200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?

Started Jul 23, 2014 | Discussions
TwistaCatz
TwistaCatz Regular Member • Posts: 144
200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?
1

Am I crazy to consider the 200mm F/2? I’m a casual shooter who would like to shoot more and take photography more serious. Me and my wife recently had our first baby and it’s really surged my interest in gaining the best possible results that my equipment can provide me with my skill set. Over the last 9 months I’ve revamped my whole lineup:

Old Lineup:

Nikon D90

Nikon 18-200mm

Nikon 85MM 1.8 (non D ver)

50mm 1.8D

New Lineup:

Nikon D600

Nikon D7000 (wife’s camera that she never uses)

Nikon 70-200mm VRI

Nikon 24-70mm 2.8

Nikon 85mm 1.8G

Nikon 50mm 1.4D

Nikon 28mm 1.8G

Nikon 105mm (non D ver)

I like what I have now and I’m enjoying the results I’m getting. As you can see I’ve had a huge case of GAS and while I should be good to go I’m getting the itch again. For the record I really can’t afford to buy the 200mm F/2 at close to 4k used. I would really be stretching myself thin. However at the same time given the results that this lens provides (sharpness and incredible bokeh) I feel like it might be worth it. And honestly if it’s not I can always sell it, right?

A lot of people complain about the weight of the 70-200mm 2.8 but it does not really bother me at all. This lens weights twice as much, from the users that have it how much does that detour you from using it?

Also is it silly to have this type of lens on D600 body? Is it silly to buy a pro lens like this as an amateur user? Does the focal length limit the usability in most settings? (I would think not as I can shoot 200mm on my 70-200mm in a lot scenarios)

These are some of the questions that I’m running through my head. One thing I’m sure of is I haven’t seen better results from any lens then what this gem provides and I’m damn close to picking it up. Please talk me off the cliff or push me over the edge.

 TwistaCatz's gear list:TwistaCatz's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Sony a6300 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
MartynD2oo
MartynD2oo Senior Member • Posts: 1,720
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?
1

If you got the cash buy it! It will change your world. I recently bought the vr2 200mm BEST thing I have ever done. I have images of my daughter I could never have dreamed of.
--
Martyn

D3
D800
24 1.4G
14-24
24-70
70-200VRII
85 1.4D
50 1.8G
200f2vr2

Please LIKE my page 8-))

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Martyn-Wilkes-Photography/134057003306205

 MartynD2oo's gear list:MartynD2oo's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED +4 more
TwistaCatz
OP TwistaCatz Regular Member • Posts: 144
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?

MartynD2oo wrote:

If you got the cash buy it! It will change your world. I recently bought the vr2 200mm BEST thing I have ever done. I have images of my daughter I could never have dreamed of.
--
Martyn

D3
D800
24 1.4G
14-24
24-70
70-200VRII
85 1.4D
50 1.8G
200f2vr2

Please LIKE my page 8-))

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Martyn-Wilkes-Photography/134057003306205

Yeah I really owe it to you for putting the thought in my head. The pictures from your thread are amazing. In your thread you mentioned that your clients were trilled with the results of the baby in the basket which let me to think your a photographer by profession. If that's the case I can understand why you picked it up. But you would recommend it as well for casual shooters as well?

 TwistaCatz's gear list:TwistaCatz's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Sony a6300 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
MartynD2oo
MartynD2oo Senior Member • Posts: 1,720
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?

I do use mine professionally and since buying it I have people queuing up to give me their money. Besides that if I were still a casual shooter only and I had the money I would most definitely buy it. If you can afford it buy it, I can assure you, you will thank me later.
--
Martyn

D3
D800
24 1.4G
14-24
24-70
70-200VRII
85 1.4D
50 1.8G
200f2vr2

Please LIKE my page 8-))

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Martyn-Wilkes-Photography/134057003306205

 MartynD2oo's gear list:MartynD2oo's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED +4 more
xtm Senior Member • Posts: 1,155
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?
7

Not crazy at all. I'm not a pro but I do have it. Your kids are only young once. it's the ultimate lens for babies (and portraits!) Easily one of the best lenses I've ever owned.

