My Favorite Lens

A few weeks ago, I replaced my Nikon 80-200mm AF ED f2.8 push-pull lens purchased over 10 years ago with Nikon’s updated version of this lens, the 70-200 F2.8 AFS VR ED. This lens is now my absolute favorite and is on my camera constantly due to its versatility and quality.

The true focal length of this lens (with the 1.5 crop factor) on my D300 is a 100-300mm f2.8. These focal lengths are ideal for the landscape and nature photography I do. The 300mm range is great to have for wildlife subjects that are approachable, especially a fast F2.8. For many years, I used a 300mm lens for wildlife and worked around its limitations by learning how to get close to my subjects.

The 70-200mm 2.8 VR produces images with a degree of sharpness, color and contrast that exceed the expectations of all photographers who use it, even full-time professionals. There have been published test reports suggesting the lens performs better on Nikon’s small sensor DSLRs than it does on the new FX full frame cameras like the D3 and D700. I have not tested the lens on either of these cameras. My experience is with the D300, and I can honestly say I’m floored by its optical excellence.

Even with Nikon’s TC-14E 1.4X teleconverter attached to the lens, I’m hard pressed to see any reduction in sharpness and contrast. This combination further increases the versatility of the lens making it a 150 to 450mm f4.

This is one lens I don’t have to worry about which aperture setting is the sharpest. It’s tack sharp all the way from f2.8 to f16 . My choice of aperture is totally dependent on the depth of field I need for creative effects. At F2.8, the 70-200mm VR gives a very pleasing out of focus area or “bokeh” (the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens using a shallow depth of field). The quality of bokeh produced by the 70 200 VR is every bit as good as found on Nikon’s high speed professional portrait lenses.

The Nikon 70 to 200mm 2.8 AFS ED VR is worth every penny I paid for it. I highly recommend it.

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One Response to “My Favorite Lens”

  1. Scott Fillmer Says:

    I love the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, it has so many uses, but even handheld it is a great lens. I took some handheld images of a hummingbird that I posted on my blog that look great for a 200mm handheld shot.

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