Nikon 70-200 AF-S VR, Any F/4 regrets?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by steve_larese|1, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a 70-200mm f4 VR, and wanted to see if any owners out there thought afterward that they'd be better off with the 2.8 VRII. Just want to make sure I've considered everything (I've already come to terms with speed, focus breathing, mounts). Thanks!
     
  2. Having shot several thousand frames with one on a D800 I think it's a fine lens. Get the tripod mount though.
     
  3. That's great, thanks, Ellis. Did you spring for the Nikon mount?
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Steve, will this be mainly an outdoor lens? If you are going to use it under dim light/indoors, f2.8 will still give you faster and more accurate AF.
    Additionally, I think the 70-200mm/f4 has a bit of the same effect as the newly announced 80-400mm AF-S VR: the initial price is on the high side. I expect that to come down after a few more months to a year or two. Whether you want to wait is another issue.
     
  5. I'm using it with the tripod mount. Shun makes some good points but I don't expect the price to come down much during
    the next six months. I think the tripod mount is a little expensive especially compared to the one for the similar Canon EF
    70-200mm f4L IS USM.

    Nikon loaned the lens to me for a review for a photo industry magazine I write for, it is heading back to Nikon at the end of
    next week.
     
  6. It's a fine lens but there have been times I wished I had f2.8, especially when using a teleconverter.
    I expect that if I owned a 2.8 there'd be times I wished I did not.
     
  7. I would say only get the f/4 if:
    • Shooting only daylight exteriors, or . . .
    • Shooting only flash-fired.
    I would recommend a faster lens if ever shooting available-light. I bought the AF-S 24-120mm f/4.0 VR specifically for flash-fired event coverage. It's really too slow for any available light work, so this lens is solely relegated to daylight-exterior and strobe use.
     
  8. For that sort of money I hope you really need the VR. I know the f2.8 lenses are much larger and heavier but I really liked the 80-200/2.8 AF-S (no VR) that I used to have. They are only available used now but a bit cheaper than the f4 VR.
     
  9. First of all, I love my f/4 lenses. Okay, they're Canon lenses, but I still love them.

    My Canin 70-200 f/4L IS focuses faster and more reliably than my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II, but that probably says more
    about the bodies used than the lenses.

    Are f/4 lenses useless for low light as some would suggest? Maybe the Nikons are, but I've used the Canons in dark
    churches without flash or even an AF assist lamp, and they performed spectacularly.

    I dread lugging the 70-200 f/2.8 VR II around, but I have to when I'm using the D800. I wish that I had the f/4 version, but
    at the price, I can only justify one. At least its mass will help me stay in shape.
     
  10. Sorry Ralph. I've shot with this lens in areas in an extensive range of lighting situations and you're just wrong. If you're
    an event photographer yes a larger aperture is a real necessity. If you're a pixel peeper get a fixed focal length lens and
    only shoot in "ideal" well lit situations, otherwise....it's a really good lens for the money.
     
  11. I am sort of surprised at people who seem to think that F/4 is too slow for indoor shots. Really? With modern digital cameras? Clean ISO 1600 at F/4 will do nicely in some pretty dim light. I have the F/2.8 and shootiing theater I rarely shoot at F/2.8.
    Are f/4 lenses useless for low light as some would suggest? Maybe the Nikons are, but I've used the Canons in dark churches without flash or even an AF assist lamp, and they performed spectacularly.​
    Did you really post that? Please. (Insert eyeroll here.)
    There is a very good reason that the 70-200 F/2.8 is used by just about every professional PJ Canon or Nikon. Both the Nikon and Canon versions are stellar performers. But there is no reason not to consider the F/4 as the price is very attractive and its quality first rate. I think for about 95% of shots it would be just as useful and the F/2.8. With today's excellent high ISO results I expect about the only time the F/2.8 would make much difference at all is when wanting to further fuzz out the background. For the difference in price you could add a fast 85 to your stable and accomplish the same thing.
    Why not go for it. With prices as high as they are and supplies as low, I think you could get your money out of it pretty easily if you wanted to. And it is sure easier to carry around.
     
  12. Ellis said:
    Sorry Ralph. I've shot with this lens in areas in an extensive range of lighting situations and you're just wrong.​
    I'm not wrong to have an opinion, Ellis. The OP asked if anyone had any regrets with an f/4.0 lens. If not shooting exclusively daylight exteriors, strobe-fired events, or tripoded time-exposures, I, personally, would regret owning an f/4.0 lens.
    ...it's a really good lens for the money.​
    I never said it wasn't a good lens. It's reported to be an excellent piece of optics.
     
