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AI-S 400/3.5 Performance

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by MParker, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. The performance of the Nikkor AI-S 400/3.5 is well known and is reportedly quite good with a TC-300/301. I also hear good reports about the TC-16A with this lens. What I'd like to know though, is what experience any of the members might have with this lens on a D2H, D1X, or D200, especially if you've used it on more than one of these bodies and can compare the results. Thanks and ...
  2. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    According to some reviews, this lens shows a lot of CA on digital cameras which badly affects an otherwise sharp image.
  3. The chemist

    The chemist

    Jul 22, 2005
    You may want to pm Igor. I know he has used this combo and my research on this lens agrees with what you had said.
  4. For those who might be interested, Igor reports this lens to be a stellar performer at f4 or f5.6 with no CA, at least not enough for him to consider it. He seems to think CA on the 400/2.8 is more pronounced. TC-16A performance is poor, TC-14b is OK, and TC-300/301 is good but not great.

    Thanks Igor and ...
  5. I tried the Ai-S 400mm f/3.5 very briefly on my D2x. I found that the image quality was not as impressive as I get from the Ai-S 300mm f/2.8. CA @ f/3.5 was definitely an issue, more so with the TC301.
  6. Igor


    May 15, 2005
    Ukraine, Europe
    My experience is limited to one 400/3.5 sample only, so take it with a grain of salt. The TC's also might vary in optical quality....
    However the below shots might be of some interest as a proof to my comments on this lens:

    #1,2 400/3.5 + TC-14b
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    #3, 400/3.5 + TC-16a
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    #4 400/3.5 + TC-301
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  7. Very nice Igor thans\ks. The Tc-16a is a real mystery. Some say it will help with focus after you have adjust the focus yourself, abd other says it doesn't work well at all. Your TC-301 really delivers a fine image. Mine does the same on my AF 300/2.8.
  8. Igor


    May 15, 2005
    Ukraine, Europe
    Just returned from a bird shoot in a local park, used the same combo: 400/3.5 + TC-14b, here's the "technically" best shot for your consideration :smile: , showing this combo possibilities at wide open aperture.

    560mm, ISO250, f/3.5 (f/5 with TC), 1/250, handheld.

    #1 full frame downsized

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    #2 1:1 crop.

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  9. Looks sharp to me. I see some lateral CA on out of focus areas, but my 500P does that also.

  10. I just sold mine, but it was one of my favorites. Despite the reports of respected folks I saw no CA on my D200 and had great results with the tc301. The greatest obstacle I encountered was getting stabilzation. I had it on a 1325 w/ a Kirk BH-1 and it was still challenging to eliminate vibration. Even w/ MLU and delay + proper technique, you still have a 1200mm film camera equivilant focal length. That is a bear to work with. With the F4 and F5 not so much of a problem because there's no crop and, more importantly, those bodies have wonderful inertia...they just don't vibrate. The D200 is tougher to control in that regard. Still...a great lens, I just needed AF.
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