70-200 f4 VR tested on Photozone

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions
Shotcents
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Re: Why not a 100-400/4.5-5.6?
In reply to jhinkey, Feb 2, 2013

jhinkey wrote:

Shotcents wrote:


The 80-200, 70-200 VR1 and VRII were really all we needed. I only saw people asking for a slow 70-200 online.

Robert

When you are saying "we" to whom were you specifically referring to? Because your "we" did not include me. And were else besides online did you find people to talk to about wanting a f/4 70-200 or not?

I have the 80-200AFS and 70-200AFS VRII and I certainly wanted a slow, high IQ, excellent VR, great build 70-200/4. In fact I bought one I wanted it so much . . . .

Well, the "we" applies to folks I know.

The 80-200 is a great lens. The 70-200 VRII is better in almost every respect than the F4, which I've seen 1st hand.

So, why did YOU want one? Just curious.

Robert

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larrywilson
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Re: Why not a 100-400/4.5-5.6?
In reply to jhinkey, Feb 2, 2013

I'm with you jhinkey, I was wondering who we were.  Maybe we are the only ones that the Nikon 70-200 f4.0 fits the bill.  All of us have different needs and for my need the Nikon 70-200 f4.0 fits.  I just received mine a few days ago, impressive fast af and by the tests I have seen is an excellant lens.  The build looks great.  I will use the lens more for landscape and close wildlife work and the f 4.0 speed is fast enough for me, especially for landscape where I need a lot of dof.

Larry

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: 70-200 f4 VR tested on Photozone
In reply to Freedolin, Feb 3, 2013

Probably the greater question of F4 versus F2.8 70-200 is how likely is an updated F2.8 lens now there is a new generation VR?

They could correct the focus breathing while they are at it as well and you never know they might even be able to make it lighter and smaller??

Greg.

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Lance B
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Re: But whichever you mean Jim..
In reply to HSway, Feb 3, 2013

HSway wrote:

Lance B wrote:

HSway wrote:

JimPearce wrote:

An internet myth nipped in the bud?

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Jim

You mean by dxomark?

Where's your love for it people now?

Meaning what exactly?

Lance B

Jim posted resolution data. I refer to dxomark ironically. Hard to figure it out?

What's your problem?

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Shotcents
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Re: Why not a 100-400/4.5-5.6?
In reply to larrywilson, Feb 3, 2013

larrywilson wrote:

I'm with you jhinkey, I was wondering who we were. Maybe we are the only ones that the Nikon 70-200 f4.0 fits the bill. All of us have different needs and for my need the Nikon 70-200 f4.0 fits. I just received mine a few days ago, impressive fast af and by the tests I have seen is an excellant lens. The build looks great. I will use the lens more for landscape and close wildlife work and the f 4.0 speed is fast enough for me, especially for landscape where I need a lot of dof.

Larry

No matter what anyone says, the only thing I keep hearing is that the F4 is sharp. Well it should be. It's F4. Canon has a better version, or at least it's as good. Such a lens is old news.

Unless you're shooting landscapes and looking for corner sharpness on a budget there are a LOT of options for this range, including several consumer grade lenses.

The VRII is sharp at 2.8. At F4 it's sharper. Quite a few lenses are very sharp at F4 and my consumer zooms can go toe-to-toe with the 70-200 F4 for center sharpness in any practical respect.

As some others said, the F4 lacks the "wow" factor. It's the new kid on the block, but really breaks no new ground. It's a very good lens that I happen to view as a very poor value. But that's mainly because I usually don't like F4 glass, with the exception of the 16-35 F4.

Robert

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jhinkey
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Re: Why not a 100-400/4.5-5.6?
In reply to Shotcents, Feb 3, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

jhinkey wrote:

Shotcents wrote:


The 80-200, 70-200 VR1 and VRII were really all we needed. I only saw people asking for a slow 70-200 online.

