Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
John Crowe
John Crowe Contributing Member • Posts: 939
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Not sure how we got into this.  Okay, standards were not "lower" either.

The best photos were still in perfect focus, but yes it took not only the best equipment and the best skills, but a heck of a lot of film, to get there.  I did used to "pixel peep" the film grain of transparencies with a 10x objective magnifying lens!

I never used an autofocus film camera but after years of digital photography with AF, I would imagine it saved a lot of film and time, and may have resulted in more memorable action images.

In my opinion digital did more for successful photography than AF.  Instantaneous feedback on exposure, focus, and composition, and instantaneous control over ISO to ensure the best combination of aperture and shutter speed, provided the most effective tool for photography.  Today many of the best lenses manufactured, like the Canon TS-E series, and many Zeiss lenses, to name just a couple, are manual focus and once again made much easier to photograph with by digital cameras.

The images I create with my 5 manual focus lenses are just as good (if not better) and just as fulfilling as those made with my 2 autofocus lenses.  I would say that without digital cameras and digital post processing my action photography, heck most of my photography, would be nowhere near where it is today.  I do certainly miss the bright viewfinders and matte screens of the 70's and 80's for focusing.  I would love to have seen a DSLR manual focus only body that would not have to steal all that light for the AF system.  If it hadn't been for the industry switch to mirrorless, someone might actually have done it, with the advent of all these manual focus lines of lenses.

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Kenster63
Kenster63 Regular Member • Posts: 164
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
2

Hello hypercore360,

Here's a moon pic taken with that lens last May. I think it must have been a particularly good night in terms of a minimum of atmospheric disturbance going on, but this is what the lens is capable of when the "seeing" is good.

Nikon D500, f/8, 1/200, ISO 100. Single frame processed in Lightroom.

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RealVSK Regular Member • Posts: 463
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

I'm watching them all on eBay rt now.

What seems interesting is the value of the 600mmF4 AIS seems to have crept up a wee bit.  A lot over 1500.  I remember paying about 1300 for mine + shipp from Japan with the metal case.

All the 800 5.6 are mid to high $2K.   Make me stop!!

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

Great captures, kayaker! I recently got the 1.4 TC for it, and my testing showed very little, if any, image quality degradation using it.

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kayaker353 Senior Member • Posts: 1,155
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

My memory of some aspects of film days are a bit dim.  However, I seem to recall that split prisms worked only up to about 200 or 300 mm, and there limits imposed by lens aperture.

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rumple
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 1,614
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

kayaker353 wrote:

My memory of some aspects of film days are a bit dim. However, I seem to recall that split prisms worked only up to about 200 or 300 mm, and there limits imposed by lens aperture.

Yes on the aperture (beyond some point the split prism was just dark), I suppose so on the telephoto, don't recall.

But the overall answer to "how did we survive before autofocus" certainly includes the split-prism focusing aid.

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,212
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

rumple wrote:

kayaker353 wrote:

My memory of some aspects of film days are a bit dim. However, I seem to recall that split prisms worked only up to about 200 or 300 mm, and there limits imposed by lens aperture.

Yes on the aperture (beyond some point the split prism was just dark), I suppose so on the telephoto, don't recall.

But the overall answer to "how did we survive before autofocus" certainly includes the split-prism focusing aid.

If you had a Nikon body with the option of a wide range of interchangeable screens - there were split image and other screen which worked well with f5.6 combinations.

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

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rumple
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 1,614
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

rumple wrote:

kayaker353 wrote:

My memory of some aspects of film days are a bit dim. However, I seem to recall that split prisms worked only up to about 200 or 300 mm, and there limits imposed by lens aperture.

Yes on the aperture (beyond some point the split prism was just dark), I suppose so on the telephoto, don't recall.

But the overall answer to "how did we survive before autofocus" certainly includes the split-prism focusing aid.

If you had a Nikon body with the option of a wide range of interchangeable screens - there were split image and other screen which worked well with f5.6 combinations.

I take it to mean that "... the overall answer to "how did we survive before autofocus" certainly includes the split-prism focusing aid" is still reasonably valid.

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John Crowe
John Crowe Contributing Member • Posts: 939
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

I actually hated the split prism, I always judged by the matte area.  All these decades later I have little trouble doing the same with my digital cameras.  I manual focus 95% of the time with lenses from 8 to 800 mm.

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rumple
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 1,614
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

John Crowe wrote:

[...]All these decades later I have little trouble doing the same with my digital cameras. [...]

My hat is off to you. Almost no-one can do that successfully, hence the popularity of KatzEye when they were still around.

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,212
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

rumple wrote:

John Crowe wrote:

[...]All these decades later I have little trouble doing the same with my digital cameras. [...]

My hat is off to you. Almost no-one can do that successfully, hence the popularity of KatzEye when they were still around.

A bit of the thread topic - and perhaps playing referee - some photographers have better - or worse - eyesight than others.

Some for medical reasons do not have excellent eyesight - and some do.

As I do not have binocular vision I have my vision checked every 12 months.

