Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR or VR II

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by pasha_belman, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. I would like to add a new Lense to my new Nikon D700. I am looking at Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 vr. Should I go with VR or VR II ? What is the difference?
     
  2. I'd save the price of another high quality lens and go for the 80-200/2.8 ED. You could buy another cheap VR lens for use in those rare extreme cases with still subjects in no light.
     
  3. FX - VR II
    DX - VR I
     
  4. I agree, go for the 80-200MM AFD. You can't beat the value for the money in this lens.
    Anthony
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Back in 2005, I upgraded from the 80-200mm/f2.8 AF-S to the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR (version 1) solely for getting VR. I am not sure the OP has such need, but there are good reasons to limit the choices between the two VR versions.
    Personally, if you can afford it, I would always get the newer version, and the VR capability is supposed to have been improved and according to Bjorn Rorslett, the new version is sharper. However, you may get better value for your money if you get the older version, especially used.
    A lot of people complain about the serious corner softness near 200mm on version 1. To me, that is largerly a non issue since I rarely have anything important in those areas of the frame. That topic has already been discussed many times in this forum.
     
  6. There are many 2nd hand copies of the VR I version hitting eBay and other sites at present - I watch the lens listings daily in Australia, the numbers of listings has increased in perfect unison with the release of the VR II version. Nearly all of these listings are selling mint or close to mint looking copies. I'd be looking to buy a 2nd hand VR I copy.
    I'm a D700 shooter and have the older VR I lens, it's IQ is pure brilliance, a lens that produses aethectically pleasing images with sweet bokeh - I don't give a toss about the slight vignette at 200mm, it's quite easily corrected in post processing.
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I watch the lens listings daily in Australia, the numbers of listings has increased in perfect unison with the release of the VR II version. Nearly all of these listings are selling mint or close to mint looking copies.​
    If that is indeed the case, it seems like there are sufficient reasons for plenty of people to upgrade. I haven't tracked the used market myself.
    So again, if you can afford it, you might as well go straight to Version 2. But getting a used Version 1 will probably provide better value for your money.
     
  8. Shun -
    Of course there are reasons for people to upgrade - it's newer, thus it must be better - AKA the money is burning a hole in their pockets!!
    Seriously - there are probably a number of folks who are upgrading for legitimate sharpness or VR performance reasons, but if I were in charge of Nikon - the last lens I would have upgraded is the 70-200 VR especially with the 80-400 VR sitting there needing a makeover.
    I shoot the VR 1 all the time and have no need or desire to upgrade to the VR2 version. The VR 1 is my back row of church wedding lens - it is great.
    Get a good copy of the VR1 model and you'll be set for a long time.
    Dave
     
  9. I looked at your portfolio. (Very nice by the way.) You will very much enjoy the vr. It is practically a necessity these days for wedding and event work. At least it seems so after you experience it for awhile.
    Adorama still has the VR1 new for about $1950 as opposed to $2400 for the vrII. They also have the refurbished for $1850 but the extra $100 gets you a new Nikon 5 year warrantee. At least in the US it does. I am positive that the VR is important but I am not sure the VRII is worth $450.00 more. There is talk about the VR being soft on the edges at the long end. As Cheung says this will not bother you at all if you even notice it. I don't. These lenses are sharp-sharp-sharp.
    I have had a couple of the 80-200's in the past and they are marvelous lenses but the VR is my new best friend.
     
  10. What's the difference? Better-quality optics (even though the original version is still very good) and a newer, more advanced VR system. Only you can decide whether these features are worth the extra money.
    P.S. I don't know why anyone would buy the old 80-200 mm lens unless they were on a very strict budget. VR is a very worthwhile investment.
     
  11. The new lens is supposed to be very good, as I am sure it is. I have the older version and it is excellent on either DX or FX and I shoot it on both with great results. If the OP does not have a lens in the FL yet, then probably best to go for the new one. However the earlier version is an awesome lens and there are several good bargains on minty lenses for much better prices right now since several people just have to get the latest and greatest. I have chosen to retain what I have and still looking at acquiring the rest of the fast primes I have been planning on for several years.
    The new lens supposedly does not go to 200mm at close focussing distance so this may or may not be an issue for someone looking to buy one. Probably is really a non-issue; I would like to shoot one to compare maybe I will rent one someday...
     
