Nikon Nikkor 70-200mm f4G ED VR Lens Review

Preface: This will not be a technical review, such as the ones Ken Rockwell writes, but simply my experience using this excellent lens. If needed, there are ample tech specs at NikonUSA.com.

Nikkor 70-200 f4 Nikon D7000
Nikkor 70-200 f4 with Nikon D7000 DSLR

This lens is fantastic!  I had been debating between this and Nikon’s f/2.8 version and opted to purchase the f4 primarily due to price, but also the very good reviews and recommendations/suggestions from others.  Aside from saving $1,000 over the f/2.8, I have not yet found that I have lost anything in the bargain.  Yes, I realize there may be times when I wish I had the f/2.8 but being able to adjust the ISO on my D7000 that time has not yet come.

Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f4G ED VR
Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f4G ED VR

Images are razor sharp with very little vignetting or distortion and the colors are vibrant.  Yes, vibrant.  When you add that to the weight being about half of the f/2.8, due to no tripod collar and less glass, this lens is one that will be staying with me for a long time to come.  Speaking of the tri-pod collar – the balance without it is such that when I use my Manfrotto 3221W tri-pod with the 804RC2 pan/tilt head it is really a non-issue.  And, as Nikon continues to improve on their already great VR (Vibration Reduction) technology, this f4, with the latest generation VR, really does not need a tri-pod in the vast majority of shots I have taken, or will be taking.  For those times when it is quite dark, yes, I would need the tri-pod, as well as for some video shoots.  But, when you want, or need, to walk around shooting with this lens that reduction in weight (the lens as well as the tri-pod) is totally priceless.

The f/2.8 will produce slightly better bokeh (background blur) in almost all cases but that also depends on circumstances. I have been quite pleased with the results I have achieved thus far.  The construction of the lens seems very good.  Yes, it is mostly plastic, but isn’t almost everything nowadays.  If you don’t accidentally drop it you should be fine.

Close-Up Portrait of a Bridesmaid
Close-Up Portrait of a Bridesmaid

Focusing the f/4 is quite smooth, and fast, and the lens hunts very very little.  That it is only a 67mm lens (as opposed to 77mm size of the f/2.8) will save a little cash on No Density (ND), Ultra Violet (UV) and/or Circular Polarizer (CPL) filters.  I happen to use Hoya filters and they screw on and off effortlessly.  And, like all Nikon lenses, this 70-200mm f/4 attaches to the body in a snap.  For many people, like me, this is an absolutely incredible lens, especially for the price (and weight) difference.  It is highly recommended.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Herstmonceux Castle – East Sussex, England

Boasting a fairly colorful history, including standing as an exterior walls-only edifice for well over a century, Herstmonceux Castle’s name derived from very early 12th century owners of a manor house that existed on the site,  Idonea de Herst who married Ingelram de Monceux, a Norman nobleman. At that time, the manor house was called “Herst of the Monceux.”  There is evidence that in 1066 some other structure existed before the manor in this location.Herstmonceux CastleConstruction of the actual castle did not begin until 1441 by Roger Fiennes, a Monceux descendant, who was appointed Treasurer of the Household by King Henry VI.  Unique to Herstmonceux is that brick was not a common material used during that time, as it was not being built as a fortress from which to defend attacks but, rather, as a grand residence.  In the early 18th century the castle was sold to another family and by 1777 it’s existence as a ruin began. 

In 1913, new owners brought Herstmonceux back into life as a residence.  The castle changed hands between various owners until 1946 when it was purchased and turned into the Royal Greenwich Observatory, until it moved in 1988.Herstmonceux CastleThe castle sat vacant until 1992 when it became part of Queen’s University at Kingston (Ontario, Canada) and was known as  Queen’s International Study Centre (ISC), with primarily arts or commerce students.  The name later changed, in 2009, to Bader International Study Centre, after Alfred Bader, the Queen’s alum who first had the idea to turn this castle into a university study center.

Herstmonceux CastleThough gaining entry to the ISC may not occur, the exterior grounds and the outstanding brick structure make it a worthwhile visit.

Over For Now.

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Arc de Triomphe – Paris, France

At the western end of Champs-Élysées in Paris, France, sits one of the country’s most famous monuments, Arc de Triomphe. Situated at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, the Arc honors those soldiers who fought and died in both the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Arc de TriompheThe victories during those conflicts, as well as the generals, are inscribed on the Arc, while beneath it there is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. The Arc is one of several monuments that are between Musee du Louvre and La Grande Arche de la Défense.

Arc de TriompheIt stands 164 feet (50 meters) tall and is 148 feet (45 meters) wide and 72 feet (22 meters) deep. Though it was commissioned in 1806 it would not be completed, for various reasons, for another three decades. At the time it was finished it reigned as the tallest triumphal arch, to be beaten by one erected in Korea some 50 years later.

Arc de TriompheThe design of Arc de Triomphe was inspired by the 1st century Roman Arch of Titus, though is over three times as large. The Arc is adorned with many sculptures and reliefs, adding much to its artistic beauty. A lift will take those visiting to the attic (which includes a museum) and a 46 step climb will land a person at the top, where there is offered a 360 degree view across all of Paris.

Arc de TriompheThe Arc de Triomphe is well worth a visit when in Paris.

Over For Now.

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Pikes Peak – Colorado

Situated in the Pike National Forest, Pikes Peak is in the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. At 14,115 feet (4,302 meters) above sea level, Pikes Peak is one of 54 mountains in the state above the 14,000 mark.

Pikes PeakPrior to 1806 the mountain was called El Capitan by Spanish settlers in the area and was renamed following explorer Zebulon Pike’s expedition to map out the southern portion of the Louisiana Territory and the headwater of the Red River, a tributary of the Mississippi. Pike failed in his original attempt to scale the mountain in November 1806 (it was first scaled 14 years later led by botanist Edwin James) and documented the weather was about 6 degrees at the base with no sign of beast or bird. Confused in their travels, Pike and his men were captured by Spanish, taken in for questioning by the then-Mexico governor and later released.

Pikes Peak ColoradoA short distance away one finds the Garden of the Gods which offers incredible geologic formations.

Pikes Peak and Garden of the GodsToday visitors can hike or even motor to the summit, with visitor’s centers along the way (some of which include gift shops and restaurants). Pikes Peak is a designated National Historic Landmark and worth a visit, whether it be from a distance to photograph or to reach the top.

Over For Now.

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