Robert

When you are saying "we" to whom were you specifically referring to? Because your "we" did not include me. And were else besides online did you find people to talk to about wanting a f/4 70-200 or not?

I have the 80-200AFS and 70-200AFS VRII and I certainly wanted a slow, high IQ, excellent VR, great build 70-200/4. In fact I bought one I wanted it so much . . . .

Well, the "we" applies to folks I know.

The 80-200 is a great lens. The 70-200 VRII is better in almost every respect than the F4, which I've seen 1st hand.

So, why did YOU want one? Just curious.

Robert

I bought the 70-200/4 because f/4 is fast enough for me in the vast majority of times I use such a zoom AND the 70-200/2.8 is too large and heavy many times when I go hiking/backpacking.

I used to have a 70-300AFS VR, but after trying 3 samples to get a non-optically defective one I found myself not using it much because the VR was hit or miss and the IQ for landscapes was not that great - the 70-200/4 is significantly better.

John

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GoldRingNikkor
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Re: Why not a 100-400/4.5-5.6?
In reply to jhinkey, Feb 3, 2013

jhinkey wrote:

I bought the 70-200/4 because f/4 is fast enough for me in the vast majority of times I use such a zoom AND the 70-200/2.8 is too large and heavy many times when I go hiking/backpacking.

I used to have a 70-300AFS VR, but after trying 3 samples to get a non-optically defective one I found myself not using it much because the VR was hit or miss and the IQ for landscapes was not that great - the 70-200/4 is significantly better.

Interesting to hear. My 70-300 AF-S VR experience pretty much mirrors yours (lots of variability, took 3 samples to get a good one, VR so-so). However, I'm pretty happy with my current sample. May try a 70-200/4 nonetheless.

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HSway
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Re: Why not a 100-400/4.5-5.6?
In reply to inasir1971, Feb 3, 2013

inasir1971 wrote:

I'm not sure what need this fills.

At f/4 it's not a fast lens by any means. So for subject isolation or for indoor shooting of sports events you would be better off with an f/2.8.

For reach, 200mm isn't much. Adding a 2x TC will take it to a 140-200mm lens and it would be f/8. That would mean it is compatible with AF only with the latest bodies, but only them and then with limited AF coverage. Stopping down 1 stop would place you well into diffraction territory so that would be less than optimal for cameras like the D800 and D7000 - even more so for the new crop of 24MP DX cameras. f/8 is also very slow for wildlife shooters who might find it difficult to get the shutter speeds needed.

Finally, it's not cheap particularly given that the pricey lens foot isn't included.

Wouldn't a better performing and updated AF-S 80-400 have served the needs of the likely users better?

Hi,

true.

There is a gap crying out in the nikon’s line-up. 120(150,200) –400 variable f5.6 modern high quality VR lll lens would make for a fine and much needed plaster on it and a great tool for enthusiasts.

Not sure though, what made you mix it with 70-200/4 lens. And why you decided the teleconverters are a crucial link between them. Many 70-200 users will just use the tcs to make use of their lenses’ potential and extend on their usability. "For reach" argument looks to be part of that view, too. I am buying 70-200 lens for its 'range' same as I bought the 50/1.8g or the other zoom lenses. It’s one of the most famous Canon lenses, I guess the most used telephoto lens.

If you want more 'reach' you need a longer lens. – the mentioned f5.6 zoom for example – yes, I understand. I hope for others that Nikon will make something there soon.

"Is not cheap". Look, Markus from PZ rates its price/performance at 5 stars. I know these guys turn each € five times in their hands in this very sense. I think that’s correct. I myself foresaw this lens will be a success. I glimpsed somewhere it’s not sealed. That makes Nikon charging really a possible maximum even if was at the canon’s current price. The problem is, it’s a stellar Nikkor performer, 70-200/4 VR lll compact design lens. Who wants/needs/can afford it will pay, there is nothing else in that range and value-performance ratio available. A little side note maybe as well. If I wanted to match the gloom of your previous speakers at the top of the thread, I could have painted 70-200/2.8 VRll in pretty gloomy colours from my side of things and from the lens’s own ones. But why. Why on earth, speaking half-truths is just no joy.

