HELP!!! Do I buy the 400mm 2.8 prime or not?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tirediron, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have a serious quandry on my hands, and I would really appreciate some unbiased input. I'm slowly working on building up gadget bag with quality gear, and on return from my current deployment, had finally decided which new 'daily' lens to buy: The Nikkor 24-70 f2.8.

    I now have a chance to get a Nikkor 400mm f2.8 - the holy grail of long Nikon primes for $3700. It's about eight years old, so no VR, but that's not a big deal to me. It's got a few scuffs on the finish, but is reportedly mechanically and optically perfect (it would be inspected closely before purchse).

    So, the question is, do I buy it or not? Because of house renos that are ongoing I can't really afford to buy the 400 and the 24-70, and while I would use the 24-70 every day, the 400 would not get used all that often. HOWEVER, when you need a 400mm, nothing else will do. This is the first used one in my area in about three years.

    So, do I buy it because it's there and limp along with my poor old 18-70 f3.5/4.5 kit lens for another 6-12 months, or do I let it go and get the glass that I will use every day, and figure that another of these will come along eventually?

    HELP!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    If it will earn you your daily bread - and the decission given to me to decide, than yes I will take them. In the end of the day everythings depend on the money in your pocket.
     
  3. Rogan

    Rogan TPF Noob!

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    well to me and the way you've posted it sounds like this is going to be your second lens

    and dropping that much money into a prime lens which is only your second ever lens seems a very big investment for something you may not use all that often
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    No, I'm well past my second lens; it's a choice between getting a replacement daily-use lens (the 24-70 2.8) or the the 400, which, granted wouldn't get used nearly as often, BUT is something I want for birding/nature work. The only reason I'm even entertaining it is because these come on the used market so rarely (at least in my area) that it seems foolish to let it go.

    I guess another way to put the question is: "Is this a bargain I can afford to pass up?"
     
  5. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Which lenses do you currently own? If you don't have a long telephoto (200mm+), then I'd recommend the 400 2.8. Sure, if you got the 24-70 it would be much better than your 18-70, but at least you have that kind of focal range.
     
  6. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would say go for it and grab the 400mm wile it is there. I love my 400mm 5.6 (Canon mount). I did not think I had too much use for it when I was looking at buying it but went a head wile I had the opertunity. I'm glad I did, I'm still finding new uses for it and use it quite frequently, almost daily.
     
  7. Ben-71

    Ben-71 TPF Noob!

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    Tough decision... between daily use and a rare opportunity...

    It's up to how you feel about it, so I can only tell you what I'd have done.

    I'd go for the much more useful Nikkor 24-70 f2.8.

    I can well understand your craving for the 400, but how much use will it
    really have?

    Personally, I'd give up a bit of quality (really not much), and later get a
    Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 and a 1.7 Tele Converter.
    This, I think, would see much more use than the 400, for me at least.
    With the TC it gets to within 60mm from the 400mm, which is quite near,
    and it's much more versatile.


     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 18-70mm is a great lens at it's price point. But it's no 24-70mm f/2.8!

    I'd vote for being happy every day as opposed to the occasional wOw.
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I say get whatever YOU want. How do a bunch of strangers on an online forum know what is best for you???.
     
  10. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's the point; I want them both! :confused:
     
  11. Ben-71

    Ben-71 TPF Noob!

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    Isn't that bigamy ? ;)
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not in Utah... lol

    To the OP, I say... do what you want to do. No one can help with this more than you yourself.

    Pay for one, slap the other on the plastic if you want them both that bad.
     

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