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Replacement for Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens
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Apr 16, 2018 08:09:57   #
photostephen
 
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is not longer focusing to a sharp image.
(Yes I tested focusing against a flat paper with a proper focusing target. And I tested Focusing via Live View and Through the Viewfinder; contract and phase detection.)

I am trying to decide between the following options:

1) Send the lens back to Nikon for repair (cost about $600 or more depending on what they find)

2) Sending it to a third party place for repair (if you favor this option, suggest a third party place, I have no idea)

3) Purchasing either a Sigma or Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens with Optical Stabilization. If you recommend only purchasing the Nikon version, will you help me pay it, my budget is to under $1500.

Background -- I have had this lens for about 10 years. I purchased it pre-owned from a retired wedding photographer who used it for about 10 to 15 years. Thus the lens is at least 20 to 25 years old and is the older VR1 version, not the current Nikon VR2 version.

The lens did not experience a significant drop, just the usual jostling as one carries the lens from place to place in a padded bag.

The cameras I will be using it with are the D850 and the D750, so accurate focusing is important.

Having been a member of this forum for years, I know that many of you will have opinions, and not all of you will agree. So please, let's keep the comments positive and constructive, and please do not get snarky either toward me or anyone else who replies to this post.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 08:26:34   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
photostephen wrote:
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is not longer focusing to a sharp image.
(Yes I tested focusing against a flat paper with a proper focusing target. And I tested Focusing via Live View and Through the Viewfinder; contract and phase detection.)

I am trying to decide between the following options:

1) Send the lens back to Nikon for repair (cost about $600 or more depending on what they find)

2) Sending it to a third party place for repair (if you favor this option, suggest a third party place, I have no idea)

3) Purchasing either a Sigma or Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens with Optical Stabilization. If you recommend only purchasing the Nikon version, will you help me pay it, my budget is to under $1500.

Background -- I have had this lens for about 10 years. I purchased it pre-owned from a retired wedding photographer who used it for about 10 to 15 years. Thus the lens is at least 20 to 25 years old and is the older VR1 version, not the current Nikon VR2 version.

The lens did not experience a significant drop, just the usual jostling as one carries the lens from place to place in a padded bag.

The cameras I will be using it with are the D850 and the D750, so accurate focusing is important.

Having been a member of this forum for years, I know that many of you will have opinions, and not all of you will agree. So please, let's keep the comments positive and constructive, and please do not get snarky either toward me or anyone else who replies to this post.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is no... (show quote)


That's a tough one. $600+ is a lot for the repair of an old lens. Taking it all apart and putting it back together involves a lot of time and labor, but I'd prefer one that was assembled at the factory. There are other brands that don't cost as much as Nikon and work very well.

Comparisons -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAAeoB1F7nI
http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/roundup/lens-roundup/best-70-200mm-tele-zoom-lenses-64789
https://petapixel.com/2015/03/28/just-the-lenses-the-great-200mm-shoot-out/
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=that+nikon+guy+70-200mm
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=687&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=946&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Tamron -
http://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/tamron-sp-70-200mm-f2-8-di-vc-usd-g2
https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/photography-gear/lenses/tamron-sp-70-200mm-f2-8-g2-review/
https://www.ephotozine.com/article/tamron-sp-70-200mm-f-2-8-di-vc-usd-g2--a025--review-30649

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 08:27:06   #
orrie smith
 
photostephen wrote:
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is not longer focusing to a sharp image.
(Yes I tested focusing against a flat paper with a proper focusing target. And I tested Focusing via Live View and Through the Viewfinder; contract and phase detection.)

I am trying to decide between the following options:

1) Send the lens back to Nikon for repair (cost about $600 or more depending on what they find)

2) Sending it to a third party place for repair (if you favor this option, suggest a third party place, I have no idea)

3) Purchasing either a Sigma or Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens with Optical Stabilization. If you recommend only purchasing the Nikon version, will you help me pay it, my budget is to under $1500.

Background -- I have had this lens for about 10 years. I purchased it pre-owned from a retired wedding photographer who used it for about 10 to 15 years. Thus the lens is at least 20 to 25 years old and is the older VR1 version, not the current Nikon VR2 version.

The lens did not experience a significant drop, just the usual jostling as one carries the lens from place to place in a padded bag.

The cameras I will be using it with are the D850 and the D750, so accurate focusing is important.

