Author Topic: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?  (Read 4104 times)

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2017, 18:23:30 »
This is the proper way of deploying the 200-400 ED. The cantilevered tripod mounting foot is extremely rigid and massive (for a change) and there is no problem shooting at *any* speed even towards the  1 - 2 sec. settings. The L-shaped support actually makes operating the lens easier as there is free access for your hands even when gloved.

In the mounting platform,  2* 3/8"  screws are used, which are way more robust than the standard single 1/4" screw.


Wally

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2017, 19:35:19 »
Taking into account that I already have various AFS and MF glass in the focal range of 80 to 500mm what is the concensus / recommendation to buy first for both regular usage and collecting Nikkors:
the MF 80-200/2.8 ED or the 200-400/4 ED dicussed here?

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2017, 19:38:25 »
I would recommend the 80-200/2.8 ED. It is easier to come to grips with, in a literal sense.

Both zooms were major achievements in their time and still hold their value against modern designs.

Wally

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2017, 20:41:41 »
Thank you Bjørn. Holding the value against modern designs is definitely a key parameter for my buying decisions.

elsa hoffmann

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 11:34:35 »
Side tracking on the subject but Bjørn I have to say those images you posted are excellent.
"You don’t take a photograph – you make it” – Ansel Adams. Thats why I use photoshop.
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www.elsa.co.za. www.intimateimages.co.za

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2017, 12:35:44 »
Thanks, Elsa. The lens is indeed excellent ....

jhinkey

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2017, 16:17:56 »
And $2,800 USD is a decent price for one in 9/10 condition including original hood, caps, and Nikon pouch?  It has everything, but not the original box.  I see some of these for sale that come with the original box going for $4K USD!!!
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BruceLeventhal

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2017, 17:52:09 »
This was my dream lens since the mid 1980's, but it fell into the category of unobtainium because of the outrageous price at the time. My infatuation with this lens never really ended, and is the reason that I have purchased two AFS200-400mm f/4 VR's in the past three years. The first lasted two years until I finally became too frustrated with how my lens handled atmospheric interference (lack of detail when shot at a distance). I thought I was done with the focal length until this winter came along. While I thoroughly enjoy shooting wildlife w/ my 300mm f/2.8 AFS-II w & w/out converters, I missed the flexibility of zooming out as birds flew towards me. Because the 200-400mm f/4 VR's have lost favor to the much lighter (and lesser-build) 200-500mm f5/6VR, these pro AF optics can be had for a song... well, not quite. Anyway, I bought a second one two month ago. This lens was produced late in the VR-1 production and seems to be much better at a distance than my first lens...

Anyway, my point.. the combination of focal length and relatively fast aperture makes the 200-400mm lens an amazing all around lens. If you like manual focus lenses, I can only assume that you will love the lens that you are assessing.

Good luck,
bruce
regards,
bruce

jhinkey

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 18:19:08 »
Thanks Bruce -

I seem to specialize in long-distance landscapes and currently use my 300/4.5 ED AI, 400/5.6 ED AI, and 600/5.6 ED-IF AIS for such things.
BUT I tend to do this work at sun-rise and sun-set, thus fading light likes to need faster lenses to keep the shutter speed up and ISO down (for heavy shadow lifting or highlight recovery).  Thus my liking of the f/4 of this lens assuming it is excellent shot wide open.

Hopefully it's actually better than the 300/4.5 ED wide open and better at f/4 than the 400/5.6 is at f/5.6, otherwise it's not all that useful.

When I'm out on a tripod I tend to take 180mm (180/3.4 APO Telyt or 180/4 Voigt), 400mm, and 600mm with me (300mm and 500mm are too in-between . . .).

How is the 200-400/4 ED shot wide open on 36MP sensor Bjorn? - Your examples are stopped down a bit (for DOF I suspect).

Thanks!

John
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Bill De Jager

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2017, 18:28:10 »
I would recommend the 80-200/2.8 ED. It is easier to come to grips with, in a literal sense.

Both zooms were major achievements in their time and still hold their value against modern designs.

I did notice significant purple fringing on the 80-200/2.8 AIS in magnified live view.  It cleared up quickly upon stopping down.

jhinkey

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2017, 21:18:37 »
Thanks, Elsa. The lens is indeed excellent ....

+1
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Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2017, 01:00:08 »
And $2,800 USD is a decent price for one in 9/10 condition including original hood, caps, and Nikon pouch?  It has everything, but not the original box.  I see some of these for sale that come with the original box going for $4K USD!!!

Not cheap, but then this is a quality item.

I think my 200-400ED was at least 2.000$ from KEH a number of years ago. A purchase I never regretted, in fact, I had been on the outlook for a clean sample for several years at that time.

jhinkey

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2017, 19:37:17 »
Description of the lens:

"This lens is in good condition cosmetically, but the focus is stiff. This lens is being sold as-is."

Hence why I think this is only $2,800  . . . but I've bought these kinds of lenses in the past and had them serviced to be good as new.

I assume it just needs to have the focusing helicoid cleaned and re-greased.  Is there anything tricky about having an experienced repair place do this on this lens?  I usually send all my Nikkors to APS for service.

I'll try to get a better description of the optics and aperture ring condition.  Pictures look fine - minor external use scratches commensurate with being used, but not abused.  14 day return policy too.
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Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2017, 20:52:17 »
My sample had rather stiff focusing too, no surprise as the lens had stood on a shelf unused for 20+ years. It loosened up after some field work out. A quick CLA at Nikon repair service did the rest.

jhinkey

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Re: 200-400/4 ED - Worth It?
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2017, 21:50:33 »
My sample had rather stiff focusing too, no surprise as the lens had stood on a shelf unused for 20+ years. It loosened up after some field work out. A quick CLA at Nikon repair service did the rest.

I assume, like many of my MF Nikkors, that it's pretty easy to disassemble for helicoid maintenance or internal element cleaning.
I have questions in to the seller about the rest of the condition and hopefully they'll get back to me.

This would be the most I've ever spent on ANY lens, let alone a MF Nikkor, so I'm a bit cautious about the transaction, even though it's a respectable seller.

Need to let go of my 500P, 200/4 ED AF, and a few other lenses to pay for this.

- J
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