Nikon 70-200/4 VR III and my lineup

In 2008, responding to my frustration with Canon to get the new bodies right (or at least, to reviews by others of Canon’s failures – I loved my 40D!) and the awesome high-ISO performance and incredible LCD of the
Nikon D300[/amazon_link], I sold my Canon gear and moved to Nikon. I must admit, there was some in-the-back-of-my-mind cachet involved in the move, too. After all, Paul Simon didn’t sing about Canon – he sung the praises of Nikon – and Kodachrome.

I’d whittled my (at one time) kit of 11 lenses (all L models) and two bodies (40D and 30D) down to a group of four lenses and one body. The [amazon_link id=”B000AZ57M6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Canon 24-105/4L IS[/amazon_link], the legendary [amazon_link id=”B00007GQLS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS[/amazon_link], the wonderful [amazon_link id=”B001LD51H2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Tokina 12-24/4[/amazon_link] and the incomparable [amazon_link id=”B000LPAN06″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Tokina 10-17/3.5-5.6 fisheye zoom[/amazon_link]. Plus the Canon 40D body. I found the 11 lenses and my OCD problem of bringing everything with me at all times in order to take advantage of any situation that may present itself – after all, that’s why you have all these lenses, right? – to actually limit me. I didn’t want to bring a 15lb bag plus the body/lens combo of the day. I ended up thinking I didn’t want to shoot anymore. This was MY problem, not Canon’s.

Anyway, after seeing the D300 in person, seeing the iso1600 shots from it and looking at the 921k dot LCD on the back, I decided to switch. Sold all four lenses and my 40D.

My initial thought – and you have to realize that despite the fact that I normally research even my toilet paper endlessly and I did basically NO research on Nikon – was that I would sell my gear and buy comparative Nikon gear. Surprise for me! Canon shooters had the L series of lenses, considered the ‘pro’ line. All but two (at the time) L lenses were constant aperture zooms or primes. And within the L series, Canon had wisely created two lines: the 2.8 lineup and the 4.0 group. I simply figured that Nikon had done the same. Nikon does have a ‘pro’ lineup of sorts differentiated with a gold ring on the lens barrel. Canon, too, added a red ring to their pro line, but they also designated them as ‘L’ for luxury. Nikon doesn’t designate their pro line.

Also, many of the gold ring lens group had variable apertures. I was simply confused. Where was the f4 lineup? What is the designator for pro??

I decided on the [amazon_link id=”B000144I2Q” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nikkor 17-55/2.8[/amazon_link] (no VR or IS or OS), which is a wonderful, wonderful lens. I added the [amazon_link id=”B000EOSHGQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nikkor 105/2.8 VR macro[/amazon_link], also a fine, pro level great lens with stabilization. I wanted something longer, even though I really didn’t use my 100-400 that much. I added the [amazon_link id=”B000HJPK2C” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nikkor 70-300/3.5-5.6 VR[/amazon_link] and a [amazon_link id=”B00099C2M6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Tokina 12-24/4[/amazon_link]. One other thing that surprised me and confused me was that many of the lenses, including my new 12-24, did not have internal AF motors. WTH??? ALL Canon’s have internal AF motors.

Despite my surprises and confusing, I had my new Nikon kit.

Of course, I must, must, must trade everything all the time. So even though I was very pleased with the 17-55 and 105, I ended up trading them.

How things have changed in the past four years! Nikon still does not designate their pro lines as a pro line, but there are now 2.8 and 4.0 lines coming together. Two years ago, they issued the lens I was waiting for, the replacement for my much-loved 24-105/4 L IS – the [amazon_link id=”B003ZSHNEK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nikkor 24-120/4 VRII[/amazon_link]. A certain competitor to my Canon. A great lens that rarely leaves my D7000.

And now this: The [amazon_link id=”B009VZOK0Q” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nikon 70-200/4 VRIII[/amazon_link]. 5 stops of image stabilization. Constant f4 aperture. Light and easy to carry. Canon’s sharpest – and often called the sharpest lens from any maker – is the f4 version of the 70-200 IS line. As Nikon has addressed the disparity between the lens lineups offered by the two makers, the new lenses have been incredible. We’ve got to hope for the same thing from this new lens.

My lineup right now contains: [amazon_link id=”B0042X9LC4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]D7000 [/amazon_link]and [amazon_link id=”B000KJQ1DG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]D40[/amazon_link] bodies, plus the 18-55/3.5-5.6 kit lens, the 24-120/4 VR, the 70-300/3.5-5.6 VRII and two Sigmas: the [amazon_link id=”B0007U00XK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]10-20/4-5.6[/amazon_link] and my ‘long’ lens the [amazon_link id=”B001542X64″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]150-500/5-6.3 OS[/amazon_link]. I’m selling the long lens to get the new 70-200/4.

I must applaud Nikon for spending the R&D money to get to a point of parity. I can’t wait for both the new zoom but also for what they have planned for the future.

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