70-200 2.8 version questions

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Equisuz Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: 70-200 2.8 version questions

Matsu wrote:

The best one is the latest one, by some margin. That's the one you'll see referred to as FL. But they're really all plenty good. While there's no need to overthink, here's a quick synopsis.

AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF - This is the first one with VR. It's sort of slender and narrow through the barrel, and a bit longish compared to other 70-200s. It has focus lock buttons on the front of the barrel, and a sort of fluted shape. Very pretty lens actually. Performance leaves nothing to be desired on DX, but it vignettes and gets soft in the corners on FX. I used it on both and it never bothered me. It's an older design now, but I always found it very flattering for portrait work on FX. It's VR system is the least effective, but often it's a non issue.

AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II - This is the successor. It loses the front focus lock buttons and gets a chubbier build. It's sharper, but not really noticeably so unless you're scrutinizing the outer third of the frame, but it's there. It flares less, and breathes more, quite a bit so, looking more like a 140mm lens at minimum focus distances. I didn't find this too troubling, but some posters/users couldn't get over it.

AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR - this is the latest and greatest. The barrel is the shortest, it's a bit lighter the the VRII, and a lot sharper, everywhere. Currently the best 70-200 money can buy, and the most expensive. At every focal length it's got snap wide open at f/2.8 that the others don't match until f/3.5 - f/4. Focus speed, while never a problem with the other two is kinda in a different league - very good, very accurate.

VALUE? I'm not sure how I'd value them if I were bargain hunting on the used market. I'd say about 2700, 1800, 1000 or thereabouts for the FL, VRII, and original VR respectively, but I haven't looked at the market for 70-200's in quite a while.

OTHERS? Tamron's latest are reported to be pretty good too, but be warned Tamron's latest G2 f/2.8 pro zooms are pretty heavy breathers, and usually about the same as the Nikon VRII. Tamron's do have a reputation for excellent stabilization.

I've owned and shot all three of the Nikkors, and made some pretty big prints from all of them. You will not be disappointed. You will tire of carrying them. All are heavy after a full day over your shoulder.

Any idea why the hundredth anniversary version of this lens is $1000 more?  Any performance upgrades or just collectors value?

 Equisuz's gear list:Equisuz's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm F2.8 Nikon 85mm F1.8G +1 more
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