Full Version: Next PZ lens test report: Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/4 VR
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Well done, Nikon. Now on to the 300/4 VR, please <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />


-- Markus


Thanks Markus for that. I think a lot of folks will be tuning in for this review.

I was somewhat surprised that in absolute terms the 70-200 II out performs the new 70-200 f4 at basically everything, resolution wise, but it will be interesting how it compares in the real world.

Of late I have been using the 70-200 II with one body and a wide angled lens on a second body, and I have to say that I wouldn't mind a lighter (and smaller) 70-200.

I very rarely use shoot faster than f4.5 so the new lens may have to go on my wish list.
Looking good.

What I find interesting: I noticed at its introduction that the 70-200mm f4 has the same optical formula for most part as the Canon 70-200mm f4, the front/mid groups are the same, and even the size is basically the same. The back groups have more in common with the Nikon f2.8 VR II.

The results from your test are almost carbon copies of the results from Klaus' Ef 70-200mm f4 L IS USM on 5D mk II tests... the MTF graphs are very similar, as is the CA performance.

Nice lens.


well, basically the same performance as the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SP Di VC USD for 3-4 times the price.
Well, yes and no. The Tamron is not a constant f/4 lens, has lesser build quality, slightly worse bokeh, can not take a tripod mount or TCs and has less effective stabilization. And last but not least, the Nikon's AF is faster.

Of course it depends on individual priorities if that's worth the premium price.

-- Markus


A nice review for a lovely lens. But I don't understand why Nikon provides a barrel-shaped hood for it instead of a petal-shaped hood like for the larger f2.8 zoom.

Well, thanks...

I was waiting for this test in particular...I have bought a D800 recently and have been deciding on something tele for a long long time...

This makes me decide <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' /> In favor of 180/2.8

I was expecting much better resolution figures...at least compared to a 25 years old lens...take a look at this:

Prime: (on D3X)

3545/2958/2892 @ F2.8

3649/3079/2943 @ F4

3734/31342982 @ F5.6

Zoom: (@200mm)

3616/3046/2977 @ F4

3690/3116/3018 @ F5.6

180 resolves more in the center and corners as well. Its just the extreme corners where the zoom has a marginal lead. Zoom doesn't have f2.8 so that's a mute point..


[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1359803598' post='21709']

Looking good.

What I find interesting: I noticed at its introduction that the 70-200mm f4 has the same optical formula for most part as the Canon 70-200mm f4....

Nice lens.


....they both use the same CAD then :-)
Markus, did you test the lens with the collar? I see the same results like you, but with a collar it's far worse. The barrel to attach the collar is made out of plastic and doesn't connect well and firmly with the collar. Altogether the connection is too flexible. A result of that: When I mounted a laser pointer into the hot shoe and didn't use mirror up, the vibrations were more than with the body fixed on a tripod. up to 4-5 times more.

In that case, it was a distance of 5-6 m between the camera on tripod and a scale. I filmed the scale while pressing the remote control. The effect was visible on each tripod, each head. I'm disappointed because I ordered the collar in advance and was confident Nikon would take care the combination will fit and be better than chinese copies of it.

Has anybody made the same experiences?
Sorry for the late reply. Yes, I did use the collar for testing, however I always test tele lenses (anything above 100mm) using two tripods, so I can't really comment on the stabity issue you mention. To me, the collar seems reasonably stable, much better than other collars Nikon has produced in the past (like on the AF-S 80-200 or the 80-400 VR).

When testing stability, however, I don't think it makes sense to use an unrealistic scenario. If you're using a tripod and the collar, then you're obviously looking for best stability. Not using mirror lock up sounds a bit strange in this context.

-- Markus