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Any reviews or opinions of the 600mm AF-I?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan F/2, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. I'm thinking of dumping my Sigma 500mm f/4.5 HSM for the Nikkor 600mm f/4 AF-I. I currently have the 200 VR and 200-400 VR for my medium telephoto and low light needs. The Sigma usually just sits at home, but when I do need more focal length, I really need focal length! I was weighing out the pros and cons of the 600mm...

    - More focal length
    - Great on FX
    - AF-I version is in reach of mortal men
    - The difference in price of selling the Sigma, is not too much and can be made back in an assignment (or two)

    - AF-I versus HSM focusing
    - Very big and heavy
    - will be hard to handle
    - Who knows how long Nikon can service the lens

    I reasoned since I already have a 200-400 VR, this would compliment it better than the Sigma 500 HSM. I really see no need for the Nikkor 500mm f/4 AFS after testing one out. Not much difference in image quality between the two. And the Sigma is smaller. Usually when I need a 500mm, a 600mm would be a better option and I'm not going to be shooting fast moving objects either. I just need the sharpest image quality at super telephoto focal lengths without resorting to MF.

    I'd love to get some opinions on the matter. Thanks!

    PS - Or I could just save money and shoot DX and get the 1.5x advantage until Nikon releases a high MP camera? :tongue:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008
  2. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    As far as I know, parts for the coreless DC motor in AF-I lenses are no longer available. If the AF motor dies you have an expensive and heavy manual focus lens, but at least you'll still have the CPU contacts for metering and EXIF data. Optically I expect it to be up with the AFS versions.

    If you need reach, it would make sense to stay with the DX format regardless of what is available in FX, the 1.5x crop factor is hard to beat. You'd need a 750mm lens on FX just to match the reach of your 500 HSM on DX and it would be much bigger, heavier and harder to handle.
  3. Pixelographer


    Dec 22, 2006
    i can confirm that parts aren't available from nikon for the 400 af-i, likely same for 600. owned it loved it but hard to describe inconvenience of 14lb lens. now use the 400/af-s II plus 1.7TC and find the flexibility of the combo to work well even on little birds...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    hope it helps and good luck!
  4. I might just pick up another D300. I had to dump both my D300 bodies last August to finance my D3. But now that the D3 has made it's money back, I think I'm going to dump one of my D2X bodies to finance the D300. I'll keep one D2X for flash photography though. I'll just keep my lens collection the way it is, I'm having a hard time trying to best it. It's a good mix of budget and exotics. :smile:
  5. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    I just took a step backwards myself, selling my 70-200vr. It was a light use lens for me, and since I didn't do much on the fly with it, and don't make a living with it, I've got a 80-200 2.8 push pull coming for 1/3 the money. But I mean a CHERRY one I'll be interested to see the quality. I'm getting to like some cheaper glass, frees up some funds for other things. I'm thinking longer term, D3X savings for now... Laugh all you want monkey men. I'll have push pull from 35-200. ;)  What has it to do with Jonathan's D300 thing? Nothing, just showing he's not the only nutty one. ;) 
  6. The 80-200 push-pull is a sharp sucker! I used one awhile back for head shots, and it was pretty nice. My only complaint was the AF speed, but other than that I did not see much difference between the 80-200 and 70-200 VR!

    Unfortunately the metering and image quality are not up to my standards with the D2X anymore. I love the D2X between 100-400 ISO in controlled lighting, but the D3/D300 do a much better job with metering, contrast and sharpness in field shooting (the D2X is best used in flash or studio settings). Though I still don't care for the AF that much on the D300, but I need the pixel density with the newer metering technology. So I think I'll stick with the D3, D300 and D2X trio for now and leave my lens collection as is or if I come across a dirt cheap 600mm AFS-I!
  7. The only reason I even mentioned the 600 was due to an assignment I had the other day. I got schooled big time by a photographer with a 600mm f/4 IS with a 1DSm3. Big glass with high MP and good light is still something Nikon needs to address. Though when low light came in, the other photographer bail! :tongue:
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