Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Announcement

Just like we covered last week, Nikon today officially announced the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR lens, a cheaper and lighter version of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II. While we knew about the lens and some of its basic specifications, more detailed information, including pricing was not yet available until today. I was really hoping that Nikon would price the 70-200mm f/4G VR right and I am excited to see that the price of the 70-200mm is $1,399.95, right what I thought it would be. This is exciting news for many of us that want quality optics at an affordable price point.

Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

The only screwy part about this lens release, which I am sure many photographers will catch quickly, is the $223.95 price tag attached to the lens collar. The Nikon 70-200mm f/4G will ship without a lens collar, so if you want to mount your lens on a tripod, then you will have to pay this ridiculous price. If you are planning to purchase the 70-200mm f/4G, I would buy it without the lens collar. Just wait for a month or two and you will see great offers from third party manufacturers that will sell the same or better collar for much less. That collar looks like the same crappy one that Nikon uses on older telephoto lenses and it is seriously a waste of your money. I personally have everything in arca-swiss style mount, so I am planning to get a collar from RRS or Kirk, whenever it becomes available.

Either way, today marks another great day for the Nikon community. Finally, we have the 70-200mm f/4G VR so many of us have been craving for years. What’s next? Nikon, please put the 300mm f/4G VR and 80-400mm VR II into your list of priorities and you will have many happy Nikonians out there!

Note: The side by side comparison between the 70-200mm f/4G VR and the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II has been moved to Nikon 70-200mm f/4 vs f/2.8 article.

Official Press Release

Official press release from NikonUSA:

Nikon Continues Popular Series of F/4 Lenses with the Addition of the New FX-Format AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Telephoto Zoom Lens

The AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Telephoto Zoom Lens is Nikon’s First Lens with up to Five Stops of Image Stabilization; Offers Outstanding Performance and Superior Image Quality
MELVILLE, N.Y. – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the newest addition to its legendary NIKKOR line of lenses, the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR telephoto zoom lens that provides a popular and versatile focal length and a constant f/4 aperture for full frame FX-format photographers. The 70-200mm f/4 is the first NIKKOR lens to feature the third generation of Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology to meet the still image and video demands of advanced photographers and videographers.

“With the new AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4, Nikon offers enthusiasts an essential telephoto zoom lens capable of amazing clarity and control, at a price point that’s easily attainable,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc., “With the introduction of Nikon’s third generation of VR technology, the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4 lens offers superior performance and stunning image quality whether shooting beautiful stills or HD video in challenging lighting conditions.”

Legendary Image Quality and Performance

In an expansion of Nikon’s f/4 series of NIKKOR lenses, the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4 is an uncompromising telephoto zoom lens ready for real-world creative applications by professionals and enthusiasts including sports, portraiture and wildlife shooting. Smaller and lighter than Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 f/2.8 lens, this 70-200mm f/4 lens offers a valuable alternative that maintains the superior image quality and lightning quick performance photographers have come to expect from Nikon.

Additionally, Nikon’s newest lens is the first to feature VR image stabilization technology that is able to vastly reduce camera shake and blur by offering the equivalent shutter speed of approximately five stops slower than otherwise possible. Now users are able to shoot confidently in lower light or while handheld to deliver razor sharp images and smooth HD video.

When used alongside the Nikon D4, D800 series and D600 D-SLR cameras, 70-200mm f/4 lens users can take advantage of Nikon professional grade teleconverters to increase the focal length without sacrificing AF and VR abilities. By utilizing the camera’s cross-type focus points at f/8 and below, users can effectively double the focal length of this f/4 lens to 400mm and still retain the AF ability to capture clear subjects at an even greater distance.

Constructed from 20 optical elements in 14 groups, the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4 maintains several core Nikon technologies including the exclusive Nano Crystal Coat to significantly reduce instances of ghosting and flaring. In addition, Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides quiet and responsive autofocus (AF) operation. The lens also features two versatile focus modes, M/A (autofocus with manual override) and M (manual focus) to adapt to a users shooting preferences. The AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4 achieves the top class feel, superior operability and solid handling that only NIKKOR glass can offer.

Price and Availability

The AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR will be available in late November 2012 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $1,399.95*. Nikon also offers an optional Tripod Collar, available in the near future for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $223.95*. For more information on this and other NIKKOR lenses, as well as other Nikon products, please visit

Pre-Order Link

If you like our site and our work, please support us by pre-ordering the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR from the below link.

Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR for $1,399 at B&H


  1. October 24, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Great news, thanks Nasim, especially for the side by side comparison with the F2.8. First noticeable thing is the reduced weight and I think this will make it a big draw for those wishing to shed weight…like me! The UK launch price will be undoubtedly inflated compared to the US prices and I expect to see it launch at around £1200 (US$1800). I think it may be time to sell my 70-200mm f2.8 VRI to help fund it, after the reviews of course!


  2. October 24, 2012 at 1:59 am

    And it even works with teleconverters… man I feel like an idiot for buying the 70-200mm VR II 2.8 last month :).

    • October 24, 2012 at 2:05 am

      Oded, I would not count on teleconverter use with the 70-200mm f/4G. It will probably do very well with the TC-14E II, but I doubt it will perform as well as the f/2.8G with the TC-17E II and TC-20E III. If you want the flexibility and the reach, the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II is still the way to go.

      Don’t feel bad for buying the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II – it is a superb lens and it will serve you well for years to come. I have had mine ever since it came out and it is still one of my most favorite lenses. Since I do not use the 70-200mm with TCs, my primary concern is AF speed/accuracy and bokeh. If those turn out to be good, then I will probably get rid of my 70-200mm f/2.8G and “downgrade” to the f/4 version. Otherwise, I am keeping my 70-200mm!

      I will have the 70-200mm f/4 for testing in a month or less.

      • 2.1.1) Oded Shopen
        October 24, 2012 at 5:09 am

        Even if I take teleconverters out of the equation, I could get this lens + a 300mm f/4 for the price of one 70-200mm f/2.8. Nikon really slashed the prices here. Great move for new buyers.

      • 2.1.2) Stefan
        October 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

        Hey, Nasim,
        I couldn’t quite understand why we shouldn’t rely on 2x teleconverter on 70-200mm??
        I use it on my 2.8 VR2 version and it is awesome.
        There is no loss of sharpness (at least in real life shots). The new one is f/4, so it should also be fine with cameras like D800.
        And yes, 2.8 VR2 version is a killer lens! Love it!

        • Mike
          October 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm

          A 2x TC will give you an f/8 lens. That isn’t a big aperture so you need bright light. In less than ideal conditions, focus will be an issue even with a D800. Depending on what you are shooting, you may need to turn up the ISO to keep shutter speeds high thus introducing noise.

  3. 3) Elvis
    October 24, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Definitely amazed by the new release Nikkor 70-200mm vr f4(n), which I can’t wait for the comparison of this lens vs Canon 70-200mm IS f4 in the same line, perhaps to have another comparison with pre-predecessor Nikkor 70-200mm vr1 f2.8, haha! good job and long live Nikon!

    • October 24, 2012 at 2:08 am

      Elvis, that’s a good idea – I will see if I can find the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR (V1) to include in my comparisons. A comparison against the Canon 70-200mm f/4 is a good idea, but not really realistic, due to differences in sensor resolution/technology, etc.

      • 3.1.1) Anton Shelepov
        October 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

        Hello Nasim,
        Thank you so much for your work and dedication. I love your articles and your website helped me understand photography better. I would be curious to hear your opinion, how this new lens would compare to 70-300 f4.5-5.6. I have just purchased this lens new along with the D600 and was wondering if I should return it and wait for the new 70-200 f4. Do you think, there will be significant difference in IQ and micro contrast between these two lenses. I would use it for weddings and inside candids. Thanks so much for your great advice!!!

