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  Reviews by: Howard Passman  

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Nikon 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED VR AF-S

20-400vr
Review Date: Oct 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,199.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great zoom range for several types of shooting. Good reach on DX crop cameras.
Cons:
Sorry, I wouldn't give a nickle extra for VR. Not as sharp as 300mm f/2.8 or 400mm f/2.8 and not qite as sharp as the 70-200mm f/2.8 on 200mm

Maybe my expectations were too high for this lens, but I don't find it near as sharp as my 300mm f/2.8 AF-SII. I compared the 300 against the 200-400 set at 300. There was a loss of detail and a slight loss of contrast and saturation.

Next. I compared it to the 70-200mm set at 200 and the 200-400 set at 200. It held up better. Seemed insignificant in differences. However, in every day shooting I can see the difference in contrast and saturation between the 200-400 and the 70-200.

The lens does however work great for sports. The AFS is as quick and sure as the 300mm f/2.8 AF-SII, which I find to be a hair less effective than the 70-200mm.

You will notice the loss in speed if you are used to shooting f/2.8. I compensated by bumping my ISO up. This works fine for sports, but generally for nature it introduces too much noise with the D200. I find even at 640ISO I don't like what it does to the detail in the images.

Would I buy it again? For sports, yes. I would definitely recommend not giving up a prime and replacing it with this lens. Keep the prime or don't get this lens except for sports use.


 
Gitzo G1227 Mountaineer Reporter Mk2 Carbon Fiber

G1227G_1_
Review Date: Nov 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $425.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light and easy to set up
Cons:
need seperate column for macro work or for horizontal column

Works perfectly with a Acra Ball head and a Wimberley SideKick for the Nikon 300mm f/2.8. Lightened my load from 20lbs. to approx 10 lbs with the D100 and the 300mm f/2.8 AFS II. Much nicer to drag around.

I was worried because some folks gave it low marks on ease of set up due to the leg releases. I don't want to hurt anyones feelings, but if this is difficult you're almost hopeless.


 
Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX

2144NAS_180
Review Date: Jul 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sorely needed wide angle zoom for digital camera. Nice and sharp. Good colors.
Cons:
Worst lens I own for flare once the sun gets anywhere near the horizon and 90 degrees off axis. You'll wish it were f/2.8.

It's quiet, fast and sharp. Very good compliment to the 17-35 f/2.8 AFS. Now if it was f/2.8.....

 
Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF

1996NAS_180
Review Date: Nov 27, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: I think it works well in low light as long as you can manually focus. See example shot at f5.6 and 1 second! Light enough to lug around.
Cons:
Focus hunts and is noisy on the D100. It has a tough time with moving subjects unless they are really filling the frame

I have the 70-200 f2.8 AFS VR also and I'm finding the 80-400 gets more use because of the reach.
This shot was taken at 1 second f5.6
http://www.pbase.com/image/20911103.jpg
I was lucky to focus at all. It was quiet dark.