200-400mm f/4G


Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G VRII


A fantastic lens. 

 

First thing you should probably know about this lens is of it's shortcomings when focusing at infinity. It tends to get hazy/less sharp when doing landscapes. I've still got more testing to see if it's the same at 200mm as well as 400mm. I suspect not due to this sharp image at around 210mm:


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I've noticed that it doesn't perform well with the 2x teleconverter (this needs more testing, but in operation, I opted for f/4 - f/5.6 at 400mm than even f/11 at 800mm.



Well those are about the only downsides (along with the weight). And don't let those get you down, because as itself, it's a joy to use.

For everything else besides long landscapes, it's a brilliant performer!

Focusing is MUCH faster than the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. I didn't think it'd make a difference, but it does, and it's very refreshing.

If you've read my blog about my trip to antarctica (where I really put this lens through its paces, and grew to love it) you'll see that I chanced taking it on the zodiac cruises which would normally call for a wide angle lens. The below image is one of the results of that:


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A long lens, it was focusing fantastically close so I could get some fantastic closeups of the ice itself. It's sharp as hell when used on anything closer than infinity. The zoom allows a bit of flexibility that the other exotic lenses don't, which is why I chose it when the opportunity presented itself. 


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I got quite a few nice shots with this lens, and in the short span of a month, I find myself counting this among the lenses that are uniquely invaluable. If I had to get rid of many of my lenses, this would be one of the last lenses to go. 


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At first the infinity focus issue bothered me (if they came out with a new version that corrected that issue, I'd trade this one and get that one in a heartbeat), but as long as you understand your limitations, you can work with them. Since knowing about it, I've focused (literally) on closer subjects and that's where this lens shines. 


And lets not forget about the VR. That's what made the ice shots possible when on a bucking zodiac at 400mm. 





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