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


The AF-S 70-200mm VR has a very moderate 3x zoom ratio and the level of distortion is quite low accordingly. At 70mm there's a moderate degree of barrel distortion (0.7%) changing to moderate pincushion distortion (0.7%) at the long end of the zoom range.

Move the mouse cursor over the focal length text marks below to observe the respective distortion
70mm 135mm 200mm

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.


On an APS-C DSLR the full-frame AF-S 70-200mm VR can take advantage of a sweet spot effect. At 70mm and 135mm the issue is negligible even at f/2.8. At 200mm at f/2.8 vignetting is a little more pronounced but still not overly field relevant. If needed stopping down a little will solve the problem completely.

MTF (resolution)

In the MTF lab the first sample lens delivered good to very good resolution figures but suffered from a rather pronounced centering defect - this is actually not overly unusual for Nikon VR lenses if the local testing history serves as a guidance. In the meanwhile a 2nd sample has been tested that performed significantly better - these results are presented below.

Generally the both the center and border resolution is excellent throughout the tested focal-length and aperture range. At 70mm the results are stellar and about as good as it gets on the Nikon D200. At 135mm and 200mm there´s a marginal decrease in quality which shouldn´t be really field relevant. The sweet spot of the lens is located around f/5.6.

Please note that the MTF results are not directly comparable across the different systems!

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are generally well controlled with a local peak of 1.2px on the average at the image borders at 70mm f/2.8.

Disclosure: When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network and Google Adsense.