A camera system that is also aimed at professionals must offer a fast telephoto zoom in addition to a fast standard zoom. Nikon offers a classic model for its Z cameras with the Nikon Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S. 70 to 200mm focal length and a consistent light intensity of F2.8 are standard values for top-class lenses. In the following test report we will see how the telephoto zoom performs in practice.
Technical data, workmanship and handling:
The Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S Lens is a professional class lens, and the housing is of correspondingly high quality. Nikon uses magnesium here, among other things, and the lens leaves an excellent impression. Of course, there is no lack of seals, among other things; there is a rubber lip on the bayonet. Furthermore, the Nikon Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S convinces with an OLED status display (displaying the aperture or the distance, among other things) and a number of controls.
Numerous operating elements allow many parameters to be changed quickly:
These include the usual zoom and focus ring, but also multiple L-Fn buttons, a control ring, an AF/MF switch and a switch to configure the minimum focusing distance. The rings can be turned with a well-chosen resistance; the rubber coating makes them very easy to grip. The control ring and the Fn keys can be assigned different functions via the camera. This makes it possible, for example, to adjust the aperture via the lens. However, we don’t think the placement of the control ring is optimal; it is very close to the bayonet. This makes handling much more uncomfortable.
The freely configurable control ring and two switches are located near the bayonet:
Speaking of handling: the Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 is of course not a lightweight at 1,440g, but the balance is balanced when you hold on to the zoom or focus ring. For use on a tripod, Nikon has installed a rotatable tripod collar with a removable foot.
The Nikon Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S is neither compact nor lightweight:
Since the Nikon Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S is both a lens with internal focusing and internal zoom technology, the dimensions never change. This ensures a high level of comfort during use, while the large dimensions of 8.9 x 22.0 cm are of course less suitable for transport. In the class of fast telephoto lenses, however, these are normal values. Regarding the light intensity: The Nikon Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S has an opening of F2.8 for all focal lengths, and F22 can be selected as the smallest aperture. The use of nine rounded slats enables a round opening even with higher f-numbers.
The focal length range of the telephoto zoom is classic at 70 to 200mm, so many situations can be covered in everyday photography. Of course, the Nikon Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S can also be used on cameras with an APS-C sensor (DX), the angle of view then corresponds to a 105mm to 300mm lens. Nikon has given the zoom an optical image stabilizer as a special feature, but almost all Z lenses do not have this because of the camera’s own stabilizers in most Z cameras. The Nikon Z 50 is currently the only model without an IBIS, and the VR of the Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S Lens is of course a great help. Basically, thanks to the image stabilization, much longer exposure times are possible from the hand. With a focal length of 200mm, we were able to take photos with around 1/10 second on the Z 7II without shaking. Of course, VR does not really bring any advantage with moving subjects, short exposure times are mandatory here. However, the stabilized viewfinder image is also a bonus for sports or action shots.