Nikkor AFS 70-200mm/4 VR - First impressions
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DontShoot
Registered: Jun 15, 2009
Total Posts: 2296
Country: United States

If I'm seeing it correctly, the Nikon collar doesn't have a dovetail for Arca-swiss mount, correct?

Thanks again Andy.. you've been very helpful.



AndreasE
Registered: Dec 31, 2003
Total Posts: 851
Country: Austria

LizzieShepherd wrote:
So the collar has no lining or felt strips as normal? Well normal from my experience with Canon and 3rd party lens collars. That seems extraordinary - I hope to get this lens in time but not that collar!
Thanks very much for all your info on the lens though - looks promising!
Lizzie


Lizzie,
it has most of the internal surface covered with some "felt". Yet, the movement is accompanied with this scratchy sound, which potentially might not hurt the lens surface, but it just doesn't fit to the appearance of the lens, being smooth, precise and of great finish.

rgds,
Andy



rj_rajesh
Registered: May 18, 2010
Total Posts: 110
Country: United States

Has anyone tried this lens on a D7000? Any observations?



Yamil R. Sued
Registered: Apr 18, 2007
Total Posts: 464
Country: United States

Andy,

I must agree and disagree about the collar.

Yes, it is pricey, here in the US is about $150.

But the beauty of this lens is the weight.

I mainly photograph Shooting Competitions and I own two of the VRII lenses and they are HEAVY!!

When I shoot this one event that runs for six days with long ten hour days, the VRII lens kills you!!

When I shoot this event, I remove the foot off the VRII lens and I handhold, can't wait to try the f4 lens this year.

Y



AndreasE
Registered: Dec 31, 2003
Total Posts: 851
Country: Austria

Yamil,
no problem if we disagree (or not) .

Let me use the opportunity to clarify my statement above.
I agree with you on the weight advantage. The lens is a marvel to handhold. Together with a lighter camera body your 10hour days will be easier.

What I also reckon is the ability to remove the collar. It is (by principle) a good thing. What caused my concerns is the implementation of this particular collar. I do have some lenses with removable collars. The AFS 80-200mm/2.8 ED and the AiS 300mm/4.5 come to my mind. Neither one have this scratchy sound the new collar produces. The lens is such a good performer with an unusual high quality feeling for its low weight. "Silky" comes to my mind. In this kind of perceived quality level, the rotating sound just doesn't fit to enhance this excellent perception about the lens, it rather creates the opposite effect. Which is unfortunate and I would guess probably unnessesary. At least for me, ymmv.

regards,
Andy



Yamil R. Sued
Registered: Apr 18, 2007
Total Posts: 464
Country: United States

I don't have the lens yet, so I don't know about the scratchiness, but the 80-200 AF-S was terrible on how rough the ring to lens rotation action was. The winkled texture in that lens was the main cause.

I don't think the ring will be one of my first purchases when I get this lens.

Y



Jammyn
Registered: Nov 01, 2012
Total Posts: 183
Country: United States

I received text and email notification from Amazon that my 70-200 f4 shipped, with a delivery date of Wednesday, December 5th. I am still on the fence between the f2.8 and this lens, so anxious to see how it stacks up to its big brother.
Jammy



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6034
Country: United States

I'm supposed to go pick mine up this afternoon at the local pro shop here in Seattle. We'll see how good it is at f/4 and 200mm compared to my other f/2.8 zooms and my primes. Even if it is just as good the size and weight reduction will be very much welcomed.

- John



Yamil R. Sued
Registered: Apr 18, 2007
Total Posts: 464
Country: United States

I just got my E-Mail from Adorama Pro, My lens ships tomorrow.



Jammyn
Registered: Nov 01, 2012
Total Posts: 183
Country: United States

jhinkey wrote:
I'm supposed to go pick mine up this afternoon at the local pro shop here in Seattle. We'll see how good it is at f/4 and 200mm compared to my other f/2.8 zooms and my primes. Even if it is just as good the size and weight reduction will be very much welcomed.

- John


I would love to hear your thoughts on the lens, if you don't mind sharing.

Thanks



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6034
Country: United States

Well, I've come back empty handed.

