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To all 200-400 owners, users, or anyone with an opinion.....

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Retief, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Well, that ought to get lot's of attention :lol: .

    Here is the setup:

    1. Boat on Puget Sound
    2. Many Orca Whales, Minke Whales, Birds, Seals, Sea-Lions, Dolphins, etc.
    3. Calm water and sunshine.....
    4. Nancy - D70 with 70-200 AFS VR + TC's on monopod
    5. Me - D2H with rented 200-400 AFS VR + TC's on monopod


    1. How best to use the 200-400? VR on/off? With/without TC's?
    2. Am I making a HUGE mistake putting my hands on this lens in the first place?
    3. Will withdrawal pains kill me when I take it back on Monday morning?
    4. Anything in particular I should practice on the day before the trip?

    Glazer's, our local Pro Rental place, has a very nice policy when you rent for a Saturday. Pick up after 3PM Friday, bring it back by 10AM on Monday for a one day charge. We are going out on Sunday the 28th, so I will have the 27th for some practice, and I intend to find some sort of flying birdies.

    Any help, advice, snide remarks and comments are welcome, with special thanks to the help and the most pithy of the snide comments :wink: .


    ps. I DO NOT have LLD. I categorically deny that I have, ever have had or ever will have LLD. And if you claim that I exhibit any symptoms of LLD, then I categorically deny those as well, now and forever into the future, Amen.........
  2. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    1. I would tend to leave VR on.
    2. Yes.
    3. Absolutely.
    4. Saying "I really need to buy this lens dear . . . "
  3. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    No more than a TC 1.4

    Even that one only focuses really well under good lighting, where the TC 1.7 barely functions at all under the very best of lighting conditions on my 200-400. In fact, neither are listed as recommended for the 200-400. As for the monopod, I've tried my 200-400 (w/o TC) on it just once, with my Sidekick mounted on my Markins. Worked very well....esp if you know how to properly use a mono.....which I do not! :oops: 
    Set that VR to Active while on a rocking, undulating boat. Hell, I do that (rocking/undulating) while on dry land using my monopod! :oops:  Good luck and sunny skies! 8)
  4. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    1, VR active, TC-no
    2. Yes.
    3. Yes.
    4. RTFM.

    Remember - the 200-400 VR does have a memory.

  5. Thanks for the info, I am quite surprised I haven't gotten more.

    John and Birger, I fear you are completely correct as to Q 2-4 :wink:

    Steve and Birger, when I read the other 200-400 thread here many others seem to have quite a different opinion on the use of TC's with this lens. What is is that didn't work well? Did it just not focus, or did it hunt? Were images sharp with the TC's or did that suffer as well?

    Birger, given that I am renting the lens I doubt that I will get a manual with it, at least I haven't for any other equipment I have rented from them. Do you know if the lens manuals are online the way the camera manuals are? If not, any pointers to specifics?

  6. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  7. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    Re: To all 200-400 owners, users, or anyone with an opinion.

    Denial is the first sign that you have a problem.

    Heard at the LLA (Lens Lust Anonymous) meeting-> "Hello. My name is Retief and I am a lensaholic."
  8. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    The 200-400 VR has a nice feature.
    Lets say you are at a ballgame and your seat is on the first or third base line.

    Man on first and batter up. You think there may be a slide into second. But you are going to concentrate the batter. You know that when you shift to second base--the focus will take too long.
    So you focus on second base and put that into memory.
    Now you go back and concentrate on the batter.

    If a play occurs at second base you just point the camera there and push the memory button and get your picture in focus.

    Yes the 1.4 and the 1.7 TC will work in good light.
    However me I may not be as steady as I was in younger days.
    With the D2X in 2x mode and even with the D2H-- if your exposure is sure, I can crop the hell out of a frame and print using Qimage to get the great picture.

    I do not like to exceed ISO of 320 and I need the speed.

    Yes you can use VR with a monopod and wimberley head.
    For hand holding--it does get heavy.

    On line manual- I don't think so.
    The store or dealer should have gotten one with the lens.

    Will check back later to see if you have other questions.

