This page covers distortion. With zoom lenses, distortion is usually of the barrel type at the wide end, and pincushion at the long end, with a happy medium somewhere in-between. The 70-200VR seems no exception.
The 70-200VR2 has quite noticeable pincushion distortion (bowing in). Mouse over the image below to see it change to the 200mm f/2 VR. Both images at f/2.8. Also observe the difference in vignetting and color. Also noted, but not shown here is that the 200VR is also notably sharper with better contrast.
Observe an odd central hot spot effect with the 70-200VR — I observed this with other images as well, with the center actually brighter than when stopped down. By comparion, the 200mm f/2VR has a beautifully uniform result, and to my eye the color of the 200VR is superior as well. But of course the 200/2 VR is stopped down one stop at f/2.8, and so should be expected to be near its peak already.
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