70-200 f/4 VR First Impressions

nerwin

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So I only had this lens for a day but I wanted to make a first impression post before the effect wears off.

The lens exceeds every expectation I had for it.

When I took it out of the box I was really surprised by how compact and light it actually is. I've looked at photos and videos online about this lens and they just don't do it justice when you actually physically have it in your hands. It's very comfortable to hold and I could see myself using this bad boy all day with no fatigue.

The autofocus speed is very quick and accurate and it easily will focus from closest to infinity with no hunting. Being an f/4 lens, you'd think it would struggle in low-light but I've tested it out and even in super dim light, it locks focus just fine. No problems.

The minimal focus distance is incredibly handy, no more standing 5 feet away from subjects when I don't need to. Shooting at 200mm at the closest focusing distance can really make for a decent macro shot, I could see adding some close up filters or extension tubes to really get to that macro level.

The VR3 on this lens is absolutely incredible, when looking through the viewfinder at 200mm and when you engage the VR, it's so incredibly stable, my goodness.

Check this out. I know it's not the most stunning shot, I took it late at night when there was barely any light near my insignificant bookcase handheld at 200mm, 1/15th, f/4, ISO 12800.

DSC_4652 - Copy.JPG


200mm at 1/15th of a second!? Incredible.

The image quality of course it's excellent, it's sharp wide open which is a plus. I haven't had much time to really know about the image quality but in my first few tests it's everything I expected it to be. Excellent color rendition, and nice micro contrast (black and white shots really pop with this lens, unlike the 70-300 VR).

The build quality is fantastic, it's tough for sure. It's a great companion for my 16-35 f/4. Its honestly not that much heavier. Zoom and focus rings are smooth as butter, you can have super smooth zooms during video.

Well that was my first impressions of the 70-200 f/4 VR, It was totally a good decision.

I bought mine used for $950 which I think is an incredible price. Its basically brand new, looks like it was never used. Mine even came with the tripod collar, though it's not the RT-1 from Nikon but a cheap chinese Vello knock off which honestly appears and looks to be made pretty decently. Its heavy, made out of metal and secures pretty tight. Though I've read some comments that the tripod mount can break which worries me. HOWEVER, it looks like it can be removed so I'm tempted to remove it and buy a better quality tripod mount for my own peace of mind. Though I don't see myself using the tripod collar all that much because the lens really isn't that heavy enough but it balances really well when using a BR strap. I don't think it puts too much strain on the lens body mount when the strap mounted on the body instead of the tripod collar.

I hope to get outside today if the weather cooperates and take some shots. Maybe I'll post a few here later.

Thanks for reading and have an excellent Saturday everyone!
 

greybeard

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Congratulations on your new lens
 

Solarflare

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I own one since years, got it quickly after its release.

Its a very reliable and consistent glas, fast autofocus including focus delimiter, good stabilizer with panning mode.

Decent build. Metal shell, but its obvious theres some plastic in there. Manual focus is good, instant manual override with no play. Its not exactly a featherweight by any means but its quite lightweight for its size.

Image quality is OK.

Sharpness is its strength.This was for a long time my sharpest lens. Very sharp over the whole frame, at any focal and aperture, even wide open, unless of course you force the issue and get into small apertures and thus diffraction.

The rest is without really letdown. Bokeh is neutral.

All in all a very reliable workhorse lens without any actual weakness.



Would I get it again ? No. Personally I would get an AF 80-200mm f2.8 from the used market instead. Its also still available new in the rotating zoom ring version version, if you need a tax writeoff. Mind, this 80-200 is so good, it has already survived TWO of its successors, and the third successor, the VR2, is on the way out too, as theres a fourth successor available now, the AF-S 70-200mm f2.8 E FL VR. Of course the 80-200 neither offers fast autofocus nor stabilizer, if you want/need either.

But then again I dont really need zooms much anymore at all, anyway. Havent used any zooms since half a year.
 

Peeb

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VR is impressive!

I think you will love this lens.
 
OP
nerwin

nerwin

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I own one since years, got it quickly after its release.

Its a very reliable and consistent glas, fast autofocus including focus delimiter, good stabilizer with panning mode.

Decent build. Metal shell, but its obvious theres some plastic in there. Manual focus is good, instant manual override with no play. Its not exactly a featherweight by any means but its quite lightweight for its size.

Image quality is OK.

Sharpness is its strength.This was for a long time my sharpest lens. Very sharp over the whole frame, at any focal and aperture, even wide open, unless of course you force the issue and get into small apertures and thus diffraction.

The rest is without really letdown. Bokeh is neutral.

All in all a very reliable workhorse lens without any actual weakness.



Would I get it again ? No. Personally I would get an AF 80-200mm f2.8 from the used market instead. Its also still available new in the rotating zoom ring version version, if you need a tax writeoff. Mind, this 80-200 is so good, it has already survived TWO of its successors, and the third successor, the VR2, is on the way out too, as theres a fourth successor available now, the AF-S 70-200mm f2.8 E FL VR. Of course the 80-200 neither offers fast autofocus nor stabilizer, if you want/need either.

But then again I dont really need zooms much anymore at all, anyway. Havent used any zooms since half a year.

I like its bigger brothers, the 80-200 2.8 and 70-200 2.8s but the problem is that they are big, heavy and don't focus close enough for my liking. That's why the f/4 really stood out to me, for what kind of photography I do. If I was doing indoor sports any sort of event that where I really need that extra 1 stop of light then I'd go with the 2.8s but f/4 is good enough for me.

So far, it's blowing my 70-300 VR out of the water, no question. The details this f/4 lens renders is asstonishing. The lens is so sharp and so clear that I can crop down to 1.5x to give me that equivalent 300mm FOV and its sharper and better image quality than the 70-300 VR at 300mm.

I'm happy, best decision I made when it comes to buying lenses in a LONG, LONG time.

Now to get a teleconverter! I think I'll get that 1.7x because that's going to be more useful to me than the 1.4x but we'll see.
 

jl1975

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I have that lens as well and it is quite impressive. I have not used the 70-200 f2.8 so I can't comment on it compared to that, but I love mine. Although if anyone wants to send me the f2.8 so I can compare them, I would be happy to!
 

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