This lens, released in time to be paired with the F6, D2H and D2X cameras, confirms Nikon's intention to bring AF-S and VR into all telephoto Nikkor lenses. At first glance it is an impressive lens. Later, one cannot but say that it is awesome.
This AF-S version is a bit heavier but more compact than the manual version.
Its hood (HK-31) is also very well designed, and although it is not a carbon one I like it a lot.
In my view a bit too heavy to handhold so I use it most of the the time on a monopod with VR active. When not on the monopod, the need for the occasional break is there and is nice to see Nikon engineers thought it had to be put down, which can be done resting it on its lens hood or front, both of which have thick rubber rims.
I try to use this lens wide open all the time as that is what it is designed for...
When there is too much light I do not hesitate to put a neutral density filter in the therefore designed filter drawer (52mm thread).
When used wide open, the contrast is great and sharpness is never an issue; of course the narrow DOF contributes to the nice "bokeh" of this marvelous tool.
The autofocus is lightning fast (AF-S) and the image in the viewfinder is very bright (f/2) for a 200mm lens.
I was already very happy with the "old" manual focus 200mm f/2 AI-S but this one is really great, more so when used on a D2H (AF-S + VR)
A new button has re-appeared on this lens: The "Memory Set" button witch allows you to come back to a pre-set focus point. I still have to play with that feature a bit to learn to use it well.
Here are a couple of samples:.