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HSway
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Re: 70-200 f4 VR tested on Photozone
In reply to Josh152, Feb 3, 2013

Josh152 wrote:

I wish photozone would review the new Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC. I am much more interested in how the 70-200 F4 Nikkor compares to that lens since they are so close in price.

Cameralabs focuses on these. Has done also f4 version. Nikkor f2.8 VRll, Sigma, several comparisons and is about to add the Tamron.  You read on the page I linked: A one-on-one comparison with its competitors from Nikon and Tamron will be presented in my up-and-coming 70-200mm shootout.

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HSway
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Re: But whichever you mean Jim..
In reply to Lance B, Feb 3, 2013

Lance B wrote:

HSway wrote:

Lance B wrote:

HSway wrote:

JimPearce wrote:

An internet myth nipped in the bud?

-- hide signature --

Jim

You mean by dxomark?

Where's your love for it people now?

Meaning what exactly?

Lance B

Jim posted resolution data. I refer to dxomark ironically. Hard to figure it out?

What's your problem?

-- hide signature --

I am beginning to think you may not understand:

I was responding to someone else. He said 70-200/4 bubble is burst pointing out some data correlation consisting of close resolution numbers. Plug two very different dxomark ‘s results (out of  three) for 70-200/4 and f2.8 version and whole correlation looks slightly different? Yeah, seems like that. Not quite exactly bases for a bubble bursting. I will repeat in keywords: Great difference & correlation & what site report is nipping which bud?

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Ken Strain
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Re: 70-200 f4 VR tested on Photozone
In reply to Lance B, Feb 3, 2013

Thanks for posting this! I have not been looking at Photozone much recently as it seemed relatively dead.

It was interesting to compare the new lens with the Tamron 70-300VC which I got (used) as a stop-gap when moving from 5Dii to a D800.  I am not dissapointed with the Tamron even having used a Canon 70-200/4 LIS, but was very curious to see how the new lens turned out.

The test you kindly linked shows the Nikon 70-200 to be just a little better than the Tamron (Nikon FF test) in several respects (mainly at 200mm where the aperture difference starts to become significant).   The results don't convince me to spend 4x as much on the new lens as I did on the Tamron, not yet anyway.

Ken

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Shotcents
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Re: 70-200 f4 VR tested on Photozone
In reply to Ken Strain, Feb 3, 2013

Ken Strain wrote:

Thanks for posting this! I have not been looking at Photozone much recently as it seemed relatively dead.

It was interesting to compare the new lens with the Tamron 70-300VC which I got (used) as a stop-gap when moving from 5Dii to a D800. I am not dissapointed with the Tamron even having used a Canon 70-200/4 LIS, but was very curious to see how the new lens turned out.

The test you kindly linked shows the Nikon 70-200 to be just a little better than the Tamron (Nikon FF test) in several respects (mainly at 200mm where the aperture difference starts to become significant). The results don't convince me to spend 4x as much on the new lens as I did on the Tamron, not yet anyway.

Ken

If you shoot people and subjects where the extreme corners are not of much concern, the 70-200 F4 really is just an overpriced consumer zoom.

But if you shoot landscapes and subjects where corners matter, the F4 optics are superior to the Tamron at 200mm and down.

Other than that the Tamron's sharpness is frighteningly close to my 70-200 VRII, not to mention my old 300mm F4.

I still can't get over how sharp the Tamron 70-300 is at 300mm!

Go to the gallery image to view this better. This is 300mm with the Tamron.



Robert

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CreamJuicy
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Re: Hmm...
In reply to JimPearce, Feb 4, 2013

Thanks for the numbers.  Don't know what they mean, but thanks anyway.