  12. I should have qualified my response as Shun has done for me. I recommend you purchase a VR I 2nd hand copy for the value for money such a purchase will represent.
    Sure, the VRII version is going to be an IQ upgrade but how much of an upgrade is yet to be seen and it comes at a significant premium $$ wise.
    I'm not knocking the newer VRII lens by any stretch, heck, if had a heap of money like many I see upgrading here in Aust. then I'd be passing my $$$$ over to Nikon too.........
     
  13. On a DX D200, the VR works very will for me, and makes a big difference. The lens takes amazing photos. I haven't tried on a Fx yet, but will. Seems that many say it vignettes on a full frame. Also the out of focus quality at open apertures is really nice on the 70-200 VR.
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I haven't had a chance to test Version 2 of this lens. Photo.net has a sample from Nikon but our editor Hannah is using it at the moment. So hopefully I'll get to try it later on this month.
    However, Version 1 is not nearly as sharp as some poeple put it. I have had one for 4, 5 years now and it is certainly sharp enough, but if you do an A/B comparison against a fixed 200mm/f2 or 300mm/f2.8 AF-S wide open, the difference in sharpness is quite noticeable. That is partly why the 70-200 Version 1 does not work very well with teleconverters unless you stop it down.
    On the other hand, vignetting is not that big a deal. All of these lenses tend to vignet at the widest 2 stops, including the famous 24-70mm/f2.8 AF-S and my 300mm/f2.8 AF-S, and it is not that hard to fix in PhotoShop. When you stop down by 2 stops, pretty much all vignetting is gone.
    Since Bjorn says version 2 rivals the 200mm/f2 in terms of sharpness, I think that alone is a good enough reason to pay more for version 2, plus the slightly improved VR.
    Version 1 is still a fine lens with a few relatively minor issues, but Version 2 should be better. It really boils down to how much money you want to spend, which was what I have been saying from the beginning of the thread.
     
  15. The 70-200 Mk.2 is super sharp in its optimal range, i.e., at intermediate or fairly close distance such as typical for feature, press, and event photography. It is not the peer of the 200/2 for landscapes. In the latter case, still sharp, but the difference against the 200/2 can be seen if you look close enough. The soft corners of its predecessor is gone, though, and the vignetting behaviour is markedly improved for the better.
     
  16. A couple of things...both versions of the 70-200 is FX. I posted an 'analytical' comparison of the two lens here at http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00V9pI, and the lens does as advertises. Less vignetting and it hold up better at a lower shutter speed. Remember that VR stabilization is related to the user's inherent steadiness. This analytical comparison left me a bit cool on the new VRII lens. BUT..and this is very important, I used the lens in a few typical shooting situations, and was extremely impressed with the VRII lens in all regards. I am very pleased with the lens to say the least. And I will try to post some additional relevant images in the next day or so. I also enjoy being able to shoot at 200mm at 1/50-1/80 second and have sharp pictures.
    As for my old VRI lens... well, I purchased it in 2004 for 1550 and sold it in 2009 for 1400.
    For me, with technology decisions, I buy the most that I can afford at the moment
    00VOWV-205833684.jpg
     
  17. I constantly think in terms of value. In this instance you have to weigh your intended subjects and environments in choosing, for example, between the 70-200 /2.8 VR II and the combo of the 85/1.4 and 135/2. Also for almost half the price you could get the 105/2.8 VR for when you need VR and the 180/2.8 for when you need reach.
    Once you have shot with lenses in the IQ realm of the 85/1.4, 135/2, 200/2, 300/2.8 and 400/2.8 you really have to justify the expense of lenses like the 70-200/2.8 VR II. If I picture myself at a wedding reception or ceremony with the 70-200/2.8 VR II at 1/60s to make sure there is no subject motion blur when my option could be a 135/2 at 1/125 at f2 or the 85/1.4 at 1/90 at f2.5 with both at the same ISO I think I'd prefer one of the primes, even though I'd be giving up the flexibility of the zoom range.
     
