Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:42 am

Help Needed From Nikon 200-400mm Lense Users

Sat May 26, 2007 9:14 pm

Here is my predicament.

I have just purchased a Nikon 200-400mm lense, However, will collect this lense from my supplier on Monday9 July, That is two days before I will be at RIAT.

This means that I only have a day and half to trial and test this new lense with my D2X.

How can I prepare myself for such a pleasant ordeal?

Yes I know I will need a tripod and ball head. Which ones should I get? For the time being I have a somewhat limited budget - perhaps GBP300 for this.

Is there a Nikon 200-400mm manual available on the Internet?

Are there any A-Net Nikon 200-200mm users out there who can provide advice.

In God we trust
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 4:46 pm

RE: Help Needed From Nikon 200-400mm Lense Users

Sat May 26, 2007 9:24 pm

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!  bigthumbsup  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  Wink ), because no matter what you do (within reason) this piece of glass will not let you down!!  thumbsup 
In thrust I trust.
Posts: 618
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 12:27 am

RE: Help Needed From Nikon 200-400mm Lense Users

Sat May 26, 2007 10:36 pm

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.

The bigger, gimballed head is over $700 CDN.

If you get either Wimberley I believe you need a special foot also for your lens, which adds to the cost. This and the Sidekick put you just over $400 CDN.

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.

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.

Happy shooting with your new toy...
Posts: 319
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 3:37 am

RE: Help Needed From Nikon 200-400mm Lense Users

Sun May 27, 2007 3:12 am

Bill makes excellent points, i certainly wouldn't contradict anything he has said.

I use a tilt head mount on my monopod with a quick release plate to hold the 200-400. The tilt head can allow vertical movement, and for panning you just turn and the monopod turns.

I was intimidated at first, but that went away after the first couple of outings.

have fun with it!
Posts: 622
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 6:50 pm

RE: Help Needed From Nikon 200-400mm Lense Users

Sun May 27, 2007 4:26 am

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 Big grin

Never be afraid of what you like. (Miles Davis)
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:42 am

RE: Help Needed From Nikon 200-400mm Lense Users

Sun May 27, 2007 5:20 am

Thanks folks for your valuable comments.

Hopefully, I will let you have my experiences - or should I say that of my son as he will most likely be using it most of the time at RIAT.

It happened with my Fuji S2Pro, my Nikon D70, my Nikon 70-200mm lens, my Nikon D2X and now my Nikon 200-400mm lens. The only consolation, I love his Nikon D200 + Nikon 70/200mm lens combination.

Funny how these young men have the knack to identify what feels good.
In God we trust

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