        • Jan
          October 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

          i’m in the exact same situation. i just purchased the 70-300 with my d600 and wonder the same thing. if you hear something, please let me know… i’ll need to return soon if it turns out that i should wait for this other lens. i’m using the lens to photograph my children, mostly outside but there will be indoor school programs.

  4. 4) Marco
    October 24, 2012 at 2:01 am

    But… bokeh…

    • October 24, 2012 at 2:15 am

      Marco, that’s what I will be testing in a month! What worries me more is AF speed in low-light situations. I use the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II at f/2.8 for event photography (weddings) and it is fast and accurate. If the 70-200mm f/4 is slower and less reliable, then it is a deal breaker for me.

  5. 5) Rahoul Mitra
    October 24, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I do feel sorry for Tamron and Sigma, there similarly priced 70-200 will surely take beating.

    • October 24, 2012 at 2:27 am

      Rahoul, you are probably right. I will test both Sigma and Tamron when comparing the Nikon and we will see how far off they are from Nikon in terms of performance…

      • 5.1.1) dina
        October 24, 2012 at 3:49 am

        Can’t wait :)

  6. 6) David
    October 24, 2012 at 2:24 am

    The Nikon 70-200/2.8 VRII has a max reproduction ratio of only 0.12x due to Focus Breathing, I think

    • October 24, 2012 at 2:28 am

      David, these specs are taken from NikonUSA…

      As for focus breathing, I wonder if the 70-200mm f/4 has the same “feature” or not :)

      • 6.1.1) David
        October 24, 2012 at 2:32 am

        Strange, Nikon AU (I’m Australian) says 0.12x, and I’m inclined to believe 0.12x from tests around :)

        Either way many thanks for the coverage! Looking forward to the review and comparison!

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          October 24, 2012 at 2:37 am

          David, you are right – I think Nikon just copy-pasted the contrast ratio from the old f/2.8 lens on NikonUSA. I went ahead and changed the article.

          Thank you!

          • SVRK Prabhakar
            October 24, 2012 at 2:50 am

            Can you tell why reproduction ratio is that different for the same zoom range? Does this in any case indicate lack of focus breathing?

  7. 7) Ivan
    October 24, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Yes, the price is seemingly right, but the optional (but generally much needed) tripod collar raises the price quite a bit.

    • 7.1) Elvis
      October 24, 2012 at 2:47 am

      I do agreed with u Ivan!

    • October 24, 2012 at 2:51 am

      Ivan, with VR and such light weight, why would most people need it? They really don’t. The 70-200mm f/4 is lighter than the 24-70mm lens, which does not have a tripod collar. If you really need a tripod collar, just wait for a few months and you will have great offers from RRS and Kirk :)

      • 7.2.1) Ivan
        October 24, 2012 at 3:00 am

        Nasim, the 24-70mm is not a telephoto lens, so I think you’re probably comparing apples and oranges here. :)

        IMO and in my experience, with long distance, daylight shooting where you’re using high shutter speeds (say 1/500 and less), a tripod/monopod is more beneficial than the VR system (I’m into airplane photography, not event/wedding photography). :)

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          October 24, 2012 at 3:48 am

          Ivan, yes, I am aware of that :) I just almost never use my 70-200mm on a tripod, except when doing landscapes or testing equipment – 99% of the time the lens is hand-held. True, if I were at 200mm all the time and my shutter speeds were not as fast, then a tripod/monopod would help…

        • Mike
          October 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm

          So why can’t you use the 70-200 f/4 on a tripod? I plan to but won’t buy it with a collar. I’ll just mount the body on my tripod just like I do with every other lens I use. This lens does not need a tripod collar.

          • PAUL TIRAJOH
            December 4, 2012 at 5:05 am

            Ivan & Nasim,

            On some occasions we still need a tripod but less than 5-10 years ago,
            please see the result of 3rd generatioan VR below


            • Mike
              December 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm

              Not buying the tripod collar does not prevent you from using the lens with a tripod. Just mount the camera body on the tripod.

  8. 8) SVRK Prabhakar
    October 24, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Thanks for great details. Any idea if the new lens suffers from focus breathing like F2.8 VRII? Also, any idea if Nikon has plans to bring out VR version of F4300mm lens? Thanks in advance.

    • October 24, 2012 at 2:53 am

      Judging by the max reproduction ratio (see comment #13 above), the 70-200mm f/4 does not seem to suffer from focus breathing issues.

      • 8.1.1) SVRK Prabhakar
        October 24, 2012 at 2:54 am

        This is certainly a good news, time to sell 70-200F2.8VRII and save some money for F4300mmVR version when it comes…

  9. 9) Karl Gilén
    October 24, 2012 at 3:10 am

    “The Nikon 70-200mm f/4G will ship without a lens collar, so if you want to mount your lens on your camera, then you will have to pay this ridiculous price. If you are planning to purchase the 70-200mm f/4G, I would buy it without the lens collar. ”

    It will be possible to mount the lens on the camera without the collar, but it will not be possible to mount the lens on a tripod without it.

    • October 24, 2012 at 3:45 am

      Karl, it was a typo – I meant to say “if you want to mount your lens on a tripod”, not a camera :)

  10. 10) dina
    October 24, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Great news thanks God I didn’t get tge sigma one
    Can’t wait till the comparasion
    Thanks Nassim

  11. 11) Adnan Khan
    October 24, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Thanks for the news and head to head paper comparison Nasim :)
    Very tempting !

    I think the 3rd gen. VR will equalize the F 2.8 vs F4 as I noticed in 16-35 F4 VR but might not be as sharp as the 2.8 , only closer results will show , but now cameras like D600 and D800 are squeezing more resolution from older AF-D lenses even as my 24 2.8 AF-D prime is sharper on D800 as compared to 16-35’s 24mm FL where it has nearly no distortion and supposed to be sharpest. And it beats the 24-70 at 24mm :)

    The 67mm filter is annoying as I’m having some spare 77mm ones :)
    For now I’m keeping my 70-300 VR it’s cheap n very good for trips as I lost the 14-24 since I take mediocre glass with me :) ,but seriously looking forward to comparisons against the mighty 2.8 and 70-300 VR especially .

    At 1/15 sharp shot at 200 mm is my benchmark :) as this tech. really helps shooting in reasonable ISO.


    • 11.1) Mike
      October 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      “I think the 3rd gen. VR will equalize the F 2.8 vs F4”

      In what way?

      There is no way to get the benefits of a fast lens by adding image stabilization. Things like:
      – Bright viewfinder, you see what the lens sees wide open. This makes a difference in low light.
      – Same goes for AF performance, better with a fast lens.
      – TC performance is better.
      – Shooting moving subjects (wildlife, etc.) is better as you can open the lens rather than jacking the ISO.

      VR doesn’t help you with any of that.

      • 11.1.1) Adnan Khan
        October 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm

        Mike ,
        You might not have read my comment correctly , I’m not talking about wildlife and neither does Nikon say that this lens is for wildlife only .

        F2.8 = F4 is in terms of shutter speed as the maker claims 5 stops ,hence what one gets at 2.8 might can shoot at F4. with slower shutter speed at same ISO with more area in focus than F2.8 , again not talking about “wildlife” , btw , this focal range is not for wild life either , I haven’t seen anybody without 200-400 or 600+TC using lesser range for serious “wildlife” :) , I myself use a 300 F4 +1.4x TC = 420mm for wild birds coming in my back yard just 20 to 30 feet away and cannot fill the frame unless I crop the picture 50% or so.

        Since 30 years or maybe more, there is a button on most entry to Pro level cameras called “Depth of field Preview” button and now just called “Preview” button ,it is usually near to the lens on right or left , meaning what you are going to get in terms of light at your set aperture ,you can preview it while pressing it and then the camera stops down the light in bright view finder to show the photographer that much amount of light they are going to get in their image.

        I don’t use tripod 99% of the time and ,so ,yes ,lenses having more VR or IS improvement do help me and especially if they are lighter.

