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Thread: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

  1. #1
    DeepWater's Avatar
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    Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    I would like some feedback from my fellow members on this lens. I am looking at one for $1200.00 (US) - not the newer VRII.
    How do you guys and gals out there that own the lens us it? (type of photography)
    Are you happy with it?
    What are the "gottchas" with this lens?
    Would you recommend paying another thousand bucks for the VRII?
    What do you love and what do you hate?

    I would initially be shooting this lens on a d-300, but will (someday??) be moving to full format so any lens purchases I do will not be in the DX size. I know about the crop factor etc with this lens and my body.

    I have heard of some issues with the viewfinder (fuzzy or dark corners) because of where Nikon placed the rear nodal point in this lens - any feedback here?

    I am trying to decide which one of the holy trinity to purchase first - will be a long time between lenses because of cost. Right now my main lens is is an 18 - 200 mm Nikor (DX format) and it's an good lens, but I want to move into the 2.8 fixed glass. My choice is purchase this long lens for what seems to be a good price (is it really?) or look for the mid range focal length. I am leaning toward the longer lens - my thinking is that the mid range focal length is covered by the lens I have presently, and even though it is "slower" when I shoot this lens in low light situations will be using off camera flash mostly so that does not seem to be a factor. I will be shooting a combination of portrait and landscape type shots, but moving more toward people and event type photography.

    Any thoughts or feedback from my fellow shooters would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks
    James

  2. #2
    Jacqui Jay's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    James, I have just acquired this lens as part of an offer at a local department store. It was bundled with a D5100 and two other lenses and, as I wanted a small camera and it was a very good deal, I bought it. I have taken it out once, using it for some landscape shots on a frosty morning. I used it at both lengths and various ones in between. I was moving quite fast, as I was also chasing birds with my D800, and my first impression is that it is an efficient and accurate lens. I wasn't aware of any problem at all with the viewfinder. As I have only used it once, I can't be of much more help than this, but I am sure someone will be along shortly to give you more information. This is one of the photographs I took with it.

    Best wishes
    Jacqui

    Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

  3. #3
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    I borrowed this lens from a friend to try it out and found it to be superb. I ended up getting the newer VRII model, which weighs a bit more and I find that the vibration reduction system is a bit better (about 1 stop) than the lens you are looking at. If you get it for a good price, go for it, it is a very good lens.

    The only caveat I would throw out is that it was a bit long for the type of shooting I was doing when I bought it. At the time I was shooting the D90, but looked at it as a future proof investment as I was planning to go full-frame. I got my D800 in May and find I use it a lot more now. I had also picked up the f/2.8 24-70mm lens and found that it was my "go to" lens on both the D90 and now my D800.

  4. #4
    DeepWater's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    Thanks to both of you for taking the time to reply. Great shot of the swans Jacqui - I like your composition with the trees in the background.
    So Manfred, if you could only buy one of the two I think I hear you saying you would go with the 24 - 70? I take it that the lack of VR is not an issue for you with this lens? I an getting to be a bit of an old fart and find that I'm not as steady as I used to be so was wondering about the vr - I see that Tamron has come out with a version of this lens that has vr, but I really would prefer to get the Nikor - not sure about the second party lenses.

  5. #5
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    I cannot speak to the model you are contemplating but I have the newer VRII model. I know the extra monetary outlay is intimidating but if you are even considering this lens then think about the newer one with the VR. I say this because I went though the same thought process in the summer. I really didn't believe the hype about the vibration reduction, the selling point to me was the ability to use a 2X converter on the newer model. Now I am a convert to VR ; the vibration reduction is absolutely brilliant. Almost beyond belief.

    This is hand held at 1/160 sec, with the 2X converter so it is an even longer lens with more weight. And my hands are not that steady that I can routinely be this stable with no VR. With my prior lens, a 70-300 f4.5-5.6 this would have been impossible to hand hold and the end product no where near as good.

    Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    And this is a 100% crop
    Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

  6. #6

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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    Nikon addressed a vignetting problem that was quickly identified by users with the original VR lens used on an FX camera. On the VRII they modified the zoom range thereby restricting the angle of view on close shots at the longer end of the lens. It was never a problem on a DX camera and in fact the original may be the better choice depending on your use. The slight change on the VRII is just a characteristic of the lens that only someone with both might notice.

    http://bythom.com/nikkor-70-200-VR-II-lens.htm
    Last edited by Andrew1; 17th December 2012 at 08:53 PM.

