Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR Lens to be Announced

Looks like Nikon is finally going to announce the long-awaited Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR Lens at the PDN Photo Plus Expo in New York, according to our friends at Nikon Rumors. Many Nikon fans have been complaining for years about not having a cheaper and lighter alternative to the superb Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II (see our Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II Review). Nikon has never had a 70-200mm f/4 lens in its history – a 70-210mm f/4 lens was produced way back in 1986, which was later replaced by a variable aperture 70-210mm f/4-5.6 AF-D version in 1993 (discontinued later). Canon has had its 70-200mm f/4 model since 1999 and an updated (current) IS version came out back in 2006. The Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS has been a very popular lens among the Canon user base ever since, because of its excellent price/weight/performance ratio. It will be interesting to see what the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR will offer.

Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f4G VR Lens Patent

It is also rumored that the new Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR lens will have a “new generation VR system”. For now I do not know what this truly means and what this new VR system does differently from the current VR II technology, but I am anxiously waiting for details from the official press release. If the VR system does turn out to be new, then we can expect minor updates to the high-end pro lenses fairly soon (Nikon will probably start from the expensive super telephoto lenses like 600mm f/4 first).

There is no information yet on price, weight and size, so it is hard to say how the new 70-200mm f/4G VR will fare against its bigger brother, the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II. Considering the $2,399 price tag and 3.39 lb weight of the latter, I am hoping to see something dramatically lighter and cheaper, hopefully in the $1,400-1,500 range. The price will hugely depend on performance and if Nikon delivers another outstanding lens that will rival the 70-200mm f/2.8 at f/4 like some of its f/1.8 lenses, then many of us might be disappointed by the introductory price of the lens. For me personally, the weight factor will be a huge deal. After carrying the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II to so many weddings this year, I want to have something dramatically lighter to use. Hopefully there won’t be a high price tag attached to a lighter lens body.

I am still hopeful that we will see a Nikon 300mm f/4G VR, along with an updated Nikon 80-400mm VR sometime next year. And the Nikon 400mm f/5.6G VR would be icing on the cake…or should I keep on dreaming?


  1. 1) Rahoul Mitra
    October 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Hi Nasim,
    Great to hear about this lens. Have been anxiously waiting for such a lens, only hope the price is right as indicated by you.

    • October 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Rahoul, I think if Nikon prices it at no more than $1500, it will be a hot seller.

    • 1.2) Heinrich
      December 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      I am really very disapointed about all these experts posting something about anything that they have never seen or touched. There is no value in these guesses, maybees and opinions. Just informations you get anyhow in press releases.

  2. 2) Steven P
    October 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Nice to see. The f4 is not a tremendous sacrifice if the optical quality is there. I like my 70-300 lens, but I would prefer a fixed-aperture and would probably use the 70-200mm more and invest in a 300mmf4 and a 1.4x converter for those times that I need the longer reach.

    • October 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Steven, the Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S is excellent – most of my wildlife shots were captured by that lens and I still continue to use it. I really wish Nikon updated it with VR though, for those low-light handheld shots…

      • 2.1.1) Steven P
        October 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

        My understanding is that the new 300mmf3VRII will be released soon…based on Nikon Rumours.

        I am looking forward to it and will purchase it when it comes out. My focus right now is on the ultra-wide section of my kit. Just refreshed my tripod and ballhead (Gitzo Explorer and BH40).

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          October 17, 2012 at 11:41 am

          Steven, I really hope so – that’s my favorite lens for hiking and birding!

  3. October 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I’ll watch with interest, I already have the f2.8 VII and love it, although like you say, weight is an issue!

    • October 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Yup, my back still hurts from those weddings! I have been relying more on my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G as a result :(

  4. 4) Scott
    October 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

    and next should be the 300mm f4 with VR

    • October 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Scott, yup, let’s keep our fingers crossed!!!

  5. 5) Thierry
    October 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Good news but I wish i’d be a 100-300 f4 (too much overlap with the 24-120mm

    • October 17, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Thierry, I personally find the short range on the 70-200mm to be very useful. With the new 70-200mm f/4, we now have two sets of “trinities” (can you even say that? :))
      1) Nikon 16-35mm f/4G, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G and Nikon 70-200mm f/4G
      2) Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G

      Finally, this is what we have been waiting for!

