The new Nikkor will make a lot of sense to many people and does I think logically fill a small gap in the Nikkor line-up.
Sadly I often meet enthusiasts who buy prestige fast aperture options, often later to meet them again, only to find out the weight means they also look at a lighter plan ‘B’ alongside or even as a replacement.
On paper at least this lens promises to satisfy those seeking high image quality, with a speed of light transmission that will suit most peoples needs.
As an alternative ‘zoom’ until now to the heavy ‘pro’ optics AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, or 70-200mm f2.8G ED-IF AF_S VR NIkkors, has really only been the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED AF-S VR Nikkor.
Although noticeably lighter, the variable aperture of the later lens has put some off.
As a result sometimes people can overlook some of the ‘real world’ practicality to this. So for example this is more than made up for with improving ISO capabilities on cameras of the last four years, so shutter speed selection should not be disadvantaged as often as may at first seem likely.
But of course for specific isolated focus situations, the faster aperture options are preferred, but again, do not forget that the depth of field is shallower at a 300mm than it is at 200mm. In truth this lens for me has punched above its weight in performance terms and at a very good price.
But with the new lens Nikon have developed further as they said they would the ‘F4’ series of optics as a new range within the overall Nikkor line-up. It promises to be high quality in all ways and of course a consistent aperture is always welcome, placing it very logically between all the above mentioned optics.
The sum of all the choices now does seem to tick pretty much everyones boxes, no matter the specifics of their photography, physical preferences or budget.
So the new AF-S NIKKOR 70–200mm f/4G ED VR makes a lot of sense to me, even so I can see it taking sales away from the f/2.8 lenses. But if you don’t need the extra stop do you need the weight?
In reality many have already bought the f/2.8 if they need it anyway. And if it is any consolation because some may now wish they had waited, I suspect it will still outperform at least on test bench, the new lens at f4, but seeing it is another matter. We will have to wait and see after some shooting if that plays out that way.
But before those newish to such exotic lenses worry about the new lens following that last comment, looking at the spec it looks very promising and I suspect it will outperform many peoples expectations. It is not a budget priced lens in any sense, and I cant get my head around why the tripod collar is an ‘optional’ extra. To me that makes no sense from a photographic perspective.
Not everyone uses it true, but I do get asked by people shooting high res cameras 24mp and 36mp, why they don’t always get what they expect. Often it comes down to stability or lack of it. It may not be obvious ‘camera shake’ just enough to take the edge off. So to not include it when a camera and lens in this kind of combination is generally better balanced with a tripod under the lens, not body surprises me a little. Nevertheless the RT-1 tripod support can be purchased separately.