Light is Everything!

Nikon 70-200 f/4

20130730-70-200f4Prod-001OK, I did it. I pulled the trigger on a 70-200. After reviewing them all at The Camera Store, and heavily leaning towards the Tamron, in the end, I went with Nikon’s new f/4. Why? Well, to be honest, weight. When I put this lens on the camera, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to snap my wrists in half after an hour of use. Even with my Black Rapid strap, the 70-200 f/2.8 is beastly heavy. I thought that this lens will do double duty for event/portraits and landscape. If I ever go on trip somewhere and want to haul my DSLR kit with me (instead of my travellin’ buddy the Fuji X100s) then the f/4 is a far nicer choice to carry around at roughly half the weight. ๐Ÿ˜€

So I tested my copy of the lens for focus accuracy and it’s bang on which is nice (for once) and I decided to put it to the test taking some ambient light candids of our neighbourhood population of feral children. You can tell that they are wild because their parents don’t care enough about them to bathe them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And also a few wildlife shots. Mainly with this test, I was looking for bohek performance (but check out the 100% crop [2.4MB] on the cow to see the resolving power at f/4 on the D800!).

cowcrop

How do the out of focus parts of the image look? After all, it’s not a 2.8. Take a look at the images and see for yourself. To my eye, there’s no great difference, especially as you get towards 200mm in the big time telephoto. And, lets face it, if you want the ultimate in bokeh, grab your 85 f/1.8 or 1.4. That lens is going to obliterate the 2.8 even. Plus, for the cost difference of this f/4, you can also buy the 85mm f/1.8 and have the best of both worlds! What’s not to love?! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

So here’s the test shots. Color correction & water mark are the only edits. Let me know what you think. I’ll be doing a YouTube video on this lens too in the near future.

 

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4 responses

  1. Tom Winger

    I also recently bought the 70-200/4.0 when I was making the move from DX to FX. I sold my 20-year-old screw-drive, one-touch AF-D 80-200/2.8 for three reasons: (1) it had a tendency to back focus on my D200 (so I rarely used it wide open); (2) it was slow focussing; and (3) it was not officially compatible with any modern AF NIkon teleconverters. I also was keen on VR.

    Why did I choose the f/4.0 over the 2.8? Like you, I was partly persuaded by the lighter weight (I’m trimming the weight on all my equipment by going for f/4.0 over 2.8 on my main zooms). But it has other advantages over the 2.8: the VR is one step more effective, it focusses closer, and it doesn’t lose focal length when you focus close. This makes it great for butterflies and the like. Then there’s the price …. I bought the TC-1.7E II teleconverter to give me extra reach (to compensate for losing the DX crop factor) and, aside from the loss of light, I’m very happy with it. I’m amazed at the quality. The combination is very sharp wide open.

    Thanks for the great blog.

    July 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    • Totally! The VR is unbelievable and a great help on the D800 which is prone to a smidgeon of pixel shift if technique is not 100%. I’m loving it and glad you do too. The focus breathing thing is also a huge bonus for the f/4

      July 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm

  2. Chris sumner

    Nice read ๐Ÿ‘ I thinking of getting this lens over the 2.8 for landscape shots, I don’t cover sports or any other fast paced things, I was just worried it would fall short on sharpness? But most reviews seemed to be pretty good

    Cheers

    November 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    • I’m doing a video comparison between the two shortly. The f/4 is sharper! Check out dxomark. This lens is fantastic.

      November 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

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