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Nikon 200-400 Zoom?  
User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3697 times:

Is anyone currently using Nikons 200-400mm vr lens.Reason for question is I'm considering selling 600mm manual lens and 300mm 2.8 AF to get this lens.My 600 is an f/4 but looks like RPG and last time I used it on rooftop at JFK parking lot Three, the Port Authority S-76 hovered over me till they got a vehicle up there, though the 300 2.8 is an incredible lens, the cash from that will help purchase the 200-400 if I feel after peoples respones that it is a viable trade-off...any input is appreciated...j

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2819 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3689 times:

From what i've heard the 300F2.8 is one of Nikon's best. there are a few people here using the 200-400 i think.

It all comes down to what do you shoot? If it's just aviation then the 200-400 will probably suit you better. However if you shoot sports and need F2.8 then your gonna be stuck with an F4 lens.
What is the main thing you will use the lens for?

Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3688 times:

It's possibly one of the best lenses ever made - incredibly sharp, contrasty, solid build quality. I don't know how it compares to a 600 or 400 prime as I haven't used them, I got it because I wanted the flexibility of a zoom. I shoot a bit of everything from sports to wildlife and couldn't pick a prime that would "do it all." This one does do it all - very well.

One thing to consider is the body you're going to mate it with. The D200 doesn't focus well on small, fast moving stuff and hasn't exactly wowed me when shooting airshows or military jets, even with good glass like the 70-200 VR or the 200-400. However, put it on a D2x or D300 and it focuses incredibly fast and accurately. Also has a focus limiter switch to minimize hunting on low light days, plus it has a focus pre-set you can use for subjects at a fixed distance like shooting a bird's nest.

When I went to Axalp this year this was the only long lens I carried. Combined with some A.net folks' advice to another shooter (in a "should I take the 70-200 or 200-400" thread) and the lens' solid performance, I was quite confident it would be worth lugging up there. It was!

Nikon has recently lowered the price on this lens quite a bit. It came out around $7K in Canada, I paid around $6K and it's currently available new up here for around $5.2K. Well worth the money.

B


User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3667 times:



Quoting Chris78cpr (Reply 1):

Would be used for aviation only ...

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 2):

It would be as you indicated, hanging on a D2X and D300...sounds like it has great features, I currently have 70-200 vr, light and balanced with A+ quality...sounds like the 200-400 is a no brainer...thnxmuch...jerry


Thnx for replies...j


User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2819 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3664 times:

Yeah if it's just for aviation get the 200-400! Much more versatile for what your use is.

Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3636 times:

Gerard,

as far as I know Denis Roschlau owns a 200-400f4 and then this guy owns one too:
http://www.moosepeterson.com/gear/200-400vr.html

You might gonna miss the 200mm at the far end, but if you are close enough it should not be a problem.

Back in the old days when I was shooting with a 400f2.8 Nikon, most of the time the 2x converter was mounted on it, at least I would have needed a 1.4, but this is just my shooting habit.

If you have ramp access or you can get close to the action the 200-400 might be "long" enough.

The 600mm f4 on the other hand is the mother of all telephoto lenses and such a joy to work with, (at least the AF version) mounted on a tripod with a Wimberley Head......it feels weightless and image quality is beyond incredible!

If I were you I would rent it for a weekend and test it in the field....then you know what to do next!

Vasco Garcia

[Edited 2007-11-30 10:32:41]

User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3626 times:



Quoting AKE0404AR (Reply 5):

Thanks for that great info...this lens sounds perfect!... BUT every time I hold that 600mm lens in my hand to photograph it for an ebay listing,...it goes back in the box...I feel like I'm going to sell one of my children!....I can't do it!...the real OUCH FACTOR here is that back then I paid $5,000 used for the lens and today you'd be lucky to UNLOAD IT for $1500. Then I go buy this new one for $5300.00 and in six months you can get it for $2800.00. I wish Nikon would knock off that crap!


User currently offlineINNflight From Switzerland, joined Apr 2004, 3766 posts, RR: 59
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3618 times:

Got to use it at FFD this summer for a jet or two....had problems shooting handheld and zooming at the same time due to the weight without a monopod, but image quality is supposed to be outstanding...and f4 all the way too.... sounds nice. Now if it only would be white  Wink

[Edited 2007-11-30 11:13:52]


Jet Visuals
User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3608 times:



Quoting INNflight (Reply 7):

I'm used to panning w/ heavy handheld, but not getting any younger, the new lenses are lighter and w/ VR, you can't loose...by the way...although I have been within ten miles of Innsbruck three times, but have not shot pix there, my belief is you can't take a BAD picture there...That is one beautiful place!!! PS...I even bought Kenyon Labs gyro and attached it to my 300mm 2.8 and shot for two hours...couldn't stand up straight for a week. talk about weight,and the other thing is you CAN"T MOVE SUDDENLY w/ gyro stabilizer on camera...it is not a field tool...must have weighed in at about thirty pounds. Never got to use in in A2A and that is where it would really show it's value...Cheers...J