Having been a member of this forum for years, I know that many of you will have opinions, and not all of you will agree. So please, let's keep the comments positive and constructive, and please do not get snarky either toward me or anyone else who replies to this post.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is no... (show quote)


The formula i use is if the repair is less than half the cost of a new item, repair it, it the cost is more than half the cost of a new item, replace it. Since you are not locked to a price, and the lens is rather old, you may want to replace it. I have had my best luck with Nikkor lenses, but have used sigma and tamron as well, and when i use third party lenses, i find the sigma a little more sharper than the tamron. You may try to rent the lenses before you buy them, or if you have a camera store in your area that carry the lenses, take your camera bodies in and see if they would let you take some test shots with the lenses mounted on your cameras before you purchase. Good luck with your choice.
P.S. Have you decided yet if the upgrade to the D850 from the D750 was significant enough to justify the switch? I have a D750 and have been looking at the D850 specs, but have not yet been able to handle one because of the silly release policy by Nikon.

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 08:28:35   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Both of your camera bodies support focus fine-tuning. I'd start there, with a tool like LensAlign that assists for around $140, and hold my gear lust at bay for the larger $$$$ purchase. You might post an example image and store the original that demonstrates your current issues for confirmation whether fine-tuning is a likely option.

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 08:29:24   #
Fotomacher
 
I bought a used Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII from a local dealer and paid a price within your budget. Very happy since I can also use the same TC17EII that I have for my Nikkor 300mm.

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 08:29:35   #
andiamo236
 
You might try APS. They are a Nikon authorized repair service. I have use them many times and offer quick returns and reasonable pricing:

http://www.nikoncamerarepair.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwoXr1OW-2gIV1lqGCh2J3QfBEAAYASAAEgLbQ_D_BwE

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 08:39:40   #
crazydaddio
 
photostephen wrote:
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is not longer focusing to a sharp image.
(Yes I tested focusing against a flat paper with a proper focusing target. And I tested Focusing via Live View and Through the Viewfinder; contract and phase detection.)

I am trying to decide between the following options:

1) Send the lens back to Nikon for repair (cost about $600 or more depending on what they find)

2) Sending it to a third party place for repair (if you favor this option, suggest a third party place, I have no idea)

3) Purchasing either a Sigma or Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens with Optical Stabilization. If you recommend only purchasing the Nikon version, will you help me pay it, my budget is to under $1500.

Background -- I have had this lens for about 10 years. I purchased it pre-owned from a retired wedding photographer who used it for about 10 to 15 years. Thus the lens is at least 20 to 25 years old and is the older VR1 version, not the current Nikon VR2 version.

The lens did not experience a significant drop, just the usual jostling as one carries the lens from place to place in a padded bag.

The cameras I will be using it with are the D850 and the D750, so accurate focusing is important.

Having been a member of this forum for years, I know that many of you will have opinions, and not all of you will agree. So please, let's keep the comments positive and constructive, and please do not get snarky either toward me or anyone else who replies to this post.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is no... (show quote)


You seem to be serious about your photography...so buy newer version (used or new. :-)
If you want to shoot sports - get the native Nikon lens (AF is generally faster)
If not, sigma or tamron.

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 08:40:55   #
droaden
 
I picked up a vr2 version for $1300
recommend trying for the vr2 version if possible

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 08:52:47   #
billnourse
 
I have had limited experience with Tamron and Sigma, but the times I tried them on my Canon 5Dmk4 they were slower to focus than the native lens of the same specs. Could not tell much difference in the image quality. Focus speed is very important to me because of the sports I shoot.

Since you will be comparing the Tamron and Sigma to a 25 year old lens, you might notice that either of them is better than what you have.

In June I am signed up to do a landscape workshop at Great Sand Dunes that is sponsored by Tamron and conducted by their pro photographers. They will have all their lens available for loan so I will get to do a real comparison instead of just putting one on in the camera shop and clicking a couple of shots.

Bill

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 09:02:46   #
photostephen
 
Thanks for the great replies.

A couple of answers to above questions.


The D750 is an awesome camera. The D850 is better in that it does focus faster and more accurate, and the image exposure is more correct (aka less fixing in Lightroom) than the D750. If I had to really justify my GAS attack, I could not justify purchasing the D850 having a D750. But since I did not have to justify the purchase, I love both cameras. (And I still have a D7100 which I use when I have to travel light.)


