Nikon 70-200 f/4

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The 70-200mm zoom has been an essential lens for some time now, and Nikon has a new version that’s a little slower, but cheaper, smaller, lighter, and sports five stops of Vibration Reduction.

It weighs in at 30-ounces on the nose and measures 7-inches long. Small for a 70-200mm lens. It will also focus down to 3.28-feet, which is fairly close for a lens this long.

Inside is a silent wave motor for quiet focusing, as well as M/A focusing, which means you can tweak your focus using the ring, even if you’re in manual focus mode.

It’s made up of 20 elements in 14 groups and has 9 diaphragm blades. To reduce distortion and ghosting, Nikon has used both their Nano Crystal Coat and their Super Integrated Coating.

Now that Nikon has an affordable full-frame body in the D600, they also have a very solid line-up of F/4 zoom lenses in the 16-35mm VR and the 24-120 F/4. As high ISO performance increases, F/4 constant lenses will look more and more appealing. This addition also makes a statement to Canon who have had a 70-200mm F/4 IS for quite some time.

The lens will be available in late November for $1,399, which makes it very competitive with third party F/2.8 options and Canon’s F/4 offering. If you want a tripod collar to go with it, though, you’ll have to pony up an additional $223.95, which seems pretty high.

We’re eager to get this lens in our lab and see if that five-stops of IS claim can really hold up.