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NIKON Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Review

NIKON Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Review
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NIKON Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Review

New King of Trinity

The NEW 70-200 f/2.8 S lens is the best lens in this zoom range available on the market - Period. Let me repeat, the NEW S 70-200 is the best 70-200mm available. More than likely you are buying this lens because it is a native Z lens and requires no FTZ adapter which make using the lens much better. Comparing lens sharpness to the earlier F mount 70-200 the Z lens is sharper on paper, but I doubt you could tell the difference in images taken. The biggest benefit of the new Z 70-200mm is it's close focusing and reduced breathing, meaning you have a 1:5 ratio lens at the closest focusing distance 1meter at 200mm or .5m at 70mm end.

Overall I rate this lens very high on the overall performance and build - especially since it is a native Z lens and works with the Nikon Z cameras flawlessly. It is missing a dedicated VR on/off button, but that can be eaisly addressed by having VR as an option to enable/disable on the LCD screen.

I have been shooting for many years and owned many 70-200 lenses from Nikon and other third-party lens makers, I thought the 70-200mm ed fl f/2.8 was great - this new S lens is in a class by itself, rendering breathtaking images, a remarkable work of engineering by Nikon. Way to go Nikon!  I currently own the ED FL f/2.8 F mount lens, but I hate jerking around with the ftz adapter thus I now own the Z 70-200 with no regrets.

The 70-200 S lens is still on backorder as of September - Nikon changed its manufacturing strategy at the cost of availability in recent years. Nikon now predicts demand based on the pre-order sales vs a flat number. A case in point is the Nikon 500mm PF 5.6 lens which years later is still hard to find - you basically have to order a 500mm PF lens to get one, it took me over a year to get mine.  I think this strategy hurts Nikon as frustrated users seek other brands that are available - your thoughts - comment below.

As promised Nikon has updated the legacy F mount 70-200mm to include support for users of the Z mount system with the new NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S lens.  While the Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S is not cheap it is slightly cheaper than the legacy F mount version, but still an expensive lens.

Nikon's specifications indicate superior performance over the older F mount lens for optical and near focus distance + excellent support for Nikon's Z cameras: Lens read-out LCD, programmable lens control ring, and lens function buttons. Additionally, the VR supports 5 axis of VR down to 5.5 stops and weighs in a tad over 3 pounds with the lens collar, or (1,360g) without lens collar.

Superior Performance:

  • Minimized Focus Breathing
  • Both Nano and ARNEO coatings for exceptional anti-reflective properties
  • Near Silent Operation
  • Closer focusing - 1.64 feet at the 70mm end and 3.28 at the 200mm end
  • Exceptional Weather Sealing (same pro-level as F mount counterpart)
  • Improved overall image quality from center to edge to edge

Who is this lens for? Professionals and serious enthusiasts who demand the best in optics and performance and do not want to dink around with an FTZ adapter on their legacy F mount 70-200mm lens.

The biggest question for many DSLR users who are migrating to the S lenses? If you already own the legacy F mount 70-200mm is this really worth the upgrade. For me, I am fully moving to the S lenses when they become available because the S lenses are superior, and knowing Nikon is rumored to be working on the next iteration of a Z7 replacement having pro-level features so I want to be ready when the time comes. 

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