AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
Expensive for a Hobbyist but no Regrets
As an amateur photographer, with an 80-400mm zoom lens already in my bag, this lens was a purchase of the heart, not the head. Any regrets? None. This lens is superb. While it may be a similar weight and length to the 80-400mm zoom, it is thinner, making it a little less obtrusive. The f2.8 aperture and fast auto-focus are wonderful. The image quality is 2nd to none.
The negative, for me, weight and size. I travel almost weekly, and admit hauling a D610, plus a couple of lenses, can get tiring. On those weeks I want to travel light I take a 28 - 300mm lens. It does the job and fits in my carry on bags.
Yes it is expensive for a non-professional, but if you are looking to purchase a lens that will give years of service, and thrill you with the quality of the pictures, the 70 - 200mm f2.8 has to be on the list.
June 24, 2014
Fast focus, great IQ
This lens was purchased when I owned a D700 and like my other Nikon lenses, was permanently mounted until I switched to D800 bodies. Still my fastest focusing lens, with great sharpness, color and contrast; the vibration reduction feature works very well to reduce motion blur while photographing from my kayak.
June 19, 2014
Great Low Light lens. Sharp, vibration control excellent
OK. I finally bought the lens that I needed and my photos of my daughter in her high school play were what I had always hoped I could capture.
May 13, 2014
This is probably the Sports Nikon lens (Period) I recommend this lens for anyone that is serious about photography. Always get good shots with this one using a D4.
May 6, 2014
wow , quelle merveille, rapide, silencieuse et précise, quelle différence avec la lentille que j'utilisais avantcelle-ci soit la 80-200mm 2.8.
April 8, 2014
Unknown to me this was a gray market lens. The VR motor broke in less than a year and I am unable to repair the lens. It was a gift and when I registered the lens, there was no alert that it was gray market or I would have returned it. A very expensive paper weight.
December 26, 2013
Please check out my reviews of the 14-24mm and the 24-70mm lenses for context. I bought this lens after buying my dream lens (300mm, F2.8) and finding it was too heavy for an old guy like me...that was a sad day. However I checked out the 70-200mm VRII and found it better suited to my capabilities. Years ago this would not have been a discussion. Regardless I added a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter and a Nikon 2.0x teleconverter. The lens is typical of what one would expect from Nikon's Pro lenses: it is fast to focus, tack sharp and easy/intuitive to control. The only suggestion I would have would be the addition of a removable ring mount.
June 5, 2013
I've had this lens for about a year and have taken many shots with it. While I do agree that this lens is a little heavy, it's a minor detail to get great photos. The AF is very fast and performs well even in low light. I haven't used the VR very much so can't comment on that. This lens delivers every time and is worth every cent.
May 24, 2013
I waited a year to buy this lens. It's truly amazing and worth every penny. The real test will be a horse show this weekend and I KNOW it won't disappoint. I bought a Carry Speed FS sling strap to make it more manageable to carry. It's definitely heavy but so worth the photos I can get with it!
May 1, 2013
I purchased this lens a couple of months ago and have shot quite a lot with it on both my D800 and D7000 (with and without the TC20III extender). All combinations rendered nice crisp shots and on the D7000 a 600mm f5.6 to play with. Great wildlife and bird lens.
April 18, 2013
Dont even think twice to buy this lens. It delivers every time.
April 18, 2013
one of the best ever . very sharp
this one was bought for following the grand kids. its so sharp and fast focus its scary. this with the 24/70 and i cant believe the difference in the rest of the lenses. theres no coparison . its a little heavy but if u want clarity and colors get one today.
March 14, 2013
So annoyed...that I waited so long to buy one.
Title says it all. For years I lusted after the 70-200 VR, and then VRII but never could pony up and buy one. Well I finally decided to pull the trigger, and I can't believe ups didn't do it sooner. It's just so good. Lighting fast auto-focus, super sharp, great DOF, VR is incredible.
If you're like I was, and lusting...I recommend it. I immediately realized how much easier my life would have been with this lens years ago.
March 11, 2013
FAST FAST FAST! Superb upgrade in the VR, Great optics and perfect AF for sports (though for kids and brides)
I previously owned (and reviewed) the 80-200, but I upgraded to this lens a couple of months, and I've shot like crazy since then, lets start:
Impecable performance of the AF, absolutely dead on, if you get OOF images it might be a selection point issue, I mean, if you select the 21 point AF-C setting (like the one on D700 and higher bodies) it is easy to get what you meant in focus, if it is not you may try with 9, because quicker bodies like D4 and D3s the average of hits of in focus images (depending on the technic) will sky rocket like in 100% like in my case that recently updated from the non VR 80-200. AF is just perfect in fewer words.
