Is the Nikkor 70-200 f4 really worth it?

LWW

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
56
Location
Dayton,Ohio
I have just bought a 70-200 f4 VR and here is my story.

I had a G1 of this lens, the NIKKOR 70-210 f4 AF and dearly loved it, other than slow focus it was a truly awesome lens. This was circa 1992 and I was 35.

I heard the siren song go the 80-200 AF-D f2.8 and sold the f4. The 2.8 did offer just a hair blurrier background to isolate the subject better, but it wasn't really any sharper than the f4. It did allow a higher shutter speed and I do a lot of outdoor sports shooting, but the ability to hit 1/8K instead of 1/4K was of minimal value. It also was a beast to pack around up and down an athletic field. This was circa 2000 and the weight was an aggravation and I was 43.

Next I picked up a 180 f2.8 lens for the weight savings, and it is a magnificent but limited lens, albeit much lighter than the 80-200 f2.8. This was circa 2018 and I was 61.

Well, now I'm 64 and the 70-200 f4 is a joy to use in comparison to any of them. Sharp as a tack, half the weight of the 80-200 f2.8. A little heavier than the 180 f2.8 but with a very useful zoom range.

Since my early thirties I've always had a decent income with a brutal workload.

In the last year I've cashed out our rental properties and my interests in a couple of other businesses.

My income now is $2,800 social security, whatever we decide to pull out of cash accounts, and I do some advisory work and sales training for the interests I sold out ... it amounts to maybe 8 hours per week ... and sell a few prints here and there. Our only debt is a car payment.

To make a short story long, the 70-200 f4 VR coupled with a new D750 and MBD16 makes for a kit highly suited to me that delivers outstanding results.

The others were choices that made sense at the time of life I was in.

What makes sense for another is dependent upon physical and financial constraints.

I am so far in very good health and get around well, to be honest I could still pack around the 80-200 f2.8, but the 70-200 f4 gives me a bit more speed, agility and mobility.

I hope this helps anyone else wondering about this lens.

My $0.02, YMMV.
 
Last edited:

LWW

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
56
Location
Dayton,Ohio
Both at 300mm. Lemur much further away so had to crop it a lot.

Sent from my CPH2009 using Tapatalk
Great work, that lens was second on my short list.

If the 300 focal length is needed, IMHO it would be an excellent choice.

I seldom need the 300 length and have a NIKKOR 300 f4 AF-D which I use on a D7200 for airshows, wildlife etcetera.
 
OP
mjcmt

mjcmt

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
655
Reaction score
570
Location
NC, USA
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
This is a follow up. After being off and on about 70-200, I decided to keep my 180 2.8 and purchase the afp 70-300ed fx. My research show that the performance from 70-200 is very close and I get the extra reach to 300. My 180 is very sharp with a bit of chromatic aberration which is fixable in post.
I'm going to rural MI end of June so I should come back w some photos.
 

ac12

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
2,462
Reaction score
813
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
This is a follow up. After being off and on about 70-200, I decided to keep my 180 2.8 and purchase the afp 70-300ed fx. My research show that the performance from 70-200 is very close and I get the extra reach to 300. My 180 is very sharp with a bit of chromatic aberration which is fixable in post.
I'm going to rural MI end of June so I should come back w some photos.

If you are shooting in daylight, the 70-300 will be just fine.
 
OP
mjcmt

mjcmt

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
655
Reaction score
570
Location
NC, USA
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I'm getting psyched to go to MI and try my hand photographing with it in a different environment. I hope it's not as hot as NC.
Here's a photo I shot yesterday w/ it at 300mm at very close focus distant, which seems to me a weak point, but still pretty good. I add extra vignetting in post to focus your eye on the tiger lillie.
MT1_6825.jpeg
 

pendennis

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2014
Messages
326
Reaction score
146
Location
Dearborn, MI
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
For a number of years, I used the 70-200 f/4 as part of my "f/4 Triumvirate" of Nikkors: 16-35, 24-120, and 70-200. All were/are great performers, and a screaming good deal on a Sigma DG 70-200 f/2.8. In an effort to lighten the load, I finally replaced the 70-200's, and the 24-120, with the 70-200 f/2.8G VR II and the 24-70 f/2.8E VR. I retained the 16-35 because it's been a great performer, and the extra stop didn't mean do much with a DSLR. However, I have supplemented the new trio with an older 70-180D Micro. At this point, I see no need to upgrade anything.

While the f/2.8's are heavier, they're also slightly better in most respects, IMHO.

If you're looking to economically have an f/4 group, go for it. All are great value for the money.
 

mrca

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
827
Reaction score
264
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Thanks everyone for you comments. At present I think I'll be keeping my 180mm instead of moving to the 70-200 f4. I really do love this lens and don't think the little extra flexibility would be worth the expense. The 180 is a spectacular lens, the colors are so rich, the bokeh is very impressive, and the extra stop of light comes in handy for late day and interior shots. Plus it's smaller and lighter. I like the idea of a 70-300's range better, but just wish it was a constant f4 or even constant f4.5.

Here's my lens...
View attachment 203492
and a few recent photos from it
View attachment 203493View attachment 203494
I have the 180 2.8 D and it is a spectacular lens and used at an amazing price. I have the 135 dc and shooting on a 46 mp d850 I can crop the heck out of it and still have plenty of resolution. It has replaced the 70-200 that used to kill my back on long days.
 

Lonnie1212

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Messages
404
Reaction score
111
Location
Springfield, Illinois
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I've been thinking of purchasing this lens because of it's internal zoom, moderately fast glass, and reasonable weight and size to replace/supplement my 180mm f2.8 ED-IF prime on a D750 full frame camera.

I've been toying with it for some time now, never being able to pull the trigger on one. Somehow I think the slower 70-300ED AF-P may be a better option because of the zoom reach even if it is slower and marginally less sharp. I do have a 180 2.8 for low light if need be. But there is something captivating about the 70-200 f4ED G lens for me. I'm in two minds so does anyone want to chime in to help me decide?

Hi mjcmt,

This thread is over a year old, but the mention of the 70-200 lens caught my eye. A couple of years ago I purchased a much older 70-210mm F4 for $89.00 on eBay. It is absolutely incredible in sharpness. Now I am wondering if you ever reconsidered the 70-200 lens.
 
OP
mjcmt

mjcmt

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
655
Reaction score
570
Location
NC, USA
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hi mjcmt,

This thread is over a year old, but the mention of the 70-200 lens caught my eye. A couple of years ago I purchased a much older 70-210mm F4 for $89.00 on eBay. It is absolutely incredible in sharpness. Now I am wondering if you ever the 70-200 lens.
Took me a while to finally decide and ended getting the afp 70-300e one month ago. A bit slower but greater reach. I don't think this lens is my final decision, but I'll be giving it a whole hearted effort. Seems like 300mm is the main thing I like about it so almost exclusively have been using that.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top