        There is option to shut off the VR on the lens ,if you don’t like it, turn it off :)

        Each lens has it’s own auto focus performance. These new lenses are designed for new cameras that can AF lenses having minimum aperture up to F8 as if this lens mounted with a TC 20 (2x) will make it a F8 lens . Only practical trials will tell how well it performs with AF speed vs accuracy on moving subjects.


        • Mike
          October 29, 2012 at 1:17 am

          Unfortunately, that isn’t right. You need to read how VR works.

          “F2.8 = F4 is in terms of shutter speed as the maker claims 5 stops”

          VR does not give you the same shutter speed as a faster lens. It just allows you to get sharper photos at slower shutter speeds by compensating for unsteady hands. So you can get the ‘equivalent’ gain of using a faster lens when shooting hand held, but that only works if your subject is stationary. With the slower lens, you are still dealing with longer shutter speeds and if your subject is moving your image will still be blurry. A slow lens with VR doesn’t help you.

          “this focal range is not for wild life either”
          That is just a silly generalization. I have seen plenty of wildlife photos taken with lenses under 200mm.

          Also, I know what depth of field preview is, but you didn’t read my comment. With a fast lens you get a brighter viewfinder and better AF performance. You can use preview to see what your shooting aperture will look like but you can’t go the other way. An f/8 lens will just not be as bright and not look as good, making composition more difficult and AF slower.

          I wouldn’t turn VR off if I was shooting hand held, why would you? I’m not sure what your point is there.

          Yes, each lens has it’s own AF performance. I have a D800 and I do plan to get this lens provided it tests well in the reviews. It will replace my 80-200 f/2.8. I’m willing to give up the stop to gain a few other things. Practical trails have already shown how other lens and TC combinations perform, with TC it’s worse, especially with an f/4 lens, a 2x TC, and low light conditions.


  12. 12) FrancoisR
    October 24, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Wow great news this morning. I dont worry much about the collar, our firends from China (EBay) will come with a fix in due time just like the crazy grip prices for the D800. Now the 300 f4 VR and my (her)bag is full. Yesterday I took a bunch of pictures with the 85 1.8G and 17-35. They are just beautiful (on my Facebook page)!

    thanks Nasim!

    p.s Just ordered the 5D3, my wife and I will both have the exact same bag! Next trip in December is St-Marteen where I will see how they perform neck to neck lloll.

  13. October 24, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Nice update on this exciting release.

    Based on these specs I know what my next new lens purchase will be, especially if I am able to sell off at least one of my older (but optically wonderful) 80-200 f/2.8 ED lenses (yes, I have two of them). For my purposes in shooting sports, fast and accurate focus is more important than blown out background, and at least with my 80-200 lenses the subject isolation and bokeh quality are superb at f/4, anyway. For my studio work I shoot at f/8 to f/11, so the smaller max. aperture isn’t relevant, and I have my crazy good 85mm f/1.4 if I want to go for thin DoF.

    Really excited for this lens, to the extent that I might try to pre-order it.

  14. October 24, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Use Black Rapid strap and you will have no neck pain. I use one all the time with D4 and 500mm and don’t even notice them. ;-)

  15. 15) Jan
    October 24, 2012 at 7:40 am

    this is my first comment on your blog….love your blog and have learned so much. thank you!

    i just purchased the nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 with my new nikon d600 body for $386. i’m disappointed with its low(er) light capabilities, but i figured that i would be. i’m mostly photographing my little girl on the soccer field so 4.5 isn’t a big deal, but now i’m wondering about being able to have reach for indoor school programs. i’d love to hear your thoughts on this. i got the 70-300 at an excellent deal, so perhaps it’s truly my best option for what i photograph, but i also don’t want to throw away nearly $400 and wish that i had this f/4 model. thoughts?

    • 15.1) Stefan
      October 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      I had 70-300 before I got my 70-200mm and it is very good lens I think.
      It focuses fast, it’s quite sharp and is way lighter than 70-200.
      The only think is, that it is not as sharp above 240mm (I think), but still reasonably good, considering the price.
      I bought another one like you, using the discount (for a friend of mine) and tested it against the 70-200.
      I was impressed.
      It is very sharp. The copy I’ve got was really good. And it doesn’t have the breathing of the 70-200.
      At equal distances, the pictures with 70-300 look way closer.
      I was shooting birds with it and it was managing to focus fast. Well, nothing can compare with the speed of the 70-200mm 2.8 VR2 (so far), but this is another league.
      Hope that helps.

      • 15.1.1) Jan
        October 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm

        yes, thank you. i’m impressed with the 70-300 for outside use, but i’m concerned about indoor photography for my children’s school performances. that’s where a 4.0 could come in handy. i”m not interested in the 70-200 2.8 because of its size and weight. however, for the money/performance, i don’t think my 70-300 can be beat.

        • Adnan Khan
          October 26, 2012 at 5:23 am

          Jan , you can shoot with D600 +70-300 at 3200 to 4000 ISO around 1/250 and then down sample the image to 8MP to get a noise free sharp image , I’ve tried the D800 at 12800 ISO and then downsampled the image at 12 to 8 MP with very decent results ,this is the only advantage of these high res. cameras that slower lenses can be used with reasonable speed ,with good lit indoor games you can get decent images at 300mm with 5.6.

          • Jan
            October 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm

            fantastic advice, thank you! i’m in love with my iso options on the d600. i just upgraded from my d40 (long time saving), and i’m thrilled. the d40 was an awesome camera body for me to learn on and i’m actually a little sad to move on from it, but the d600 certainly makes the switch a lot easier.

            • Anton Shelepov
              October 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

              How is your d600 in terms of dust/oil spots on the sensor. I had to return mine, since it was gathering dust after every 100 clicks. I really liked the size and the feel of the camera, but having a bunch of spots visible at f11 is completely unacceptable for $2100 camera

            • Jan
              October 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm

              i shoot wide open for most of my shots and hadn’t tested the sensor yet. fun times after my weekly costco trip this afternoon and tested for the dust. sure enough, it’s there in the upper left hand side and visible without magnification. should i return my copy? looks like this is a common problem. :( i’ve had it less than a month and purchased through adorama. i only have one lens, a 50mm 1.8g…spots visible as f/16.

            • Jan
              October 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm


              what camera body do you have now…if you returned your d600? did you get a second copy?

            • Anton Shelepov
              October 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

              I was planning on getting another D600, but I a m hesitant, due to many reports of dust/oil problem. It’s a great body, but I am thinking, maybe I should try D800 instead. The AF area is really small in D600, I had to focus and recompose my shots pretty often. So, I have no body for now and will wait and read more for a couple of weeks.

            • Jan
              October 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

              i don’t want the 800 because i’m not computer savvy enough to manage the file sizes of that camera body. if you’re wanting a d800, i saw a refurbed d800 for 2500 the other day on adorama, i think. if not adorama, it was on bhphoto. i’ve gone back and forth on the idea of purchasing a used d700, but i think the d600 (based on the reviews i’ve read) is a more advanced camera. the dust makes me very nervous.

            • Anton Shelepov
              October 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm

              Yes, the size of the D800 files is a concern to me too, as well as 4FPS vs 5.5FPS in d600. Plus, a possibility to get a dreadful left AF problem is still quite large. Putting all these concerns aside, d800 might be more future-proof camera. And the larger AF points coverage is a big thing to me. I will wait for a week or so and then see how the prices match up with the recently lowered 5dmiii ($2994 now). If I could get NEW d800 for 2600, I would buy that instead of d600 for 2100.

            • Mike
              October 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm

              Why would the price on a D800 drop? First, the Canon deal is only temporary and expires tomorrow. Second, the sale price of the 5DIII is the same as the D800 so Nikon doesn’t need to drop the price. Third, the D800 is a better camera and is selling great. I doubt you will see it for $2600 any time soon.

            • FrancoisR
              October 31, 2012 at 6:05 am


              Saying that the D800 is better than the 5DIII is walking on thin ice. These are two very different bodies. The 5DIII is FAST and at 6fps more like a “pro” body, great for action shots while the D800 is a studio queen with it’s 36mp. The 3 instant recall modes (aka 2 on the D7000 and D600) are worth their weight in gold while the D800 is a fiddler’s dream. Their combined price is close to a 1D X but might beat it on versatility. IMHO the 5D3 stands more closely to a D4 (which I dont own and this is pure speculation) lloll. I like your site BTW!


            • Mike
              October 31, 2012 at 9:06 am


              First, thanks for the comment on my site, I appreciate it.

              I’m somewhat biased as I shoot Nikon and own a D800. I wouldn’t say they are very different bodies as they are direct competitors in the market. The D800 is no less pro just because it doesn’t shoot fast frame rates. I agree that it is a slow camera but no action pro is going to shoot a 5DIII on the sidelines of a NFL football game. It does not compete with the D4 or 1D cameras which shoot 10fps+.

              The D800 sensor is the best on the market in any DSLR at the moment. That is hard to argue and multiple tests have shown it to be better than sensors in more expensive bodies. DxO Mark also shows how far ahead this sensor is in terms of resolution, dynamic range, low light performance, etc. So calling the D800 better than a 5DIII is not a stretch, at least to me.

              Sure, the 5DIII has features that the D800 doesn’t have but for ultimate image quality the D800 is best.


  16. 16) John
    October 24, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I’m not impressed with the price point. I don’t think I could pay $1500 for an f4 when I can pick up the Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS brand new for the same price or cheaper. Plus the ability to shoot faster at longer focal lengths is something I wouldn’t want to jeopardize, regardless of the touted 5 stop VR improvement. You could have a 10 stop VR system but unless you’re shooting buildings or landscape its worthless. Obviously saving on weight and price is important to people, but when I finally get a 70-200 I’m going to skip over a lens that almost gets me to 2.8 and just save a little longer for the Nikon or get the Sigma.

    • 16.1) Marco
      October 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

      You make a great point, VR doesn’t help with motion blur if the subjects are moving. Wedding receptions and similar events come to mind.

  17. 17) Dennis
    October 24, 2012 at 8:05 am


    Great website! Thanks for the information!

    With a new VR do you think Nikon will start updating other lenses soon such as the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII and the 300mm f2.8 VRII in the near future? I see that the 300mm f2.8 VRII and 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII were just released in 2009 so perhaps I’m just too hopeful.



  18. 18) SVRK Prabhakar
    October 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I dont get the logic behind charging so much for a lens collar…is it a marketing trick? or people should wait until a third party attachment comes into market???

    • 18.1) Art
      October 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

      It does seem to be a bit pricey. It seems Nikon is taking Canons lead in making the tripod collar optional on the 70-200 F4. But canons tripod collar is only $150 vs the $224 Nikon wants. This will probally make Kirk and RRS happy because most will buy these brands over Nikon given Nikons reputation for less than adaquate lens supports for tripods. Lets hope Nikon does not start charging extra for hoods.


    • 18.2) Mike
      October 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      Just use it without a tripod collar, mount the body on the tripod. It is not a heavy lens, will work fine.

  19. 19) Art
    October 24, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Thank you to all of you at Photography Life for your interesting articles and wonderful product reviews. I am looking forward to your review of this new lens. Like you one of the things I would use this lens for would be low light event photography where fast AF performance is a must, so I too am going to have to look at the AF performance of this lens. Another thing I am interested in the effectiveness of the new VR system. It should be interesting to see if it performs as well as Nikon claims.
    One thing that is rarely mentioned is that F2.8 lenses generally have better AF performance in all lighting situations not just low light ones since the AF sensor has more light to work with when acquiring focus. This is also a big concern to me as I would not want to give up AF performance in normal lighting situations either since I am always shooting moving subjects. I am sure that this lens will be as sharp as or sharper than the F2.8 version, but if it cannot acquire focus fast enough for moving subjects all the sharpness or the best VR system in the world is not going to help you.
    I do not think I would ever replace the F2.8 version for the F4, but if auto focus performance is about the same as the 2.8 version it will have a home in my bag for those times lightness and small size count.

  20. 20) Pedro
    October 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Does teleconverters also work with D5000?

    • 20.1) Adnan Khan
      October 26, 2012 at 5:33 am

      Pedro , all cameras can use TCs , it’s the lens you have to see that it mounts on a TC or not or whether it will AF or not ,most mid range zooms do not work with TCs and some mediocre primes will give a softer image but sharp lenses like 105 VR G 2.8 Micro works well with TC 20 EIII with very good results and 70-200 2.8 does too ,though on D5000 you will have to use AS-S G lenses for auto focusing with the exception of 300 AF-S F4 which AFs on D5000 too but TC 14 EII works well making it a 420mm 5.6 and on DX it will give 630mm Angle of view.


  21. 21) Derek
    October 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Recall when I said that the new lens would be longer and more expensive than the Canon equivalent and some of you scoffed?

    Canon 70-200 f.4 IS USM: $USD 1100.000 < ———————— ******
    Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.0 x 6.8"
    Weight 1.67 lb (760 g)

    Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR: $USD 1400.000 < ————– *******
    Dimensions 3.1×7.0 in. (Diameter x Length)
    Weight 1.875 (850g)

    The length and weight gain may not be something so dramatic but $300 is a considerable difference. Never mind the so-called rebate that Canon offers. Nikon marketing should be aware of this rebate and price their product to COMPETE.

    A non-VR version? Is one in the works? Canon has one that sells for $675 USD, a lens that is of impeccable mechanical and optical quality. I know, because I owned one since the day it came 0ut and haven't shot with a finer zoom lens(Canon L or Nikon's pro line). I don't need VR with camera bodies that shoot cleanly at 2000 ISO and most people, most of the time, won't either. Yet, no VR option.

    OK, I'm ready for the replies from those who will blindly defend Nikon, touting this new lens as a remarkable achievement and a landmark for Nikon, blah, blah, blah. For starters, I shoot Nikon. So I'm not here as the trolling representative from the Canon underworld.

    Second of all, this lens is NOT a "remarkable achievement" or a "landmark" for Nikon. It's a LOOOONG overdue product that should have been presented to the masses around the year 2000, one year after Canon's hit the market. THIRTEEN YEARS is embarrassing for Nikon, considering how many times they tried to get the 80-200/70-200 right, but couldn't, until the present day incarnation that's overly priced.

    The best thing that would happen would be for Nikon shooters to BOYCOTT buying this lens in order to send a loud and clear message to Nikon that we won't put up with overpriced, long overdue copycat products.

    Message to Nikon: If you're going to reverse engineer another competitor's lens, and it takes you THIRTEEN years to do so, please have the decency to price it competitively.

    OK, Nasim, I'm ready for your reasons and explanations as to why this is a better lens than the Canon and why it was "worth the wait".

    • 21.1) Derek
      October 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

      One thing I forgot to mention….VRII is a face-saving move by Nikon. Otherwise, why would they keep it under the covers and unwrap it with the release of one of the, if not THE, most requested yet overlooked lenses? It’s obvious that this was a way for Nikon to not have to commit ‘seppuku’ and somehow come out without egg on their faces.

      Oracle’s Larry Ellison said it best, in a recent interview, when explaining how Japanese executives viewed competition. He said that they not only wanted to beat them, but to CRUSH them(or words alluding to that).

      That said, I don’t doubt that the new Nikkor 70-200mm f4 will have kick-ass sharpness, contrast, bokeh, CA handling etc. In fact, I’m expecting it to set a new benchmark for IQ in a zoom lens package, outpacing the Cannon equivalent.

      After THIRTEEN YEARS what else should be expected? Seppuku?!

