DXO Mark almost a year after the release of the Nikon D800, publishes a four part review trying to discover the best lenses for the 36 megapixel beast

“Nikon D800 functions as Nikon’s flagship camera” according to DXO Mark, and it is currently the top camera on their Sensor Scores. The 36mp image sensor is an extremely demanding piece of photography both to the photographer and the lens. The resolution advantage is easily lost when it's not focused properly, or the quality of the lens does not meet the highest standards. Only when using lenses like the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR  will get some decent zoom performance wile the best results will only come when using prime lenses like the Carl Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G and will shine with the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM.

"Announced in 2012, the Nikon D800 is the current undisputed king of DxOMark, with results that eclipse every other camera from all other manufacturers. However, with so much resolution on tap, the question is, which lenses should you use to make the best of what you’ve got? The DxOMark labs have tested 61 different lenses on the D800 to bring you an unparalleled resource of which lenses are best and which should be avoided. . . . read more

Nasim Mansurov reviews and compares the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR and AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lenses.

Nasim uses a D800E as a test body:

"As you may already know, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II was a disappointment for some photographers, because it suffers from a “lens breathing” optical design, where the focal length of the lens varies depending on subject distance. At close distances, the 70-200mm loses quite a bit of the range, which can be a problem for those of us that like to fill the frame with small objects. The Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR does not have this problem – I measured its focal length and it was exactly 70-200mm, no matter how close or far I focused. Its optical formula is similar to that of the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 G ED VR lens review at PhotoZone: An excellent lens that performs on a very high level, but Nikon should have included the tripod collar.

Markus Stamm tests the lens with a Nikon D3X Dslr body:

"The Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4 VR is an excellent lens that performs on a very high level. Resolution is generally excellent in the image center and very good at the borders and corners. Distortion is a bit on the high side at the long end of the zoom range, while vignetting and CAs are well controlled. The bokeh is quite smooth. The build quality is excellent, it's a bit annoying though that Nikon does not include the tripod collar with the lens. Thanks to a silent-wave drive the AF is silent and very fast. The new third-generation VR module is impressive and works very well. Which in summary means: a highly recommended lens." . . . read more

Ken Rockwell reviews the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-20mm f/4.0 G ED VR Lens: It works great! It's about time Nikon made some reasonable tele zooms for digital, instead of just the f/2.8 pigs from back before we had today's hyper ISOs.

sharper than Nikon's 24-70/2.8 and about the same as Nikon's 70-200/2.8 VR II

A few notes: Ken tested this lens mounted on a Nikon D800E. Also, it is rather sad to see the 'Made in Japan" engraving go away from even high end Nikkor lenses, it kinda takes away some of the magic. 

"I don't bother with f/2.8 tele zooms when shooting digital. I use them only when shooting 35mm, otherwise, they're too heavy. f/2.8 lenses went out with 35mm film, which only went to about ISO 100 before it started looking ratty. With digital, f/4 and f/5.6 are more than fast enough. It's high time Nikon finally got with the program to make a practical tele zoom like this again so we don't have to hump the f/2.8 beasts. . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Lens review by Nick Delvin at the Luminous Landscape: This lens is very good, showing what modern optical design can achieve, it is pleasing to use and the cost is bearable, though by no means a bargain.

At $1,399, the f/4 lens costs $1,000 less than its f/2.8 cousin, on paper.

Even at f/4, where the f/2.8 lens should have an advantage, I have been able to detect very little difference.  At 70 and 200mm I thought I saw a teeny, eensy, teeny, weeny little advantage in contrast for the f/2.8…..at 2:1 magnification on screen.  And no, I’m not reproducing those tests here because that kind of pixel abuse is not to be promoted <grin>.   The bokeh, or out of focus rendering, of the lens was just fine.  Not anything like a 75mm AA Summicron, but totally acceptable for an f/4 zoom.

I also wouldn't hesitate to us this lens for studio portraiture. It focuses quickly and silently (as expected) and performs as well as anyone would want on a portrait-shoot, throughout its range.

The f/4 lens did seem to have a slightly  warmer colour reproduction than the f/2.8 version – though again only very slightly. . . . read more

DXO Mark tests the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR, finds it to be a remarkably good performer.

DXO Mark tests the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

"The Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR shows itself to be a remarkably good performer. If you are a Nikon user and are in the market for a 70-200mm focal range lens, it makes a great case for serious consideration with high scores in all lens test metrics and a price that is much lower than expected for the performance on offer. . . . read more

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR review underway at Camera Labs: MTF and resolution charts looks very promising.

"These charts show the lens-performance at the largest aperture f4.0. Higher values are better and the closer the dotted and the continuous lines of each color are together the less astigmatism (= resolution depends on the orientation of the test-pattern) the lens has. The x-axis displays the distance from the optical axis (=center of the sensor) in mm. I'll show you the real-life performance at 4 mm (center), 13 mm (DX-corner), and 20 mm (FX-corner) on a D800.

From the charts the new lens should perform on a very high level regarding overall contrast. Sharpness on the long end . . . read more

Overview

Description by Nikon:

Compact high-performance 2.9x FX-format telephoto zoom lens with an f/4 fixed aperture and Nikon's third-generation Vibration Reduction (VR). Capture high performance stills and HD videos with a classic 70-200mm angle of view (105-300mm on DX-format cameras). An essential lens for low light or fast action sequences.

Specifications
Initial Price: 
$1400
Release Date: 
10/2012
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