Nikon AF-S VR Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G review
The Nikon 70-200m F2.8 VR is built to withstand the rigours of daily professional use, and the quality of construction is impeccable. From the super-smooth zoom and focus rings to the finely designed and engineered tripod mounting foot, everything about this lens exudes quality. Construction appears to be primarily of metal, and the lens is environmentally sealed, including a rubber gasket around the mount to prevent dust and water ingress into the camera. As is standard for this class of lens, both zooming and focusing are internal, which leads to a distinct impression of solidity to the 'one-piece' construction, and maintains the balance of the lens on the camera regardless of focal length.
In comparison to other 70-200mm F2.8 zooms, the Nikon is unusually long and slim in design, indeed unexpectedly so for a full-frame lens (especially given the fact that Nikon's engineers have had to squeeze in an optical stabilization unit). Overall it rather gives the impression that the glass is concentrated towards the front of the barrel, indeed the narrow tubular section immediately adjacent to the lens mount is purely air space (and we'll see the likely consequences of this on its optical performance in due course). Aside from that, it's quite similar in size to other lenses of this type, and potential upgraders should be aware that it is significantly larger and heavier than consumer telezooms such as the 70-300mm F4-5.6 VR. It's a serious photographic tool, but quite possibly not one you'll want to carry around all day on vacation.
On the camera
This is a relatively large and heavy lens, and therefore best matched to the more substantial bodies in Nikon's range such as the D300 and D3. In comparison to other 70-200mm zooms it feels slightly unbalanced and front-heavy, such that even D300 users will likely benefit from using a vertical grip. The zoom ring falls conveniently towards the centre of gravity of the system, with the focus ring in easy reach without requiring a change in grip.
This lens features Nikon's silent-wave motor for autofocus, which performs extremely well; it's almost silent in operation, and we saw no evidence for any systematic focusing errors. We found focusing to be extremely fast and accurate in everyday use on both the D300 and D3 test bodies, however it must be noted that focus speed and accuracy is dependent upon a number of variables, including the camera body used, subject contrast, and light levels.
Lens body elements
Reported aperture vs focal length
This lens allows an aperture range from F2.8 to F22 at all focal lengths.
May 2, 2008
Apr 26, 2011
Apr 26, 2011
Apr 27, 2011
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