Author Topic: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option  (Read 892 times)

Akira

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2021, 02:50:11 »
Paco, I haven't voted for neither because I cannot say how this optical gem would inspire you.  Also, I am not sure if 3999 euro would be a "bargain".

Roland, I suspect that a prime 200/2.0 could be obsolete.  Nikon has discontinued it, and Canon is just selling its surplus stock.

I think the most popular filed for the lens is opt for a 70-200/2.8 lens thanks to the advanced AF and high-ISO capability of modern bodies, mirrorless or DSLR.  The workhorse prime for this area should be 400/2.8 and 600/4.0 now, as Sony's lineup suggests.  My wild guess is that even a 300/2.8 could be obsolete.  Canon has renewed their 400/2.8 and 600/4.0 and released their RF versions probably to compete with Sony's siblings in terms of not only the optical performance but also the weight.  Nikon may follow the trend.
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Ethan

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2021, 09:23:18 »
You think Nikon won't replace the AFS 200/2? According to my figures Nikon made over 11000 units of both versions (combined) since 2004. The AF-S 300/2.8 versions have sold at least 28000 units over the same period - more than twice as many. The 200/2 has sold well considering it is a more specialised lens, and Canon are still selling their version, I think it would be strange for Nikon to abandon this lens type which they created in the first place.

Regarding the hood - hoods for AF-S 300/2.8 will fit and provide better shade protection. The hood for the 200/2 is rather wide so it can be reversed and fit over the tripod foot, but it is not so effective for shading the lens. I would not let the lack of hood to influence your decision :)

Hello Roland
 
I have to disagree with you on the Hood as it is an essential component to the 200/2

The 200/2 was our bread and butter for Fashion and Beauty

1- It blocks direction light as of angle 45bdegrees which is very effective in direct light studio or sun.
2- It effectively protect the huge glass surface from mishaps.
3- The 300mm will fit and will vignette



Erik Lund

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2021, 10:04:23 »
Yes, it's the 200-400mm f/4 AF-S hood that fits.
You can shorten a 300mm AF-S f/2.8 to fit without vignetting  8)
The lens is stubby and heavy,,, I loved it but didn't like to haul it around, so sold it.
You need highlights or bright point light in the back ground to use it for the Bokeh.
And shoot it at f/2 otherwise any of the 80-200 AF-S or 70-200 AF-S at f/2.8 will be very similar image rendition. IMHO  ;D 8)
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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2021, 11:02:24 »
You think Nikon won't replace the AFS 200/2? According to my figures Nikon made over 11000 units of both versions (combined) since 2004. The AF-S 300/2.8 versions have sold at least 28000 units over the same period - more than twice as many. The 200/2 has sold well considering it is a more specialised lens, and Canon are still selling their version, I think it would be strange for Nikon to abandon this lens type which they created in the first place.

I recall the argument was made that photojournalists don't need it any more (70-200/2.8 has improved a lot and so has high ISO) and Canon also discontinued theirs shortly after Nikon. Given how mirrorless cameras are lighter and smaller, large and heavy short lenses may not be found particularly ergonomic. However, my personal feeling is that the 200/2 gives a unique "look" that is well worth the slight pain of using it, and by using FL elements Nikon could reduce its weight significantly and make it easier to handle.

There is a pandemic which affects demand for sure, but this is not a permanent change (I am not saying the world will be the same but events will return quite soon, as well as the demand for event and sports photography). I don't have high hopes for Nikon reintroducing this kind of a lens for Z, as they're not in the same market position in mirrorless as they were in DSLRs in 2004. It seems they are now aiming for enthusiast market and lenses are made to mimic Sony's eye-to-eye.

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2021, 11:26:19 »
Roland, I suspect that a prime 200/2.0 could be obsolete. 

Not made any more is not quite the same as obsolete. The existing lenses continue to be in use.

Quote
I think the most popular filed for the lens is opt for a 70-200/2.8 lens thanks to the advanced AF and high-ISO capability of modern bodies, mirrorless or DSLR.

Yes, but that's exactly the problem, the images look exactly like everyone else's. Millions of 70-200/2.8 have been made. Only thousands of 200/2's, which puts its users in a position to distinguish their images from the masses. What is killing interest in photography is that everyone has seen the same things over and over again. Having a rare lens can in this case give an advantage of a different look.

Quote
  The workhorse prime for this area should be 400/2.8 and 600/4.0 now, as Sony's lineup suggests. 

400 mm is too long for my uses, let alone 600 mm. Even 300/2.8 is about the longest I could practically use at events or figure skating. The 200/2 is much more practical in my opinion and gives a 1 stop advantage. The 70-200/2.8 works for a lot of things giving good results but gives no advantage over millions of other photographers shooting with the exact same gear. If there is no difference then there is no point in being there in the first place to make photos as they will be made regardless of one's presence. (Note that I'm not saying there are not other ways to distinguish one's work - there are, e.g., lighting styles, but in many situations one is limited to the light that is available). The 70-200 from first row shows the ads in their full glory, which is an issue, and the bokeh is okay but not spectacularly beautiful. The 200/2 when filling the frame or close to, does make them less easier to read while making the audience an interesting pattern of blurred colour blobs. With 300/2.8 it's hard to fit the subject in the frame except at the far end of the rink. Some are using 400/2.8 from the long end but those photos isolate the skater with basically no surroundings, which makes the images lifeless to me.

