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400 2.8 FL in 2024?

  
 
DanielDuarte
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


New Z9 owner, I shoot a lot of outdoor sports and about 99% of that is golf.

Zero wildlife in my future.

The 400 2.8 Z is too expensive for me to justify.

The 400 4.5, while a true performer feels like a toy.

The 400 2.8 FL splits the decision... 15K for the big boy, 3K for the 4.5, and about 5 grand for the FL.

I am worried about the lens crapping out on me and no longer being serviced by Nikon.

Anyone else face the same decision.



May 21, 2024 at 09:56 AM
Creative Edge
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


I have been shooting with FL version for the past 4-5 years and love it. I have seen some selling for 4300 or so, a no brainer and Nikon should have parts for a while.

Edited on May 21, 2024 at 11:58 AM · View previous versions



May 21, 2024 at 10:03 AM
carl_g
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


I would go with the 400 2.8 FL and adapt it over the newer, native 400mm, 4.5.

All the 400 f/2.8 primes are some of the best lenses Nikon makes available. If you are Ok with the weight and using an FTZ adapter, then go for it!

Good Luck!



May 21, 2024 at 11:32 AM
Vinnie_VdB
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


If the budget is there for the 2.8 FL then go for it. This lens will still get services for the years to come and you enjoying shooting this gem.


May 21, 2024 at 11:51 AM
Kasper6188
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


The 400FL is special indeed. I've owned and sold the Z 400 TC now two times and went back to the FL if that says anything. The FL has a perfect balance of sharpness and contrast and renders such realistic looking images compared to any other Nikon 400 (my personal opinion of course) The Z glass is so damn sharp it takes away some of the natural look to me.


May 21, 2024 at 12:01 PM
Creative Edge
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


Kasper6188 wrote:
The 400FL is special indeed. I've owned and sold the Z 400 TC now two times and went back to the FL if that says anything. The FL has a perfect balance of sharpness and contrast and renders such realistic looking images compared to any other Nikon 400 (my personal opinion of course) The Z glass is so damn sharp it takes away some of the natural look to me.


funny I thought it was only me. I tried the 400 2.8 Z for about 2 weeks time and came to the conclusion that I liked the
FL rendering better. Love the built in TC, but other than that, prefer the FL E version.



May 21, 2024 at 12:11 PM
huddy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


If you have the budget and the faster aperture is meaningful, go for it. There are numerous reports here and throughout the internet that all the FL lenses are a great fit with the Z8/Z9. It is a very recent lens (and likely still in limited, active production given the D850 and D6 are still being sold new) and parts availability should be good for at least another 7-10 years if not longer depending upon when that new production stops.i have a 500G VR and it pairs really nicely with the Z6. I can only imagine how much better the FL lenses are with reduced weight for better handling.


May 21, 2024 at 12:14 PM
Kasper6188
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


Creative Edge wrote:
funny I thought it was only me. I tried the 400 2.8 Z for about 2 weeks time and came to the conclusion that I liked the
FL rendering better. Love the built in TC, but other than that, prefer the FL E version.


I wanted to love the Z one so very much (that I even tried it twice ), that 2lbs difference is huge and internal TC is nice too. I just couldn't get over how it renders though. Super super sharp but doesn't have that magic. Foreground bokeh is wonky too, very busy looking.



May 21, 2024 at 12:25 PM
DanielDuarte
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


I pulled the trigger, holy smokes.

I definitely need the 2.8 look, or at least my brain has come to enjoy that DOF difference, but at 39 and in decent shape and with tripods and monopods at my disposal, I am not afraid of some weight.

It is funny how pulling the trigger takes work for some folks, despite having the cash in hand. It is just interesting to see it go away, so quickly.




May 21, 2024 at 01:41 PM
ingekj
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


Pretty sure they will be serviced for quite a few years still. Ofc the integrated TC is great. As far as image quality, on MTF test the FL is about 10% behind the Z, but it is still very sharp, sharper than almost anything else. And it takes a 1.4 TC with less than 5% resolution drop according to MTF tests..
AF is louder but still fast and accurate. VR is better on the Z, but it is heavy, and if you use a monopod then what does it matter? As far as rendering and bokeh it is as good as anything still.



May 22, 2024 at 12:38 PM
 


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Kasper6188
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


ingekj wrote:
Pretty sure they will be serviced for quite a few years still. Ofc the integrated TC is great. As far as image quality, on MTF test the FL is about 10% behind the Z, but it is still very sharp, sharper than almost anything else. And it takes a 1.4 TC with less than 5% resolution drop according to MTF tests..
AF is louder but still fast and accurate. VR is better on the Z, but it is heavy, and if you use a monopod then what does it matter? As far as rendering and bokeh it is as good as
...Show more

I wouldn't say the 400FL is anywhere near 10% behind the 400TC, if anything the 400FL edges it by .25% depending on where you are looking in the image.

400FL






400TC







May 22, 2024 at 01:05 PM
ingekj
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


Kasper6188 wrote:
I wouldn't say the 400FL is anywhere near 10% behind the 400TC, if anything the 400FL edges it by .25% depending on where you are looking in the image.

400FL
http://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53738460117_97508aa037_o.jpg

400TC
http://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53739385586_32ff706c1c_o.jpg


https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-z-400mm-f-2-8-tc-vr-s/3 Look at independently tested MTF charts here



May 22, 2024 at 01:07 PM
Kasper6188
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


ingekj wrote:
https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-z-400mm-f-2-8-tc-vr-s/3 Look at independently tested MTF charts here


Does this site evaluate MTF based on shooting the lens through a camera body, or some form of test straight through the lens itself? If through a body, those numbers mean nothing to me. I honestly have no idea

Also, with independent testing there is also sample variation. At least with Nikon's published charts it is the manufacturers own target mtf.