As for auto focus fine tuning. When the camera focuses in Live View, it is done using the image on the Sensor with a Contrast Algorithm. I used a Black and White target I downloaded for a Steve Perry Video. The focus in Live View was terrible. The auto focus fine tuning is to get the Phase Detection focusing accurate. So I suspect the lens has a problem, not the auto focus. (And when I use my 24-120 f/4 lens on the same target, it is as sharp as can be.)

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 09:35:19   #
crazydaddio
 
billnourse wrote:
I have had limited experience with Tamron and Sigma, but the times I tried them on my Canon 5Dmk4 they were slower to focus than the native lens of the same specs. Could not tell much difference in the image quality. Focus speed is very important to me because of the sports I shoot.

Since you will be comparing the Tamron and Sigma to a 25 year old lens, you might notice that either of them is better than what you have.

In June I am signed up to do a landscape workshop at Great Sand Dunes that is sponsored by Tamron and conducted by their pro photographers. They will have all their lens available for loan so I will get to do a real comparison instead of just putting one on in the camera shop and clicking a couple of shots.

Bill
I have had limited experience with Tamron and Sigm... (show quote)


Tested 3 of the 70-200 in store. Moderate to low lighting. Canon hit. Tamron and Sigma went past the focus pt and came back and hit. That little overshoot and comeback was enough for me to go Canon.
If you shoot sports, get the Native lens. (Or at least do a side by side test)
(My 150-600 Sigma is excellent and nails it everytime however....in good light).

Be reminded that not all 70-200 are actually 200.
They can range from 150 to 200 in a real world environment (the Tamron is closer to 150).
Get all 3 in the store and test them !

| Reply
Apr 16, 2018 11:15:24   #
Dr.Nikon
 
As you stated .., your lens is 25 years old ...and has high mileage .., your budget is $1,500 or less ...add to the equation you have all Nikon cameras ..750 /850 ..
Wow .. sounds like a no brainer .. with a up to $1,500 budget

1) stay with Nikkor lenses
2) $1,000 -$1,500 you can get a ton of wonderful used even mint 70-200 2.8 lenses ....

Currently have D810 .. and have always kept my mint 7100 .. and with the aid of ‘gas x’ ..,I pulled the plug and have a D850 enroute as we speak ..

| Reply
Apr 17, 2018 06:18:21   #
Robert Bailey
 
Concerning suggesting a 3rd party repair person, what country do you live in?

| Reply
Apr 17, 2018 06:32:59   #
billnikon (a regular here)
 
photostephen wrote:
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is not longer focusing to a sharp image.
(Yes I tested focusing against a flat paper with a proper focusing target. And I tested Focusing via Live View and Through the Viewfinder; contract and phase detection.)

I am trying to decide between the following options:

1) Send the lens back to Nikon for repair (cost about $600 or more depending on what they find)

2) Sending it to a third party place for repair (if you favor this option, suggest a third party place, I have no idea)

3) Purchasing either a Sigma or Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens with Optical Stabilization. If you recommend only purchasing the Nikon version, will you help me pay it, my budget is to under $1500.

Background -- I have had this lens for about 10 years. I purchased it pre-owned from a retired wedding photographer who used it for about 10 to 15 years. Thus the lens is at least 20 to 25 years old and is the older VR1 version, not the current Nikon VR2 version.

The lens did not experience a significant drop, just the usual jostling as one carries the lens from place to place in a padded bag.

The cameras I will be using it with are the D850 and the D750, so accurate focusing is important.

Having been a member of this forum for years, I know that many of you will have opinions, and not all of you will agree. So please, let's keep the comments positive and constructive, and please do not get snarky either toward me or anyone else who replies to this post.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
I have a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 lens, and it is no... (show quote)


Your $600.00 estimate could be way off. Send it to Nikon and they will give you a quote. Do this first, then move forward.

| Reply
Apr 17, 2018 07:00:38   #
Kalina54
 
Hi, I have a pristine Tamron 70-200 2.8 with image stabilization that I have only used a few times. I originally paid $1695 for it a few years back and it is still under warranty. I am only asking $750 for it. It is too heavy for me to carry around. It is comparable to the Nikon 70-200. Let me know if you are interested and I can send you pictures. Thanks, K

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