IngemarE From Sweden, joined Mar 2005, 285 posts, RR: 5 Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6483 times:
Having used it twice or thrice myself, I'd say your best option is to treat it like any other premium lens.
In other words; Push it! It won't let you down!
When I've used it, I've done so handheld and got away with it.
Take it easy and look forward to having it in your camera-bag (well, maybe not literally, since it won't fit in your bag ), because no matter what you do (within reason) this piece of glass will not let you down!!
CalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 6 Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6460 times:
The manual is available on Nikon's support website for your country. Nikon has done an excellent job of getting all the documentation for their products onto their support site and it's easy to search.
You probably won't be too happy with a ball head for the 200-400. Yes, it will work. But you won't be able to use it loosely to pan moving planes because the lens/camera combo is so heavy the ball head will just keep tipping over. If you do get a ball head, put it on top of a monopod for shooting planes. This is probably outside your budget, but the Wimberly Sidekick head will do a much better job if you want to put the lens on a tripod. http://www.tripodhead.com/products/sidekick-main.cfm
The other thing to think about is protection for the lens. It's long and heavy, so sooner or later it's going to bump into something. It's also expensive, so it's worth a few bucks to keep it in good shape either out of pride, or resale value. http://www.lenscoat.com/product_info.php?products_id=40
You won't have any trouble adapting to this lens. It's long and heavy, but it's intuitive to use and you'll have fun with it right out of the box. The instructions for using focus recall are a little vague, but it's simple: Put the focus mode button in Memory Recall position, focus on the point you want to recall, then push and hold the memory set button (closest button to the camera mount end of the lens) until the lens beeps. Now when you want to recall that focus point, just push any one of the four buttons around the front of the lens and it instantly returns to your preset focus point.
I find my lens vingettes a bit when shooting wide open, but ACR can easily correct this as it's very mild.
Diezel From Netherlands, joined Oct 2002, 646 posts, RR: 12 Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6417 times:
I use the 200-400 without a tripod on the D200 and don't bother to bring a tripod anymore. It's not THAT heavy, though you will feel your arms in the evening. The VR comes in very handy.
Be carefull when using the lens in a crowd, the thing is a lot stronger than a human nose. You need some space around you. And be prepared for the "can I have look through that huge lens" questions.
The focus recall buttons are very usefull during air shows when your lens starts to hunt.
The bag that comes with the lens can store the lens plus an attached body (in my case D200+battery pack) and is accepted as carry-on luggage.
I have been using the lens for about a year now. The optical quality is flawless, the build quality fantastic. You really won't regret it. The only disadvantage I could find is that I sometimes have some trouble fitting the lens hood. Well, so what