  9. Re: To all 200-400 owners, users, or anyone with an opinion.

    Chris, normally I wouldn't publicly chastise a fellow Cafe Member, but in this case I just feel that I must. Given that I deny that I have any issues of denial it should be incredibly apparent to even one such as yourself that I really do not have any such issues whatsoever. And you, sir, with your pop psychology and obviously over-agressive attitudes, War Eagles indeed, are just trying to push some sort of right/left wing whacko/radical agenda, and I, for one, certainly won't stand for it here.

    Sheesh, where the heck did THAT come from..

    Good one, Chris, and I'm glad there is no LLA chapter around here :lol: :lol:

  10. I can see this being REALLY useful for my whale trip, thanks for this tip. Also for youth sports. When you use this memory function at the "pre-focused" spot, can you then continue to track quickly from there? For example, let's say that I set up for what I think will be a pass to the 10 yard line. I see the QB throw the ball, but is going into the end zone. Can I hit the memory button, getting the focus back to the 10, and then just continue to track from there? Would that be faster? Does this make sense?

    This is good news, and I'm not sure how steady I was in my younger years anyway, so these days Mr. Monopod is my friend :wink: . I'd love to stay at ISO 320 or lower, but here in WA that is often not an option and it certainly isn't for much of the youth sports. The good news on the youth sports is even with NR software the results are 1000 times better than anything else they have seen.

    Thanks again, Birger. I went and looked for the online manual and could not find one. What I may have to do is to spend some time at the store going over the manual. They generally don't provide them with rental gear because, I think, they don't get them back.

    I think you have pretty much answered all of my reasonable questions, the harder one is figuring out how to deal with what I fear my reaction will be when I have to return it :lol: :lol:
  11. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    Re: To all 200-400 owners, users, or anyone with an opinion.

    Bill, you can rationalize it however you want. You are way beyond my pop psychology skill. We can't help you if you don't want to be helped.

    And don't worry, I won't hold your "over-aggressive attitudes, War Eagles,..." comment against you. You obviously have issues and I should n't be held responsible for your comments. :p 
  12. I Haven't tried the 200-400VR (self defense i guess) But I do have the 300VR and a TC14EII with the Dewey modification of course

    And I was out on my boat and saw orcas 3 weeks ago. I only had my 80-400VR with me so you can guess the results.
    My conclusions
    1, You need 400mm, you never get close enough to be able to zoom down to less then that.
    2. You need VR, the boats rock
    3. You neeed all the speed you can get. Period! So F4 is cutting it close...
    4. The 300VR is absolutley outstanding the sharpest thing I have next to the Bear (Helios 85mm 1.4) I will bring that to my next wale watching tour, and the TC14EII for good measure

    Here are some shots I got with the 80-400, it's not easy to get sharp shots and they are fast, in a blink of a second they are gone...
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

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

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  13. I think these look grand. If you can get down our way, the trip is the 28th of August, out of Anacortes.


    I have 10 spots reserved for the 10AM trip and 10 reserved for the 4PM trip, I am doind both of them. Tell them you are with me and you will get the "party of 10" discount.

    I shot my 500 off the boat on our Puffin trip a few months ago, and even without VR it worked quite well, but the 70-200 WITH VR was a dream. As to the "now they are gone" bit, you should have seen the Manatees and even worse the Sea Turtles in Florida. Those were millisecond shots :wink:
  14. Re: To all 200-400 owners, users, or anyone with an opinion.

    ROFLMAO, at LEAST twice. Ok, Chirs, I give up, capitulate. You are at LEAST as bad as I am, and as my Aussie friends would say 'Good on Ya', Mate!".

    Thanks for the laugh, I just wish this wasn't a real situation for me, trying to figure out the best way to go over the next 4-6 months. If I could just get Bill Gates to drop me some of his pocket change.......
  15. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    200-400 VR

    Bill, I can't compete with the skilled psychologists here but I do know that the 200-400 works just fine with the 1.4 and 1.7 in reasonable light. I have only used it on a tripod (Kirk King Cobra) but I loved it. Good luck on the Orca trip.
  16. Re: 200-400 VR

    Thanks, Don. I think you make a great point with the following two words: "reasonable light", yet ANOTHER of those very subjective things to all of us. What I am getting from this thread is exactly what I hoping for, the things that I really need to check out while I have the 200-400 for the weekend. I'm glad that the "weekend rental" is Friday late afternoon until Monday early morning. With all the things I now have to test I'll be a pretty busy guy :lol:
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