  18. The 70-200 Mk I has the most vignetting of any telephoto I've used. It was very annoying in many of the typical situations I shoot on, especially when the backround is white - such as white walls, or outdoors when there is snow. Correcting in post is time-consuming if a good result (i.e. homogeneous)is needed and it increases noise in the affected areas (would you underexpose an image by two stops and expect to recover in post with no quality loss? Of course not.). It was also very prone to flare and ghosting. Mk II solves both problems and adds improved VR, autofocus works well with even the most off-center points, and the lens has generally higher contrast. Mk I does produce smoother bokeh which may be important in some apps. However, in all other aspects the Mk II has been a very positive experience. Although expensive, it's a bargain really.
     
  19. My friend Dieter Schaefer, please I have both the 70-200 F2.8 VR and the 300MM F2.8 VR , you stated DX for this series of VR-1 , does this mean if the camera selected on FX the result is not satisfactory sharpness wise, or this has nothing to do with this issue.
    Thank you and wishing you and yours a very happy and peaceful new year.
    I will also advice out friend who posted this thread not to go for a second hand 70-200MM F2.8 VR, I did this and did regret that I did and been so lucky that Nik Nikon has repaced it for me with a new one and paid the extra money with a lot of self satifactions, felt so good that day and had a very nice and peaceful sleep.
    This is because of the solonid of the VR I was not sure off as it is do disangage after the shoot of an image, this is a normal thing but to me , a little payment more and end with a lens with warranty made the different.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/10337123
    70-200MM F2.8 VR-1 I have many good examples now, earlier I was not happy with this lens but that my failture to work up with the lens, not the lens problem.
     
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Rashed, I believe Dieter is referring to the corner softness issue on the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR version 1. That topic has been discussed to no end already. E.g. http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Rdrl
    Since those corners are not used on DX sensors, it is a non issue for DX.
    Incidentally, in that same old thread, I have already shown Ilkka that vignetting on Version 1 is no worse than what is on the 80-200mm/f2.8 AF-S and 300mm/f2.8 AF-S, version 1.
     
  21. My friend, Shun, please I did read the other thread but with great diffeculty English wise, I am requesting you when I use the 70-200 F2.8 VR-1 or the 300MM F2.8 VR-1 on my nikon D3X or my nikon D2X should I go to the menu and change it to DX or this is not necessary ?
    Thank you my friend for your pationt and help.
     
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    when I use the 70-200 F2.8 VR-1 or the 300MM F2.8 VR-1 on my nikon D3X or my nikon D2X should I go to the menu and change it to DX or this is not necessary ?​
    No, that is not necessary on the D3X.
    And of course the D2X is already DX plus the further high-speed crop.
     
  23. Thank you my friend Shun, you been so kind , all of the best to you and yours my friend for the new year.
     
  24. Incidentally, in that same old thread, I have already shown Ilkka that vignetting on Version 1 is no worse than what is on the 80-200mm/f2.8 AF-S and 300mm/f2.8 AF-S, version 1.
    Shun, to actually compare vignetting in a meaningful way, you need to photograph the same subject in the same light with the lenses compared. It needs to have subject contrast (i.e. the subject needs to have different tones) so that vignetting can be assessed relative to the subject contrast in the image. Having a completely homogenous subject photographed shows absolutely nothing about the significance of vignetting since there's no reference. To do a proper vignetting measurement, you need to verify that the "background" is really homogeneous, with e.g. a spot meter. Then place a calibrated gray scale in the middle so that acts as a subject contrast and reference. Since different lenses will produce images of the gray scale that have different contrast, this needs to be normalized out before comparing the darkness of the corner pixels with the center part (outside of the gray scale). Otherwise a low contrast lens could produce an image that is very flat and when you make the image look like the one from the high contrast lens, by adjusting contrast in raw conversion, then you end up amplifying the vignetting by the ratio corresponding to the (subject) contrast difference in the two images. Artifacts need to be evaluated in the context of actual subject matter to be meaningful. I don't have experience with the 80-200 AF-S - you may be right about its vignetting but I would guess that if you adjust your image from the 70-200 Mk I so that the subject (whatever it is, as long as it is the same in both photos) looks like it does in the 300/2.8 image, the vignetting from the zoom probably becomes quite prominent (I do not have the 300/2.8 or 80-200 AF-S). By the way I found the vignetting of the 70-200 Mk I to be worst at around 105mm FL, not 200mm. This is confirmed by dpreview.com's tests where the max vignetting is 2.7 stops at 105mm and 2 stops at 200mm (I would guess they measure the very cornermost pixel vs. center). At 200mm I thought it was almost okay. (I think it's interesting that dpreview.com's sample shows the same behaviour as mine, suggesting that the vignetting varies very little from sample to sample.) Typically prime teles have approximately 0.7 stops of vignetting at f/2.8, so that's what I'm used to. And yes, my problems were not lab problems but encountered in real-world photography situations such as ice skating in overcast weather (where to make the subjects pop in flat light I had to increase contrast in raw conversion, which unfortunately emphasized the vignetting) or when photographing people indoors against white walls typical in many houses and restaurants here. These applications were problem when using 80-200/2.8D N (non-AF-S), 180/2.8, 300/4, 105/2, etc. at f/2.8.
    And before this goes into another round of discrediting either my observations or dpreview.com's measurements, please do the experiment properly and photograph a subject with a reference to asses the contrast of the artifact (vignetting) vs. the subject (known gray tone patches or otherwise a subject which has areas where luminosity can be reliably measured at several tone values encompassing the tone range due to the vignetting).
    Ultimately only the user can decide what is acceptable in their applications. To me, the Mk I wasn't acceptable on 35mm or FX and while the Mk II was in the making I stayed mostly with prime teles. I find the Mk II to solve the problem very well and I would expect it to become my most used lens, as Mk I was on DX. If you shoot at f/5.6 or smaller, like low contrast, or don't shoot subject matter where dark corners stand out, Mk I should be fine from that point of view. For me, snow is present for a good part of the year and I shoot indoors where vignetting stands out against light walls a lot. Correcting vignetting would have been required on most shots with the 70-200 Mk I, and using it would increase my post-production time considerably, since a perfect correction depends from shot to shot. This is not something I would consider accepetable on a lens I'd otherwise use for 40% of my photography. That's many thousands of shots to correct every year before they can be presented to anyone.
     
  25. At the risk of all sorts of comments, I have done the following experiment:
    All pictures are at ISO 250, f3.2, 1/100 on auto white balance
    15 pictures were taken with a 85mm f2.8 prime
    15 pictures were taken with a 70-200mm f2.8 @ 85mm
    All images were imported into Aperture 2.1.4 and a bit of contrast and vibrancy were added equality to each picture
    Five pictures from each lens were selected, randomized and exported sequentially #1 thru #10. These pictures are in my photo.net gallery called '85mm f2.8 vs 70-200mm f2.8 VRII
    Now for the hard part, if you are interested. Look at each picture and tell me whether it was taken with a prime lens or the zoom lens. You can email me your results and I will email back the answers in a couple of days or you can post them here.
    Now if you can figure out the answers by looking at associated data, you will do very well on the quiz, but your answer is useless to yourself in terms of how you see a picture.
    Maybe one of moderators can tell me whether the lens information is visible in the associated data. I could not find it, but someone more clever might figure it out.
    Enjoy
    Steven
     
  26. Done with a D700 body.. I should add
     
  27. My dear Friend Steven, I went to see your portifilo and enjoyed seeing your personnel photograph with that so pleasant smile , please my friend keep smilling .
    I used my 85MM F2.8 several times while in Thailand this time and it was so good and so sharp, may be I failed to see the vegenting things but the sharpness is very amazing.
    Last year I was in Thailand with a Canon system, I had the 70-200MM F2.8, sharpness wise it was very impressive colors wise it was not, main while I had the Sigma 70-200MM F2.8, for more than a year and never been pleased with another lens of its range as I did with it, every thing out of that lens is what any user would dream to have.
    I just feel so sorry that I one hand got rid of my canon system and in another hand also sold all of my Sigma lenses , specially the 70-200MM F2.8 HSM and the 300MM F2.8 HSM , the second which I did not even shoot 10 images with it .
    I can not understand still and as I have mentioned before , why nikon adding both the 70-200mm vr2 and the 300mm vr2 , to me they have serious problem with their lenses and I think the HSM ( High Speed Motor ) is more better than the VR, solonid system which some times under certain condition have no effect at all.
    Thank you my friend, please except my best regards for you and yours for the new year.
     
