Let's get straight to the point: this is my favorite portrait lens. Everyone and everything looks good at f/2.
I recently photographed a music festival here in the Napa Valley called BottleRock. I wanted to have a different look to my images versus what everyone else was going to be doing. The two lenses every concert photographer uses are the 24-70 and the 70-200. And those are perfect for 90% of the shots you'd need (the other 10% would be a super wide.) My idea was to borrow the 200 f/2 and shoot all the bands in black and white. My images may not be fantastic, but they'd at least be different. I also photographed Erin Sanders with it.
As a member of Nikon Professional Services, I can borrow any Nikon equipment I want. They shipped me this huge box, and I knew right away I was in trouble. This thing is huge. It weighs almost 6.5 pounds, and when attached my Nikon D5, the combo weighs almost ten pounds. It's impressive to look at, and all the photographers were commenting on it.
Oh but does it make gorgeous images. It's extremely sharp at f/2, so I didn't bother shooting at anything but f/2. It focuses quickly and accurately. I think two images weren't in focus out of a couple thousand that I shot during the festival (and those were probably my fault.)
Unfortunately, it costs a whopping $5700. Which is why I'm just borrowing and not buying. My Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 is almost as good, so I really can't justify spending that kind of dough on a highly specialized lens like this.
Here are some images that I took using it: