Really disappointed in the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR on FX

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by derek_thornton|1, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. I guess everyone already knows how bad this lens vignettes on FX at f/2.8-6.3. I knew this and was fine with it since I normally shoot at f/10 on landscapes with tripod. However, I had no idea it would flare and ghost as bad as it does. Even after the sun has set I get bad ghosting in the lower corners. I can not believe that a lens that works so well on DX would perform this bad on FX. I have never seen any mention of the flaring/ghosting problem so I cleaned the lens well with no change. I also frequently use Lee Filters and wonder if this may be causing problem but have no issues with other lenses.
    Anyone else have ghosting/flaring with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR on FX. Any good alternatives to this lens other than the super expensive VR2 version?
    Thank You,
  2. Here is some ghosting.
  3. Derek, why use heavy and large f/2.8 lens for f/10-style shooting? Any lens will be perfectly fine sharp at that aperture; just for convenience alone, I'd look at the 70-200 f/4, or maybe even the 70-300VR instead. They're a lot easier to carry around, and according to Photozone measurements, their performance around f/8 and f/11 is pretty much identical on a D3x.
    As for the flare/ghosting; do you use any filter on this lens?
  4. Wounter, heavy large lenses never bothered me, actually I prefer them. I also prefer a heavy tripod. Not all my shooting is at f/10, just landscapes. I still use the lens frequently to shoot kayaking, rafting, drag racing and even rodeos, but with the D300. I know nothing about the f/4 version but have read that the 70-300mm flares and ghost as well. Would that 70-200mm f/4 work well at the drag races, at night?
  5. What type of lens shade did you use? I find that the supplied lens shades are not as effective as 3rd party LONG shades. I sometimes screw two of these shades together and at longer focal lenths there is no vignetteing
  6. This lens flares extremely badly, this lens weakest point. Much worse than the preceding two-ring and push-pull 80-200mm f2,8 lenses.
  7. Derek: the 70-200 vr1 was designed when Nikon's pro cameras were DX, probably when they had no
    expectation of an FX one. To be honest, I'd ignored the vignetting - the look of the corners of the fx frame
    at 200mm were what would make me ignore this lens for FX. I always took this lens as the purest example
    of "just about OK on film, but really designed for DX" - though Sigma's 50 f/1.4 and 20 f/1.8 come close.
    There's a reason the VR2 carries such a premium, though it makes the VR1 a bargain for DX shooters.

    How about an 80-200 f/2.8 AF-S? I've not tried one for long enough to test it, but there are reviews online
    and most are positive. If you can lose the f/2.8, the new f/4 is, by all accounts, very good. If it makes you
    feel any better, the 200 f/2 (at least, my old one) also flares. The newest Sigma and Tamron 70-200 lenses
    seem to review well, though I've not checked for flare.

    I'd check without the filters, just to be sure. Different front element geometry can an effect on filter
    reflections. But given the rest of its behaviour, I'd replace that 70-200 if you're shooting fx. Good luck.
  8. Derek, Too bad about the flare. Is that Western NC? I grew up in Brevard, NC and it looks very similar to the mountains in your photo.
  9. Derek,
    You mentioned that you had heard that the Nikon 70-300mm Flares and ghost as well.
    I have the 70-300mm and love this lens. I use it on a D600 and have never had any flaring or ghosting with it.
    I am looking at the new Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 but can't really justify the cost when my Nikon 70-300mm does such a good job. I think I prefer the extra reach to the wider aperture.
  10. Steven, yes that is western NC. It is somewhere between MP 425-MP 430 on Blue Ridge Parkway. It is not far from Brevard but closer to Rosman. Beautiful area.
  11. I go agree with John McCosh; I also have this lens and I do love it. Here is a pic taken with this lens with the sun in front of my camera.
  12. Every lens typically has its strong point(s) and may work best under specific shooting circumstances. The 70-200mm is an exception lens but would not be my first choice for landscapes (actually, it would be my last choice).
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I recall that way back in year 2000, I was capturing sun rise one morning. I had the 80-200mm/f2.8 AF-S on my F5, and from the viewfinder, it was obvious that it had serious ghosting. So I promptly switched to the 200mm/f4 AF-D macro I also had with me.
    As long as the sun is not inside your frame, you may want to try using a longer hood or something (e.g. newspaper, magazine) to shield your front element, but make sure that it does not obscure your image. If the sun is inside the frame, any zoom with many elements is unlikely going to be a good choice. The additional lens elements for VR are not exactly helping.
  14. Any lens with that many elements will produce ghosts. It is a photography fact of life. Where you are getting into problem is you do not know how to prevent it. Use a lens shade or something to block the sun when it is at such an oblique angle. Your hand will work and something like a gray card, which should be an essential item in EVERY photographer's bag, will do the trick.
  15. Its ghosting and flare tendencies were well known when it was available new; this has nothing to do with DX vs. FX. But it
    does produce beautiful rendering of out of focus areas, which the Mk II does not to the same degree. The Mk II does fix 1)
    the ghosting and flare, 2) corner softness, 3) vignetting, 4) softness at 200mm, f/2.8 problems of the Mk I and is generally
    a very useful lens.
  16. You all really have me scratching my head on this? I use the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens to shoot oncoming trains. It is the only lens I have that can take the headlight without leaving green ghost artifacts in areas that are very hard to fix. My 300mm f/4 leaves green ghost with train headlights. I have used this lens to shoot sunsets for years with my D300 and it NEVER acted the way it does on the D600.
    At the Moment I am looking at the 70-300mm and the 180mm f/2.8.
  17. Really Elliot, I guess I am not as "photography intelligent" as yourself. However, almost all of the first 24 shots here were taken with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8.
  18. Lovely work Derek.
  19. Thank You John.
  20. I also was in for a suprise when I got a D3 and noticed the vignetting when shooting at larger F stops. I had been using it on a D300 and D2X and thought it was the greatest lens Nikon made because it was super sharp and not even a hint of vignetting. I've seen comments that you shouldn't worry about the corners of the frame, but it's hard not to notice when you are used to them not being dark.
  21. I have an AF-S 70-200 VR and AF-S 80-200
    The 80-200 is much better when shooting into the Sun and does not vignette at all,
    same with the new 70-200 VRII.
    However the vignetting is slight
    and the effect does not bother me at all when I shoot with my D800.
    I prefer the 70-200 VRI because of the handling.

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