Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

Nikon’s cheapest 70-200mm lens, the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR comes with a Vibration Reduction (VR) system and a maximum aperture of f/4. Unlike Canon, Nikon doesn’t make cheaper non-stabilised versions of its lenses, so Nikon users on a budget will have to look at third-party brands. The lens’s VR system enables users to shoot around 4 stops slower, so getting sharp shots in low light is possible without a tripod. The VR has two modes to correct for different types of movement, with the normal mode catering for general scenes and panning and the active mode for shooting from a moving vehicle. Effective VR technology is important on a telephoto lens. The Nikon’s AF system is fast and near-silent owing to its Silent Wave Motor (SWM), so the lens is suitable for use in very quiet environments such as wedding ceremonies. There’s also a focus distance limiter switch to help speed up AF, and manual focus override allows users to tweak focus without moving the focus switch to manual.

Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

Unlike Canon, Nikon doesn’t make cheaper non-stabilised versions of its lenses, so Nikon users on a budget will have to look at third-party brands. The lens’s VR system enables users to shoot around 4 stops slower, so getting sharp shots in low light is possible without a tripod. The VR has two modes to correct for different types of movement, with the normal mode catering for general scenes and panning and the active mode for shooting from a moving vehicle. Effective VR technology is important on a telephoto lens. The Nikon’s AF system is fast and near-silent owing to its Silent Wave Motor (SWM), so the lens is suitable for use in very quiet environments such as wedding ceremonies. There’s also a focus distance limiter switch to help speed up AF, and manual focus override allows users to tweak focus without moving the focus switch to manual.

Optically, this lens is outstanding, comfortably outperforming rivals at both 70mm and 200mm. Images are very sharp in the corners, even at wide apertures, and there is hardly any noticeable chromatic aberration at any focal length. Contrast is equally impressive.

Verdict

Despite not having an aperture of f/2.8, this would still be our pick of 70-200mm lenses thanks to its outstanding image quality.

Specifications

  • Maximum aperture: f/4
  • Minimum aperture: f/32
  • Minimum focus distance: 100cm
  • Angle-of-view: 34° - 12°
  • Diaphragm blades: 9
  • Elements/groups: 20/14
  • Stabilisation: Yes
  • Lens hood included: Yes
  • Tripod collar: No
  • Fits: Nikon
  • Filter size: 67mm
  • Length: 179mm
  • Weight: 850g
  • Visit: www.nikon.co.uk

This review was first published in the February 2015 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.