Probably my oldest bit of camera gear is my Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 and I totally love it; without a doubt it is the lens that earns me the most money. It was bought many (many) years ago and is still as good as when bought. However one of my main needs for it – photographing people in meetings – has meant that it has now been supplemented with the 70-200 f2.8. The reason is that I am increasingly being asked to photograph in ridiculously dim rooms; flash would be far too intrusive though.

I don’t get overly excited by tech although sitting in the bath watching the Grand Prix live on my HTC One does give me a bit of a WTF moment. But yes, I can still remember when the various vibration reduction lenses first started coming on to the market, yep, I did think “gimmick”.

So, to the shot above. It’s not a great shot, it isn’t meant to be. It was taken in a display at the M-Shed (Bristol), a dimly lit mock-up of the Concord cockpit. The shot was taken at f2.8, hand held and unsupported at 200mm. The ISO was set to 800 (on the D800e) and other than the lens profile being applied to the Raw file in Lightroom nothing has been done to the image, no sharpening, no nose reduction. (and before some wise-arse pipes up the focus point is the word duct in the middle, the display was at an angle, yes one would expect some edge softening at f2.8)

Oh, the shutter speed? 1/20, and I had not long had a coffee.

Case proven.


Again, a bit further round the corner I noticed these cyclists. Normally I would have done a ‘proper job’ but this was TTD (test to destruction). So again stood up straight, no support, OK more of a chance at 1/500th but ISO 800 and f/2.8. A little bit of sharpening and luminance. The detail is from the brake reservoir, yes we knew it would be Hope but that’s not the point.

Nikkor 70-200 test