Nikkor AFS 70-200mm/4 VR - First impressions
/forum/topic/1160567/4

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

Walked with my wife the dog this morning. While I enjoy doing these walks together - it has some major photographic consequences. No tripod. No slooooow immersion into a scenery (especially today. It was cold and windy, but sunny). Only quick shots. No "review" mode.

D600, 135mm, f5.6, 1/250sec, 2560x1780






100% crop






If you find the background at f5.6 isn't as smooth as you would like it to be - here is a f4 shot

D600, 200mm, f4, 2560x1780






We passed by these little birds. The resolution of the D600 and the good optical resolution of the lens at f4.5 seems to be a good base for crops.
D600, 200mm, f4.5, 1/323sec






crop, 2:1 resized






D600, 135mm, f5.6, 1/323sec






crop, resized






rgds,
Andy



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

The question of Bokeh comes up quite often.

Here are 2 examples.
D600, 200mm, f4, 1/1666sec






Switched to AF-C. D600, 200mm, f4, 1/833sec, 1920x1280







Crosslight photography with the D600 and this lens is relatively easy. Underexpose a bit and pull shadows via pp.

D600, 185mm, f5.6, 1/833sec, 1920x1280







200mm was too short for this guy. Unfortunately, I didn't have a TC or longer lens with me

D600, 200mm, f4, 1/500sec






crop, resized






regards,
Andy


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

For those who are interested in processing the D600 RAWs directly.

This image was shot twice. Once with f4 and once with f8.

The 2 RAWs can be downloaded from here. Each one is 28 MB.

f4: D6H_4342.NEF
f8: D6H_4343.NEF

Users of CNX2 need to have at least version 2.3.5 to open the files.







That's it from a morning walk with the dog,
Andy


LXShooter
Registered: Mar 07, 2010
Total Posts: 646
Country: United States

AndreasE wrote:
Some photographes focus on resolution others more on the subtle and subjective way how a lens "draws". Based on my initial experience I would consider the AFS 70-200mm/4 VR as capable to serve both camps.

Example 1 on resolution:


Example 2 on mood & plasticity.

This shot was taken in the park.

D800E, 200mm, 1/30 sec (!), handheld, f4, ISO 100, 2560x1700







regards,
Andy



That's a great shots!


Peter Burian
Registered: Feb 26, 2003
Total Posts: 116
Country: Canada

AndreasE wrote:
Some photographes focus on resolution others more on the subtle and subjective way how a lens "draws". Based on my initial experience I would consider the AFS 70-200mm/4 VR as capable to serve both camps.

Hi Andy, Great to see the sample images. One question: I have listed my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens and will be buying the f/4 model. Will I be thrilled, happy, satisfied, mildly disappointed, or what? P.



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

Peter Burian wrote:
Hi Andy, Great to see the sample images. One question: I have listed my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens and will be buying the f/4 model. Will I be thrilled, happy, satisfied, mildly disappointed, or what? P.


Peter,
this is a very subjective question (or more correctly, a highly subjective answer).

Let me try it this way: Versus the 70-200mm/2.8 VR I and all 80-200/2.8 lenses the step is a big one and should lead you to a happy face.

The VR II is in my opinion a fantastic lens which is optically at least as good as the f4. If you are going to change lenses on optical improvement expectation, I would be very concious what to expect will improve.

If you are changing lenses mainly for size and weight reasons, then the f4 is imho one of the best lenses "below" the VR II on the market - and you might probably be very happy.

rgds,
Andy



snapsy
Registered: Feb 24, 2008
Total Posts: 4861
Country: United States

Here are a few full-size 36MP test shots I took today. Shot raw and sharpened in LR4/CS6. Edge-to-edge sharpness is quite impressive.

36MP Image #1 (f/4)
36MP Image #2 (f/4)
36MP Image #3 (f/8)



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6033
Country: United States

See one result of my first real shots at just about MFD.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1174286

I am pretty happy with it.

John



mholdef
Registered: Sep 26, 2005
Total Posts: 1146
Country: France

Just got mine, went out and took some shots with the D800E, nothing special but thought would share some images with this combination at f4. Larger images can be seen here

http://www.pbase.com/mholdef/inbox

Mark











































glideslope
Registered: Mar 16, 2004
Total Posts: 785
Country: United States


Than you for the effort Andreas. Been waiting a long time for this glass.



Ripolini
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 368
Country: Italy

AndreasE wrote:
For those who are interested in processing the D600 RAWs directly.

