Recently I have got the chance to borrow a new 70-200 VRII for a try. Since this is a new lens, there aren’t many reviews about it yet, so I’d take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts about this lens. Do take note this article will not contains much technical aspects of the lens, you can get the spec here. Needless to say, image quality from corner to corner is much better compared to the VR I version.
What I was really interested was pushing the limit of the new VRII which Nikon claim to be able to support up to 4 amazing stops and i was even more intrigue by nikon’s recommendation to set VR to “Active” for in-car shooting. So i did a few trials. 🙂
Shot taken with 1/60sec in-car with VR setting to “Active”. When you’re shooting in car, the shutter speed i can manage the shot varies alot depending on the road condition, but on a straight malaysian slightly bumpy roads, i still manage to get this shot at 1/60 sec shutter speed.
Take note that all the shots below do not have any photoshops, these are directly from camera, only photoshop done was to resizing, everything else is original shot.
1/60 sec at 70mm
Shot below is also 1/60 seconds at 120mm shot from inside a moving car on a malaysian slightly bumpy road. Most of the shots were able to nail it perfectly at a 1/60 shutter speed with VR set to Active.
An attempt at 1/30sec, the shake starts to appear. We can see some shakes in the image below yet again on a typical malaysian slightly bumpy road. 🙂
and an attempt 1/60sec at 200mm, slight shakes kicks in.
As a conclusion, i can almost nail 3 shots out of 5 without handshake. But if you’re able to jack your ISO, getting a 1/100sec shutter speed, you almost can nail every shot without shakes.
Ok, enough with the in-car trying to shoot with a low shutter speed, lets take a look at static objects.
1/20 seconds at 200mm handheld.
yet another 1/20sec shot at 200mm handheld, very very mild shake.
a scenery shot from a high vantage point, 1/15sec at 80mm, for this shot, i had my hand leaning on wall for more stability.
a bad attempt to an even lower shutter speed, 1/13sec at 200mm handheld.
Bring it back up, 1/20sec at 200mm :).
Thats all folks for the sample shots i’d like to share. As a conclusion, the lowest shutter speed i could get down to handheld was 1/20 seconds. Cliff Mautner manages the shots down to 1/13 sec at 200mm, but i couldnt, i guess i have really shaky hands. 🙂 But nikon claims the VRII is able to compensate up to 4 stops, if i were using 200mm, i should have 1/200sec, 4 stops below is 1/13 second, and i only managed around 3.6 stops! i have shaky hands! but then again, the lens is darn heavy to hold on.
Lastly, this is an awesome lens, its built like a tank, it is also weather and dust proof, having better IQ corner to corner compared to VR1, better vignette control and most importantly the VRII.
I personally love this lens and would definitely go for an upgrade. 🙂
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy my small little review.