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The Complete Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II Review

by Chris Gampat on 04/22/2010

During the reviews of the Nikon D300s, D3s and D3x, the 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II almost always was around. It is an excellent lens for the Nikon system and users will be very satisfied with the results they get. Conclusions are after the jump.

Used with the Sun Sniper Camera Strap: If you’re going to use this lens, use this strap as well. It connects to the tripod collar and you can reliably keep your camera loose for quick access.

Final Day of the D300s Review: Color renders absolutely wonderfully with this camera and this lens. Combined, they can be the ultimate combo for the fly on the wall.

Nikon D300s Day 4: Shooting wildlife with it was quite fun actually. Though the lens got heavy at times and required me to carry it in my hand rather than around my neck, it still did its job very well.

Vs the Canon 80-200mm F2.8 L: My findings showed that the old L lens still held up well against even the VR in this lens.

Day 3 of the D3s Review: This lens is excellent for shooting portraits as it is sharp, has VR, and is extremely versatile so it isn’t a dedicated portrait lens only.

As a lens on my list of highly recommended wedding equipment, you really can’t go wrong with this lens. Nikon has really done a great job revamping this lens as it was already very good.

The 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II is a lens that photojournalists swear to. This is all for very good reason. For starters, it is very hard to get a blurry shot with this lens and for the package you have an extremely versatile range available to you. Additionally, when coupled with cameras like the D3s, D3x, and D700, users can choose the sensor area that they shoot with and can shoot in FX, DX and more. You really can’t complain about having options like that as it helps to keep the weight down in your bag.

Color is rendered very well and very vividly with this lens. Once again, sharpness is excellent. It is great at F4-5.6 and gets slightly sharper until F8 where it maxes out. Wide open though it is still very sharp.

Build quality is top of the line. First off, it is an ED lens from Nikon: their top of the line. As a personal preference, when shooting with Nikon’s I only tend to want to stick with Nikkor primes and ED glass. These lenses give best results. Additionally, if users want to take full advantage of the resolution of Nikon’s sensors (actually Sony’s in some cases) then they need the better lenses. This is more of a reason for users to buy it.

If you have the current 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR and are satisfied with it, you may not really have a huge reason to upgrade. My mentor uses one, but I’m not sure if he has upgraded yet.

Autofocusing is very fast with this lens, especially when combined with the systems of the D3s and D3x. It never hesitated. However, it will take some memorizing with using the different focusing and setting switches on the side of the lens.

This lens stayed in my messenger bag at times with a camera on it and it stood up to everyday conditions very well. It also always had the lens hood on: something will intimidate the hell out of those shooting around you with its pointed and jagged edges synonymous to a shark’s mouth.

That’s what great about this lens. Take it out and people know you mean business. It can help you get into events very easily because of the size and looks factor and that is what can greatly aid a photojournalist in their everyday tasks.

Overall, the 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II is highly recommended and I hope that all of my Nikon readers go buy one and comment here on just how excellent a lens it is. I’d also love to help with any quirks you have with it as well as answer any questions.

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