    • 21.2) Mike
      October 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      I agree with most of what you said but why does Nikon need to price their lens to compete with Canon? The Canon 70-200 f/4 is not a competitor to this lens, Nikon can charge whatever they want and what the market will bear. Canon’s price is irrelevant.

      Also, if I recall the MSRP of the Canon lens is in the same range as the Nikkor. It’s only because the lens has been out for a while that the price is less. Expect Nikon’s price to come down over time through rebates or other means.

  22. 22) Tom
    October 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Any chance you could also compare this lens with the 70-200 2.8 vr i when you get your hands on it? I only ask because at around $1400 new, it’s almost identically priced with a second-hand vr i.


  23. 23) Randall
    October 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Hey Nasim,

    Nikon is currently evaluating my camera “dust” issue right now and they are “repairing” it under warranty. However after reading this article:

    I’m afraid that the shutter itself may be the problem. What are your thoughts? I know you recommend routing sensor cleaning but this article really kinda freaks me out. Curious about your thoughts?

    – Randall

    • 23.1) Randall
      October 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Just as a follow up my camera is currently showing “Service Repair Rank B1” on the Nikon website which means “minor parts replaced”.

  24. 24) Mark S. from Colorado
    October 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

    It will be very interesting to see the MTF curves from both lenses at f/4 and f/5.6. They are probably very close at f/4 and at f/5.6 the f/2.8 version should be better. If it isn’t, the f/2.8 version may have lost its raison d’etre and I better sell mine quickly.

  25. 25) Vincent V
    October 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm


    I was planing on purcashing the Nikon 70-200 mm f/2.8 VS II at the Photo Expo show in New York tomorrow. I have rented the lens on most of my weddings & was looking forward to purchasing it. The new Nikon 70-200mm f/4 ED VR lens being half the cost or half the weight is not as important as durabilty & image quality to me.I simply want the best tools to get the job done. I mostly shoot Weddings, Church Services, Events, Sports and some Portraits. Should I still continue with my plans of the 70-200mm f/2.8 (2,399.99) or is the new 70-200mm f/4 ($1,399.99) a valid option. If it matters, I shoot a Nikon D3S. Please help!

  26. 26) Goker
    October 26, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I was wondering if this lens could be used with tc’s, spcifically with tc-14e. I expect that it could. Also, what would be your thoughts about the image quality with the tc-14e.
    Thanks for your useful reviews..

    • 26.1) Mike
      October 29, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Yes, it can be used with TCs, 1.4, 1.7, and 2.0. TCs will reduce image quality to a point, expect about the same performance with a TC as the 300mm f/4.

      • 26.1.1) FrancoisR
        October 31, 2012 at 6:50 am

        Mike do you mean “…same performance with a TC as the 300mm f/4” with a TC? I doubt the 70-200Vr f4 + TC1.4 will equal a 300 f4 (zoom vs a prime?). The D800 has no mercy on them lloll. I have no experience on the long high price primes/zooms. The 400 5.6 L I use fares better than the 300 f4 IS L with a 1.4 and it makes them both 5.6’s. My 70-200 IS f4 L +1.4 is no match for the 300 IS f4 L. The 300m f4 VR stands in line behind the 70-200 VR f4 as soon as it becomes available. The Canon TC I have is a “II”. Apparently the “III” is much better.

        Something on the TC’S Nasim?

        • Mike
          October 31, 2012 at 9:08 am

          FrancoisR, I’m saying that image quality changes by adding a TC to either the 70-200 f/4 or 300 f/4 are likely to be similar. The TC should affect the lenses in about the same manner.

          I’m not saying that the quality of the 70-200 with 1.4 TC will be the same quality as the 300 without. The ‘naked’ lens is always best.


  27. 27) Nivas
    October 26, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Hi Nasim:

    Thanks for the post.

    It is interesting to note that minimum focusing distance is reduced by a feet! I think that it is significant for indoor shots. Quite curious to see your test results on sharpness and focusing speed in comparison to the monster vr2.

  28. 28) Goker
    October 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Is this lens compatible with tc’s ? and if so, what would you say to tc performance of this lens ?
    Thanks for useful reviews.

  29. 29) Shaun
    October 27, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Noticed on another website in the technical data. (Nikon’s new 70-200mm F/4) “sealing” said No. Is this in reference to weather/dust, or something else?

  30. 30) Sebastiano
    October 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    now Nikonians have another great option to choose :)
    What do you think if Nikon walked the “f/4” way, making a zoom in the range between 105 and 300 f/4 (about 3x) ? It might be also a 120-360 f/4.

    And what do you think of a lens like 120-400 f/4, we could imagine as heavy as 70-200 f/2.8 or a bit more and as long as about 70-200 f/2.8, but Vr III so to replace the 80-400?

    I haven’t seen any rumors on this.


  31. 31) Robert
    October 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks again for your wonderful updates and recaps. I recognize this new lens should be fantastic. If we have a 24 to 300 would it pay to include the newer 70 to 200 that just launched into our lens portfolio (i also own the 50mm 1.4) i shoot that distance usually at childrens serious sporting events. Needless to say, I would have the distance covered…. Just a matter of truly how much faster and sharper the results would be.


  32. 32) Robert
    October 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm


    I am an avid reader if yours. Thanks for all of the content.. It is wonderful.
    My wife and I re enthusiasts….mostly shooting kids serious sport, some portraiture and a bit of landscape. We re looking to upgrade our D90 to the new D600 and join the FX world. We currently have a 50mm 1.4 and are looking to get the jack of all trades 24-300. In rgards to the article above…. Would it also be good to have the new 70 to 200 or is it overkill as I will already have that range covered with my other lense. I shoot mostly kids sports avidly from that range. A substantial improvement in speed and sharpness to the 24 to 300 would have to be the reason I suppose. Would love to get your perspective.

    • 32.1) Adnan Khan
      October 28, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Are you going to keep the D90 as second body and add the D600 as a FX camera or is the D600 will be the only camera ?

      You have quite a room of choice depending on how much you are willing to spend and how much serious lenses you want.

      If the D600 is the only camera you will be having then for general purpose photography the 28-300 zoom is enough with a fast 50 prime, if you are not that die hard serious shooter. You can shoot at high ISO and down sample the image to 50% to get very decent printable images up to 8×12 size or even larger.

      If the tele side is important then 300 mm focal range is what you should look into.The D600 in DX mode will be 10 MP and will give 450 mm of Angle of view of the actual 300 mm of the 28-300 or any lens in that focal range (DX helps in tele side) ,multiply any FX focal range by 1.5 and you will get the DX angle of view.

      If you will be mostly shooting more at the longer end ( 200 to 300 mm ) then for serious photography a 300 mm F4 AF-s prime can also be considered as it can take teleconverters and works well with the TC 14 E II , making it a 420 mm F5.6 lens and in DX mode it will give 630 mm F5.6 angle of view. For daylight shooting above 1/500 VR is not helpful so it doesn’t matter if the lens has VR or not. VR is for slow shutter speed mostly still shots at 1/30 or 1/15.

      The second one is 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR which is also a very good lens , but TCs cannot be used on this zoom. The D600 can get sharper images from this zoom than the D700 or any older model DX used to get. You can get very decent Portraits with it from 200 to 300 mm.

      You also have the option of using the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II + TC 20 E III making it a 104 to 400 F5.6 with auto focus ,but it is the most costlier option. The advantage is that images will be sharper even after using the 2x converter and you will be having a 600 mm angle of view on DX and for low light you can remove the TC and use it as a faster zoom for which it is intended.

      This above mentioned new lens 70-200 F4 has the advantage of VR III but most action shooters might not want it in this price though for handheld landscape shots it might be useful for some as it is lighter than 300 mm F4 and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II and more sharper and faster comparing a 70-300 VR 4.5 – 5.6 . With D600 which can auto focus a F8 lens ,you have the option of making it same as the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II but IMO the image might be soft and you will have to pump up the ISO for action.

