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Thread: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

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    Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Well since i read the post about the lack of activity, I thought I would start a thread to discuss the new 70-200/4 VR lens. Mine should be here tomorrow. This is one of the few Canon lenses I really miss with the conversion to Nikon about a year ago. I just hope it lives up to expectations. I have the 2.8II VR version so can do some comparisons.
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Can't wait to see some images Mark!
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    This is a very anticipated lens - curious to see 1st pics, especially edge sharpness - where it may be better than the f2.8 version.
    It will certainly be handy for hiking.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Yes - please share your thoughts on it!

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    I picked up mine on Friday. It's certainly a bit more portable overall than lugging the f/2.8 version around. I was shooting in extremely wet Vancouver BC at the weekend but I'll see about posting some images.

    I'm using it without the optional tripod mount and it's nicely balanced on the D600/D800. f/4 is ideal for me really for the travel use that I want it for. I'd describe it as being similar in size and handling as the 200 micro.

    Note to self: Avoid visiting dealers on Nikon delivery day! I was paying a visit to Glazer's in Seattle to pick up some sundry items and they happened to have one that wasn't on pre-order so ...

    Overall I'm very pleased with the lens so far. Bokeh is nice too with no apparent issues with out of focus highlights which render as nice circular spots in the limited shooting I've had so far.

    Anyway, here are a few for fun & giggles.

    1s 122mm @ f/5.6


    15s 82mm @ f/11 (vignette was added btw)
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 5th December 2012 at 00:31.
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    A full size unmodified version jpg of above for pixel peepers who want to look at corners. (unfortunately not a great flat field example but it's what I have from the weekend)
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/25328800/_DSC2810-2.jpg
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 5th December 2012 at 08:52.
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Thanks Graham
    Those look good.
    Curious to see results on the D800.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Is there a MTF chart published for it yet? I found the corners soft on the 70-200mm f2.8 VR II on my D800E . When I looked at the MTF chart, the dropoff in quality out to the edges was shown there too.

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Hi robsteve

    Here you go: Nikon Europe B.V.

    Attachment 66294

    Attachment 66295

    I wonder if it will be better.

    The D800E is merciless in showing any lens aberration / defect / flaw.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Hi robsteve

    Here you go: Nikon Europe B.V.

    Attachment 66294

    Attachment 66295

    I wonder if it will be better.

    The D800E is merciless in showing any lens aberration / defect / flaw.
    Looks like it will be good on a APS-H or C crop, not so great in the corners on full frame.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Looks like it will be good on a APS-H or C crop, not so great in the corners on full frame.
    Well, this seems a little premature to say based just on those MTFs. Certainly my initial impression is that the lens does not exhibit any of the corner mush softness that the original 70-200/2.8 VR I had. I don't have enough shooting time yet to compare it to my last 70-200 VR II but I'm sure that someone has done that comparison somewhere by now.

