Photography / Hands-on Review

Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED VR II


Nikon's new AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED VR II is the latest in a series of 200mm f/2 optics that Nikon has been producing for many years, and pros who need glass that's long and fast will truly appreciate the latest incarnation of this Nikkor classic.

The new AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED VR II includes a number of significant improvements over its predecessor, the most important of which is the addition of Nikon's VR II Vibration Reduction technology, which in addition to effecting up to 4-stops of shake control when shooting handheld stills or video, also features a Tripod Detection Mode, which automatically compensates for camera/lens shake when mounted on a tripod or similar camera-support system.

Other features found on the new lens include Nano Crystal coatings, for optimal color saturation and reduced lens flare—backlit or otherwise—a Memory Button for instant recall of a predetermined focusing point, Internal Focusing (IF), which maintains a constant lens barrel size and balance point regardless of where your focus point lies, and three focus modes: A/M, M/A and M, to best complement changing focusing requirements.  

Inside, the AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED VR II contains 13 optical elements in 9 groups including three Extra-Low Dispersion elements (ED) and one Super ED glass element to minimize chromatic aberrations even when the lens is wide open. As for construction, the new lens is built like a proverbial tank and is designed to withstand professional use over the long term.

Additional features include a 9-bladed diaphragm for natural-looking bokeh and Nikon's acclaimed Silent-Wave Motors (AF-S) for quick and quiet autofocusing.

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED VR II can be used on full-frame (FX) or APS-C (DX) format DSLRs, on which it emulates the field of view of a 300mm lens on a full-frame 35mm camera.