Originally Posted by milkpowder
Thanks for the samples. It's really quite soft wide open @ 200. I would say it's near unusable unless you're aiming for that dreamy effect. I think it's just about usable stopped down a lil'. Do things improve further around f/8-11? I have to say my 70-300VR can deliver better results at 200mm/f5.6 (largest aperture at 200 being f5.3). No use being able to shoot at large apertures when the results are lacklustre. Your 80mm samples aren't poor though. I would be very happy with those results.
Obviously the results return to a usable level around f/6.3 @ 200; but then again, I didn't spend a grand to get "usable" output nearly 4 stops down. I normally wouldn't be so anal with regards to resolution, if it weren't for the lens's reputation as being the sharpest in Nikon's lineup or for its pricetag. Luckily, the 105, 135, 145 and 155 focal lengths follow the sharpness trend of 80mm, but clearly something is amuck with those last 45mm.
Thanks for your input, though; I wanted to make sure my OCD wasn't kicking in as it usually does.