Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Started May 15, 2012 | Discussions
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
Manish R Karnik Forum Member • Posts: 73
Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Which one would deliver better Image Quality (IQ) ?

AF and Manual Focus is not the deciding criteria.

Will the 400mm f5.6 give inferior IQ owing to its old technology ? Or will the 300mm and TC combo give inferior IQ because of adding the TC ?

M.

nathantw Senior Member • Posts: 1,366
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

I'd get the 300 f/4 AF-ED. I own the 400mm f/5.6 and though it's a fantastic, lightweight lens, there were many, many times I wished it was AF. I'm sure you'd feel the same after a while.

I posted a few photos with the 400mm (and three pictures using a TC-16a) on my flickr page (see my signature for the link).
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

Manish R Karnik OP Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Nathan,

Fantastic pics you have there...loved the blue angels pics.....

Has the sharpness and IQ delivered by the 400mm ever disappointed you ? It reportedly delivers sharp pics at 5.6. Can you confirm ?

M.

nathantw wrote:

I'd get the 300 f/4 AF-ED. I own the 400mm f/5.6 and though it's a fantastic, lightweight lens, there were many, many times I wished it was AF. I'm sure you'd feel the same after a while.

I posted a few photos with the 400mm (and three pictures using a TC-16a) on my flickr page (see my signature for the link).
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

jdrpc Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

I have used BOTH lens for many years!
Now, I've sold the 300mm, because not so much use for it...

I don't know if I've seen many lens as sharp as the 400mm f5.6, apart from the small size and the lightweight!
It's just a fantastic lens, even with the matched TC301!
http://www.pbase.com/jdrpc/image/117895348
http://www.pbase.com/jdrpc/image/119274230
with tc, 800mm http://www.pbase.com/image/112348532
also: http://www.pbase.com/jdrpc/image/142792461
http://www.pbase.com/jdrpc/image/112590324
http://www.pbase.com/jdrpc/image/142692329
....

 jdrpc's gear list:jdrpc's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Nikon D300 Nikon D700 +1 more
carauction Veteran Member • Posts: 6,642
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

I had the 400 f/3.5 Ais, and also the 300F/4 with the Kenko 1.4. I did not like the 300 with the Kenko. Used both on my D3. I felt the IQ of the 400 F/3.5 was better. I heard good things about the 400 F/5.6. I am a pixel peeper, you will find that the lack of coatings on both the AiS lenses and the 300 ED will give you C/A and fringing....but for the price you cannot have everything.

Quite frankly, I did not like the 400 a whole lot.

Mike

nathantw Senior Member • Posts: 1,366
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Thank you, Manish. The only time the IQ disappointed me was when I first purchased the lens and saw the low contrast images. I looked inside and thought the dust that was on the inside the barrel element was permanent. It turned out the "dust" was actually the felt lining in the tube flaking off. I was able to clean and blow it out and suddenly the lens was sharp and contrasty. Hasn't disappointed me since.

If you like shooting pictures of planets (they look like dots on the sensor), though, note that the planet won't be round but this weird shape. Someone documented it when looking for an astronomical lens and he ended up passing on it.

As for shooting at f/5.6, I do it all the time. I shot my son pitching at a little league game and even though I shot a full length picture I was able to enlarge a little area and see his eyelashes. They weren't tack sharp like what a D800 would give, but sharp enough for what a D700 would. I wish I could post the picture, but my better half wasn't too keen on it.

Manish R Karnik wrote:
Nathan,

Fantastic pics you have there...loved the blue angels pics.....

Has the sharpness and IQ delivered by the 400mm ever disappointed you ? It reportedly delivers sharp pics at 5.6. Can you confirm ?

M.

nathantw wrote:

I'd get the 300 f/4 AF-ED. I own the 400mm f/5.6 and though it's a fantastic, lightweight lens, there were many, many times I wished it was AF. I'm sure you'd feel the same after a while.

