Author Topic: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued  (Read 496 times)

MILLIREHM

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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« on: April 26, 2020, 21:15:03 »
Nikonrumors reports that one of the very finest (if not THE finest) lenses Nikon ever made is now discontinued:

https://nikonrumors.com/2020/04/24/sad-news-the-legendary-nikon-af-s-nikkor-200mm-f-2g-ed-vr-ii-lens-is-now-discontinued.aspx/#more-145388

My two cents:

Are they out of stock and need their full capacity for the Z-System and cant do further production runs?

Was this planned or is this part of an emergency reaction to Covid-19 pandemia and the foreseeable significant drop in demand for photogear?


Were there ever plans to replace this lens with a new FL (SR) or something (patents for 300 and 200 mm FL teles were reported) version (that plans might have changed now) or is the new 120-300 mm not only dedicated to replacing the 300/2,8 but also the 200/2

or is this lens just experiencing the fate of the discontinued 70-180 mm Macro Zoom that discontinued without replacement?

or IF there will be a new 200/2 will it be F-mount or Z-mount?

(Anyway: I am glad that i got a like-new copy of the 200/2 VRII lens a few years ago second hand and at a decent price)

Wolfgang Rehm

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2020, 21:27:22 »
It is still available where I live at the official Nikon Store web shop both as new and refurbished.
A lot to save as refurbished product but still some money.

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2020, 00:30:31 »
Are they out of stock and need their full capacity for the Z-System and cant do further production runs?

From what I've heard (camera stores), the Z system is selling poorly (stores have had to dump Z products at below their dealer cost to get rid of excess stock) and it seems unlikely that Z lens production is taking the place of this lens. Since the 200/2 is widely in stock, I suspect the problem is simply that people are not buying it and thus it is discontinued.

IMO the 200/2's VR system is outdated compared to the more modern lenses and so is its autofocus. It focuses very fast but with a lot of variability in focus again compared to more recent AF-S lenses. In more recent FL lens designs Nikon have been improve both a lot and I think the lens is due an update. People also think it's heavy and front-heavy (by modern standards, certainly) and this affects its usability. An FL redesign is overdue.

However, it has a unique signature to the images and is the nicest of all the lenses I've used in terms of how the images look. I don't think this lens should be so easily abandoned. If they are about to introduce a better lens, by all means, but it's good to let the customers know if it is coming or not.

Quote
Was this planned or is this part of an emergency reaction to Covid-19 pandemia and the foreseeable significant drop in demand for photogear?

As COVID-19 affects travel, photography, events etc. all of which are major reasons for photography to take place, it is obvious that camera sales are taking a hit. However, this is true of many other businesses as well, as in crisis people are more cautious with the use of their money. And mostly it is the groceries retail business that is doing very well. The Tokyo Olympics are postponed until 2021 and the 200/2 is of the kind that might be used there, so Nikon could launch an FL version by next year.  I do a lot of my photography with fast short and medium tele primes, and Nikon seem to think that 70-200/2.8 is almost all that anyone could ever ask in this focal range (look at the Z mount roadmap; no fast tele primes longer than 85mm). I think the opposite that these fast prime lenses that have pleasing rendering are the most useful to me. And I don't consider the zoom the equivalent of this lens (or e.g., the DC 105/2).

Quote
Were there ever plans to replace this lens with a new FL (SR) or something (patents for 300 and 200 mm FL teles were reported) version (that plans might have changed now) or is the new 120-300 mm not only dedicated to replacing the 300/2,8 but also the 200/2

The 300/2.8 is not listed as discontinued, though this might change in the future. Since a Nikon patent mentions a design for 200/2 FL, it seems clear it has been on the drawing board.

I don't like to say such things but I think the 120-300/2.8 is priced beyond reason and if Nikon indeed think that it's a replacement for 200/2 or 300/2.8 then I will have to reconsider which brand of equipment I buy in the future. 11400 € lenses are outside of the reach of most people. And normally one has to always be prepared to produce a backup that yields the same result should some piece of equipment malfunction. So make sure you have two.