I am not 80 yet - but can easily manual focus at 24mm f2.8 in moderate light with a D500 and D850.

At 14mm and 15mm I find manual focus a bit challenging but reasonably doable.

With the Z7 manual focus is easier than with my DSLRs - without zooming in for improved focus detail.

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

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John Crowe
John Crowe Contributing Member • Posts: 939
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

Yes, my nephew has no idea how I can focus with an f1.2 lens, since he has tried manual focus with his EF 50/1.4.

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John Crowe
John Crowe Contributing Member • Posts: 939
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

I wear extremely strong progressive glasses so I have to adjust my eyepiece adapter to achieve the sharpest view that I can.  Thankfully my right eye is better than my left!  I know from a test many years ago that I have above average depth perception in each eye, so that probably helps too.

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,212
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

John Crowe wrote:

my nephew has no idea how I can focus with an f1.2 lens, since he has tried manual focus with his EF 50/1.4.

In the background a Canon body is unlikely to show dof or viewfinder brightness wider than about f2, and a high end Nikon wider than about f2.2.

In this respect if both viewfinder screens are equally coarse ground apertures wider than f1.2 do not help with manual focus.

Back in recent history with an OM4 and either a 1.4 focus screen or (my preference) a 1.8 focus screen was for easier to manual focus than recent DSLR's - primarily because a lot less light needed to work multi point AF and multi segment metering was diverted before it reached the viewfinder

I was told after eye operations at age 16 I would never need spectacles againĀ 

When I started University 2 years later I had to move to the front row to read the writing on the blackboard - and in the intervening 2 years I had managed to pass a driving testĀ 

Eyes accommodate to gradual loss of acuity, without your realising it.

Anyone who cannot easily read a car number plate at 50 paces - your distance eyesight is some way from perfect.

Similarly anyone who cannot read the smallest print on an opticians close reading test - your eyesight is someway from perfect.

Often prescription eyeglasses can improve near and far eyesight acuity.

I know prescription eyeglasses cost money - but can often help see better through an optical viewfinder or the menus on the rear menu.

Perhaps your nephew could benefit from a visit to the optician if he cannot see well enough to focus manually.

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

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,212
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

John Crowe wrote:

I know from a test many years ago that I have above average depth perception in each eye, so that probably helps too.

From a test just 3 months ago, with eyeglasses my right eye is similar.

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

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RealVSK Regular Member • Posts: 463
Did it ... Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
1

OK,

Enough, I've thought about this for quite a while and this thread spurred my Gear Acquisition Syndrome really bad.  I bought the US-located one on eBay.  The seller lowered the price and further for watchers.  The TAX though!  Oops.

Anyway, he should ship it late November.  In time for Snowy Owl season in NYC.

I'll try to post some stuff with my D850 and D7200 with and without the TC301 2x  teleconverter when I get it.

House needs so much work. I am nuts!!

vsk

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OP hypercore360 Senior Member • Posts: 1,589
Re: Did it ... Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED
2

Enjoy it, once you get it. Please post some pics.

RealVSK wrote:

OK,

Enough, I've thought about this for quite a while and this thread spurred my Gear Acquisition Syndrome really bad. I bought the US-located one on eBay. The seller lowered the price and further for watchers. The TAX though! Oops.

Anyway, he should ship it late November. In time for Snowy Owl season in NYC.

I'll try to post some stuff with my D850 and D7200 with and without the TC301 2x teleconverter when I get it.

House needs so much work. I am nuts!!

vsk

OP hypercore360 Senior Member • Posts: 1,589
Re: Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

Great image! Thanks for sharing.

Kenster63 wrote:

Hello hypercore360,

Here's a moon pic taken with that lens last May. I think it must have been a particularly good night in terms of a minimum of atmospheric disturbance going on, but this is what the lens is capable of when the "seeing" is good.

Nikon D500, f/8, 1/200, ISO 100. Single frame processed in Lightroom.

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

hypercore360 wrote:

Great image! Thanks for sharing.

Kenster63 wrote:

Hello hypercore360,

Here's a moon pic taken with that lens last May. I think it must have been a particularly good night in terms of a minimum of atmospheric disturbance going on, but this is what the lens is capable of when the "seeing" is good--
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Thanks! You're welcome! It's a fun lens.

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RealVSK Regular Member • Posts: 463
Re: Did it ... Nikkor 800mm F5.6 Ai-s ED

hypercore360 wrote:

Enjoy it, once you get it. Please post some pics.

RealVSK wrote:

OK,

Enough, I've thought about this for quite a while and this thread spurred my Gear Acquisition Syndrome really bad. I bought the US-located one on eBay. The seller lowered the price and further for watchers. The TAX though! Oops.

Anyway, he should ship it late November. In time for Snowy Owl season in NYC.

I'll try to post some stuff with my D850 and D7200 with and without the TC301 2x teleconverter when I get it.

House needs so much work. I am nuts!!

vsk

Most definitely!!   If it behaves like my 600 f4 AIS,  I will be very pleased.

 RealVSK's gear list:RealVSK's gear list
Nikon D7200 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D +23 more
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