I never owned but used fairly the VR I version of the 70-200 and I never felt in love with it, that was why I kept the non VR until I tried the VR II, but I have to say that it works as expected or better for a lens this price. You can get annoyed for the sound of the VR if you are in a really quiet environment, but if you are at the courtside of the gane you'll never notice it. IT DOES RECOGNIZE PERFECTLY THE PANNING MOVEMENT! like never before, like no other lens (the ones from the white teles company for example)
this is more than welcome for sports, but useful for any kind of shooting.
The "ACTIVE" mode works weird but fine also, I dont use it that much like the "NORMAL" mode anyway.
The "FOCUS BREATHING ISSUE (FBI)": Not an issue to me, in fact it's kind of welcome to me for two reasons; first, it is only noticeable at 200mm at the really closest distance (which is way closer than the 80-200) and you forget about the focal length loss in about a couple of metter away from the minimum focus distance anyway; and second, it is not really noticeable at the 70mm end. Besides, the short focusing is so well improved that your eye will be so pleased for that reason that will loose track of the FBI.
Image quality is just as great as the 80-200 or even better, I could say... if I I let out the pixel peep inside of all of us that It might be slightly softer at 2.8 at 200mm (and only there) compared to the 80-200. You might find also slight distorsion (ONLY IF YOU SHOOT AT PATTERNS, at 2.8, which you won't, this lens is not intent for that).
Build quality is just superb, 'Nuf said,
Weight: It is heavy, yes. Name a good 2.8 zoom that it is not... you can't, all good lenses have great heavy glass.
Price: ok, it is pricey, again, name a good....
Tripod shoe: great! you can remove from the collar (not recommended with full bodies (D3series, D4)) works just fantastic. Collar stays put though.
AF-S... ultra silent, super quick and super responsive, Manual overrides are easy and easier with the AF-M mode. This is a mayor improvement for the wedding photographer !!!! Super silent focusing.
Ok, THE CONTRAS:
G type... what if I want to use this lens in an really older camera?
The lens hood is expensive if you lose it, and it is not as strong as the one used on the 80-200.
You cannot place the lens with the hood facing down on the hood, since it is a tulip shaped you will drop the lens if you do.
If you want it then get it, if you have the VR1 version UPGRADE IT, you wont regret it. If you own a 80-200 2.8 well... think really well about it, but you might be as happy as me anyway.
March 2, 2013
I had tried one on my D7000 and loved it. Been saving up money from quitting smoking and finally bought my own, yesterday, from the Shutterbug, here in Eugene. Something not much talked about is just how versatile this lens is. With a TC-17 or TC-20ii, you get a birding lens that is every bit as good as the f4 300mm - as sharp as can be, fast autofocus, and zoom capable. This lens is simply amazing.
February 24, 2013
Very good lens
Recently upgraded to D600 and this lens from a D5000 and several DX lenses. I also have the 105mm 2.8 that I like very much. I've been wanting to upgrade to full frame and the 70-200mm 2.8 VRII for about 2 years. Very good lens that's excellent in low light. First images were taken on the Leeward coast of Oahu.
Plan to purchase a 14-24mm 2.8, or the 24mm 1.4 next.
February 1, 2013
Nikon es la mejor marca
ami me sirve demaciado porque soy una fotografa profecional y me eh dado cuenta que hay otros productos Nikon que tambien son para pequeños
December 22, 2012
Blurry images every time
Hate it. And Nikon, blames me. Not in the auto mode, or this or that. Come on, own up, let me send it in already. The other lens of the holy triune, fantastic!
December 10, 2012
Great Lens, when it works!
IO have this lens for 6 months now, and since I got it I noticed that the VR takes too long to kick in and it makes the AF terribly slow and not precise. 30 days ago the lens simply stopped working in some occasions and I noticed that it was a little loose. It shows F/0 in the camera and the lens immediately stops working. I had it happening in several occasions and as I shoot weddings, this is unacceptable.
November 29, 2012
Incredible Lens Even in Low Light
The incredible sharpness, contrast and control of CA and other matters makes this the best, most versatile lens I have owned during 40 years of shooting with Nikon. I regularly push the envelope of slow shutter speeds, and the rate of keepers is amazing. I shoot it wide open and the smooth background and snappy subject detail leave me entirely satisfied. I like to photograph species of bees (I don't tell most people that), and the 70-200 VRII keeps up with them. I use a TC-14ii and don't see a difference in quaiity once one stop down. I normally handhold, but since I have an Arca-Swiss ball head, did replace the foot for convenience. Most of the time that stays in the bag because the 70-200 is SO good hand-held. Quite simply, about 70% of my images are made with this lens - the other 30% mostly with a 12-24 and the 40macro, and some with the 105macro.
November 4, 2012
Gets the results you wanted and much more. Very sharp images and with gentle bokeh for great portraits. Complements a mid-range "standard" zoom or shorter prime lens and almost certainly matches the later for image quality. Heavy, but that's a small penalty for using such a well made product. The weight makes you aim carefully and compose your shots properly. Certainly not for snapshots or casual use. Stunning!
October 18, 2012
For sports shooters, photojournalists, and portrait photographers, you can't go wrong with this one, it's amazing. particularly when I'm shooting portraits, this and the 85mm 1.4G are all that I need. If you're on the fence... jump.
October 17, 2012
Best lens I have
I had wanted this lens for a long time and when I finally ordered it, I was ecstatic! It completely fulfilled my expectations. I did test shots using my 18-200 lens and then this lens and the difference was amazing. With my old lens, the backround was very dark but with this lens, the image was much brighter and lighter in the background. This lens produces crystal clear images and it's my go to lens now. I have included samples below....and I am only using a d5000 camera.
August 31, 2012
Performance Beyond Belief
This lens is beyond amazing. I have owned it since the day it became available. The autofocus is lightning fast and the VRII lets me set up for outstanding sports images even in the early morning or earl evening light. I can photograph cyclists in triathlons and rip off a 20 frame burst and have 18-19 images in perfect focus while panning. Color reproduction is superb and excellent bokeh in nature and landscape images. Yes, it it big and heavy, but if you want a true pro lens that is what you will get. The removable tripod shoe is a huge plus for comfort when doing sports work as you can handhold just about anything. The zoom is firm but not difficult, with no creep. If you are into sports and action photography this is worth twice the price.
August 17, 2012
There is a reason why this lens is so highly rated
I debated for some time on getting this lens due to the weight, but the sharpness plus image isolation/ bokeh is excellent. I bought it just a short time ago. It focuses super fast and works like a dream on my D800, especially with the battery grip. The VRII is very effective and the whole lens is built like a tank. I would not worry in the rain at all.
I actually feel that the weight and balance helps me in steadying it. Color rendition is, as expected, superb. On the topic of 'breathing', this is not a problem for me and to be honest, although it can be noticed, I am totally delighted with the package as a whole.
July 22, 2012
I am the Biggest Nikon Fan!
I have used Nikon lenses since late 1980s..I have used older lenses like 80-200mm f/2.8D for a long time, also used the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRI for a while and finally upgraded to NEW 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII..All I have to say is that this lens is 'SUPER FANTASTIC'..simply the BEST telephoto lens for portrait work.
July 11, 2012
Excellent lens as usual
I just got this lens last weekend and man am I impressed. Absolutely gorgeous images, my subjects 'pop' out of the frame. The colors and contrast are amazing. Yes this an expensive, heavy, large lens, but thats what pro equipment is. If you're considering this lens just buy it, you won't be disappointed.
June 8, 2012
This is a fabulous lens
I got this lens about 6 months ago. I have found it is my "go to" lens for a myriad of photo applications.
One things that I found to be a little surprising was it makes for a great close up lens. Zoom up to 200mm focal length and then open it to f2.8 and get razor sharp subjects and luxurious bokeh.
Stop it down to f8 or so and get a beefy DOF with almost no evidence of diffraction effects.
June 5, 2012
I am totally blown away by Nikon's newest VR II version. The VR II really does seem to be 'magical,' and will certainly help your low-light or tougher shots where extra support is unavailable.
It's a beast to carry around, so the higher end bodies (or a grip) is very helpful, but the astounding image, build, and general quality is more than worth it.
May 19, 2012
The 70-200mm f/2.8 is as sharp as any lens that I have used .. I'm trying to find a difference in my 85mm f/1.4 and this lens but can't .. It is heavy, but a joy to shoot with .. Shooting portraits is giving me better results than I expected .. The reach is nice, but it is certainly not a long zoom .. Overall, very sharp, with great auto focus times .. A nice addition to my arsenal ...
May 3, 2012