70-200/4 Release and First Shots?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dan_brown|4, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Well, today is the official release date. Let us know if you get one, or if your ships.
    I pre-orded one from B&H within 8 hours after Nikon announced the lens, but nothing on its shipment just yet.
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Yesterday, I checked with our contacts at Nikon. They have received the new 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR and will ship one to photo.net for testing shortly. When I receive it, I'll report back my findings. Personally, I own both the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR version 1 and 2. Comparing those three lenses is an obvious step.
    Unfortunately, the new f4 version is quite expensive, as the tripod collar is an additional $200. Most likely people will buy third-party collars from Kirk and RRS instead.
     
  3. Looking forward to the comparo Shun. I'll post some test shots whenever I can.
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan, when you get that lens, please let us know what you think, as we did with the 24-85 AF-S VR: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00aXdz
    Since I already have the 24-120mm/f4 AF-S VR, I am not interested in the 24-85. However, I very much would like an f4 version of the 70-200 since the two f2.8 versions I have are quite heavy. The $1400 price tag turns me off a bit. Hopefully there will be some rebate in the future, maybe in conjunction with camera purchase.
     
  5. I already ordered my copy and is ready for delivery but since next two days are holidays in Romania I'll receive it Monday... This make me sick :(
     
  6. i don't really see the point,other than feeding NAS, in owning two 70-200 lenses, much less three. i could understand the 70-200/4 for landscapists but only if you dont already have one of the other lenses. IMO that money would be better spent on a 135/2.
     
  7. I'd be very interested in seeing the comparison of this new lens to the 70-300VR. More so even than the comparison to the 2.8 pro zooms.
     
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Eric, I want a 70-200mm/f4 in addition to a 70-200mm/f2.8 for the same reason I have a 300mm/f2.8 AF-S and a 300mm/f4 AF-S: When I go hiking and am already carrying a 500mm/f4 or 200-400mm/f4, I don't mind losing another pound or two with a slower 70-200mm/f4.
    However, having f2.8 is critical for indoor party, weddings, etc.
    When the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR II came out, since it is so much better than version 1, getting version 2 was an easy decision. People may recall that due to my negligance, my version 1 was blown over from a tripod and hit hard rock on South Georgia Island. The lens still works fine but the manual-focus ring is now rough. Nikon USA wants $500 to fix it and I said no. After I get the f4, I'll probably sell it with full disclosure.
    A close friend has a 70-300mm/f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR. I can always borrow that and compare it against the new 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR.
     
  9. I pre-orded one from B&H within 8 hours after Nikon announced the lens, but nothing on its shipment just yet.​
    I pre-ordered before you did and recently received an email to the effect that they have not received any and do not know when they will do.
     
  10. It would be nice to know what dia of collar is need for the 70-200 FA? I have two collars for my sigma 300 2.8 and sigma 70-200 2.8 and it would be nice if by chance they would fit
     
  11. I pre-ordered before you did and recently received an email to the effect that they have not received any and do not know when they will do.​
    now listed as shipped
     
  12. Nick, B&H mine shipped this morning as well, 2nd Day Air, hopefully I get some shutter time on Monday.
     
  13. I want a 70-200mm/f4 in addition to a 70-200mm/f2.8 for the same reason I have a 300mm/f2.8 AF-S and a 300mm/f4 AF-S: When I go hiking and am already carrying a 500mm/f4 or 200-400mm/f4, I don't mind losing another pound or two with a slower 70-200mm/f4.​
    Shun, at some point you need to admit that's NAS talking. the Nikon and Tamron 70-300 VR/VC's are already quite good and fairly light. I am reminded of Galen Rowell, the famous nature photographer, known for carrying minimal gear -- just a prime and a zoom in many cases. I couldn't imagine hiking with a 500/4 and 200-400; my back feels it when i lug the 24-70 and 70-200.
    If i didn't already have a 70-200II and a 70-300 VC, i might be interested in this new lens. But $1500 without a tripod collar ain't exactly cheap.
     
