New DxoMark king: the Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR II is the sharpest lens ever tested


DxOMark published test results for several super tele photo Nikon lenses, including the Nikkor 200mm f/2 (see review) which is one of the sharpest lens they have ever measured:

Nikkor AF-S 200mm f/2G ED VR II

“Mounted on a 36Mpix D800 the lens achieves a DxOMark Lens Score of 39, making it one the best performing lenses ever measured in our labs. What’s more with a Sharpness score of 28P-Mpix this lens is the sharpest Nikon mount lens we’ve tested, putting ahead of lenses like the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and f/1.8 models but also the Sigma 35mm/1.4 and the recently tested 300mm and 400mm f/2.8 telephotos. Additional individual lens metrics scores reveal the lens to have negligible distortion, mild vignetting and reasonably low levels of chromatic aberration. Transmission is very good, though not quite matching the theoretical f/2.0 maximum.”


Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8G ED VR lens

“At $5,900 and achieving a high DxOMark Lens Score of 34 mounted on a 36Mpix D800, the latest iteration of 300mm f/2.8 from Nikon is an excellent performer. It has untraceable distortion, and both vignetting and chromatic aberration are barely noticeable. However, while the lens is sharp with excellent performance across the frame. We know the sensor isn’t as efficient as the pixel count suggests, but the low-ish score may be as a result of the lens.”


Nikkor AF-S 400mm f/2.8G ED VR lens

“With a DxOMark Lens Score of 35, the latest Nikon 400mm f2.8 model is another excellent performer. The 25P-Mpix score is one of the highest in its class, and suggests that this lens might be able to achieve an even higher Sharpness score when analyzed with a camera such the D800E.

When we tested the Nikon 500mm and 600mm f/4 models the performance, while very good, was slightly behind that of the newer (and pricier) Canon models. In a slight reversal of fortunes, the Nikon 300mm and 400mm f/2.8 models actually appear to outperform the latest Canon offerings, at least when mounted on the Nikon D800 (though bear in mind this sensor has both high resolution and a wider dynamic range than the Canon EOS 5D Mk III used to perform the tests with the Canon lenses. Given the price advantage of the Nikkor lenses currently, Nikon users and potential purchasers can rest-assured that either model is a good choice and a sound investment in the long term.”


Nikkor AF-S 200-400mm f/4GED VR II lens

“While Nikon users maybe slightly put out by the stellar image quality of the Canon model, the Nikkor lens is certainly no slouch. Given the latest iteration didn’t have any change to the optical cell (other than the Nano Coat) over the 2005 version, it’s a still a convincing performance eight years on. It’s also relatively more affordable. While not cheap exactly, the Canon model is an eye-watering $11,799.”


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