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Why nikon dont produce lens 70-200/F4


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Christoph Sensen , Jun 03, 2011; 11:59 p.m.

I think that going all the way out to a 100-300 mm f/4 would be an even better choice than the 70-200 version. The prime 300 mm f/4 is getting a bit long in the tooth and has some issues with the tripod mount and no VR that Nikon could rectify. I already own the 16-35 and 24-120 mm f/4 lenses and would buy this sort of a model even if it were $2000, provided the optical quality is very good.

Kent Staubus , Jun 04, 2011; 12:10 a.m.

I would bet one is coming, it was just delayed along with everything else this year.

Kent in SD

Zack Zoll , Jun 04, 2011; 03:44 a.m.

Dan, for $1200 you could get an 80-200 f/2.8, and you could almost get a used 70-200 VR I. The only reason the Canon 70-200 f/4 is so good is because it costs $500 less than those things. And because it's lighter. And smaller. Okay, so a few things. But mostly the money.

"Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as ... "

Dan Brown , Jun 04, 2011; 05:30 a.m.

I was kind of poking fun at the cost of the 24-120/4 lens and Nikon pricing of late.

Richard Williams , Jun 04, 2011; 06:59 a.m.

Dante Stella has a good page on the f/4 lens, and why it's better than the later variable aperture version hyped by KR:
I have the f/4 lens, and would love a modern AF-S/VR version. For me this would be the right tradeoff between speed and size/weight, irrespective of price.

Andrew Garrard , Jun 04, 2011; 08:01 a.m.

The IS version of the 70-200 f/4 L sells, of course, for more than the 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D Nikkor - not that this does me any good, since for some reason I've never seen the Nikkor for sale in the UK (I'll probably pick one up eventually). Whether Nikon would make a non-IS f/4, and therefore sell it for the relatively bargain price of the non-IS Canon, I'm not so sure - it'd be a hard sell between the 18-200 and 70-300 VR lenses (I never really lusted after the Canon when I shot Eos, since the 70-300 IS is quite good).

I'd find a new, cheap, 70-200 f/4 ED AF-S moderately tempting, but it'd have to be as good optically as the Canon. An f/4 is a half-way house between a fast pro option and a variable aperture zoom; at least up to 200mm, I'm not sure that the extra stop over a cheap f/5.6 would be all that appealing unless there was a significant optical improvement - and my plastic 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 G isn't that bad optically.

I've always felt that Canon's reason for having four versions of every lens (well, the 70-200 and 70-300, anyway) is to compete with Nikon owners' ability to get cheap lenses by picking up 1970s-vintage manual focus options. Nikon are probably happy that their low-margin lens market is being dealt with by ebay - or at least, I can understand their high-margin lenses taking priority.

Rodeo Joe , Jun 04, 2011; 09:50 a.m.

Life's really too short to worry about such trifles, but I'm still wondering where the good ole 70-210mm focal range disappeared to, and why. One day it was all the rage, and then I blinked and the world was filled with 80-200s and 70-200s. Seems a bit daft when the obvious thing is to design zooms with a nice round zoom ratio like 3:1.

I'm just glad that my Vivitar Series 1 AF 70-210 f/2.8 is still functioning perfectly, though it doesn't get any lighter in weight with the passing years!

Incidentally the 70-210 f/4 AF Nikkor is optically identical to the 70-210 F/4 Nikon Series E Lens. The coating colour was changed slightly, but that's about it. The AiS 80-200mm f/4 MF Nikkor is a better lens IME. Also the early AF 70-210 zoom has got to be one of the ugliest-looking lenses ever created, second only to Canon's 70-210 and 100-300mm offerings of around the same era. There must have been a modernist-brutalist design revival in the early '80s.

Hugh Sakols , Jun 04, 2011; 11:04 a.m.

As a landscape / outdoor guy, I would love to see a compact 70-200 f4 with tripod collar. Until then I will continue to use my 70-300 which is plenty sharp but I imagine could be sharper at the long end with a Tripod Collar. On my last multi-day backpack I brought my 70-200 4-5.6 which is beautifully compact and plenty sharp using good a stable tripod. I'd like to see nikon make some quality zooms for those of us who are not chasing race cars.

Zack Zoll , Jun 04, 2011; 11:08 a.m.

Joe, that Vivitar sure is a great lens. Those guys really knew what they were going. Past tense.

Mervyn Wilmington , Jun 04, 2011; 11:50 a.m.

Four or five years ago, I bought an af 70-210mm f4 constant. Since then, I've bought two more for "insurance". There are a few about, but I think they were only produced for about 18 months in 1986/7.

I've used them with F801s, F90x, F4, D70s, D700. OK the focus is a bit slow, but optically they perform very well. Even at full aperture, the images are good. As I recall, on many occasions the question has been asked as to why Nikon doesn't produce a "modern" version.

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