Thank you Andreas.
I've looked at the raw files.
When scrutinizing the files at 100 %, I notice some jpeg-like artifacts (something similar to wavy stripes) at the borderline between the blue sky and the brown vegetation along the horizon. Do you notice it too? Might these be due to raw compression?



btobey
Registered: Dec 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2
Country: United States

I too have been using this lens quite frequently. I find it to share many aspects of the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II.

I have written a brief Nikon 70-200mm f/4 review sharing my experience with it.

One thing I found was when using the lens at its minimum focusing distance, the image quality was soft. Does anyone else experience that? I know its not common to focus so closely with at 200mm.



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 6033
Country: United States

btobey wrote:
I too have been using this lens quite frequently. I find it to share many aspects of the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II.

I have written a brief Nikon 70-200mm f/4 review sharing my experience with it.

One thing I found was when using the lens at its minimum focusing distance, the image quality was soft. Does anyone else experience that? I know its not common to focus so closely with at 200mm.


I too found my images at 200mm and at the MFD to be soft, but they are extremely sharp at 100mm and 130mm. When I say soft, I mean D800 36MP viewed at 100% soft.
Upon closer inspection it appears that the lens tends to back focus just a tad bit - i.e., the point of sharp focus is behind the desired focus point, thus making the image (tight portraits in my case) appear more soft than it is.
I just performed some additional tests at 200mm with a long metal ruler and it does back focus just a hair, but what is at peak focus looks soft. If I zoom out to 130mm or so and re-take the picture and then blow it up it's actually a bit sharper than taking the image zoomed in to 200mm.

So I think this lens, like many of my other 200mm lenses (200/4 AIS, 80-200AFS and 70-200/2.8VRII) tend to go soft at the long end at MFD.

John



MRM4
Registered: May 21, 2012
Total Posts: 226
Country: United States

Has anyone taken any low light action shots with this lens, particulary outdoor sports at night (with or without a flash) or some indoor sports? Those are my primary applications and would like to see some to help me determine if this is a lens I want to get.



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

Ripolini wrote:
AndreasE wrote:
For those who are interested in processing the D600 RAWs directly.

Thank you Andreas.
I've looked at the raw files.
When scrutinizing the files at 100 %, I notice some jpeg-like artifacts (something similar to wavy stripes) at the borderline between the blue sky and the brown vegetation along the horizon. Do you notice it too? Might these be due to raw compression?


I would not over-analyze those images. I did them while I walked with the dog. They are handheld. So it could be everything from what you think it might be, VR artefacts, my shutterness, or something else. Before taking such a conclusion, solid tests are imho necessary.

regards,
Andy



btobey
Registered: Dec 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2
Country: United States

Wow! This is exactly what I have determined. Thank you for your post. As far as I am concerned, it does not prove that I am seeing things, or am hallucinating. This is an important attribute of this lens that should be recognized. As Nikon claims it to have a MCD of 3.3 ft. But at 200mm, it is not quite the case.



dreamplayer
Registered: Jun 22, 2012
Total Posts: 70
Country: N/A

btobey wrote:
Wow! This is exactly what I have determined. Thank you for your post. As far as I am concerned, it does not prove that I am seeing things, or am hallucinating. This is an important attribute of this lens that should be recognized. As Nikon claims it to have a MCD of 3.3 ft. But at 200mm, it is not quite the case.


I just read your nice review of this lens. Did you find the F2.8 VR II is sharper than this F4 VR at F4 and F5.6,etc.?



Lance B
Registered: Apr 26, 2005
Total Posts: 1033
Country: Australia

Impressive images from the 70-200 f4, Andy!



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

Lance B wrote:
Impressive images from the 70-200 f4, Andy!

Thank you for the kind remarks.

BTW, I got the D5200 earlier this week and even with the very high resolution 24MP DX sensor the lens performs very well. The new VR is supporting the high spatial resolution (for hand held images). I truly like the lens - it's great.

rgds,
Andy



molson
Registered: Oct 30, 2002
Total Posts: 10754
Country: Canada

For those in Canada that are still on the fence about buying this lens... Aden Camera has it on sale for $1194 with free shipping this week:

http://www.adencamera.com/product-overviewer.asp?ProdID=4204&Category=7

They also have the Nikon RT-1 tripod collar in stock (although the poor fit and quality of the collar is a bit disappointing, considering the $159 price tag...)



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