This is an in-depth review of the flagship Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens that was released in October of 2016. Every seven to ten years, Nikon updates its top-of-the-line lenses with the most current technology and tries to push the performance envelope to a whole new level. After a long wait, Nikon finally delivered the new generation 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR in a lighter and more versatile package. Nikon completely redesigned the lens from the ground up, featuring a fluorite lens element to make it roughly 100 grams lighter, an “E” type electronic diaphragm, an updated Vibration Reduction / Image Stabilization mechanism and a drastically different optical formula featuring a total of 22 elements to deliver superior sharpness across the frame. The lens elements have also been treated with all the latest lens coating technologies, including Nano Crystal Coat and fluorine coating in order to reduce ghosting and flare, as well as repel dust and moisture from its front element. Based on user feedback, Nikon also took care of the focus breathing issue that was present on the VR II version of the lens. Ever since the lens was introduced to the market, I have had a chance to shoot with a couple of samples of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR, so my experience and review are based on many months of shooting with this lens.
On paper, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR looks stunning – its MTF charts look better than pretty much any other 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on the market and being a lighter and sharper lens than its predecessor, as well as not having focus breathing issues, certainly make it a top choice for many types of photography. However, with its very steep price of $2,799 and the availability of other great options from third party manufacturers at much more affordable price points, one has to wonder if the lens truly justifies its high price tag. It took an unusual amount of time for me to write this review, because I had to deal with a number of issues when working with the samples of the lens – from AF adjustment problems all the way to inconsistent optical results that made it frustrating to test the lens in a lab environment. I decided to put down my thoughts after going through two samples of the lens, but I am planning to test one more lens sample later this year and update the review with more information, and provide more comprehensive comparisons to other third party lens options.
Without adding any more spoilers, let’s take a closer look at the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR and see what it has to offer.
1) Technical Specifications
- Focal length: 70-200mm
- Maximum aperture: f/2.8
- Minimum aperture: f/22
- Lens construction: 22 elements in 18 groups (with 1 Fluorite and 6 ED lens elements)
- Picture angle: 34°20’ – 12°20’ (22°50’ – 8° with Nikon DX format)
- Closest focusing distance: 1.1 m/3.6 ft. (throughout entire zoom range)
- No. of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded)
- Filter/attachment size: 77mm
- Diameter x length (extension from lens mount): Approximately 88.5mm x 202.5mm (3.4in x 7.9 in)
- Weight: Approximately 1430g (50.5oz)
2) Build Quality and Lens Handling
When it comes to build quality, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR surely does not disappoint. Thanks to its tough metal and hardened plastic shell, the lens is made to last a lifetime. Being a professional quality lens, it is specifically constructed to withstand a lot of field abuse, as well as protection from dust and moisture. Over the years, I have owned a number of Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses (starting from the first generation version) and I have never had any construction or build quality issues with them. They have always been my workhorse lenses and they just delivered. The new 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is built on that legacy and I have no doubt that it will be as good, if not better, than its predecessors.
While the lens certainly feels solid in hands, I cannot praise Nikon’s decision on reversing the focus and zoom rings. This has been my primary concern over the lens design ever since it was announced. As I stated in my “Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR Handling Concerns” article, the focus ring gets in the way when handling the lens and the zoom ring being in the front makes it rather painful to zoom in and out, since one has to move the hand to be closer to the end of the lens barrel. To be honest, I really don’t understand why Nikon decided to make this ergonomic change, especially after many of us 70-200mm shooters have gotten used to having access to the zoom ring right where the left hand rests. The first generation Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR had a zoom ring in the center. The second generation Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II had a zoom ring in the center. The Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR has a zoom ring in the center. All of Canon’s and Sony’s 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses have the zoom rings in the center! Only third party lenses from Tamron and Sigma have had the zoom and focus rings reversed.
