200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?

Started Jul 23, 2014 | Discussions thread
anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 8,951
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?
2

If I may add a few more thoughts:

1) The 180/2.8 also was made as a AF lens. Decent design optically, a touch dated on a modern high rez body, but not horribly so. However, NOWHERE in the same level of quality as the 200/2

2) Regarding the 70-200/2.8G VR-I and VR-II. I owned the VR-I and wasn't planning to upgrade to the VR-II until I got a chance to evaluate it. Entirely different class of lens - sharper at 200mm, better contrast, and more importantly, better microcontrast. But the BIG thing about the VR-II was that in close distance ranges it was CONSIDERABLY closer in quality to the 200/2 from about F/4 onwards compared to the VR-I. The VR-II was designed for very accurate and fast AF and excellent close to moderate distance performance (where it blows the VR-I out of the water, and remember, I own the 200/2 too so I'm not a stranger to lenses here), but the tradeoff was the design meant some focus breathing. The VR-II also improved over the VR-I in terms of sharpness at distance - however, at distance the 200/2 simply has no peer in this range and it's still the king. The surprising thing was that there were times if I didn't need F/2 or F/2.8 that I felt I could use the VR-II in close distance ranges INSTEAD of the 200/2 and not really take a large hit on image quality. When I owned the VR-I, I took a large hit on image quality (compared to the 200/2) at any distance range. The VR-II is simply another level better lens than the VR-I on an FX body - if it wasn't, I wouldn't have paid full retail for it when it came out given I already had the 105/2 DC, VR-I, and 200/2 at the time. BTW, the VR-II tested sharper in my evaluations than the 105/2 DC in both long AND close distance ranges, which I didn't expect.

This all being said, renting a 200/2 isn't a bad idea given the size/weight, unless you know a friend locally who can let you borrow one

-m

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