The winner is... Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR £2,650/$2,800
What’s good: Class-leading performance, handling and build quality What’s bad: Very expensive compared with most 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses Our verdict: It’s the best 70-200mm lens on the market
For its impeccable image quality, immaculate build quality and handling, and the sheer performance of its autofocus, stabilization and aperture control systems, the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is simply the best fast tele-zoom in the world. But it’s also one of the most expensive. The next best direct competitor is Nikon’s (slightly) more sensibly priced AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II. If you want to supersize your telephoto reach and retain a fast f/2.8 aperture rating, the unique Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | S is a fabulous lens, but is even more expensive, and a real beast in terms of both size and weight.
The Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD offers very good performance and is much more affordable, while the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR is a treat in terms of handling and image quality, if you don’t mind sacrificing an f-stop in aperture rating.