Still, I did not want to give up on the new 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR too early and thought that perhaps I could get used to this change and perhaps alter my way of handling of the lens. After many months of use, I can confidently say that the handling of the new 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR simply does not work for me. Just like any other pro I know, I never keep the lens tripod collar on the bottom of the lens. I cannot even imagine how painful it would be to hold the lens the way Mr. Lindsay Silverman from Nikon USA held it during the interview at Photo Plus:
I would love to see Mr Silverman shoot an all day wedding with the 70-200mm f/2.8 by holding its tripod foot on his palm! The only way to hand-hold a heavy 70-200mm f/2.8 is by either removing the lens collar completely (those who never put a 70-200mm f/2.8 on a tripod remove it), or by moving it up to the top of the lens, as shown below:
My complaint is not necessarily about the reversal of the zoom and focus rings – a number of other Nikon lenses, such as the Nikon 80-400mm VR have the zoom ring on the front of the lens and yet I have never complained about those. That’s because most other Nikon lenses that have the zoom ring on the front have the center of gravity below them, which means your left hand always rests either on the zoom ring, or very close to it, making it comfortable to zoom in and out when needed. That’s not the case with the new 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR. When hand-holding the lens with the tripod foot removed or moved to the top as pictured above, your hand will naturally be in the center of the lens, right over the focus ring. In order to zoom in and out, your only choice is to move your hand forward to the front barrel of the lens and it is simply not comfortable to keep the hand there permanently. In fact, Nikon engineers want your hand to rest over the focus ring area. Otherwise, why would they place the buttons behind the zoom ring?
In short, the reversal of the zoom and the focus rings could present a pretty serious problem for those who have had prior experience shooting Nikon and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 and f/4 lenses. In my opinion, it was a bad decision on behalf of Nikon engineers. While some of our readers stated that they would rather deal with this ergonomic change than the focus breathing issue, I disagree – ergonomics are very important for a working professional. I highly recommend that you give the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR a try and see if you can get used to this change before committing to a purchase…
Other than that, the overall feel and smoothness of both focus and zoom rings is excellent.
3) Focus Speed and Accuracy
When it comes to focus speed, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is a lens on steroids – it focuses incredibly fast! Faster than anything else I have ever used from Nikon, including the high-end super telephoto lenses. How big of a difference are we talking about? It is hard to say for sure, but in some cases it felt like the lens focused twice faster than its predecessor, which is huge. When I first tried out the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR, I could not believe how fast the lens would acquire focus on a subject and how well it tracked it. The same for switching subjects – focusing on one subject at close distance, then switching to another subject further away is literally instant. I don’t know what kind of focus motor Nikon used on the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR, but I would love to see the same technology on every future Nikon lens the company makes. The Silent Wave Motor (SWM) is also incredibly quiet, making the lens a pleasure to use in the field.
If you are lucky to have a good sample of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR (more on this in the next section), you will be very pleased with its autofocus accuracy – the lens is not only fast, but it also incredibly accurate, even when tracking moving subjects. The second sample I used was spot on and it acquired focus precisely on every subject, even in very dim conditions.
4) Lens Variance and QA Issues
Unfortunately, I was not so lucky with the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR lens samples I tested. The very first copy I got right before my trip to New Zealand was off by a huge margin in AF accuracy on my Nikon D810. None of the images were in focus and I had to dial between -12 to -19 in AF Fine Tune to compensate, depending on focal length. This was a huge inconvenience factor during my trip and I was definitely not happy to be shooting with such a badly calibrated sample. Because of this, I often had to rely on Live View to get acceptable sharpness. After I got back from the trip, I exchanged the first copy for another one, which not only had a calibration issue, but also had a pretty bad decentering issue. It was not as bad as the first copy in terms of AF calibration, but it was still off. I am not sure why I was so unlucky with the first two copies, but one thing for sure – it was not my camera that was at fault, since the lenses had AF accuracy issues on my Nikon D750 bodies as well.
While lens variation is a normal fact of life, two bad samples out of two is a bit too much in my opinion, especially for such an expensive, professional-grade lens. I am not sure if early samples were a bit rushed, but it was not a pleasant experience for sure. That’s why I decided to wait before getting another lens sample for a test. I will update this review with more information as soon as possible.