      • 5.1.1) David Nelson
        October 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

        Actually, the trinity I would use would be 16-35 f/4, 50 f/1.8, 70-200 f/4. I now use the 105 f/2.8 micro and the 180 f/2.8. These teles are both super sharp on my D800. I would need the 70-200 f/4 to be close to the 105/180 quality. It the 70-200 f/4 were that good (as good as the 16-35), then I could save weight and add versatility.

      • 5.1.2) Steven P
        October 18, 2012 at 11:47 am

        Interesting, I think I have settled on the 16-35mm F4. I have the 24-120mm f4 and love the lens. I would have to debate whether I would purchase the 70-200mm f4 and use it more frequently instead of my 70-300mm. The constant aperature would be handy. I do use the 200-300mm reach though…

        Always a hard question. We limit ourselves to 3 lenses (each) when we are travelling which is right now the 24-120, 105 and the 70-300….boy I would have some decisions when I purchase the 16-35mm and possibly the 70-200 and if released, the new 300mm f4 VR (hoping).

        • David Nelson
          October 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

          When I take three lenses, I use 16-35, 50 f/1.8 and either the 105 or 180. When I take one, I bring the 24-120 f/4. I am hoping the image quality of the 70-200 f/4 to be as good as (or almost as good as) the 105 and 180. Both those lenses are very, very good, so I am need to read some excellent reviews of the 70-200 f/4 before getting one. I love the 24-140 f/4, too, but find the quality of the others to be a little better. For me, I bring one lens (24-120) to walk around with, or three, with tripod and other accessories, when I want my highest quality images. But you and I are thinking alike with this.

      • 5.1.3) CK
        October 23, 2012 at 7:34 am

        hi Nasim
        thanks for your reviews. i do have both the 16-35 f/4 and 24-120 f/4, both of which are excellent.

        My question is would the 70-200 f4 be too much of an overlap with 24-120 ? in your work, do you often use the 100-200mm focal length range ? i can understand the much longer length like 300 / 400 mm for wildlife, but 100-200, is it common enough to justify lugging an extra lens in bag ? just curious

        1) Nikon 16-35mm f/4G, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G and Nikon 70-200mm f/4G

  6. 6) will
    October 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Most people don’t have any problem carrying all those extra pounds of fat on their bellies. Why all the complaining about a couple extra on the camera lens?

    Weigh yourself everyday over a period of a week and you will find your weight varys by several pounds.

    A pound or two extra on a camera is nothing.

    Get some exercise.

    • October 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Will, I weigh 150 pounds, work out every other day (black belt in Taekwondo) and control my food intake. I consider myself more or less healthy :) Yet, it is still tough to handle a heavy lens on a wedding all day long, with often a backpack on my back that has more lenses and accessories. Those pounds surely do add up!

    • 6.2) will's dad
      October 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Will, your words are rude and I hope you didn’t really mean it.

      Yes we’d love to carry those big and long lenses on a hiking trips, but there are trips that one would wish the 200mm were a little lighter. There are times when I have to consider packing small toothpaste tube rather than the full size one, the 300f4 rather than 300f2.8.

      Your six pack may look very good when you 20-30 something, but when age settles in, things may change dramatically.

      FYI, my belly is still flat, and I’m way pass the point when I was proud of the six pack thing.

  7. 7) Twig
    October 17, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Really caught my interest… look forward to your review once your get yours. I’m using the older Nikon 80-200mm f2.8

    • October 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Twig, I will review the lens as soon as it is available.

  8. 8) Odes Shopen
    October 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

    And I just got the 2.8 version. Darn it :). Oh well, it’s still amazing.

    • October 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Don’t regret – the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II is a marvel on its own!

  9. 9) me
    October 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

    This lens does sound interesting, but, I’ve been wondering more about the Nikon 100-300mm f/4.0 that a patent was submitted a few months back.

    Any indications that one will get announced any time soon??

    • October 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

      I have not heard of any news on that lens yet, aside from the patent. Hopefully we will see it sometime next year.

  10. 10) FrancoisR
    October 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Yes, yes, yes, for travel! I love my 70-200 IS f4, hope Nikon does as good. I’m waiting for the 300 VR also, the 300 IS f4 will be hard to beat…

    great news!

    • October 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

      FrancoisR, absolutely – the 300mm f/4 VR would be a dream come true for me!

