Author Topic: The 400 f2.8E FL VR - my thoughts after 3 months of ownership  (Read 7355 times)

ColinM

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Re: The 400 f2.8E FL VR - my thoughts after 3 months of ownership
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2015, 16:00:55 »
Hi Lance, for me I just dream of owning anything longer or faster than 300mm F4, but like Jan I am saving up for other things at the moment.

Your thread is a really good example of how to set some specialised information in context with real world use, plus clear examples of the results. It's all too rare to see coverage of telephotos and your guidance on use with the TC's was good too.

In addition, I think there may be many people who would never consider buying a lens in this class that are suspicious when Canon or Nikon bring out a new version of lenses that were often already classics 20+ years ago. I suspect they assume that they're just looking for easy money from upgraders. Bjorn amongst others has always pointed out the lenses that had inbuilt design flaws in their initial versions, so it's good to see Nikon making tangible changes.

Finally I'd just like to comment that
- f2.8 plus Australian sun just isn't fair ;)
  (Bob might also have something to say about this)
- My favourite image is the Kestrel looking down at its supper.
   I'd happily pay for an A1 sized print of that

I'd be interested to see more images like this.
For those of us interested in natural history, maybe you could start a new thread to tell us a bit more about the practical side of how you approach shoots like these?
e.g. Slow stealthy approach, sit for hours waiting, using a hide (or blind in the USA) etc?

PedroS

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Re: The 400 f2.8E FL VR - my thoughts after 3 months of ownership
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2015, 20:03:41 »
Many thanks for sharing your experience.

Aging is coming around here  :P, and carrying my 600VR for long periods is now more a sacrifice than anything else.
So that new 400FL seems a very good alternative, and posts like yours are not helping either...

Lance B

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Re: The 400 f2.8E FL VR - my thoughts after 3 months of ownership
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2015, 04:49:22 »
Hi Lance, for me I just dream of owning anything longer or faster than 300mm F4, but like Jan I am saving up for other things at the moment.

Your thread is a really good example of how to set some specialised information in context with real world use, plus clear examples of the results. It's all too rare to see coverage of telephotos and your guidance on use with the TC's was good too.

In addition, I think there may be many people who would never consider buying a lens in this class that are suspicious when Canon or Nikon bring out a new version of lenses that were often already classics 20+ years ago. I suspect they assume that they're just looking for easy money from upgraders. Bjorn amongst others has always pointed out the lenses that had inbuilt design flaws in their initial versions, so it's good to see Nikon making tangible changes.

Finally I'd just like to comment that
- f2.8 plus Australian sun just isn't fair ;)
  (Bob might also have something to say about this)
- My favourite image is the Kestrel looking down at its supper.
   I'd happily pay for an A1 sized print of that

I'd be interested to see more images like this.
For those of us interested in natural history, maybe you could start a new thread to tell us a bit more about the practical side of how you approach shoots like these?
e.g. Slow stealthy approach, sit for hours waiting, using a hide (or blind in the USA) etc?

Hi Colin, thank you very much for your wonderful comments and taking the time to give such a detailed response. Very much appreciated!

As much as test charts are great for debates over which lens has the infinitesimal advantage over another and can show what a lens might be capable, real world use is a much more relevent to us all as things like lens weight, balance, VR, AF speed and accuracy, size etc are all factors that affect our ability to get results. As I also intimated in my initial post, things that acan affect your decision about one lens over another lens, or may tip you into a purchase of a lens, may come down to other practicalities like the lens hood. The old 400 had a two piece affair, the new one a singel piece similar to my 500 and this means that it makes it so much easier to cart around in a camera backpack. Also, if you can't easily manoeuvre a relatively large lens like the 400 f2.8, then it could be the sharpest lens in the world but means nothing to you if you can't get the shot! Lenses like the Simga 150-600 and the Tamron 150-600 are probably better for those that may not have the ability to easily use a large lens and in real world use, the advantage of the 400 2.8 may be lost due to it's less manoeuvreable nature. I have seen stunning results from these new long zooms from Tamron and Sigma, so don't discount them as an alternative in good to reasonable light. I almost purchased the Sigma, but decided that seeing as the new 400 was similar in weight, size and balance to my 500 f4 VR and so, decied to get it. My 500 f4 VR is up for sale. The beauty of these zooms is that they are relatively light and maoeuvreable meaning that you can get shots that may be missed with these much heavier lenses.

Yes, we are blessed with good light most of the time in Australia, which is definitely an advantage.  :)

Thank you for your kind comment on the "Kestrel looking for his supper" shot. I am not sure I could charge a fellow forum user for a photo, though.

As you suggest, I might start a thread about techniques and suggestions for birding.

Cheers,
Lance




Lance B

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Re: The 400 f2.8E FL VR - my thoughts after 3 months of ownership
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2015, 04:53:45 »
Many thanks for sharing your experience.

Aging is coming around here  :P, and carrying my 600VR for long periods is now more a sacrifice than anything else.
So that new 400FL seems a very good alternative, and posts like yours are not helping either...

Thank you very much for your kind comments, Pedro!  :)

The 400 is great for practicality reasons, ie weight and size etc, but of course, the 600 f4 is probably still have a very slight edge in sharpenss than the 400 + 1.4x TCIII, but it would be marginal and may not even be noticable in real world use. However, the new 600 f4 VR that will be a Fluorite version will be lighter and better balanced than the current version.

PedroS

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Re: The 400 f2.8E FL VR - my thoughts after 3 months of ownership
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2015, 22:27:02 »
Yes, indeed, and they should come end of this year.

I really like the IQ of the 600VR, and it works great with a "slight" modified tripod rig.

But at the end of the day, it seems to weight 3 times more...  :o

Erik Lund

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Re: The 400 f2.8E FL VR - my thoughts after 3 months of ownership
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2015, 22:48:09 »
The 600m f/4 is a huge monster, I remember hauling it in and out of the Safari Landrover thingie for Pawel
Shot some amazing long distance images with it
Here in Denmark there are often too much disturbance in the air for such images though...
Great images.
Erik Lund

jgould2

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Re: The 400 f2.8E FL VR - my thoughts after 3 months of ownership
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2018, 00:29:36 »
Hi Lance.

I am a relatively new member so am just seeing this post. Striking images! Beautiful work and thanks so much for sharing your impressions of the lens and how it compares to the 500 and 600. I have much earlier versions of all three lenses and to think they could be improved is mind-blowing.

JIM