Edited on May 22, 2024 at 01:30 PM · View previous versions



May 22, 2024 at 01:18 PM
ingekj
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


Kasper6188 wrote:
Does this site evaluate MTF based on shooting the lens through a camera body, or some form of test straight through the lens itself? If through a body, those numbers mean nothing to me.

I think it is through a Z7II but not sure



May 22, 2024 at 01:30 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


The Z 400/2.8 is a little bit better than the FL variant, but it's splitting hairs anyway. Probably wouldn't notice without back to back use. There is no instance where a Z lens isn't better than its F mount equivalent, and the Z 400/2.8 TC is no exception. It wouldn't make logical sense for Nikon to release a worse lens with an all new design on a much larger mount, especially a halo lens like the 400/2.8.

The MTFs posted by the manufacturers are one indication of lens performance, but they are based on simulations from their optical design software, not actual objective measurements from an optical bench.



May 22, 2024 at 03:41 PM
Kasper6188
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


CanadaMark wrote:
The Z 400/2.8 is a little bit better than the FL variant, but it's splitting hairs anyway. Probably wouldn't notice without back to back use. There is no instance where a Z lens isn't better than its F mount equivalent, and the Z 400/2.8 TC is no exception. It wouldn't make logical sense for Nikon to release a worse lens with an all new design on a much larger mount, especially a halo lens like the 400/2.8.

The MTFs posted by the manufacturers are one indication of lens performance, but they are based on simulations from their optical design software, not
...Show more

Obviously this is all subjective but in my experience the Z 400 is a step behind the FL in overall image quality. Iíve gone back and forth quite a bit. (Z 400 twice, 400FL now third ownership) Yeah the Z is lighter, has a superior AF motor design, internal TC and all that, but when they shave 2lbs and add more and more elements to the formula something was lost for me. The Z may be sharper but it renders flat as a pancake compared to the FL. Images are so sharp they have no dimension.



May 22, 2024 at 06:10 PM
urbanwild
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


ingekj wrote:
I think it is through a Z7II but not sure


I have read this. They keep a Z7ii that stays in the lab so they can compare equally. I can't confirm, but I think they also went back to older lens reviews to retest with the Z7ii for the comparison.

I don't think it matters much....the FL is very sharp and capable. The lower weight and internal TC would be very desirable advantages to me, but tough to justify the cost difference for me.....if I used that lens more predominantly, perhaps I would.

Regardless, congrats Daniel on purchasing the FL! I was in the same position last summer and jumped on a used copy and I'm ecstatic with it. You should have seen the smile on my face when I saw the back of the camera on my first shot



May 22, 2024 at 08:16 PM
JustShootMe
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


urbanwild wrote:
I have read this. They keep a Z7ii that stays in the lab so they can compare equally. I can't confirm, but I think they also went back to older lens reviews to retest with the Z7ii for the comparison.

I don't think it matters much....the FL is very sharp and capable. The lower weight and internal TC would be very desirable advantages to me, but tough to justify the cost difference for me.....if I used that lens more predominantly, perhaps I would.

Regardless, congrats Daniel on purchasing the FL! I was in the same position last summer and jumped on
...Show more

Thatís the only thing that matters , how you feel about it. I recently purchased the 500 FL , and I love it . I have to force myself to use any other super tele . Itís bigger and heavier , but I love the images it makes.



May 22, 2024 at 08:25 PM
bernardl
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


Kasper6188 wrote:
Obviously this is all subjective but in my experience the Z 400 is a step behind the FL in overall image quality. Iíve gone back and forth quite a bit. (Z 400 twice, 400FL now third ownership) Yeah the Z is lighter, has a superior AF motor design, internal TC and all that, but when they shave 2lbs and add more and more elements to the formula something was lost for me. The Z may be sharper but it renders flat as a pancake compared to the FL. Images are so sharp they have no dimension.


Funny how perception can differ. I owned the 400mm f2.8E FL and liked it very much. But I do clearly prefer the images coming out of the 400mm f2.8 S TC. I don't find them flat at all, just beautiful bokeh, great transition, 3D look resulting from the difference between sharp areas and blurred ones (which precisely gives dimension to me),... to me it's the closest thing to a perfect lens for my taste. And god knows that I hate some very sharp but clinical lenses such as the Sony 135mm f1.8 GM.

Finally the fact that I can get images critically focused on the eyes of a horse rider coming to me at full speed 15m away is something I rarely got with the E FL variant.

But I clearly agree that the 400mm f2.8 E FL is a great lens and a great bargain at the price at which it sells these days.

Cheers,
Bernard



May 22, 2024 at 11:24 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 400 2.8 FL in 2024?


Kasper6188 wrote:
Obviously this is all subjective but in my experience the Z 400 is a step behind the FL in overall image quality. Iíve gone back and forth quite a bit. (Z 400 twice, 400FL now third ownership) Yeah the Z is lighter, has a superior AF motor design, internal TC and all that, but when they shave 2lbs and add more and more elements to the formula something was lost for me. The Z may be sharper but it renders flat as a pancake compared to the FL. Images are so sharp they have no dimension.


I had assumed the discussion was based on sharpness, apologies if I misunderstood something. Sounds like you agree it's a tad sharper as well. Sharpness and rendering are two different things so I'm not sure I understand exactly what you mean by that, but the samples I've seen from the lens don't lack dimension. I remember you also having a similar complaint about the 800PF, which has a ton of pop, so I wonder if maybe it has something to do with your preferred editing style? Just asking - I don't mean for that to come across the wrong way. I'm genuinely curious.

At any rate, ~$5K is a steal for the 400FL for anyone who doesn't really want the internal TC.



May 23, 2024 at 12:37 PM
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