Nikon 70-200 Review – Stuck in Customs

Nikon 70-200 Review

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The Nikon 70-200mm has performed flawlessly

Why I love my Nikon 70-200mm Lens

The actual name of the lens is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S NIKKOR Lens. I mean, who names these things? You gotta be kidding me. How they they expect non-photo-nerds to figure this stuff out? I guess they are counting on plain-speakin’ dudes like me to boil it all down for you.

In short, this is a wonderful lens that will take care of most of your slight zoom and distance needs.  Below is a description of the various aspects of the camera:

  • 70-200 means that you have a very good lens that will take care of 90% of most of your zoom-needs. To give you something to hang your hat on, this means you can fill up a frame with a human that is 15 feet away (70mm) or 150 feet away (200mm).
  • The “VR” bit means “Vibration Reduction”. That means that when you press the shutter halfway down, the image stabilizes. It quite amazing and I am always impressed by it. I feel like a sniper. It gets so steady, in fact, that I feel like I’m cheating! I have no idea how the technology behind this works, but its quite remarkable. This VR is very important when zooming, because the further away you are aiming, the more shake there will be. This may go without saying, but if you have not shot with a big zoom lens before, then it will quickly become apparent.
    • The VR has recently been upgraded to “VRII”, which just means it’s much better at what it already did well.
  • The f/2.8 means that the lens lets in a lot of light, which lets you take quick, sharp photos. This 2.8 is a really big deal, actually. Lesser lenses have a higher number here, which makes them slower. Speed is extra-important with a long zoom lens like this because you need the subject to be sharp. The f/2.8 also creates a very nice bokeh, which is simply another word for “blur”. It keeps the subject sharp and blurs out everything else. It always looks cool.

Now, I could go on and on about all sorts of technical details on the product, none of which matter as much as just getting out there and shooting with the dang thing. You want the best zoom lens for most situations? This is it.

So, the three lenses that meet the triumvirate are the Nikon 14-24 Review, the Nikon 24-70 Review, and the Nikon 70-200. With these three lenses, you can take care of 90% of photography situations!

However, in recent years, I use my 70-200mm less and less. I’ve began using the Nikon 28-300 quite a bit. For more information on that, see my Nikon 28-300 review. I shoot most of my shots on a tripod, so I don’t mind that this 28-300 is a “slower” lens and can’t hit that nice f/2.8.

The Nikon 70-200 is a very large and long lens.  When this thing is attached to your camera, you will feel like a rock star.  That is sort of a nice tangential thing, I suppose, since something photographers like to impress other photographers by carrying around a lot of stuff.  I don’t know why this is, but, if this is the case with you, then you will certainly turn some heads with this long cannon attached to your camera body.

What do I use the lens for?  Photographing people from a distance, school plays, animals, the details of landscapes, and a myriad of other unexpected things.  The f2.8 also lets me shoot inside with no fear of not having enough light for a quick and sharp photo.

The HDR Tutorial

Below are a few shots that I have taken with this lens. many of these utilize a special post-processing technique that I review in my HDR Tutorial.

Video of the Nikon 70-200mm Lens

Here is a behind-the-scenes video I shot while in New Zealand that shows how I use the 70-200mm lens.

And here is the resulting shot!

Sample shots with the Nikon 70-200mm Lens

Here is a random collection of a few of my published images taken with this lens.

This is Secret

The Wild Side of Yellowstone

Entering the Forest Alone

I Get the Feeling This Guy is Up To Somethin

The American Bald Eagle

Attack of the Summer!

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Any questions about the nature of these reviews? Visit my Ethics Statement. It’s all quite simple!