I posted a few photos with the 400mm (and three pictures using a TC-16a) on my flickr page (see my signature for the link).
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

-- hide signature --

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

Manish R Karnik OP Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Bought a Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED-IF Ai lens with the narrow collar. Can't wait to try it out.....Finally I got my long prime......

Manish

nathantw Senior Member • Posts: 1,366
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Congrats! I can't wait to see what you might want to share with us.

By the way, I know your enthusiasm with a long prime lens. They're usually so expensive that it was always a dream, but now you have one that was, at one time, one of the better long lenses out there.

You'll find the lens is relatively lightweight and will be more inclined to bring it along with you; more so than if you got a 400 f/2.8 or a manual 400 f/3.5. I just throw mine in a large backpack and carry it with me since it's so compact.

Manish R Karnik wrote:

Bought a Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED-IF Ai lens with the narrow collar. Can't wait to try it out.....Finally I got my long prime......

Manish

-- hide signature --

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

Manish R Karnik OP Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Oh yes I am waiting to take it out as well....The monsoon rains are almost upon us so I guess I will have to wait some.

Indeed I am very excited and more so surprised to acquire this compact gem. It is an unbelievably good piece of equipment, compact, lightweight and a great performer.

I was contemplating an tripod leg and ball-head upgrade and I no longer need to do that because it is not so heavy or bulky as I thought.

Of course the 400mm 2.8 and 3.5 are out of my reach and also considr this lens as an investment of just under USD500

Thank you for your inputs which guided me towards this lens, luck as well as these are extremely rare here.......

M.

nathantw wrote:
Congrats! I can't wait to see what you might want to share with us.

By the way, I know your enthusiasm with a long prime lens. They're usually so expensive that it was always a dream, but now you have one that was, at one time, one of the better long lenses out there.

You'll find the lens is relatively lightweight and will be more inclined to bring it along with you; more so than if you got a 400 f/2.8 or a manual 400 f/3.5. I just throw mine in a large backpack and carry it with me since it's so compact.

Manish R Karnik wrote:

Bought a Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED-IF Ai lens with the narrow collar. Can't wait to try it out.....Finally I got my long prime......

Manish

-- hide signature --

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

tarnish Senior Member • Posts: 1,470
This is just incorrect

carauction wrote:

you will find that the lack of coatings on both the AiS lenses and the 300 ED will give you C/A and fringing....

Not even close to a lack: AiS lenses have multicoatings, essentially the same as any coating on a current lens outside of the one or two "N" surfaces that a few lenses have.

Coatings don't cause or cure chromatic aberration any more than they control coma, spherical aberration or astigmatism. They are far too thin to have any significant refractive effect.

Manish R Karnik OP Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG
1

Here is a pic of the lens on the D80...

Manish

Bobby Handal
Bobby Handal Veteran Member • Posts: 5,450
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG
1

nice !!!

I wish Nikon would provide us with more choices of telephotos. Before, they had like 3 choices of 400mm:
400mm f2.8
400mm f3.5
400mm f5.6

in 600mm they had:
600mm f4
600mm f5.6

in 800mm they had:
800mm f5.6
800mm f8

and a few mirror lenses also.

everyone had a choice.

 Bobby Handal's gear list:Bobby Handal's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V Ricoh WG-M1 Nikon Coolpix P900 +55 more
nathantw Senior Member • Posts: 1,366
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

I think what had happened was that Nikon started focusing on zoom lenses and also the 1.5x magnification factor of APS-C cameras to make up the difference. Look at how many people want a D400 or D7000 or the like. Many of them purchased it because they wanted their telephoto lenses to behave like something more than it is.

Bobby Handal wrote:

nice !!!

I wish Nikon would provide us with more choices of telephotos. Before, they had like 3 choices of 400mm:
400mm f2.8
400mm f3.5
400mm f5.6

in 600mm they had:
600mm f4
600mm f5.6

in 800mm they had:
800mm f5.6
800mm f8

and a few mirror lenses also.

everyone had a choice.

-- hide signature --

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

nathantw Senior Member • Posts: 1,366
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Enjoy the lens. I looks great. I personally love the idea I can preset a distance and always go back to it. It really helps with people that always need to go back to the same place, such as a baseball pitcher.

Manish R Karnik wrote:

Here is a pic of the lens on the D80...

Manish

-- hide signature --

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathantw/
Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

Manish R Karnik OP Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Here is a 100% crop of a picture I took today with this lens. I am not sure what the aperture was 5.6 or 8 but I am very impressed with its sharpness.

For some reason I am unable to upload to dpreview gallery hence putting it on flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/manish_r_karnik/7520418230/

Manish

Theodoros Fotometria Senior Member • Posts: 2,090
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Manish R Karnik wrote:

Which one would deliver better Image Quality (IQ) ?

AF and Manual Focus is not the deciding criteria.

Will the 400mm f5.6 give inferior IQ owing to its old technology ? Or will the 300mm and TC combo give inferior IQ because of adding the TC ?

M.

-- hide signature --

The old AI-S 400 IF-ED f5.6 is a better lens than ANY lens+TC combo at 420mm f5.6. Much better than the AF 300 f4 if-ed (the non AF-S) with the Kenko pro300 fitted and better than the same lens with the tc-14eii fitted (with the appropriate lens or TC modification) in MF. Technology in optics isn't as time relevant as many think...
Theodoros
http://www.fotometria.gr

Manish R Karnik OP Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

She is one cracker.....For trying out sake I tried her on with a Kenko Pro 300 DG 2x at f32 and a flash at about 4.5mtrs.....No complaints about the sharpness here.....

Truly amazing.....

Manish

Theodoros Fotometria wrote:

Manish R Karnik wrote:

Which one would deliver better Image Quality (IQ) ?

AF and Manual Focus is not the deciding criteria.

Will the 400mm f5.6 give inferior IQ owing to its old technology ? Or will the 300mm and TC combo give inferior IQ because of adding the TC ?

M.

-- hide signature --

The old AI-S 400 IF-ED f5.6 is a better lens than ANY lens+TC combo at 420mm f5.6. Much better than the AF 300 f4 if-ed (the non AF-S) with the Kenko pro300 fitted and better than the same lens with the tc-14eii fitted (with the appropriate lens or TC modification) in MF. Technology in optics isn't as time relevant as many think...
Theodoros
http://www.fotometria.gr

jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,767
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

You are talking about the 400/5.6 ED-IF AIS, there is also the 400/5.6 ED AI which is just a tad better then the AIS version. I've owned both and I have the ED AI now.

On 12MP FX both are excellent. On 36MP FX the ED AI is falling a little short wide open, but is just fine stopped down.

John
--

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 +21 more
jdrpc Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Nikon 400mm f5.6 ED AiS or 300mm f4 AF-ED (non AFS) + 1.4x Kenko Pro 300 DG

Theodoros Fotometria wrote:

Manish R Karnik wrote:

Which one would deliver better Image Quality (IQ) ?

AF and Manual Focus is not the deciding criteria.

Will the 400mm f5.6 give inferior IQ owing to its old technology ? Or will the 300mm and TC combo give inferior IQ because of adding the TC ?

M.

-- hide signature --

The old AI-S 400 IF-ED f5.6 is a better lens than ANY lens+TC combo at 420mm f5.6. Much better than the AF 300 f4 if-ed (the non AF-S) with the Kenko pro300 fitted and better than the same lens with the tc-14eii fitted (with the appropriate lens or TC modification) in MF. Technology in optics isn't as time relevant as many think...

Precisely! That is why some Zeiss optical design dates back 100 years, and still is the best! Advances in Technology allow for more versatile lens, not necesseraly better ones. Optics is NOT a fashion! Try to explain this to the hard heads....

Theodoros
http://www.fotometria.gr

 jdrpc's gear list:jdrpc's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Nikon D300 Nikon D700 +1 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads