Zoom Lens question


I am an avid amateur and I just purchased a used D810. I was using a d7000 and I will just make that my backup. I have a Nikon 80-200 2.8 with the push-pull zoom that is pretty old but it is in like- new condition.

I am looking at the 28-300 and the 70-300 for the D810. I know there are issues with some copies of the 28-300 but if I could get one that is a good version that would be great. I also know the 70-300 is a pretty good lens.

My question is should I just use my old 80-200? Is it superior in terms of sharpness compared to these newer lenses? I know it is a beast in terms of weight but is it worth it?

Thanks for any input on this.


  • This is a little out of the usual here, and I'm not too familiar with most of these lenses, so I would take the following verbiage with a grain of salt or two....

    but from what I've read the 28-300 is a nice lens and at least reasonably sharp. There are more versions of the 70-300 than you can shake a stick at, with the first (AFD) a surprisingly good bargain, the next (AFG) said to be a real dog, the third (AFS-VR) very very good, and the fourth for FX (AF-P) said to be very good. There are also two DX versions of this length, one with and one without VR, and with a long-end aperture of 6.3. The DX VR version has no switch on the lens to turn off VR and full compatibility requires a camera with software VR toggling. The new generation of P lenses focus very fast and quietly, but work only with newer cameras. It will work with a D810 but will be utterly unusable on a D7000, not focusing even manually. The manual override on these lenses is not mechanical but "by wire," so it really won't work at all.

    But that old push pull zoom has a very good reputation for sharpness and overall quality. My question here would be whether you're willing to give up a constant 2.8 aperture for a slower variable aperture and smaller package. Of course on the newer lenses you gain VR, but if you did not miss it badly on the D7000 you may not need it. Newer lenses will also likely focus faster, but again, it depends on how it's felt in the past, and how it works on the D810, which may well be faster even with old lenses. If weight and focus speed are a real issue, you should probably at least try out the 70-300 AF-P, but if you need it to work on the D7000, look at the now discontinued AFS-VR. I have used both the old AFD and the AFS-VR. The AFD, left over from film days, is decent and compact but slow to focus and has no VR, and can be had dirt cheap. The AFS focuses with great speed and accuracy, and is also pretty easy to handle.

    If you travel a lot and need a compact wider range in a single lens, then the 28-300 makes sense, but you do trade off for that wide range.

    Or of course you could ignore my rambling. I think every lens has its selling points, and just about any choice will have some benefits, but I'd live with the current lens a while first to try to decide what, if anything, it lacks that something else will provide.

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