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Test

AF-S NIKKOR 70–200 mm f/4G ED VR

Field test

Nikon launched this lens back in October 2012. Many users were happy as this is the first Nikkor 70-200 mm telephoto lens which has f/4 light intensity to the end, even more the new VR technology is also included. The day of truth has come, we can take this excellent lens into our hands. What could be a better scene to test than the Carnival of Venice in Italy?
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Nikon D600, AF-S NIKKOR 70–200 mm f/4G ED VR 1/100sec f/3.5 ISO 2000

Technological characteristics

This professional quality but lightweight tele zoom lens became the next member of the family of Nikon’s f/4 constant light intensity lenses. With this step Nikon’s palette of lenses has been extended by a completely new category. So far amateurs had to choose 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR NIKKOR lens and if they wanted more, they had no other option than the 70-200 mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR NIKKOR telephoto lens which was specifically intended for professional users. The price of the latter is three times higher, thus ambitious amateurs or travelling press photographers and portrait photographers often had to carry the “big brother” and struggle with a heavy equipment, in case they could afford it. Now time has come and at last an excellently performing 70-200 mm f/4 lens is out in the market and it is much smaller and much lighter than the f/2,8 version. The stabilizer system has also been enhanced. This is the first NIKKOR lens which includes Nikon’s new generation vibration reduction (VR) function, so it is able to perform shutter compensation even up to 5 light value.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Nikon D600, AF-S NIKKOR 70–200 mm f/4G ED VR 1/250sec f/6.5 ISO 400
The high-quality Nikon lens combined with its enhanced vibration reduction is an excellent choice both for professional and amateur photographers. This technology which offers two VR modes can be applied well in the photography of different themes and situations. The normal mode is suitable for the two-way stabilization of everyday hand-held photography, the active mode can be exploited either for shooting from a moving vehicle or fastmoving sports photography (panning).
If you look into the viewfinder in VR mode both modes offer a stable image by which focusing and composition becomes much more comfortable and exact. The performance of the lighter lens remains intact. moreover, it has an extremely high resolution. Although it does not come with the basic version In terms of its structure it contains 20 lens elements in 14 groups, and Nikon’s nanocrystalline coating takes care of the compensation of flare and ghosting. Although the standard equipment does not include but we recommend you to buy the RT -1 tripod collar ring. It is a very useful accessory that improves the stability of the tripod and offers a fast and smooth transition between vertical and horizontal orientation in case we photograph in portrait or landscape format.

The test

I received an FX format Nikon D600 camera and the new lens for the test conducted at the Carnival of Venice in Italy. The two devices fit in a small case which made photography much easier. Since the amount of weight to be carried by photographers in the course of multiple days of shooting does matter.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Nikon D600, AF-S NIKKOR 70–200 mm f/4G ED VR 1/250 sec f/5 ISO 400
AF-S NIKKOR 70–200 mm f/4G ED VR passed the test very well, I even did not notice that I had the lens on me. This is a perfect combination of camera body and lens. During the four days I had the opportunity to shoot with different aperture settings and I had the following results. At f/4 aperture the lens performed well and the pictures became sharp enough, at f/5,6 the photos were of excellent quality and the background was sufficiently blurred. To be honest I shot at the maximum of f/8 aperture as it was required by the scenes of the carnival. The autofocus did its job very quickly and almost flawlessly, all of my pictures were sharp. The new VR technology helped a lot in focusing: in the alleys with late afternoon lights I often had to use ISO 800, ISO 1600 sensitivity, and the vibration reduction (VR) function came in handy.

Summary

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70–200 mm f/4G ED VR lens is a professional f/4 telephoto lens of outstanding performance. The light weight and the price of about EUR 1,200 makes professionalism accessible in this segment. We recommend it to everyone who can afford it, to make your dreams come true.
We would like to say thank you to Nikon Ltd for the long test opportunity.
Tester: Tamás Imre
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