200-400 VR does not equal prime lens sharpness?

Started Nov 2, 2006 | Discussions thread
RBFresno Forum Pro • Posts: 13,003
Re: Sharpness is not everything

Hi Deven,

But let's not forget that image sharpness is not everything. A lens like the 200-400 is not going to be used for landscape photography or portraits. It is most likely going to be used for sports or wildlife photography where being able to quickly compose the scene is critical. In this regard the flexibility of having a zoom may (depending on your priorities) well be worth a slight -- may I dare say insignificant -- loss in sharpness.

I usually shoot my 200-400VR @ max focal length, but there are times when it's just great having the zoom flexibility.

I was at Yosemite last weekend with my wife, primarily for lunch.

Took a few pictures with her D50 18-200VR combo including this late afternoon view of Glacier Point from the valley floor:

Nikon D50 ,Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6g IF-ED AF-S DX VR
1/200s f/5.0 at 18.0mm

Notice the moon just about to go behind the mountain? Here it is at 36mm instead of 18mm:
Nikon D50
1/400s f/5.0 at 36.0mm

And at 280mm with 200-400VR/TC14e II
Nikon D2h ,Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR
1/640s f/6.3 at 280.0mm iso200

And @ 550mm:
Nikon D2h ,Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR
1/640s f/6.3 at 550.0mm iso200

These are not particularly sharp images, but I like them better than some of my sharper ones.

Best Regards,


 RBFresno's gear list:RBFresno's gear list
Nikon D2H Nikon D4 Nikon D5 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +17 more
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