===facts from the catalog===
Now, while waiting for Nikon to deliver on their latest and hopefully greatest 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII zoom, let's have a look at the technical data and make some comparison to similar lenses.
: 87x206mm = medium size
9mm shorter than the current 70-200mm Nikkor but still 21mm longer than the Sigma. The maximum width is the same as with the current zoom, but around the zoom ring the new version is clearly wider than the current one. This might have to do with the improved corner performance and/or the improved VR. As my Sigma 300/4.0 has approx. the same size I have a good feeling that this size is still acceptable. Btw. the 80-200mm Nikkor is only 187mm long.
: 1,540 g =
The heaviest of all current 70-200mm zoom, 70g heavier than the current version (but still lighter than the discontinued AF-S 80-200/2.8 ). Compare this to the Tamron with 1150g which is the lightest in the group. Being used to schlepping my 1200g Sigma I'm pretty sure that you begin to notice the extra 350g after a while
: 21 elements in 16 groups = same # of elements but one group more than the current version. All those glass/air surfaces with their tendency to reflect some light
Tamron has a 18/13 design. But only the new Nikkor has nano-crystal coating. There is also a tendency to use more special glass: The new Nikkor has 7 ED-elements vs. 5 ED-elements in the current version. By the way: it is good engineering practice to not use a special glasses as the front element, because these glasses tend to be softer and thus less scratch resistant. See the new design (left, first) compared to the current version (right/second):
distance/max.magnification: 1.4m / 1:8.3
This is the worst of the group. The current Nikkor goes to 1:5.6, the Sigma to 1:3.5 and the Tamron to 1:3.1
: 77mm = standard
: YES, VRII = very good
The current version has VRI, both have "normal" and "active" modes, the active mode being optimized for stabilized shooting, the normal mode optimized for stabilizing the image while viewing through the viewfinder. All other alternatives have NO stabilization at all.
: AF-S with SWM (silent wave motor), so does work on D60/3000/5000-bodies
, manual-focus override by turning the focus ring
There is a new AF switch position: "A/m". This will make inadvertent manual override of auto-focus harder. Very practical, when you hold the lens somewhere in front and accidentally move the focus ring after the camera has locked on target.
Covers full frame/FX
or smaller = normal
Comes with an nice looking lens-bag
: around 2100 EUR new (incl. 19% VAT) = expensive
The current version is around 1700 EUR, the Tamron at 600 EUR and the Sigma at 660 EUR. So this is a huge
premium for the Nikkor(s) but the optics and the image stabilization make them superior lenses.
are standard Nikon's
The others still play catch-up
is relayed to the camera, so the Nikon body can do all the advanced exposure-related stuff with this lens
But this is the same with the other zooms too.
= no, just like all Nikon G-lenses
included and revertible for transport. It has a small lock to prevent it from getting loose and subsequently lost
But never try to place the lens upside-down on its lens-hood: it will immediately topple over
The foot of the Tripod-collar
can be removed without dismounting the lens
, easy to turn camera to portrait-mode
: Yes: infinity to 5m
The current version has one too (infinity to 2.5m). I'm not sure about the Sigma and the Tamron.
Unlike the Tamron and the Sigma
I was tired of carrying around two/three lenses, which did not cover the 70-200mm range and only one of which was stabilized.
- The current Version 1 Nikkor AF-S 70-200/2.8
: An excellent lens but only first generation VR and with weakness in the FX corners. Not cheap in itself.
- The Sigma 70-200/2.8
: not tested by myself, but should be an ok zoom
- The Nikkor AF 80-200/2.8
: Now 3 generations behind, smaller and lighter than the other Nikons. You can see from the MTF charts that the optical design is dated.
- The Tamron 70-200/2.8
: pretty good potential optically and the lightest in the group but marred by changing back-/front-focus (see my review
- A collection of fixed focals, e.g. Nikkor AF 85/1.8D + micro-Nikkor 105/2.8 VR + Sigma 150/2.8 macro or Nikkor AF 180/2.8D: Well you get macro and larger aperture on the short end, but only one lens is stabilized, both the 85mm and the 180mm Nikkors are past their prime and you now need 3 lenses and still lack the flexibility of the zoom. Price- and weight-wise you end up almost the same but you have more to carry around