Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED - Review / Lab Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
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The AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED has a very moderate zoom ratio and the level of distortion is pretty moderate accordingly. At 80mm there is marginal barrel distortion (0.35%) changing to moderate pincushion distortion at 200mm (0.77%).




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


On full format SLRs the AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED has a rather mediocre reputation regarding vignetting especially at the 200mm setting. However, on an APS-C DSLR the lens can take advantage of a sweet spot effect. The issue is very well controlled here and not overly field relevant even at wide-open aperture.

MTF (resolution)

In the MTF lab the lens was able to produce some quite impressive resolution figures. However, the tested sample also exhibited a slight centering defect which may have polluted the data a little bit. I had to reduce the number of measurement points to get meaningful values.

The center resolution is the lens is great throughout the zoom range. At 80mm it even scratches the resolution limits of the D200 sensor at f/5.6. The border performance is slightly lower (but still very good) at wide-open aperture but it improves gradually towards medium aperture settings.

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 relatively well controlled but they can reach 1px on the average at the image borders at the extreme ends of the zoom range.


Despite its age the Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED is a great lens both mechanically as well as optically (assuming you can get a good sample). The resolution is on a very high level throughout the zoom range and neither distortions nor vignetting are big issues (on an APS-C DSLR). CAs can be visible at times but the problem isn't overly pronounced. It is a joy to use this lens and the relatively large aperture provides some creative potential in the convenient package of a zoom. The comparatively low price tag is also a good argument to have a deeper look into this interesting option ... unless, of course, you can afford the AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
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