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Nikkor 200-400 f4 early AF edition for avian action shots

annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
15 Apr 2013 2:52PM
Sorry folks, have to pick your brains AGAIN.
Recently, I have enjoyed taking birds in action. At least, I have tried.

I find this quite difficult with MF at times and was thinking of getting the said lens as it seems to be good at tracking moving objects.. never tried this before. I have taken all my car racing shots etc with a manual lens but then cars are more predictable than birds, who tend to fly off quite erratically Tongue
As we got breeding kestrels behind the house I would like to have a go at them but never seem to be fast enough with my big monster (600 5.6 MF)

Camera is a D3x. Does the above lens make sense? It is available @ 3200 GBP or 3700 euro. That is a lot of money but then I might sell my 500 f4 as I got the 600 f 5.6

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ikett 6 545 England
15 Apr 2013 3:22PM
Hi, this may be of assistance, wish I could afford such class glass.
LenShepherd 9 3.3k United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 4:20PM
The price seems reasonable as the Mk II version is about 4700 new http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/prod.php?n=NikonAF-S200-400mmf4GEDVRIILens&p=1418
The 200-400 f4 which I own has decent autofocus tracking speed but is not as fast as my faster aperture 300mm f2.8.
The 200-400 with its zoom versatility is in my opinion a very good lens to own.
BURNSIE 8 25 4 England
18 Apr 2013 7:36PM
I am a Nikon user with a D3 & D4, I too wanted a fast lens for Natural History shots and decided on the 400 f/2.8. One of the reasons was the ability to include Tele converters without losing too much light. I am aware of the cost gap between the two, however with your 500 & 600 you are already used to the cost of such glass.
annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
18 Apr 2013 8:33PM
Thank you Burnsie... my 500 is for sale at 2000 Smile it is the last MF so is my 600 which is NOT for sale Smile
the reason I'm not too keen on the 400 2.8 is the weight. I can manage to carry my 600 for hours and shoot by hand, tried the 5 kg 2.8 'monster' once and I'm just not strong enough to hold it for long.

Hence I am thinking very seriously of the zoom Smile
Len, did you use yours for birds?
BURNSIE 8 25 4 England
18 Apr 2013 8:48PM
I agree the weigh is not for hand holding however with a gimbal head circa 250 it is a breeze.
Have you considered the 70-200 f/2.8 with a 2xs TC
annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
18 Apr 2013 10:34PM
Burnsie, I have got an 80-200 2.8. I love it, it is my most used lens for everything but birds Smile . you are right about the Gimbal very good if you want a stationary use. Not very good if you are walking up a mountain in Malaysia though( d3x, 24-70,80-200,200 micro nikkor , 600mm bird lens... and water! I'll let you add it up) yes I am a wimp.
I was thinking more of using a 1.4 converter with the 200-400 if needed. I need it even with the 600mm at times! But yes, I should try the 400 again. Maybe the second time I'll do better.

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