It did some outside hand-held testing even though it was a very crummy day here in Seattle (images of the top of the space needle):

VR - Simply excellent and even better than the 70-200/2.8VRII
200mm - Excellent even wide open. Sharpness, CA, etc. looked great. Corners were very good.
105mm - Wide open very very good, corners very good as well
70mm - Wide open not quite as good as 200mm, but still very very good. Corners very good as well

Did not have time to take any shots stopped down - I assume things would get better, but I plan on shooting at f/4 with the lens quite a bit more than stopped down.

I also shot my 200/4 AIS as well, and well, there was no contest at f/4 - the old trusty AIS lens has just runs out of steam at 36MP both for image sharpness, contrast and CA.

Overall I was quite pleased.

Why didn't I come home with it? Well I found that both upper and lower left corners were significantly less sharp than the right upper and lower corners - so this particular lens appeared to have a centering issue that appeared to be worse at wider focal lengths. So I passed on this copy. They will be calling me when the next batch comes in.

PS - This blurry left side thing has me worried as I've seen this on a few, but not all of my lenses with my D800 which is leading me to think that perhaps my lens mount is off kilter from the sensor. My 200/4 AIS shows a bit of this behavior as well, but it's lack of sharpness may be masking the problem.

Anyone know of a different way to test if your mounting flange is out of what from your sensor? Or do I have to send it in for servicing?

John



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6034
Country: United States

And just to follow up with some images:



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6034
Country: United States

And here is the lower corners. Left side blurry, right side much better. Lens or camera issue?



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6034
Country: United States

And finally, 100% center crops at 200, 105, and 70mm all at f/4.

Too bad about the weather . . .



mshi
Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Total Posts: 3486
Country: United States

Perhaps 70-300VR could have done better.



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6034
Country: United States

mshi wrote:
Perhaps 70-300VR could have done better.


I own one, but I think likely not. At 200mm it's pretty good, but not that great at 36MP.

Plus the VR on the 70-200/4 is way, way, way better than the 70-300VR.

Once I get a decently-centered 70-200/4 I will compare all the 200mm-capable lenses that I have.

John



mshi
Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Total Posts: 3486
Country: United States

jhinkey wrote:
mshi wrote:
Perhaps 70-300VR could have done better.


I own one, but I think likely not. At 200mm it's pretty good, but not that great at 36MP.

Plus the VR on the 70-200/4 is way, way, way better than the 70-300VR.

Once I get a decently-centered 70-200/4 I will compare all the 200mm-capable lenses that I have.

John


I haven't touched the new lens but judging from your test shots I have fair confidence to say what I said. VR is nice but I have been told to turn the VR OFF if the camera is on sticks.



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6034
Country: United States

mshi wrote:
jhinkey wrote:
mshi wrote:
Perhaps 70-300VR could have done better.


I own one, but I think likely not. At 200mm it's pretty good, but not that great at 36MP.

Plus the VR on the 70-200/4 is way, way, way better than the 70-300VR.

Once I get a decently-centered 70-200/4 I will compare all the 200mm-capable lenses that I have.

John


I haven't touched the new lens but judging from your test shots I have fair confidence to say what I said. VR is nice but I have been told to turn the VR OFF if the camera is on sticks.


Not sure what you are trying to say, but all my shots today were hand held, thus VR was on all the time.



Yamil R. Sued
Registered: Apr 18, 2007
Total Posts: 464
Country: United States

I have done some excellent work with the 70-300 VR, but I bet this one is so much better!! Can't wait to get it and put it through its paces at the Range!!

This is the last time at the range with two VRII's, they get heavy after a ten hour day



Johno
Registered: Jan 26, 2004
Total Posts: 70
Country: United Kingdom


PS - This blurry left side thing has me worried as I've seen this on a few, but not all of my lenses with my D800 which is leading me to think that perhaps my lens mount is off kilter from the sensor. My 200/4 AIS shows a bit of this behavior as well, but it's lack of sharpness may be masking the problem.

Anyone know of a different way to test if your mounting flange is out of what from your sensor? Or do I have to send it in for servicing?

John


John. I bought a new D800 recently. (I have a D800e and D600 too) I noticed when shooting with it at the weekend that my shots were soft/blurry and smeary at the rightmost 20% of the image. I thought it was the lens that was de-centered at first. Tried 5 lenses on it yesterday - all of then exhibited the issue. I returned it today for another. New one is fine. I was told by the retailer that the sensor may be ever so slightly misaligned. Maybe worth getting your D800 checked mate.



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