70-200 VRI vs. 70-200 VRII Nano - Field of View Issue

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mark_mui, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. I was at my local camera store comparing the new nikon 70-200 VRII Nano with my old 70-200 VRI. I took 2 sets of images with both lenses at f2.8 200mm iso 400 with my D3 body. Me and the sales guy couldn't figure out why the VRII doesn't have as much reach as the old VRI. Can anyone explain why there's such a discrepancy between these two lens at the same zoom range?
    Comparison Photo

  2. Assuming you shot from exactly the same spot, IF would be the likely culprit. Focal lengths are given for the lens focused to infinity - the closer you focus, the more the focal length is changed (decreased) for an IF lens.
  3. It does appear that the two shots with the tape dispenser appear to be focused at different distances.
  4. Did you shoot the objects that are far enough? When the modern lenses (zooms and IF primes) focus to the closer objects, their focal lengths are shortened. To what degree? That should depend on each lens. So, the actual focal lengths of 1st version and 2nd version may have been different when focused at something in the shop, which should cause the discrepancy of AOV.
  5. Just stumbled on a thread on another site going over the same thing, they are both IF zooms so I never would have guessed such a large difference in FOV (at 15-20 feet it looked like 25%)
    I know it may sound silly to some of you but I shoot a ton of sports where I cant get closer, the difference between them 2 lenses is significant
  6. Perhaps this is part of the price that's being paid for the different corner behavior on FX bodies. Huh. Now I like my Orginal Recipe version even more!
  7. I get the same effect with the 18-70/3.5-4.5 DX and 35-70/2.8D AF at 70mm settings and close focusing. At close range and 70mm settings the 18-70 is effectively a 55mm focal length, while the 35-70 remains pretty close to a 70mm focal length.
  8. Ha! So that's how Nikon solved the corner problem. They cropped the corners right out of the lens.
  9. What's surprising, though, Lex, is that the two versions of the same (class of) lens would exhibit such dramatically different behavior. It will be interesting to see more formal tests on this.
  10. The camera position was fixed, same object focused on, both lenses at 200mm, all settings equal. I went to the store with the intention of buying the new lens. After I saw these comparisons I went home with a greater appreciation of my VRI. (I will never cheat on her again)
  11. Hi Mark ,I have compared these two lenses.

