DxOMark: best lenses for the Nikon D800 camera (part 2, telephoto zoom lenses)


DxOMark published the second part of their Best lenses for the Nikon D800 camera series and this time they are covering telephoto lenses:

70-200mm lenses

"The best lens tested is a Nikon model, but it is not the most expensive model. In Overall scores, the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR comes out on top, with a score of 28. With a price of $1399 this makes it not only the top choice, but also a good value for money option – as much as a lens costing over $1000 can be considered value for money."

Lens  Price ($) DxOMark Score
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II 2699 29
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR 1399 28
Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED 1850 26
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Nikon 770 26
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM Nikon 1699 25
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Nikon 949 25
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Nikon 880 23


70-300mm lenses

"Of the four lenses, the Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED comes out as the top choice for two reasons – firstly, it has the highest sharpness score of the quartet, managing 12P-Mpix and secondly, because it features Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system. With such a long focal range, having VR is a real benefit in achieving sharp shots while handholding and so this lens makes the best choice."

Lens Price ($) DxOMark
Nikon AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED 669 20
Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED 196 20
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS Nikon 359 19
Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon 449 19


Super zooms lenses

Of the four lenses tested by DxOMark, there are two that really stand out. The first is not a true super-zoom in the sense of being an all-in-one lens, but instead offers the longest focal length that will be of interest especially to those shooting sports or wildlife. It is the Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM. With a sharpness score of 12P-Mpix, it beats the other lenses and doesn’t really lose out greatly in any other area, hence why it top scores with a DxOMark Overall score of 19.

Lens Price ($) DxOMark
Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM Nikon 999 19
Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED 300 17
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR 1050 17
Tamron 28-300 F3.5-6.3 XR I A Nikon 600 16


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  • itcrashed

    I still dont get why DxOMark doesnt test the 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII. This telephoto test is useless without the VRII data.

    • Maybe because it’s obviously way above the old VR I and the f/4? I dunno but I can testify that my VRII is a killer lens!

    • St.

      Exactly my thought!
      And now we should add the new 80-400mm to the list and the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 as I heard it’s also amazingly sharp lens.

      • NRA Advocate

        The Sigma is good in the middle, but soft in the edges, by all accounts. It also has a noisy autofocus motor and no weather sealing.

        You get what you pay for. To that price point they have to cut costs somewhere.

    • DafOwen

      on the page they say:
      “Of the lenses currently tested by DxOMark, there is one or two that are not yet available. Notably, prime lenses around 200mm or longer have not been tested as well as (at Mid-March 2013) the Nikon 70-200mm VR II lens. However, these will be added in the coming months as the labs get to do their testing”

      • sdancer

        To put things in perspective, the VR2 has been on the market for around 4 years, so effectively DxO are rubbing a BRAND NEW lens against TEN YEARS OLD glass. They may be forgiven for the lack of the new Tamron which appears to be vaporware on Nikon mount, but not getting a VR2 is just stupid.

        • Duncan Dimanche

          exactly !! the Tamron is getting amazing reviews!!!
          so stop testing the Nokias and other phones please !!

          hahha i’m glad that they are doing this. It makes it easy to see what our options are 🙂

      • nobody cares

        Perhaps they should’ve rented one. Nobody is buying a new VR I lens and I doubt many D800 shooters are picking up used ones instead of the currently discounted VR II

    • DonD

      Still, if you are going to say these are the best lens… and you don’t include a lens by the same manufacture that has been out for 4 years, WHAT are you thinking?

    • Foolishcfo

      I’m with you. They review the 70-200mm f4 and compare it to a lens 11 years old. I was hoping to see the f2.8 VR II. You have to wonder what they were thinking.

      • Micah Goldstein

        I know what I’m thinkin…they too broke to afford the VRII.

        • desmo

          then they’ll never test the new afs 80-400 it costs considerably more

          • Micah Goldstein

            The 70-200VRII is definitely a penny or two more than either 80-400.

            • desmo

              check the price the new afs 80-400 is $2700,
              the 70-200vr2 is $2300 (less with rebate)
              I agree it doesn’t make sense

            • Micah Goldstein

              Whoa…I stand corrected. Wtf?!

    • Yeah, you gotta wonder about motivations when the two top nikon lenses (70-200 2.8VRII and 14-24 2.8) aren’t reviewed/tested before a lens (70-200 f4) that has just been released… Additionally, if you go to their recommendations, The older non-vr 70-300 gets the same rating as the new VR version and and doesn’t get best value? I agree it’s not the best value and not as good a lens. They give the best value to a Sigma that’s $100 more than the older nikon. oh well…

      • Can’t Believe It

        Most things in life don’t happen because of “motivations.” As we sail on the sea of existence our course is constantly altered by all the little decisions we make that seem unimportant at the time but produce unintended consequences later on.

        I’m sure the DxO people are just guys and gals trying to do the best they can with limited resources.

      • I never really took to either 70-300 lens – even the more expensive one with VR feels a bit cheap to me – but to call the cheap and mid-priced 70-300 the same is absurd. The cheap 70-300 has autofocus so slow it feels nearly unusable to me. I now have the 70-200 VR II and consider it way superior to either 300mm.

    • Coloretric

      It’s because they haven’t purchased the lens

      • itcrashed

        They should go rent one then! If they want to be a legitimate place for comparison information, they need to have ALL the data of ALL the most desired equipment. I sense something fishy about all the excuses.

    • Spacedog

      They will test it during march, just check out theit database

    • Micah Goldstein

      Not true–this telephoto test is useless with or without the VRII data.

      DX0 = a pile of hooey.

    • Sam

      Absolutely. They should rent one if they can’t buy one. Being in the business they’re in, I would think there would be a store that would loan them one for testing… Stupid comparison.

    • disqus_SWpPN6HjHe


  • St.

    Yeah, but where is the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII???
    You can’t say f/4 version is the winner until they don’t also test the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII and the new 80-400mm.

    • St.

      I just read this on DXoMark comments section:
      Thanks for your interest in DxOMark.
      The results for the 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII should be available in few weeks.
      As for the 14-24mm f/2.8G, we add it to our roadmap so we won’t publish the review before a couple of months.
      Best regards,
      The DxOMark team

      • Calibrator

        ” should be available in few weeks.”

        Yeah – when the damage is already done…

        • St.


          they should do the VRII review first and then post the results.
          Why they waited one week to announce the tele-lens results (D800 best lenses part 2) and didn’t do any tests meanwhile.

          • Because Nikon wants to sell lots of the f4 version…

            • desmo

              It won’t matter to Nikon the70-200 F4 and F2.8 are targeted to two different markets
              if you can’t figure out which one you are get the F4 its cheaper and very good
              the 2.8 is ultimately more capable
              thats why it’s the goto lens for most pros

  • JohnM

    So the Sigma 120-400mm is a compared against the super zooms because…it is of interest to those shooting sports or wildlife? Unike, say, the 70-300mm lenses…

    Who makes these idiot decisions?

    • Calibrator

      It’s an alibi category winner.

      (They couldn’t have let Nikon won all of ’em…)

  • huybert

    Strange test, wile at it….. why not test the superzoom section with for instance the 200-400F4…. and yes, i also think the missing 70-200 2.8 VRII makes this test useless……..

    • squoop

      agree, I can’t believe they gave the top superzoom spot to the sigma 120-400 which doesn’t even have OS, and left out the nikkor 200-400 f/4. of course the new 80-400 belongs in there as well, and should take 2nd place after the 200-400.

      i also can’t believe they gave an equal score to the most recent nikkor 70-300 vrii as they gave to its far inferior predecessor.

      my score of dxomark has just dropped by several points.

      • desmo

        their sensor testing program has merit,
        their lens testing even if their mpix score is well controlled and subjective,
        the rest of it is skewed
        for example marking a lens up only on the basis of design maximum apereture
        this has been the MO of third party lens manufacturers for years build an f4 or f5.6 lens but give it f2.8 on the apereture ring.
        The performance of the lens sucks at 2.8 ,but they don’t care people will buy it because it says f2.8.
        One failing of DXO is they give that lens credit and marl its score up even though it sucks at f2.8
        (for Nikon lenses compared to other Nikon lenses use Nikon’s own MTF plots there done by the engineering dept that made the lenses under scientific,consistant, controlled conditions. They don’t have a favorite or an axe to grind, all Nikkors are their children)

      • Calibrator

        > agree, I can’t believe they gave the top superzoom spot to the sigma 120-400 which doesn’t even have OS,

        It has OS and it clearly says so in the table!

        I can also confirm that it works well. Here’s an image I shot with a borrowed one:

        However, you are right that it doesn’t belong in this category.