5) Vibration Reduction (VR) Performance
Nikon states that it has improved its image stabilization / vibration compensation on the new 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR by about half a stop compared to its predecessor, so the lens should be able to handle up to 4 stops of compensation. While four stops might seem like a lot, I can say that the new stabilization system is pretty incredible on the lens and seems to work a bit better compared to the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II. I was able to capture sharp images at very low shutter speeds hand-held, down to 1/8th of a second at 70mm (see my article on how to hold a camera for proper lens hand-holding technique), and my keeper rate from low-light situations seemed to be very high.
In addition, Nikon added some new features to the VR system on the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR. While the old VR system had a simple “On/Off” switch with another “Normal/Active” switch beneath, the new lens combines these into a single switch that goes from “Off” to “Normal” to “Sport”, depending on what you are shooting. The “Normal” setting is what you would use for most shooting conditions, whereas the “Sport” setting is specifically designed for shooting fast action sports and panning subjects. In “Normal” mode, the lens can now detect if it is mounted on a tripod and provide specific stabilization to minimize camera shake coming from the tripod, wind, or ground vibrations. So if my previous recommendation was to always turn off image stabilization when using lenses on a tripod, you no longer have to do that with the new 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR, except when shooting very long exposures (for exposures longer than a second, I still recommend to turn VR off). I tested the lens on a small travel tripod in windy conditions and indeed, the lens did better with VR turned on than turned off.
As expected, the lens does not disappoint when it comes to bokeh. Nikon made sure to optimize the lens in such a way that the lens yields beautiful bokeh no matter what focal length or aperture you are shooting at.
As you can see from some of the image samples in this review, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR renders beautiful bokeh highlights and does an exceptional job at separating the subject from the background. When photographing people, they easily “pop” from the scene, and when using longer focal lengths, the background elements get magnified beautifully, separating the subject even more and creating a very unique look and feel in images:
To understand the relationship between focal length and background size relative to the subject at different camera to subject distances, please take a look at our article on lens compression.
When it comes to vignetting, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR performs remarkably well compared to its predecessor. While vignetting is definitely noticeable at all focal lengths, it varies greatly by aperture and focus distance. Take a look at the chart below:
As you can see, depending on focal length and focus distance, the lens exhibits between 0.5 to over a stop of EV difference at the edges of the frame at f/2.8. Interestingly, vignetting is greatly reduced at close distance and sometimes doubles at infinity (see performance @ 200mm). However, once stopped down to f/4, these differences are reduced drastically at all focal lengths. Stopped down to f/5.6, vignetting is completely gone and it stays that way at smaller apertures.
Here is an illustration of the worst case scenario at 200mm, infinity focus, charted by Imatest:
In comparison, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II showed pretty high levels of vignetting even when stopped down, especially when shooting at 200mm.
8) Chromatic Aberration
As for lateral chromatic aberration performance, Nikon was again able to reduce it with the new lens design for the most part. Aside from the shorter focal lengths, chromatic aberration levels have been greatly reduced at 105mm and beyond. Take a look at the below charts that compare the performance of the two lenses:
Unlike its predecessor, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR shows slightly lower levels of chromatic aberration when stopped down, although the differences are not that big. Note how CA levels go down with the increase of focal length – at 200mm, the lens shows less than a pixel of CA. The 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II demonstrated lower CA levels at short focal lengths and much higher levels when zoomed in beyond 105mm.
The good news is that you can easily address lateral chromatic aberration issues via post-processing software. The levels are not extreme to the point that you would have to do anything special – just enabling the lens correction module in Lightroom will take care of the problem immediately.
Unfortunately, the new lens design increased the overall levels of distortion when compared to its predecessor. Imatest measured noticeably less pincushion distortion at 70mm, however, at longer focal lengths of 85mm and beyond, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR demonstrated higher levels of barrel distortion. This is particularly noticeable at 200mm, where the lens showed 1.96% barrel distortion, which is visibly higher than the 1.45% distortion exhibited by the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II lens.
