Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 G IF-ED VR - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2006

Lens kindly provided by Josef Merk (1st sample) and Peter-Cornelius Spaeth (2nd sample)!


The Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR is the latest incarnation of high-speed tele zooms made by Nikon. At the time it took Nikon ages from the development announcement till the lens was finally available on the market back in 2003.
The lens isn't exactly a budget item at around 1800€/US$ but Nikon smart enough to keep the old AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED in the current line-up which is available at almost half the costs - a pretty consumer-friendly approach.
Within the scope of this test we'll have a look how the lens performs on the Nikon D200 (APS-C DSLR) where its field-of-view is equivalent to 105-300mm.

The build quality of the lens is very impressive - a truly professional-grade lens. Most parts are made of metal with a slight crinkle finish. The broad rubberized zoom and focus control rings feel very smooth. The overall length of the lens does not change and the filter thread does not rotate. It is a G-type lens so unlike its predecessors it does not offer an aperture ring anymore. A detachable tripod-collar is also part of the package.

The AF-S 70-200mm VR is the first high-speed Nikkor tele-zoom with a VR (Vibration Reduction) mechanism with an efficiency equivalent to 3 f-stops. The lens offers two VR modes - a "normal" mode for most situations inc. static scenes, object tracking as well as monopod shots whereas the 2nd "active" mode to compensate more pronounced vibrations (e.g. when shooting from a moving vehicle).
Thanks an AF-S drive (Silent Wave Motor) the AF operations are nearly silent and extremely fast.

Equiv. focal length105-300 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction21 elements in 15 groups inc. 5 ED elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance1.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:6.1)
Dimensions87 x 215 mm
Weight1470 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
HoodHB-29 (supplied), petal-shaped, Twist-lock mounted.
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information. Tripod collar. Vibration reduction. Dust and waterproof rubber sealing.

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