through the F-Mount -  photography by Jürgen Becker
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Nikon AF Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 D review

February 19, 2012

Nikon introduced this professional telephoto zoom lens in 1987 as a one-ring zoom. Mine is the later two-ring version (both versions share the same optical design). It was announced in 1995 and is still in production. Today it is a cheap alternative to the 70-210mm VR I/II. I bought this lens in 2006. It has been and still is my standard lens for indoor photography of theatre, concerts, circus and such things. Of course, it is a very good universal lens too. But for landscape photography I normally prefer the combination of a 85mm and a 180mm prime lens.

Not exactly a lightweight lens. But it is well balanced on a D200 with a MB-D200 or a D700 with a MB-D10, allowing you to use longer shutter speeds if you shoot hand-held.

The tripod mount of the lens is stable, but way too small!

Maximum magnification: 200mm in macro setting.

If you want to go closer, you can use a Nikon 6T on a 77-62mm step-down ring. No vignetting will occur! Another alternative is the Canon 500D, that is available even with a 77mm thread. But I have no experiences with it.

My preferred alternative to the 80-200mm for landscape photography (PC-E 85mm + AF 180mm f/2.8) weighs only 110 grams more!





Sample images:

A new cruise ship has just left the shipyard in Papenburg and is now slowly moved by tugboats through the narrow river Ems towards the North Sea. 80-200mm @100mm on a tripod, F4, 1/5 sec, Nikon D200 @ISO400.

In the circus. At the limit: Nikon D200 @ISO1600, 80-200mm @125mm, F2.8, 1/20 sec., hand-held.

No problem: sun in the image @100mm & F6.3, D700 @ISO800.

Birdlife on the frozen river Ems. Captured with the D700 @200mm @F11

Special train in the early morning on its way to Emden. Nikon D700 @ISO1600, 90mm, F8.

Detail of a butterfly. Nikon D700 @ISO800, 80-200mm@170mm + 6T closeup lens, F10, 1/200 sec., hand-held.

Evaluating corner sharpness @180mm, see 100% crops below. This shot was made hand-held with the Nikon D700 @ISO400 @F5.6. Early morning, just before sunrise, at the banks of the river Ems in Rheine. No post-processing was done, the image is just raw converted by Nikon Capture NX2.

100% center crop.

100% crop from lower left corner.

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