I like this photo of the Golden Gate Bridge–because it’s from an unusual angle. Unless you are on a boat, you can’t normally see underneath the bridge.
This photo is the last I’ll post for a while in a series of entries about photographing the bay and bridge from a catamaran using my new 70-200 VR Zoom lens. I took Phyllis, my wife, and Julian (my eight year old) on the trip, and as Phyllis said, “There are four of us here, you, me, Julian, and that lens.”
The other posts in this series include:
Regarding the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 G IF-ED (to give the lens its mouthful of a moniker), here’s my description from the post that I originally discussed it in:
This is a preposterously expensive, heavy, big, and magnificent lens. If I saw a photographer strutting down the street sporting it on their Nikon dSLR, I’d think they were compensating for something.
I still think this is essentially correct. Even apart from the cost, this isn’t a lens for everything or everybody. For example, I wouldn’t want to take it backpacking.
In terms of weight and size, according to the specs it is about three pounds and about 9″ long–although it seems longer and heavier to me. It’s got four toggle switches on the lens barrel: to set focus to manual, to control the auto focus range, to turn VR off and on, and to set the VR mode (there’s a special VR mode for panning from a vehicle). Folks, you’ll have to read the lens documentation to use this one (and who actually ever even looks at those things, normally).
Ken Rockwell has a very thorough review of this lens posted, which helps to place it in the context of other Nikon versions of their 70-200mm zoom lens.
It is awesomely sharp, and the vibration reduction feature does seem to work well, as you can see in all these pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge taken from a very moving sail boat on choppy water.
Downsides: besides cost, size and weight I’m a little unhappy that vibration reduction should be turned off when you put it on a tripod. Also, both automatic focusing and automatic metering don’t seem to work very well when the lens is coupled with the Nikon 20E 2X telextender (supposedly designed for this lens). Sharpness when combined with the telextender also leaves something to be desired.
Still, I think I can compensate for the exposure and focus issues at extreme focal ranges.
So how expensive is the lens? Count on paying at least $1600.00 (this price may take a bit of haggling) less any rebates Nikon is offering (currently $150.00).