August 01, 2014, 10:47:36 AM

Poll

Appeal of Nikon Df.

Love the look/sensor combo, wish Canon had something like this.
Nice look but still not there and over priced
Interesting, but not for me.
Looks do not matter, not interested.
Butt ugly.

Author Topic: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...  (Read 27945 times)

eml58

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2013, 04:31:05 AM »
I hope elm58 will tell us some more of his experiences with the 200-400 lens, when he has been using it for a while.

Hi Eldar, I'll give it a go, no review, but my experience to date.

On Nick Brandt, I agree, what an amazing Photographer, I've tried to replicate his work, no success, I've bought his Books and as you say, amazing Images but no indications on how he does what he does, although he does say he doesn't use PS to achieve the results.

I've had the 200-400f/4 from day of release, had a Pre Order in at Cathay Photo in Singapore a year prior to actual release.

To date I've had the Lens on 3 Trips/safaris, Northern South Africa (Mala Mala & Londolozi) Tanzania & The Serengeti and recently to Svalbard.

When I first picked up the Lens, I ran alongside Tests against 4 of the other lenses that I own/owned at the time, 200f/2 L, 300f/2.8 L II, 400f/2.8 L II & 600f/4 L II, I tested each Prime Lens at f/4 & f/5.6 and then shot the 200-400f/4 at similar lengths & f stop (i.e. 200f/2 @ f4 & f/5.6 against the 200-400f/4 @ f/4 & f5.6, 300/400 & 600 Primes same).

What I wanted to see was how the Primes compared against the Zoom for straight sharpness when shot at similar Length & f stop.

Not scientific in any way, just a hands on Test I could conduct at home, I shot the same subject all the way through (A flowering Plant) rather than a Test Sheet.

The results for me showed what I expected to see, The Primes are sharper, but I was surprised at how Marginal that sharpness was, the 200-400f/4 is a very sharp Lens even comparing against the Primes.

I next tried to compare the 200-400 ability to lock Focus when compared to the Primes, to evaluate this I simply had my Lads ride past the front of my House, for about an Hour while I compared the Focus Lock merits of Primes against Zoom.

The Standout Lens was my 300f/2.8 L II, nothing in the listed lenses Locks on as fast or as accurately as this Lens, among the remainder, the 200-400/200/400 & 600, there's really nothing between them, they are all excellent Lenses for Speed of Lock On and Accuracy.

I've now shot the 200-400f/4 on the 3 trips mentioned earlier, that's 30 thousand Images with the 200-400f/4, against that I've had either/and the 300f/2.8, 400f/2.8 or the 600f/4 alongside on a trip (not all Lenses on all trips), but the 200-400 + one of the other Lenses (although I always bring the 300f/2.8 ).

The only place I find the f/2.8 an advantage, is Low Light, dawn/dusk, and the ability of the f/2.8 Lens to Lock Focus quicker than the 200-400f/4, and that makes sense as the Lens is Focussing wide open and doesn't shut down to the chosen f/stop until you actually take the shot, so the f/2.8 Lenses are able to focus using twice as much light.

But where the 200-400 absolutely murders the Primes, is it's sheer versatility, the ability to be at 560mm f/5.6 then begin zooming back all the time keeping the subject locked in focus, perfectly framed to reduce the need to crop, flip the converter out at 400 and Zoom back out to 200, all with the same Rig.

Previously to do this I had 3 Rigs set up, 1Dx + 600, 1Dx + 400 & 5DMK3 + 200 (or 300) and I found myself exchanging Rigs as the Subject moved closer, or farther away, workable, but a PIA.

For the style of Photography that I personally prefer, Wildlife, the 200-400f/4 is a must have Lens that is as Sharp as you need, Locks Focus amazingly well and the finished Images require less cropping etc.

I still use my Primes, the 600 + 1.4x Converter, the 300f/2.8 L II for those Dawn/Dusk shots, I'll be buried with my 200f/2 but I've sold my 400f/2.8 L II.

If I had to choose one of these Lenses to keep and use only that Lens ?? I wouldn't hesitate keeping the 200-400f/4, fortunately I don't need to make that decision.

But, if I was a BIF Photographer, it would be the 600 + 1.4x the 200-400 isn't long enough for small birds, and the 600 + 1.4x (840 @ f/5.6) is still slightly sharper than the 200-400 with 1.4x in place (560 @ f/5.6).

I've tried the 200-400 with built in 1.4x engaged + 1.4x Converter, Images are Ok, not great, Ok.

With the 200-400 with built in 1.4x Engaged + 2x Converter, Images are simply horrible.

If your into Sports Photography ? 200-400f/4 is a great Lens, but you may miss the f/2.8, 400f/2.8 may be a better choice.

Wildlife in General, my view the 200-400f/4 is the best Lens available.

