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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200 mm f/2.8 VR S

30 September 2021
Maciej Lata││o

6. Distortion

It is not easy to correct distortion in 70-200 mm type of zoom lenses and several constructions had some slip-ups in this category. We have seen many times slight barrel distortion at 70 mm which, at 200 mm, changed the sign and reached even +2%.

How does the new Nikkor fare? When it comes to the smaller sensor, you can say at once that there are no problems whatsoever. At the 70 mm deformations are practically zero, with an official result of −0.09%. Then distortion changes the sign and by 85 mm you deal with its pincushion variation of +0.28%. It increases to +0.56% at the 105ámm focal length and to +0.75% at 135ámm, reaching +0.88% at the maximum focal length.

In case of full frame you get a very nice performance at the shorter end of the focal spectrum. At 70 mm you deal with an almost imperceptible barrel distortion of −0.33%. At 85 mm you see slight pincushion variation for a change and its level we determined as +0.55%. Then problems become more serious because at 105 mm you deal with +1.07%, at 135ámm it is +1.51%, and at 200ámm the distortion reaches +1.98%. It's a lot; most of lenses of this class, tested by us so far, have had results closer to 1.5% than to +2%. Pity – in this category the Nikon optics specialists could have done a slightly better job.


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