Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Review


Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Specifications

Lens Specifications
* Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area 
Lens TypeZoom Lens
Focal Length70-200mm
Mount TypeNikon Z
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)Full Frame / APS-C
Compatible with TeleconvertersYes
Zoom Ratio2.9x
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.2x
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)Yes
Aperture Information
Aperture RingNo
Maximim Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/22
Maximum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)22°50'
Minimum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)34°20'
Minimum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)12°20'
Optical Information
Lens Elements21
Lens Groups18
Diaphragm Blades9 (Rounded)
Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements6
Special Glass Elements1 SR Lens Element
Aspherical Elements2
ARNEO CoatingYes
Nano Crystal CoatYes
Super Integrated Coat (SIC)Yes
Fluorine CoatingYes
Fluorite Elements1
Focus Information
Built-in Focus MotorYes
Stepper Motor (STM)Yes
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance0.5m at 70mm, 1.0m at 200mm
Electronic DiaphragmYes
Distance InformationYes
Filter Information
Filter Size77mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingYes
Mount MaterialMetal
Tripod CollarYes
Dimensions89mm x 220mm
Weight1440g with tripod collar
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack
Supplied AccessoriesLC-77B Lens Cap (front cap), LF-N1 Lens Cap (rear cap), HB-92 Lens Hood, CL-C3 Lens Case

These specs are as advanced as you’ll see in any lens today. Nikon has thrown almost all its tech at the 70-200mm f/2.8 S: six extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements, two aspherical elements, a fluorite element (not to be confused with the additional fluorine-coated front element) and even an “SR” element, which stands for “short-wavelength refractive” and is intended to reduce chromatic aberration. As far as I’m aware, not a single other Nikon lens has this many special elements, not even the Z 58mm f/0.95 S.

Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S Image Sample #29
NIKON Z 7 II + NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S @ 200mm, ISO 64, 1/1250, f/2.8

I haven’t even gotten to the various coatings on the Z 70-200mm f/2.8: ARNEO, nano crystal, and super integrated coating to reduce flare, plus fluorine coating on the front element to repel dust and water. There’s nothing Nikon left out. This is a seriously high-end lens.

Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S Image Sample #36
NIKON Z 7 II + NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S @ 200mm, ISO 64, 1/320, f/5.6

I see only one potential concern with the specifications above: portability. The Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S isn’t small or light at all. In fact, it weighs as much as the current F-mount Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR. The Z-mount lens is 1440 g / 3.17 lbs (1360 g without the tripod foot), while the F-mount lens is 1430 g / 3.15 lbs (1355 g without the tripod foot). While it’s true that you’d need the 135 gram FTZ adapter to use the F-mount lens on any Nikon Z camera, the fact remains that the two lenses weigh almost the same.

If you find that disappointing and you want something to boost your mood, one look at the lens construction diagram could be all you need:

Yellow: ED Glass
Purple: Fluorite Element
Pink: SR Glass
Blue: Aspherical Element

It’s one thing to read about the special lens elements on the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S and another to see them in a diagram like this. Nearly half of the 21 elements on this lens are some advanced type! As you’ll see later in this review, perhaps Nikon chose to maximize image quality over some other considerations with this lens…

I’ll get to our image quality tests in a moment. First, let’s take a look at the Z 70-200mm f/2.8’s construction and handling features. Click the menu below to jump to “Build Quality and Handling”: