Shared publicly  - 
16
1
Thom Hogan's profile photoSébastien Gagné's profile photoDavid St George's profile photoGlenn Charles's profile photo
15 comments
 
Oh definitely, I'm adorable.
 
Optically speaking, how well does the earlier AIS model compare?
 
+David St George I don't have much experience with the manual focus version, which dates all the way back to 1977. Others I've talked to that owned and used it thought it was a good performer.
 
Nice review, just a small technical mistake : when you speak of the optical formula, you say : "Three of them are Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements [...]". The lens actually features 3 "normal" ED elements and one Super ED element (i think it's the only one with one)
 
I'm surprised that you prefer the 200 f/2+TC-14 to the 300 f/2.8? How is the CA with the TC, especially in backlit situations?

Other than being able to fit (not something to be taken lightly for sure!), why you are recommending the 200+TC over the 300 f/2.8 but recommend the 200-400 f/4 is over 300 f/2.8+TC-14? ... I'm genuinely curious ... I don't have any experience with the 200-400 or 200.
 
I was wondering, how does this lens compare to the excellent 70-200mm at 200mm ? I know there is a stop more on the f/2 and the quality must be better, but how much better ? Does it really justify buying a second lens ? What type of shooting would this be justifiable purchase ?
 
+Sébastien Gagné Well, at 200mm, the 200mm f/2 is actually 200mm ;~). Depending upon how close you're focused, the 70-200mm can be as little 134mm due to focal length breathing. So there's that to consider. But at 200mm and f/2.8 the two are close, but I'd give the nod to the 200mm f/2.
 
+Philip Long CA is low enough that I just post correct it. But you may be missing a point. I'd rather have the 200mm f/2 and a TC-14E in my bag than a 300mm f/2.8. If I'm in a situation where I'm in that >70-200mm range but not in the need 400+ range, I find the 200mm f/2 + TC a more flexible and portable solution that really doesn't give up much optically at 300mm f/2.8. If I carried the 300mm f/2.8, I wouldn't have 200mm f/2, which I find very useful, and I'd be dragging around more weight and size.

As for the 200-400mm, I probably ought to add a remark to that comment: I'm assuming we're fairly close in to the subjects, as in sports or perhaps some safaris (private reserves in SA, for example). Assuming f/2.8 isn't absolutely needed, the 200-400mm up close is excellent through its range and I just don't feel I'm giving up anything optically but gaining a huge amount of framing flexibility.
 
So it's not so much the IQ as that you find the zoom of the 200-400 f/4 to provide more important flexibility than the speed at 300 the f/2.8 gives, while both handle and transport similarly enough that the bulk/weight/handling also is not an important discriminator?
 
I'd love you to post a picture of your packed bag. I've been spending some time getting my kits properly packed and usable. My DX-go is in good shape (Think Tank Urban Disguise 20 holding the 16-85 & 70-300, flash, 67mm filters and a handful of sundries). My more serious DX bag is the Think Tank Speed Racer w/the Tokina 11-16/17-55/70-200 (where oh where is my 16-70 f/2.8 VRII ... if Nikon isn't listening, where is Sigma or Tamron) flash, TC-20EIII, a ton of filters including the singh-ray stuff, D7k, grip, gels, RSS L-Plate, extra memory in the pelican case, extra batteries, lens pens and other sundries. I hang a benro travel tripod off of the bag and I'm good to go. I should probably add a 2nd flash if I can figure out how to pack it. My Airport Antidote bag is under development, and more focused on people/events than the wilderness slant my Speed Racer kit has.
 
+Philip Long As I'll describe in a follow-up article later this week, with telephoto choices you are balancing a lot of factors, of which image quality is only one. For me, image quality as a factor comes into play at the two extremes: wide angle for landscapes, exotic telephoto for wildlife. 200-300mm is an in-between zone for me. Most of what I shoot in that focal length region tends to be things where the very best image quality isn't my biggest deciding factor. If I'm in that focal length range, I also tend to be highly mobile, so flexibility and transport become a factor, too. I'd find it rare that I'd be in a fixed position with a static set up at 300mm.
 
So that's the trouble I'm having ... I'm trying to figure out how to be mobile and still be able to shoot > 400mm. Perhaps the wrong approach and I should chillax in my blind more :)
 
I can't find a place that I could ever use this lens. I have the 70-200 VRII and for the price I could save a little more and get the 200-400 which makes more sense
 
This is one of my favorite Nikon lenses. Big and heavy, but oh so beautiful when shot wide open.
 
A couple years ago for the Indy 500, I rented the TC-20III, threw it on my 70-200 VRII, and put all that on a D300s. 210-600mm f/5.6 in a manageable package. I was actually very impressed with the sharpness. The TC-20III makes me wonder how good mkIII versions of the 1.4 and 1.7 could be.
Add a comment...