Thursday, July 30, 2009

AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Nikon today announce 2 new DX bodies and 2 new lenses. One of those lenses which caught my attention was the newly redesigned Nikkor 70-200mm VRII. The questions running through my mind was:

1. What's the main difference between the two?

2. Was the changes made, justify the upgrade?

I did some research and compared the both. If you are reading this you are probably doing the same. Do post some comments on your thoughts as well. Below is a quick comparison highlighting only the difference between the two:

1. Glass elements - The new Nikkor has a lens construction with 21 elements / 16 groups (7 ED, 1 Nano) vs 21/15 (5 ED).

2. Focusing distance has been improved to 1.4m vs 1.5m on the old Nikkor.

3. The new Nikkor is shorter but the difference is not huge 87 x 209 mm (New) vs 87 x 215mm (Old).

4. The new Nikkor is slightly heavier 1,530g (New) vs 1,470g (Old)

So what does this mean?

1. Extra ED elements - the current one is prone to CA under certain shooting conditions (personal experience). The new one should have increased sharpness and color correction capabilities by minimizing CA (base on spec sheets).

2. Added Nano coating helps reduce flare, not that that current one is prone to it. Add the hood and that would minimize the risk further.

3. Closer focusing distance but not by a huge difference. I find this annoying at times so this is a welcome plus points.

4. VR II helps you gain additional stops which aids in getting sharper images in low light conditions or when the shutter is slow.

5. Shorter but heavier. The shorter is a welcome advantage, doubt the length and weight makes much difference if you look at the spec sheets.

6. MTF chart comparison shows sharper images on the edge.

So are all the points above worth the upgrade? To me personally the current one which I have is sufficient for my needs and the edge softness does not really border me. So I will put a hold on this until sample images come out on dpreview. I am very interested in the focusing speed and whether is has been improved further.

1 comment:

  1. I agree and use the old lens daily. You can back off a hair and eliminate most of the vingnete effect and roll of of focus. You'll avoid some barrel distortion too if you don't crank her full out.

    Having said that, it p's me off that this lens does this stuff...but. VR is great on mine, dont'need more. One thing though, I have the Nikkor 1.7 tele adp. it's just ok. I'm not too happy with the sharpness with it in the mix.

    In general sharpness could be better with this lens.