Nikon 400mm 2.8 VR or 200-400mm f4 Pros & Cons

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by tiny123, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Any one here with one or both of these lenses? Can give me any input?

    Thanks:biggrin:
     
  2. What sort of shooting do you do?

    I have the 200-400 and it is a fine lens. Very sharp and good for the wildlife shooting that i do. The zoom adds a lot of flexibility, although mostly I am shooting at the top end.

    The 400/2.8 of course works better in lower light, but you lose the flexibility of a zoom
     
  3. TimK

    TimK

    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    I don't have either of these lenes - I have a 500/4 VR and a 400/2.8 AFS-II, but I have used my friends' 200-400 and 400/2.8VR.

    First, for birds 400mm is usually too short. I think I have a TC attached to my 400/2.8 maybe 70% of the times.

    For me, the 200-400 is handheldable, the 400/2.8 is not. Not only it is heavier, but because most of the weight is upfront it makes the setup less balanced than, say, the 200-400 or 500/4. My friend can handheld the 400 without problem, but he also bench -presses 250lbs 3 times a week!

    I think the 400/2.8 is sharper at f4 than the 200-400 at f4. At F8 I think they are about the same. At f2.8 my 400 is a bit soft.

    The 400 works very well wth all my 3 TCs - although it needs to be stopped down for 1.5-2 f-stops to be really sharp. The 200-400 works very well with the 1.4, OK with 1.7 but not very good with the 2.0.

    Again, which is better really depends on what your need is. All I can say is that both are excellent.
     
  4. svenmichiels

    svenmichiels

    198
    May 21, 2005
    Belgium
    I've got the 200-400, already sold.
    I've tested the 400 VR.

    My first experience with a big tele was the Nikon AF-S 300mm F/2.8 TYPE I (Nikons' sharpest lens). This lens was big, but I could use his easy on a monopod. My pictures were very sharp from F/2.8 even on low shutter speed.

    The Nikon AF-S VR 200-400 F/4 was almost the same size, but I didn’t find a good calibration of weight. The images were not as sharp as the 300mm and couldn’t start from F/4. I’m negative about this lens because I don’t like this lens. I hope that other 200-400 users are more positive.

    The Nikon AF-S VR 400 F/2.8 was huge! But it is has a good weight calibration and the images are realy sharp, even at F/2.8
    If I had to buy a long tele, it would be this lens.

    Some pics with D3 + 400 VR + TC1.7:
    https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showpost.php?p=1921819&postcount=122

    Greetings,
    Sven
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  5. I think DigitalHeMan puts it well: what application do you have in mind? Cameras and lenses are just tools made for a specific purpose.
     
  6. Randy

    Randy

    May 11, 2006

    that is a big surprise
    my 300 2.8 is awesome at 2.8
     
  7. digipete

    digipete Guest

    200-400mm

    I just picked up the 200-400mm this past Sunday. Have only taken a couple of images with it, but I love it so far. My wife is on vacation this week and there are many honey-do's so I really haven't had the time to really play with it.
    It is hand holdable for a couple of shots but it gets heavy quick.

    Pete
     
  8. rvink

    rvink

    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    400VR pros: a stop faster, sharper at wide stops, better with TCs, has VRII
    400VR cons: bigger, heavier, not a zoom, more expensive

    200-400 pros: smaller, lighter, is a zoom, as sharp stopped down, cheaper
    200-400 cons: a stop slower, not as good with TCs, has VR not VRII
     
  9. Completely agree. They are both great lenses and I believe it comes down to which one you need or can gain the most benefit from. I have the 200-400 and like it very much as the zoom flexibility comes in handy for me. I'm sure the same could be said by the owners of the 400mm....

    Ted