User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3603 times:



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 6):
BUT every time I hold that 600mm lens in my hand to photograph it for an ebay listing,...it goes back in the box...I feel like I'm going to sell one of my children!....I can't do it!...the real OUCH FACTOR here is that back then I paid $5,000 used for the lens and today you'd be lucky to UNLOAD IT for $1500

I have been there myself not too long ago, back in 2003 when I switched from Nikon to Canon...I sold the 400f2.8 and a few other Nikon goodies and as you can imagine "break even" would be an understatement.
Still I did it and I do not regret it in any way!

Ask yourself this....how often have I used the 600mm f4 in the past year?
What is the real benefit, If I'll keep it?

etc.....etc.....


User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3593 times:



Quoting AKE0404AR (Reply 9):

I ask myself that question in my sleep...my stupid concious answer is...what if you need it for that BIG MONEY MAKER SHOT!...then the little (sub concious) man on my shoulder (no doubt a Nikon Rep)says, hey idiot,it's only money ...go for the GUMBO!...you are correct though..need to hear someone else say it...Thnx for the therapy!...J


User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3587 times:



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 10):
Thnx for the therapy!...J

anytime!


User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12566 posts, RR: 46
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3560 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

It is a great lens as others have said. But, it is big and it is heavy. Chasing small fighters around the sky at an air show is a challenge (more for your arms than the lens or camera).

It is way better than my clunky old 80-400VR lens, but the size difference makes it a difficult choice to travel with (especially with our current one bag only rules out of the UK). So the 80-400VR hasn't been sold yet because it's still a usefull lens for travelling. If carrying it wasn't an issue, the 80-400VR would be available on e-bay right now.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3541 times:



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 12):

I hear ya with the travel part, but whats with British and carry on, I recently took BA from Stuttgart to Heathrow (no offense, but never again), the Heathrow part I mean...but BA would not let me bring two bags on a 1/3 full flight(A320).One bag was a legitamate roll on camera bag filled with Hasselblad goodies. The other was Nikon D2X, and assorted lenses. I had to be interrogated by a DRUNK BA rep at 5AM to allow my stuff onboard. I like British Air...always have, but one bag?Some of the pocket books women had were bigger than my things!..anywhoooos...went off on a tangent...is the lens that big...my 600 MF is just that...600lbs...!!! I only once brought that on a plane and of course, it was a CRJ...when they took it from me I thought I heard them say...Sir, your child is in good hands, we will use a sufficient amount of Duct Tape to secure him to the fuselage...JEEEEEZ!...At that point I felt MUCH better... Any way...thnx for the follow up...j


User currently offline10boomer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 57 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3529 times:

I've been using the 200-400 for aviation photography for the past nine months and I'm very happy with it. It was a little heavy at first but now that I'm accustomed to it, I don't notice the weight anymore. As far as travel goes, I use the LowePro Photo Trekker AW and it fits fine attached to my D2Xs and 4 more lenses. I just flew from San Francisco to Las Vegas on Virgin America and my bag wouldn't fit under their seats but fit fine in the overhead. One word of caution, I've found the 200-400 focuses the best when using single area AF or Dynamic area AF.
Here are a few recent shots with the 200-400


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rob Tabor
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rob Tabor




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rob Tabor
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rob Tabor




Fly Gucci
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12566 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3493 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 13):
but BA would not let me bring two bags on a 1/3 full flight

To be fair to BA, this is not their rule. BA is one of those calling loudest for the rule to be dropped (since it impacts their customers).



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3458 times:

This is one lens that I want to get. But it's very expensive in Australia ($9,257 to $12,747). I'm thinking of trying to get one second hand. There is one on sale at the moment, but AUD$5000 is still a large amount of money. I can afford it - but...

The other choice is a 300mm F2.8G AF-S VR and a teleconverter..

[Edited 2007-12-01 14:34:28]

User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3416 times:



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 15):

I still like BA...when push come to shuv, I have actually had flight crew offer to store w/ their onboard bags and sometimes my equipment ended up in the cockpit during flights.The crews are great!


User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3415 times:



Quoting 10boomer (Reply 14):

No pun intended, but clearly a beautiful piece of equipment yielding great results as you have demonstrated...thnx guys,...now what can I do without so I can go spend another $5K....thnx for everyones input...jerry


User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3383 times:



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 19):
now what can I do without so I can go spend another $5K

that's so easy. avoid unnecessary luxury.

stop eating. life in a tent.

cheers,

Denis



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3368 times:



Quoting Beechcraft (Reply 20):

Cost of living here in New York already has me there...j


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