AI-S 400/3.5 Performance

Joined
Mar 30, 2006
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Springfield, VA & Cape Charles, VA
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 ...
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
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New Zealand
According to some reviews, this lens shows a lot of CA on digital cameras which badly affects an otherwise sharp image.
 
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Jul 22, 2005
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nashville
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.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
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Springfield, VA & Cape Charles, VA
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 ...
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
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near Montreal, Canada
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.
 
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May 15, 2005
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Location
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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Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Messages
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Springfield, VA & Cape Charles, VA
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.
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
2,874
Location
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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Joined
Jul 4, 2006
Messages
502
Location
Georgia via Long Island, NY
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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