Sunday, August 12, 2007

Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G VR & Summer

This may not be your standard 70-200mm shot, but it illustrates Summer very well :)
The way in which I got this lens could be a blog post all on it's own. It's not the lens I really wanted, but it's the lens that made the most sense really. It's big, heavy but amazing in all other aspects.

Form Factor

This lens is really well designed for it's size. The focus ring has a ridge so you know exactly where to hold it. The zoom ring is is located in the most convenient place to hold the lens so it's balanced. it has three focus lock buttons at the end of the barrel so it's convenient no matter which orientation you're holding the camera/lens. It's weight is very manageable all things considering. It's not a walk about lens that fits into your carryall, but what do you expect from an f/2.8 Zoom.


The Serve redo

This lens is fast, in all senses of the word. It's focusing is very quick, and it's f/2.8. Sure there are faster lenses (200mm f/2 faster focusing, lots of primes with larger aperture), but the combo is great for the price. Combined with the D200 this lens has fast and accurate focus and tracking. I've only had it hunt a few times, but that's probably just me still getting used with the many focus combinations and options in the D200 than with the lens. It's sharp, and the VR helps in low light situations, especially when you don't want to increase the ISO too much. I have particularly shaking hands so VR is not as effective as for some, keep that in mind. The contrast and colours are as good as I have experienced them. I have not had the ghosting or flare issues that some have described, but I have also not put the lens into the conditions which would induce those artifacts.


This lens is usable for a variety of subjects. Close action sports and motor sports are a very good candidate for this lens. For wildlife it's no where near powerful enough. The 200-400mm or any of the primes in the higher end are better for that purpose, unless you're talking about common backyard birds, squirrels and the occasional raccoon. For portraits there are better lenses, like the dedicated DC Lenses or either of the 85mm. However, in a pinch this lens produces good results, even though it scares your subjects :) One gripe I have about this lens is the use of a polarizing filter. I always use a lens hood with any lens I use as a form of protection. Much better than using a "protective filter" which does nothing but make the camera store that sold you that filter more money. The problem is that if you want to adjust the CP, you have to take off the lens hood.

Other Nikkors

The 80-200mm f/2.8(D) is a nice lens. In fact, for the price it's a great lens. The older push pull non-D lens is rather annoying to use. Either lens is slow to focus, especially with bodies lower than the D200. But there is one problem. That problem is used 80-200mm f/2.8D AF-S lenses. This lens has been discontinued since the introduction of the 70-200mm, however it makes it the best deal. You can get good quality second hand copies for almost the price of a new non AF-S model. If you don't want to spend the cash for one of these new (or used) and your not enamoured with the performance of VR, seriously consider the 80-200mm f/2.8D AF-S as a much better deal with almost the same performance.


Sunset Wreck

This is of course a great summer lens. The majority of the subject matter is the type of things you'd want to take in the summer. It's also the type of lens that you only take out for that purpose. it's not a lens that you can just throw in your bag and take anywhere. You don't want to lug this thing around and you will stick out wherever you take it out. Summer to me is more about chillin and walking places. Less planning and more doing. This is not a lens I use a lot, but when I need it it's a lens I couldn't imagine being left without. However, as yet another Summer approaches it's end, so does the time of this lens. Now I'm not saying that I won't use this lens after summer, but you get the idea. I'm always sad at the end of summer. Maybe because I take part time courses in the fall/winter and have no life during those times. Here are more shots taken with this lens.

1 comment:

Big BAD Benny said...

The 80-200 AFS may be the connoisseurs choice...
It has speedy AF tracking, good optics and bokeh - although it's fairly bulky to the touch and the tripod mount needed (and was) improvement.
The 70-200vr is awesome but I have heard complaints regarding AF tracking speed with vr engaged.
Bjorn Rorslet ( rates the bokeh highly. Me, I just use it and wonder!
Parting with the 80-200 AFS was tough... (choke!:)