The new AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR is a compact, fixed-aperture F4 zoom designed for use on Nikon's new generation of FX format DSLRs. Smaller in all dimensions than its more costly F2.8 cousin, the slimmed-down $1400 lens has been long-awaited by Nikon users looking jealously at Canon's venerable EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM.
Dpreview is at the Photo Plus Expo tradeshow in New York, and we were given an exclusive opportunity to get our hands on a pre-production sample of the new 70-200mm. Although we weren't able to save any images, we were able to get a feel for the handling, the AF speed, and the efficiency of the claimed 5-stop Vibration Reduction system.
Starting with the handling, the first thing that you notice when you pick up the new lens is how small it is, relative to Nikon's flagship F2.8 variant. Slimmer, lighter, and smaller in all dimensions, the new 70-200mm F4 is a genuinely portable optic, and in terms of handling, an ideal companion for one of Nikon's smaller FX DSLRs, like the D800/E or recently-announced D600. Something that's easy to miss in the spec-sheet is that the new lens has a filter thread of 67mm, compared to the more common 77mm on other high-end Nikon zooms. This makes it slightly but noticeably slimmer than Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR zoom; compared to Canon's equivalent model, it's about the same size, but around 90g / 3.2oz heavier. There's no official word on exactly how weatherproof the new lens is, but there's the usual rubber gasket around the mount, which makes a water and dust-resistant seal between camera and lens.
On a D600, focusing feels all but instant (despite the insistence of Nikon reps that the sample we used was 'unfinished') and the zoom action is smooth and well-damped. Because all of the lens movement (focus and zooming) is internal, the lens' dimensions never change.
In common with several recent high-end Nikon lenses, the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR features a Nano Crystal coated element, which should reduce flare and internal reflections. Although not as versatile in poor light as its 2.8 cousin, the new lens features an improved Vibration Reduction system which Nikon claims should be able to deliver up to 5 EV of stabilization, potentially allowing you to get sharp pictures at shutter speeds as low as 1/6 sec at 200mm. Although this can't do anything about subject movement, it should greatly expand the usability of the lens in marginal lighting conditions.
We weren't able to save any images, but from a very quick test Nikon's claims of a 5-stop vibration reduction don't seem entirely unreasonable. At 200mm, hand-held, we were able to get consistently sharp results from shutter speeds at least as low as 1/15 sec, which matches the best lenses we've tested in the past. Impressive stuff, and we can't wait to get a production sample in our offices for full testing.
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 for best results. We're hoping to review this lens in early 2013, but until then, here's a preview real-world samples 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.
|splat by Eb Swarbrick|
from Album cover for a rock band
|Madagascar1 by Jaklab|
from Mind and matter - the creations of humanity.
CVS is banning digitally altered beauty imagery on its store-brand beauty products, and plans to mark other brands' images as "Digitally Altered" if they're not up to snuff by the end of 2020.
Canon has announced that it will introduce a series of printers that allow users to refill the ink tanks themselves—a surprising shift that could, in theory, save customers quite a bit of money.
Adventure and lifestyle photographer Lucy Martin put together a useful little video that goes over her 18 favorite Lightroom shortcuts—a great guide for beginners.
Following a series of allegations of sexual misconduct against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, magazine publisher Conde Nast has severed ties with both of the famed fashion photographers, and released a code of conduct for future photo shoots.
Photographer Christopher Payne captures the 'colorful world of craft and complexity' you'll find in the General Pencil Company's factory in Jersey City... and almost nowhere else.
A new feature in the Google Arts & Culture app compares your facial features to its database of thousands of artworks, finding your fine art "doppelganger."
Recently, we spent a day in Los Angeles with photographer, cook and food blogger Kylie Mazon. Join us and see how Kylie approaches the challenge of shooting lifestyle and promotional images for a downtown hotel with the Canon EOS M6.
