I have a D7000 and want a fast telephoto zoom. Would a secondhand Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED suffice, or should I buy a new Nikon 70-200mm VR? Sandra Miller, via email
Jason says... As seen in this month’s Big Test (page 110), the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II is a great lens, but it’s pricey. The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 (also featured) is less costly, but the older Nikon 80-200mm makes a great secondhand buy.
Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
This is an oldstyle lens, but it’s beautifully built and features great glass Released (year): 1986 Price new: £850/$1225 Price used: £400/$500 When launched in 1986, this was Nikon’s top-flight, fully pro-grade short telephoto zoom. Its build quality is in keeping with these aspirations, based on tough metal barrels that play host to premium glass. There are three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements to maximise sharpness and contrast, and Nikon’s SIC (Super Integrated Coating) fends off ghosting and flare.
Like other ‘AF’ lenses, it lacks an internal autofocus actuator and relies on a motor in the host camera body. The good news is that autofocus works perfectly with your D7000 and other high-end DX bodies, as well as all FX-format bodies. Another bonus is that the autofocus speed of this lens is very fast, unlike similar systems in some other telephoto zooms, notably the discontinued AF 80-400mm VR.
The only real downside of this lens compared with the latest Nikon and Tamron offerings is that it lacks an optical stabiliser. Even so, it’s more than capable of delivering stunning image quality.