Nikon 200mm f4 Micro - should I go for it?
Somewhat a rarity on this part of the world, a used one has surfaced for sale on a local interet forum.
The price is really tempting, and going for it just for the value might be reason enough.
I have no doubt that this lens excels at macro, but that is really not my area of interest. Might be later on, who knows?
Well, but an f4 tele is still an f4 tele, although AF is supposed to be slow... sports and kids are out, I reckon, and low-light concerts may be difficult.
However, for compressed portraits under controlled conditions that would not be a problem.
Any opinions on this? Should I jump the gun?
1. Good content, good aesthetics and good tecnique. On that order.
2. Light is more important than glass and pixels.
3. In the digital photography process, software is as important as gear.
#1. "RE: Nikon 200mm f4 Micro - should I go for it?" | In response to Reply # 0benveniste Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002Fri 21-Sep-12 01:55 PM
If macro is really not your area of interest it's possible that owning and using this lens will change your mind, but you may get more out of a different purchase such as a 180mm f/2.8D.
I don't remember ever using a 200mm f/4 AF Micro, but I do own a Sigma 180mm f/3.5 Macro. My (weak) justification for this purchase was to do some "bug hunting" and replace my 180mm f/2.8D as a general tele. Alas, I've yet to go on a bug hunt. I did use it on one outing as a general telephoto, but the size and weight had me soon wondering why I hadn't brought an 80-200mm f/2.8 instead.
One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it. - Galen Rowell
#2. "RE: Nikon 200mm f4 Micro - should I go for it?" | In response to Reply # 0
#3. "RE: Nikon 200mm f4 Micro - should I go for it?" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 21-Sep-12 08:35 PM
> Somewhat a rarity on this part of the world
It's pretty rare elsewhere, too. When I got mine, I was told that it had been in the store's inventory for several years. (As such I got a nice price on it, too.) Now this is a store that sells twenty or thirty D800's per week, so they have some volume, even if it's not B&H or Adorama.
It may seem like there are lots of them out there, but there aren't. There are about 20,000 made, over the course of 19 years. There are about 7000 24-70/f2.8's made every month.
> I have no doubt that this lens excels at macro, but that is really not my area of interest.
Then my advice would be not to buy it. Not only is it a macro lens, it's a specialized one at that.
> AF is supposed to be slow...
It certainly is - it is literally the slowest AF lens I've ever had. (But I've never had either of the two F3AF lenses...)
> sports and kids are out, I reckon
I certainly wouldn't recommend this for such purposes, but I have abused mine to shoot motorsport, and it does that a lot better than almost anyone would guess, if they haven't done the experiment. And more than once I've used it to track birds in flight (shorebirds, not falcons), and it does that OK too. But again, if you want something for these subjects, there are probably 15 other lenses better suited, most of which will cost a lot less.
> low-light concerts may be difficult
If you're thinking of the same concerts I am, an f/2.8 is not really fast enough, I use f/2 and f/1.4 glass.
At the end of the day, lenses are tools. They are solutions to photographic problems. If you don't have the photographic problem, you don't need the solution.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!