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marike6
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70-200 f4 VR a home-run
In reply to Shotcents, Feb 6, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

Ken Strain wrote:

Thanks for posting this! I have not been looking at Photozone much recently as it seemed relatively dead.

It was interesting to compare the new lens with the Tamron 70-300VC which I got (used) as a stop-gap when moving from 5Dii to a D800. I am not dissapointed with the Tamron even having used a Canon 70-200/4 LIS, but was very curious to see how the new lens turned out.

The test you kindly linked shows the Nikon 70-200 to be just a little better than the Tamron (Nikon FF test) in several respects (mainly at 200mm where the aperture difference starts to become significant). The results don't convince me to spend 4x as much on the new lens as I did on the Tamron, not yet anyway.

Ken

If you shoot people and subjects where the extreme corners are not of much concern, the 70-200 F4 really is just an overpriced consumer zoom.

Consumer zoom?  The 70-200 f4 is a gold ring Nikkor.  You can choose to buy an expensive D800 and slap a mediocre third party zoom on it if you want to.  You can even post low-contrast photos that you think prove something, but just prove the opposite POV.  It's all good.

But the fact is if a photographer wants a proper telephoto zoom with a small size and a tripod collar that's similar to weight and dimension to the excellent Canon 70-200 f4L IS, he has very few choices in Nikon F-mount.

As luck would have it,  Nikon produced a cracking lens in the 70-200 f4/G VR and which Photozone tested and happened to give it it's highest mark of "Highly Recommended".

Not sure why that bothers some (in fact it seems to bothers some so much, they go on daily rants trying to prove why you don't need such a lens).

But if you want a lens that's extremely small, has great handling, blazing AF, high build quality, is sharp across the frame by f5.6, has great close focus ability, and has extremely high color/contrast we've come to expect from the better Nikkors, the 70-200 f4 VR is a home run.

My 70-200 f4 VR sample gallery

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5543808958/albums/nikon-70-200-f-4g-ed-vr

By the way, I brought my d800, 28-50-85 1.8G and 70-200 f4 to Europe and at 9.5 kg my Lowepro backpack just made the weight restrictions for the airlines.  Had I been carrying my previous 70-200 2.8 VRI, I might have had the honor of paying $200 just to get my bag on the plane.  

All the best, and happy shooting, Markus

Robert

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Lance B
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Re: 70-200 f4 VR a home-run
In reply to marike6, Feb 6, 2013

marike6 wrote:

Shotcents wrote:

Ken Strain wrote:

Thanks for posting this! I have not been looking at Photozone much recently as it seemed relatively dead.

It was interesting to compare the new lens with the Tamron 70-300VC which I got (used) as a stop-gap when moving from 5Dii to a D800. I am not dissapointed with the Tamron even having used a Canon 70-200/4 LIS, but was very curious to see how the new lens turned out.

The test you kindly linked shows the Nikon 70-200 to be just a little better than the Tamron (Nikon FF test) in several respects (mainly at 200mm where the aperture difference starts to become significant). The results don't convince me to spend 4x as much on the new lens as I did on the Tamron, not yet anyway.

Ken

If you shoot people and subjects where the extreme corners are not of much concern, the 70-200 F4 really is just an overpriced consumer zoom.

Consumer zoom? The 70-200 f4 is a gold ring Nikkor. You can choose to buy an expensive D800 and slap a mediocre third party zoom on it if you want to. You can even post low-contrast photos that you think prove something, but just prove the opposite POV. It's all good.

But the fact is if a photographer wants a proper telephoto zoom with a small size and a tripod collar that's similar to weight and dimension to the excellent Canon 70-200 f4L IS, he has very few choices in Nikon F-mount.

As luck would have it, Nikon produced a cracking lens in the 70-200 f4/G VR and which Photozone tested and happened to give it it's highest mark of "Highly Recommended".