    Btw, dpreview have a sample image gallery up. (I'm not convinced that any of these show much unless the lens is a complete basket case, ditto our forum image posts to be honest)
    Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Preview Samples: dpreview review samples: Galleries: Digital Photography Review
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    Well since i read the post about the lack of activity, I thought I would start a thread to discuss the new 70-200/4 VR lens. Mine should be here tomorrow. This is one of the few Canon lenses I really miss with the conversion to Nikon about a year ago. I just hope it lives up to expectations. I have the 2.8II VR version so can do some comparisons.
    I am debating if I should get the Canon f2.8 or f4 70-200IS.
    Coming from Nikon I didnt like the original 70-200/2.8, but loved the 70-200/2.8II.
    I would be interested about your thoughts about the f2.8 vs f4.0 versions of those lenses regarding flexibility, portability and which you prefer overall if lets say the IQ at comparable f-stops would be the same (I assume those findings would be valid for Nikon and Canon as well)
    Thanks a lot.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    I'm curious at 200mm at F4 how good it really is. I have a need specifically for that. Ill probably either rent the 200 f2 or 70-200 2.8 but would not mind buying the 70-200 F4 for a variety of shooting and replace my Sigma 150 or if I'm buying just get the new Zeiss 135mm for outside the PR stuff. But if it can pull off 200mm f4 that may swing me. See I'm in flux on this focal length. Problem is I have several needs here. I'm more tempted in owning the 135 Zeiss and just renting this other stuff when the need arises. Lensrentals has some nice rental prices
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I'm curious at 200mm at F4 how good it really is. I have a need specifically for that. Ill probably either rent the 200 f2 or 70-200 2.8 but would not mind buying the 70-200 F4 for a variety of shooting and replace my Sigma 150 or if I'm buying just get the new Zeiss 135mm for outside the PR stuff. But if it can pull off 200mm f4 that may swing me. See I'm in flux on this focal length. Problem is I have several needs here. I'm more tempted in owning the 135 Zeiss and just renting this other stuff when the need arises. Lensrentals has some nice rental prices
    Its too bad Nikon doesn't publish the MTF curves for more apertures. I was comparing the f4 to the f2.8 lens and the f4 looked better, but at f4. They didn't have the charts for the f2.8 lens stopped down and I suspect stopped down to F4, it would be the equal to the f4.

    I wasn't impressed with the edges/corners of the 70-200mm f2.8 VR II, even stopped down, but if you are shooting people or sports where the corners do not really matter, it is a fine lens. I kept mine, as I wanted it for the kid's sports.

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Has anybody checked out the old Nikkor 180mm f2.8?

    It used to have a very good reputation.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Actually Robert, that is a quite good MTF for full frame. I will get one even though I have the 2.8 lens.
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Its too bad Nikon doesn't publish the MTF curves for more apertures. I was comparing the f4 to the f2.8 lens and the f4 looked better, but at f4. They didn't have the charts for the f2.8 lens stopped down and I suspect stopped down to F4, it would be the equal to the f4.

    I wasn't impressed with the edges/corners of the 70-200mm f2.8 VR II, even stopped down, but if you are shooting people or sports where the corners do not really matter, it is a fine lens. I kept mine, as I wanted it for the kid's sports.
    Although corners on the 70-200 f2.8 VRII at 200mm isn't it's strong suit, it's very much is dependent on what full frame body it's used on. If it's a 12MP one, it does much better and certainly can surpass the VRI version but if used on the D800, that can sway it's corner performance. Of course this can be said for a number of other high performance lenses when a comparison is made regarding their use on a 12MP full frame vs. higher MP body. For the few fames I got to shoot with the new 70-200 f4, it looked promising...but still too early to personally form an opinion.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 6th December 2012 at 10:00.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Actually Robert, that is a quite good MTF for full frame. I will get one even though I have the 2.8 lens.
    When I had the DMR, I figured the 1.37 crop was in the 15 to 17 on the chart. Shooting full frame exposes those dips on the chart, though for practical purposes, I don't think it matters.

    For anybody that is curious, I shot my 70-200mm VR II versus a 1996 Leica 105-280mm in the 200mm range and the Leica was sharp right out to the edges and corners. The Nikon not. This was at f5.6 which is the Leica only stopped down less than a stop (7/8), the Nikon three stops. The Nikon was as sharp or sharper in the middles as the Leica, so there is no motion causing this, just the MTF properties.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    I got mine yesterday but with rain and work... only took a few handheld test shots on D800. At 200mm -- the 2.8 looks a bit better in terms of sharpness at f4.. I guess that makes sense. Did not have a good shot to evaluate at the corners but perhaps a bit more vignetting with the f4 lens. At 70mm-- could not tell any real difference. I hope to do some real shooting this weekend. I have to say the lens balances well and very easy to shoot with.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Although corners on the 70-200 f2.8 VRII at 200mm isn't it's strong suit, it's very much is dependent on what full frame body it's used on. If it's a 12MP one, it does much better and certainly can surpass the VRI version but if used on the D800, that can sway it's corner performance. Of course this can be said for a number of other high performance lenses when a comparison is made regarding their use on a 12MP full frame vs. higher MP body. For the few fames I got to shoot with the new 70-200 f4, it looked promising...but still too early to personally form an opinion.