Sony likely chose 400 and 600 to make as they didn't have a foothold in the sports market and so they had to start somewhere, make the fewest number of long lenses they could to cover these applications. This doesn't mean a 300/2.8 is obsolete. It just means that the new standard was made by a company with no previous presence in the market it tries to get to, and does so making basic errors. Of course the 400 and 600 are big and easy to spot and maybe that's why they wanted to make them. Nikon made a 120-300/2.8 which in my opinion shows a much better understanding of what is needed for sports, but it's just outside of my price range and doesn't follow the current trends for lighter weight. Maybe I should have gotten it regardless but I'm used to shooting sports hand-held and 120-300 would put me squarely on a monopod and with a substantially longer lens (physically) it would seem a bit too clumsy for me. In some ways very practical (the focal range) so it's not a clear error from either side but my preference would have been FL versions of the 200/2 and 300/2.8. I like an emphasis on out-of-focus rendering with good sharpness and am not convinced I like the new ultra-sharp, high-contrast look.

Sony's approach to long lenses has been successful as the sports photography market has been dwindling (both before and due to the pandemic) and wildlife photography is booming (as people have had time to spend in the outdoors due to not being able to spend time with other people). The Sony teles seem to have been very well taken by wildlife photographers. I still haven't seen any A9 or A1 series cameras at sports events.

But eventually sports and events will return and the need for something in between 70-200 and 400/2.8. The assumption that it's okay that a lens should cost 11k€ or more is just out of this world. I guess this is what focusing on the "high end" means? Yet Nikon have success in the intermediate products such as the PF lenses, the Z6 II, and the Zfc.  I don't mind if Nikon don't make a 200/2 if they make other primes (a bit smaller aperture or slightly different focal length) with similar rendering. I'm not hung up on the specs. I just notice in the Z lineup there is no fast prime longer than 85 mm and shorter than 400mm f/2.8. This gives me pause as to the suitability of the brand to what I want to do, as this range is exactly where I make most of my photos and prefer the primes for the "look" of the images is more subtle.

Akira

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2021, 12:31:34 »
From the artistic point of view, the uniqueness of the optics like 200/2.0 will prevail against being obsoleted for sure.

However, once the manufacturer decides that the market of a product is too much of a niche, it will put it out of the production.  That is inevitable.  Practically, current 70-200/2.8 zooms should be good enough for most demands.  Also, cropping images shot with the zoom set at the longest end by 1.5x would be (again, so far as the practicality is concerned) of less of a problem given the high pixel count of current camera bodies.  Nikon Z9 is said to employ and 45MP sensor, and Sony A1 sports its proprietary 50MP sensor offering blindingly fast data read out.

I would even guess a 200-400/4.0 class zoom could take over the need for a 300/2.8 lens, just like a 70-200/2.8 zoom is doing for a 200/2.0.

Sony is fervently trying to penetrate into the market of the sports shooters which has long been occupied by Nikon and Canon, and they should have made an in-depth research to nail the demand for the focal lengths in this field.
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John Geerts

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2021, 12:34:21 »
The lens is stubby and heavy,,, I loved it but didn't like to haul it around, so sold it.

Yes, that was my problem too.

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2021, 12:53:52 »
I would even guess a 200-400/4.0 class zoom could take over the need for a 300/2.8 lens, just like a 70-200/2.8 zoom is doing for a 200/2.0.

Not for indoor sports. f/4 lens produces images with distinctly more noise than a f/2.0 or f/2.8 in indoor lighting, and as a result of that (and the zoom having more elements probably contributing) the images look more "muddy" as opposed to crisp and clean. In fact I'd consider the f/2.8's a bit in that direction as well though they are quite good. A high-resolution Z9 optimized for remaining fields of professional photography is likely to produce a bit more muddy high ISO than D6/D5 also. Nikon's teaser is advertising Z9 for fashion photography not sports. I completely understand why they'd go this way in the current still-in-pandemic market.

Quote
Sony is fervently trying to penetrate into the market of the sports shooters which has long been occupied by Nikon and Canon, and they should have made an in-depth research to nail the demand for the focal lengths in this field.

Are they? Is there a sports photography market still to get into? To me it seems Sony had a lot of success with bird photographers and I know a few top-level shooters in my country who this year sold their Nikon kit and went for Sony (presumably the A1 did the job of convincing). Canon seem to be holding their own in that area. But I don't see the same happening in sports photography. Canon have a very strong position there and Nikon seem to be in wide use still (maybe 70%/30%?). Instead of switching between camera brands, sports photographers seem to be moving out and finding some other work. Of course, it could be different in the larger world. A 400/2.8 may be the most common lens at the Olympics when lots of photographers shoot from the stands right next to each other, but this is not where the images that stand out are made. The photographers who have priority access to areas close to the action are likely to produce the best images, usually with shorter focal lengths. 

I think the pandemic is in some way doing good things (less travel, more efficient ways of conferencing rather than the wasteful intercontinental flights) but in photography it gives the signals that some types of gear are not needed any more so the products are discontinued. Once this type of photography continues, the restarting of products once discontinued would probably be difficult (aren't the manufacturers required to destroy the tools in manufacture to gain tax benefits?) and is unlikely to happen. My main concern is with parts availability into the future (10-20 years from now). I was told that the product is likely to last a long time being functional if it is in regular use whereas if stored away and not used, chances increase that the motor won't start again. Thus regular use is beneficial. In my opinion the whole concept of purchasing a system of lenses and accessories is undermined by the short service life offered, and this kind of a major disruption is an additional problem as it gives the manufacturers the wrong signal about demand in the longer term. 

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2021, 13:17:29 »
Yes, that was my problem too.

Right, but this problem could be solved by using FL elements in the design. Canon's 200/2 is about 0.5 kg lighter than Nikon's and that in turn is quite old. I would guess that with techniques used in the latest-generation Canon and Sony 400/2.8, if employed to make new 200/2 and 300/2.8 models, the weight would approach 2 kg.

Erik Lund

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2021, 13:55:09 »
Right, but this problem could be solved by using FL elements in the design. Canon's 200/2 is about 0.5 kg lighter than Nikon's and that in turn is quite old. I would guess that with techniques used in the latest-generation Canon and Sony 400/2.8, if employed to make new 200/2 and 300/2.8 models, the weight would approach 2 kg.


Definitely! A new design using all the tricks in the book could make it light and much more manageable.

I hope you got my point Paco; If you shoot predominately dark unlit backgrounds you don't use the f/2 ability for anything.
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golunvolo

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2021, 14:55:34 »


Definitely! A new design using all the tricks in the book could make it light and much more manageable.

I hope you got my point Paco; If you shoot predominately dark unlit backgrounds you don't use the f/2 ability for anything.

  I do and I agree, even if an extra stop of light is still a lot that can be trade off in speed or cleaner shots. I'm torn between my lust for this optics performance in general and other spending options. My budget is fixed.

  The hood is not an option for me but for Nikon, they only can sell it if complete.

   

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2021, 18:09:49 »
  I do and I agree, even if an extra stop of light is still a lot that can be trade off in speed or cleaner shots. I'm torn between my lust for this optics performance in general and other spending options. My budget is fixed.

  The hood is not an option for me but for Nikon, they only can sell it if complete.

 

You can always sell it if you don't use it much...

Roland Vink

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2021, 20:33:22 »
Hello Roland
 
I have to disagree with you on the Hood as it is an essential component to the 200/2
I did not mean to suggest a hood is not necessary, but if the HK-31 for the 200/2 is not available, there are alternatives which may even be better in some situations. So if the lens does not come with the HK-31 hood, it should not affect the decision to buy the lens as other hoods can be used instead.

Akira

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2021, 03:35:04 »
Are they? Is there a sports photography market still to get into?...

Yes, I think so.  Sony placed a service booth in the press center for the Tokyo Olympics for the first time, and let the photographers try their Alpha 1 bodies, Xperia Pro smartphones (for the file transfer via 5G network) and whole sets of lenses including 600/4.0 and 400/2.8.

Here is a report of a photographer tried the system.  (The texts are all in Japanese, but you would read the shooting data for the sample images.)  All the images of outdoor sports and swimming were shot either with 600/4.0 or 400/2.8:

https://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/interview/1352054.html


I don't deny the unique look shot with 200/2.0 or clarity of the images realized by the prime lenses of fewer elements.  I'm even a big admirer of the latter.  Here in NG, we can see various impressive images from such lenses.

I think that prime lenses for the shrinking needs will be replaced by zoom lenses covering some focal lengths and usages.  Fisheye zooms offered by Nikon and Canon functioning both as a circular fisheye and a diagonal fisheye would be other examples.
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Didier Klein

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Re: Nikon 200mm f2 vrII, buying option
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2021, 08:23:00 »
For those interested buying a 2/200 VR, golunvolo or other ones, there is actually a very nice sample of AFS 2/200VRII on the French "Nikon Passion" site (https://www.nikonpassion.com).

You must go to "Annonces Occasions Photo", then " Annonces Objectifs pour boitiers Nikon (Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, …)" and finally "AF-S 200mm f/2.0 G ED VR II PRIX en Baisse" (the seller's name is nicolas95240 near Paris, Cergy Pontoise/ Val d'Oise).

He sells this lens for 2200€, that seems a good price...? Hope it helps !

I'm only a user and private announcer ("F6F3F2") on this site, not the seller !