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Just Posted: AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4 ED VR Samples Gallery

By dpreview staff on Dec 5, 2012 at 21:19 GMT
Buy on GearShop$1,396.95

The AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4 ED VR arrived in our Seattle office a few days ago and since then we've been shooting with it as much as possible. We've put together a gallery of 34 images, shot with the new lens mounted on the 36MP Nikon D800. As well as straight-from-the-camera JPEGs, we've also converted several Raw files, and have made 'to taste' adjustments to give a clearer picture of how the lens is performing. Click through for a link to the gallery.

AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4 ED VR Preview Samples - Published 5th December 2012

There are 34 images in the samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. A reduced size image (within 1024 x 1024 bounds) is provided to be more easily viewed in your browser. As always the original untouched image is available by clicking on this reduced image.

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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

Comments

Total comments: 49
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Dec 21, 2012)

This lens, from these and other early reports, looks like a great addition to the Nikkor line. A classic in the making.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 7, 2012)

The VR works extremely well. Here's a quick video test that I found (skip to 0:40 to get right to it):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW7zSjwK3SI

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 8, 2012)

Thanks. Interestingly, the price of this lens here in Japan doesn't stop to go down: ¥ 199,500 at first, then ¥ 152,500 and now ¥ 145,800 (cf: http://www.amazon.co.jp/Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-70-200mm-AF-SVR70-200F4G/dp/B009VWKUEE/ ).

I hope it's a good sign and that the move will be the same where the lens is sold outside Japan.

0 upvotes
EastOfGratiot
By EastOfGratiot (Dec 7, 2012)

The lens is built very nicely with more metal on the outside than plastic - similar build and feel to Nikon 24-120 f/4. The large zoom and focus rings are metal as is the portion of the body behind the filter threads. I also suspect that the rear part of the body where the tripod ring mounts might be metal. The zoom and manual focus action feels great. My lens is spotless inside. I was a bit put off by the lack of a tripod collar when I ordered it but now I realize it simply isn't needed. This new lens needs a tripod collar less than my 14-24 or 28-300 lenses do. It's not heavy at all. I also tested the VR against my 28-300 and there is a definite improvement with the new VR system. I was able to get very sharp 200mm photos handheld at 1/40 second and 1/3 of my shots at 1/15 second were good (almost as good as tripod shots). All my comparisons were with a D600. I'm very enthusiastic about it so far. I'll try it out in the "real world" this weekend.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 7, 2012)

Thanks for the mini-review. The only comment is that a tripod collar is not just for weight, but makes switching to the vertical orientation much easier. And should you ever want to use the 1.4 TC, the lens collar is going to be even more essential.

Lastly, the 200 f4 Micro is about the same size and weight (10 oz heavier) than the 70-200 f4 and it has a tripod collar. There is a reason it's there, and there are very good reasons to get it for the zoom. I know I plan to.

0 upvotes
CreamJuicy
By CreamJuicy (Feb 1, 2013)

I don't get it. I just go vertical with the camera on the tripod. I still don't get the need for the collar.

0 upvotes
EastOfGratiot
By EastOfGratiot (Dec 7, 2012)

I just got my 70-200 f/4 on Monday and haven't yet had the time to get outside during daylight hours to shoot. I DID do some comparison tests against test charts from about 25 feet comparing this lens to my 28-300 and 200mm f/4 Micro Nikkor and this new lens has impressed me plenty. It blows away the 28-300 at 200mm f/5.6 in the corners (as expected) but it is every bit as sharp as my 200mm macro lens too, even at f/4. The only slight downside is pincushion distortion.

1 upvote
Colin Dutton
By Colin Dutton (Dec 7, 2012)

Hmm, I click the link but can't see any images.

0 upvotes
Norm Ullock
By Norm Ullock (Dec 7, 2012)

I think this will be a good lens, like the other f4 Nikon lenses, But I think Nikon made a mistake by making the tripod foot and ring and option for $200 more. That will make a few people think twice before going for it

0 upvotes
don_van_vliet
By don_van_vliet (Dec 7, 2012)

Edit: wrong place

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 6, 2012)

When I saw the MTFs for this lens, particularly the almost totally straight S10 line at 200mm, I knew this would be an excellent lens.

MTFs here:
http://www.btobey.com/nikon/nikon-70-200mm-f4-review.php

It's nice to finally see some full-sized samples from this lens. Thanks DPR. Good job. Sharpness, color/contrast and bokeh definitely do not disappoint. Another plus is VR works extremely it will likely be a popular choice for video shooters.

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 6, 2012)

For my part, I'm waiting for a review of the new Tamron 70-200 f2.8 now equiped with a VC that could make the deal as it's way more affordable than the Canon and Nikon models. In Japan, it's at that price: http://www.amazon.co.jp/TAMRON-SP70-200%EF%BD%8D%EF%BD%8D-F2-8-%E3%82%AD%E3%83%A4%E3%83%8E%E3%83%B3%E7%94%A8-A009E/dp/B00A2I1A0E%3FSubscriptionId%3D0571BBGTQZ5YYPEDSY02%26tag%3Dkakaku-ce-22%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB00A2I1A0E%26me%3dAN1VRQENFRJN5

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 6, 2012)

DPR, how about allowing URL Shortened URLs like TinyURL in comments? The above URL is just plain ugly.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 8, 2012)

True, but I suppose this link to be that long and weird because it contains japanese caracteres (kanji) whose codes have to be translated...
Here is another version, more compact: http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/switch-language/product/B00A2I1A0E/ref=dp_change_lang?ie=UTF8&language=en_JP

As we can see, the lens is still sold at ¥126,798 for the Canon version (in Japan) what is much less than its equivalent the Canon EF70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM (cf: http://www.amazon.co.jp/Canon-EF%E3%83%AC%E3%83%B3%E3%82%BA-EF70-200mm-F2-8L-%E3%82%BA%E3%83%BC%E3%83%A0%E3%83%AC%E3%83%B3%E3%82%BA/dp/B0033567D8/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1354984015&sr=1-1 ).

Looks good, but how about the performances ? One thing is sure for now, that's the heavyness of both of these lenses: about 1,5kg. It could be a good idea to order at the same time a Bullworker (cf: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Bow-Bullworker-Flex-Ultimate-Total/dp/B000LQKABM/ ).

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 10, 2012)

Here's your first URL shrunk down to size with TinyURL:

http://tinyurl.com/bx53tgt

By the way, the Tamron 70-200 VC looks good, but I think I'd rather have the smaller Nikkor.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 10, 2012)

Thanks. This Nikkor seems to be a good choice at half the weight of the 2.8, not much cheaper though. Here is a japanese galery dedicated to this lens: http://tinyurl.com/a66ljzd

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Dec 21, 2012)

After my experience with a Sigma zoom I"ll stick with Nikkors, this is at the top of the list for the eventual D600.

0 upvotes
a1strank
By a1strank (Dec 6, 2012)

Hope it doesn't put oil in the internal element.

1 upvote
Martin Grecner
By Martin Grecner (Dec 6, 2012)

I would like to see some shots at f/4

0 upvotes
LarryK
By LarryK (Dec 6, 2012)

Yes, I'm surprised I don't see any, I use my Canon wide open all the time and I plan to do the same with the nikon.

1 upvote
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Dec 6, 2012)

This is a little bit off topic, but if the lens wasn't sharp, I wouldn't have noticed this..... Is that REALLY an electric-powered Volvo 544 in photo DSC_9033?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 6, 2012)

Yep. I had to double-check that as well.

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Dec 6, 2012)

Something amiss with this lens. Lens looks decentered at wide angle at wider apertures settings in the corners. Look at the window shot 9250. Also has some weird busy double image bokeh near the edges (tree branches in some shots).

The center is pin sharp and contrasty so my fingers are crossed that the edge issue is not the way it was designed.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Dec 6, 2012)

Yeah I see that.. also the edges and corners are very soft in that shot.

0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Dec 6, 2012)

It does look a bit weird but none of the other similar samples have the same problem. Possibly due to camera shake.

This is a great lens at a reasonable price.

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (Dec 8, 2012)

It could be a result of the VR system moving incorrectly during the shot. I've seen a couple of similar shots caused by that from my own gear.

0 upvotes
Illumina
By Illumina (Dec 6, 2012)

link error (Click here to go to our preview samples gallery of the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4 ED VR)

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 6, 2012)

fixed now, sorry about that.

0 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (Dec 6, 2012)

Looks fantastic. Sharp. Clean bokeh...limited nervousness. And awesome VR. This may be landing on my D700, D800 & D2X.

6 upvotes
jnk
By jnk (Dec 6, 2012)

Good job Nikon - this lens looks like a winner and the price point appear to be reasonable - just hope their manufacturing can keep up with demands.

3 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Dec 6, 2012)

Looking good!

3 upvotes
johnpics
By johnpics (Dec 6, 2012)

Ok, lens seems great..but what about the nikon bodies (800,600,7000) Is there a real dust problem or not? manufacturing or design whatever...

1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Dec 6, 2012)

It's not dust: lubricant from the mirror gets splattered on the sensor. Nikon does not want to admit it, so we don't know how persistent the problem is. So far you can only send it in for cleaning time and again. If you insist they might do it for free, but it may take 10 days or more each time. Doing it yourself voids your warranty and may damage the sensor.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 6, 2012)

AFAIK, the D600 is the only one with these reports. I know I never had this issue with either the D800 or D7000.

2 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Dec 21, 2012)

My d700 is clean after 20 months and lots of shots and lens changes.

0 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (Dec 5, 2012)

I think they will sell a lot of these! Not a bad ad for the D800 either! I may well sell my 70-200 VRII on balance for one of these..

1 upvote
Mannypr
By Mannypr (Dec 5, 2012)

All great lens have this uncanny ability to give you great sharpness and smoothness at the same time . This is one of them . Being what they are , just samples , I liked what I saw very much.

3 upvotes
FBoneOne
By FBoneOne (Dec 5, 2012)

I hate to admit it but this kind of lens on a D800e is what could really make me leave Canon after 28 years.
Then I remember my son starts college in a few months and I decide t be reasonable :-)

3 upvotes
showmetheprime
By showmetheprime (Dec 6, 2012)

If you stay with Canon I guarantee you won't be able to afford to send him to College........

4 upvotes
Apewithacamera
By Apewithacamera (Dec 5, 2012)

They all look soft and whats with all the CA coming through the tree branches? :(

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (Dec 5, 2012)

Take a look at the portrait of the man in the blue coat. The eyes are a little soft at %100 because it seems front-focused a touch, but the teeth and lips have incredible detail. You just have to search the images to find where the plane of focus actually is.

3 upvotes
showmetheprime
By showmetheprime (Dec 6, 2012)

How many blocked Canon fanboys do I count on this thread already? lol. They just can't help themselves, it's sad and very, very pathetic. When will DPReview deal with these individuals?

8 upvotes
Pixel Judge
By Pixel Judge (Dec 5, 2012)

Wow! Beautiful images & bokeh... Let's see...
Nikon 70~200mm F2.8: 20.6cm (8.1in) long, 1,540g (3.4lb)...$2,400.
Nikon 70~200mm F4: 17.9cm (7.0in) long, 850g (1.87lb)......$1,400.
This long waited lens should make many FF Nikon owners very happy.

1 upvote
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Dec 6, 2012)

But it's nearly ten cents more per gram to buy the f/4! The f/2.8 gives you a bulk discount! (Very tongue in cheek.)

0 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Dec 5, 2012)

I had the opportunity to handle one here in Seattle last week and I found the VR to be superb - equal to or better than the 70-200VRII.

0 upvotes
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (Dec 5, 2012)

Can't wait to get my hands on one.
BTW; to DPReview, how was the new image stabilization?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 5, 2012)

Very effective, from early impressions (havent done a lot of low-light work yet). Certainly I've found that Nikon's claim of 5 stops is not unreasonable.

6 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Dec 5, 2012)

5 stops is tremendous!

0 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Dec 5, 2012)

I would consider nikon, but so many of their primes aren't stabilized. That's kind of a bummer. Pentax might only give you a 2-3 stop advantage, but with even a 50mm, I can shoot down to 1/8s hand held fairly well. With a really wide lens 1/4s starts to become possible with bracing. Of course when you can get nice clean files @ iso 6400, who needs stabilization? :)

0 upvotes
Total comments: 49