I used it with a D600 and it's fine.. just be careful and make sure you don't pick it up by the body or you might snap off the mount on the D600. Always carry the rig by the lens foot (I use a long Hejnar foot to carry mine).

If you're on the fence, I'd say just do it. Use BillMeLater and pay it off before the promotional period ends and you don't pay interest. Shoot some paid gigs with it and make some money on the side.

The weight doesn't bother me at all. Well, maybe the first week. When I first received mine, I was like... damn, how do I carry this beast? But after using it a few times, I just got used to it. I don't even own a 70-200 VR anymore. I sold that lens and the 200 f/2 replaced it.

Oh, and when you pull it out...... the look on people's faces is just priceless, lol

Here are some of my daughter's portraits with it.. some were taken with the D600:

 xtm's gear list:xtm's gear list
Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED-IF VR +2 more
Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 16,205
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?
2

TwistaCatz wrote:

A lot of people complain about the weight of the 70-200mm 2.8 but it does not really bother me at all. This lens weights twice as much, from the users that have it how much does that detour you from using it?

A friend of mine has one so I have borrowed it. It feels like taking pictures with a bowling ball. The pictures are very good; it's pretty much a perfect lens.

I can afford one but I have absolutely no desire to buy one and hardly ever borrow it from my friend.

-- hide signature --

Leonard Migliore

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MartynD2oo
MartynD2oo Senior Member • Posts: 1,720
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?

The weight is no problem whatsoever (for me). I can understand how maybe some of the 'old boys' or people with physical disabilities could suffer with the extra few grams but for normal guys its a non topic. Like was mentioned before the first few times you use it you feel it, but you soon get used to it, no big deal.
--
Martyn

D3
D800
24 1.4G
14-24
24-70
70-200VRII
85 1.4D
50 1.8G
200f2vr2

Please LIKE my page 8-))

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Martyn-Wilkes-Photography/134057003306205

 MartynD2oo's gear list:MartynD2oo's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED +4 more
anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,158
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?
1

Two comments:

1) The 200/2G, in either VR-1 or VR-II incarnations, is one of the best lenses EVERY made, any brand, any format. I've used over 50 Nikkors plus countless lenses in other brands across 35 years, and purely from an image quality standpoint, the 200/2G is at the top. Only the Zeiss 135/2 Apo Sonnar,the 400/2.8G AFS VR-II and a select few others are in the same class from where I sit, so it's an exclusive group. The perfect example of what a very talented lens designer can do when given no budget restrictions.

2) However, watch it on a D600/D610; the mount construction on those bodies really wasn't meant for the heavy exotics, so do NOT carry the combo by the camera at all and watch how you transport the combo as a general rule.

I'd be shocked if you were to get it and not fall completely in love with it. Be warned it is one heavy son of a gun though...

-m

RBFresno
RBFresno Forum Pro • Posts: 12,576
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, re: "Heaviness"
3

MartynD2oo wrote:

The weight is no problem whatsoever (for me). I can understand how maybe some of the 'old boys' or people with physical disabilities could suffer with the extra few grams but for normal guys its a non topic. Like was mentioned before the first few times you use it you feel it, but you soon get used to it, no big deal.
--
Martyn

Hi Martyn.

I'm 63. Although i do get a bit tired using the 200VR hand held for over four or five hours, I consider its weight almost a a non-issue after years of hand holding a 200-400VR and more recently a 500VR (which I admit, I like to use on a monopod).

Here I am hand holding the 200VR:

And to the OP, I am also an amateur, but there are few photogrpahic purchases that I've enjoyed as much as the 200VR.

Some 200VR pics here:

200VR Pics from pBase Gallery

Also to the OP, , please refer back to my comments on Martyn's prior thread for more of my thoughts about the 200VR;

200VR Thread

I was looking through some old images this week and found this one.