        • squoop

          My bad regarding the OS, I was confusing it with the Sigma 400mm 5.6 prime. Sorry!

  • Anastas

    This is unreal, they didn’t test 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII ?!?!
    They don’t have any prime tele lenses tested? 300/400/500/600mm?
    They don’t have tests with lenses like Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS DG ?!
    They’ve tested only bullshit lenses?!?

  • Patrick Jakubowski

    What about telephoto primes? They should beat all of those zooms.

    • Calibrator

      The clowns at DxO simply don’t have (access to) them and didn’t even bother to rent them.

    • fred

      The 300mm F4 AFS is super sharp, I bet that it shines on the D800 too. Anyone tried it on a D800?
      The lens was probably released about 8 yrs.ago. It sells for ~$1100 grey market in Australia, good value.

      • Zoot

        Great on a D800, Fred, and great on a D800 with the TC-14E, giving 420 f5.6. Especially good at f8. For me, no need to buy the 80-400, which I would use at 400 virtually all of the time, in any case, for wildlife. You get the full 420mm with the combo. Yet to hear if the 80-400 is a breather, or if you get the full 400mm.

      • MattC

        I have a D800E, 300 f4d and TC-14E II… I rarely use the TC, it does slow down AF (obviously), but have no reservations shooting wide open!

      • gsum

        Yes, it shines on the D800. Its minimum focus of just over a metre is extremely useful, if you’re into near macro work.

    • Scott

      I totally agree. The article should be called “telephoto zooms for the D800” as they do not compare any primes at all in the range. Have these guys lost the plot or what????

      • I agree, I changed the title.

        • Duncan Dimanche

          Why is every body spitting on dxo ? yes we can all argue with there ways of testing but who didn’t go on there site before buying a lens just to make sure ?


  • 103David

    I’ve got the Nikon 70-300…and fully concur…way handy, priced reasonable so as not to be afraid to take it out of the house, and WAY sharp.

    • patto01

      What body are you using it on? I have a 70-300 and it’s fine on my D600 but I’d always heard it is only so-so from 200-300mm and on a D800, which is the subject of their testing, I would think that would be more obvious.

      • Jorge

        Heard? Why not go shoot it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I use it on my D300, D700 and now my D800 and I love it. I would rather carry the the 70-300 than my heavy 70-200 if I don’t need the extra stop or two of 2.8

        • patto01

          I do have one. I was just wondering how well it worked on a D800. While it works pretty good on my D600, I wouldn’t describe it as extraordinary.

          • St.

            I had it on my D7000 and it was very nice lens, but again – after 220-240mm was soft.
            I bought 70-300 for a friend few months ago and tested it on my D800. It was not worse than on the D7000.
            In general it’s a good lens, light and more comfortable for travelling. But I prefer to bring the heavier 70-200mm VRII with me. It’s simply amazing, both on D7000 and D800. In many ways I would say it is sharper than the 85mm 1.4, which has the highest score in DxOMark.
            Also 70-300 focuses relatively fast, it’s not bad for sports and fast moving objects. I was shooting pelicans in Florida with it. But again 70-200 is extraordinary, speaking about fast AF.

      • desmo

        my 70 -300 VR whether on D90,D300s, or D600 is a mixed bag.
        In spectral light it can be quite good for portraits, most other times it can be really mediocre. I attribute this to the fact it doesn’t have very good contrast. Give it nice crisp light and it can do well, flat light and its really flat and washed out.
        That being said it;s not a pricey lens and good fit for building your first kit DX or Fx, but DXO way overrated it and even more overated is theAFD70-300 and Tamron’s

    • St.

      70-300 is sharp up to 220mm-240mm
      after that is quite soft.
      i had two copies of these.
      70-200 VRII is different league!

  • gg

    further confirmation that dxomark tests are irrelevant and useless.

    • Max

      totally agree, and I think that people of Nikon, thinks the same

  • anon

    i’m surprised with how poorly so many people have claimed the 70-200 2.8 VRI does on FX bodies that it made the second spot on the list… We should assume then the VRII would get at least the same 28 as the f4.

    It’s interesting that the cheapy 70-300, which costs less than all the others, scores highest… granted no VR where the others do, but still…

    • St.

      hope so,
      VRII is very sharp lens on my D800.

  • AlphaTed

    Can’t believe they prioritized the VR1 over the VRII. They can’t say they there’s not enough time. If time is lacking, then they should have tested the VRII first as it’s the latest … like the f/4. Ugh.
    They must be hiding something … or told by Nikon to hold on the results.

    • DonD

      Exactly, why even bother testing the VRI – it has been replaced and a long time ago. — unless it remains superior to the replacement and we all know that is not the case.

    • desmo

      becareful of the money in your pocket Ted,
      that bill with the Fat Ben Franklin on it,
      is a government tracking device.

      It’s all a conspiracy. 🙂

      • AlphaTed

        I only use Jacksons, I heard they can’t be tracked nor marked.
        I could be wrong, but who cares. 🙂

  • YC

    i do doubt the result, my 70-200 vr sucks on my d800, i tried 80-200 and 70-200 and 70-210 on a tripod to shoot the stamen of flower, they all blur on 100% crop both in auto or manual focus, but those lense with nano coat work excellent, even 70-300 vr work excellent on d800 also.

  • And where can i find part 1 ? since this is part 2 ?

  • lorenzo

    IMHO DXoMarkis either biased or paid or both. Their data is just BS for me.

    • desmo

      controversy may be good for their business

      • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

        Absolutely. Just ask KR.

    • St.

      and how do you know that?
      based on your guess?

    • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

      No. YOU are biased, or paid, or both. Its a conspiracy.

  • St.

    Ha, ha,
    with so many critics towards DxOMark noone talks about KR anymore…

    • AlphaTed

      Who? 🙂
      He can go to bed with his Cs, and we don’t care.

      • St.


    • iamlucky13

      Whatever complaints or praises others may have about DxO Mark, it remains hard to boil multiple different factors that each photographer values differently into a single meaningful score.

      I like DxO’s test info because they post easy to subjectively read (not quite as easy to read objectively though) plots of their measurements – the sharpness field maps especially are great.

      But the composite DxO score itself, which is what these rankings are based on, is pretty close to useless for me.

    • desmo

      KR gives an opinion you have to take it as such,
      when you go to DXO marks site and look up how they derive the score or its individual component scores,
      you come across terms like,
      we weigh,
      we average,
      and no real specification as they weigh/ average what is essentially mtf across the whole image circle , as its usually sharper in the center and less at the edges and the degree that it changes varies from lens to lens and throughout the apereture range(hopefully as a design function based upon the lenses intended use ,portraiture,landscape, copy stand etc)

      Bottom line you have no way of knowing how they manipulated the result
      be it intentional or unintentional
      as aresult
      their results are pretty much useless

      whether you use Nikon’s provided MTF or Photozone or Mansurov’s
      you have better more verifiable,quantifiable data

    • AM

      Because his iPhone 5 is the best camera ever created, so there is not reason for him to waste time reviewing more gear.

  • LarissaAntipova

    The 70-200 VR was a disappointment when using a FX camera, but the VRII on a D800 rivals my old 50mm f2 Nikkor MF as the sharpest lens I’ve ever used. Maybe I’ve just got a good sample.

  • Jorge

    Well this report confirms what I’ve known since I got my D800. My old Version 1 70-200 F2.8, and my 2010 model 70-300VR are truly amazingly sharp on both the D700 and the D800. Love them both. And the beauty of the 70-300VR is that in DX crop mode on the D800 iit reaches out to 450mm.

    • St.

      well, put 2x teleconverter on the 70-200mm and you’ll have 600mm

      • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

        2 * 200 = 600???????

        • tom

          in DX only 😉

          • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

            MF 400mm = FX 400mm = DX 400mm = CX 400mm

            The only difference is the sensor size. Whatever way you slice and dice it, it is the same 400mm.

            • Coloretric

              You know same old story of uneducated fools and FoV.

            • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

              FOV does not equal focal length, but equivalent focal length. It is 400mm no matter what sensor size and corresponding FOV 😉

        • St.

          200 x 2 x 1.5 = 600

    • Interesting… I was thinking of getting a D800 and also a 7100 (to replace my 7000) — the 7100 for use with teles to get the 1.5x factor. I can skip the 7100 and just shoot the D800 in DX mode? Just as good or better than the 7100? Thanks.

  • something tells me that these tests are very flawed… if you have owned enough Nikon / Sigma / Tamron / Tokina glasses you should know better than this.

    • Max

      I think exactly like you, it can always be interpreted as advertising

      • desmo

        DXO makes a lot of its own assumptions
        It’s not an objective test it only pretends to be

    • CHD

      I don’t know…when I used to shoot APS-C format I had a Tokina 12-24mm ATX-Pro. It was better in every way than the Canon 10-20mm…and cheaper.

  • AlphaTed

    Where’s the 75-300 AF ????

  • digischnulli

    Having played for nearly one year with the D800e and a number of different lenses I can conclude that that the 14-24 and 70-200 (VRII that is) pro. lenses equal the quality of the Nikon primes in this range (not so the 24-70, unfortunately) for resolution, micro-contrast and chroma. These lenses are also well calibrated, which cannot be said for the “made in China” lenses.

    • DonD

      I’ve always had that opinion myself, but I’ve never qualified it. The 24-70 is a very good lens, BUT not quiet up to the 14-24 and the 70-200 VRII. Which make me think the 24-70 replacement with VR and greater sharpness would be welcomed by all of the D800 shooters.

      • pegdrgr

        I have to disagree on this point. I know I have an excellent specimen, but the 24-70 can be amazingly sharp. I am very pleased with my 14-24 and 70-200 VRII, but the 24-70 lives on my D800 most of the time due to the incredible images it is capable of capturing.

        This is a 100% crop of an unedited shot taken with my 24-70, hand held, moderate lighting.

        • Aldo

          I agree with you completely… I’m one of those who swears by the 24-70… sharp lens… great bokeh… wide! … man what more can you ask for?… best lens all around in my opinion. Just can’t stress enough… it’s the closest you are gonna get to prime lens quality with a very versatile focal range.

        • What kind of modulator did you use here… i like the zebra catchlights in the models eye….

        • Aldo
          • Aldo

            I just cropped that one… to like fifty percent of the pixels (shot at 22mp with d800 and the 24-70) if you see the full size it’s maybe too sharp.

          • Banned

            I looked at the large version and it’s WAAAY over-sharpened How can I judge a lens with a photo that you butchered in post…

            • kontrollausschusss

              For me it looks just right. Crispy .. like that style.

            • Aldo

              Like i said… straight from the cam… no post. Shot in standard picture mode as jpeg.

          • DonD

            I think you guys are misunderstanding me. I love the 24-70~! and it stays on my D800 most of the time. It’s not often that I want to shoot a focal length of 14-24, but when I do, that lens, IMHO, is even better than the amazing 24-70.
            I would rank them in terms of goodness from best down in this order 14-24, 70-200, 24-70. BUT, in terms of use I would rank them from most used down, 24-70, 70-200, 14-24. ALL of them are incredible lenses.

            • Aldo

              I just wanted to share my love for the 24-70… havent used the 14-24… i only have the cheap sigma 14mm 2.8 as superwide

    • Can’t Believe It

      I was lukewarm toward my 24-70 until I dropped it on a concrete floor and had to send it into Nikon for $750 in repairs. It came back a completely different animal–it’s as sharp as any lens I’ve shot with. Could it be that it’s just a hard lens for Nikon to get dialed in.

  • Rick

    Where’s the VR II? They reviewed the new A1 Sigma 35mm 1.4 with D800 but not the 70-200 vr ii that has been around for years? nonsense. Also where’s the super teles data

    • St.

      There are no tests for so many lenses:
      70-200mm f/2.8 VRII
      60mm f/2.8 Micro
      14-24mm f/2.8
      and whole bunch of tele-primes as well

      • Fortunately you don’t need DXO marks to justify purchase any of those lense’s you mentioned. they’re well known to be excellent. the 60micro is the highest resolving of the three,and also nice and light for walking around..

  • DonD

    I wish they would have waited in order to test the new 80-400.

    • desmo

      if the 70-200 VR2 is any indicator that would take a long time.

    • AlphaTed

      It’s possible they’re testing them together.

  • DonD

    Another thing I think they do not consider at all is the ability of the lens to AF quickly.

    • neonspark

      are you serious? you realize what DXO measures right? hint: not AF speed.

      • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR


  • DonD

    Also, it’s all relative. Compare these scores with the Nikon 85mm, not even close!