    In short : My copy of the new lens is not sharper than my old version. Vignetting on full frame cameras
    is significantly less pronounced (not entirely eliminated). VR on the new lens works amazingly well.
    The new lens is more flare resistant. At close focusing distance (1.27m) the new lens turns into a 130mm lens.
    This reduced magnification can still be observed at over 200 ft,however at infinity it is a 200 mm lens.At about 9feet shooting distance the new lens will give you a picture of 164 mm ,the old lens at the same distance gives you 198mm . Any portrait photographer should be aware of this.The new lens handles very well on a large camera body.
    I have posted several sample pics @ http://www.pbase.com/deerhog/lens
  12. Although the older VR version is a 21 elements in 15 groups design and the newer VRII version is a 21 elements in 16 groups design, they are radically different optical layouts as one can see by looking at the cross-sections at Nikon Global. So it's probably not at all unexpected that at very close distances the internal focus characteristics would result in possibly significant differences in AOV.
  13. What an incredibly illuminating thread. For what it's worth I see a sharper image with the new lens when shooting wide open. I have never been a pixel peeper, but have a 30" monitor. It is pretty easy to spot tack sharp images. I also would have "assumed" that when you set the dial to 200mm, the FL is 200mm. Great thread, thanks for the info.
  14. Your reponses are greatly appreciated.
  15. Martin, I was curious about the two lenses; I have Ver 1, and have been aware of the round criticism of its corners for landscape work in particular. I can live with the flare problems. Would that reference you made be to a password protected gallery on your link?
  16. Flame away, but for $2500, I feel that's a pretty significant FOV change (especially the shot of the cleaning tissue). I understand when my cheap 18-200 shrinks when focused closely, but this lens shouldn't be worse than the lens it's supposed to replace. Now I'm going to have to test my trusty non-AFS, non-VR, 80-200 AF-D to see how much FOV I lose when I close focus it . . .
  17. It looks the price to pay to have IF (and a wider image circle) at the same time... the lens` user manual specify this issue several times. It could affect to, e.g., some wedding photogs but not so much to e.g., sports photogs (I guess).
    The minimum focus distance is stated at 1.4 meters, at 200mm FL it should mean a tight head portrait. Looks like this lens cannot do that. Bad for some.
    I`m now thinking,e.g., on small court`s games, like basketball juniors, where the whole "real" range is needed. The issue is, at what minimum focus distance this new lens act -at least- closer to a "true" 200mm focal lenght?
  18. Out of curiosity, I `ve been checking the magnification charts provided for this lens vs. the AFS200.
    Both lenses provide almost the same magnification at the expense of a closer focusing distance for the zoom (AFS200 is 1:8.1 at 1.9meters, the 70-200VRII is 1:8.6 at 1.4meters).
    Also, the 70-200VR (1st v.) is specially good with respect to this issue (1:5.6 at 1.4meters!). Actually DX shooters should be more interested in this version, thought.
  19. I have been wondering when people discover a "flaw" in this lens which would make it easier for me to obtain one sooner at a lower price. Now one has been found. Hopefully the 2k barrier will be breached soon (currently 2200€) - I think above that the price is just too high for a lens of this type.
    The improved VR and higher contrast should make it interesting to DX users as well, though obviously the shorter reach can be considered a drawback (while it may be a benefit for some portrait applications if the FL reduction also takes place at 70mm).
  20. David ,I have uploaded a pic to the gallery ,that demonstrates the flare and ghosting of the new version. Sorry,but I do not have a direct comparison to the old version.
  21. You guys are like a golf pro who would cheat on his gorgeous wife ; I love my 18-200VR and my new 70-200 VR II . But then again , I'm two timing also .
  22. Has anyone measured the focal length at 70mm at approximately 2-3m distances? I think this could potentially be very useful for full body or half-body portraits if also the short end of the zoom gets wider as much as the long end gets shorter.
  23. Here is a quick comparison from a larger test set of images. Not terribly scientific but it confirms the wider FOV with the VRII lens. But without some specific measurements, I am really not sure which 200mm is really 200mm. They are different, it would appear
  24. Steven, thanks for your pic. After a rough calculations based on your image, at 10.5ft (=3,46mts) your VRII is showing an area similar to what the VRI would show at a FL near 166mm.
  25. So here are some additional comparisons of the VRI to VRII lens. First shutter speed. Conditions are the same as above except I have varied the shutter speed and aperture in this series.
