AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED
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AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED
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I had been doing a lot of macro work in the field lately, both with extension tubes and the 105mm macro, but wanted to be able to get really good shots of insects which are difficult to say the least! I decided to get this lens, and the first time I used it I got a shot of red ants as good as any I´ve seen. I shot with my F6, 400 speed color neg, was shooting at 1000 shutter priority, handheld laying on my stomach. At near 1:1 I got a shot of two ants that came out perfect. Other shots had detail and were good technically, but the focus locked on the wrong spot or couldn´t keep up with the ants. I got the photo attached. The first ant is carrying that stick, and the second was escorting it. The shot is so sharp you can see the texture of the ants skin and the hair on it´s legs. Anyone that cannot take a good photo with this lens either has no idea how to use it or is working with something that is broken!
I bought this lens for hand held macro shots of insects with an R1-C1 flash system and a D300 camera. At long distances, my test images were extremely sharp and contrasty from full aperture down.
In the macro range, from 1:3 to 1:1, I found that the weight of the lens and the 6X magnification made quite difficult finding the subject and focusing. In manual focus mode, even with strong arms, it is difficult to keep the subject in focus for the fraction of a second required to shoot. An approach that gave good results was presetting a distance, then, in AF mode, letting the lens do the final adjustment and shooting without delay.
The quality of the results is at par with the 105mm micro, with the added advantage of twice the working distance.
No matter what I try, I can´t get a truly sharp image out of this lens. I actually got sharper images with my all-in-one Canon G11. I´m not sure if there is a defect with this lens or if this is just the way it is. I look around on the internet for bug photos and I find many that are much sharper than the ones I´ve taken with this lens, with every possible detail standing out. Meanwhile, my best images have colors blending into one another in ways that look fuzzy and washed out. I´ve taken thousands of photos with this lens already, adjusting settings and lighting in every possible way, but there is never a truly crisp photo. You would think that even if I were an absolute novice that by the time I´d taken 4 or 5 thousand photos, at least one of them would be really crisp if the lens was actually capable of accomplishing this feat. But thus far nothing.
This isn´t to say that my clearest shots aren´t very nice looking. They are. But they´re not as nice as the sharpest photos I see on the web. I got this lens because all reviews praise it up and down as creating the sharpest images--but I just can´t see it.
Maybe my standards are too high?
This lens is perhaps my sharpest lens. I really love to use it even though it is not versatile. It does the job for which it was intended and one could not find a better quality lens anywhere
I have been shooting with Nikon for about two and a half years. My favorite type of photography is macro. I love to shoot flowers of all kinds. This lens is superb! It is solidly built and takes tack sharp photos. It is a heavy lens, so a good tripod is a must. I have taken some shots with success without a tripod, but they were not macro shots. I still prefer to use a tripod simply because of the weight on my D300 camera.
A local camera shop told me that the 200mm is a fantastic landscape lens as well. I´m so glad I was given this advice! I was strictly using it for macro photography and was very surprised at the results after trying it on wildlife and landscapes! I finally got a great photo of Mt. Rainier, here in Washington, with this lens! A very elusive subject due to the weather.
Of all of the lenses I own, this is by far my ´´baby´´ lens. My other favorite lens is the 60 mm macro, which I had for about a year prior to getting the 200mm.
I´ve only begun playing with this lens to get to it´s full potential. Very nice glass-sharp as can be ! Biggest macro I´ve ever used and that takes a little getting used to, but I´m impressed so far with the results.
This is easy to use. Just a little bit heavy. It takes some really nice pictures. I need a better monopod to help hold it in place. Used to take sport photos of my son.
When my new 200mm Micro was delivered, I was surprised how heavy the box was. Reason? Old fashioned heavy-duty lens construction, and a ´´leather´´ case (no wimpy pouch). I thought it was 1972 again! Downside...no lens hood. At this price, it should be included. The lens itself is terrific. Shot about 40 flower photos with Velvia 50 and 100 film, and they are amazing. It´s a little strong for portraits, but will work fine for most.
As is generally agreed, the 200MM Micro-Nikkor is an outstanding close-up lens with a good working distance and excellent image quality.
There is no downside; if you can afford it and enjoy close-up shooting this is the ne plus ultra of lenses.
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