Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR II Nikkor
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The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR II Nikkor lens may ooze quality, but how does it handle?
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Photo answers rating
The 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR II Nikkor is a quality lens featuring Nikon’s Vibration Reduction II image stabilisation with normal and active modes. A Silent Wave Motor delivers fast and quiet autofocus, and minimum focus distance is 140cm. The lens is made up of 21 elements in 16 groups, and features a Nano Crystal Coating designed to reduce ghosting and flare. A focus range limiter ensures faster autofocus in situations where subjects are 5m or more away from the lens. Then there’s a rubber mount seal to help stop dust and moisture entering the camera body. This lens is only available with a Nikon mount.
With clear controls on the left-hand side of the lens you can quickly change focusing modes, image stabilisation and limit focus range. An instant manual focus override (M/A) switch provides the best of autofocus and manual focus in a single setting. The focus ring sits towards the front of the lens and provides just the right amount of resistance when turning, and is very smooth. The zoom ring sits in the middle of the lens and is equally smooth with slightly less turning resistance than the focus ring.
The Nikon lens is a very able performer although is just behind its Canon and Sigma counterparts in terms of sharpness. Many Nikon users would not worry about this very slight deficiency, which is more than made up for by the superb handling. There’s a small amount of barrel distortion at 70mm, but at 200mm there’s no distortion at all.
PA verdict: Nikon has made a fantastic lens that handles like a well-tuned machine – fast, silent and reliable. Image quality is very good and can’t be faulted, although at many aperture settings it’s not quite as sharp as the Canon and Sigma 70-200mm lenses. This shouldn’t put you off if you’re a Nikon user if your budget stretches this far, but if you are looking for something more affordable then the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM is a great alternative.
Mount availability: Nikon
Image stabilisation: Yes – Normal & Active
Max. aperture: f/2.8
Min. aperture: f/22
Minimum focus distance: 140cm
Construction: 21 elements in 16 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Filter thread: 77mm
As featured in the September 2012 issue of Practical Photography, for a back issue please contact 0844 848 8872 or click here.
I think i can honestly say i have never owned such an excellent lens. On the D300, it is razor sharp, with lightening fast auto focus. As stated above its very quiet. Image quality was excellent and did not display any discernible issues with any of my filters (ND,CPL etc). Obviously on the D300 the focal length is more like 100 to 300 on the DX camera. I deliberated long and hard about if I could justify spending a LOT of money for this lens, fortunatly I purchased a little used pristine example 6 months old which made the cross a little easier to bare. The 2 negative points to this lens is its weight and cost. The quality and operation are as you would expect exemplary. If you are looking for a lightweight lens think about the F4 version. Personally I expected the weight and with it comes quality. Having just come back off a trip around Croatia lugging the D300, 17-55 2.8dx and the 70-200 2.8vr2 around, Would I buy the same lens again? Yes! in a blink of a shutter! So if your sitting on the fence as I did, see if you can get hold of one to handle before you jump, but I dont think you will be dissapointed if you purchase.
28 May 2013 16:09
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