Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED VR II review
The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED VR II was announced in July 2009, as the second iteration of the company's professional stabilized fast telezoom. It's the successor to the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED VR which first appeared in 2003, and brings to the table an entirely remastered optical system designed to match the demands of the latest high resolution FX format cameras such as the D3X, accompanied by an improved vibration reduction system which Nikon claims offers up to four stops stabilization.
The optics, as we'd expect for this kind of lens, are pretty exotic, with 21 elements in 16 groups. No fewer than 7 of these are fashioned from Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass to minimize aberrations, and Nikon's latest Nano Crystal Coating is employed to combat flare. One handling improvement is the addition of a new A/M focus mode, which prevents accidental movements of the focus ring from overriding the autofocus while it's operating. The build quality is appropriate for a professional workhorse lens, with a barrel that's made from magnesium alloy like the bodies of Nikon's pro-level DSLRs, and extensive sealing against dust and moisture.
The 'VR II' has a high expectations to live up to, as its predecessor was considered pretty well best-in-class on DX format bodies. But with the shift to full-frame 'FX' sensors, its shortcomings towards the edge of the image field at longer focal lengths became somewhat exposed, with unusually soft corners even at small apertures, and heavy vignetting wide open. So the Nikon faithful (and more importantly its professional user base) will be hoping that the new model can address these issues on full frame, without significantly compromising performance on the smaller sensor format. So let's see if Nikon has achieved this goal.
- 70-200mm focal length range; fast f/2.8 constant maximum aperture
- Optical image stabilization – 4 stops with automatic panning detection and 'active' mode
- Ring-type ultrasonic focusing with full-time manual override
- F mount for Nikon and Fuji DX and FX format DSLRS
Angle of view
The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto, on FX (35mm full-frame) and DX (APS-C) camera bodies:
|70mm (full frame)||200mm (full frame)|
|70mm (DX; 105mm equivalent)||200mm (DX; 300mm equivalent)|
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED VR II specifications
|Street price|| US: $2330
|Date introduced||July 2009
|Maximum format size||35mm full frame|
|35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)||105-300mm|
|Diagonal Angle of view (FF)||34º - 12º|
|Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C)||23º - 8º|
|Lens Construction||• 21 elements / 16 groups
• 7 ED elements
|Number of diaphragm blades||9, rounded|
|Maximum magnification||0.12x at 200mm|
|AF motor type||• Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus - A/M and M/A modes
|Image stabilization||• 4 stops claimed
• Auto panning detection
• Active mode
|Filter thread||• 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
|Supplied accessories|| Front and rear caps
CL-M4 Lens Pouch
|Weight||1540g (3.4 lb)|
|Dimensions||87mm diameter x 209mm length
(3.4 x 8.2 in)
|Lens Mount||Nikon F only|
|Other||• Dust and moisture sealing
• Reports focus distance information to camera body
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
Foreword / notes
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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.