      My personal combination on a D600 body for your style of shooting would be a 24 mm 2.8 AF-D prime + 50 1.4 prime + 70-300 VR ,which nearly equals the price of this 70-200 F4 lens.

      If you already have the 28-300 then you should try it on all 3 types of photography you mentioned and then see in which area you need more serious lens.

      So, there you go :) ,though there are more costlier options as well …sky is the limit :)


      • 32.1.1) Jan
        October 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm


        you are obviously an expert in the field of photography. i’m blown away by your knowledge! thank you for taking the time to help us and answer questions.

        i just returned my d600 because the sensor dust was incredibly bad (once i shot at f/8 i could see it all over my images, not even magnified). i also purchased a 50 1.8, and after reading your above post, i’m wondering if i need to rethink everything. i read review after review that the 50 1.8g was a better lens than the 50 1.4g. so i bought the 1.8 version. but perhaps i read the reviews wrong. i’d rather spend the money on quality equipment on the front end than regret what i purchase later.

        i basically photograph my children, who are currently toddlers. but i’ll be photographing indoor school programs (on stage type programs; in classroom or tight spaces as well), soccer games, etc. i take lots of pictures out and about…even at the grocery store! i have a documentary style where i like to capture our daily life. most of the shots i take now are around our house with natural light doing all things “fun toddler” related. should i have purchased the 50 1.4? i can still return it. because i sent my d600 back, i bought it with the kitted 70-300 so that one had to go back as well. should i try another copy of a d600 and keep my 50 1.8 for my purposes? i think that i’ll wait and see how the 70-200 4.0 and the new tamron 70-200vr compare come this winter…and if the 70-200 2.8 sell for any less. i get a nice deal on the 70-300 when kitted with the d600, but again i’d rather buy the glass i need on the front end than regret it later.

        i consider myself an intermediate amateur with no aspirations to make money from this hobby. purely a fun hobby. i’d love to hear your thoughts since you’re so “in the know!”


        • Adnan khan
          October 31, 2012 at 3:32 am

          Jan ,
          Thank you very much for the kind words, but I’m just a hobbyist still learning and getting serious enough to make room for digital in my film PG :)

          You should have sent the camera to Nikon repair under warranty instead returning it for good.
          But ,anyway .. yes you should just get the body from B&H Photo make sure you talk to there helpline first confirming that it is the very fresh shipment ,usually the deals (not all) on Amazon or Ebay are not that good ,it’s better to purchase a camera physically , I only shop from B&H and never got any complaint in any item ,though I purchased the D800 physically.

          You should check out the Used Dept of B&H as sometimes the refurbished lenses from Nikon service center are available at very reasonable price ,they are like brand new and if any issues they had it means they are corrected. Adorama was offering D800’s $500 cheaper ,this means these cameras are even better than the brand new ones as all issues are now a OK. Maybe some D600’s are also available ,these are very new models so nothing can be wrong with them as they are checked from Nikon’s service. But buy from a reputable store as they say is actually you get.

          There are 4 AF 50s in Nikon ‘s lens lineup ,I have the AF-D version of 1.8 and 1.4 from film days which also work great on digital .
          IMO you should get the 50 1.4 G as it is a stop faster and for shallow DoF it will create nice bokeh than 1.8 ,the 50 1.8 is better because it gives the same IQ at the normal shootable apertures like F5.6 to F11 and is cheaper . If not told ,you will not notice the images shot with all 4 at F8 and sometimes the cheapest 50mm f/1.4 AF-D looks great! :)

          Most 1.4 or some 1.8 lenses when used wide open in harsh contrasty light or at night in lights will generate coma and flares on things which are not in focus or sometimes even on a subject’s edges ( these can be magenta and cyan greenish lines or lights will look like as if there light is dragged n brushed away) (2 to 3 stops down and all is good)
          This was not visible in film at 4×6 prints but in digital we see the whole image and it looks awful :) ,most of this can be corrected in PP in LR or PS ,but not everything. But if your subject is in focus ,don’t bother about this.
          Apertures like 1.4 and 1.8 are used in low light if you don’t want to use flash ,but ppl. who love to use these apertures can create wonderful artistic images and with practice anybody can :) (one advantage of digital )

          The 50 1.4 G has slightly better optics but has a bit of more distortion compared to others which is in camera corrected by Nikon’s new firmware if you are shooting JPEGs and for RAW, LR can correct that.
          If you want no distortion at all then the cheapest 50 1.8 AF-D has none ,only advantage in G lenses is that they are internal focusing and have instant manual override. I shoot film mostly so I like the aperture ring for more control as the AF-D models can also be used on older film cameras like FE ,FM or FM3a.

          For pictures taken in room light ,it’s better to use fill flash read all about it in camera’s manual or you can check a wonderful video by Nasim explaining everything about indoor flash PG on you tube.

          If you are shooting kids mostly then any 50mm at 5.6 is at it’s sharpest and will give great results but you should get a SB 400 tiny flash, for indoor PG it’s fill flash is very helpful without flashing direct in the kids’s eyes and even be very helpful at out door shots in shadow or subject behind the Sun.
          It’s a very useful tool to have and is cheaper than bigger flashes.
          It’s better to take off all the filters if you use any at night as they mostly create ghosting.

          For sports and indoor activities you need a lens with longer reach ,honestly I can’t think of a cheaper n sharper lens than 70-300 VR as it used to be a slower lens with the last gen. of cameras but with D600 and D800 it is a much better choice. I have used it on D7000 on stage prog. with 3200 ISO but have to cleanup in LR. Though in daylight there is no trouble shooting it at F8 with ISO 100 or for cloudy sky you can use ISO 400-800 with clean results. If shot in DX mode it will give 450 mm AoV and a shot ,shot at ISO 6400 can be down sampled to 2 MP and can be printed up to 8×12 size giving very neat picture. The size is still very large and can be played on a 46 inch TV.

          This above lens 70-200 F4 might give softer results if used with a TC above than 1.4x, with TC 14 E II it will be 280mm on the longer end and will become slower,which is not much and the bill will be around $1850 :)
          But if your indoor range is enough for a 200mm focal range then this is a very good lens as it is half the weight and is a bit cheaper and will be nearly as sharp as it’s bigger brother the 2.8.
          Only advantage the 2.8 has that it is super sharp at 2.8 ,on other apertures even the cheaper 70-300 looks great.
          Soccer field is a large field and you cannot get closeup or chest level shots of kids far away at 200mm but can crop hugely if the subject is in focus. The 300 mm FL with slightly be of more help.

          If you can ,you should physically check the 80-400mm 4.5-5.6D VR but it focuses slower and you might miss a shot in action ,I have only shot it once on my F100 on film. The 70-300 focuses faster and is VRII in fact. but for speeds up to 1/500 and above you don’t need VR anyway and for tripod shots you will have to shut VR off .

          For lenses up to 1 KG or near to that you should get a monopod as holding a camera plus lens this much long makes a PG tired at the end and usually one doesn’t get too much good shots.

          IMO the D600 + 50 1.4 G + 70-300 VR is a good match for your photographic needs in the cheapest and best package I can think of ,only other lens is a $ 1000 28-300 for general purpose PG. but in times you will feel the need of a fast prime and a 50 1.4 is the cheapest alternative to that all other 1.4 prime lenses are above $1000
          Both lenses will cost under $1000 though you will not have a wider FL. Well, take 4 steps back with a 50mm and you are at 35mm :) (by angle of view I meant)

          Get Nikon glass for Nikon or Canon glass for Canon as they both make lenses ,so for their own monopoly ,any day they can release a firmware for third party lenses , which will not be auto focusing the Sigma or Tamron and they will loose VR too , just to be on the safe side :) …Only third party lenses I have are manual focus lenses for older film cameras where nothing can happen :)
          I my self bought the Sigma 150-500 for it’s better optics and very tempting focal range but sadly it gave focusing issues at 500mm where I needed it most ,the second copy was the same so I returned it. Compared to Nikon and Canon these lenses have more issues direct from factory and many models are very cheaply made.