Not the best shot I've taken. But it was taken while I was on a casual walk in the local park, near after sunset. And even though it was a hand held "snapshot" and the exposure just 1/25th sec, the VR and the 200VR optics helped at least get something:

Nikon D4 ,Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED AF-S VR
1/25s f/3.2 at 200.0mm iso1600

If I had enough set up time, I might have increased the ISO, opened up the aperture, and maybe stepped back a bit to preserve a usable DOF. Butit seemed as if  the OP was talking about a casual photographer talking snapshots with a 200VR, and I'd say, 'go for it!"

With a little more set up time a better lighting, of course things get better :

Best Regards.

RB

 RBFresno's gear list:RBFresno's gear list
Nikon D2H Nikon D4 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +14 more
maljo@inreach.com Veteran Member • Posts: 7,577
Very heavy, I rarely use
1

It's just too heavy to carry around.  If you need to shoot at f2 and 200 mm then that 's the lens to get, but I have found I rarely use it.  The 70-200 zoom is also excellent at the long end.

The 200 f2 is truly an excellent lens, but I find my 300 f2.8 and 500 f4 much more useful.

maljo

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Rexgig0
Rexgig0 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,277
Re: 200mm f/2

I appreciate this discussion, and have enjoyed seeing the images posted. I would never carry such a lens to work with me, at my present job, but may well someday acquire such a thing of beauty, in order to use during my personal time, as an antidote to the negativity of the Job. (I do not claim to be a professional photographer, but shoot evidentiary/forensic images as part of my police patrol job, mostly with a 100mm macro, and an ultra-wide zoom.)

It would have been wonderful to possess a 200/2 when my son was a child! (That would have been in the time of the AI-S version, I reckon.) Alas, I used very cheap cameras then.

-- hide signature --

I wear a badge and pistol, and make evidentiary images at night, which incorporates elements of portrait, macro, still life, landscape, architecture, and PJ. I enjoy using both Canons and Nikons.

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Van Griff Senior Member • Posts: 1,247
Have You Considered . . .
2

. . . either of the DC lenses???

The 105 DC or 135 DC . . . both f/2 . . . and both provide exquisite bokeh!

If you have $4K to spend on the exotic 200 f/2 and are happy with that . . . then by all means go for it . . . but . . . if you would like to get a much more manageable lens . . . ie a lot lighter . . . for a quarter of the price . . . the 105 is prob around $800 used and the 135 around $1000 - 1100 used . . . that would leave you a lot of cash over to either upgrade your body or add additional lenses to your repertoire . . . and the DC lenses both provide exquisite photographs with creamy bokeh . . . you get the same aperture at f/2 with either of the DC lenses in a much lighter package . . . you have the 200mm length covered with your 70-200 . . . albeit at f/2.8 . . . for a hi end or pro user then the 200 is a very viable lens . . . but for an amateur and/or somewhat casual user I would be very inclined to go the DC route . . . check them out . . . they are stellar lenses! . . . I have the 105 DC . . . it is my fav lens . . . and hope to add a 135 DC at some point in time as well!

Most DC owners . . . love their lens!

Good luck with your decision!

Best,

V G

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anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,158
Re: Have You Considered . . .
1

Couple of thoughts on that one for the OP

1) Unlike both DC lenses, the 200/2 will actually quickly and properly and accurately focus on the subject at F/2, each and every time. There likely is not a better autofocusing lens in the *entire* Nikon lineup than the 200/2, both in terms of speed, accuracy, and consistency.

2) the 200/2 is in another league entirely from either DC lens - the OOF rendition of a 200mm lens combined with its exquisite design optically puts it really in a class of it's own for portrait work.

Not saying the DC lenses aren't worth considering, as they certainly are, but as an ex-owner of the 105/2 DC, it really wasn't reliable to focus until almost F/4, and while it was magical with skin, it was nowhere in the same league as the 200/2.

However, as the previous poster mentions, they are a LOT more affordable and a LOT lighter, and if you intend to use them for portraiture, they are well matched to that if you can get around their AF inconsistency issues, which are worst wide open and near it.

-m

TwistaCatz
OP TwistaCatz Regular Member • Posts: 144
Re: Have You Considered . . .

Wow I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming feedback. You guys have pretty much solidified what I was already thinking.

MartynD200

Thanks for the advice, I think I'm leading towards getting it. The pictures from your thread sell the lens alone. You've got my dying with your "old boy" comment. I often think the same thing when I hear people complain about the weight of the 70-200 f/2.8, it's like really?

xtm

Thanks for the advice. I was planing to finance the lens some how instead of paying for it outright to limit the hit on my bank account. It's good to hear the weight is not super overwhelming. I love the comment about the look on people faces when you pull out the lens. Also thank you for sharing those precious pictures of your daughter which also sell the lens.

Leonard Migliore

Good to hear you think it's a perfect lens. I can understand the weight can be a turn off for some but sometimes you have to pay the cost to be the boss.

anotherMike

Thanks for pointing out the quality of the mount on the D600, I never really thought about that or heard about it not being able to support the weight of the heavier lenses. I guess I'll just have to be extra careful. Thanks for also for sharing your thoughts on the DC series of lenses.

maljo@inreach.com

I do enjoy the 70-200mm at 200mm 2.8 which I think is part of the reason I want more of the same with better results. I'm sure the 300 f2.8 and 500 f4 are awesome but for portraits?

Rexgig0

This lens is definitely not for most situations but for portraits it's hard to do better. I think to capture precious memories of my child is enough of a reason to justify this beast.

Van Griff

Thanks for offering an alternative. While I do like the output of the 105 and 135 DC it's definitely different. The one thing that I enjoy the about 70-200mm at 200mm is the way that it isolates your subject and creates creamy backgrounds. The 105 and 135 DC produce great pictures but it's just a different look. An alternative that I could see myself getting is the 58mm 1.4 but I keep going back to the lens that cost as much as a used car. Thanks for sharing!

A lot of great info guys, thanks again!

 TwistaCatz's gear list:TwistaCatz's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Sony a6300 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
MartynD2oo
MartynD2oo Senior Member • Posts: 1,720
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?
1

I spent a week travelling around the Swiss Alps with this, not crazy. ..great photos yes!

Buy it, will be the best Photographic purchase You'll Ever make.

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Martyn
D3
D800
24 1.4G
14-24
24-70
70-200VRII
85 1.4D
50 1.8G
200f2vr2
Please LIKE my page 8-))
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 MartynD2oo's gear list:MartynD2oo's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED +4 more
vickee New Member • Posts: 5
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?

Get it.

MartynD2oo
MartynD2oo Senior Member • Posts: 1,720
OMG this lens..
1

I know I keep on but its just beautiful.

Working on this session right now...

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Martyn
D3
D800
24 1.4G
14-24
24-70
70-200VRII
85 1.4D
50 1.8G
200f2vr2
Please LIKE my page 8-))
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 MartynD2oo's gear list:MartynD2oo's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED +4 more
MartynD2oo
MartynD2oo Senior Member • Posts: 1,720
Re: 200mm f/2 VRI, am I crazy?
1

Lovely photos, beautiful girl XTM.

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Martyn
D3
D800
24 1.4G
14-24
24-70
70-200VRII
85 1.4D
50 1.8G
200f2vr2
Please LIKE my page 8-))
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 MartynD2oo's gear list:MartynD2oo's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED +4 more
Stacey_K
Stacey_K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,634
Re: Have You Considered . . .

TwistaCatz wrote:

An alternative that I could see myself getting is the 58mm 1.4 .....

Given you already own the 70-200 f2.8, I'm thinking the 58 would give you options you don't have now and would make more of a difference in your photography than the 200mm f2 would. I know I LOVE my 58. I personally couldn't deal with the weight of that f2 monster but I guess for most guys, that isn't a huge concern.

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Stacey

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TwistaCatz
OP TwistaCatz Regular Member • Posts: 144
Re: OMG this lens..

Great capture MartynD2oo, I'm sold! I'm pumping myself up to have that conversation with my wife. Will see how it goes.

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