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When I shoot against a strong backlight. The subject seems quite washed out as compared to my 70-200vr2. Otherwise it is fantastic in every way.
Congrats on acquiring perhaps one of the most exciting Nikon lens ever! I have the VR1 and have no issues with strong backlighting. If the contrast is washed out, I can usually fix it in PP, as the D600 files are VERY maneuverable when it comes to exposure tweaking. Also don't forget to always use the hood.
It might pay also to check that the auto focus is bang on because a lot of these lenses suffer from slight front or back focus. The lens being that sharp that it goes unnoticed until one day you AF fine tune the lens and discover it's even sharper than you thought was possible.
Truer words have never been said. Mine needs -15 on the D600 but after that OH.MY.GOD is this thing sharp. The AFFT makes the tiniest microdetails look very very tack sharp. Before AFFT, these tiny details look a little soft (but the whole image is still very sharp as a whole). Everyone should do this if they own the Chubby. Also if you use a TC, you should AFFT for that combo too. The camera will create a separate profile for it.
What focus testing method did you use for this lens? I'm keen to make sure mine is firing on all cylinders....
I put mine on a tripod, focus from infinity to a specific high contrast subject (I used a piece of wood on mine) and kept adjusting AFFT until the lens "nails it". The sharpest rendition is the one you pick. You're gonna have to zoom in a lot and examine the images. For this purpose, I use AF-S, focus priority, AF-on, beep on, timer with Mirror Up. Don't forget to turn VR off as well.