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Dump 200-400 VR and Sigma 500 HSM for a Nikkor 400 2.8?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan F/2, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. I'm seriously thinking about making this move. I really don't like f/4 glass for my style of shooting. Though I do need focal distance at times, I figure I could hit my sweet spots with a 200 f/2 and 400 2.8 and using the 1.4 tc and eventually picking up a 1.7 tc. What do you guys think? Is this a reasonable move? Does the 400 2.8 live up to it's legendary sharpness status? Opinions welcomed.
  2. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Just look at Randy's threads using the 400 f/2.8 VR with the D3 and D300...they are so sharp I think my eyes are bleeding from looking at them. I'd say go for it...you'll love it!
  3. Even if I sell my lenses for reasonable prices, I'm still going to take a hit. If selling both, I definitely want the VR version. Any pics of the 400 mounted on a D3?
  4. Answer is YES it does live up to the hype. And it's weight to carry around as well....
  5. You should be able to get $4500 for the 200-400 and at least $3000 for the 500 - that should leave you less than one grand short. However, you would loose some range and versatility. I'd be very pleased to have your kit, but your work may demand otherwise.

    If you need that 400 2.8, though, there isn't another option.
  6. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Randy should be able to provide a shot of the 400 on the D3...might want to PM him or look for some of his old threads as he posted some shots of the 400 when he first got it.
  7. Kurt


    May 30, 2006
    North Boston, NY
    I have no experience with either lens your looking at getting rid of to buy the 400. I have had the 400mm a short time now, getting used too it (size)

    This is the D3 and 400mm AFS-II

  8. It's my favorite lens, but not sure about for your work. It's huge, heavy, and "in your face". But it works very well on the D3.

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  9. Can the 400 2.8 VR fit in a backpack? Is it a monopod lens only? The 300 can be hand held. Just wondering about the 400? My Sigma 500 HSM is an awesome field lens, wish it had OS though.
  10. This is the 400 AF-S II beside the 200 f/2 with which you're familiar.

  11. It's about the same size as the 500 then? Is the lens hood really that ridiculous to handle though? Could you retrofit the 300/200-400 lens hood on it? Maybe then I could pickup an old Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 MF and have the ultimate telephoto lens collection!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2008
  12. RichNY

    RichNY Guest

    Jonathan- The 400 f/2.8 is definitely the celebrity lens. I took MikeMcA2 to a local hockey rink to try out my new 400 VR last month and when he uploaded the images it turned out that the girl he was shooting practicing her figure skating was Sasha Cohen, Silver Medalist from the US Olympic Team. Now I know Mike and can attest to the fact that he didn't shoot her because of her fame; he would have shot any attractive female with one skate pointing to the ceiling- just the type of stand up guy he is :) 
  13. jimeast


    Mar 17, 2008
    Metrowest. MA
    I think it's Monopod Only or Tripod. I rented one for a week (older AFS-Non VR) and it was very heavy to lug around. I did not hand hold it at all.

    I would suspect you can find a backpack for it.

    Rent one for a day, it's surprisingly reasonable for what you get.
  14. RichNY

    RichNY Guest

    IMO the two piece hood is ridiculous to put on and take off but no issue when mounted and in use. Definitely not a lens to handhold but balances very well on a monopod or tripod. The thought of using a lens of this size was far more intimidating than actual use where it didn't really 'feel' any physically larger than the 200VR. The hoods make them appear to have a greater size difference than the glass alone.

    Framing moving targets with the smaller FOV was definitely more challenging as I'm still learning long lens technique.
  15. It is very usable handheld. You just won't want to hold it up a long time.

    with the VR it does a great job if you have any light, even handheld. It is very heavy. I use a Tenba bag that holds it with the body attached.
  16. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Check out www.keh.com they have a couple of Nikkor 400 2.8 ED-IF AIS for a nice price. I picked mine up a couple years ago and couldnt be happier with the results. With the T.C 14 b-TC 301 you have a 540 3.5 and a 800 5.6:biggrin:. Now the primes( 600 f4. 800 5.6) are better than the Nikkor 400 2.8 ED-IF AIS with the converter, however the Nikkor 400 2.8 ED-If gives them both a run for there money. Especially if you stop down one or two stops. The real trick is nailing the focus and keeping the shutter speeds up. On the D3 MF is no problem

  17. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Johnathan: I missed your post on the Nikkor 800 5.6 ED-IF AIS. If you can find one "Grab it". On the D3 its my favorite Nikkor super telephoto. It's so sharp and the compression and bokeh are to die for. With the T.C 301 I can fill the frame with a rising sun and rain clouds, Or a distant cow back lit from a setting sun. I can se no C.A at all, and with the D3 Im able to use higher ISO and:biggrin: faster shutter speeds which is "more better than VR" .

  18. I can hand hold a 200, 300, 200-400, and a 500. I think I'll check one out on my day off!
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