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As lenses go there are a few that have become 'must have' items, and for a nikon photographer this lens sureley has to be one of them. Without a doubt this is the best medium telephoto lens you can get for a nikon camera! I could finish there and say if you've got the money go get one, but that wouldn't be much of a review now would it!
The first thing you will notice about this lens is it's cost, and yes, it is quite expensive. But for the quality, durability and versatility of this lens it is worth it. Then there is it's size. I have to say it's not that small, and it's not light either, but when you see the results you get from this lens all these things don't seem to matter.
The 70-200mm range, fits in well with a wide range of longer and shorter lenses offered by both nikon and other lens manufacturers. It covers a very useful range, making it perfect for candid snaps at events such as weddings, and also large wildlife, approachable wildlife, plants, or when you want to place wildlife in it's environment.
The wide aperture of f/2.8 across the whole range of this lens lets in a good amount of light, and even wide open this lens is very sharp. The bokeh (quality of the out of focus background/foreground) is excellent, and the wide aperture allows you to easily isolate your subject.
The VR works very well on this lens, apparently it allows you to hand hold an extra 4 stops slower than usual. It does work very well, although you have to remember that like any VR system it doesn't stop subject movement.
On this lens are a multitude of switches, most of which I havn't used yet! There is the manual/auto focus switch, focus limiter (full or 2.5m+), VR on/off, VR normal/active. And then there are 4 buttons which reset the focus point to a pre-set distance!
There is a tripod collar, which has 2 threaded holes to allow you to balance the lens with light or heavier bodies. You can also rotate the collar, and even remove the foot section if you aren't going to be using a tripod. There is a supplied hood, which is scalloped to prevent vignetting. This has a button which allows it to be unclipped and removed. This button however is very easy to press accidentally in your camera bag/car/whilst photographing which allows the hood to fall off, in my case, down a cliff! A new one is about £30 and I'm sticking card on it to shield the button!
This lens will work on both full frame (FX) and cropped frame (DX) cameras. Although obviously on a DX camera the field of view will be equivalent to a 105-300mm lens.
This lens will auto focus with any of the 1.4 times, 1.7 times and 2 times converters, although it will loose 1, 1.5 and 2 stops of light respectively. With the 1.4 times converter this lens is almost indistinguishable from the lens without the converter and behaves like a 98-280mm lens, or on a DX sensor a 147-420mm lens!!
If you look at pretty much every wildlife or pro photographer they will have one of these lenses which I think speaks volumes.