  • longzoom

    What does difference could it make if somebody has been posting some numerics towards the lens you are know one wery well? 28 is good, 19 is no good… Sorry but it looks like childish behavior…

    • desmo

      DXO mark is not a good metric there other more controlled and consistant,i.e.more scientific metrics

      • longzoom

        Tend to agree…

        • desmo

          they input their own biases
          called weighting or averaging without any clear explanation of how this is done
          i.e they manipulate the outcome

          • longzoom

            [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/longzoom/8091394203/]20121014-015-2 – Copy[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/longzoom/]longzoom[/url], on Flickr. 100% crop from 28-300, which is by DXO numerics is so-so.

            • desmo

              Hard to believe that’s an 11x zoom
              pretty cool

            • longzoom

              That’s why all of testes carry no value for me. Not because of low qualification of testers, God forbid, but of factor of samlpe variations. THX!

            • Spy Black

              Center crop is all well and good, but what the lens look like from end-to-end? How bout posting the complete full resolution file?

            • longzoom

              Go to the “Nikon cafe” to the same name. Lens last, today.

      • neonspark

        how is DXO not scientific?

      • Spy Black

        Such as?

  • One More Thought

    It shouldn’t be a surprise that DxO ratings are flawed and never definitive. Why would anyone base their purchasing decisions on DxO? If you are the type of photographer who uses a D800 and purchases high end lenses, I would hope that one has better ways to make purchasing decisions than DxO.

    I don’t know of a single pro or serious enthusiast who runs out and buys equipment based on DxO.

    DxO is interesting from an academic point of view, but it shouldn’t be used as the gospel in photographer.

    • neonspark

      the same can be said of any site captain obvious.

      • One More Thought

        It’s true that it is obvious…but then why do so many worry about what DxO puts out when it disagrees with their bias?

        For what it’s worth, I would sooner trust the opinion of a trusted pro than test measurements…of course, everyone has their own idea of who to trust with regards to online reviews…

        • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

          your “trusted pro opinions” are always going to be based on a single sample, and based on that pro’s purely subjective opinions, and every photographer is different. At least DXOmark is a little bit objective.

          • One More Thought

            Sorry for not clarifying…I should have noted that one can use opinions of multiple experts, pro’s, etc…to inform their judgement.

            As for DxO, I consider them to be interesting and sometimes valuable, but as you note “a little bit objective”…which means not totally objective, as we see in this discussion. The only objection I really have is any notion that DxO is totally objective and accurate, when in fact their testing criteria, even their selection of products to compare, is at least somewhat subjective and wrapped in the veneer of total objectivity.

            • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

              I would say that the overall scores are a little bit objective, but to use DXOmark properly, you need to look at the actual scores. Those, if interpreted properly, really are totally objective. IF INTERPRETED PROPERLY.

            • desmo

              even the actual scores are skewed by their weighting system

          • There is an 800mm f/2.8 DX VR11 in the way.. some one on F.M told me..

            • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

              You serious?

          • desmo

            not really objective, all their weighing /averaging and manipulation obfuscates the result and makes it pretty much worthless

        • “Disagrees with their bias…” is pretty loaded. If they publish bs, then we should call them on it. I hope the 70-200 f4 is as great as they say, but to hype it as the best in class, even with a caveat, is just silly when the 2,8 VRII version has been out so long.

          • One More Thought

            Didn’t mean to offend…I use the term in the sense that everyone has biases or preferences and not in a negative way. I simply mean that we all have opinions, and of course, that doesn’t make those opinions wrong…

            But some seem to get offended when another source disagrees with their opinions…

            • I wasn’t offended. It suggests that anyone who disagrees with the test has some bias. Bad rhetorical device that dismisses others opinions…

          • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

            The 70-200 f/4 probably is better than the VR2 optically. That is the way of lenses, it is harder to make a fast lens good than it is a slower lens. I would be very suprised if it is not best in class after the VR2 is DXOmarked.

  • Aldo

    70-200 f4 looking good with the savings over the 2.8

    • It’s not the latest VRII version of the 2.8…

      • Aldo

        Dont matter… if its doing this well plus the price difference it’s good enough for me and for many others who can work around the slower apperture.

  • Spy Black

    Well, not only is the VRII Nikkor missing, but so is the new Tamron 70-200 f/2.8. I’d like to see a direct comparison of those two lenses.

  • Where’s the nikon 80-200. I keep on hearing people say that optically its better than the 70-200.

    • Neopulse

      Very doubt although it isn’t bad lens. But usually newer is usually better especially with the improved optical formula of the VRII.