  14. I preordered one of these and have the option of picking one up immediately. I can get the lens but the Nikon collar is unavailable and I called Kirk today and they aren't sure they will even make one. They have to get the lens in and make a decision. They did indicate they would make a foot for the Nikon collar to attach it using an Arca mount.
    I would use this primarily for landscapes with a D800 on a tripod. My question is whether the collar is even required. I would prefer to have one, but think the 24-70 I have weighs 50 grams more than this lens.
    This is the language on the Nikon site. Thoughts?
    "The RT-1 is an optional accessory tripod collar ring designed specifically for the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR lens. When shooting with a D-SLR and the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR lens, the RT-1 can be used to attach the lens to a tripod instead of attaching the camera's body directly to the tripod. Attaching the lens to the tripod instead of the D-SLR body can be done when additional support is desired, such as when shooting with a teleconverter."
     
  15. "70-300 VR/VC's" lenses are not the same class of lens as the Nikon 70-200mm series lenses.
     
  16. The 70-200/4 is about the same size, weight as the 180/2.8. A collar is
    unlikely to be needed if you mount the camera to a solid tripod and head
    with a well-fitting quick release plate (e.g. the RRS custom L bracket I
    have for the D3X really made a difference in removing the flex that is
    seen with small generic plates.) I think Nikon made the RT-1 optional
    because it is really up to the user whether they want to use one.
    Whether third parties will make theirs depends on user demand; I
    suspect many of the people who have high end supports with arca
    swiss plates have proper fitting L brackets for their cameras and don't
    necessarily find the collar for a small lens useful. But only testing will
    reveal how useful the collar is on an individual camera support setup.
    Nikon seems to suggest the collar may benefit users of TCs with this
    lens. I imagine if a D3200 is used then the RT-1 may indeed provide
    more robust support as the bottoms of the least expensive bodies often
    are too flexible.
     
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun, at some point you need to admit that's NAS talking. the Nikon and Tamron 70-300 VR/VC's are already quite good and fairly light. I am reminded of Galen Rowell, the famous nature photographer, known for carrying minimal gear -- just a prime and a zoom in many cases. I couldn't imagine hiking with a 500/4 and 200-400; my back feels it when i lug the 24-70 and 70-200.​
    Eric, I don't care for a second whether you (or anybody) think I have NAS or not. However, hiking with a 200-400mm/f4 AF-S VR is the only way I could get a lot of the images I am very happy with in the Galapagos, South Georgia Island, ... and other remote parts of the world. The only problem is that I cannot afford, both in terms of cost and in terms of time, to go on those trips more often.
    Do you think people with NAS typically hike with 20, 30 pounds of camera gear and tripod to capture images?
    I have yet to see the new 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR, but for once, Elliot is right that those 70-300mm VR zooms from Nikon and Tamron are not in the same class any constant aperture 70-200mm lenses. First of all there is a big difference between f4 and f5.6. I own some 30 lenses and there is only one that is below f5.6: the 28-300mm/f3.5-5.6 AF-S VR travel lens.
    I tested the Tamron 70-300 Di VC for photo.net: http://www.photo.net/equipment/tamron/70-300di-vc/ so that I know it very well. Optically it is excellent for a zoom, but back then I only had a D300. I have some doubt that those lenses are as good on the D7000 and D800. For example, the Nikon version is no longer that sharp at f5.6 on the D7000. Additionally, their construction quality is mediocre. Recall the stroy that Tui De Roy changes her Nikon 70-300 to a few version every year and half or so? When I met her last year, she was on her 3rd one.
    Finally, a tripod collar is critical on the 70-200 for serious landscape and other work. It lets you make quick landscape/portrait adjustment. To me, the collar is a must. Unfortunately, it looks like the Nikon collar is not yet available. Hopefully Kirk, RRS, etc. will make one with the A/S quick release built into it.
    With the Nikon collar, the new 70-200mm/f4 is $1600. That is more than what I paid for the version 1 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR about 7 years ago. That is why I would wait a bit for the price to drop; maybe I can get some rebate when I buy it with a future DSLR.
     
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Just tried the 70-200 f4 at my local store. It is much lighter than the f2.8 version. It is made in Thailand. VR is excellent. At
    200mm and 1/15 second on my D800E, it is still quite sharp hand held. I'll post samples.
     
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    This is a telephone inside the camera store. I captured this with the 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR at 200mm, wide open at f4 with VR on. The D800E set to ISO 400 and 1/15 sec, again, hand held.
    I captured a bunch of images at different shutter speeds and ISO, and I was able to get this level of sharpness at 1/15 sec consistently; this was not just one lucky sharp image.
    So my first impression is quite good, but that was after using the lens for just a few minutes inside a store. I still find the price quite high, though.
    BTW, the camera store is Keeble and Shuchat in Palo Alto, California. They have the new 70-200mm/f4 in stock. They also have the tripod collar in stock.
    00b5Gj-506621584.jpg
     
  20. Well, that looks amazing for 1/15 at 200mm and store lighting levels.
    I feel very sure I will never miss my 80-200/2.8.
     
  21. I wanted to thank everyone who responded to my "collar" question with some information on the Nikon 70-200 f4 lens.
    I picked up the Nikon 70-200 f4 lens on 12/1/2012 as a replacement for my old Nikon 80-200 2.8 AFS lens I purchased in April 1999. My old 80-200 served me well and is a nice lens, but my D800 has identified sharpness issues that weren’t obvious to me before. Since I shoot primarily landscapes the lack of a 2.8 aperture isn’t a problem and the reduced size and weight is actually a big advantage as I sometimes hike a bit to get to destinations I want to shoot. The VR will also be nice in those situations where I shoot sports activities, which is infrequent.
    The temperature here in Illinois was 63 degrees today (12/2/2012), pretty nice for this time of year, so I went outside and took photographs using a D800 with a Kirk L-bracket on a Kirk BH-1 ball head and a Gitzo G1329 tripod. No collar on the lens. I actually turned VR off when I shot from the tripod. Used mirror lock up and a camera release (my standard practice).
    A summary of what I saw follows. I have been looking at 1:2 and 1:1 magnifications on a 30” Dell in Lightroom. Note that I’m not a professional photographer or reviewer, so take that into consideration. I don’t think any of these statements will surprise anyone.
    1. Pincushion distortion on the long end, barrel distortion on the short end. Obvious on the obligatory brick wall photos I took.
    2. Vignetting at f4 at all focal lengths. Not bad, but noticeable. Not as bad as my old lens.
    3. Good at f4, best at f5.6 and f8.0, softening up at f11. Softness at f11 was more noticeable to me on the long-end.
    4. Corners are pretty sharp at all focal lengths I shot.
    5. Color rendition seems good.
    6. More contrast in general. Pictures just seem to have a nicer quality to them (over my older lens).
    7. The lens is solidly constructed and attaches nicely to my D800.
    Where I notice the huge advantage of this lens over my old one (from a photographic quality perspective) are:
    1. The corners seem better at all of the focal lengths. From 150mm on this one is much sharper outside the central area.
    2. Sharpness seems even better in the central area when looking at 1:1 and 1:2 crops.
    3. Photographs just seem to pop more.
    I also took a handheld shot in my house without the tripod. Not having had a VR lens before, I was impressed I could handhold at 200mm and 1/15th a second and get a pretty decent shot. Similar results to what Shun got.
    I’m definitely keeping this and selling my old Nikon 80-200. I’m very impressed with this lens.
    Hope this helps someone. I would supply photos, but don't want to drop them on my website.
     
