Nikon 200mm f/2 G IF-ED AF-S VR II

Check availablity: Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, B&H, eBay.

The latest version of Nikon's top grade 200 mm f/2 has the same build and the same optical formula as its predecessor. What you get for the extra USD 900 price increase is: A second generation VR that according to Nikon gives up to four stops improvement; a nano crystal coating to reduce flare and ghosting; a tripod detector that automatically turns VR off when a tripod is used, and a rather pointless new focus mode setting (“A/M”) that differs from the traditional “M/A” by requiring a slightly larger amount of focus-ring motion to let the lens recognize that you want manual focus over-ride.

Overall, this is a professional grade lens with a price tag to match. It delivers excellent performance, combining good optical performance with fast and silent auto-focus and VR that provides up to four stops improvement when used handheld.

The optical formula is 13 elements in 9 groups. Three ED-elements plus one so-called “Super ED”. The complex optical formula means that it does not work well with extension tubes.

This lens has a lot of buttons! On the right side of the lens barrel, there is a button (“memory set”) to save the current focus position. Near the front of the lens, there are four buttons which can be set to operate as AF lock, AF ON or Focus Memory Recall. There is also a switch to enable and disable the lens' acoustic feedback for Memory Set and Memory Recall. There is a switch to set VR mode (off, normal or active). There is a switch to select between focus modes M, M/A and A/M. Finally, there is a focus limit switch (5 m. to infinity).

Like many recent Nikon telephoto lenses, the tripod collar is not rigid enough to keep the lens still. Berween 1/60 second to about two seconds, a sturdy tripod, MLU, and radio trigger is the only way to avoid motion blur.

Comes with HK-31 lens-hood. The supplied CL-L1 soft-pouch is designed to hold the lens with a reversed hood attached to a camera.

Rating: Ed: -, User: - (normalized, 0=useless, 50=average, 100=excellent).

Mount: Nikon F.
Format: FX/135.
Aperture range: f/2 to f/22.
Close focus distance (CFD): 200 cm / 6.56 ft (from sensor plane).
CFD magnification: 1:8.3 / 0.12X.
Focus: AF (built-in, ring-type).
Groups/elements: 9/13.
Filter diameter: 52 mm (rear).
L x D, W: 203 x 125 mm, 2930 g.
Approximate street price: USD 5900 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2010-today.

Company Profile

Key info

Established: 1917
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Web: Global, EU, US, man

Nikon is a multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan specializing in optics and imaging. Its products include cameras, lenses, flash units, scanners, binoculars, microscopes, measurement instruments, and steppers (used in semiconductor fabrication). The company was founded in 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (Japan Optical Industries Corporation), and renamed Nikon Corporation, after its cameras, in 1988. Nikon Corporation is one of the companies of the Mitsubishi Group.

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