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on Dec 24, 2012 in Gear Just Introed!

The Nikon 70-200f4 VR3


When the 70-200f4 VR3 was announced, I was excited to read the specs. While I have the 70-200f/2.8 VR2, its MFD and f/22 max aperture were two aspects of the lens the new 70-200VR3 improves on. I wanted the 2′ MFD of the 70-200VR3 for photographing nesting birds. I wanted the f/32 for my air to air work. The fact the VR3 model is lighter (by nearly a pound!) and smaller in diameter wasn’t as important, just those two features. Well I’ve had the lens a couple of weeks now, shot a bunch with it and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a sweet lens! It’sharp across the plane, doesn’t have any vignetting, AF is nice and fast. It’s nice its shade is flat so I can go back to setting it down without it falling over. I’m not thrilled it doesn’t come with a tripod collar. And the “carbon” barrel next to the body doesn’t excite the senses but it doesn’t effect operation at all. And you might be asking why I’m not saying anything about the new VR3 technology. Using proper handholding works the best for me. For the task I wanted the tool for, I more than highly recommend it!


What you see here is really a pretty simple click, one I’ve wanted for quite some time (and I’m not done yet). Out our kitchen window is one of our many bird feeders. It is really popular with our Mountain Chickadees. The feeder is no more than perhaps 9″ from the side window/side of the house. The icicles that form are perhaps 2′ from the house and when they form and don’t get too big in diameter, the Chickadees use them as a perch prior to coming into the feeder. In the past, I’ve had to stand in the middle of the kitchen to shoot. That’s really not a good place to be working in any household. The 70-200 VR3 attached to the D4 though worked perfectly! The VR3 was at 200mm and at its MFD and was spot on for shooting right at the window frame! A single SB-900 w/Lumiquest was on a Justin Clamp attached to a post on the outside of the house providing the lighting. A Pocket Wizard was used to control the flash and a Pocket Wizard used to fire the camera (stayed warm by the fire as it snowed outside). So as I sat by the fire writing, I simply watched the icicle and when the Chickadee landed, I pushed the button on the Pocket Wizard. And that’s really the point of having the right tools, making photography not only successful, but fun!