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Thread: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

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    PhotoByTrace's Avatar
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    Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    I stumbled across this yesterday searching for wide angle FX primes... but now it is officially on its way I wonder if it is "the" lens I want LOL. I think I'd convinced myself to go with the older 80-200mm f/2.8.
    Will be interesting to read more of the reviews as it makes its way to the street. But the specs look what I'd expect, other than it comes minus a tripod collar as stock.

    Key Features:
    • Compact and lightweight, FX-format compatible telephoto zoom lens covering focal-length range from 70 to 200 mm for superior mobility
    • Nano Crystal Coat effectively reduces ghost and flare
    • VR (Vibration Reduction) minimizes camera shake by offering the equivalent of a shutter speed approximately five stops* faster (* Under Nikon's test conditions)
    • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) realizes quiet AF operation
    • Two focus modes are available – A/M (autofocus with manual override, AF priority) and M (manual focus)
    • Minimum focus distance of 1.0 m/3.3 ft
    • AF is possible even with 2x teleconverters when attached to f/8-compatible body
    • Approx. 78 mm maximum diameter x 178.5 mm (distance from camera lens mount flange)
    • Approx. 850 g (30.0 oz)


    (Hope this isn't a repeat thread... I hadn't seen one, but may have just missed reading it )

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Hopeless lens - no idea why they even bothered making it!

    Just kidding - I use the Canon (F2.8) equivalent and it's on my camera 90% of the time - couldn't live without it.

    Congrats
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 26th October 2012 at 05:46 AM.

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    PhotoByTrace's Avatar
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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post

    Just kidding - I use the Canon (F2.8) equivalent and it's on my camera 90% of the time - couldn't live without it.
    Hi Colin, I'm figuring it isn't an issue for you since it's your main lens, but how do you find the weight of the lens? Are you hanging it on a tripod most of the time so not really an issue? Or mostly handheld and just used to it...

    I often joke with friends that my idea of resistance training is playing tug with my dogs; I think hefting a 70-200 f/2.8 around will constitute weight training

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Interesting stuff and half the weight.....I wonder if it will be half the price Colin i wonder if you could do me a favor and estimate how many times you use your lens at a lower f stop than the minimum of 4 that this lens offers? In normal use would you say that the additional weight and presumably cost is worth it?

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoByTrace View Post
    Hi Colin, I'm figuring it isn't an issue for you since it's your main lens, but how do you find the weight of the lens? Are you hanging it on a tripod most of the time so not really an issue? Or mostly handheld and just used to it...

    I often joke with friends that my idea of resistance training is playing tug with my dogs; I think hefting a 70-200 f/2.8 around will constitute weight training
    Hi Trace,

    Lens weight is something many photographers mention in reviews, but it's something that's just never bothered me at all. Keeping in mind too that it's not just the lens weight - in my case it's attached to a 1D series body - with bracket - with ST-E3-RT or with 600EX-RT flash attached (usually). And I don't use neck straps (they always cover the viewfinder when shooting vertically).

    Usually I just hang it from the end of my arm via hand inserted in hand strap, or if I need both hands to carry other gear then I wear my spider holster.

    HTH!

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    Interesting stuff and half the weight.....I wonder if it will be half the price Colin i wonder if you could do me a favor and estimate how many times you use your lens at a lower f stop than the minimum of 4 that this lens offers? In normal use would you say that the additional weight and presumably cost is worth it?
    Hi Mark,

    In the studio it's usually F11 or above all the way, but for outside portraiture it's pretty much F2.8 all the way; I'd never buy a F4 model over the F2.8 model, especially considering that the F2.8 IS model has recently been refreshed with much sharper optics and better AF & IS performance.

    Plus the extra stop can demolish a background

    Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Not to say that the F4 version isn't a darn fine lens though.

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    thanks colin after my new body this lens is next on the list so i cant wait until April!! F2.8 it is

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    IMO, the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens is my favorite glass for my Canon DSLR cameras and it looks like Nikon has brought out a lens to compare with this glass.

    I certainly realize the advantage of the f/2.8 aperture in achieving selective focus. However, the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens has the advantage of lighter weight; which is quite important to me. I can carry the f/4L IS lens and an additional 1.6x camera (I always shoot with two cameras) at the weight of an f/2.8L (IS) lens alone.

    OTOH, the f4L IS lens can cetainly also be useful to shoot with selective depth of field.

    Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii does have the great advantage of being able to mesh very well with the Canon 2x TC iii. This results in a 140-400mm f/5.6 lens that produces quite decent IQ and retains autofocus with Canon 1.6x cameras.

    IMO, the introduction of the Nikon 70-200mm f/4 lens should fill a void (of a relatively lightweight and less expensive telephoto zoom) that, if the new lens has the performance of the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS should make many Nikon shooters jump for joy...

