16 comments on “Lens Review: Nikon 200mm f/2 AI-s ED

  1. I remember you once wrote you were waiting for the Nex 9 which ended up being the A7. So I’m curious, are you planning on upgrading to the A7 series and if not, why? I had an Nex 7 prior and I upgraded. It’s quite nice!

    • Hey Rishio! A while back I also wrote a little snippet on the A7 series. Back with the buzz of their announcement, I preordered both the A7/A7r cameras to see which one would suit me better. Don’t get me wrong, they are great cameras (particularly that A7s). However, to make a long story short, the slow frame rate is the biggest concern for my event/sporting shoots. Once you get used to that 10 fps of the NEX-7, it’s hard to go less than half that speed (cancelled both preorders). I am still hoping for either an A7 or A9 series camera that has a faster frame rate (as well as fast write time), but we will see. For now the NEX-7 is still holding up alright. 🙂

      • I upgraded from the nex 7 to the A7r in January before heading to India. I liked it a lot but something about it didn’t sit too well with me. A few weeks ago I sold it and switched to the A7s. Loving it! It’s like a dream camera- fine tuned in the specs the way I like it. The silent shooting mode and high ISO capabilities are particularly wonderful. Got a decent lens lineup also for what I do: Canon fd 20mm f/2.8, Olympus 135mm f/4, Sony 55mm f/1.8, Sony 35mm f/2.8. Awesome to hear your nex 7 is still serving you. I hear you about the fast frame rates, but it doesn’t affect me because I’m kind of a slow cook shooter 🙂 The best part about owning a great camera is to see them worn out from serving well for a long time. It’s just me and the A7s for the next couple years!

      • Awesome to hear, Rishio. Sony really did pull something magic with that A7s. It will definitely be the benchmark for just what a FF low-light camera can do for a good long time. That said, Photokina is right around the corner… 😀

  2. great review Mat, I am gonna buy one to try it onmy canon 6d and shoot rugby and soccer night games under stadium spotlight…you convinced me. These sonies look great but I don’t like smallness in photography equipment.

    • Hey there, glad you liked the review! I am unfamiliar with how well Nikon lenses, especially large aperture primes like the 200mm f/2, will adapt to the full-frame 6d, particularly in regards to achieving accurate focus. Get back to me on how it all works out for you!

  3. Hi Matthew, thanks for your review. I just bought a mint 200mm f2 AI for $700. About 40% of my work is video. As you probably know the AI doesn’t accept rear filters. ND filters for bright exteriors are a must. While 122mm NDs are available they’re expensive. It’s sharp enough wide open but the CA is pretty noticeable. I’m wondering if I should return or sell it and get an AIS for what looks like three times what I paid. Your advice is welcome. Thanks.

    • Hello Iverson, sorry for late reply, I just got internet set up where I live. The AI-s version unfortunately only accepts drop-in rear filters of the “gelatin” type, of which I don’t they make anymore. I can’t seem to find a way to get it to accept screw-in filters. The 400mm f/2.8 AI-s that I have does accept screw in filters in the rear, thankfully. I would recommend you look at some of those square filter sets they usually market towards ultra-wideangle shooters. One of those may fit the bill if you can figure out how to secure it to the end of the massive hoods these things have!

      • Hi Matthew, thanks for the reply. I guess I was under the delusion that the AIS accepted screw-in filters in the rear. I decided to keep the AI anyway. It’s interesting that you suggest the UWA filter systems- I have one and have already asked the manufacturer if they could make an adapter for the 200mm f/2 AI. They’re looking into it. Thanks again.

  4. Excelllent review. I have had one of these superlative lenses for many years and it is my go-to lens for singles portraiture outside where I have plenty of room to work. It is brutally sharp, often requiring a small amount of gaussian blurring to be flattering for female portraiture. Since all of my lenses are AIS Nikkor I have always put a split image/microprism focusing screen in my cameras. My D850 loves this lens!

    • Hey there Scott! Great to hear from you again. I love using this lens on the A7III, the few times I can justify bringing it out! Such a unique rendering at this aperture and focal length, and sharp even wide open. Really perks up at f/2.8 at full frame, but you’re right, for portraiture a little of that softness wide open really helps too.

  5. I love mine, it is my go-to lens (along with my 180mm f/2.8 ED AIS Nikkor for individual outdoor portrait photography.

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