I've been looking for a longer lens, mainly for dog photography - both messing about on the beach and racing. 300mm would have been nice but even 200 would be almost 2.5 times the magnification of the 85mm which is currently my longest lens. Being on a very strict budget, the usual suspects - 300mm/f4, 80-200mm/f2.8, etc. were way out of my budget. I quite fancied trying a 70-210mm f4.0-5.6 but I wanted the fast-focusing 'D' version and they are few and far between - and still too expensive for me.
Budget, curiosity and a bit of research led me to a used but tidy 80-200mm f4.5-5.6 D, the plastic-mount, screw-drive one, made from 1995-99 and in Japan at that.
Anyway this piece of Nikon loveliness arrived today and I look forward to trying it out. Reports all say that, whatever else it's failings might be, IQ isn't one of them, given that it's twenty years old longevity isn't either despite appearances.
First impressions, based on fitting it to the D610 and taking three quick snaps, are that it's pretty sharp and CA is low to non-existent. The zoom ring is a damned sight smoother than I expected too.
I was hoping to give it a good test this weekend - with Flora Day tomorrow (Helston Flora Day | The Official Site) and dog racing on Sunday. Unfortunately the weather forecast is for rain all weekend and I don't imagine weather-sealing and low light performance were high on the designers' priority lists!
I'll let you know how it performs as soon as I get the chance to give it a fair test - although it's difficult to see how far wrong I can have gone for £50...