Nikon 70-200 f/4G ED VR AF-S Nikkor in the house!

After the Sigma 150-500 arrived, I knew it was too big for real use. Sure, you could take it out on a tripod and use it for some birding, but I’m a casual birder at best and an opportunistic shooter, not a lurker in the woods. In that case, the Sigma is just too much, too heavy, too large – too much! I loved the range and loved how it fit in perfectly (on paper) to my lineup: Sigma 10-20, Nikon 24-120, Sigma 150-500. The reality though is that I never took it anywhere.

It reminds me of my heyday of camera gear, when I toted around a couple Canon 30D’s, Tokina 10-17, Canon 17-55 (for times when you needed IS), Canon 17-40 (for times when you didn’t), Canon 24-105 (for times when f4 would do) and Canon 24-70 (for times when you had to have f2.8). Also in the bag was a Canon 70-200/2.8IS (huge, white, the pinnacle of what Canon users aspire to), a Canon 100-400 (simply the best long tele zoom made – that’s actually hand-holdable). To make sure I had all bases covered, I’d take along my Sigma 150/2.8 macro and Canon 180/3.5L macro. Sometimes we’d have the Canon 50/1.4 and 85/1.8, just in case primes and super low-light was needed.

It was insane. I ended using nothing because I was overwhelmed with everything. In the end, I sold most lenses and kept one 40D, the Tokina 10-17, Tokina 12-24/4, Canon 24-105/4L IS, and the Canon 100-400. Great gear and nice small load. Everything played a role.

This review is not about what used to be, but about what IS. The new member of the house is the [amazon_link id=”B009VZOK0Q” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nikon 70-200/4 VRII[/amazon_link]. Wow. Just…wow. Sharper, perhaps than the razor Canon version. Never thought I’d say that. INCREDIBLE VR. Simply unreal. In the near dark shooting a low-contrast grey scene, the lens locked focus silently and instantly and VR then made it all rock solid – handheld at 1/15. WOW.

Today will be the first time I can go out and shoot in the light – and it’s still a grey, dim day. Pictures to follow!

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