Nikon 70-200 f/4 vs. 70-200 f/2.8 VRI

Choosing lenses as an Enthusiast Photographer can be tough – there are a lot of choices, and some lenses can be real budget-busters.  This weekend I was lucky enough to have in my house the two Nikon 70-200 lenses you can get for around $1500:  A new Nikon 70-200 f/4 or a used Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRI.  Have a look:

The differences boil down to this – With the 70-200 f/2.8 you get a whole extra stop of light (which means you can double your shutter speed or cut your ISO in half in low light), but it costs you over 1.3 pounds in weight.  Maybe worth it if you’re shooting indoor sports, especially on an older body, but the f/4 is insanely sharp and less than 60% the weight.  The only downside is that there is no tripod mount, so factor in $170 for the Nikon RT-1 collar or around $200 for the RRS.  The Kirk collar wins the afforability race at $160 (“affordable” being a relative word here…)

That weight savings will keep the f/4 in my bag.  I’m a huge fan!  As always, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

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