If you are planning to use the lens for architectural work and for photographing textures and patterns with straight lines, you can take care of the problem in Photoshop or Lightroom very easily by using Lens Corrections. Both already have lens profiles that you can apply with a single click.
10) Ghosting and Flare
While telephoto lenses are not designed to handle ghosting and flare well, Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat definitely makes a huge difference when handling bright sources of light with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR. In many cases, you will be able to photograph without any visible flares in your images, but it all depends on the location, the angle of the light source, use of filters, whether you have a hood attached and whether the front element of the lens is clean or not. If you use a cheap filter or your front lens element is dirty, expect to see pretty visible ghosts and flares in your images with the front element exposed to the sun.
If you plan on shooting against the sun, make sure to remove filters and clean that front element! If you don’t have a filter and your front lens is clean, then just pay attention to the location of the source of light in your frame – sometimes even moving the source of light in the frame by just a little will help significantly reduce ghosting and flare in your images. As always, make sure to keep that lens hood attached, as it helps a lot when shooting with the sun overhead!
Speaking of the hood, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR has a very different HB-78 bayonet hood compared to the HB-48 on its predecessor. Take a look at the difference (Left: HB-78, Right: HB-48):
As you can see, the sides of the petal-shaped hood are not as deep on the new hood as they were on its predecessor, which should reduce chances of strong light rays making their way into the lens. Still, there is a good reason why telephoto lenses include a sizable hood. It is always a good idea to use lens hoods, as they help a great deal in reducing ghosting and flare in images. With so many lens elements inside and the fact that longer focal length lenses increase the size of the light source in the frame, you might also end up significantly reducing the overall contrast of the image, which is why I would recommend to keep the lens hood attached at all times.
11) Flouorine Coating
Similar to the latest generation Nikon lenses, the front element of the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR lens is coated with Nikon’s fluorine coating technology that is designed to repel dirt, water droplets, grease, fingerprints and smudges that might end up on the lens. The technology definitely works as advertised. When traveling in New Zealand, I shot in very rainy conditions and the coating did an excellent job in keeping the front element of the lens clean – I never had any problems with water drops or other debris appearing in my images. To understand the fluorine coating technology in detail, check out the below video from Nikon:
12) Electronic Diaphragm
The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is specifically designated as an “E” type lens (the character after the lens aperture), because it sports an electronic diaphragm. Unlike its predecessor, which uses a mechanical lever on the back of the lens to control the size of the aperture, the aperture of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is controlled electronically. This allows for much more accurate control of the lens diaphragm, especially when shooting at high continuous shooting rates. While an electronic diaphragm is a definite plus for future-proofing your investment, if you use your Nikon lenses with adapters on other cameras, it might present a problem – you will need to wait until “smart” adapters become available, since they will need to communicate the desired aperture to the lens. Using a dumb adapter is not going to allow controlling the aperture of the lens, so keep this in mind.
13) Tripod Support
With each new release of a Nikon telephoto and super telephoto lens, I always wonder if Nikon will ever start using the standardized Arca-Swiss quick release system. Unfortunately, Nikon keeps reusing the same old tripod mount that requires an additional adapter to make use of the tripod foot, which not only reduces the overall stability of the setup, but also adds unnecessary weight and bulk to the lens.
While the tripod foot itself is designed well and does a good job at stabilizing the lens when it is mounted on a tripod, I would recommend to swap out the tripod foot of the lens with a third party option from RRS (LCF-11) or Kirk (LP-64). Both are designed very well and will do a great job at providing an Arca-Swiss compatible quick release, so that you don’t have to deal with adapters.