BIF, maybe the 600f/4 plus the 1.4x

Hope this is of some use in any future decision making for you, I always liked the nikon 200-400f/4 and was amazed Canon just hadn't produced one, I'm glad they held of as I believe the Canon 200-400f/4 (1.4x) is a step beyond the Nikon Lens (and I have tried them side by side, 1Dx + 200-400f/4 and D3x + 200-400f/4).

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2013, 04:31:05 AM »

Eldar

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2013, 06:39:53 AM »
Thanks, much appreciated. It seems it is fulfilling the expectations and I´m getting closer to push the order button ... ;)
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Eldar

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2013, 06:55:44 AM »
OK, ... I pushed it  ;D :-X
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eli72

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2013, 08:33:13 PM »
OK, ... I pushed it  ;D :-X

I don't think that you'll regret it! I haven't had much chance to use mine yet, but the several times I have I have been extremely pleased with the sharpness.

eml58

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2013, 09:31:21 PM »
OK, ... I pushed it  ;D :-X

I don't think that you'll regret it! I haven't had much chance to use mine yet, but the several times I have I have been extremely pleased with the sharpness.

Enjoy the Lens Elder, will be interested to hear your views on the Lens, and see some Images from it.

At times I still enjoy the Primes, and I completely agree with eli72, I don't believe you'll regret the 200-400 it's an amazing Lens.

One thing I didn't mention was weight, and in other reviews comments I've read some feel it's heavy, my own initial feel was I agreed, but while I was in Svalbard shooting primarily from a bouncing Zodiac in reasonable to awful Seas all my Images were Hand Held, it's heavy, but no heavier than the 400f/2.8 L II and because of the lighter front end (f/4 versus f/2.8 ), the weight distribution is more even which helps a lot for hand holding. It's not hand holdable like the 70-200f/2.8 L II, but it's quite good I feel for short sessions.

Enjoy.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 09:33:54 PM by eml58 »
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lion rock

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2013, 10:04:08 PM »
Eml58,
I read with delight of your view on the 200-400 f/4.
From your writing, I gather that you like the 600 prime + 2X iii, and can you describe the weight and dimensions of these two lenses?  I went to B and H in May and they did not have the 200-400 then, so I wasn't able to try them out side by side.
I would like to hear of your trips with your collection of gear, particularly the 200-400 on airplanes.
My *Minister of Finance* has allocated funds for this lens and I am waiting to see if there may be a sales happening in the next few months as there is a plan to travel to The Land of the Kiwi in late 2014.
I look forward to hearing your view on these!
Thanks.
-r
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 10:06:54 PM by lion rock »

sanj

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2013, 01:44:49 AM »
Eml58,
I read with delight of your view on the 200-400 f/4.
From your writing, I gather that you like the 600 prime + 2X iii, and can you describe the weight and dimensions of these two lenses?  I went to B and H in May and they did not have the 200-400 then, so I wasn't able to try them out side by side.
I would like to hear of your trips with your collection of gear, particularly the 200-400 on airplanes.
My *Minister of Finance* has allocated funds for this lens and I am waiting to see if there may be a sales happening in the next few months as there is a plan to travel to The Land of the Kiwi in late 2014.
I look forward to hearing your view on these!
Thanks.
-r

I travel with big lenses all the time. I put the lens in a soft case and then put the soft case in a hard top suitcase and check it in. No problems so far.

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2013, 01:44:49 AM »

lion rock

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2013, 09:27:35 AM »
My concern was due to an incidence that happened a few years ago.  One of our graduate student travelled to San Francisco for a conference and on his return trip back to Virginia, he packed his gear in his check-in luggage.  His 1D plus gear and memory cards were gone.  TSA "reviewed" the tapes and did not see anything out of the ordinary.  So, he lost his all his camera stuff.  Sad.
I am very uncomfortable with checking in expensive equipment in my travel luggage, and now, traveling on airplanes are even more restrictive, both check-in and carry on.  Some airlines restrict carry on to a certain weight and size.
-r

eml58

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2013, 09:49:34 AM »
My concern was due to an incidence that happened a few years ago.  One of our graduate student travelled to San Francisco for a conference and on his return trip back to Virginia, he packed his gear in his check-in luggage.  His 1D plus gear and memory cards were gone.  TSA "reviewed" the tapes and did not see anything out of the ordinary.  So, he lost his all his camera stuff.  Sad.
I am very uncomfortable with checking in expensive equipment in my travel luggage, and now, traveling on airplanes are even more restrictive, both check-in and carry on.  Some airlines restrict carry on to a certain weight and size.
-r

Hi Lion Rock, I think your right to be concerned.

I find different airlines & different countries tend towards different standards, it's been a bit of a suck it & see.