  13. I speculated on the AF performance of Nikon f/4 lenses because I don't own one. Maybe they perform well in low light, but I can't verify that with experience. My point was that if the f/4 Nikon lenses work as well as the Canon f/4 lenses do, they should be fine for low light photography. Most of my photography is done in low light, and f/4 lenses have not given me any trouble whatsoever.
    My Nikon kit has f/2.8 lenses because until recently, that's what you had to buy if you wanted quality Nikon zooms. Happily, that's changing. The new Nikon 70-200 f/4 in particular looks amazing. But since I already own the f/2.8 variety, I probably won't be replacing them. I purchased f/4 Canon lenses because they were available, and I appreciate the light weight for traveling and hiking.
    00bQUC-524029584.jpg
     
  14. I don`t have the 70-200/4 but the f2.8VRII, and the 24-120/4 as my only f4 lens.
    I think a f4 lens is a very good choice, except as an*optimal* event/action lens (as mentioned above). If you shoot events with flash, no problem; at f5.6-8, performance will probably be on pair with the best ones. The creative possibilities of a f2.8 lens are obviously "one stop wider".
    Other than this, all are advantages.
    Regarding the tripod mount, given that it doesn`t come with the lens, I think it could be more interesting to buy a third party one, with a built-in Arca-Swiss compatible feet. Better to buy right from the first moment.
     
  15. Dan, not to be critical, but that's perhaps not the best example of a "low light" shot since it's taken of an actual light source. A better example would be to shoot a person under the sign lit by the ambient chase signage with an f/4 lens.
    My point here is not to argue, just to warn the OP that an f/4 lens isn't very useful at night or under available light. Yes, there are exceptions, but after buying my 24-120mm f/4.0 zoom, I quickly realized how limiting that aperture is, and have never used it since, except for the explicit purpose of shooting flash-fired or daylight exterior events.
     
  16. I use a leitz tabletop with my f4 copy & did not buy the tripod mount. With the VR & lighter weight of the f4 I got the zoom I wanted.
     
  17. I would go for the f/4, mainly for the weight saving, and the more compact construction. I shoot such a lens only outdoors, usually in decent light. A lens I'm likely to have with me is worth more to me than a faster lens back in the car.
     
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    http://www.photo.net/reviews/nikon-70-200-f4-ed-vr-af-s-zoom-lens-review
    [​IMG]
     
  19. pge

    pge

    Clean ISO 1600 at F/4 will do nicely in some pretty dim light.​
    Honestly, that isn't that dim. When I take shots in regularly lit indoor situation I very often end up with this combination, f2.8, iso 6400, 1/60. You didn't mention your shutter speed but that is 3 stops faster than you assuming the same shutter. I am not saying an f4 can not work in these situations, I am just saying that your exposure is not that "real world".
     
  20. Shun, your review played no small part in my decision, thanks :)
     
  21. I am sort of surprised at people who seem to think that F/4 is too slow for indoor shots. Really? With modern digital cameras? Clean ISO 1600 at F/4 will do nicely in some pretty dim light. I have the F/2.8 and shootiing theater I rarely shoot at F/2.8.​
    i dont know what you consider dim light, but when shooting live concerts, i rarely use f/4 and often find 2.8 too slow. but 2.8 is very sharp on the 70-200 II. here's a shot with d3s and 70-200 @ f/2.8.
    00bQb3-524117584.jpg
     
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun, your review played no small part in my decision, thanks :)
    I should point out that like Ellis, I used a loaner 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR from Nikon USA to write the review. I am quite sure that I'll buy one myself mainly for outdoor use due to the lighter weight. However, I think the price is a bit high right now and hopefully there will be some package deal with a camera body such as the D7100 for some discount.
    If you want a tripod collar, I would look for a third-party alternative. Apparently the Kirk collar comes with the Arca-Swiss-style dove tail quick release: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50947068 The price for the Nikon collar is crazy.
    I should also point out that I unexpectedly ran the drop test on the 70-200mm/f4. I had my D7000 attached to it and put them inside my camera backpack, but somehow I didn't close it all the way. As I put the backpack on my back, the combo fell off. The front of the 70-200 hit the parking lot. There is a crack on the front of the barrel and there are scratches on the hood. However, the lens continued to function perfectly, as I found no optical damage and no damage to the VR mechanism, which is the best I have ever used.
    We should keep in mind that every time you drop something, the outcome could be quite different, depending on where it hits. I am sure that the fact that I had a rather light D7000 on it helped. If I had a D3 or D4 on, the damage on the lens could be a lot more serious.
     
  23. At my last event I used the D800 with 24-70 2.8 @f4 just to
    see if I would buy the 70-200 2.8 or f/4. I think its safe to say
    that the f/4 will be a good choice at indoors with reasonable
    lighting like a convention center unless I get the 2.8 from
    sigma.
     
  24. Hi all, thanks so much for your input. I went for the f/4 and have been loving it. It's a walk-around lens on my D800, hangs nicely, and the image quality is amazing. Great handling. The 70-200mm f/4 has been a winner for me and my style of shooting, and I feel it's handling have allowed me to get shots I would have otherwise have missed.
     

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