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Nikkor Ai 400mm f/3.5, performance with TC-201

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Frits, May 22, 2007.

  1. Not a picture to get excited about, I know :smile:., just trying out my Ai 400mm f/3.5 with a TC-201.
    As I mentioned before, this TC is not supposed to work well with this lens (it would take the TC-301). It states that it will cause vignetting and "other quality issues".
    Well, vignetting is absolutely not an issue and for a 2X it is pretty sharp. More often than not I will use the lens by itself or with a TC-14E, but this certainly is good enough for me for when I want this reach.
    No post processing other then the usual light sharpening.

    The image, already cropped a bit:

    NIKON D2X    ---    400mm    f/5.3    1/160s    ISO 200

    100% crop:

    NIKON D2X    ---    400mm    f/5.3    1/160s    ISO 200
  2. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    I guess vignetting is only an issue on film.
  3. Thanks for your comment Roland. That is exactly what I figured and expressed in an earlier observation about this - makes sense.
    I am also pleased that CA is not a particular issue (I anticipated some, but it just is not there).
    All in all a pleasant surprise.
  4. Sanyika


    Apr 19, 2007
    Hi there!

    I have to say that I don't shocked about the performace with this combo, becouse you have an almost flawless tele lens :)  BUT
    I really shocked about how you can use it. Not everybody can shoot with 800mm I know its very hard to have a sharp pic like this.
    I assume you have a very good tripod and head for this combo, but more then this: Your skills are up to this lens. Gratulations!
  5. Thank you Gábor!
    You are absolutely right by pointing out that need. Note that the above bird image was shot at only 1/160 sec., so the setup better be solid!
    I have a Gitzo G1325 tripod with a large Kaiser 6014 ball head - a rock solid combo which operates very smoothly:

  6. Very very nice. Definitely a good combo.
  7. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    wow Nice
  8. Looks great, Frits. As Gábor says, technique is as important as equipment. Well done!
  9. Another one shot with the same set up, this morning in my back yard.

    OK, I'm done testing, this arrangement is ready to be taken on the road anytime :smile:.

    D2x, Nikkor Ai 400mm f/3.5 + TC-201
    NIKON D2X    ---    400mm    f/5.6    1/160s    ISO 250
  10. nancyr


    Feb 14, 2006
    La Jolla, CA
    What's heavier, the lens or that head? :eek: 

    Nice pics as ever. You're not helping me ignore this lens. Grrrr.
  11. FWIW: Same lens, but with a TC-14E converter (modified):

    NIKON D2X    ---    400mm    f/5.0    1/200s    ISO 200

    100% crop:

    NIKON D2X    ---    400mm    f/5.0    1/200s    ISO 200
  12. Sanyika


    Apr 19, 2007
    By the way, I'am about to buy a ballhead for myself. What do you think guys about the Linhoff Prof II head?
    Is it enough for a D200 + 300 f4 + 1.4 ?
    (Is Giottos MH1000 really a "toy"? I read it somewhere over the internet.My camstore has a Giottos MH1000 for almost free:) very cheap. Don't know what to do:(  )
  13. I don't know these heads Gábor. They look good, but there is nothing like checking one out in person.
    The Kaiser I got was not what I was after either. But when a great deal came along on eBay I took a chance - darn best purchase I ever made :smile: (cost/quality).
  14. Just to complete the series, a 100% crop of a shot with just the lens (no TC).

    NIKON D2X    ---    400mm    f/5.3    1/250s    ISO 100
  15. Darn you! I was hoping to get one of these in the nearish future, and now you've spurred interest in it making it probably harder to get in the used market :biggrin: It's nice to see good performance with and without TC's. I am anticipating some gems from you and this lens.
  16. Igor


    May 15, 2005
    Ukraine, Europe
    Hi Frits, not bad at all for a TC-201 :smile:
    BTW, a few days ago I "finally" filed down the "pin" on my TC-17E and had a brief test shoot with 400/3.5 + TC-17E combo.
    I must say it works quite nicely, though f/6.3 is pretty slow for 680mm...
    (hope you don't mind a litte hijack :smile: , D200 body, ISO320.)

  17. Thank you for posting Igor, excellent quality image.
    I have been wondering about how a TC-17E would perform with this lens.
    I will use the TC-201 without hesitation if I need the length. But more often than not I will shoot with just the lens or maybe with the TC-14E.
  18. Igor


    May 15, 2005
    Ukraine, Europe
    I agree, TC14E or 14b is the best "extending" solution for this lens.
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