Archive for the ‘Nikon Nikkor 400 Reviews’ Category

Nikon 400mm Review

August 26, 2008

nikon AF 400 VR II
I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Nikon 400mm f/2.8G AF-S VR II telephoto lens and I feel I have to share my experience with everyone. Unfortunately I am not lucky enough to be able to afford this $10,000 lens but I suckered my friend into letting me borrow it (there’s no way in hell I’d lend that baby to anyone that’s nuts) and I took some absolutely stunning shots with it. I can definitely say that it is worth what you pay for it and I am considering taking out a second mortgage to afford it. Well, maybe not quite, I had a hard enough time justifying buying my Nikon D3 but the two work so well together…

I was a little snap-happy and ended up testing the crap out of this thing. It was everything you’d expect, truly the king of lenses. I found that it was perfectly sharp at every aperture. The top resolution seemed to be between f/3.5 and f/8.0 I’d say and it really didn’t start to make any noticeable difference until about f/20.0 and even then was very minimal. As for the focusing it was also perfect accuracy with the fastest autofocus I have seen on any lens. I found the closest distance I could get it to focus at was around 10 feet. It is hard to rate this lens because I haven’t seen anything that comes close to it performance wise. The visible distortion is actually zero and you can’t even see ghosts when you point right at the sun. Apparently Nikon’s exclusive nano crystal coat plays a large part in keeping these down.

From what I understand this version is considerably lighter than the previous AF-S and the AF-I but still feels very solid and durable although I can’t say I’ve tested that yet, thank God. The barrel is magnesium die-cast and dust and moisture resistant. I’d say it couldn’t weigh more than 10 pounds which really isn’t all that bad to lug around with your camera if you are at all serious about taking pictures. Maybe if you are out in the middle of nowhere shooting wildlife you could find it getting to be a bit much, I’d definitely use a tripod with this thing and make sure it is very solid and very secure. I couldn’t imagine watching this baby fall over I’d have a heart attack.

As for features there is really a lot for a photographer to play with. The new VR II vibration reduction supports the tripod stabilization more on my D3 which further reduces any vibrations that can be caused by the mirror slap when the shutter releases. This lens with the camera weighs about 15 pounds which is a lot when you aren’t on a tripod but I was quite impressed with the handheld photos I took. It looks like the vibration reduction works extremely well in all circumstances. For controls on it there is a focus preset button that recalls a preset focal point, a focus limiter that can keep the AF-servo movement in a specific distance range, a switch to lock the focus, and one to engage the autofocus.

Nikkor Telephoto 400
I will remember my short time with this amazing lens by my absolutely beautiful pictures and I am going to have a hard time taking nature pictures with anything else. I really didn’t have any problem carrying this thing around like I thought I might have and I’m for the first time considering purchasing a lens this expensive. If seeing is believing then I believe it is worth every penny. To all the people out there unsure because reviews of this model are hard to come by you had seven days to return it for a full refund from amazon.com and it also comes with a five year warranty. After seven days you won’t be wanting to return it, believe me.

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