Since Tokyo Olympics is delayed and basically all sports events have been cancelled for quite some time, I think Nikon will have a really hard time moving the 120-300.

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2020, 08:15:32 »
I tried to sell my 2/200VR when I had a financial shortage but there is next to no market for that. Max offering was 2500€ for my completely revamped lens in a wonderful state. I decided to keep it now that my financial juices are flowing again.

What does it mean for the future of this product to me?

The Market value in the future of a lens like an FL-Version of the Nikkor 2/200mm is an important criterium for an investment into such a lens. If I pay 7500€ for the new one and receive 2500€ for my pervious version I have to make sure to earn 10.000€ after taxes with that lens at least to make up for the invest.

A new one of these is sure no hobbyist tool.
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Me: https://youpic.com/photographer/frankfremerey/

chambeshi

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2020, 10:47:02 »
The 200 f2G VRII is indeed one of Nikon's finest.

However, I also struggled to sell mine, as it's very much a niche prime. I agree Nikon might release an upgrade for Tokyo, which will not only be a FL but possibly with a SR element and the ARNEO coatings etc. While we could also see the 300 f2.8G upgraded to similar specs, the emerging tests (eg Brad Hill's) of the 120-300 f2.8E SR show it can meet many users standards in IQ to replace a series of primes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAGKMlcojGY&list=PLRg-MwoSBNXbhheDGEfmLv6WmwnbGaa41&index=2&t=0s

Nevertheless, as Ikka argues there will always be very sound reasons why some shooters will always prefer primes. The 120-300 f2.8 is not only overpriced but at 3.28kg overweight IMHO for telephoto of 128 x 305mm. There is more and more demand to minimize the weight of telephotos; and ironically Nikon's PF lenses have raised expectations here (!) More pertinently, Canon and Sony confirm the traditional limits can be extended with their 400 and 600 primes. They use honeycombed chassis of the Mg alloy etc. Thus the Canon 400 f2.8 = 2.84kg and Sony's 2.89kg but they are >160mm wide

https://briansmith.com/lens-review-sony-fe-400mm-f2-8-gm-oss/
#chambeshiphoto
D850, Z7, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E PF, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

Ethan

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2020, 11:00:09 »
From what I've heard (camera stores), the Z system is selling poorly (stores have had to dump Z products at below their dealer cost to get rid of excess stock) and it seems unlikely that Z lens production is taking the place of this lens. Since the 200/2 is widely in stock, I suspect the problem is simply that people are not buying it and thus it is discontinued.



It always amuses me and even more so during economic stagnation period to read blanket statements based on hearsay..


Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2020, 11:31:44 »
It always amuses me and even more so during economic stagnation period to read blanket statements based on hearsay..

When I see a large store advertise a new product at a substantical discount (below what Nikon charges the store for it, and below any reasonable expectation of discounted price), and after that not keep that brand in stock, I tend to believe they have a problem selling it. In my region also even Nikon don't keep many of their products in stock, and are not able to give stores any delivery rate. This was before the current COVID-19 crisis, in 2019.

It's also written in Nikon's own financial statements that the adaptation of the new mirrorless cameras has not happened as well as they had anticipated. (My comment: which in itself was a slow rate, judging from their own published predictions available on their web site.)

I like Nikon and want them to do well. I find it ironic that their products are today much better fit to my purposes than they were when they were doing really well financially.

MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2020, 11:40:04 »
Nevertheless, as Ikka argues there will always be very sound reasons why some shooters will always prefer primes. The 120-300 f2.8 is not only overpriced but at 3.28kg overweight IMHO for telephoto of 128 x 305mm. There is more and more demand to minimize the weight of telephotos; and ironically Nikon's PF lenses have raised expectations here (!) More pertinently, Canon and Sony confirm the traditional limits can be extended with their 400 and 600 primes. They use honeycombed chassis of the Mg alloy etc. Thus the Canon 400 f2.8 = 2.84kg and Sony's 2.89kg but they are >160mm wide

the 300/2,8 is not listed as discontinued but I guess Nikon wont bring a new 120-300/2,8 and a 300/2,8 prime in close intervals.
The 120-300 IS overpriced - but reminds me that by introducing the FL lens series went hand in hand with a price increase and now nikon wans more money for a Lens introducing SR glass.

