Thom Hogan addresses the 70-200 VRII non-issue briefly.

Started Dec 9, 2009 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,661
Re: I am tired of the misleading information

VRII wrote:

Correct but those are prehistoric standards that only show one side of the coin and need to be updated.

Really? How exactly would you go about updating them? Please don't tell me that every maker would have to publish a huge table of data instead of a focal length. As in "The Nikkor AF-S ED-IF VR G N 65/68/70/71-138/158/188/196mm f/2.8 t/3.0 lens." There's a very good reason why lenses are measured the way they are, just as there's a good reason why EPA mileage estimates are done a very specific way.

In my reviews I've tended to avoid talking about focal length and aperture "differences" from specification unless they are large and unexpected. The 18-200mm was one such example, the 70-200mm II will probably be another.

Personally I think it's a bit misleading, like marketing a lens as an F/3.5 but when you get it home you realize that it is an F/3.5 to -5.6 ,

I don't know of any lens manufacturer that does that. Can you supply me an example?

A more reasonable and honest spec would be indicating the Focal range from MFD to infinity. thefore this lens would be 70-200mm @ ∞ and 68-128mm @ MFD

But anyone who knows the formula and can do the math would have already guessed at that by the decrease in magnification at close focus distance. The information needed is already there, just not in the form you want it.

Nikon or any other manufacturer would poop their pants trying to sell a lens for $2,500 at the MFD specs,

Really? A super high quality 70-130mm f/2.8 lens would not be interesting? (Yes, I'm rounding a bit, but well within the lens standards.) I certainly would be interested. Oh, and it extends to 200mm when you focus at longer distances? Great, I'll take it.

so they use the "sexier" misleading number

But 70-130mm would be just as misleading. Because for most uses, it's not going to be that constrained.

The real issue that everyone is fighting is that some (actually many) lenses change a key property with focus distance (they also change properties with aperture, but we'll leave that aside for the moment). They didn't notice this difference until it got to a certain level, then it suddenly bothered them. Moreover, it bothered many of these people before they'd actually picked one up and used it to see what the actual difference is like in real life.

As I've written, there will certainly be people who are constrained by the new lens or don't like the perspective change for their closer in work. But does this make it a bad lens or Nikon's labeling deceptive? No.

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (21 and counting)

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