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Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VRII Lens Review

Nikon 200mm-f2 photo 1

This is the review for the Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VRII lens, reviewed by Hoosh Multimedia. At the time of writing this article (2020), the Nikon 200mm f2 is the fastest 200mm focal length Nikon has made, but there are three variants of this lens, with the first one came out in 1977.

The Nikon 200mm F2 can be used on both full-frame and cropped sensor cameras.

If you have any questions not already covered by this article please let me know and I will try to answer them.

Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VRII Lens Hirtory

The Nikon 200mm f2 ED-IF was first manufactured in 1977 until 2005. This Nikon lens was a completely manual lens with no Vibration Reduction (VR). In 2004, Nikon introduced the auto-focus version of this lens with Vibration Reduction. The 2004 version of this lens was called Nikon 200mm F2 VR. This lens was then superseded in 2010 by the VRII version. Nikon claims that the VRII version gives three stops of improvement (For some reason other websites seem to think its 4 stops but Nikon website claims its only 3 stops for VRII ). The VRII has two mode settings, Normal and Active. The Normal VR mode caters to the random camera shakes while you are standing still, but the Active mode is designed for when you are moving and shooting at the same time(e.g. from a car).

Three ED glass and one Super ED glass elements are used for effective lens aberration correction. The 9-blade rounded diaphragm enables super-smooth bokeh. Also, the Nano Crystal coat on the lens helps to reduce ghosting and flare.

Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VRII Lens Specification

Maximum Aperture: F2
Minimum aperture: F22
Lens construction: 13 elements in 9 groups (with three ED glass and one Super ED glass elements, and Nano Crystal Coat)
Angle of View: 12°20’ (8° with Nikon DX-format)
Number of Diaphragm Blades: 9 Blades (rounded diaphragm)
Maximum reproduction ratio: 0.12x
Filter attachment size: 52mm (drop-in type)
Dimensions(Diameter x Length): Approximately 124 x 203.5 mm/4.9 x 8.0 in.
Weight: Approximately 2,930 g/103.4 oz.
Supplied accessories: Dedicated slip-on front lens cap, Rear Lens Cap LF-4, Lens Hood HK-31, Semi-soft Case CL-L1, Dedicated slip-in filter holder, 52mm Screw-on Neutral Color NC Filter, Strap LN-1
Nikon200mm-f2 resolution chart Nikon200mm-f2 chromatic aberration

Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VRII Manual

Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VRII Operation

The Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VR II uses Nikon’s latest (2020) Silent Wave Motor for incredibly fast Auto-focus. One thing to consider is how narrow the depth of field an F2 aperture is at 200mm (if you are close to the subject), as such you will need to be careful that the focus is where you really want it to ensure the perfect result. But when you do, the result will be spectacular.

The lens’s VR is simply fantastic. You can easily shoot handheld at 1/30th second with the VR on (you need a good handheld skills though). The lens has a focus limiter, so you can from 5m to infinity or from closest to infinity. The lens even has a Focus Recall button so you can quickly press a button and quickly go to the preset focus. On the front of the lens there are four buttons that can be set to AF-ON, AF-Lock and Focus Memory Locks.

The lens beeps when a previously set memory focus is recalled, but there is a button to make this silent.

Who is Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VR II aimed at?

The Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VR II is ideal for low light photography. The fast aperture, alongside the superb VR system, makes it a perfect lens for low light events photography. This lens easily has fast enough autofocus for sports and fast-moving photography, but I personally would not rely on a single focal length lens for sports photography. It is also far too short for most wildlife photography. So this lens is ideal for portrait photography and headshots. If you do event photography then this will make a perfect lens for low light photography or/and to isolate a subject from its background. The lens also produces beautiful Bokeh.

Nikon 200mm f2 G ED AF-S VR II image Quality

The image quality of this lens is outstanding. The Nikon 200mm F2 VRII is sharp, excellent contrast and the Chromatic Aberration is almost none existent. The lens focusses really quickly in low light and this, combined with a fast aperture and superb Vibration Reduction, will make the lens ideal for low light events.

Please see below for sample images (these were captured at a low light indoor event):

Nikon 200mm F2 photo- 1 Nikon 200mm F2 photo- 2

Canon 200mm F1.8 vs Nikon 200mm F2 VRII

Considering I already own both these lenses, I thought I should make the comparison in case someone is wondering about this comparison.

To be honest, this is a hard comparison as Nikon 200mm F2 VRII has an amazing Vibration Reduction system but the Canon 200mm F1.8 benefits from a faster aperture. The real-world comparison is that if I am photographing a celebrity or a high profile event and want exceptional images, then I would use my Canon 200mm f1.8, but if I am at an event where I need to be easily mobile and be able to photograph in an exceptionally dark environment then I would use the Nikon 200mm F2. The Nikon is lighter, smaller and has the benefit of 3-4 stops lighting improvement, resulting in handheld shots at significantly lower shutter speeds that the Canon 200mm f1.8.

The other reason I will use the Canon 200mm F1.8 at high profile events and celebrities is that it is a much more "formidable" looking lens than the Nikon 200mm F2 VRII, therefore whenever I use it at events, its almost guaranteed that a guest will stop me and ask what lens is that. It straight away gives the impression that you are a photographer that's doing exceptionally well (it's all about the image you portray!).

So why do I not use the Canon 200mm F1.8 for all events if it's that good? Simply because Canon no longer supports this lens and this lack of official support should the lens gets damaged worries me! This is why I will mainly use the Nikon 200mm F2 for the majority of events.

DISCLAIMER: The content, veiws, thoughts and opinion expressed in this website is purely based on the author's personal experience and any action taken upon the information provided in this website is strictly at your own risk. The author of this article will not accept any liability of any kind in connection with ANY information provided. The information contained in this website is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness and without any warranties of any kind whatsoever, express or implied.

. Swansea. Cardiff. Bristol. London

All photos on this site were captured by Hoosh Arabi (Who is an award winning photographer).
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