  26. This is 1/50... I should add that I took three separate images separated by a few seconds for all of the shutter speed test.. all handheld.. my hands were the standard )
  27. I am trying to upload the 1/13 second for a third time....
  28. And now I will show my vignette testing....
    shot at varying apertures against an essentially blank wall again hand held.....
  29. Vignetting at f4.0 all of these are at 200mm
  30. f5.6 vignetting
  31. Last vignetting image at f8
  32. Sorry for so many posts, but thought people would be interested in a simple comparison between the old nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRI lens and the new nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII lens.
    My conclusions
    1. Field of view is larger on the VRII lens, but not sure which is closer to a true focal length. If short focal length yields a bit more field, that could help in portrait work.
    2. The shutter speed that I would be comfortable with the VRI lens would be 1/100 and with the VRII 1/50, but if absolutely pushed I would consider 1/25 with the VRII lens expecting some soft shots in the process. To me vibration reduction is relative to how much 'shake' the individual user has when they shoot.
    3. Vignetting.. .this is complicated for me because I have a wider field of view, but at 2.8, VRII is better. By 5.6 the two different lens are pretty similar in terms of vignetting with the important caveat that the field of view is larger with the new lens.
    Sold my VRI for a good price, so upgrade was not too painful, but was it worth it. I think so, but not overwhelming so like the low light performance of the D700/D3 over previous bodies.
  33. Thanks Steven, very informative.
  34. Excellent thread. Thank you for all of the test shots. Based on my usage, which is for landscape shots on a tripod (I use it on both a D300 and a D700), I think that I will stick with the VRI. The VRII definitely is sharper; however for prints up to 13x19 in., the VRI is sharp enough. Even with selling the VRI for a good price, the VRII would end up being quite expensive.
  35. Excellent thread. Thank you for all of the test shots. Based on my usage, which is for landscape shots on a tripod (I use it on both a D300 and a D700), I think that I will stick with the VRI. The VRII definitely is sharper; however for prints up to 13x19 in., the VRI is sharp enough. Even with selling the VRI for a good price, the VRII would end up being quite expensive.
  36. Ilkka´s comment about the shortest end is interesting... but I`m afraid this is not the case. At the short end, the lens (according with the user`manual chart) show magnification very close to a theoretical 70mm focal lenght.
    Check the graphic below, the horizontal axis represent the distance in meters, the vertical axis represent magnification (the lower the number the smaller magnification, hence the shorter focal length). Both lines are close, then the VRII at 70mm is basically a "true" 70mm lens.
  37. On the other side, at 200mm there is a difference with what a 200mm lens should be... the VRII needs almost 10mts (=30ft) to work as a "true" 200mm focal lenght lens.
  38. Thanks Steve for posting very nice tests, looks like the VR mechanism on ver II is more effective than ver I and it appears that II is slightly sharper at f/2.8 and f/4 although it would have been nice to use a tripod for sharpness test to have more consistent results.
    The loss of magnification is very apparent, I wonder how things will look like if you downsample the VRI images to equalize magnification between the two or crop and upsample VRII images to match the FOV of VR I.
  39. Jose, thanks for your graphs. It is disappointing. I would have hoped that the ratio between longest and shortest focal lengths would have stayed constant as a function of distance.
  40. Yes, thanks Jose..., but I'm not dissappointed at all : from 3 m to > , the lens behave like a 200mm prime lens. How many portrets are taken with a 200mm lens, under 2m..., NONE ! I don't want this lens , to do macro with it.
  41. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The horizontal axis in Jose's diagrams is in meters. You need to go out to 10 meters, about 33 feet, for the new 70-200 to behave similar to a fixed 200mm lens in terms of angle of view.
  42. I`m having some fun with the charts. FWIW, here it is what is more interesting to me... the theoretical focal lenght of the lens when set at 200mm in medium to short distances. The DoF charts in the user manual allow to make this calculations.
    Horizontal axis is the focus distance scale in meters, vertical axis the resulting focal lenght in milimeters. When the zoom is set at 200mm and focused to the distances you can read below, the "real" resulting focal lenght is at the left. The distance scale is limited to 10 meters (aprox. 30ft.) that result in a 186mm focal lenght as is in the lens` sheet. As you can imagine the curve should grow up to infinity and closer to a 200mm focal lenght...
