Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR II Announcement

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.

Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR II

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:

Nikon 200mm f/2G VR II MTF Nikon 200mm f/2G VR MTF

Price and Availability

Being an f/2.0 lens is not cheap – the Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR II will sell for $5,999.95 and will ship in early October from all major resellers such as B&H and Adorama. It is already available for pre-order here.


  1. 1) Biswajit Dey Photo Blog
    September 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Cool piece of lens….Another one added to my never-to-be-fulfilled-wishlist .. :)

    • October 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

      Hehe, that’s how it is for most people, which is why only pros with plenty of income can afford it. I don’t think I would want it either…

  2. 2) amateur
    September 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I wonder if 200/2 VR1 will have a better resale value once the old stock will end? – I was stupid enough to buy one, and I will sell it if the market will be good.
    Dont get me wrong – it is a wonderful lens. I just don’t need it at all…

    • October 4, 2010 at 10:45 am

      Amateur, I’m afraid the previous version will keep dropping in price, since the new one is already out. If you do not need it, I would sell it now instead of waiting for the price to go back up, which might never happen.

      • 2.1.1) amateur
        October 24, 2010 at 6:40 am

        Yo are most probably right … still, I have no heart to part with it. The best headshots bar none, and sharper than anything I have. If only it was not so intimidating…

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          November 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

          Amateur, it is hard to find a lens that can beat the 200mm f/2.0 for headshots. If you like the pictures you get from it, then I would certainly keep it. It just sounded like you didn’t need it…

          It is big and heavy, but those creamy backgrounds are just stunning to look at! Even the 85mm @ f/1.4 cannot match it.

    • 2.2) Davidq
      January 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Sell it now I just bought the new one on October and it just arrived last week that is after looking at all the store in the area nobody can tell you when it will arrive, so if somebody like me is not wanting to wait I would pay $3,500.00 for the first version in a heartbeat but if the new one is available right away I would buy it again, and again sell it now!

    • 2.3) amateur
      February 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Thank you for advice!
      I d id not sell it. Instead I added a TC17.
      Came to think of it:
      Now Canon announced a 200-400 f/4 with built in TC 1.4.
      Actually that seems like a very interesting idea if one could integrate a 1.4 TC in a 200/2 or 300/2.8. Or 250/2 (a low bow to Olympus) .
      There is a minus, of course – the lens will be bigger, more complicated, more expensive, and is likely to have an unwieldy bulge.
      On the other hand, it would give a possibility to alter focal length rather rapidly, w/o exposing equipment to elements, and potentially optically better solution, as the extender group could be placed at the best place in the optical system, not just between the lens and the camera 9unless that already is the best place). And no extra microchip, no diaphragm lever, one bayonet down and one interruption less in the wiring loom.
      We just need an mechanically and optically elegant solution. Slot-in group with a couple of elements (some slotting in, some coming out) on left hand side with foolproof mechanism, which can be actuated in <1 second … so come on, what about a carbon (and difraction optics?) solution for a max. 275mm long, 125 mm diameter 210-300/2.0-2.8 IS [or VR] weighting in at ~2.75 kg, with a bulge/ handle on the left hand side, for a price of a 200/2 or 300/2.8 + TC —

  3. 3) Ignacio
    November 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Nasim, I need your advice, next year I’m going to invest in my equipment basically D700 and a trio of lenses, I shoot weddings but the most I do are portraits, in open areas like parks, here is my doubt I was thinking in getting the nikon 1) 16-35mmvr 2) 70-200mmvr2 here in number 3 choice is my doubt at first for my third lens I was sure that what I need was the 300mf2.8 vr2 but problably the 200mf2.0 it will give me better bokeh? Im totally confuse now, what do you think? or It will be better to get 1)16-35mvr2 2)85mm f1.4g and the 3) 200mf2.0? any suggestion are very welcome :-) thank you in advance Nasim great great website :-)

    • November 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      Ignacio, here is what I would do if I were you – get 16-35mm + 85mm f/1.4G for weddings and then rent the 200mm f/2.0 and see how it compares with the 85mm. If you think the 200mm is a world better, then you can get it later :)

      The 200mm f/2.0 is a phenomenal lens, but it is heavy and expensive, which I find tough to work with in weddings. Even the 70-200mm that I love so much is just too darn heavy for shooting weddings for me nowadays.

      • 3.1.1) Ignacio
        November 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

        Thank you very very much for your advice Nasim, I will follow your advice :-) your reviews are superb.

    • 3.2) Davidq
      January 18, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Portraits I shoot with my 105 2.8 macro, or my 70mm-200mm VR1 2.8, and I just got the new 200mm f/2G ED VR II and I can’t wait to shoot a portrait with this!

      • February 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm

        Davidq, you surely won’t be disappointed! Careful with that glass though, it is sharp as a razor :)

  4. 4) Gandalf
    December 1, 2011 at 3:08 am

    I borrowed the VR1 last year from NIkon – 2-3 weeks.

    Never seen so sharp pictures, so creamy bokeh and so fast AF, it is an awesome lens – my concern is the weight, not the price = it is not priced to high, it is well worth the money – do not try it, if you can not afford it, you will never forget it ;);)

  5. 5) mehmet askeri kurt
    June 3, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Kesinlikle sıradan bir kullanıcının ikisinin arasındaki farkı anlaması imkansızdır.
    Laboratuvar ortamında yada deneysel anlamda bir çekim yapmiyorsanız kesinlikle sizin bu VR II serisine ihtiyacınız yok demektir


  6. August 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    If I had but one lense to keep forever. 200 F2 VRI. Might upgrade to VRII. But it’s the best. Using 1.4 and 2.0 extenders. With a 2.0 crop body. I just can’t seem to fond anything it does not do well to exceptionally well. Weeding, Sports, Port. Wildlife, Arena you name it. A low light wonder. Wanting to add a D7100 because it is a 2.0 crop body. That can stand a little more iso than the D2x I have now. Don’t take me wrong, would love to have VRII. But I want a 200-400 Nikon first. But then I come from the days of lugging a RB67 and a Norman 200 all day with a 40# camera bag as well. You don’t want to arm wrestle me on the left side. Keep the camera dry.

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