Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
hypercore360 Senior Member • Posts: 1,586
Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

Greetings...

Anyone have, or have had, the Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED, that they can speak in terms of it's optics. I'm not about to drop the $$$$ into the latest version, but something like this, I wouldn't mind getting for myself, as I'm not that much into BiF, or other uses for this lens.

Is it good optically? Not worried about handling it. It'll go on a big / study gimbal.

Thought and opinions welcome.

Cheers

RealVSK Regular Member • Posts: 459
Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

hypercore360 wrote:

Greetings...

Anyone have, or have had, the Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED, that they can speak in terms of it's optics. I'm not about to drop the $$$$ into the latest version, but something like this, I wouldn't mind getting for myself, as I'm not that much into BiF, or other uses for this lens.

Is it good optically? Not worried about handling it. It'll go on a big / study gimbal.

Thought and opinions welcome.

Cheers

I'm going to follow this as it is a wish list item I've looked at and would love to obtain.

My lenses are a 600mm F5.6 AI (Love it, almost handhold it)

600mm F4 AIS (love it but a beast to lug around)

200-500mm f5.6 AFS - Always end up using it.   The advanced / newer optics of the newer lens + VR plus using on a D850 or D7200 gives me the reach for just about everything with a good result.

I experiment every now and then, totally unscientific, with using the 200-500 with TC20eiii (2x) and 600mmF4 AIS with the TC-301 (2x) at the moon and the D850.  Anecdotally / incidentally? I get the better result with the 600mm and TC301.

I see the 800mmF8 is more affordable but that 5.6... !

I'll keep watching...

vsk

 RealVSK's gear list:RealVSK's gear list
Nikon D7200 Nikon D850 Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +21 more
kayaker353 Senior Member • Posts: 1,154
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
4

I purchased the 800 new a few years ago and have been thrilled with it.  Here are a couple of photos taken with it along with the 1.25 TC, which I use a lot.

Both images are modestly cropped, with at least 50% of the original image remaining.  If you have more questions, let me know.

 kayaker353's gear list:kayaker353's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR
Rico Tudor Contributing Member • Posts: 842
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

I see the 800mmF8 is more affordable but that 5.6... !

The 800/8 Ai-S is cheaper and  lighter at 3kg. I can carry mine in a ThinkTank Glass Limo with body detached. Image quality is really nice for a 1982 design although daytime shooting is recommended.

-- hide signature --

Canon, Nikon, Contax RTS, Leica M, Sony, Profoto

LensWizard
LensWizard Senior Member • Posts: 1,473
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

kayaker353 wrote:

I purchased the 800 new a few years ago and have been thrilled with it. Here are a couple of photos taken with it along with the 1.25 TC, which I use a lot.

Both images are modestly cropped, with at least 50% of the original image remaining. If you have more questions, let me know.

I also purchased this lens BNIB too...

-- hide signature --

Canon XLH1 Video, Profoto AcuteR2400, Eizo 27Inch CG277 Monitor, MSI GT80S Laptop, MSI Vortex G-65 Desktop, Wimberly Mk2 Head, Gitzo 5540LS Tripods (2), Arca Swiss Monoball Head, Macbook Pro 15inch Retna Display,Arca Swiss C1 Cube Head, Apple Mac Pro (6) Core 3.5GHZ Dual AMD700's

 LensWizard's gear list:LensWizard's gear list
Leica SL2 Canon EOS-1D Mark II N Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS-1Ds Leica SL (Typ 601) +26 more
OP hypercore360 Senior Member • Posts: 1,586
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Thanks for sharing the images. Very nice set of images. It's a BIG lens! I'm looking on eBay at the moment. A few are foating around from Japan.

RealVSK Regular Member • Posts: 459
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

LensWizard wrote:

kayaker353 wrote:

I purchased the 800 new a few years ago and have been thrilled with it. Here are a couple of photos taken with it along with the 1.25 TC, which I use a lot.

Both images are modestly cropped, with at least 50% of the original image remaining. If you have more questions, let me know.

I also purchased this lens BNIB too...