  43. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Jose, by any chance you have the charts for the old Version 1 of the 70-200 for comparison?
  44. I hope not to be wrong but... to be sincere, I cannot believe it. Perhaps someone could corroborate it with the lens in hand.
    Shun, I have been looking for them, unsuccessfully. Nikon don`t provide this charts on the VRI user manual.
  45. Mark, Aside from the FOV, what struck me most from the images you posted, was the Bokeh. VR 1 is way better. Not just from the apparent focal length, me thinks.
  46. This is rather startling news! Both versions have IF and both versions focus to a minimum of 4.6 feet. The only Nikon lenses I have heard of that change focal lengths at different focus points are some of the micro Nikkors, and this is not a micro lens, and nor does it focus any closer than the previous one. On what basis does Nikon hope to sell these to people who understand photography? Or perhaps that is the idea: Nikon hoping they sell it to the masses just because it is a "II".
  47. I think there is a little more to it than just being the second version. look at the build in one of the grafts above. the elements are placed different, but also the front lens is less rounded on the VRII. does that warrant me upgrading, doubtfull, since I am often going for reach. but it is interesting to see the change. personally I like the focus lock on the original.
  48. Some thoughts:
    Lens manufacturers sometimes sacrify some features in benefit of others. It`s impossible to have -all- into a "reasonable" design (fast non variable aperture, long range, compact size, weight, parfocal design, optical performance, ergonomics, polivalence, etc., etc., etc.). There could be infinite parameters that force lens designers to make a decission. I suspect size has been one of them with this lens.
    Althought I think my calculations are right, usually zooms doesn`t have "reliable" distance scales on them... I don`t know if this is a parfocal lens. Most times distance scales on zooms are not usable in the whole zoom range. I believe it is not the case, but although the data I used in the chart has been taken from a Nikon`s written chart, I don`t know if it refers to "real" measured distances or the distances marked on the lens barrel, and if the VRII is a "true" parfocal lens or not.
    I bet this lens will be again the best up to date in its range, or at least the most convenient for real life use, as it has been with other models. On every release the first things that came out are the possible flaws, but in my experience, after that many of them has become reference lenses.
    I suspect Nikon engineers knows what they are doing... remember the release of the 14-24, 24-70... looks like this reference lenses were full of flaws. It`s still soon to make statements about this lens.
  49. I've used the Mk.2 for some weeks now and this is clearly the new reference for the 70/80-200 range. In fact, it comes within a hair's breadth of the 200/2 VR in terms of overall image quality and the contrast is even better.
    The maximum magnification is lower than of the predecessor, 1:8.3 vs 1:5.6, but sharpness is substantially better. At the near limit, 1.4m for both lenses, you will have approx. 1.1 m of free working distance and that together with the imposing size of these lenses will intimidate most subjects no matter what magnification results.
  50. Bjorn, thanks for your comments on the lens (again). I tend to agree that the f/2.8 telezooms are intimidating for portraits at close range and I tend to prefer lighter and smaller lenses myself. I've become quite fond of the 85's (1.4D and the PC-E) for my own studio portraits, but I can see that there are some who prefer a look that one gets with a longer lens such as 135.
  51. I suspect Nikon engineers knows what they are doing...
    Not necessarily. Remember the 80-200 with the very poor collar? We had to buy after market collars to fix the Nikon engineers screw up. In fact, many after market ideas have found their way into Nikon equipment.
    I'm not judging this lens, I don't have the II to compare to the original version, I'm just saying that as much as I like Nikon, they have made many mistakes in the past. The good thing is they usually correct them...eventually.
    I was thinking of upgrading, I've had the original version since it was first introduced, love it, but after seeing the comparison shots I'm keeping my lens. Thanks to Photo.net and all you great photogs for sharing.
  52. I just wanted to thank everyone for an in-depth evaluation of these lenses. Either lens is way out of my price range but high on my wish list. Should I win lotto, I can make an informed purchase. Thanks.
  53. It is simple:
    70-200 VR I at closest focus:
    Maximum reproduction ratio
    1/6.1 in AF mode = 0.16x​
    70-200 VR II at closest focus::
    Maximum reproduction ratio

