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

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

Lens Summary

Brand: Nikon

Also Known As: Nikon 200mm f/2G VR

Lens Type: Prime Lens

Format: Full Frame / FX

Focus: Autofocus

Lens Mount: Nikon F

Release Date: 2004-05-28

MSRP Price: $4249

Made in: Japan

Infrared Rating: Good

Production Status: Discontinued

Lens Description: This incredibly fast f/2 telephoto lens features Nikon’s VR image stabilization and is perfect for low-light sports action photography and portraits.

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

Lens Specifications
* Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area 
Lens TypePrime Lens
Focal Length200mm
Mount TypeNikon F
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
Compatible with TeleconvertersYes
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.12x
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)Yes
Aperture Information
Aperture RingNo
Maximim Aperturef/2
Minimum Aperturef/22
Maximum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)12°20'
Optical Information
Lens Elements13
Lens Groups9
Diaphragm Blades9
Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements3
Super Integrated Coat (SIC)Yes
Focus Information
Built-in Focus MotorYes
Silent Wave Motor (SWM)Yes
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance6.2 ft. (1.9m)
Focus Mode SwitchAuto, Manual, Auto/Manual
Distance InformationYes
Filter Information
Filter Size52mm
Accepts Filter TypeSlip-in
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingYes
Mount MaterialMetal
Tripod CollarYes
Dimensions(Approx.) 4.9x8.0 in. (Diameter x Length) 124x203mm (Diameter x Length)
Weight(Approx.) 102.3 oz. (2,900g)
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack
Supplied AccessoriesHK-31 hood CL-L1 case LN-1 strap 52mm filter holder Lens cover Rear lens cap

Lens Construction

AF-S-VR-NIKKOR-200mm-f-2G-IF-ED Construction

MTF Chart

AF-S-VR-NIKKOR-200mm-f-2G-IF-ED WTF Curve


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In you’re here in Dec. 2022, you likely already know about this lens and it’s more expensive younger sibling. There are two commonly asked questions: 1. Is the VRII worth the extra money (if you can find it) over the VRI? and 2. Is this a lens worth carrying around at all? While I can not address the first question directly (I have not shot both lenses), the people who do say the Nano crystal coating helps, but not essential, and A/M addition to the switch on the side does aid in manual over-ride of focus. The extra stop of VR apparently helps a bit, but does reportedly slow AF a bit. I recently purchased the VRI in near mint condition for a very “reasonable” price. I moved to Nikon’s Z bodies with the introduction of the Z9 – I shoot wildlife, action, sports – because of the need for photos in poor indoor light (dance/action) and my love of the Nikon 105mm f/1.4 for portraits.

I do not see a mirrorless equivalent coming because Canon and Nikon discontinued their lenses of this type, and it’s really a niche product to begin with. They would have to make it faster, lighter, better balanced, and Nikon already has the fast 85mm and 135mm on their roadmap for the near future. Point is, a native Z 200mm replacement does not appear to be in the near future even with faster aperture, better ergonomics, and addition of a 1.7x TC? ;-) For two months, I’ve shot this lens often. I’ve compared image sharpness and bokeh with some of the f mount 300mm f/2.8s and 400mm f/2.8s and the 70-200mm f/2.8 E and 180mm f/2.8 D – and the 105mm f/1.4. For portraits, in my limited experience, 200mm is at the brink of pushing the distance to stay engaged with your subject (yelling out signals). That makes comparison of the 300mm and 400mm for portraits moot. The images of the 180mm f/2.8, while excellent, are not in the same league (IMHO) as the 200mm f/2. The 105mm f/1.4 is an interesting comparison. There are situations that the image quality closely approaches the 200mm f/2.

The 200mm shot wide open nearly always produces beautifully defocused transition zones that clearly separate it for reasonable competition. I’ve handheld it, but this lens begs for a monopod. It’s sharpest at f/5.6, but I rarely stop it down. My biggest question now is should I pick up the C-PL3L polarizing filter (as it may be discontinued in the future) or a replacement foot and dedicated lens cap. Bottom Line: For my portrait amateur work, I love this lens for outdoor unique portraits (great with children – giving them their space to act naturally – and for low light) and I love the images SOOC. The Z9 AF with AI/eye detection – makes handholding this lens more tolerable – since accurate AF is much faster. This lens is more of a “want it” than “need it”. Once in your hands, the only thing to keep you from loving it 24/7 will be the weight and balance (excluding price).



I had it for a week now. Yesterday was my wife’s daughter graduation at University of Montréal. I took the big moma with me. I’m no pixel pusher, just an amateur with the love of images. I will let them talk on this video. Some shots I took with my 5D3 and 40mm f2.8 STR but the ones with the D800 are easy to spot. Light was terrible almost total darkness at times. I had no tripod nor monopod, just the sheer weight of the monster to carry.…LHYrW2vKew