          Right now a 50 is enough and Nikon might come up with a better 300 mm zoom as they are quickly upgrading,unless you want a longer tele zoom right now ,then 70-300 is better.

          Regarding reviews ,the best review only you can do yourself ,borrow a 1.4 and shoot both in different light conditions wherever you usually photograph at the same time and look closely at 1.8 and 1.4 and F5.6 and F8 ,whichever’s result you like keep that one :) , I personally look for coma,flare and ghosting in a Nikon lens as CA is mostly in camera corrected by Nikon and never bother to read the reviewer’s personal likes or dislikes ,beside check samples if they are shot in normal conditions as ppl. will shoot it.

          Oh ,one more thing ,you can make your 50 mm a macro or close up lens by adding a $100 Kenko 25mm hollow tube for Nikon mount ,it will auto focus and will half the focusing range so that you can take photos much closer and you wont loose any stop ,if you want do more creative PG like shooting just the eye or hand or feet of the child or need a much closer angle. It can also be used on the 70-300 making it a fantastic macro or closeup lens and halves it’s focusing range which is about 5 feet. I’ve tried it on most lenses except the wide or ultra wides and it is a wonderful gadget to have ,if not needed you can quickly remove it and put it your pocket :)

          Sorry for the long answer :)


          • Jan
            October 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm


            thank you for your thoughtful reply. i had to read it a couple of times to digest all its wonderful insight.

            i think that i’m going to keep my 50mm 1.8 g because it’s half the price of the 1.4 and its autofocus is actually faster than the 1.4 according to several reviews that i’ve read. capturing moving kids and autofocus speed is very important for me so i’ll stick with the deal and try not to look back….try my best!

            i have the sb400 and loved it on my d40. i haven’t had to use it on my d600 because of my awesome iso capabilities. but i don’t need to forget about the little gadget!

            so you’d get the 70-300 over the 70-200 4.0 (plus the teleconverter that you talked about)? i can get $200 off the 70-300 when repurchasing the d600 (in the kit form). i could also get $200 off the 24-70. i have no idea why i’m so tempted by a midrange zoom; i guess it’s because i’m chasing little ones, but that’s a huge lens that i don’t know if i’ll love carrying or really use. the reason i love primes so much is because of their size and low light capabilities but zooms can be great to kids too.

            thank you for your insight on 3rd party lenses. I didn’t know about the possibility of firmware changes thank you for making me aware of that scenario.

            i didn’t know that a macro add on like kenko was even a product out there. i’ll keep that in mind because i’m totally a sucker for sweet eyelashes, toes, and baby lips. :)

            thanks again!

            • Adnan Khan
              November 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm

              Jan, you are most welcome , my apologies for the long answer , sometime one thing leads to another and the conversation can go on as it it is a very vast subject.

              As I said ,any 50 will be great ,it’s OK if you are happy with the 1.8 :)

              I traded the 24-70 with the 16-35 F4 VR and 70-300 VR , but that is according to my own photographic needs.

              If you can make a system from 24-70 2.8 + 50 1.8 + 70-300 VR , it would be awesome!

              You can check some of my 70-300 VR samples on Flickr here :


              The Kenko 25mm Nikon mount AF tube is available at B&H ,just search ” Kenko 25mm ” , it’s a very well made in Japan gadget and can be very useful for non dedicated macro work. In low light you will have to use flash as required.
              I used it with an 85mm 1.8 AF-D which focuses to 3 feet min. the result is here ( slightly cropped) :


              70-200 F4 VR will be very sharp lens but the reach of 70-300 VR with the new cameras will be great and the D600 and D800 can get more sharper results with older “slow” lenses as compared to last Gen. of cameras … digital is still in evolution , I tested some of my older manual focus lenses like the 55mm 2.8 Micro and even the 24mm 2.8 AF-D comparing it with the 16-35 VR.
              The 55mm 2.8 Micro manual focus is still the sharpest lens from Nikon in 35mm IMO with the 105 2.8 VR Micro.

              The teleconverter TC 14 E II can be used on the new 70-200 F4 VR III but NOT on 70-300 VR.

              TC 14 = 40mm increase per 100 mm of focal length and TC 17 = 70 mm increase per 100 mm and the TC 20 E III = double the original focal length of the lens.

              The best TC to use on F4 lenses is TC 14 E II which makes them F5.6 lenses.
              One can use TC 20 E III on selective F4 and F2.8 lenses.

              The 70-200 2.8 VR II gives very good results with TC 20 E III at F5.6 as it has much superior optics hence it’s expensive.

              No TCs can be used on 70-300 VR , it is made that way ,beside it will be very slow as being a slow lens by itself.
              Use it as it is and it will be great on new cameras ,I’ll post more images shot with D800 whenever I got some free time ,I still haven’t used it on D800 (very busy these days) .


          • Jan
            November 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

            i’ve written all your suggestions down for future fun purchases! gotta love photography and all its exciting gear! thanks again.

      • 32.1.2) Goker
        October 31, 2012 at 12:26 am

        Actually, I am planing to buy a d600, but I am not sure which lenses to get with this full frame. I assume that 28-300mm vr is pretty similar to its dx version 18-200mm vr. If so, I have used this lens for 5 years and although the focal range is very useful, the images are very soft wide open, one must stop down to 1-stop to get good sharpness. I doubt the same is true for the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6vr. This is the only reason I am sceptical about these finely priced consumer lenses. Now, this new 70-300mm f/4 pulls my attention more because of its mtf and its price. I assume it will perform like the 70-200mm f/2.8 vr with half of its price, makes sense to get. However, this option leaves the wide focal ranges empty, I think 50mm f/1.8 along with a wide angle fast prime or a wide angle quality zoom might fill this gap, but I am not sure which options would be optimal for their price range. Btw, I am not a professional, just using my equipment to take pictures with my family, but I do want to have pictures with quality.

        • Adnan khan
          October 31, 2012 at 8:06 am

          Gokar ,

          Actually there is nothing “PERFECT” in photographic gear only perfect images.
          18-200 is a fantastic all rounder I’ve used it on D5000 and found it to be very sharp even at F13 on the wider side ,I have never shot it wide open on wider FL 18mm = around 27mm in 35mm terms , so, at F5.6 or F8 nearly everything is in focus in landscape shots.
          Same is the case with 28-300 FX ,it’s jack of all trades but master of none. With it’s huge focal range it is not easy to find it’s sweet spot. If you are interested in it then IMO do not shoot wide open at 28mm unless you really have a pretty good reason, at least start from 5.6.
          For many ppl. it can be the only lens they ever need it’s not that bad ,optics are good if not fantastic.
          D600 can squeeze more resolution from it than older models used to and D600 can perform much better in higher ISOs so one will be able to shoot it with 1 or 2 stops down without getting noisy pictures.
          It all depends on your photographic needs.
          70 300 is short to long tele and is much or equally sharper than 18-200, at 300 mm it gets a bit softer but it is not important if one is not printing 6 ft wide prints.For prints up to 24 inch there is no problem. Wide open at 70mm it can sometime generate CA in corners which are not in focus .At 5.6 to F8 and at 300 mm at F13 I’ve used it with much better results. Well for a $550 lens what more you can expect :) ,I’ve got some really sharp images of birds in zoos and safari parks in good light conditions at 300 mm.
          Zooms are convenient lenses but never consistent ,they can change IQ in different light conditions and temperatures.
          Primes give more consistent results as compared to zooms.

          If you are not serious in a particular field then 28-300 and a normal 50 1.4 or 1.8 is more than enough.