Not sure why that bothers some (in fact it seems to bothers some so much, they go on daily rants trying to prove why you don't need such a lens).

But if you want a lens that's extremely small, has great handling, blazing AF, high build quality, is sharp across the frame by f5.6, has great close focus ability, and has extremely high color/contrast we've come to expect from the better Nikkors, the 70-200 f4 VR is a home run.

AS you say, there is more to a zoom than just resolution figures, like AF speed and accuracy, bokeh, colour rendition, contrast, Nano Coat, build quality....

My 70-200 f4 VR sample gallery

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5543808958/albums/nikon-70-200-f-4g-ed-vr

By the way, I brought my d800, 28-50-85 1.8G and 70-200 f4 to Europe and at 9.5 kg my Lowepro backpack just made the weight restrictions for the airlines. Had I been carrying my previous 70-200 2.8 VRI, I might have had the honor of paying $200 just to get my bag on the plane.

All the best, and happy shooting, Markus

Robert

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John M Roberts
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Re: Shortcents, specific please
In reply to Shotcents, Feb 6, 2013

Shotcents wrote:

larrywilson wrote:

I'm with you jhinkey, I was wondering who we were. Maybe we are the only ones that the Nikon 70-200 f4.0 fits the bill. All of us have different needs and for my need the Nikon 70-200 f4.0 fits. I just received mine a few days ago, impressive fast af and by the tests I have seen is an excellant lens. The build looks great. I will use the lens more for landscape and close wildlife work and the f 4.0 speed is fast enough for me, especially for landscape where I need a lot of dof.

Larry

No matter what anyone says, the only thing I keep hearing is that the F4 is sharp. Well it should be. It's F4. Canon has a better version, or at least it's as good. Such a lens is old news.

Unless you're shooting landscapes and looking for corner sharpness on a budget there are a LOT of options for this range, including several consumer grade lenses.

The VRII is sharp at 2.8. At F4 it's sharper. Quite a few lenses are very sharp at F4 and my consumer zooms can go toe-to-toe with the 70-200 F4 for center sharpness in any practical respect.

So what brand are you using or did I miss you mentioning it previously? Those having to carry equipment long distances, climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing etc. and usually shooting well above f4 most of the time will find this lens a welcome offering should they want to stick with Nikon. I'm surprised they took so long to offer it. I will consider looking at other brands as well.

As some others said, the F4 lacks the "wow" factor. It's the new kid on the block, but really breaks no new ground. It's a very good lens that I happen to view as a very poor value. But that's mainly because I usually don't like F4 glass, with the exception of the 16-35 F4.

Please elaborate of your exception and admiration for the 16-35 F4. I have pondered getting that just to avoid the bulk and expense of GND's for my 14-24.

Robert

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nandadevieast
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180 F2.8 out resolves this
In reply to John M Roberts, Feb 7, 2013

I was expecting much better resolution figures...at least compared to a 25 years old lens...take a look at this: 
180 F2.8: 
3545/2958/2892 @ F2.8 
3649/3079/2943 @ F4
3734/31342982 @ F5.6
70-200: (@200mm)
3616/3046/2977 @ F4
3690/3116/3018 @ F5.6
180 resolves more in the center and corners as well. Its just the extreme corners where the zoom has a marginal lead. Zoom doesn't have f2.8 so that's a mute point..

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Friedrich von Hrsten
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Re: Why not a 100-400/4.5-5.6?
In reply to Shotcents, Feb 7, 2013

Hi Robert,

Lots of people have asked Nikon for 70-200mm f4 over the last couple of years, ever since Canon got their excellent model on the market.

I had a look at the new Nikon 70-200mm f4 last month and tested it wide open with a D600 at our local dealer, snapping shots of people at very low light levels, higher ISO.

I WAS IMPRESSED! No matter what you say, this lens is light, compact, and very sharp and crisp, with rich colours wide open at 200mm f4. For many people this is a dream come true!

PROBLEM: Nikon messed up the dream with their price-tag! Like the original D3x, they produced a great product, at a lousy price. Nobody was thinking of that price. If they marketed the lens at $1000, I would buy it instantly!

Please don't compare this 70-200mm with a 100-400mm -- they are like chalk and cheese. I myself am waiting for just such a lens, a pro quality lens that is SHARP AT 400mm f5.6, and nothing like the lousy old 80-400mm lens.

The difference in size and hand holding will be vast -- nobody in his right mind would use a 100-400mm lens for weddings, general shots etc. Such a big lens fits into a different category, more for wildlife, nature, sport etc.

Personally I think the new 70-200mm f4 is a great product at a poor price. For wildlife photographers it will be great if you shoot DX, but with FX not much better reach than a kit lens...

I am waiting for my dream lens: 100-400mm f5.6 that is SHARP WIDE OPEN AT 400MM!

PROBLEM: I have nightmares over the PRICE Nikon is going to ask for the lens...!

Until then I'll keep using my 18-105, 24-85 and 200-400mm lenses.

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

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Shotcents
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Re: Why not a 100-400/4.5-5.6?
In reply to Friedrich von Hrsten, Feb 7, 2013

Friedrich von Hrsten wrote:

Hi Robert,

Lots of people have asked Nikon for 70-200mm f4 over the last couple of years, ever since Canon got their excellent model on the market.

I had a look at the new Nikon 70-200mm f4 last month and tested it wide open with a D600 at our local dealer, snapping shots of people at very low light levels, higher ISO.

I WAS IMPRESSED! No matter what you say, this lens is light, compact, and very sharp and crisp, with rich colours wide open at 200mm f4. For many people this is a dream come true!

PROBLEM: Nikon messed up the dream with their price-tag! Like the original D3x, they produced a great product, at a lousy price. Nobody was thinking of that price. If they marketed the lens at $1000, I would buy it instantly!

Please don't compare this 70-200mm with a 100-400mm -- they are like chalk and cheese. I myself am waiting for just such a lens, a pro quality lens that is SHARP AT 400mm f5.6, and nothing like the lousy old 80-400mm lens.

The difference in size and hand holding will be vast -- nobody in his right mind would use a 100-400mm lens for weddings, general shots etc. Such a big lens fits into a different category, more for wildlife, nature, sport etc.

Personally I think the new 70-200mm f4 is a great product at a poor price. For wildlife photographers it will be great if you shoot DX, but with FX not much better reach than a kit lens...

I am waiting for my dream lens: 100-400mm f5.6 that is SHARP WIDE OPEN AT 400MM!

PROBLEM: I have nightmares over the PRICE Nikon is going to ask for the lens...!

Until then I'll keep using my 18-105, 24-85 and 200-400mm lenses.

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

Agree with all of this. I'd be a lot kinder to the Nikon 70-200 F4 if it was priced a bit better and charging extra for the tripod collar was a seriously big kick to the head. Has Nikon done THAT before? Why not also charge for the lens caps?

From my perspective they built a "Me too!" lens at an inflated price. It's very good, but not ground breaking.

I agree on the updated 80-400....the lens I really want. And they could make it a 150-400mm and keep it compact, sharp at the long end. I expect it will be around 2000.00 US though. I guess I'll buy anyway.

This is the lens most in need of updating.

Robert

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Friedrich von Hrsten
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Re: Looks like 2.8/VRII tested better
In reply to superbaguy, Feb 7, 2013

Hi Superbaguy

I also drooled over 200mm f2 after hearing so many wonderful reports... until I bought a used one for myself!

Yes, it is sharp, has lovely bokeh etc, but it is BIG, ungainly and you do NOT have the zooming convenience of the lesser lenses.

So get the big lens for max everything, and you have to run up and down instead of zooming, or get an excellent zoom lens that will satisfy most people (same for the comparison with 180mm f2.8)...

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

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