    • 10.2) Drazen B
      October 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      For travel? Hmm…you’ll be longing for another lens to cover a bit more of the wide angle ;) Unless I’m missing something and you plan on taking a multi-lens kit on travel rather than a single ‘swiss army knife’ lens.

      The surprisingly good 24-120 f/4 is my pick for travel, the focal range is ‘just right’, and apart from Canon’s 24-105 f/4 which is similar in focal length range, there’s really nothing like it by any other lens manufacturer currently.

      • 10.2.1) FrancoisR
        October 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm

        Yes of course.

        We have a 24-70 f2.8 each. I put a 24 2.8D on the D800 and a 40 STM on the 5D2 while on the planes. Up to now I took only the 70-200 IS f4 (or 70-300VR before we got the D800) for on location long shots. My wife will have a 70-200 also now. I had to buy her the 24-70G because she said I always had the better lens lloll. I also carry a Nikon 50 1.4D for low light. When we have enough room or plan to take many indoor shots, I bring the 16-35 II and / or 17-35. Sometimes we have the 24-70’s only, they account for 75-80% of all shots. Yes the 24-105 & 24-120 are superb lenses, but nothing beats the 24-70’s for go go go pictures. They are quick! Last winter I tried a 28-300 VR and sold it when we got the D800. IMHO there is no point buying such a junk for a $3K body.

        BTW what I miss on this site is the movie aspect of these bodies / lenses. Ah ah ah, but for stills it’s best!

  11. 11) Mike
    October 17, 2012 at 10:49 am


    First time poster here, though I’ve been reading your site for about two months now. Thank you for providing such useful information and for all of the research and time you and the team put into your product reviews and articles! this is my new go to site!

    I’ve had the 24-120 for a while now and recently upgraded from my D5100 to the new D600 and love the combination. I have been debating on buying a used 70-200 VR1 but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I think this 70-200 f4 might be a great for me, and is going to be a big hit for Nikon if its priced right. My question though is if it’s priced around the same as a used 2.8 Vr1 version, and the primary use would be for portraiture/event/indoor sports photography, should I hold out for this f4 lens or take the plunge on 2.8 VR1 for the larger aperture and possible better Bokeh?


    • October 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Mike, thank you for your feedback!

      I would wait until the f/4 version is out and comparisons are made. The 70-200mm VR is a solid lens, but it had some optical issues on a full-frame body (it was designed for DX originally). I think the new 70-200mm f/4 will outperform the old 70-200mm VR at f/4 and it will be significantly lighter.

  12. 12) Chris Zeller
    October 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

    This could be interesting, although I was really hoping for an update to the 80-400mm. This lens is old and needs AF-S, VRII more than any other lens. With many of us at the low end of the market migrating to FX with the D600, we need more than ever a way to get the same perspective we had with the 70-300mm on FX. I would be very willing to trade some range on the low end to gain quality, weight or range on the long end maybe 100 or 150-400 ?

    Rather than wait, I think the best approach is to add the 2X teleconvertor to my 70-200 2.8. You have used both with amazing results I’m sure. Which would you rather have? 70-200mm + TC2III or 80-400mm? The 200-400 is ideal but its 6 billion dollars and 100 lbs, and of course I do know that the real answer is to get closer. :-)

    • October 17, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Chris, I believe an update to the 80-400mm is coming soon, hopefully as early as next year. As for 70-200mm + 2x TC or 80-400mm, that’s a tough call, since we haven’t seen it yet. I would get the TC20E III now anyway, since you already have the 70-200mm VR II and see what Nikon does next year. For reach right now though, I personally favor the Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S + TC 14E II over the 70-200mm + TC20E III.

  13. 13) David B
    October 17, 2012 at 11:17 am

    After using 70-200VR F/2.8 and now Canon’s 70-200 IS F/2.8 IS II and trying Canon’s 70-200 IS F/4, I know that Nikon users have longed for F/4 solution, but I don’t see much benefit in it for my use, at least.

    The weight difference is ther but it is still going to be a hefty lens, if it is anything like Canon’s 70-200 F/4. These F/4 lenses in my opinon have limited use for basically outside sports shooting. Inside you typically want at least F/2.8 (wedding use). And spending $1400 on a F/4 only lens like that, you will always think in the back of your mind that you could have had 70-200 F/2.8.