          If you are willing to spend serious cash then the so called ” holy trinity” of 3 zooms 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 2.8 or F4 are serious zoom lenses.
          My mediocre 24mm 2.8 D lens equals the 24mm of 16-35 F4 VR and 24-70 2.8 at F8 as being a prime :) ,I own both zooms and have tested them on D7000 and D800. Surprisingly it looks better on D7000 :) on D800 the 24mm 2.8 and the 24-70 2.8 are head to head.

          24 1.4 G + 50 1.4 G + 70-200 F4 can be a good expensive solution.

          24-70 2.8 and this 70-200 F4 can make a good heavy serious couple :)

          Three primes are much better if you don’t mind changing lenses 24 1.4 G + 85 1.4 G +200 F4 Micro

          So, you see there is no limit in gear ,but only if you really want this much ,but experienced photographers say ,”less is more” as it compels one to take better pictures.

          You will be more pleased with the pictures from the D600 no matter what lens you use :)

          Good luck and good light :)


  33. 33) William Jones
    October 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    If you are taking requests for testing, would like the following please:

    Test focus speed and accuracy of the 70-200 f/2.8 + TC-17 combo, to that of the 70-200 f/4 + TC-17 combo. Would like the test performed wide-open. I understand that the f-stops will not be the same.

    Thank you,

  34. 34) Robert
    October 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm


    Appreciate the feedback! Great input to digest. I can keep the D90…. Just don’t know that I would want to use it over the new D600.

    We do not have the 28 to 300 yet so your 3 lens suggestion is now under serious consideration!



    • 34.1) Adnan khan
      October 31, 2012 at 5:46 am

      You are welcome Robert :)

      It’s always good to have a second body if one can carry n afford ,as it’s more quicker to take the shot than to change the lens. And sometimes there are places one doesn’t want to take expensive camera so an older camera can do the job :)
      What lens or lenses you are using on D 90 ?

  35. 35) FrancoisR
    December 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I ordered mine from TCS (great place in Calgary Canada for canadians) yesterday. They will advise as soon as they get it. Here’s a video that shows the amazing VR of this lens (on my favorite car to boot lloll):

    I’m leaving tomorrow on a trip and I will miss it but I hope to get it on the next one en February… Seems it’s a winner!!!


  36. December 4, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Well, despite the “budget” price of this lens – at least compared to the venerable 70-200 f/2.8 VRII lens – this lens has now become my most expensive lens purchase to date, exceeding the Nikkor 16-35 f/4 VR I also bought new around 18 months ago (and don’t regret). That’s right, after quite a lot of thought and considering buying a new or used f/2.8 model, I decided to go right out and get this one as soon as I could.

    Made a call to my favorite shop on “Camera Street” early this afternoon to ask if they had the lens in stock or could order it, and was told they had sold the two that had come in so far. I gave them my name and number, inquired about the price, asked if any gray market ones would be available at a lower price, and they said they’d let me know when one was available. Less than two hours later they called and said they got one in, and that if I didn’t want it there was a customer at the store that would take it. I said I’d be there by mid-evening.

    Instead of waiting, I went back home, picked up my D700, and headed to the shop. The first thing I noticed about the lens was its light weight given its still substantial length. Without the battery grip on the D700 it all felt nice and light, and decently balanced. I stepped outside the shop to test the focus speed and accuracy by panning with motor scooters, as well as bokeh, corner sharpness, and VR. All checked out nicely. Inside the shop, I focused on a man’s face with the camera set at ISO 200 and f/5.6, knowing I’d only get a shutter speed of 1/15 sec. Sure enough, the image was sharp, a huge improvement over my heavy AF 80-200 f/2.8D. I paid approximately US$1350 for it, and walked out with it attached to my D700.

    On the way to my subway stop I tested it some more on various settings. Already, having the VR to call on has given my repertoire an additional trick I’ll be using at some sporting events (something nearly impossible without a tripod in the past), and the focus speed is very quick. I haven’t taken any shots worthy of sharing, but I am personally quite satisfied I made a good choice in picking up this lens.

    • 36.1) Bitanphoto
      December 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Re-reading my post above, it can be construed to imply that I purchased a gray market lens. Although I did inquire about this, the price at initial introduction between national distributor and gray market is negligible, plus it is too early for parallel import items to show up here. So the above US$1350 is for a dealer model with a 15-month warranty.

  37. December 7, 2012 at 1:29 am

    I’m surprised no one has followed up on this lens’s release with observations on price, availability, lens performance, weight, etc. This weekend I’m covering a 24-hour ultra marathon and will be leaving my old 80-200 at home while I put this new lens through its paces. Hope to see and hear more from others with their experiences soon.

    • 37.1) Jan
      December 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      i agree, where are the reviews!?! maybe folks don’t have them yet? looking forward to hearing about your experiences with it this weekend.

    • 37.2) Jan
      December 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      i agree, where are the reviews!?! maybe folks don’t have the lens yet? looking forward to hearing about your experiences with it this weekend.

  38. 38) Ted
    December 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I received my order tonight. Preliminary shooting shows this lens is sharp as a tack at all apertures, and especially wide open at f/4. The build quality is excellent, on a par with the Nikkon 105mm VR. Zooming is smooth and beautifully damped. Focus is fast enough on my D700. Balances well. Looks good. Successful VR hand holding @ 200mm and 1/10 second. Though nitpickers may pove me wrong with tests of corner sharpness, etc. , I believe it is worth every penny of $1400!

    • 38.1) FrancoisR
      December 11, 2012 at 7:05 am

      Hummm…. Mouth watering, can’t wait to get mine. My wife and I were on the threshold of the RW at SXM yesterday afternoon. I took the 70-200 IS f4 out but went back to the 24-70. We were both using our 24-70’s for the shots. I must admit that the D800 (my wife) probably got the best ones but the 5D3 really rocks. I will see when back home. It’s hard to beat the convenience of the standard zooms and their fast focus. I think that if money is not a matter these two bodies complement each other very well, one for it’s huge amount of pixels and the other one for it’s awsome speed… IMHO the best of both amateur worlds!

  39. 39) Anthony
    December 13, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Waiting for a complete review by Nasim, here’s a review published by the french magazine “le monde de la”:,7582.html
    Summary: Very high optical quality, as good as the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII !

    • 39.1) FrancoisR
      December 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Thank you Anthony for the link, very professional review! Negative is a bit pricey and some distortion on the long end. Positive high quality optics, good VR, well built and light compared to the 2.8 VRII. Tested on nothing less than a D800e.

      • 39.1.1) FrancoisR
        December 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm

        Order placed, I will get mine next week!

  40. 40) Grimbot
    January 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    The YouTube link will take you to a short clip that demonstrates the effectiveness of the VR III on the 70-200 F/4 when shooting video. Clip was shot in 1080 at 24 fps….and toggling back and forth between VR on and VR off.

  41. 41) jaimie mills
    March 2, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Hi Nasim,

    Quick question if I may, I inherited my Dad’s 80-200afs a while back and use this with the tc-17 for taking photos of birds in my back garden.

    I recently broke my wrist and am finding holding the lense steady enough for sharp pictures a real struggle (the wrist is now healed but weaker). I’m considering buying this new 70-200 F4 incarnation as a result but suspect I wouldn’t be able to use the tc-17 with it on my D700 (it would maybe make the aperture too slow for AF). I also have the 24-120 F4 which is my general walk around lenses and wonder if the difference between 120 and 200 would be two small to also make buying this lense cost effective?

    I suppose the other option is a second hand 70-200 vrii, hoping the vrii would make up for my weak wrist.

    Hoping for some advice as feeling down that my favourite hobby is being dealt a blow…..

    Thanks in advance for your time.


Comment Policy: Although our team at Photography Life encourages all readers to actively participate in discussions, we reserve the right to delete / modify any content that does not comply with our Code of Conduct, or do not meet the high editorial standards of the published material.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *