Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G eD Vr II Autofocus Issue?

cowleystjames

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I'm considering buying this lens, and will be trying one next week from my local store. However, here's the rub, I would like the ability to use my TC-17EⅡor TC-20EⅢwhich the Nikon website says is compatible, but it also states that autofocus is only possible on the s TC-14E/TC-14EⅡ.
The actual quote is: AF-I/AF-S Teleconverters TC-14E/TC-14EⅡ/TC-17EⅡ**/TC-20E**/TC-20EⅡ**/TC-20EⅢ** are usable. (**Autofocus is not possible.)
Am I being dense as even with the 2x converter you'd only be up to f8 which both my D800e and D4 can cope with or am I missing something here?


 

Aloicious

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D800e and d4 should work but AF performance may not be ideal, remember that the 200-400 came out before autofocusing down to d8 was even an option, most bodies AF spec down to f5.6...FWIW I'm not a huge fan of the 200-400, you may want to rent one or find one to test out for a little bit before you drop that amount of money on one. depending on what you're using it for there may be better, less expensive and faster options out there.
 
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cowleystjames

cowleystjames

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Many thanks for that Aloicious, I have the 300mm f2.8 vrII which is a beauty but wanted similar reach in a zoom and tried my friends 1st edition of this lens, loved it. What reason do you not like this lens as I've read mixed reviews especially from Thom.

Don't look back, you can't change anything.
 

Aloicious

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well it depends on what you're using it for, optically its a great lens, and in some sports the zoom range is really good and as long as its well lit then its excellent. however for things like wildlife (which I was I was looking at it for) the zoom range isn't very useful, every wildlife photographer that Ive seen use one is using it racked out at 400mm 95% of the time, and most of that time is spent with a TC on it as well. its not really a lens that people buy to use in the 200-350mm range very often (at least in wildlife), so for me the question was why would I spend ~$7k new/ ~$5.5k used on a lens that I'd be using racked all the way out most of the time with a TC on it? its basically a 560mm f5.6 lens at that point, that's an awful lot of money for something that slow when I could get a 500mm f4 for the same or less money, and have a full stop more speed (which is more important IMO than the zoom range on the 200-400, especially since 200-400 isn't really THAT much zoom in all reality), or get a 300mm f2.8, which is basically a 300 2.8/ 420 4/ 500 f4.8 with different TCs which is just as fast, or faster across the board, takes TC's better, is easier to find, and significantly cheaper (I know you've already got one, but that is what I was debating when I was looking at the 200-400). Not to mention that although the 200-400 is a great piece of glass optically, you DO lose a little quality with the zoom vs the primes in the same range, especially when using TC's, at least with the copy I tried out. its not a huge amount, but when you're spending thousands on a lens, I don't really want to compromise on anything...

so for some well lit field sports and such I think its versatility is a great advantage, but otherwise (depending on what you are using it for), for the price I think there are far better options out there...I'm glad I didn't get one for what I wanted.

My advice if you're wanting super telephoto lengths, either spend the same amount on a 500 f4, or save a little more for a good used 600 f4, you'll get the longer focal length, significantly faster lens, and have the option of extending the focal length even longer with a lens that will take TC's better...if you're looking for high quality glass in the 200-400 range for speed, the 300 2.8 or 400 2.8 are better hands down across the board (except for perhaps the weight of the 400 2.8)...it really boils down to what you're shooting, and how you're using it.
 

Derrel

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I saw a nice, clean used 200-400 VR a couple weeks ago in a shop for $3,500 asking price.

Still...not sure why anybody really wants a slow, 200mm f/4 lens...or a slow 300mm f/4 lens...that end of it makes no sense to me.

Adding ANY converter, and losing a minimum of one, full f/stop of effective aperture...oh...man...makes even less sense. The threat of motion blur from subject movement is just so high that using a 2x converter makes absolutely no sense.
 

Aloicious

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I saw a nice, clean used 200-400 VR a couple weeks ago in a shop for $3,500 asking price.

Still...not sure why anybody really wants a slow, 200mm f/4 lens...or a slow 300mm f/4 lens...that end of it makes no sense to me.

Adding ANY converter, and losing a minimum of one, full f/stop of effective aperture...oh...man...makes even less sense. The threat of motion blur from subject movement is just so high that using a 2x converter makes absolutely no sense.

yeah, I don't even own a 2x at all, and I don't use the 1.7x on anything other than the 300 f2.8, I don't mind TC's for the most part, as long as the glass is fast and good enough quality to take them, and you're able to accurately calibrate the AF with them on (makes a big difference in what I've seen), or just MF them...but even so I'd rather just shoot without them if at all possible. my main combos are either 300 2.8 bare, 300 2.8 w/1.7 (500 f4.8 which has yeilded some excellent results), or 600 f4 bare...sometimes I'll put the 1.4x on the 600 for 840mm f5.6, but its not very often.

$3.5k is a pretty good asking price, even for a VR1, KEH has used VR1's in the mid $4k range, used VR2's are in the mid $5k to $6k
 

Derrel

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KEH or any of the other big web dealers can easily ask $1,000 over what a lens is worth at walk-in retail...and they do whenever they can. Buying "big glass" from the larger web-based dealers means you pay the MAXIMUM price the market can bear...
 

raventepes

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Honestly, I've seen some side by side comparisons with the new 80-400 AF-S against the 200-400. From what I see, the 80-400 is slightly sharper...and cheaper...

food for thought.
 

Aloicious

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KEH or any of the other big web dealers can easily ask $1,000 over what a lens is worth at walk-in retail...and they do whenever they can. Buying "big glass" from the larger web-based dealers means you pay the MAXIMUM price the market can bear...

of course, they're just a reference point, but the prices they're advertising are in line with ones from private sellers...plus depending on location, finding used long fast glass at a walk in retailer may be near impossible, my local brick and mortar doesn't even sell used items directly.
 

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