    I do appreciate the option though. Outside sports shooters of something like motorcross for example could use something like this.

    • 13.1) Drazen B
      October 17, 2012 at 11:39 am

      Very true.

      The new 70-200 f/4 is something that will open the new D600 owners to the focal 70-200 range at less expense that it’s pro brother f/2.8. Most of the D600 don’t have budget for ‘trinity’ pro glass, this would have been an awesome addition to their lens kit many of them have just starting to build having moved from DX to FX.

    • October 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

      David, I partially agree with you. The 70-200mm f/2.8G has its uses, no doubt about that, especially when it comes to bokeh. However, many photogs do not really need f/2.8 and want to get something cheaper and lighter for cameras like D600. For those folks, the 70-200mm f/4 will be an ideal lens to walk around and travel with. So having options is certainly good :)

  14. 14) Pascal
    October 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Personally, I’m looking forward to see how the new Tamron 70-200 f2.8 will perform. For portraits, this f4 lens won’t cut it and the Nikon f2.8, although an excellent lens, is way to expensive for me.

    • October 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Pascal, I will make sure to compare it to the Tamron and the Sigma 70-200mm lenses.

      • 14.1.1) peter2
        October 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        I heard Tokina just release the 70-200 f4 just ahead of Nikon. (I owned the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 on my D7000 before – that was before they both got stolen and I went for the D800 & Nikon 16-35), and I liked that Tokina a lot.

        Would be interested to see a comparison of Tokina f4 vs Nikon f4 :).

    • 14.2) me
      October 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      I have the Sigma 70-200 HSM II(the discontinued one) and LOVE IT, it’s possibly my favorite lens. You might still find new ones around, on Amazon maybe??

      I’ve used it with Nikon D200, D3200, D600 and D800, does an awesome job on all of them!!

      • 14.2.1) Pascal
        October 18, 2012 at 12:18 am

        I read in a few reviews that the Sigma has a very good AF system and good optics. The only down side is that this lens is a bit soft on the 200 mm side. What’s your view on that?

  15. 15) Drazen B
    October 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    One thing to note though is that the f/4 stop will limit its ability to extend its focal range to 400mm with the great performing TC20-III, as you’ll find yourself into a max speed f/8 territory. Not too limiting to many but for those expecting fast and accurate AF for wildlife and sports/airshow etc shooting, this will be a deal breaker.

    TC14 and TC17 could still perform great with this lens, but they limit the max telephoto focal length, though.

  16. 16) FrancoisR
    October 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Hello David B,

    I had a 70-200 VR I and it was so heavy that most of the time it stayed at home. I sold it to keep a 70-300VR instead (sold yesterday lloll). The new VRII is a large improvement but still weights a ton. My 70-200 IS f4 follows me everywhere I go. I dont do weddings or sports and use it outdoor only (travel). I came very close to buy a 300 2.8 VR but went for a 300 IS f4 for the same reasons (and $$$). With the ISO capabilities of the FF sensors today, I find f4 quite sufficient for my needs but stabilisation a must on anything longer than 100mm (without tripod). I’m sure that this new 70-200 VR f4 will find many buyers if it’s as good as its Canon counterpart… It’s about time Nikon wakes up a bit, they are almost 15 years late. Waiting for the 300 VR f4 now :D. If I am a Canon user also now, it was because of frustration at Nikon, now it’s because of the “L” lenses.


    • 16.1) Peter
      October 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

      Like you, I sold my 70-200 recently and for the same reason. I must have used in twice in 4 years making it a very expensive lens. As one writer said: “The most expensive lens you own is the one you don’t use.”

  17. 17) Raju P J
    October 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Naseem,
    that’s really tempting., i am planning to buy 80-200mm f2.8 as i cannot afford 70-200mm f2.8.
    shall i wait for the f4 version or go ahead to buy 80-200 f2.8. i am presently using D300 and thinking to buy nikon d7000 and might even go for d600. (got confidence after reading your reviews on both cameras)


  18. 18) John
    October 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I’ve had a passing curiosity for quite some time on this, and now that Nikon has announced this 70-200 f/4 I guess I’ll go ahead and ask. Whats so special about a fixed f/4 lens?
    I definitely can understand fixed f/2.8 from a speed and bokah consideration, as well as most sensors being extra sensitive with f/2.8 lenses, but why the fancy with f/4?
    For instance, Nikon’s 70-300 f/4.5-5.6: at 70mm it’ll be 1/3 of a stop slower at 70mm and maybe 2/3 of a stop slower at 200mm (I don’t own the 70-300 but I’m assuming at 200mm its at about f/5 wide open?) plus you get the bonus of going all the way to 300mm. Is fixed f/4 really that special?
    I accept that the build quality will be much better of course, but, I don’t know…am I just splitting hairs here?