Leica has announced a pair of short telephoto lenses for its SL full-frame mirrorless camera. The APO-Summicron-SL 75mm and 90mm F2 ASPH lenses feature an apochromatic design to reduce chromatic aberration, one aspherical element and minimum focusing distances of around 0.5m.
The Panasonic G9 is the brand's top-tier stills camera. We've updated our already large sample gallery with even more photos to enjoy.
The latest product of Huawei's collaboration with Leica is a smartphone with a great all-around imaging feature set that left us very little to complain about.
In this quick video, award-winning travel photographer Bob Holmes shares nine of his most basic and straightforward tips for finding great images, even when you're in a rut.
Gudsen has launched a new gimbal that’s aimed at mirrorless photographers. With a payload of 3.9lbs/1.8kg, the new Moza AirCross can provide stabilization to a mirrorless body even fitted with a cinema lens and a new in-handle option can provide power to Sony and Panasonic cameras.
The Lensbaby 46mm Macro Kit comprises of three stackable filters with different magnification levels, which can be combined with several of the company's "bokeh effect" lenses.
Nikon Rumors is reporting that an upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera from Nikon will sport an all-new "Z-Mount" with an extremely short flange distance of just 16mm.
A lot of people still have positive associations with the Kodak brand and its iconic logos, but it’s worth clearing something up: not everything with the Kodak name on it has much connection to a bunch of clever people in Rochester, New York.
A leaked image of a Galaxy S9 retail box indicates the new model might come with a variable aperture lens and a super-slow-motion video mode.
The portable little scanner features a 3.5-inch color screen, an integrated SD card slot for saving your scans, adapter trays for different types of film, and an HDMI port for viewing your scans directly on an external display.
Yesterday, Canon Italy and Canon Spain accidentally shared a composite photo that contained stolen elements shot with a Fujifilm camera. Today, in a response on social media, the company somehow managed to make things worse.
We've got a pair of Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN lenses in the office: one for Micro Four Thirds and the other for Sony E-mount. In this article we have some impressions of the MFT version, as well as some other lenses in this class worth considering.
Most wedding photographers are probably open to a little bit of feedback from their clients, but one Hong Kong couple was reportedly so upset, they provided their photographer with a detailed 30-page report full of their grievances!
It appears Huwei's ties to the Chinese Government and a fear of espionage have played a role in AT&T's decision not to offer the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and it's Leica-branded dual camera to customers in the United States.
The Autel Robotics EVO looks like the first serious competitor for DJI's Mavic Pro Platinum. With a better remote, slightly better camera, and a slightly cheaper price tag, this drone could steal some serious Mavic market share.
Sony has released firmware version 2.00 for its flagship a9 mirrorless camera. The most notable improvements are to continuous AF, but overall stability has been addressed, as well.
Kodak just debuted a bitcoin mining machine for rent at CES, leaving photographers slack-jawed and confused, and cryptocurrency mining experts balking at what they claim is an outright scam.
Hong Kong drone manufacturer Yuneec has announced three new drones at CES including an update to the Typhoon H with a bigger sensor with more resolution and the ability to shoot 4K at 60fps.
Oops. In their rush to post a pretty picture last night, multiple Canon social media accounts accidentally shared a composite, huge portions of which were stolen and shot with a Fujifilm X-T1.
We've published our studio test scene for Panasonic's video-focused Lumix DC-GH5S Micro Four Thirds camera. Have a look to see how it stacks up against the GH5 and Sony's a7S II.
LaCie's new DJI Copilot hard drive was purpose built for drone photographers and videographers who want to back up and even review their full resolution photos and video on-the-go.
The next Samsung flagship smartphone—which might be the first smartphone with a variable aperture lens—is not being announced or even teased at CES, as previously thought. Instead, Samsung confirmed that the phone would arrive in February.
"What bothers me more than the fact that these photographers missed the play of the game, is the amount of 'bashing' that they are being subject to on many social media platforms [...] as an industry, WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT!"