New AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8D IF-ED : LUSENET : Photography In The Phils. : One Thread

I just received my new AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8D IF-ED last week. It is one big scary thing.

The AF: The AF response is very quick and instantaneous, although you may not notice it because of its built in Silent Wave Motor. It tracks very smoothly, a very big improvement over the old and still current mechanical drive design. As with all AF Nikkors, it focuses with a very positive and swift twist unlike third party lenses which tend to hunt. A very good advantage of the Silent Wave Motor is the ability to override AF by just turning the focus ring. A very good feature especially when fine tuning focus to let's say, the eye instead of the eyebrow.

The Build: Like all professional quality lenses from Nikon, this unit comes with a very tough coating in crinckle finish semi-matt black. The heft makes it evident that it was constructed with heavy duty material and top rate glass. It sports two rings, one for focusing and the other for zooming. The rings have a very good damped feel, similar to the manual lenses. It has three AF-Lock buttons around the barrel making it very easy to lock focus when holding up that heavy lens/camera combo. The detachable tripod mount isn't as smooth as the fixed one of the older lens but can be detached to save some weight. The balance is just right and is easy to handhold.

The HOOD: Now this is one improvement that should not go unnoticed. The hood is one large scary piece. A very intimidating attachment but a very useful one. It has an effective length of about 95mm and compared to the filter size of 77mm, this should give very good shading. The mech-drive 80-200 2.8 has a hood way shorter than 77mm, so it isn't as useful as the one for the AF-S version. Too bad, you cannot fit the new lens hood to any of the older AF 80-200 2.8 lenses.

The Price? Because of its limited supply, it will be very hard to get it at the suggested price of US$1299.00(PhP51,000.00). Prices now range between US$1,650.00(PhP62,400.00) to US$2100(PhP81,900.00).

Carlo Ma. Guerrero

-- Carlo Ma. Guerrero (, February 22, 1999


Strange that the B&H web site still doesn't list the lens. Was it released in Asia prior to the U.S.?

Also, are the optics identical to previous versions or did they update this too? From what I understand even the previous versions' (one-touch as well as the 'D' lens with tripod collar) optics were about as good as they get. I'd be interested to know if they were actually able to improve optical performance. I may be splitting hairs here regarding optics, but then again I know of people who actually believe that the trouble of mounting a Hasselblad lens on a Nikon is worth it for the allegedly better optical performance.

Based on your review, it is about as perfect as a zoom can get. But for the price, it should be. I can almost buy an RZ pro II outfit for that price. About the only improvement I can think of at this point is an 80-200 f/2.8 USM/AF-S Image stabilized lens (which even Canon doesn't make...though in terms of handholdability would be like an 80-200 f/1.4...think of the low light possibilities), though I'm not sure if the Nikon mount will be able to accomodate IS type technology.

-- Tommy Zablan (, February 28, 1999.

The AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D IF-ED is a completely new lens with a completely different lens construction.

The 1st generation AF Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 ED (one-touch, non-D type) is not an internal focus(IF)lens. The 2nd gen lens, called the Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8D ED, is still not IF. It relies on the basic design of the 1st gen lens, except for an enlarged front barrel which houses the rotating and moving front element. This of course is now D-type capable of sending distance info to cameras like the F50, F60, F70, F90, F90X, F100, and F5. Technically it is not an internal focus lens. The 3rd gen lens is just a two ring version of the 2nd gen lens. These are all of course mechanical drive AF lenses.

The AF-S version is now a true IF lens. The front element is fixed. It now has 18 elements (the mech drive lenses have 16). Five are ED elements (the mech drive lenses have 3). The AF-S version is 100% compatible with the AF-I teleconverters TC-14E and TC-20E which still provide quick AF. It's diaphragm now has 9 blades for better looking bokeh.

And finally, it is has Nikon's Silent Wave Motor which allows for silent, lightning fast AF performance with instantaneous manual focus override.

This lens although released sometime in December is still in limited supply, so do not be surprised if you get a quote higher than the suggested retail price. B&H now has it in their list. Some other stores are pricing it at US$ 1,549.00

-- Carlo Ma. Guerrero (, February 28, 1999.

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