    • 18.1) EnPassant
      October 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      The Nikon 70-300 VR at 200 mm is at f/5.3. That is 0.9 stop slower than f/4.
      So that is roughly one stop difference at 200 mm.

      If we also compare VR I in the 70-300 versus VR III in the 70-200 that will propably be another stop difference in hand-holding capability.

      We don’t know the optical qualities of the new lens yet. But we should expect a 3x lens be better than a 4x zoom. Therfore we can expect the longer zoom need stopping down to be comparable to the shorter zoom wide open, though it even then may not be as good.

      That is a real world difference of 3 stops! Like between using ISO 200 instead of ISO 1600!

      • 18.1.1) John
        October 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        Whoops, I guess I should have added that I meant all things being equal. Of course a newer VR system on a faster lens will outperform an older VR on a slower lens by a wide margin.

        What I meant was, from a theoretical perspective, or as a thought experiment, whats so intrinsically valuable about a fixed f/4 when , for instance, most standard variable aperture zooms start at 3.5, which is faster than f4, and end at around 5.6, which is just about a stop slower (assuming lenses of equal zoom). Unlike f2.8, which is fantastic as a fixed aperture, whats so special about fixed f4 considering it overlaps most variable aperture lenses?

  19. 19) Braden
    October 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Hello Nasim,

    Long time listener (or reader!), first time commenting. Firstly thank you and your team for this great website I have been following it for just over a year since I first got into photography as a hobby with the purchase of a D3100.

    This annoucement is wonderful finally seeing that Nikon will produce an F4 lense version of the expensive but great 70-200 VRII. But now the timing has put me in a bit of a dilemma. At the moment my kit is just a D3100, 18-55 VR kit lens, and a 35mm 1.8. I was looking to get the 70-300 VR to add some reach, as you had given it a quality review and currently it is selling for less than $500 CAD which is great in my mind! But now I guess I’ll have to wait it out and see how this lense performs and whether the price would justify it. Eventually I will see myself getting a D600 or similar FF budget camera and FX glass is tempting.

    I guess what I am asking is in your professional mind do you think the constant F4 (with its one stop advantage) would be better in terms of extra light getting to the sensor or would you give the advantage to the extra 100mm reach but with the F4.5-F5.6 and bumping up the ISO instead??

    Thank you for your thoughts, and I do realize we should wait and see how the new lense performs and costs before any concrete decisions are made.

  20. 20) Rino
    October 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Sounds prommising. Even lower priced than 1500 USD.
    The Canon 70-200 f4 is priced at 1300 here. The IS version. Without it goes for about half that price.
    Own the new Sigma version, but I don’t really need the 2.8.
    Might switch if the Nikon f4 turns out better on the optics side of things.

  21. 21) jason
    October 18, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Everything is usually better down a stop, but if this new lens is good at f/4, it will be a winner. Hopefully Nikon can control CA a bit better on this one.

    • 21.1) MartinG
      October 19, 2012 at 2:37 am

      The CA on the 70-200 F2.8 is never an issue. It is a lovely lens. The only thing I would like to see improved is focus breathing. When you are close to a subject, you don’t really get 200mm. I hope the F4 will deal with this better than the 70-200mm 2.8 VRII.

  22. 22) Mock Kenwell
    October 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    “…Hopefully Nikon can control CA a bit better on this one.”

    Are you implying that the CA is actually bad on 70-200 f2.8 VRII ?!

  23. 23) Derek
    October 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    One thing we can bet on is that Nikon will keep true to its philosophy and this new lens will be longer and more expensive than the Canon counterpart.

