Nikon 70-200m f2.8 VR II

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rickbehl, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Hi,
    I just treated myself to a cheeky birthday present to myself and purchased a 70-200mm f2.8 VR II lens. I've only had the chance to take the lens out once so far but initial signs are very promising. I have a couple of questions though:
    1) Is it normal for the lens to make a couple of sounds after the finger is removed from a 'half-pressed shutter' position? This only happens when VR mode is on so I am assuming that it is something to do with this function. The sounds is like a little hum or click. Not loud but definitely there in this mode and not when VR is switched off.
    2) What sort of shutter speeds in general are other users able to achieve with this lens handheld at say ISO 100 or 200? Again initial tests show that I should be able to get down to 1/10 to 1/15 of a second at ISO 400 when the lens is at 200mm. Just interested to hear other experiences.
    3) If anyone else has any useful tips on using this lens I'd be glad to hear them.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. hi Rick, the noise you are hearing are the VR gyro's turning off when you release the button. All normal. You can expect what you're seeing in shutter speeds that you mention above.
    if you do any tripod use, make sure you turn off VR when shooting in that mode.
    post some pics when you get a chance.
  3. Remember to only use the slow shutter speeds for non-moving subjects to avoid subject blur, or make sure that you are panning with the subject movement. Check your lens operating instructions as I am sure Nikon has improved the VR enough by now that you can use it on a tripod or monopod. Although it may not be required for tripod use anyway, and of course you will save battery life if it is off.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The VR on the version 2 of the 70-200mm/f2.8 can roughly give you an extra stop of VR than version 1 of the lens. Even so, hand holding it at 200mm and 1/15 sec seems to be quite optimistic even though your subjects are completely still. If you need to shoot at 1/15 sec, I would capture a few more samples (when the situation allows) so that you have more selections to pick the one that is best.
  5. if you do any tripod use, make sure you turn off VR when shooting in that mode​
    This is too general a statement. Read the manual carefully.
  6. When you can 1/10th to 1/15th at 400 iso you can do the same speeds at 100 iso, but you need more light.
  7. Rick,
    To answer your questions:
    1) no this is not normal, it is clearly defective.
    3) sent it to me in order to answer question #2
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    To answer your questions:
    1) no this is not normal, it is clearly defective.​
    Adding the missing :)
  9. I've had need, on occasion, to hand-hold the VR 1 at 200mm, at 1/15th. It can be done, but it's tricky. I'm about 1-for-4, if I'm not already tired and shaky. When in doubt, shoot a bunch. But if you're on a camera that lets you crank up the ISO, shoot a few that way, too, and don't underexpose. Have fun with that great new lens!
  10. I stand corrected by Shun. I think you should send it to me anyway so I can answer your remaining questions :)
  11. bms


    It's VR.... it is supposed to make annoying noises, learn to love it! :)
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    According to page 20 of the 70-200 version 2 owner's manual:
    When the camera is mounted on a tripod, set the vibration reduction ON/OFF switch to OFF. However, it is recommended that this switch be set to ON when using the camera on an unsecured tripod head or with monopod.​
    Didn't mention when the 70-200 lens is mounted on a tripod, though. :)
  13. Thanks for the replies. I will assume the lens is fine then and the slight noises are normal. A couple of answers to a few of the comments here:
    John, from the manual it says to switch VR off for tripod use. switch on/normal for handheld regular shooting (including panning type shots) and on/active for shooting from a moving vehicle.
    Matt, yes, I think 1/15s at 200mm is pushing things and in reality where sharpness is critical I would probably try and bump ISO or push my film.
    Thanks again
  14. John, from the manual it says to switch VR off for tripod use.​
    No, it says switch it off only when the tripod head is LOCKED TIGHT. 90% of tripod use for many photographers is with the head loose to follow action or recompose. Then it should be ON, as for a monopod.
  15. Curt, have you actually tried following that advice with this particular lens? It is the experience of many that leaving VR on while using a tripod (even with head unlocked) causes deterioration of sharpness, some report worse bokeh (I haven't seen this myself), and then there is the jumpy viewfinder and loss of precise composition. In such short glass I don't really see what the benefit would be.
  16. I acquired one, too, in recent weeks, and, in recessionary times, it hurt, but the sharpness of the images has been a good medicine. I find the greatest difficulty when taking handheld shots with this lens is the sheer weight of it, combined with the awkwardness of the tripod collar, if not removed. It's a lot more natural to use a tripod or monopod and, in my own experience so far, this will invariably give better results, no matter what they say about the improved VR. Handheld, I try not to drop much below the reciprocal of the focal length, even if that means beefing up a bit the ISO.
  17. Rick,
    if the light is letting you shoot above 1/500th, look to turn off the VR - it isn't adding anything to fast exposures. Having a quick, stable 2.8 lens now makes me want a 300 2.8 or 400 2.8 (I wish!)
  18. ......Curt, have you actually tried following that advice with this particular lens? ........
    Yes, most of the time when I am using the lens (I hardly ever hand-hold it) and usually have it loose on a tripod or other support. I have run some comparisons and not found a difference but is is much more convenient to leave it on when I can.
  19. Actualy Shun is exactly correct regarding what the manual says about tripods and VR. Personally speaking when I am using a tripod it is usually because I am shooting landscapes/cityscapes and I want the sharpest image I can get. So I use a high quality Gitzo tripod with a damping plate and a Markins ballhead. In addition I have removed the centre column for extra stability but may hang my camera bag for that extra bit of weight. On top of this I would probably be using one of the smallest apertures (f/13-f1/16) to truly get as much depth of field and sharpness in the shot... So in this instance I would switch of VR... but this is just my type of shooting and may not be typical of other users...
    I don't shoot sports but do shoot wildlife when there is some about and also do some street photography. That's where I see this lens with the VR function on being very useful.
    Andy, I too would love a 300 or 400 f2.8 but the prices are really beyond my means (at least until I win the lottery). Hence one reason I could justify this lens to myself with the thought of adding the TC-20E III teleconverter shortly after to get the extra reach.
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Actualy Shun is exactly correct regarding what the manual says about tripods and VR.​
    Of course I am, since I copied it word for word from the manual. :)
  21. At 200mm 1/25 is hit and miss and 1/50 was the lowest consistantly reliable speeds in my handholding tests.

    Given its bulk I'm very glad the VR on this lens is good!

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