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How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?

  
 
nhmorgan
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


I've never used nikon's 200mm f2 vr or vrii. I'm curious how this lens fares on modern sensors. It's sharpness is legendary, but the vrii came out in 2010. How does it compare to modern lenses wide open at f2? I was looking at Matt Granger's RAW files from his test of the 200mm f2 adapted to the z8 and frankly, it was not great. I did notice the shutter speed was really low in many of the shots, but the ones with higher shutter speed looked really soft, too. My go to lenses at the moment are the 135mm 1.8 GM and 400mm 2.8 GM. The 135mm is out of this world sharp. The 400mm is also very sharp, but not on the level of the 135. Still significantly sharper than the 400mm 2.8 VR nikon I used to have. Modern lenses seem to have really changed the game for what is considered sharp, so I'm curious how this 13 year old lens compares. I'm entertaining the idea of coming back to nikon, but would really love to be able to use the 200mm f2 as a main lens since I shoot a lot of running and the focal length is perfect for that.


May 16, 2023 at 11:39 AM
Picture This!
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


I have the canon 200 f/2 that I absolutely adore. My sigma 105/1.4 is sharper (one of the sharpest I've used) and technically more perfect - it should be as it came out years later. Having said that, my canon 200/2 is still sharp and produces absolutely magical results that a 105 or 135 cannot match imo. People are so obsessed with sharpness nowdays. For portraits, I'll pick lenses with character/soul and pleasing color rendition over technically perfect characterless glass. That's me and ymmv.


May 16, 2023 at 11:55 AM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


The Canon 200/2 is a legendary character lens. Not sure how the Nikon version was regarded, but in general older lenses that worked well work better on mirrorless.

The one big asterisk I've read about was the Canon 400ii DO I think it's called? Had/has significant issues with the RF adapter.



May 16, 2023 at 11:56 AM
BlackHorsePhot
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


nhmorgan wrote:
I've never used nikon's 200mm f2 vr or vrii. I'm curious how this lens fares on modern sensors. It's sharpness is legendary, but the vrii came out in 2010. How does it compare to modern lenses wide open at f2? I was looking at Matt Granger's RAW files from his test of the 200mm f2 adapted to the z8 and frankly, it was not great. I did notice the shutter speed was really low in many of the shots, but the ones with higher shutter speed looked really soft, too. My go to lenses at the moment are the 135mm
...Show more

Nikon 200 f2 is sharper than the Sigma 105mm 1.4 wide open. Not sure why the other fellow's Canon 200mm f2 isn't, but the Nikon sure is. Works excellent on the Z9. Works better on flagship bodies than prosumer DSLRs because of the higher voltage of the battery driving the autofocus motor.

I'll go view Matt's video and see what the deal is with his lens.

A lot of lenses can't handle 45mp very well. The Sony 135mm 1.8 can. Most of the Nikon super tele's can. The 200mm f2 is probably the sharpest lens on F mount.

It's just heavy. I'm not a pussy, so that's not really an issue for me.



May 16, 2023 at 12:20 PM
Picture This!
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


My canon 200/2 was calibrated by canon at its health check visit recently. Its very sharp. Maybe I got a freak copy of the sigma 105/1.4 but it is crazy sharp at 1.4. There are other variables and mine is not a controlled test so we're splitting hairs. I have shot both Canon and Nikon versions of the 200/2. Both are amazing but I prefer the rendering of the canon version.


May 16, 2023 at 12:37 PM
BlackHorsePhot
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


I just reviewed Matt's RAW files.

If that's the quality the Z8 sensor produces, then that camera is total piece of crap. I'm not even talking about autofocus but rather just what the sensor is. I question whether that's even the same sensor in the Z9 because it's so bad.

In NX Studio the autofocus point is on her forehead in 3/4 of the shots.



May 16, 2023 at 12:48 PM
BlackHorsePhot
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


Picture This! wrote:
My canon 200/2 was calibrated by canon at its health check visit recently. Its very sharp. Maybe I got a freak copy of the sigma 105/1.4 but it is crazy sharp at 1.4. There are other variables and mine is not a controlled test so we're splitting hairs. I have shot both Canon and Nikon versions of the 200/2. Both are amazing but I prefer the rendering of the canon version.