I typically Carry On 2 x 1Dx Bodies, 1 x 5DMK III Body, 200-400f/4 + 300f/2.8 or 600f/4 + 70-200f/2.8 + 24-70f/2.8, Flashes, additional support gear I check In with my checked luggage, typical carry on weight is 16-18Kgs, a lot more than most allowance. If one of my Lads is travelling with me not such an issue, but on my own the only Airline that I NEVER have a problem with is Singapore Airlines.

Australia, the Nanny State, are hopeless, if it's carry on & over the allowed weight, even if your travelling 1st or Business, you check it, I've had to pull a 1Dx + 300f/2.8 out of a Bag & sling them around my neck to get through as Carry On.

Indonesia, if you state that it's Camera Gear most Airlines will allow you 12 to 15 Kgs, even on checked overweight, if you tell them it's Dive Gear, your generally Ok up to 30Kgs.

Africa, in South Africa they tell you at check in, do not check expensive Camera Gear, having said that I had my worst experience in Tanzania leaving Dar Es Salam on a SAA Flight, Business Class, they removed from me one of my Carry On Bags (I had my son with me so should have been allowed 2 Carry Ons), Long Story short, the Bag never made it to Johannesburg (+ 20k in Camera Gear), luckily 2 weeks later the bag "suddenly" was handed in, this was because I had Politically connected friends in South Africa that threatened Legal Action against the Airline, in Africa it's a real risk to check Camera Gear, very good chance it'll disappear.

My advise is always Carry On where ever possible, book an extra seat for overweight where ever possible (Internal flights in Africa), always always have your gear fully insured.
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lion rock

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2013, 10:51:32 AM »
Eml58,
I saw on a Cathay Pacific from New Zealand to Hong Kong, a passenger was pulled aside because his carry on looked heavy; their carry on limit was 8 kG (if memory serves correctly).

On another occasion, I saw a few guys, think they were pros, with serveral Pelican hardcases carrying video equipment (they claimed), and the airline staff was hassling them for size and weight because these guys only wanted to have the cases as carry on.  I can fully symphasize with these pros and their valuable equipment.

I travelled with an Ape Case 1800 carrying 24-70 f/2.8 (I), 70-200 f/2.8 II, 2X (II), a 5D2 or 5D3 body and a laptop, plus various small items.  Weights just over 7 kG.  I went to HK, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore.  So far no problem, with weight or size.  Did have to refuse luggage compartment on regional hoppers.
Next trip is HK and then Vietnam in late November.
Hope to get the 200-400 super toy for the expected New Zealand trip in late 2014.  Now, that would totally have a weight problem, just have to be creative.

-r

AlanF

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2013, 12:10:49 PM »
The way this thread has developed reminds me of Miss Piggy's most famous quote: “Never eat more than you can lift.”, which could be rephrased to cover your gear which would appear to need a team of Sherpas to transport for you or the porters for an old-fashioned big game hunt.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 12:12:20 PM by AlanF »
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Kernuak

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2013, 12:31:18 PM »
The way this thread has developed reminds me of Miss Piggy's most famous quote: “Never eat more than you can lift.”, which could be rephrased to cover your gear which would appear to need a team of Sherpas to transport for you or the porters for an old-fashioned big game hunt.
Ironically, Easyjet, don't have a weight limit for cabin baggage, instead they state that you shuld be able to comfortably be able to lift it into the overhead storage without help.
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eml58

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2013, 10:15:30 PM »
The way this thread has developed reminds me of Miss Piggy's most famous quote: “Never eat more than you can lift.”, which could be rephrased to cover your gear which would appear to need a team of Sherpas to transport for you or the porters for an old-fashioned big game hunt.

Hi AlanF, yes, I have two of those as well, Sherpas that is, Generally called Sons by most, been really handy for years as well, but now one's gone off to Medical School which leaves me with just the one, unfortunately the lazy one, but fortunately the one with a sense of humour though.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 10:17:51 PM by eml58 »
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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2013, 10:15:30 PM »

AlanF

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2013, 12:49:23 AM »
The way this thread has developed reminds me of Miss Piggy's most famous quote: “Never eat more than you can lift.”, which could be rephrased to cover your gear which would appear to need a team of Sherpas to transport for you or the porters for an old-fashioned big game hunt.

Hi AlanF, yes, I have two of those as well, Sherpas that is, Generally called Sons by most, been really handy for years as well, but now one's gone off to Medical School which leaves me with just the one, unfortunately the lazy one, but fortunately the one with a sense of humour though.

Get him to specialise in something useful for you, like physiotherapy for shoulder strain. Mine is aching just from the 300/2.8. Travel BA, they never give me any problems but also have the EasyJet/Miss Piggy philosophy of being able to lift what you carry into the overhead bins.
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serendipidy

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2013, 01:21:30 AM »
The way this thread has developed reminds me of Miss Piggy's most famous quote: “Never eat more than you can lift.

LOL...that was funny ;D
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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2013, 01:21:30 AM »