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on Aug 5, 2013 in Camera Tech

200-400VR2 or 80-400VR3?


For the last week after my post about gear I brought to Oshkosh, I’ve been flooded with two questions. Lemme answer them for everyone. The first question is obvious…why the 200-400VR2 and the 80-200VR3 lenses? There are actually many reason. The first being the 200-400 has been my go to aviation lens from the start, I’m real comfortable with it. Next, being a bigger lens, it has a presence which I saw first hand the days I didn’t carry it but Jake did. Lastly, it just feels good in my hands, really well balance and when throwing it around panning, it works with me perfectly. The 80-400 on the other hand, is physically lighter and when carrying this stuff around from 0500 to 2000, it beats you up. The 80-400 was simply easier to carry all day than the 200-400. In the end, I shot the 200-400 two days and the 80-400 six days. The reason for that was I was photographing a lot of folks, I mean a lot, as in over 1k portraits one day! The other was I was doing air to air shoots and in that dept, there is NO other lens like the 80-400!

The other question that came flooding in is, what’s a dust pump? This is a very old term from back when I started photography over 30yrs ago, was attached in my crowd to the Vivitar Series 1 zooms. It’s a term for external (as a posed to internal) zoom lenses. The 200-400 is an internal zoom lens, it does not expand or contract when you zoom. The 80-400 is an external zoom, the lens expands and contracts when you zoom. It does not infer that the 80-400 pumps dust onto the sensor any more than any other lens because it doesn’t. Hope this answers your questions.