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Tell me about the 200mm f4 AIS

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by powaq, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. powaq


    May 2, 2008
    So, I've been rebuilding my primes collection for the past few months and now I'm starting to rebuild the longer end.
    I was looking at the 200/4 AIS as an alternative to the 180AF. The 180 is very nice but it is pretty heavy and I rarely use this focal length so spending a lot and carrying all that weight when rarely using it seems somewhat stupid. Anybody care to share some experiences with this lens (and maybe some samples ?).

    It'll be used on a D200.

    Other small question: Is that lens compatible with any of the older AI teleconvertors (and does the lightmeter on the D200 work with older TCs ?)
  2. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    This is basically a good sharp telephoto. Sharpness is already good wide open, and background rendition is relatively smooth. The nine blade aperture gives nicely rounded blurs. Typical solid AI construction and it has a handy built-in hood. Since the lens lacks ED glass, chromatic aberrations can show up in high contrast situations - the AF and AIS 180/2.8 ED are much better in this regard (though not perfect). This can be largely eliminated with software, but it's something to be aware of (the D300 and other recent cameras can eliminate CA automatically).

    The AIS 200/4 is compatible with the TC-14A and TC-201 which are designed ti fit shorter lenses. It will not fit the TC-14B or TC-301 which are only for super-teles. Performance with the TC14A is likely to be the best, but I would not expect great results - you'd probably do better with the 70-300VR.

    I have the AIS 200/4 and while it is a nice lens, I find it rather limited in use. I tend to use my series-E 75-150 much more - it is the same size but the extra speed, zoom action and closer focusing make it a much more versatile lens.
  3. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    One of my old girl friends had the nikkor 200 F4 AIS. We shot the national of the rythmic gymnastics 20 years ago. Just a great lens. Super sharp, very compact and If I remember I had a built in hood. I was using a 300 2.8 ED-IF and she felt a little intimidated. I told her she was a focus GOD:biggrin:. I swear we had a about a 90% hit rate and made about $500 shooting on spec, selling prints to the parents.
    I would forget about using T.Cs although Im sure they would work. The nikkor 200 F4 AIS is a work horse that you can beat up, bang around and will never let you down. And I would put it up against 90% of the modern zooms nikon is selling in the focal range. Stop it down to F8 and it will produce such sharp contrasty Images it will make you blush:tongue:.

  4. I had one and it was very compact. I remember that it had "excellent" across the board when some photo mag tested it.
  5. powaq


    May 2, 2008
    Bjørn Rørslett seems to like it as well. I think I'm going to try one out :biggrin:
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