14) Focus Breathing / Increased Field of View
Thankfully, you no longer have to worry about subjects looking small at close distances. As I have pointed out earlier in the review, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR does not suffer from the same focus breathing issues as its predecessor. There is still some focus breathing, but it is not as bad as it used to be. If the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II acted like a 120mm lens in terms of field of view at 200mm and closest focus distance, the new 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is significantly better – there is perhaps a 10mm difference between close focus and infinity. And if you zoom out to 70mm, there is no visible difference in framing when going from close focus to infinity.
It is also worth pointing out that the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR can now focus even closer than its predecessor. While the previous generation 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II required a minimum focus distance of 1.4 meters, the new lens can focus down to 1.1 meters. This also translates to a higher magnification level of 1:4.1 vs 1.7.9 on the predecessor.
15) Lens Sharpness and Contrast
I spent a considerable amount of time testing the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR in the lab. Unfortunately, the two lens samples I tested had all kinds of problems – from pretty severe focus accuracy issues I pointed out earlier and decentering issues, all the way to very noticeable focus shift that made it tough to properly test them. Focus shift seems to be a problem with the overall design of the lens – both lenses exhibited it at all focal lengths. As a result, I had to focus the lens for each aperture separately, which when combined with measuring sharpness at 1mm intervals on a macro rail took quite a bit of effort to complete. Unfortunately, focus shift is a pretty big problem on DSLRs, because lenses focus at their widest aperture when using phase detection autofocus, so if you are stopping down to a smaller aperture, you might see a visible shift in focus.
Despite these troubles, the first sample I tested was better optically than the second one (which had a pretty badly decentered lens element, resulting in poor sharpness results at the edges of the frame). Let’s take a look at the numbers obtained from Imatest at different focal lengths using the first lens sample:
Now keep in mind that the numbers presented here are the best case scenarios, where I took the best results from focusing at different apertures and distances using a macro rail. As you can see from the first chart measured at 70mm, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR shows solid performance wide open and once stopped down to f/5.6, it is a very sharp lens, even at the edges of the frame. The lens demonstrated inferior performance in the center of the frame than in the mid-frame (in line with the MTF chart of the lens, which means that the lens is optically designed this way).
The lens is simply superb at 85mm and 105mm focal lengths, showing stellar sharpness at the maximum aperture of f/2.8.
And at 135mm, the lens reaches its peak performance, showing incredible sharpness that is better than most other Nikon lenses stopped down:
Unfortunately, there is a visible drop in sharpness at 200mm (more testing is required at this focal length with another sample), which is expected from a 70-200mm lens design. We can see reduced performance at maximum aperture, but once stopped down to f/4 and smaller, sharpness levels come back again:
Note the higher level of sharpness at the edges of the frame when zoomed in.
As you will see from the lens comparisons section below, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is noticeably better in terms of sharpness compared to its predecessor, which is a huge achievement. The new optical design is clearly superior to what Nikon has done in the past, resulting in perhaps the best 70-200mm lens on the market today. While the sample variance and focus shift issues I described earlier are indeed alarming, it is important to point out that previous generation 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses were not free from such issues either. That is why I always recommend to thoroughly test lenses when committing to a purchase. Still, I am planning to test yet another sample of the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR to see how it would behave compared to others, especially in the lab environment. I will update this section with new results as soon as possible.
When it comes to color and contrast, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR performed similarly to its predecessor, which is superb.
14) Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR vs Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II
How good is the sharpness of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR when compared to its predecessor, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II? Let’s take a look at each focal length individually and compare the two lenses side by side:
We can clearly see that despite noticeable field curvature on the new 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR at 70mm, which results in better mid-frame performance than the center, the new lens has better sharpness if you look at the whole frame, especially at maximum aperture. Once stopped down, the older 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II comes out on top in the center and the mid-frame, but shows inferior results at the edges.
Zoomed in to 85mm, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR definitely shines. It produces much better sharpness throughout the frame and its center performance is remarkable at all apertures. Note how much worse the previous generation 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II is, especially at the edges of the frame.
The new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR continues to impress at 105mm, showing superb wide open performance – there is simply no comparison here.