    • 23.1) Steven P
      October 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      I purchase both Canon and Nikon equipment, in all of the cases the Canon lens has been more expensive than its Nikon counterpart.
      The 70-200 f4, when released will be close. The 70-200 f2.8 is near $2,600 in Canon form…$2,100 in Nikon….that is a fair difference in price. The D800 is about $3,000, the 5DmkIII is $3,500…

      • 23.1.1) Derek
        October 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm


        Well, please tell me where you buy your Nikon gear, because I’m looking for better deals!

        My ‘ol friends at B&H, whom I’ve been purchasing gear from for the past 20 years, have these prices:

        Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens……$2,129.00
        Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens……..$2,396.95

        As for size and weight:

        The Canon lens – Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.5 x 7.8″…..Weight: 3.28 lb (1.49 kg)
        The Nikon lens – Dimensions: (DxL) Approx. 3.4 x 8.1″…..Weight: 3.39 lb (1.54 kg)

        I shoot Nikon and have shot Canon. Both are great systems, but from my experience Nikon has been priced higher more times than not.

        I shot with the Canon 70-200mm f4 during my films days and I loved it. It was light, sharp, great contrast and was easy to handle and carry. One thing I hated about it……the white barrel. It looked ridiculous and it was unecessary. Other than that, it was nearly perfect.

        I really hope that Nikon can match the IQ, size and price of the Canon.

        • Steven P
          October 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm

          Well, I am in Vancouver, Canada:

          Canon EF100mm f2.8L $1,229.00 (on sale right now for $1,129.00)
          Nikon 105m, f2.8 $839.99 (on sale for $799.99)

          Canon EF 16-35mm f4L $1,769.99 (on sale right now for $1,649.99)
          Nikon 16-35mm f4 $1,349.99 (on sale for $1,169.99)

          Canon Ef 24-105mm f4L $1,349.99
          Nikon 24-120mm f4 $1,249.99 (on sale for $1,149.99)

          Canon EF 70-300mm f3.5-5.6L $1,699.99 (on sale for $1,529.99)
          Nikon 70-300 f3.5-5.6 $499.99 (on sale for $459.99)
          Yes, I realize there is a difference between these two.

          Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L (IS-II) $2,599.99 (on sale for $2,249.99)
          Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII $2,199.99 (on sale for $2,016.99)

          In all cases the price difference is $300-400…the Canon 70-300mm is an amazing lens, but its $1700 so it should be. I know, I bought one…wish my Nikon was the same.

          I should note that as a frequent customer I often get discounts to as much as 12% on top of this.

          • Derek
            October 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

            Steven P – I missed something you said in your post:

            Canon EF 16-35mm f4L $1,769.99 (on sale right now for $1,649.99)
            Nikon 16-35mm f4 $1,349.99 (on sale for $1,169.99)

            Canon does NOT offer a 16-35mm f4L, but an f2.8 in that size. Which is comparing apples and oranges. Of course the Canon will be more expensive.

            The true comparison, and the one I made when buying my Nikkor 16-35mm f4, should be the Canon 17-40mm f4. The Canon is nearly half the price and considerably smaller and lighter than the Nikkor, and offers comparable performance. Sure, the Nikkor has the VR thing going, but so what. I don’t ever use it.

            This comparison is precisely why I said: “One thing we can bet on is that Nikon will keep true to its philosophy and this new lens will be longer and more expensive than the Canon counterpart”

            When I bought my Nikkor 16-35mm f4 I couldn’t believe how much more expensive, larger and heavier it was than the Canon; and I saw them side by side. Why did I buy the Nikkor? Because of the $K worth of Nikon stuff I aleady own. I don’t own Canon any more.

            If Nikon offered a non VR version of the 16-35mm in the size and price range of the Canon, I’d sell the Nikkor in a second! I love the performance of the Nikkor, but hate the size and price. And why I suspect that Nikon will follow their “f/4” philosophy with their new 70-200mm and offer an unecessarily large and expensive lens.

        • Drazen B
          October 19, 2012 at 1:36 am

          I also shoot both Nikon and Canon and have both 70-200 f2.8 lenses.

          I rate Nikon’s a tad higher than Canon’s in terms of optical performance as well as ease of use.

          And no – they’re not different in weight and size, a millimeter or few grams here and there don’t make a difference you’re implying. They’re pretty much the same in size, weight and handling.

          I bought mine new in the UK, and also paid more for Canon, about US$200 difference converted from British pounds.

