NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR I like!

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mark4583|1, May 16, 2020.

  1. Got this last week, was trying to decide what lens to get or go Z6 but I got a decent deal on this and thought why not just get some real good glass and I have to say so far I like a lot! this is the front entrance to my work shot with D750 f5.6 at 70 mm right out of the camera. nikon70-200_9church1.jpg nikon70-200_9church12.jpg
  2. Really? I find that my old AF Nikkor 70-210mm f/4-5.6D is better in every way.

    Ha ha, no. I've never even used the E FL lens. They wouldn't let me near it.
  3. A modern f2.8 lens @ 5.6 is gonna be nigh-on perfect. The old rule of 2 stops down from max still applies here.

    However, it is still almost certainly the best 70-200mm 2.8 out there.

    Maybe not in bang per buck, but nevertheless...:cool:

    The best grey price here in the UK is ~£1400.
  4. Not sure why you say that. The 70-200mm is known to be tops, and this one is f/2.8.

    PS - Oh I see you were joking. Never mind ;)
    chulster likes this.
  5. I traded some other lenses and some money for the FL a while back - following my "never wonder what you could have had" philosophy that leaves me with no cash. It's a visible step up from the VR2, especially wide open - not that the VR2 was bad. The VR is a lot better, too. Reports are that the Z mount version is even better, for those going down that route. (Is it out yet?)

    Enjoy your new toy!
  6. I hesitated for one the $$ and I had the VR1 and did not like it, sold it and kept the 80-2002.8 D I thought was way better, havent had the chance to put this to work yet but took about 15 shots on lunch today at work and they were all spot on focus and love the separation from the back ground.
    p2 and Erik-Christensen like this.
  7. I did it the expensive way. I got a cheap 80-200 AF (mk1, push zoom), which was incredibly slow to focus (as reported) but also had something wrong with its aperture. Sadly because I didn't use it much I didn't notice until after I felt I could return it to the company which sold it to me. I then bought a new 80-200 AF-D mk3 (in Australia - they weren't available in the UK for some reason), in part so family could shoot my wedding with it. Even when I bought it, on a D700, it was visibly softer than a 70-200 VR2 in tests, but also a lot cheaper. At range I was okay with it, but at vaguely close distance it would miss focus a lot (I understand the telecentricity changes) and I'm not convinced it was all that sharp even if it was in focus, at close range - by which I mean useful portrait distance. I tried to throw more good money after bad and pick up a (rare in the UK) 80-200 AF-S, but when I went to collect it, it had aperture issues as well, so I got a 70-200 VR 2. I skipped the VR 1 because I shoot FX, and the corners of the VR 1 are famously iffy at 200mm - on a DX body I don't believe there's anything wrong with it. It was much better, but also clearly sharper at f/4 than at f/2.8, especially on a D8x0 body. Also the VR wasn't very good. I finally swapped for the FL lens (the Tamron G2 was allegedly about as good - the Sigma wasn't out at that point - but the Nikkor gave me better magnification; IIRC the Tamron actually focusses closer, but loses more focal length as you do so), and have essentially no complaints (other than the swapped rings, which mean I have to take the hood out of storage position to zoom) - which means the S-mount version must be pretty special. This is all after I'd avoided the 70-200 zooms for a long time, having already got (at one point) a 135 f/2 and (still) a 200/2 and 150mm f/2.8 macro covering the range. The FL lens, at least, is probably better than the 150mm at useful distances, gets pretty close, is much lighter than the 200mm, is finally usable at f/2.8, and caused me way less pain (except financially) than the 135mm.

    All of which shows what happens when I don't follow my "just buy the expensive thing in the first place" philosophy, any why my credit card company likes me.
  8. I went from an old MK I push-pull to a 80-200mm AF-S, which was better in every way.

    It was a working lens, ie used to make ££ and once it got to squeak alot, I'd worry it was going to die mid job.

    Bit the bullet and sold it (for more than i paid for it despite squeak) for a VR II.

    Never liked it esp. wide open at the long end. Sold it. Did without for a few months.