    Dave (D&A)
    On the D700 the 70-200VRII works quite well-so good I even sold the 200/2.0 because I found the difference too small.
    Maybe its much different on a D800-cant comment.

    The 105-280...I also had one one with the DMR. Excellent lens...but without AF and without IS I would see it pretty limited flexibility.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    On the D700 the 70-200VRII works quite well-so good I even sold the 200/2.0 because I found the difference too small.
    Maybe its much different on a D800-cant comment.

    The 105-280...I also had one one with the DMR. Excellent lens...but without AF and without IS I would see it pretty limited flexibility.
    I guess when the corners and sharpness really matter you are most likely shooting from a tripod, so IS or VR is moot and the trees in my scenic shots are not moving too quickly for manual focus

    After having said all that, I am happy with the Nikon 70-200mm and as I get a bit older, perfection is not something I am as concerned about anymore.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    I guess when the corners and sharpness really matter you are most likely shooting from a tripod, so IS or VR is moot and the trees in my scenic shots are not moving too quickly for manual focus

    After having said all that, I am happy with the Nikon 70-200mm and as I get a bit older, perfection is not something I am as concerned about anymore.
    Yes, dpends really what one is doing/shooting.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    I took my D800 and two 70-200 lenses outside for a bit today. I shot at 70, 105 and 200mm handheld. The f2.8 lens was better at 70 and 105mm in the corners and by f8 the differences less noticeable. At 200mm---the f4 was better in the corners and perhaps a bit better but if real the differences were marginal. At f5.6 and 8, both lenses were better in the corners than f4 (as expected) but the difference between the two were a bit more noticeable. So far, IQ similar with the exception of the corners.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    --the f4 was better in the corners and perhaps a bit better but if real the differences were marginal. At f5.6 and 8, both lenses were better in the corners than f4 (as expected) but the difference between the two were a bit more noticeable.
    Interesting - but Im not sure i get this right ???..

    The f/4 lens beats the 2.8 VRII in the cornes at f/4

    And at 5.6 and 8 the different is still in favour of the f/4 lens ???

    sorry but english is not my native...

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    I keep reading good and okay reports on this lens. 200 f4 will it rock my world is my question.
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    It is looking like this one might actually fit in my travel bag whereas the 2.8 is just too damn heavy
    -bob
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    So far I'm finding the 24-120 VR II and 70-200/4 VR to be a nice travel combo. It's kind of a pain having to use different sized filters and/or step up rings but the smaller size of the 70-200 is certainly an advantage.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    It is looking like this one might actually fit in my travel bag whereas the 2.8 is just too damn heavy
    -bob
    Bob:

    I have been out of the DSLR gear market for a while, but I find the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR II surprisingly light. My last zoom in this range was the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS and I thought it may have been heavier.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    I have to say that after doing some target testing using a tripod, I have changed my opinion slightly from what I said earlier. At 200mm, the f2.8 and 4 lens are very close in terms of center sharpness and edge performance at f4 and 5.6. At 70 and 105mm-- the 2.8 is a bit better all around although center sharpness is very close. The edges are a bit better at the shorter focal lengths with the f2.8 lens. In general though, I suspect in handheld real world situations-- going to hard to see a real difference.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Any comment about focus breathing ? does the f4 act like the 70-200 f2,8 at 200mm ?

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by anGy View Post
    Any comment about focus breathing ? does the f4 act like the 70-200 f2,8 at 200mm ?
    What is focus breathing?

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    What is focus breathing?
    Change of focal length = Change of focus!

    When you change the focal length or in good English when you zoom!
    The focus changes and is not in the same focus as to when you focus first at a given zoom.