          • Marcus Walsh
            October 19, 2012 at 3:11 am

            Yup – same here, own both and they’re comparable size and weight as you said. Also paid more for Canon’s and if I had to choose one to keep it would be Nikon’s 70-200 f/2.08VRII.

            • Derek
              October 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

              Well, I stand corrected, friends! I wasn’t trying to start a Canon-Nikon war, so please forgive me. Nor was I trolling for a rise from you guys. I honestly thought that Canon had lower prices, on average.

              I have not shopped for Canon, since I shoot Nikon, and last time I checked(out of curiosity) the Canon prices were higher(for the lens I was buying, at least). I have looked around after reading the replies to my post and indeed Canon seems to have higher prices, on average. Thanks for setting me straight!

              As for size and weight, the 70-200mm is not the best example, because the Nikon and Canon are almost indentical, give or take. There are better examples of Nikon’s lenses being oversized. Take my Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8. Why does it have to be so long? I’ve seen it next to the Canon and Sigma equivalents and it’s an inch or two longer than the others.

              Another example: my Nikkor 16-35mm f4. The thing looks like a tele zoom!! Did it have to be so long?

              If the equivalent lenses are dogs, when compared to the Nikkors, does that mean that the only way to achieve superior optical performance is by making a zoom lens that’s considerably larger?

              Please don’t reply by telling me that size DOESN’T MATTER! It does matter. If you’re trying to pack a smaller bag for travel, an inch here and there adds up to a bulkier set up. Nevermind bumping a longer lens into stuff while moving around.

              Don’t get me wrong, I love my Nikkors. Having switched from Canon 15+ yrs ago, I haven’t looked back(evidenced by may lack of knowledge about Canon prices!). But I often wonder(mostly when I pack a travel bag) why the Nikkors are so darn long!

              If there are any physicists out there, please chime in and educate me on why Nikon needs, or chooses, to make the longer lens.

            • Drazen B
              October 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

              Derek buddy, no worries at all, no one is labeling or attacking anyone else’s commentary it’s just a good doze of healthy discussion going on here and thanks Nasim and the Co for lending us a place to do so ;)

              Canon in average releases more lens models and more often than Nikon. Many have blamed Nikon for years for being complacent and a bit slow to ‘catch up ‘ with others. However as the recent Nikon’s lens development and release frequency showed us, this is very likely to change in the near future. Canon manages to release some extraordinary L-glass with every model replacement being smaller and lighter than the one it supersedes. That is definitely much more evident with Canon than Nikon. However, Nikon is catching up and also manages to ‘shrink’ their lenses overall while maintaining and bettering optical performance in an overall lighter package.

              I agree, the infamous 24-70 f2.8 is a dog from size and weight perspective. I own it and while I love its performance I hate the fact I’m forced to lug an over-sized ‘dinosaur’ with me every time. For this simple and only reason I tend to more use my 24-120 f4 these days as a walkabout lens, it pretty much replaced my 24-70 f2.8 non-VR.
              One just needs to look at (as you pointed out) Canon’s 24-70 f2.8 or even the new Tamron 24-70 f2.8 with VR…both are smaller and lighter and Tamron comes with added bonus – a VR, as the only pro-grade 24-70 f2.8 lens currently on the market that packs a very good optical stabilization.

              Let’s hope Nikon’s 70-200 f4 comes in a lighter package while maintaining the best of its older sibling a f2.8, while comparable to and lighter than a very good Canon’s 70-200 f4 and many a Nikon glass owners will jump in joy and rejoice :)

            • Derek
              October 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm

              Drazen – I’ve actually considered switching from Nikon to Canon because of the oversized Nikon lenses. The only thing that’s keeping me in the Nikon camp are the D800 and D600. But as soon as Canon makes comparable bodies, which is simply a matter of time(months, perhaps!), I’m jumping to Canon.

              Why can’t Nikon make a super wide zoom that doesn’t exceed 3-4 inches? It’s mind-boggling to me. If you’ve ever held the Canon 17-40mm f4 side-by-side with the Nikon 16-35mm f4, it’s not even a fair comparison. The former looks like a wide angle zoom while the latter looks like a tele-zoom! And the image quality is not that different to my eyes(from the tests I’ve seen on the net) to justify such a size.

              I’m a very dissatisfied Nikon LENS owner….emphasis in LENS.

  24. 24) Phoenix
    October 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Love your dreaming Nasim!