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Sorry mate, got to take you to task here:-

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I'd never buy a F4 model over the F2.8 model
    Very interesting attitude here - the thread refers to the NIKON 70-200 f/4, and I find your statement interesting despite the possibility (likelyhood in fact) of 'better' optical performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Plus the extra stop can demolish a background
    Frankly this is nonsense - the visible differences at f/2.8 and f/4 are negligible (testing on my 70-200mm f/2.8 NIKKOR)

    Back to the thread - I can't understand why Nikon have decided to follow Canon and sell the tripod collar separately - $230 - is this a joke?

    Presumably the '5 stop gain' due to the enhanced VR 3 system means people will never use tripods again?

    The advantages in lighter weight and enhanced optics make this a very interesting lens - but frankly expensive for an f/4 - excellent examples of the 70-200 f/2.8 (which comes WITH a detachable tripod collar) are available much cheaper - but it remains a heavier and slightly longer lens.

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Hi Trace,

    If your budget allows it why not rather go for the 70-200 F2.8, must be better than F4. If the 70-200 F2.8 is no better than a 70-200mm F4, IMHO the guys at Nikon would be idiots to manufacture the F 2.8, and I do not for one moment believe the Nikon guys are idiots.
    Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 lens = R 23 995.00 A 70-200mm F4 = R 15 995.00. If any photographer spends almost R 10 000.00 more on a lens not rendering better optical performance than the cheaper lens, then photographers are not very intelligent people.

    Have to agree with Colin - if you can afford it, never opt for an F4 model if an F2.8 model is available.

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Ian, where are you finding the 70-200 f2.8 cheaper than the F4? and when you did you DOF test are you shooting DX or FX?

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Andre...

    You wrote, "If any photographer spends almost R 10 000.00 more on a lens not rendering better optical performance than the cheaper lens, then photographers are not very intelligent people."

    The Canon f/2.8L IS ii is a wonderful lens with exceptional image quality AND the extra stop. It sells for $2,129 (USD) at Adorama in New York City and is worth every cent of that price. The Canon 70-200mm f.4L IS lens sells for $1,199 (USD) at Adorama or $930 (USD) less than the f/2.8L IS ii lens.

    These two lenses both produce phenonomal image quality and I sincerely doubt that in real life shooting, you could spot the difference in image quality between the two lenses if shown a selection of images shot with both lenses.

    Is the f/2.8L IS ii lens worth the difference, it certainly is; if you need the extra stop. It also meshes well with the 2x TC iii to form a 140-400mm f/5.6 lens. This lens just might allow you to obtain an image which would be impossible to capture with the f/4L IS version.

    However, is the f/2.8L IS ii lens worth the $930 (USD) difference based soley on optical performance (if you mean image quality) I sincerely doubt that.

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    The f/4 lens weighs only 30 ounces compared to the f/2.8 lens that weighs 54 ounces. Is it possible that the lighter weight renders the collar unnecessary for practical purposes in most situations? I ask because I don't know.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    I have the f/2.8 70-200mm Nikkor and the only reason I bought it was that is was fast. I don't buy fast glass to stop down; I buy it so I can shoot wide open, or nearly wide open. The extra stop gives me the shallower DoF that I love and there in portraits and other fairly close shots, there is a noticeable difference between f/2.8 an f/4.

    I would have to shoot with the newer lens to see if I would need the collar; at 850g it is slightly lighter than my f/2.8 24-70mm (900g) lens, and frankly I wish that lens had a collar as it is a bit front-heavy when I have it on my tripod. In fact, I prefer using the f/2.8 70-200mm lens on the tripod because the balance provided by the collar is a lot better. I'm not sure if one needs the collar, but ease of control when clamping down on the tripod, plus the camera being set back a bit are a good thing in my estimation, and I would probably opt for the collar on the f/4 version, because I like them and the flexibility they offer in switching from portrait to landscape mode.

    I think carrying around heavy lenses is a consideration, but then, so is the choice of how you carry the gear. I use a Kata camera backpack and I donít notice the weight. I often have the D800 and the three heavy f.2.8 lenses in it (14-24mm, 24-70mm and the 70-200mm) plus a few other pieces of gear. I couldnít imagine carrying the D800 with 70-200mm around may neck; the Cotton carrier harness works just fine for me, and the integrated Arca-Swiss plate means popping it on the tripod (strapped to the backpack) is a breeze.

    Iíve seen the MFT graphs for both, and they are extremely sharp lenses. If I were making the decision on which way to go today, I would probably still go for the faster lens. Iíve found a way of coping with the size and weight, so really the only reason I might go for the newer lens is cost. I have yet to meet a photographer who complains about a lens being too fastÖ

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    This is a difficult one to judge, especially at the price point that Nikon is setting. The new F/4 lens will cost around 1400 euro in the Netherlands, the older F/2.8 lens just over 1800 euro.
    For that difference is is worth it to me to consider the F/2.8 and there are actually some good secondhand F/2.8 lenses in the market right now as well.
    On top of that you would have to spend another 230 euro on the F/4 if you want the collar.
    TBH, I don't really understand Nikon here. For me the attractiveness would have been in both weight and price difference. One of those is practically gone now.