    0,16 / 0,12 = 1.33

    Older lens has 1.33x times more magnification as the newer (almost as if TC-14E was attached to the new one).
  54. I'd be happy with either lens on a D700.
  55. Thanks all for bringing that issue up the day after I ordered mine ;-) So, no more sleep until I get the "65 - 135" lens? Certainly not. But I may fall back to the trusted AF-S 300/4 more often for those long distance close focus shots. Or eventually get the hereby rumored new AF-S VR 105/1.8 for protraits...
  56. One last comment. Analysis is helpful as well as charts, but I thought I would take a few real world images with the new lens. I have attached one, but the quality is representative of about 20 images I took earlier today.
    ISO 1250, 1/80, f2.8 @ 170mm on my D700
  57. This has all been illuminating and helpful . And I am foolish to go off the thread of a blog . But I am so grateful that I am on the art side of photography and not the science side . I love my VR II . The shot of the baseball on my shelf , across the room ; oh my , I could crawl into those stitching holes they are so big and detailed . Life is good .
  58. "This has all been illuminating and helpful . And I am foolish to go off the thread of a blog . But I am so grateful that I am on the art side of photography and not the science side . I love my VR II . The shot of the baseball on my shelf , across the room ; oh my , I could crawl into those stitching holes they are so big and detailed . Life is good ."
    What!!??? You aren't shooting brick walls and checking magnification? You're taking real photos? How odd that you judge a lens based on real photos!
  59. Steven,
    Personally I don't think your test is too convincing. May I suggest you send me the lenses for a test period of - lets say two years - so I can decide for myself.
    Oh, Bjorn, I'm in a good mood, this applies to all of your lenses as well.
  60. I love VR2's stability and sharpness way more than VR1's. Under situations that have no strong wind or shaking floors, I am able to shoot at 1/8s to 1/6s hand-held. Thank you, Nikon!
    1. at 1/20s
    2. at 1/8s
    3.at 1/15s
  61. I wouldn't blame Nikon's optical engineers for the bad tripod collars on some of their lenses as that part of the lens is probably not designed by them. Nikon have produced some absolutely wonderful lenses in the last few years and the 70-200 VR II will be no exception to that. The close focus, loss of reach issue, has been blown out of all proportion to actual real world usage IMO. I'm certainly not going to argue about it though. I had a quick look at the dpreview forum on the new lens and I must say, mankind is a stupid lot, a lot of the time.
  62. Mark, Aside from the FOV, what struck me most from the images you posted, was the Bokeh. VR 1 is way better. Not just from the apparent focal length, me thinks.

    I knew some Bokian was going to get in here. Yes, the softer blur from the VRI is indeed due to its greater effective (not apparent) focal length. The character of the blur is essentially identical.
  63. ches time,
    Just wondering what zoom you shot those at, zoom is a factor in camera shake. Shooting slow speeds at 200mm is different to shooting at 70mm etc.
    Why do so many people remove exif data ? I can understand if the shots are for sale, but when making claims about certain things, wouldnt it make sense to have exif supplied to back up said claims? Im not having a go, but i have noticed this across alot of forums and it gets kinda frustrating.
  64. Altering EXIF data is very easy. Hint: EXIFTool or similar freely available software.
    Why would the presence of EXIF data support a claim? One either trust a person, or not. EXIF alone can't prove anything.
  65. Roy Coleman,
    the top two were at 200mm, the bottom one was at 70mm.
  66. Just attached Nikon TC-17E II to my 70-200mm VR2, and took some hand-held test shots under low natural light.

    Camera : Nikon D700, Lens: 70-200mm VR2+TC-17EII
    14-bit Raw Lossless format converted into Jpegs in LR3 Beta.

    1. ISO 200 f/4.8 1/4s at 320mm


    2. ISO 200 f/4.8 1/6s at 320mm


    3. ISO 200 f/4.8 1/8s at 320mm


    4. ISO 800 f/4.8 1/13s at 340mm


    5. ISO 1600 f/11 1/8s at 340mm

  67. Guys, I have just finished writing a detailed review of the new 70-200mm lens on my blog here: http://www.mansurovs.com/nikon-70-200mm-vr-ii-review
    I have lots of image samples on sharpness and I also tested this lens with both 1.4x TC-14E II and 1.7x TC-17E II and compared the lens to the 300mm f/4.0 lens.
    Please let me know what you think!
    Thank you.
  68. Roy, the reason many people remove exif data is that it can be a privacy hazard. For example, in cameras with GPS receiver the photos are geotagged. If a photo was taken in the photographer's house, then his identity could be reveled, when he may wish to publish the photos anonymously. Serial number is also recorded by many cameras, which again can be problematic as the origin of different photos can determined to be the same. Another problem is the thumbnail that may remain unchanged even if the photo was altered, as was demonstrated by the infamous Cat Schwartz case. There are free utilities to remove exif such as BatchPurifier LITE and jStrip.

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