It surely has been a busy year at Nikon, with a total of 9 lens releases, which is quite high for the company. A large number of the released lenses are prime lenses, certainly a good move by Nikon, since prime lenses are quite popular among professionals specializing in different types of portraiture work. The Nikon 200mm f/2G is no exception – it is a popular lens among portrait and sports photographers that need to work with fast apertures and isolate their subjects from backgrounds with soft and creamy bokeh. Similar to the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II lens, the Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR II is a minor update to the legendary Nikon 200mm f/2G VR lens.
So, what has been upgraded in the new Nikon 200mm f/2.0G? The lens construction of both the older 200mm and the newer one is exactly the same, with the same number of Super ED (1) and ED Glass elements (3). This means that we can expect the same superb performance of the lens in terms of sharpness, color and contrast, except with more resistance against ghosting and flare due to the use of Nano Crystal Coat. Besides the addition of Nano Crystal Coat, the other major difference is the upgraded VR II system, which should give an extra stop of compensation against camera shake when using slow shutter speeds. Other small cosmetic changes are the new A/M mode switch and a different label with a large letter “N”, which stands for Nano Crystal Coat.
From the Nikon Press Release:
AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II: Telephoto Lens with Incredible Low-Light Performance
The 200mm f/2, like its predecessor, is an incredibly fast aperture telephoto lens that incorporates Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) II Image Stabilization system. The VR system provides up to four stops of correction to assist in creating blur-free images while shooting hand-held, or for when capturing D-Movie video content.
Additionally, the NIKKOR 200mm f/2 VR II incorporates an Internal Focusing (IF) system that allows movement of the optical elements within the lens barrel and does not change barrel length. Three focus modes are featured, with an A/M mode added to the conventional M/A and M modes. The optical construction consists of 13 optical elements in nine groups including three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and one Super ED glass element that effectively minimize chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture settings. Also included is a Tripod Detection Mode, which automatically compensates for minute vibrations when mounted on a tripod and allows users to keep VR image stabilization on and active – even when the camera and lens are mounted on a tripod. The 200mm f/2 is optimal for all types of shooting including weddings, portraits, sports, nature, and fashion due to its quick response and detailed lens design.
Nikon 200mm f/2G VR II vs Nikon 200mm f/2G VR – MTF
The MTF data is very similar on both, with a slightly higher performance on the Nikon 200mm f/2.8G VR II, most likely due to the use of Nano Crystal Coat. Compare and see for yourself: