No one knows what you want better for Christmas than yourself:)
My Christmas came a little early this year. Just got a Nikon 70-200mm VR lens after about two months of hunting. It seems to be backordered everywhere. It dawned on me today that I have a friend that works in a small camera shop and they might have it. And they did!
It came in a huge box for a lens, or so I thought, until I unpacked it. It's a long lens. "One of those over-compensating lenses," my girlfriend tells me. Thanks. With the lens hood it measures over a foot long!
So what's so great about this lens? It's got pretty good range for a telephoto going from 70-200. Other nikon tele's go from 80-200. The little extra 10mm on the wide end makes a difference indoors or when you want to work a little closer to a subject.
The build quality is superb. Heavy, but because it's got metal parts! Remember when cameras came with those? Barring dropping this lens from a 2nd floor window, this will last me many many years. The focus and zoom rings are silky smooth and have just the right amount of dampening in them. Unlike 3rd party lens makers or lower-end Nikon lenses, where the rings are a little jerky, snagging in the middle of the arc.
This one is like butta.
And another bit of awesomeness....actually the thing that makes this lens so darn expensive is VR. Vibration Reduction.
Does it work? Hell yeah.
I was playing with it last night inside the apartment. Photographing things lit up only by Christmas lights, handholding the camera at 200mm 2.8! Doing this on a non-VR lens is a waste of time without a mono or tripod. You could do it, but the hit ratio would be pretty low. With the VR, things came out sharp. I'm not going to say tack sharp in that sitation, but definitely exponentially sharper than I could have done handholding without the VR.
I'm going to go outside and shoot something now :)