Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII Review

In this review I will be taking a look at the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 G ED VRII lens, which was released in July of 2009. The Nikon 70-200mm is a Pro-level lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8 across the whole range makes it a great lens for professional news, sports, wildlife and portrait photographers.

In this latest version they added more “ED” (Extra-Low Dispersion) optical elements, making this lens sharper than the previous version. Nikon also added the new “N” (Nano Crystal Coating) to this lens, which is supposed to minimize ghosting and lens flare. Other new features include a brand new “VR II” vibration reduction system, which provides a four stop benefit over non-VR systems and a new “A/M” focus mode for auto-focus priority.

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I wont be going in depth in this review, I just want to share my experiences with the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 and show you my photography results for what I have used this lens for.

Here’s a small specs list:

– Focal length: 70-200mm
– Maximum aperture: f/2.8
– Minimum aperture: f/22
– Lens construction: 21 elements in 16 groups
– Picture angle: 34°20’ – 12°20’ (22°50’ – 8° with Nikon DX format)
– Closest focusing distance: 140 cm (entire zoom range)
– Number of of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded)
– Filter size: 77 mm
– Diameter x length: Approximately 87 mm x 205 mm
– Weight: Approximately 1,500 grams

Here are some more products shot of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED lens. Below is a shot of the

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Another nice feature is the rubber ring to make it weather proof, I am not saying take it under water but it will does help when shooting in dust or moist environments.

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As I stated before this is a Pro-level lens which a lot of professional photographers use for various of assignments. I used this lens for a couple of small indoor concerts to be able to test low-light situations as well as a couple outdoor events.

Concert samples shots

Like I said before I used this lens for concert photography as well for some outdoor events. Lets have a look at the concert photography samples first.

Here are some shots taken at a concert where Dany Lademacher’s Wild Romance was performing live…

Recently I got the chance to shoot Butcher Babies in their only concert which was the only one they did in The Netherlands this year.

Nikon D600, 70-200mm, ISO3200, f/2.8 at 1/250s

Nikon D600, 70-200mm at 200mm, ISO3200, f/2.8, 1/250s

Here is another shot taken from way back in the venue at 185mm, again with Heidi Sheperd but this time while she gave me a smile :-)

Nikon D600, ISO3200, 185mm, f/2,8, 1/250s

Nikon D600, ISO3200, 70-200mm at 185mm, f/2,8, 1/250s

If you want see see more of the photo’s taken during this live concert checkout this GALLERY!

Outdoor samples shots

Now for some shots taken outdoors, first up a man working on his scaled remote controlled tank…

ISO100, 70-200mm at 155mm, f/2.8, 1/400s

Nikon D600, ISO100, 70-200mm at 155mm, f/2.8, 1/400s

Here’s a closeup shot of one of the radio controlled tank driving around…

Nikon D600, ISO100, 70-200mm at 120mm, f/2.8, 1/1000s

Nikon D600, ISO100, 70-200mm at 120mm, f/2.8, 1/1000s

Next up some planes, next up a couple of Fokker Fours in formation…

Nikon D600, ISO250, 70-200mm at 200mm, f/5.6, 1/1250s

Nikon D600, ISO250, 70-200mm at 200mm, f/5.6, 1/1250s

Cropped/edited version of the shot above…

Nikon D600, ISO250, 70-200mm at 200mm, f/5.6, 1/1250s

Nikon D600, ISO250, 70-200mm at 200mm, f/5.6, 1/1250s

Lets take it up a notch, I tried to shoot a single Fokker Four flying by. Heres the original shot un-edited…

Nikon D600, ISO320, 70-200mm at 150mm, f/5.6, 1/1600s

Nikon D600, ISO320, 70-200mm at 150mm, f/5.6, 1/1600s

Up next the same shot as the one above but now fully cropped and edited…

Nikon D600, ISO320, 70-200mm at 150mm, f/5.6, 1/1600s

Nikon D600, ISO320, 70-200mm at 150mm, f/5.6, 1/1600s

 

Conclusion

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED is a very good zoom lens that delivers excellent sharpness wide open, at least in the image center. In some situation the corners where a bit less sharp but then again, its just a problem if your a pixel-peeper. This lens is not for shooting landscapes so deal with it. Vignetting and Chromatic Aberrations as well as distortion are typical for a lens in this class. The Bokeh is really smooth for a zoom lens.

All in all I am very pleased with the results. Weight (1,5 Kg) could be a issue for some people, if your on a job carrying this lens around all day expect some muscle build up. The lens does include a lens mount which makes the lens balance out really well with any decent dslr. Value for money wise? It will leave a big (€ 2500 / £ 1700) whole in your wallet but your getting some really good glass for it in return.

Would I recommend it? Yes, if and only if you have the budget for it and if your going to use it professionally (so you can earn your investment back). In my line of work I couldn’t do without it seeing it’s a must have lens and a workhorse at that.

Looking for places to buy the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII, checkout these links for the best deals and latest pricing details: Amazon, Adorama.

Feel free to leave you thoughts on this lens in the comment below, that goes for any questions as well.

Our Rating

9 Build Quality

9 Optical Performance

9 Bokeh Quality

9 Focus Accuracy

7 Size and Weight

8 Handling

8 Value for money