Jesse Rinka's picture

Testing the Nikon 200mm F2

So I recently had the opportunity to shoot with the Nikon 200mm F2 lens. I decided to rent this beast for 11 days over the holidays and my goal was ultimately just to satisfy my curiosity that I've always had with it. I'd seen plenty of work shot with the lens and was always amazed at the results. So my thoughts, in short, the lens is worth every penny...hands down. It's so well built and seemingly smart...with regards to autofocus etc...and just tack sharp wide open. Is it a lens I see myself one day purchasing?? Probably...but I'm really not there yet. My 70-200 2.8 works perfectly fine and is of course much easier to tote around on a wedding day or just in general. But if you ever have an opportunity to try this lens out for yourself...whether you shoot Canon or Nikon, I'd definitely recommend it. It was a lot of fun and I really got some great looks carrying this thing around Central Park NYC.

This image is of my wife on Christmas Day. She's not a model...but that day she was (despite feeling under the weather). I give her a lot of credit for putting up with me. She was lit using a single strobe (Flashpoint Xplor600) thru a 28" Phottix Spartan Octa with double diffusion. Light was triggered using the Flashpoint R2 Transmitter. Nikon D750 & 200mm f2.

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Mika Kallio's picture

Every word is true. It's big, heavy and expensive, but worth every penny. Shooting with it puts smile on my face. The AF is just amazing. It's just so fast. It's most likely also the sharpest lens Nikon ever made. It's really sharp wide open. Bokeh is also amazing. In close portrait / headshot range at F2 it just completely obliterates the background to a beautiful creamy smoothness.

Nice pic of your wife also!

Jesse Rinka's picture

Mika, thank you for viewing and commenting. I'd probably have to agree with you regarding this lens being one of the sharpest Nikon has made...but that's however only based on my experience with those with which I've had the opportunity to shoot with. It was sad to see it go back to Lens Rentals...but I believe one day we'll be reunited ;).

Kaden Classen's picture

Looks really nice! I've wanted to try the Canon version of it. Did you have any trouble missing focus ever?

Jesse Rinka's picture

Thank you Kaden. And oh absolutely...but I don't blame the glass for that. Due to it's weight and the fact that I was hand holding it while attached to the smallish D750...I expected to miss focus on occasion. It's a thing of beauty...but like anything else...only as good as the operator. When I was on-point, the results were just amazing. Thanks again!

Michael Durant's picture

i just get fuzzy all over just looking at the bokeh on this image and then i laugh cause its tac sharp....i know you had a blast with it... boy and girls can you say nice

Jesse Rinka's picture

Small part of me was hoping it would've been a crappy experience so that I could send it back to Lens Rentals and be able to sleep peacefully at night. But it met every expectation and more. I guess it's just motivation to keep working harder and get myself to the point where purchasing it doesn't set me back as much as it would right now. Thanks for viewing and commenting...really appreciate it!

Joseph Anthony's picture

Who are we kidding, she's a model now. Besides, she's as lovely as any of the models captured in the images here...and what a nice capture. I do like the creamy background and the light hitting her from behind. Her right hand looks a bit odd, but unless you paid her, technically she is not a *professional* model, so that can be her excuse. I love how that lens, open like this, turned that mundane (neighborhood street I assume) into a groovy background. Nice job!

Jesse Rinka's picture

Thank you so much for your kind words....And you're absolutely correct Joseph...when I evaluated the image after the fact, I realized that the image could've definitely been improved by doing something slightly different with her hands. Hands can so often be an image killer. But being that it was Christmas day and she wasn't feeling well to begin with...I really didn't want to give her a hard time and knew I'd still appreciate the image no matter what. I don't blame her though...I only blame myself. The back light was the setting sun btw which I was so happy to still have available as it disappeared about 10 minutes later :)

And yes, this lens has the power of turning otherwise distracting and unattractive backgrounds into something much nicer and of course unrecognizable. One of it's many advantages.