Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II £2,000/$2,100
An oldie but goo die
Announced back in the summer of 2009, the second incarnation of Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 VR is no spring chicken, and has now been overtaken by the latest E FL version, also on test. Even so, it still has a lot to offer. The optics boast no less than seven ED elements, intended to boost sharpness and contrast while minimizing colour fringing.
Build quality is a step up from Nikon’s 70-200mm f/4 lens on test, with a magnesiumalloy skin that’s designed to take the knocks of a busy professional lifestyle while keeping weight to a minimum. A sophisticated triple-mode autofocus system enables you to give priority to either automatic or manual focusing. VR has the same normal and active modes as in the f/4 lens but isn’t quite as effective, rated at 3.5 instead of four stops. Autofocus is so fast that the range limiter switch is largely superfluous, and the Nano Crystal Coatings do well to fend off ghosting and flare. Image quality and overall performance are superb.