    Saw the Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 S at an irresistible price... and am extremely happy with it. VR and AF are excellent, sharpness is very good too.
  9. I'm happy with the AF 80-200mm f/2.8D two-ring that i got for $160 with busted autofocus (fixed). It has the well-known focus problem at/near MFD at/near 200mm. As long as i avoid those combinations, it's one of the sharpest lenses i've used.
  10. I used the 70-200/2.8 for a while until I simply couldn't stand it. It was the softest lens I've ever used, it was awful. I went back to the 80-200/2.8 D and am still happy with that.

    Rick H.
  11. Last edited: May 19, 2020
  12. I'd be interested to know how good or bad the 'focus breathing' is. What's its real focal length at the 200mm setting and closest focus?

    Having paid for a 200mm zoom, personally I feel more than slightly ripped off if that lens can only reach 135mm or so at 2 metres subject distance. While my little old lightweight 75 - 150mm f/3.5 series E zoom gives a higher magnification.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  13. This does indeed become a real pain when Butterfly hunting!

    You kinda get closer and it seems to get smaller...:(

    There was a comparison somewhere that looked at all the modern 70-200mm 2.8s regarding breathing, but I can't find it...:(
  14. I'll type all of that again now I've turned off the accidental "go back a page and forget everything" trackpad gesture on my Mac. Sigh.

    According to Nikon (and Tamron):
    • The Nikkor AF-S 70-200 VR2 will get you to 0.12x (1:8.3) at 1.4m
    • The Tamron 70-200 G2 will get you to 1:6.1 (0.16x) at 0.95m
    • The Nikkor 70-200 FL will get you to 0.21x (1:4.8) at 1.1m, so although it doesn't focus as close as the Tamron it retains its focal length better - that matters for me for tiddlywinks, and is reasonably okay for some insects
    • The Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF-S will get you to 1:3.7 (0.27x) at 1.45m - which is why it's a good insecting lens
    • The Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF will get you to 0.24x (1:4.2) at 1.4m - I knew there was a reason not to upgrade
    • The Nikkor 200/2 (VRII) will get you to 0.12x (1:8.3) at 6.1' (1.9m) away - which is annoying indoors, although it also shows how much less focal length it loses than the 70-200 VR2 at the same magnification
    I've never used a 70-200 mk1, but I saw pictures, and the corners at 200mm (on FX) looked like mush even stopped down. Mind you, I don't like what the 85mm AF-D f/1.4 did wide open either, so there's no accounting for taste. While I found it helped to stop down to f/4, I didn't feel the VR2 was that bad (although it's reported it's worse at 135mm than 70 or 200); the FL is just clearly better. I'm choosing not to look at the Tamron and Sigma because I've already spent that money (and only just paid off my D850...)
  15. The Sigma Sport will get you to 1:4.8 @ 1.2m
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  16. Don't know what other lenses you used. It is definitely not a soft lens. First of all, let's be clear that sharpness is not the first criteria for good photography. The sharpest awful image is the worst.
  17. Mine definitely was, no doubt what-so-ever.
    A very soft good image is pretty useless too.
  18. Before we smear an acclaimed lens , in a public photography forum, that has the reputation to have helped many photographers achieve award-winning images, it is only fair - and educational to all of us - if someone would provide side-by-side comparisons.
  19. I'm completely sure the newest 70-200mm 2.8 FL is the best of the F-Mount bunch of f2.8 70/80-200mm fast lenses. The Z-Mount is said to be even better.

    Very few working shooters I know would keep a soft lens along with it's sharper replacement just to take side-by-side images for comparison.

    No need for them anyway. Enough neutral reviewers out there know the 70-200mm VR had awful edges on FX and the VRII was way better, but soft wide open at the long end. That's not smear, that's fact.

    There is sample variation in all lenses ever made. Some will be better than others. You've only got to read LensRental reviews to know they test 10 copies of the same lens to try and eliminate Lemons clouding the issue...because there are Lemons.

    And anyone who tries to get Nikon to fix such issues will get the 'But it's within tolerance, so there's nothing to fix' reply.

    .... so they get sold on into the 2nd hand market.....:(

Share This Page