And at 135mm, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is at its best, significantly surpassing its predecessor at every aperture from the center to the edges of the frame.
Lastly, at 200mm, we can see that the previous generation Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II also did worse wide open. Once stopped down to f/4 and smaller though, the two lenses are comparable in the center of the frame, with the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR outperforming its predecessor by a huge margin in the mid-frame and the edges.
If we summarize the results of this comparison, we can conclude that the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR sets a new benchmark in terms of overall sharpness performance.
16) Use with Teleconverters
As expected from the above sharpness numbers, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR performs very well with all three teleconverters. The Nikon TC-14E III teleconverter has very little impact on lens sharpness, so if you want to extend the reach of the lens to 98-280mm focal length, definitely add the 1.4x TC to your camera bag. The Nikon TC-17E II teleconverter works pretty well as well, as long as you use the latest generation Nikon DSLRs that can focus better in low light conditions. The 1.7x teleconverter results in a 119-340mm f/4.8 lens and once stopped down to f/5.6 can make another attractive combination with very good sharpness. The Nikon TC-20E III is a mixed bag (140-400mm f/5.6 resulting focal length) – stopping down to f/8 results in acceptable sharpness, but the lens will hunt in low-light conditions and might end up focusing inaccurately. So keep that in mind when using the lens with teleconverters. Overall, I would say that teleconverter performance with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is pretty similar to what I experienced with its predecessor, with slightly better sharpness results.
When I first read the news of Nikon releasing an updated version of the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, I wondered what Nikon engineers could do to push the already high performance envelope to an even higher level. The MTF charts provided by Nikon looked superb, almost too good to be true for a 70-200mm lens. After thoroughly testing a few samples of the lens in a lab environment, I can confirm that Nikon has indeed made its best 70-200mm f/2.8 lens so far. As you can see from the charts in this review, the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR showed very impressive results when compared to its predecessor and at some focal lengths, the lens yielded sharpness numbers that were better at maximum aperture than most other Nikon lenses stopped down. This is an amazing achievement on behalf of Nikon engineers and something they should be applauded for. As of today, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR is probably the best 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on the market in terms of sharpness. Combined with the incredibly fast and accurate autofocus motor (which tested out to be even faster than the already fast 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II), lack of focus breathing, lighter weight, improved coatings and better handling of vignetting and chromatic aberration, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR could easily make it into any professional’s camera bag as the top choice for many kinds of photographic needs.
However, as with most other lenses, the lens comes with its share of problems as well. First of all, for anyone used to handling of previous generation Nikon or current generation Canon 70-200mm lenses, the reversal of the zoom and focus rings can become an ergonomic issue. I have already highlighted my personal problems with this change in this review and other articles posted here at Photography Life and after using several lens samples over the course of many months, I could not get used to the change and found it to be problematic for the way I handle and shoot with 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. As a result, I would highly recommend to test a copy of the new lens before committing to a purchase, since the new handling could get in the way, especially for busy pros out there. Second, as I have pointed out in section 4 of this review, the two lens samples I tested for this review had pretty bad focus and optical issues, making it a challenge to properly test and review the lens. While sample variation is a normal fact of life, I was not particularly happy to see problems with two lenses in a row. Lastly, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR has a pretty hefty price tag. With its MSRP of $2,799, it is the most expensive 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on the market today, making it tough to justify it as an investment for enthusiasts and hobbyists. With the release of Tamron’s SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 at less than half the price, it is even tougher to spend so much money on a telephoto lens for many photographers out there…
18) Where to Buy
As always, you can support our efforts by purchasing from our trusted partner, B&H Photo Video. As of 05/29/2017, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR retails for $2,796.95.
17) More Image Samples
All Images Copyright © Nasim Mansurov and Spencer Cox, All Rights Reserved. Copying or reproduction is not permitted without written permission from the author.
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR
- Optical Performance
- Bokeh Quality
- Build Quality
- Focus Speed and Accuracy
- Image Stabilization
- Size and Weight
Photography Life Overall Rating