Nikon planned the 120-300 and the D6 for the olympics. They are going to have a harder time as these are postponed for a year

Regarding weight the precious 200/2 VRII is a very heavy and unwieldy lens (nevertheless the also stellar IMHO 70-200/2.8 FL is no replacement) compared to other big glass teles. It feels like having the highest specific weight of all (never tried to calculate it). Maybe that is because of it using the elusive "Super-ED"-glass. (over years it was the only one where Nikon used this until the new AF_S 80-400 mm zoom came out- now there are just two.

In this respect (weight/size ratio) only the Z-Noct feels similar

Wolfgang Rehm

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2020, 03:30:44 »
If ever there was a case for an existing Nikkor lens to be updated with a flourite front element, it's this one. Terribly front-heavy as it is, and the flourite would knock easily a pound off the weight of the front end of the lens. Hopefully that's what they have in mind. Flourite element, a new VR unit, leave everything else as it is.

Erik Lund

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2020, 10:31:30 »
I would hope they change the lens foot as well as the lens hood design in the next incarnation  :o The usability is not optimal to put it in a nice way  ::) So... Highly needed as well!  8)
Erik Lund

MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2020, 10:55:23 »
There was another rumor that a FL version has already been tested - but we dont know how COVID-19 might have influenced the release plans

https://nikonrumors.com/2020/04/28/a-new-nikon-af-s-nikkor-200mm-f-2e-fl-ed-vr-lens-was-already-tested-last-year.aspx/#more-145504

Tripod foot and lens hood definitely deserve an imporvement and there is room for weight reduction, we will see. So far I am glad to have a copy of the current lens
.
Wolfgang Rehm

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2020, 13:53:29 »
Hmm. What is wrong with the hood and mount? I find the mount to work well and it doesn't vibrate like the previous version. The mount is small enough so that for hand-held use, it doesn't get in the way. I can see that when mounting a QR plate, the hood won't fit in the reverse position but there are plates that replace the Nikon foot and do fit in. Mostly I hand-held this lens myself, but when I use it on monopod or tripod, I use a Kirk plate. I also have an RRS plate which is longer and that I don't use as it gets more in the way of hand-holding for me.

I guess any new version of the 200/2 would have fluorite elements and the tripod foot is likely to be positioned in the rear part of the lens because it would not be as front-heavy. So it would be a new design and the tripod mount would not get in the way of the hood mounted in reverse position for transportation. I hope such a lens is launched along with a 300/2.8 FL. The 120-300/2.8 is just too big and expensive for me, and it's not f/2.

Erik Lund

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2020, 15:17:38 »
Quite obviously, the foot is made as small as possible to clear the inverted hood for transport etc.

It should have two sets of threads as to avoid rotation and more length for when hand holding the big heavy, stubby thing

The hood is made larger to fit over the foot to the point of it being ridicules large and no real shade is provided, also, it's made out of aluminum, it bends out of shape fist use.

I replaced the hood with the carbon fiber HK-30 works like a charm
Erik Lund

MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II lens discontinued
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2020, 15:56:48 »
The lens shade is better than no shade but not optimal because it is designed clearance with the original tripod foot. If you mount a Arca swiss plate there is no more clearance
As I replaced the tripod food with a RRS (as I do with all Nikon superteles to improve stability) there is regained clearance plus dedicated arca swiss profile (I have no troubles
to use this combo handhold or on monopod as well). Havent got myself a HK 30 so far which would make me loose clearance again. I can replace the tripod foot but not the collar which is reported to be better than  the first version of this lens was but there is still room for improvement ( broader collar would be favorable)
Wolfgang Rehm