    I’m joining you and look forward to your review when the 70-2oo F4 is released.

    And, I totally agree with you on wanting lighter lenses. I’m about 100 pounds so most of the ideal lenses for wildlife photography are just too heavy for me.

  25. 25) Vivekan S
    October 19, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I have been following your website for close to 3 months since my D3100 purchase , Would like to know the difference between a fixed aperture and variable aperture lens.

    Please check my photos if time permits

    I have a sigma 70-300 mm along with the kit lens and planning for the 50 mm prime lens , hope my progress looks good to you :)

  26. 26) Siango
    October 20, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Very nice commentary, I think you’ve summed up the 70-200 f/2.8 versus f/4 lens rationalization very concisely!

    Although it’s in a slightly different genre, I’m sure many of us are waiting for a 200mm Macro update, too ;)

  27. 27) Derek
    October 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Here’s the standard that Nikon has to shoot for and HIT! Anything else would be a HUGE disappointment. Completely unacceptable. And don’t make any excuses for Nikon. They should be able to attain this level of quality.

    Basically, this next f4 lens should be Nikon’s best zoom lens, to date. PERIOD.–review?start=2

    “The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS is the very best zoom lens tested to date in Canon mount. The resolution figures (center/border) at all focal length and all tested aperture settings are nothing short of stunning and also as good as the best fix-focals in this range.”

    Optical Quality: FIVE STARS
    Mechanical Quality: FIVE STARS
    Price/Performance: FIVE STARS

  28. October 24, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Shame this post has become a Nikon v. Canon debate? Strikes up the old rivalries?

    • October 24, 2012 at 2:38 am

      Nah, comparing lenses on different sensors is never a truly valid test :)

      • October 24, 2012 at 2:51 am

        Nasim, Hi Yes, true……… it just amuses me how the people like to compare the two leading brands. A bit of friendly rivalry is always good. I’m a true Nikon fan by the way :)

  29. 29) Vincent V
    October 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm


    I enjoy your site & want to start by saying thank you for taking the time to answer questions.

    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 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 or is the new 70-200mm f/4 a valid option. Please help!

  30. 30) K Springford
    October 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Any limitations with using this len on a D 7000?

  31. 31) Allen Johnson
    November 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I would be lost without your website, it helps me no end with specs and details, this new 70-200 lens is giving me a real problem. I have a 12-24 f4 and a 24-120 f4 together with a 70-200 f2.8 VII. I am about to buy a D800 to replace my D300s – the D800 as I think the D600 is too small. My question is about the TC20E III that I was going to buy for the 24-200 to take on safari, but it’s so heavy and there are weight restrictions on light aircraft used on Safari’s. So should I think about the new 70-200 with the TC, stick with the f2.8 version with the TC or get a 300mm F4 with the Tc and leave the 70-200 at home. What a dilemma – HELP please

  32. 32) FrancoisR
    November 7, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Hello Nasim,

    I came across a few reviews of the old 70-210 f/4-5.6D in the wave of the 70-200 f4 VR release and purchased one on ebay yesterday. I got a 62-77 mm adapter too. It’s ridiculusly low priced, sharp, small, feather weight and has fast focus (according to all I read), great assets for travel. Of course it shows it’s age with push pull, rotating focus and no stabilisation but costs less than a full tank of gas on a big suv. It will see some action tracking planes landing at SXM (St-Martin) next month while waiting for the 70-200 f4 VR…
    It would be interesting to test it against the 70-200 f4 VR and/or 70-300 VR. I might be coerced into saving $1K+.


  33. 33) Flax
    November 14, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Owners of the new D800 with it’s 36 megapixel D800 are lucky!

    If you want lightweight you can just use your 85mm or 105mm prime and crop the rest. You will not see any loss of quality on A3 prints. Probably you can even print much bigger but I have no printer to try that.

  34. January 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    I need your help, please. I am looking at buying the Nikon 70-200 and a teleconverter for my wildlife shots.
    Do you recommend the f/2.8 or the f/4? and which converter?

    Please help. Jolie

  35. January 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Not sure if my post went through, so sorry if this is a duplicate.

    Dear Nasim,

    I need so help, please. I am looking to buy the Nikon 70-200 with a teleconverter for my wildlife shots.

    Do you recommend the f/2.8 or the f/4? and which converter?



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