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Thread: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking



    I'm just doing research REALLY. I mean it

    Seriously looking around a bit there is the original 200mm F2 G and the newer version II. I can't seem to find where the main problem was with the original to warrant the new Version II. Any research help would be nice and yes its just research.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Jason Odell, who used to host the Nikonians Image Doctors podcast, has one (don't know which version)- it's beyond my realm

    I'm sure he'd be glad to discuss with you - Photography and eBooks by Jason P. Odell, Ph.D.

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    I'm guessing more stops of vibration reduction!

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Hi Guy,

    I've used both versions of the 200 f2 (although not simultaniously) and both versions of the 300 f2.8 (tested together). With regards to the 300 f2.8, both had nanocoating so only difference was the .5-75 f stop advantage when hand holding. Since I generally don't hand hold a 300 f2.8, the differerences between these two lenses was non existent with and without teleconverters. With regards to the two versions of the 200 f2, I don't recall if the older VRI lens had nano coating or not, but don't think it did. I didn't run across flair problems with either version but in specific circumstances, the differences in coating may make a slight difference. Other than that there is the slight increase in efficiency with VR in the newer version and I could sort of see the slight difference when using this lens hand held. Small as it was, it could be detected but if I found a great buy in a VRI version, I would grab it. Other than these two differences, not much real world shooting differences to speak of in 95 percent of situations, except for possible slight reduction of flair shooting towards bright light. I didn't test for flair specifically with either lens.

    Best of luck with your "research"...remember it's just research. Keep repeating this phrase whenever the thought crosses your mind to purchase..."Its Just Research". Now repeat after me.... LOL!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 2nd April 2012 at 10:57.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    "Its Just Research" I swear it is. LOL

    Thanks Dave it sounds like a no brainer as VR is only mildly important for this lens. I would use a monopod most times anyway. I'm after look and a great runway lens.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  6. #6
    BCMielke
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    I own the original, but have never shot with with new one. The old one does not have Nano Crystal Coating and is an incredible lens when shot wide open. I also own the 300 f/2.8 and I don't see much difference in sharpness between the two on the Nikon D700. However, the older 2x converter TC20eII? Worked much better on the 200 f/2 than the 300 f/2.8 so I will assume that the 200 f/2 was a better performer. The newer version had better VR and also the Nano. Of the reports that I read there didn't seem to be much difference in sharpness.

    As a lens I don't use it much and have considered selling it, but each time I go out and shoot with it and I am reminded why I got it in the first place. There really is nothing like it at f/2.

    For those that might ask there is a big difference between the 200 f/2 and the 300 f/2.8. I would sell the 300 before I would sell the 200.

    Here is a thread over at Nikon Cafe that spends quite a few posts discussing just this issue.

    NikonCafe.com

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    There was a consensus amongst a number of my Nikon shooting friends that with the 200-400VR & 200/2 VR lenses that the VR II version was more a marketing attempt by Nikon to entice people to upgrade at the new higher prices than any quantifiable objective difference in the lenses.

    Just saying ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    I have first version and it's one of the best Nikon lens I've ever used. AF is smoking fast. Very sharp wide open. Takes the 1.4 TC well with no image degradation or affect to AF speed. I use mine for my kid's activities. Youth volleyball, HS symphonies, and softball, which I shot alot this weekend. It's an all-around great lens. If you use it on a monopod I think you'll be fine with the first version and save a couple thousand.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    It really sounds like the first version would be right up my alley than. The only thing would be nano coating as that may help with flare. I could save 2k on that one alone. Best get some knitting material. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post


    I'm just doing research REALLY. I mean it

    Seriously looking around a bit there is the original 200mm F2 G and the newer version II. I can't seem to find where the main problem was with the original to warrant the new Version II. Any research help would be nice and yes its just research.
    As far as I know it is only Nanocoating. And maybe a bit improved VR.

    Nothing else.

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Guy, the only differences:

    - Nano coating;
    - New VR, maybe half a stop to one stop difference;
    - Different tripod mount;
    - Lot of $$

    Seriously, I wouldn't get the new one if you could get ahold of the old version. On the 300 f2.8, however, it's a different story, and I would get the last VR II version if you need VR, or the AF-s without VR rather than the first VR version. I never used the 400/500/600 so I can't say about these, but it seems that the newer are better from what I hear from friends and colleagues using them.
    Vieri Bottazzini
    Leica Ambassador | Formatt-Hitech Ambassador | ABIPP EP
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Thanks you folks are great. It seems like this is a big secret since I could not find much data on it. LOL

    One on ebay for pretty good price but no hood. I'll keep my eyes out for one it maybe a month or two before I have the money anyway.

    I want Mojo with this D800 and i know this lens has it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Better find one with hood - it's going to be big $$ to replace it
    Vieri Bottazzini
    Leica Ambassador | Formatt-Hitech Ambassador | ABIPP EP
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    Super Duper
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Yes, regarding the hood...for the longest time it wasn't available as I tried to obtain one for use on a Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR I was shooting with indoors and needed the shortest possible hood for shooting in a location that the standard 300mm hood would have been too long and intrusive. My 200mm f2 hood was already in use elsewhere in the venue on the 200 f2 lens. Even Nikon couldn't come up with an extra hood. 18 months later they finally became available but as mentioned, the cost is big $$....a far cry from those $3.00 bargain bin plastic hoods for f4.5-5.6 lenses from years past...LOL.

    The $2000.00 additional difference for the 300 f2.8 VRII over it's VR I counterpart is even more questionable since both have nano coating and the only difference is the .5-.75 f stop difference in VR performance, regardless how real it is.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 2nd April 2012 at 20:11.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    If you want a replacement hood then I can recommend these from outdoorphotogear:
    AquaTech Soft Hood Collapsible Hood for Long Lenses | Outdoor Photo Gear | Pro Photography Gear, Tripods and Photo Accessories for Wildlife, Landscape, and Nature Photographers

    I used to hate carrying the assortment of coffee cans for the long glass and this is a much smaller collapsable solution. Rigid too when fixed. I can also recommend the aquatech lens caps too.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    The VR1 is about $2k less and IMO the better buy and not much difference from the new one... You will love this lens Guy

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Quote Originally Posted by onaujee View Post
    The VR1 is about $2k less and IMO the better buy and not much difference from the new one... You will love this lens Guy
    +1
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    The lens doesn't come with a lenscap. I have an after market one but don't like it because it causes the lens to "rock" back and forth when you set it down standing up ( front element down ). I think I'll try the Aquatech version--looks flat.

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Behold! The tale of Guy and a new Lens:

    He starts off strong...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I'm just doing research REALLY. I mean it
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Any research help would be nice and yes its just research.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    "Its Just Research" I swear it is. LOL
    But then he begins to weaken...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    It really sounds like the first version would be right up my alley than. The only thing would be nano coating as that may help with flare. I could save 2k on that one alone. Best get some knitting material. LOL
    And before you know it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks you folks are great. It seems like this is a big secret since I could not find much data on it. LOL

    One on ebay for pretty good price but no hood. I'll keep my eyes out for one it maybe a month or two before I have the money anyway.

    I want Mojo with this D800 and i know this lens has it.
    Congratulations, Guy. What will you "research" next?



    --Matt
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    You know I thought I was dangerous to YOUR pocketbooks but you guys are killing me here. ROTFLMAO

    Think I'm going to rename the forum to GetDPI Black Hole.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    BTW speaking of lens hoods and slightly off topic but I do not use any supplied hoods or caps with my lenses. Yes I am a risky kind of guy but I buy cheap on eBay metal hood screw in hoods and they just stay on no caps, no filter and go in my bag. Really nice just to throw on a lens and only deal with a rear cap which are all the same and don't matter if you mix them up. I have done this for years. It really makes changing lenses a snap. Just thought I would share .
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Whatever reservations folks may have about the D800, I'm going with this thought: if it's good enough for Guy to be "researching" a ~$5k lens to stick on the end of it, that camera is good enough for me.

    Gary
    (thrilled to have a new 105/2.8 Micro-Nikkor VR....now 'patiently' waiting for the D800E to arrive).

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Pah! $5k, that's chump change if Guy gets the wildlife bug Ditto the wait too btw, after 10 months waiting for my 600/4 VR I actually ended up buying a used (basically new) one from one of the GetDPI members. Some of the glass is obviously hand crafted by maidens in Tokyo one by one but only when everything Feng Shui is in perfect celestial alignment.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    LOL Thanks Gary. I do like it a lot. What it does for me is give me back the file sizing that I need for clients that I could not get with other 35mm cams I had in the past. Main reason I went MF was I needed the horsepower. Now I went mostly with the tech cam for the ultimate images when the need arises but I still need a versatile system that can produce and this is starting to look good. I can get some really nice glass and play easier. I was also trying to reduce my systems and having 3 is just getting to be too much especcially with the costs of these high end lenses. Its really hard to support three and it bugs me to no end letting something sit on the shelf. So now I have a nice basic kit that I can build on and add some real nice Mojo lenses to it. If anything after all these years it is about the look of the file more than anything. And to be honest you all know it I am a huge lens whore. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    I know many of us have used and are used to big glass...like 300 f2.8, 600 f4 and some of the equivalents in Lecia R. Yet one thing I would strongly suggest Guy is why so many who love or have loved this lens (the 200 f2), eventually sell it. It looks size wise (especially without the hood) that one can grab it take it with them regulary and even hand hold it for a good many shots (if not with the monopod). The physical look of the lens is very deceiving, appearing to be a a very manageable size..yet due to its compact and dense physical mass, it's almost as heavy as the current 300 f2.8. Therefore when you think of grabbing it, like you would most any of the Nikon lenses you already own, you'll begin to think twice after a time. Most do (even though they think they won't).

    If you have a shoot and a specific need for it, there are few lenses like it, and the way it captures unique and special images is extremely fine...but just think of it as a 300 f2.8 when it comes to the times you'll take it with you in your bag say on a general outing. So many love it, can't imagine being without it, but a large percentage of these same individuals do eventually find that the # of times they use it, doesn't justify the amount of $$ of it just sitting there and its then that it gets sold. My gut feeling is this happens far greater than any of the other big Nikon glass where expected use is different and quite predictable. Just something to contemplate and maybe prior to making the investment, rent it for a weekend. Some personal thoughts.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    So many love it, can't imagine being without it, but a large percentage of these same individuals do eventually find that the # of times they use it, doesn't justify the amount of $$ just sitting there and then it gets sold. My gut feeling this happens far greater than any of the other big Nikon glass where expected use is different and quite predictable. Just something to contemplate and maybe prior to making the investment, rent it for a weekend. Some personal thoughts.

    Dave (D&A)
    I couldn't agree more. This is certainly the experience of not just myself but a number of my Nikon shooting buddies. Actually I'd rent it for a few weekends to be honest because the first weekend will have you fall in love, the next will have you start to feel whether you're going to get along or not and by the third you'll either be attached at the hip or looking for an exit strategy - hmm, just like dating.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    I have used both. VRII is better. It's noticable with higher frequency vibration, the type you get from a monopod. The monopod will do away with lower frequency vibration.
    Also if you are going to do video go for VRII

    Both lenses are very good. However the tripod mount is too tar forward and is not ideal for panning on a monopod. You sort of have to scoot your head around too much.

    The place I rented it from recommended a tripod plate that placed the tripod further back. Way better.

    Also using long lenses like this on a 25MP or higher sensor you really want to kill vibration. I used a very heavy monopod device with a rotation damper.
    It was sort of a heavy duty one of these:

    Manfrotto 560B1 4-Section Fluid Monopod, Tilt Top Head 560B-1

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Yea I hear you guys been down this path with the Leica 180 F2 and canon 1.8 it does get left in the dust sometimes. One way around it is I love the little Domke X5 bag which sometimes i put a big lens in keep it in the car if needed or sling it off the other shoulder but I hear your words and can relate very well to ah that thing is just a hassle. LOL

    I'm chewing on it believe me. And yes renting it is a great idea but Dave i know exactly what will happen. ROTFLMAO
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    . And to be honest you all know it I am a huge lens whore. LOL
    With a 200mm f2 that could get a bit to graphic....

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    I have used both. VRII is better. It's noticable with higher frequency vibration, the type you get from a monopod. The monopod will do away with lower frequency vibration.
    Also if you are going to do video go for VRII

    Both lenses are very good. However the tripod mount is too tar forward and is not ideal for panning on a monopod. You sort of have to scoot your head around too much.

    The place I rented it from recommended a tripod plate that placed the tripod further back. Way better.

    Also using long lenses like this on a 25MP or higher sensor you really want to kill vibration. I used a very heavy monopod device with a rotation damper.
    It was sort of a heavy duty one of these:

    Manfrotto 560B1 4-Section Fluid Monopod, Tilt Top Head 560B-1
    Thanks Fred . Honestly not so worried about the VR part, I do use a monopod a lot and actually like working with one. I thought correct me if i am wrong would you not just turn the VR off when mounted to a pod. Seems kind of redundant.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    With a 200mm f2 that could get a bit to graphic....
    ROTFLMAO. Not sure we should actually keep this post . LOL

    Thats just bad
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    BTW I use the RRS mono head with a Arca Swiss flip lock plate which I use on my Cube as well. I do need a better pod though , mine is a cheap Velbon

    MH-01 Hi-Capacity Monopod Head - MH-01
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Guy, if you do eventually decide to purchase the lens...many users remove the original Nikon tripod foot (takes but a minute to undo the small screws) and replace it with the RRS foot. From what I recall, with the original short Nikon foot and a QR plate, you cannot reverse the original hood for storage. By installing the RRS repalcement foot which is made specifically for this lens, and then adding a QR plate....you "CAN" reverse the original hood for storage. Additionally the lens comes with a extremely well made sling type over the shoulder Nikon bag and if you use the original foot with a QR plate it won't fit into this or similary sized bag. So 1st thing to do, is replace that original foot.

    Lastly many do use VR with this lens when using a monopod and it works quite effectively.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Thanks Dave good advice
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks Fred . Honestly not so worried about the VR part, I do use a monopod a lot and actually like working with one. I thought correct me if i am wrong would you not just turn the VR off when mounted to a pod. Seems kind of redundant.
    I like working with a monopod too. However I have found that VR is helpfull with a monopod too as you can still have lateral shake. When using such a high defenition and "smallish sensor" vibration is more of an issue. You need to move an MF back twice as much to have the same problem.

    But more important than VR is having a stand with a good amount of mass and solidity. I have done resolution test chart tests with the Fuji gx680 on a regular tripod and then on a really heavy studio column tripod. I did these at 1/60th. It is quite amazing to see the gain in resolution. Mind you the Fuji does have a rather slappy mirror.

    I shot once with loud music in studio using a carbon monopod.... it was resonating with the music and I was not getting very sharp photos.
    I put the camera on the column stand and problem was solved.

    I think that the resolution of the D800 in such a small space 24x36 requires taking certain steps to make it work at it's best.

    A friend sent me a couple of beauty shots shot with the d800. Big Elinchrom Octa, little makeup and natural skin. The tones, detail and color were just wonderful. Can't post them as they are for publication in a month or so.
    It was nice to see the shots though. No fancy lighting scheme, no rim or hair lights, just nice simple soft light.

    Anyway going back to the VR.... IF your not shooting video I think that saving $ 2,000 on a VR I lens instread of a VR II lens is a smart move if you are using a monopod and can add some weight to the monopod. But you know where that saved $ 2,000 is going to go already .. right.... how many lenses does Nikon make?

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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    Better find one with hood - it's going to be big $$ to replace it
    Was just checking out the price of a replacement hood--$600! I don't need one, but was curious. Amazing!

  37. #37
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Since you are just looking this might help you out:
    Review: Nikon 200mm f/2 VRII | BH Insights

  38. #38
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 200 mm F2 . I'm just asking

    Nice article . Pretty much what I would say been down this road with the Canon 200 1.8 and Leica 180 r F2 big bad *** lenses that nothing comes close to matching the look. To me it's ALL about look. I will get one at some point I know myself too well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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