  22. I was able to take a few pictures, nothing special, just to see the limits of this lens. I used it exclusively on D600, I'll use it on D800 most probably tomorrow, and by now I am very pleased with the output. These images were shot RAW and they have very little tweaks here and there on View NX2, then converted in jpeg and batch resized. No noise reduction in camera or in PP.

    f4 1/15 ISO 12800
    [​IMG]
    f4 1/200 ISO12800, shot through the car's window!
    [​IMG]
    f4 1/40 ISO12800
    [​IMG]
    Last, a picture in daylight with VR off: f4 1/200
    [​IMG]
     
  23. UPS showed up and I ran outside with the TC17e to give the combo a try. Here is a shot at ISO 200, 340mm, 1/100 sec handheld, and f6.7. Everthing elso was D700 default settings, JPEG-HI.
    Whole Frame:
    [​IMG]
    And a 100% crop:
    [​IMG]
     
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Sorry Dan, I wouldn't be very happy with that kind of sharpness on a 12MP D700, not sure it is the TC-17E or camera shake. I think it is the TC since there is no obvious motion blur. There is a small chance for focusing error.
     
  25. It is what it is.
    The shots at 70mm (120mm eff.) look much sharper. All of the shots without the TC look great. I also need to try some on a tripod before passing judgment at 340mm. Also, would like to do some side-by-side with my 300/4AF-S (+TC17e). I just need to find the time.
    Time will tell. My first impressions of the lens are overall very positive. First, I LOVE how the lens drops into my Domke F-3 :D. The size and weight are very nice. Handling is good. The viewfinder experience with VR on is pleasing and noticeably different from the VRII lenses I have used. Focusing is very quick.
     
  26. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Without the TC, my limited experience with this lens is very good. The controls feel solid and yet it is fairly light weight, compared to the f2.8.
     
  27. Here's that same location, shot at 200mm, f4.0, handheld.
    [​IMG]
     
  28. Let's just say I am not selling my 300/4.
    Although, I happily sold both my 80-200/2.8 and 70-300 VR to fund this new lens.
     
  29. The D700 doesn't (officially) support AF on 70-200/4 + 1.7X TC, so it is understandable there may be focusing errors. Also, I don't know any TC setup which works really well wide open (that doesn't mean they don't exist, I just haven't run into them ;-)).
    I agree this lens is very smooth to use and handles beautifully. Image quality without TC is great. However, I do not need it and there are other things that I do need yet do not have, and all of these things cost real money. :-(
     
  30. Hare a couple more shots I grabbed during lunch today:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  31. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan, it is clearly a lot sharper without the TC-17E II. With the TC, those screws are just a blur. That is unacceptable result from a lens + TC combo that costs close to $2000. And that is on a D700. It is going to be worse if you pixel peep on a D800.
    The fact of the matter is that very few zooms work well with teleconverters. One of the exceptions is the f2.8 version of the 70-200mm AF-S VR II. If you must use a TC, it is best to stop down by a stop. The problem is that with the 70-200mm/f4, you start with f4, the TC-17E drops it to about f6.3, when you further stop down, you are down to f9 or so. That would be a very slow lens at 340mm.
     
  32. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I just had a short one-week trip to Hong Kong, and I was hoping that my 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR test sample would arrive before I left, but unfortunately it missed my departure by just one day. There were a few occasions that I wish I had that lens with me in Hong Kong. In any case, I got back to California this morning and picked up the lens in the afternoon.
    Obviously I have seen the f4 before, but now I have it side by side with my 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR II, the f4 is clearly a lot smaller. The optional RT-1 tripod collar is good but still does not rotate as smoothly as the fixed one on the f2.8. Similar to the removable collar on the Sigma 70-200mm/f2.8 OS, the RT-1 uses the same knob to loosen the collar for rotation and for removal, so you need to be careful with that operation or the lens could fall of the collar.
    00b8Xw-508593684.jpg
     

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