Photography - 70-200mm VR2

Overview

I already had the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 OS, which I like very much, but found the range to be a little limiting. The 70-300VR, proven to be a good lens, suddenly started looking a little pedestrian in comparison to some of my other, newer, lenses.

So they call this a pro-zoom... A must have... Is it really that good? Is it really worth the price? In a word, yes!

My Nikon D90

Sharpness

This lens is sharp. Super sharp! The center, all the way to the very edges are sharp, even wide open, throughout the zoom range. Honestly, there is very little reason to stop down, unless depth of field is a concern.

Focusing and Other Notable Attributes

This is, without a doubt, the fastest focusing lens I have. The 70-200VR2 spins all the way from one end of the range, to the other, in a heartbeat. Focusing is very accurate, even in low light.

By now, I'm pretty most everyone has heard about the focus breathing of this lens - as you focus closer to the camera, the effective focal length is reduced. As a result, the lens can act like a 60-140mm, at the minimum focusing distance. Some have made quite a lot of this, but I actually think of it as a benefit; on a DX body, this makes the lens a little more usable indoors, isn't terribly noticeable when in normal use and may mean I don't have to swap lenses as frequently.

Handling and Use

The Nikon 70-200VR2 is about the same size as the Nikon 300mm f/4; it's big. I don't have any problems carrying the weight, but smaller people might. The lens puts a lot of weight on the mount, so I wouldn't feel comfortable just letting the body + lens hang around my neck.

The vibration reduction works very well on this lens. Even with my shaky hands, I can easily handhold 1/15" - 1/50" shots of static subjects, depending on focal length. No way could I do that without the aid of stabilization, which appears to be a 4-stop difference for me.

The weather sealing is great; there's even a rubber gasket on the front, for when filters are mounted. The tripod foot is great, and easily moves out of the way, and/or removes, when not needed. The only quirk seems to be and odd focusing range limiter. Seriously, 5m is a long way out for the limiter to be set to... I'm not sure why and can't think of a reason why nikon would do this...

Sample Photos

Here are a few samples I have taken with this lens:

DSC_0047

Saw Whet Owl