would go for the new 80-400.
>In my view, that would apply to both the f/2.8 and f/4 >versions, to achieve better balance/stability and avoid strain >on the mount.
Unlike the f/2.8, the f/4 is fine on a tripod without lens foot. The strain on the mount would be similar as with the heavier and shorter 24-70 which does not even have a lens foot option. It also shoots fine just holding the camera, when hand holding. Of course a lens foot is not going to hurt and it will make it easier to get critically sharp images.
>Unlike the f/2.8, the f/4 is fine on a tripod without lens foot.
If one is planning to use the lens regularly on a tripod, I would definitely add a collar/foot. I didn't, as I plan to use the lens exclusively hand-held. But I wasn't too happy with the balance when as an experiment I tried it on a tripod using the plate on the camera (a D3s). For me, it might be OK in an emergency, but the rig drooped unless I adjusted the ballhead VERY tight.
I'd agree with Brian. I bought the f/4 and tried it on my BH-55 without a collar. It was tricky to balance and (as Brian says) the head has to be done up really tight to avoid a forward crash. In the end I bought the RRS LC-A12 package - build quality is superb and the balance is perfect.
>>Unlike the f/2.8, the f/4 is fine on a tripod without >lens foot. > >If one is planning to use the lens regularly on a tripod, I >would definitely add a collar/foot. I didn't, as I plan to >use the lens exclusively hand-held. But I wasn't too happy >with the balance when as an experiment I tried it on a tripod >using the plate on the camera (a D3s). For me, it might be OK >in an emergency, but the rig drooped unless I adjusted the >ballhead VERY tight. No disrespect to you but I also use the 70-200 f/4 mounted on my D700 using a Kirk Ballhead, & I've never needed to crank down on it any more than I do with a 50mm. I tighten it snugly but in no way am I really cranking down on it. Just can't understand why a few seem to think this is an issue. > >
I have both lenses. I started with the f 2.8 version, but after walking around an Island all day with that beast attached to my D800, using a sling style strap, my shoulders were so sore, I could hardly move. Admittedly, I am an old dude. I then purchased the f 4 and was astonished at how sharp it is and the image IQ. As importantly, I can carry it for a day without feeling it. It is lighter than the 24-70 f 2.8. Long story short, I have kept the f 2.8 version for those few times when I need the extra speed of the lens, but the f 4 is on the camera most of the time.
Thanks for all the great input. Thinking more strongly now about buying the F4 lens. Going to go to a store and look at both first, to get a better handle on this. And thinking to mate the lens with the TC-14 teleconverter. Only lose one stop.
Unless you need the wider aperture I'd definitely go for the f/4. It's cheaper, much lighter and it's just as sharp as the f/2.8.
The only drawback is the f/4 only comes with a soft pouch - it doesn't have a proper case like the f2/8. The way round this is to buy the Lowepro 11x26cm lens case - it'll take the f/4 with its hood in the shooting position and the LCA-12 package attached. The same case will also take the 24-70mm with its hood in the shooting position so it's a straight swap if you want to carry both lenses.
One other question. For the TC-14e teleconverter, did some research and saw some speculation that this teleconverter is being discontinued. Any thoughts on this? Also, saw Adorama had a refurbished one on sale. Thinking this might be a good way to save a few bucks. Thoughts?
The original TC14E and TC20E were marked AF-I for the original AF-I 300mm f2.8, 400mm f2.8 and 600mm f4 lenses with built in motors. There also was an AF-I 500mm f4 lens but it's so rare there is hardly any info on it at all. Around 2001 Nikon changed the designation of their AF-I TC's to AF-S, made minor cosmetic changes and named the lenses of the second models II's. The optics between the original AF-I and the AF-S II were identical and had the same performance. The TC17E II is the only design and was marked as II to match the 1.4 and 2X II series. Since then the only optical change in the auto focus TC's was when Nikon added an aspheric lens and changed the formula to make the current TC 20E III. It's only a guess but I would think if Nikon upgraded either the TC14E or TC17E it would be to add an aspheric element.
I have the AF-I TC14E, AFS TC 17E II, AF-I TC20E and the AFS TC20E III. While most on this forum claim the TC20E II is a dog and much worse than the TC20E III. I wonder just how many who make this claim actually have compared both versions. In many cases I can't tell which of the two 2X TC's was used. Maybe I'm just lucky and my old AF-I TC20E is exceptional. I mostly use the TC20E on my AFS 300mm f2.8 VR lens which is extremely good. Before the TC20E III version was released I used the original AF-I TC on the AF-I 400mm f2.8. Now that lens was exceptional. Maybe that's the reason my results were so good.
I have a 500mm f4 AF-I. Purchased it when I lived in Japan. Probably around 1995. Very sharp, but, it weighs 4.5 kg. I had a 500mm f4P (manual lens), but, sold it to help fund the 500mm F4 AF-I.
I use my TC14E with the 500mm f4AF-I with excellent results. The TC17E is good, but, not quite as good as the TC14E.
The 500mm f4P weighed around 3 kg and the 500mm f4 AF-I weighs 4.5 kg. Could not believe the extra weight when I purchased the lens. Its very sharp, but, the AF-I motors aren't as smooth in operation compared to the AF-S motors. You feel the torque reaction when the lens focuses.
I have a 300mm f2.8 AF-S. Picked that up in Tokyo, just before I returned to Australia in August,1997. It weighs around 3kg.
I also have a 800mm f5.6 manual. Great lens, but, very difficult to use when I was shooting motor sport with Kodachrome KR64. You either got the shot, or failed miserably.
Wed 09-Oct-13 09:40 AM | edited Wed 09-Oct-13 09:42 AM by jbloom
My impression is that most of the negative comments about the TC-20E II are about its use with zooms, not the long tele primes. I think you are right that the quality of the lens used with the TC is going to affect one's impression of the TC's quality. I know, for example, that I've never been satisfied with the results of my TC-17E II when used on my 70-200/2.8 (I). But when I put that same TC on my 70-200 f/4, it gives good results. And on my 300 f/4 or 400 f/2.8 I'm quite happy with it. So it does seem to matter what lens you use.
As for updates, it would seem to me to make more sense to update the TC-17 than the TC-14. Not that Nikon asked me.
I am one of those whose experience with the TC20eII indicates that it is a dog. I now have the TC20eIII and find it to be far superior. Of course I do not have a 400 f/2.8 so my experience has only been with the 200-400 f/4, 500 f/4 and 600 f/4 as well as the 70-200 f/2.8 v1.
I bought the 70-200 f4 and am very happy. I was looking at the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 VC as it is on a par with the Nikkors for about the same money as the f4. Something you ought to look at. I got $300 off the f4 to bundle it with a D600 purchase, unless I would have been buying the Tamron.
>Thanks for all the comments. Just one further thing. Should >have mentioned that looking for a lens to mate with my D800. >Does that change anyone's view of the correct lens to buy? >Thanks.
hi, I own the D800 and the 70 200 f2.8. I'm very satisfy with the combo. the main advantages of this lens are: large aperture, very high optical quality and fast af speed. but the main drawback is the weight..
if you need a fast lens for sport photography for example, go for the 2.8. if f4 isn't an issue for you, go for the f4. Fabien.