  28. "However, Version 1 is not nearly as sharp as some poeple put it. I have had one for 4, 5 years now and it is certainly sharp enough, but if you do an A/B comparison against a fixed 200mm/f2 or 300mm/f2.8 AF-S wide open, the difference in sharpness is quite noticeable."
    I don't know Shun. The Version 1 is quite sharp enough because of its great background effect at open apertures make subjects "pop". Is it clinically as sharp as version 2 or some other fixed lens? Apparently not. However, I have a 24-70, and its hyper sharp, but I'm not convinced I like the look of the photos any better than the 70-200. I get better color rendition and a more "film" like photo with the 70-200 Version 1 and it looks pretty damn sharp to me. I'm not convinced I really like the look of the the new Nano lenses. They gain something, but they also seem to lose something too. A little too clinical maybe.
    But, if the OP is concerned about vignetting and even more sharpness maybe he should rent 1 of each and see what pictures he likes better. Isn't that what really counts at the end of the day?
     
  29. I have been using the VRII extensively for the last four days... with a much better impression.
    I find it to be very sharp, along the whole range, specially at closer distances, something so satisfying to me. I find it to be even sharper than my 105VR at medium distances (I mean 6-10 feet). (To those who have read my previous post, I`m using another unit!).
    On my D700, the AF works astoundingly good, and the VR system is a wonder. I did some indoor test shots and got some better focused shots using AF than with Live View!. By the way, the focus barrel is smoother and better designed than the one on the Micro 105VR (=easier to focus manually). Outdoors, shooting different subjects, the only unsharp pics I`ve got were due to a wrong focus technique + extremely shallow DoF at closer distances and/or longer settings.
    In the chapter of drawbacks, I`d say the shortening of the focal lenght at smaller focus distances could be the bigger one. The lens is a wonder at close distances, but someone could expect to have more reach under e.g., 20feet. This could be the price to pay for such good performance. Another one could be background bokeh... I`ve seen some non-beautiful background effects in any of my pics, but nothing to be surprised at all. But probably my biggest complain is that round-shaped hood that cannot let the lens to stand up over a flat surface when switching lenses.
    I don`t have a VR1 to compare, I cannot say how good it is. Anyway, I suspect that on an IF lens with such amount of elements, sample variation could be an issue.
     
  30. I been running behind this un sharpness factors on my lenses for a long time, tonight I been taken with a friend of mine to the Chornise of Doha, he ordered me a cap of Karak tea and he told me that he is going to show me something he like me to look at carefully.
    He lefted his D3X from the back seat and went to the menu, the first row on the left and then to the camera setting and then to then he showen me the sharpness gauge, he told me that you see it now on sharp but if I switch the camera to the manufacturer setting this gauge go down to bellow 0, and he did one shot while tha camera been laid at the dash board carefully and he shot the car lights, going and coming on low shutter speed, there was still some movement because of the cars passing through.
    The image he did shoot was very sharp and crispy, no where like all of my images I have captured with this camera and specially with the 70-200MM F2.8 VR-1 or the 300MM F2.8 VR-1, the different to the best was so massive.
    After he dropped me back home, I have checked the menu of my camera and found that gauge also as he said on bellow 0 so I increased it to maximum and I will try this setting tomorrow.
    This shows that the D3X command can give soft sharpness for possible shooting some specail subjects and also very sharp images for some other subjects, if this is the case , all of my lenses I prizum would act like soft focus lenses for portrait work and so sharp lenses for landscape and so on.
    I will test tomorrow and show the result.
     
  31. One thing almost all people seems to forget to mention is that the new VRII is more light sensitive than the VRI. The old one was not really f2.8 at 200 mm but the new one seems more true to that aperture. In summary: VRII requires 1/6 -1/3 EV less light than the VRI.
     
  32. Not really 2.8? What is it? Please explain. Not heard that before. Isn't it a fixed aperture lens? Or is it that the VRII can lock on with 1/6 - 1/3 stop of light at 200mm?.
     

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