    So to cut a long story short, you need to re-focus when you zoom!

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    What is focus breathing?
    This is a complex issue - see:

    Telephoto Zoom Lenses with Donders-type Afocal System, by P. Toscani

    70-200mm AF-S VR II Lens Review by Thom Hogan

    In essence it means that when you focus on a subject close to you, you will not achieve the correct focal length - generally there is a reduction. On the 70-200 f2.8 Nikkor, the focal length on close subjects is about 150mm, not 200mm.

    While this may not be an issue to some, it can be annoying, as there is a major change in perspective.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Alon View Post
    Change of focal length = Change of focus!

    When you change the focal length or in good English when you zoom!
    The focus changes and is not in the same focus as to when you focus first at a given zoom.

    So to cut a long story short, you need to re-focus when you zoom!
    In simplified terms, the above explanation is a description of a vari-focus design in a zoom, not focus breathing. What most people consider as a "true zoom" design is when one focuses on a subject at a given distance at the long focal length of the zoom range, the subject remains in focus as you zoom out to a wider focal length without changing the lens to subject distance. Sometimes even the best designed zooms will change focus by a
    small amount as one "zooms out".

    Again in simplified terms, focus breathing is where for example a 70-200mm zoom focused on a subject at near infinity distance at 200mm will frame the subject much like a fixed focal length 200mm lens would on the same subject & same distance.

    Conversely, if the same 70-200mm zoom is set to 200mm and focused on a subject close to or near minimum distance of the zoom lens, the subject will be framed much like a 150mm fixed focal length lens, not a 200mm fixed lens, so the zoom appears to have lost focal length at it's long end.

    The 70-200 f2.8 VRII exhibits noticable focus breathing at it's long end. The older 70-200 f2.8 VRI much less (to any siginificant degree).

    Again both explanations above are an oversimplification and there do have exceptions.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    And the 70-200mm f4 seems not to suffer from that at all (following a subscription site). Good news.

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Just got mine today and I just popped a few off at 200 mm at F4 both handheld and tripod. Wow it's really sharp and I did not see any focus adjustment needed. Ill retest and do more as soon as I get healthy here. Been on my *** for 3 days sick but starting to get better. Man I hate trying to be healthy with this diabetes crap. I like to eat good food. Lol

    Sorry I have been absent from the forum.
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    man diabetes is a pisser, I hope your A1C is lower than normal and your stress test is negative, play hard Guy but take care of yourself..

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Today I used mine for the first time. I have not seen a single image yet (first I have to process a couple of thousand other images).

    The one thing that immediately got me was the huge difference in the viewfinder view. Geez... the f4 is really dark compared to my 2.8 (and more so to the 35/1.4 I was carrying as my second lens).

    In usage that was the only real set back for me. AF seems to work really fast (I did a Judo tournament, so fast AF is somewhat necessary).

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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Today I saw what I did last weekend and I am really pleased with the results. The lens is really sharp, OOF areas are nice and the color rendering is absolutely very pleasant.

    Remains the darkened viewfinder. If you are used to 2.8 lenses or faster mostly this will be a shocker.


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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    Remains the darkened viewfinder. If you are used to 2.8 lenses or faster mostly this will be a shocker.
    I'm not sure why this is a 'shocker'. Your DSLR uses all lenses wide open when composing and metering and there's no shock that an f/4 lens is a stop darker than an f/2.8 lens, which in turn is darker than an f/2 or f/1.4 lens. That will be true of EVERY f/4 lens ... not just the 70-200/4 VR.
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    Re: Nikon 70-200/4 VR

    I almost invariably use fast glass so to me this is a shocker. Yes I know that the f4 lens will be a stop darker than the f2.8, 2 stops than the f2.0, etc. Nevertheless, it was a shocker TO ME since I virtually never use anything slower than 2.8 (with the exception of the voigtlander 180/4).

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