So gorgeous!  But I was thinking about the more mortal AI-S Manual focus battlewagon!

 RealVSK's gear list:RealVSK's gear list
Nikon D7200 Nikon D850 Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +21 more
Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,186
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Moose describes the 1986 introduced manual focus version as very sharp.

Coupled with a Z body the viewfinder will be much brighter than a DSLR viewfinder.

I do not know if it has been out of production more than 10 years - which might affect spares availability.

-- hide signature --

Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than anything else.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
Nikon Z7 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR +25 more
OP hypercore360 Senior Member • Posts: 1,586
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
2

Well, if Moose is recommending it, you know it's good!

I am not a Z shooter, so I have to ask (I simply don't know), but why would the view finder be "brighter"? Simply because of the EVF?

Curious what the original price of this lens was when it came out? I'm seeing a few units for sale on eBay from Japan.

Cheers

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

Moose describes the 1986 introduced manual focus version as very sharp.

Coupled with a Z body the viewfinder will be much brighter than a DSLR viewfinder.

I do not know if it has been out of production more than 10 years - which might affect spares availability.

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,186
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

hypercore360 wrote:

I am not a Z shooter, so I have to ask (I simply don't know), but why would the view finder be "brighter"? Simply because of the EVF?

Although not directly relevant with an f5.6 lenses, current Nikon DSLR's viewfinders - depending on the model - do not get any brighter with lenses faster than f2.2 to f2.8.

Nikon Z electronic viewfinders are several stops brighter with any lens than a Nikon DSLR viewfinder.

In very, very dim lighting when I can just detect an outline through a DSLR viewfinder the Z7 viewfinder has so much electronic noise I consider it worse.

I understand but cannot confirm some Sony viewfinders have much less noise in very, very low light.

The Z6&7 II have much lower light metering ability.

Whether their viewfinders perform better in very, very low light is something I do not know.

A second lockdown started in the UK today so I cannot handle a Z6 II until 2nd December without buying one first.

-- hide signature --

Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than anything else.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
Nikon Z7 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR +25 more
John Crowe
John Crowe Contributing Member • Posts: 906
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

You don't seem to be getting any direct experience so I will add my indirect reference.

I had the Nikon 400/2.8 ED AI-S and Canon FD 400/2.8 L, both of the same era, and I could not find any difference between the two.

15 years later I found that the Nikon 400/2.8 with 2x teleconverter had the exact same resolution as the Canon FD 800mm f5.6 L.  The 800 had slightly better, flare resistance, contrast, and control over chromatic aberration.

I was surprised the 800 was not significantly better, but the focal length was more appropriate for my needs so I did just sell the 400/2.8.  I also use the 800 with a 1.4x and 2x and results are still superb!

The Nikon 800mm f5.6 ED AI-S has one more glass element and has 3 ED elements and the Canon has 1 UD element.

So just by association I believe the Nikon 800mm f5.6 ED AI-S would be at least as good if not better than the Canon FD 800mm f5.6 L and would be worthwhile over the Nikon 400/2.8 AI-S and 600/4 AI-S.

Now having said that I know the Nikon 800/5.6 ED AI-S still commands a steep price and knowing how well the Nikon 400/2.8 ED AI-S holds up to teleconverters, it may be worth considering at about 1/2 the price.  I used it with TC-14B, 14E, 16A, TC-300, and even stacked the 14E and 16A, all with superb results.  It is shorter but much heavier than the 800.  I used it on D2X, D3300, Sony A6000, and most recently on Canon 5DSR.

Good luck in your decision.

 John Crowe's gear list:John Crowe's gear list
Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Irix 11mm F4 +14 more
Kenster63
Kenster63 Regular Member • Posts: 164
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

I got one off ebay a couple years ago from Japan. Very sharp pictures.

-- hide signature --

Life is short. Spend as much time as you can quibbling with strangers on the Internet.
https://www.dpreview.com/members/3553666329/challenges

 Kenster63's gear list:Kenster63's gear list
Nikon D300S Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR +7 more
OP hypercore360 Senior Member • Posts: 1,586
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
2

I'm seeing one currently (well, a few days ago) for around $2200 or so + about $170 S/H, from Japan.

Kenster63 wrote:

I got one off ebay a couple years ago from Japan. Very sharp pictures.

OP hypercore360 Senior Member • Posts: 1,586
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Thanks for the insight!!!

John Crowe wrote:

You don't seem to be getting any direct experience so I will add my indirect reference...

Kenster63
Kenster63 Regular Member • Posts: 164
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

hypercore360 wrote:

I'm seeing one currently (well, a few days ago) for around $2200 or so + about $170 S/H, from Japan.

I've had a lot of fun with lunar photos and other subjects that don't include fast action. It's amazing that photographers back in the day were able to pull off such great action shots with this lens.

-- hide signature --

Life is short. Spend as much time as you can quibbling with strangers on the Internet.
https://www.dpreview.com/members/3553666329/challenges

 Kenster63's gear list:Kenster63's gear list
Nikon D300S Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR +7 more
rumple
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 1,606
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Kenster63 wrote:

hypercore360 wrote:

I'm seeing one currently (well, a few days ago) for around $2200 or so + about $170 S/H, from Japan.

I've had a lot of fun with lunar photos and other subjects that don't include fast action. It's amazing that photographers back in the day were able to pull off such great action shots with this lens.

Split-mirror focusing prisms helped.  Also, standards were lower because they had to be, and because no-one was "pixel peeping".

-- hide signature --

"THINK" - Watson

John Crowe
John Crowe Contributing Member • Posts: 906
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

This is not the Nikon, but I like to think an 800mm f5.6 manual focus lens can still be used for sports.

Canon FD 800mm f5.6 L with EF 1.4x on Canon 5DSR.  ISO 200 f11 1/640 This is a very low res jpg.

 John Crowe's gear list:John Crowe's gear list
Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Irix 11mm F4 +14 more
John Crowe
John Crowe Contributing Member • Posts: 906
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

Standards were not low.  I remember seeing some enlarged race photos at a car show in the early 80's and that one image inspired me to improve my skills and equipment over the past 40 years.

Pros were shooting Kodachrome and that was not forgiving at all.

 John Crowe's gear list:John Crowe's gear list
Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Irix 11mm F4 +14 more
Gearsau
Gearsau Senior Member • Posts: 2,014
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

John Crowe wrote:

Standards were not low. I remember seeing some enlarged race photos at a car show in the early 80's and that one image inspired me to improve my skills and equipment over the past 40 years.

Pros were shooting Kodachrome and that was not forgiving at all.

You're correct with that statement.  I purchased my Nikon 800mm f5.6, way back in 1990. I was shooting motor cycle racing in Australia at the time. I was shooting with KR64, but, I cheated and rated it at 80 ISO.

When I lived in Japan from 1993 ~ 1997, I would go to Suzuka Race circuit, down in the Nagoya region. Japanese light was softer due to pollution. I ran my KR64 at 100 ISO, and, had the film processed in Tokyo by Kodak.  24 hour turn around. !!

A good comparison in size : Nikon 800mm f5.6, Nikon 500mm f4 AF-I and Nikon 300mm f2.8 AF-S

Must admit, when we could no longer obtain KR64 some years ago, I was upset, but, after going digital, my wallet is much heavier

Regards Peter

 Gearsau's gear list:Gearsau's gear list
Nikon AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II +20 more
rumple
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 1,606
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

rumple wrote:

[..]

Split-mirror focusing prisms helped. Also, standards were lower because they had to be, and because no-one was "pixel peeping".

...

John Crowe wrote:

Standards were not low. I remember seeing some enlarged race photos at a car show in the early 80's and that one image inspired me to improve my skills and equipment over the past 40 years.

I said "lower", not low, and I'm comfortable with that.

The number of keepers on fast-moving subjects with good AF is going to be higher than with manual focus, and criteria for perfect focus would be slightly less than today.  Getting the shot is more important that getting the perfect shot especially when there are fewer "perfect" shots.

-- hide signature --

"THINK" - Watson

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads