70-210 f4 final verdict?

Started Jul 28, 2004 | Discussions thread
lharris Veteran Member • Posts: 5,677
Re: 1st Hand Experience

You got a great price!!!


A Owens wrote:
I pretty much concur with Travis' review. A couple of my own

-Price: I recently bought one for US$150 from a reputable dealer.
It is absolutely as new and has no focus issues. The prices you
talk of sound a little high to me.

-Focus Speed: Even on my F5 in good light this is only average at

-Optical Performance: Mine is really impressive. Real sharp and
contrasty at all apertures and all focal lengths. No degradation
even wide open at 210mm. In terms of contrast and sharpness it
actually compares with my 50mm 1.4 (MF). And that is using film
(i.e. full frame)

Maybe I just got lucky, but in my experience this is one sweet old


Travis G VanDenBerg wrote:

Here's my AF 70-210 f4 Nikon review:
This is the constant f4 model made from aprox 1987-1989.

Note: there was a batch made early in the production run that does
don't accurately focus on newer bodies (F5, N65, F100, D-Series
DSLRs, etc) when focused at 210mm. The lens may focus slightly too
close. Therefore, check BEFORE purchasing to make sure you do not
get one of those lenses. It is a $185 plus shipping repair charge
from Nikon to correct and it takes many weeks.

Quality/Reliability: Very well built. Plastic externals, metal
internals. Super-smooth zoom. One of the best feeling zoom controls
ever. Excellent aperture that has proven reliable and nice feeling
aperture control ring with lock at f32.
Focus Speed: Average. Not for fast breaking sports.

Image Quality: Excellent sharpness and contrast at full range from
70-210. Best images at F8 and F11 where sharpness & contrast are
excellent. At f4, contrast is slightly reduced and light falloff
toward the corners is very evident even with the 1.5x crop factor..
Light falloff at 210mm at f4 is easily corrected in Nikon Capture
4.1 with the vignette control set to 150%, and set to 45% at 210mm
at f5.6. No falloff is evident at f8. Nikon's closest focusing lens
in its category; excellent for macro work. Note that diffraction at
f22 and f32 reduces image sharpness slighly. Lens hood recommended,
as the lens is slightly prone to problems from reflections.

Compatible with the Kenko/Tokina/Tamron 1.4x 300 Teleplus Pro
converter with excellent results and loss of 1 stop. Converts lens
to a 98-294 f5.6.

Conclusion: An excellent lens that fits in between the 70-300
f4-5.6 and 80-200 2.8 made today, in both image quality and maximum
aperture with a reliable build quality. Pay $175-$225 for an
excellent example of the 70-210mm f4 without the focus error. The
Kenko teleconverter 1.4x 300 Teleplus Pro sells for about $170.

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