    Personally, I am thinking of waiting for the new 80-400mm. The reach is much better and if it is improved compared to the old model (focus speed and better VR) it could be a very nice lens to take along.

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    I have no doubt that this f/4 lens will be sharp, very sharp. But we will have to wait for the specialist testers to do their thing and to prove this to the photographic world. Another feature of this lens is likely to be focusing speed - hopefully this will be in the super-fast league. This lens, if fast focusing, is likely to be a winner for those that cannot justify the excessive cost of the f/2.8, nor want the excessive weight. It is likely to be much sharper and much faster (and cheaper) than the expected replacement for the 80-400, and considering the way technology is going with sensors and focusing improvement, it will also focus on the D4/D800/D600 with a 2x converter, IF one wants to go that route.

    Personally, I await the results of the tests but this lens is on my wish-list, primarily for the following reasons: portability (weight), sharpness and focusing speed and if the previous version of the f/4 lens is anything to go by, it should match, if not beat the f/2.8 model in all these features.

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottm View Post
    Another feature of this lens is likely to be focusing speed - hopefully this will be in the super-fast league. This lens, if fast focusing, is likely to be a winner for those that cannot justify the excessive cost of the f/2.8, nor want the excessive weight.
    In my opinion you need a fast focusing lens when you are going to shoot action. Action also requires a high shutter speed. If you cannot open the aperture far enough you will not get the shutter speed you need. No matter how fast the lens can focus if you do not have enough light on the sensor you will not get the shot.
    Just looking at the Pros at a sporting event is proof enough that a wide open aperture is essential shooting action. Those massive lenses these guys carry are the fast ones. Fast lenses are more costly than slower ones, for a reason.

    Using a 2x converter on an F4 lens turns it into an F8 lens, with loss in quality.

    No matter how this subject is debated - fact of the matter is - if you can afford a fast lens do not opt for the cheaper slower lens. If you can afford the faster lenses and your equipment gets to heavy for you to carry, you are playing in the league where you get an assistant to carry it for you.

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    Collar or no collar...

    Whether a tripod collar is needed for the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens (and I would assume the same rationale might be applicable to the Nikon version) depends on how you use the lens and how you might mount it on a tripod.

    The collar is quite handy for shooting between the horizontal and vertical (landscape and portrait) camera positions IF... If you are not using an L bracket by RRS or Kirk. The long and fairly heavy telephoto (they are lighter in weight than their f/2.8 counterparts but, still long and relatively heavy) will tend to cause the camera to rotate around the tripod screw due to the torque of the lens. This doesn't happen when using a L bracket.

    Additionally, when I shoot using a flash bracket such as my Stroboframe camera flip model, I don't attach the camera/lens using the tripod collar because the entire setup works better for me when I attach the camera directly to the bracket.

    If I happen to have the tripod collar on the lens when I am shootng hand held, I leave it there because it doesn't bother me. However, if I don't have the tripod collar on the lens, I am perfectly happy shooting without the collar because it doesn't really add anything.

    Finally, When I use a tripod collar, I like an OEM Canon version which is, IMO, superior to the one Chinese model which I have observed on a friend's lens. My OEM collar can be loosened enough to twist the lens but remaining locked as a safety measure. The Chinese model had to be totally unlocked to twist the lens. I don't know what Nikon or the Chinese knock offs of the Nikon collars are like.

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    If you cannot open the aperture far enough you will not get the shutter speed you need. No matter how fast the lens can focus if you do not have enough light on the sensor you will not get the shot.
    An interesting debate could be opened here, and feel free to shoot down my view, but please play the ball and not the man.

    To move from f2.8 to f/4 is one stop, which is the equivalent of halving your shutter speed, or doubling your ISO setting. In the "golden triangle" of Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO settings, I believe that a 1-stop change in shutter speed will have the most noticeable impact on an image, more so than a 1-stop change in aperture, especially taking into account the recent advancements in sensor technology and available ISO settings.

    Given my style of photography, very few of my images are taken at base-level aperture, with f/5.6-f/8 being the most common. As such, the f/4 lens and its features is a better overall choice for me and my style of photography. I may lose the opportunity of one stop in the speed of f2.8, but I should lose nothing in terms of speed of focus or sharpness. In my case, I would be able to hand-hold it for longer periods, and the $$ savings can be better used in fulfilling other equipment dreams.

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    Re: Finally a Nikon 70-200 f/4

    Scott,

    I believe you're thinking the issues through properly. Depending on the style of photography and the situations encountered, the larger aperture may or may not be helpful. If it's not helpful, there's no reason to pay for the results that would be achieved using it.

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