    • desmo

      your confusing the AFd 80-200 with the AFs 80-200 that preceded the 70-200VR1
      many people felt the AFs 80-200 was sharper than the 70-200 VR1 and the sharpest in that class to that date
      I don’t know that they stiil feel that way nor that the VR2 is out

  • markly86

    Not only is the Nikon 2.8 the older model the Tammy is the old model also. WTF makes me doubt DXO’s tests altogether.

  • Global

    What about the new Sigma 120-300 f/2.8…??

  • jake

    useless review , there is no 70-200mmf2.8VR2 lens in the set , and why do they even compare the f4 vs f2.8 zooms in the same forcal range?
    if we know the f2.8 , we know it before buying it and so we do not even really care about the f4 zoom.
    I think usually DXO does great works but this one is really useless.

  • EnticingHavoc

    The Dxo team is a group of wackos creating more confusion than enlightenment due to their peculiar and odd testing methodology.

    It takes a lot of time to track and understand their testing and even then a lot of it depends on arbitrary interpretation. A simple MTF chart might look old fashioned but at the end provides the buyer with about the same level of information.

    • bossa

      I believe they do “Blind Tests” 😉

  • mazzy80

    70-300 ED better that Tamron VC and on par with 70-300 VR ?
    are you kidding me ?

    DxOMark have lost any credibility…

  • Pete Grady

    These DxOMark tests are a total joke. First, they test for things that DON’T MATTER. Distortion? WHO CARES, MY SOFTWARE FIXES THAT. Vignetting? DITTO!! Chromatic aberration? LIKEWISE! T-stops? Are you kidding me?!! T-stops? LOL!!! Some of this might be of interest to someone doing photomicroscopy in a lab (in which case they wouldn’t be using these lenses anyway), but otherwise how do these metrics matter? If you can tune it out anyway, it’s not even an issue of setting a baseline and comparing one lens against another. Here’s a thought: if you are interested in a certain lens, rent it for 3 days, make a bunch of images, do with them what you normally do (send them to your publisher, print them at billboard size, look at them on your iPhone). Did the lens satisfy your own personal criteria for “looking good”? If yes, go buy the lens. If not, look for something else. Meanwhile, do you have any interesting ideas for making compelling photographs?

    • desmo

      100% agree
      especially the recommendation of rent it and use it first

  • Camaman

    Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 kicked ass!
    Especially if you calculate the price in!

  • Angelo Bufalino

    I don’t know you can match the 70-200/2.8 VR2. I shot this hand held at 1/80/f2.8/iso2000. http://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/277363/b-18358-china-airlines-airbus-a330-300/

  • Sam

    They don’t appear to test the lenses’ focus ability in low light, or the ability of their respective VR systems. I wish that were included as well, since ‘getting the shot’ is more important than fine details, especially in sports or wildlife situations, where the action isn’t repeatable.

  • Can’t Believe It

    Lens reviews are like movie reviews. You find a reviewer whose work
    jibes with your experience and stick with him or her. For me, Roger
    Ebert and Popular Photography are the two sources I have found that
    match my taste in movies and equipment. You may have
    better luck with Manola Dargis and Thom Hogan. That’s what makes life, and
    photography fun.

  • equus

    The reason why the 70-200mm VRII is not listed? Simple. It is THE BEST by a long shot. But Nikon asked not to list its test result in order to sell cheaper alternative. People who think about getting cheaper alternative will be happier if they are not informed of the huge difference in performance of the two latest lenses.

  • bossa

    These articles are a joke! Unless you test EVERY lens available you have no right to use the current ‘working’ title.

  • RR

    I´m beginning to doubt DXO mark, how come popular photography says the new Nikon 70-200 f4 lens is not very sharp according to their tests, but DXO mark says is the best! mmmmm I wonder if DXO mark is not under Nikon´s payroll ?

  • Jorge

    I absolutely LOVE my original 70-200 2.8 VR LOVE it. It is tack sharp on my D700 and my D800. A gorgeous lens. I also own the 70-300VR and it too is amazingly sharp, bright and crisp. I still use it on the D700 and if I want the crop mode which makes it a 450 I slap it on my D300, or use the crop mode on my D800. Sharp. Sharp. Sharp.

    • Only problem is the substantial vignetting and softness in the corner on full frame cameras. The VRII fixed this big time at the expense of having focus breathing (which is a major concern to some, and a non-issue to others)

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