The Sigma is crazy sharp at f/1.4.

As far as the 200mm f2s go :
I doubt you could tell the difference in rendering between the two if you matched identical color profiles.



May 16, 2023 at 12:50 PM
 


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docusync
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


I have the Canon 200/2, and it's very sharp. I can't tell if it's sharper than my Sigma 105 or not - it would be like splitting hairs, but it's either sharper or equal to the Sigma. It's one of my favorite lenses ever. It worked great on my old 5DsR, and now I'm adapting it on my R5 and A1. It works wonderfully: https://photostream.us/#/photos/canon%20ef200

I never owned the Nikon 200/2 but I know it's even sharper than the Canon model outside of the APS-C area. The Canon 200/2 definitely has more astigmatism, which is noticeable sometimes but I kinda like it. I think the guy from the OP's post was using a faulty lens.



May 16, 2023 at 12:52 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


You don't need to worry too much about sensor resolution and lenses. Regardless of the sensor, better glass will give you better results whether it's 12MP or 50MP. On the flip side, a higher resolution sensor will never give you a worse image than one taken with a lower MP sensor, all else equal, even with a really crappy lens - so you are never losing.

If you want to get the most out of any sensor regardless of the megapixel count, yes of course you should use the best glass available to you. If you are looking at pixel-level detail and wanting to extract the absolute maximum potential out of higher resolution sensors, it will help if you have the best glass. I don't think that threshold is as high as some believe though. Nikon's 200/2's are some of their sharpest lenses, I would not have any concerns whatsoever using them with ~45MP. As others have mentioned, the lens itself should perform better on a Z8/Z9 than even a D6 and AF fine tune is a thing of the past. I haven't seen Matt's video, but I've seen some incredible images with the Z9 and 200/2 and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if that's what I needed. I don't own that lens but maybe others here can provide some samples to help put your mind at ease.

If you want to do a reasonableness check, look at some of the images people are getting out of 'lesser' lenses such as the super zooms. Many of them I honestly don't think people could reliably differentiate from the exotics just looking solely at sharpness (I am not saying they are equal), and the 200/2 is going to be even better yet, right up there with the best.

If you're really worried, it's always best to rent or borrow before you buy and see for yourself if the performance is satisfactory.

Also, if you can give up one stop, consider just using a Z 70-200/2.8 and you won't have anything to worry about in the back of your mind. You will also gain the modern stepper motor AF which is generally faster and more accurate than the older ring motors.



May 16, 2023 at 01:08 PM
nhmorgan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


I previously owned the 70-200z before moving to an A1. I just prefer primes, mostly for the extra light, which is part of the appeal of a 200mm f2. I shoot a lot during early morning for races, or in the woods for trail races, which is one of the reasons I sold my GMii 70-200 and use the 135 1.8.


May 16, 2023 at 01:20 PM
Rimpson
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


Coming straight at me full speed neither the lens nor the Z9 missed a beat.




  NIKON Z 9    VR 200mm f/2G lens    200mm    f/2.0    1/3200s    1250 ISO    0.0 EV  



Edited on May 18, 2023 at 07:42 PM · View previous versions



May 16, 2023 at 03:05 PM
Rimpson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


Another one with the Z9. If the focal length works it is my favorite lens. It took TC's well on DSLR's so it will be just as good or better on a Z9 and Z8(if it lives up to the hype of being a baby Z9).




  NIKON Z 9    VR 200mm f/2G lens    200mm    f/2.2    1/6400s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 16, 2023 at 06:29 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


If you can hold it up...believe me, it holds up.
I'm 75 and still good for a couple of hours.



May 18, 2023 at 07:03 AM
Creative Edge
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · How does the 200mm F2 hold up in 2023?


trenchmonkey wrote:
If you can hold it up...believe me, it holds up.
I'm 75 and still good for a couple of hours.


I guess you are still using my ex 200... lol..
one of the best lenses ever made by Nikon.



May 18, 2023 at 07:38 AM







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