  7. #7
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by DeepWater View Post
    Thanks to both of you for taking the time to reply. Great shot of the swans Jacqui - I like your composition with the trees in the background.
    So Manfred, if you could only buy one of the two I think I hear you saying you would go with the 24 - 70? I take it that the lack of VR is not an issue for you with this lens? I an getting to be a bit of an old fart and find that I'm not as steady as I used to be so was wondering about the vr - I see that Tamron has come out with a version of this lens that has vr, but I really would prefer to get the Nikor - not sure about the second party lenses.
    I think that really depends on your shooting style. If you are primarily into portraits, especially head shots and 3/4 shots, I would say the 70-200mm lens is a really good choice. It is also a very good choice for sports and similar action shots because it is quite a fast lens and with your DX camera it will probably be long enough. It's a bit short for wildlife work though.

    If you are into more general photography, especially with a DX sensor as you are looking at the full-frame equivalent of 36mm - 105mm, it is a great lens to work with. It's nice for group shots and general landscape and city-scape work. The lack of VR really seems to have minimal impact on shorter lenses. I like the feature on the longer lenses but don't really think it affects me when shooting a fast, shortish lens. There are always workarounds; better lighting, a tripod, higher ISO and shutter speeds. Canon also puts out a f/2.8 24-70mm, and it is not optically stabilized either.

    I found that with my D90, I probably used the f/2.8 24-70 about 60% - 65% of my shooting, with the bulk of the rest of the shots with my f/2.8 20-200mm (I do have a number of other lenses that I use from time to time for specific purposes). I would say with my D800, I probably use both lenses equally often.

    My experience with 3rd party lenses is a bit limited. I don't have any Tamron lenses, but have looked at them and been quite unimpressed with their build quality. I have one Sigma len and will not buy another; the lens has been problematic from a build quality standpoint. Tokina seems to have build and optical quality that is as good as Nikon (I do have a Tokina lens and am quite happy with it). I've shot with both Schneider-Kreuznach and Zeiss in the past (borrowed, not owned) and both make beautiful lenses, but they are manual focus and pricey.

    Incidentally, the reason I went for the /f2.8 70-200mm first was that one of the retailers I deal with had this lens on sale and it was heavily discounted, while the f/2.8 24-70mm was not. The price difference between the VR and VRII was about $500 at the time (they still had a few of the older model around at the time) and with the sale price the difference between the two lenses was about $150, so I got the newer one.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 18th December 2012 at 12:51 AM.

  8. #8
    DeepWater's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    Thank all of you for the additional input - Trevor, you sold me on the VRII - I was already leaning that way but you pushed me over the edge. I was originally looking at a VRI that appeared to be a good deal - upon closer examination the guy selling it was a buy em and fly em out the door seller - when pressed he had no idea of the lens' history or real condition. Then my wife, bless her soul, said "if you are going to buy a lens, you should buy a good one..." As you know, us men are obligated to listen to our wives, right so...
    Manfred - thanks for confirming my suspicions about Tokina and Sigma - you are the second person to tell me that they had problems with one or the other. I guess there is really no way around it - if you want quality you gotta pay.
    Also glad to hear that the vignetting problem is no longer a factor as I will (someday) be going to a full frame body.
    Still not sure whether I will go with the 70 - 200 or the 24 - 70 but I have a lot more info now.
    Thanks to you all
    James

  9. #9
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    James - Tamron is the company whose products I don't like. Tokina, in my and some others experience. makes products that are every bit as good as OEM equipment. Tokina was started by a group of ex-Nikon engineers who had become frustrated by that company's lack of progress in zoom lenses so the started up their own company.

    Another company that has developed a good reputation for high-quality lenses is Cosina. Zeiss uses them to produce their small camera lenses. They don't make a lot of DSLR lenses and the ones that they do manufacture are primes.

  10. #10
    DeepWater's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VR AF-S Lens

    [QUOTE=GrumpyDiver;272563]James - Tamron is the company whose products I don't like. Tokina, in my and some others experience. makes products that are every bit as good as OEM equipment. Tokina was started by a group of ex-Nikon engineers who had become frustrated by that company's lack of progress in zoom lenses so the started up their own company.

    Thanks for the clarification - when I wrote that post my brain was saying "Tamron" but my fingers typed "Tokina" - that's what you get for getting more mature
    Thanks

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