Thom article and the 200-400mm

Started May 20, 2008 | Discussions thread
maratus Regular Member • Posts: 264
Re: Thom article and the 200-400mm

Anastigmat wrote:

Pupfish wrote:

The 200-400VR may not be perfect, but it sure hits a sweet spot with
me. It's more than professionally sharp wide open, even with a TC-14E
II. No one is going to reject images from this lens due to any
inherent lack of sharpness. It "only" costs $5K-- yet does the job of
several multi-thousand dollar lenses. It does several things other
lenses do not.

Only $5K?

At the time I bought mine, it was the longest hand-holdable lens
Nikon made. VR works incredibly well, I've gotten tack sharp results
at 1/15-1/30s. Some may be able to handhold the new 500 f/4VR, but to
me that's a stretch. 95% of the time I don't even take a tripod out
for shooting with it. This is a tremendous advantage that makes my
burden easily 7 lbs lighter than it would be otherwise.

The minimum focusing distance of 6-1/2 feet closed the deal for me.
Frame filling hummingbird shots are possible w/o T/Cs, without
extension tubes-- full frame!

Hummers are not so hard to get close to. I can do the same with a
400mm Sigma APO Tele Macro. No extenstion tubes. And I got the
Sigma used for less than $400.

On a DX body, it's a fabulous birding
lens. 300-600mm equivalent/420-840 with a 1.4x TC that's handholdable
and focuses well into the macro range, that is sharper than many
prime ED teles of yore? We'd hardly have believed it possible even 15
years ago.

I'll venture to say it's the most popular long telephoto lens Nikon
has ever offered, and it's not purely by chance.

For $5K, it better be a good lens. This is a Nikon lens forum, but
it is hard not to bring up a semi-comparable Canon lens, the
100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L. Not as fast as the Nikkor for sure, but
perhaps just as good optically and a bit wider at the wide end, for a
fraction of the price. If Nikon makes a lens comparable in sharpness
and price to the Canon 100-400L, it would be wildly popular.

The copy of Canon 100-400 I used to have
was a bit softer than Nikon 200-400 + 1.7TC wide open.

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