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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Nikon 400mm f/2.8G vs F2.8E (and 200-400 f/4)
PJ Heller, Photographer
Christchurch | NZ | | Posted: 12:13 AM on 04.29.15
->> Anybody shooting with the latest Nikon 400mm f/2.8E lens? Is there a big difference — other than the weight and one-piece hood (and the price :-) — between it and the previous version.

Have many people replaced the 400 f/2.8 with the 200-400 f4? Or is the 400 still the go-to lens.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 8:08 AM on 04.29.15
->> I switched to the 200-400 and have never looked back. Not only for the huge price difference but it's way lighter.
I use it for all the sports and often will take in on regular assignments because it's a lot easier to manage with the size and weight differential.
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Michael Augustin, Photographer
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 9:06 AM on 04.29.15
->> Can't speak for the new Nikon 400mm Fluorite lens, but I can opine on the "old" 400mm VRII vs the 200-400 f/4.

My personal experience has been that the 200-400 zoom is a very capable, lightweight (compared to the 400mm) and versatile lens when there is good light. It is my "go-to" baseball zoom for day games or games played in pro-level venues with good lighting. Unfortunately, that does not always include HS baseball, which is what I primarily shoot. If I am shooting a HS night game I use the 400mm f/2.8.

For night football I leave the 200-400 f/4 zoom at home and instead I use the 400mm f/2.8 prime along with a a 70-200mm f/2.8 and sometimes my 14-24 f/2.8. The extra stop is crucial for night football in order to avoid ISO's greater than 6400 on my D4S'.

I have heard that some have experienced AF and/or softness issues at 350mm+ with the 200-400mm and I can say that I have as well. I have not used the 200-400mm with a TC for sports.

I use both lenses frequently and I am fortunate to own both. I also have the 300mm f/2.8 and I admit that it is rarely used since I added the 200-400 to my stable.

JMHO/YMMV
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 9:20 AM on 04.29.15
->> The 400 AFS II is a great lens, but bigger and heavier. I owned the 200-400 first version and it was a good lens, but not as good as the prime. In low light, the AF is definitely slower. I switched to a 300 2.8 AFS II, 'cos on a D800 series camera I can switch between FX and DX mode, which makes it a 450 on the long end. Plus, it weighs under 6 pounds, which helps my back significantly. The 300 is very sharp and very fast. The 200-400 weighs just under 8 pounds. The 400 AFS II weighs over 10 pounds.

To each his own, eh?
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Steve King, Photographer
Ann Arbor | MI | USA | Posted: 11:30 PM on 04.29.15
->> I'm with Chuck, I switched from the 400mm f/2.8 to the 200-400 f/4 shortly after trying it with the D3 that Jon Soohoo had and loaned to me for a few minutes (I'm sure he knew I wouldn't give it back), and never looked back. Now I use it with both the D3S and a D7200 to get some extra crop reach. I don't see any AF change from the 400, and the IQ is great, no softness, no issues with either the D3, D3S, or the D7200.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:33 AM on 04.30.15
->> Addendum: I forgot to mention that I use D4's with my 200-400, so low light isn't really a factor with that amazing camera.
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Gavin Werbeloff, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 2:03 PM on 05.01.15
->> I have a 6 year old 200-400 v1, and have used it on a variety Nikon bodies. I use mine more for wildlife than sports, and the biggest weakness I've found is sharpness when focussed at infinity, regardless of focal length. The 500mm I'm rented a few times and used side by side with the 200-400 has been sharper under the same circumstances. I've also found that the 200-400 with a TC-14E really does't perform fantastically, even with the newest version of the teleconverter. Hopefully they will release an update that has better optics on the long end.
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Randy Rimland, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 5:06 AM on 05.03.15
->> I gotta have 2.8 FX in the old high school stadiums I shoot and $12K for a 400 2.8 is IMO ridiculous

The 400 2.8 VR is a great lens and since I can't hold either I don't really care about weight savings
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Michael Clark, Photographer
Santa Fe | NM | USA | Posted: 11:37 AM on 05.04.15
->> I just sold my 200-400 because of sharpness issues at infinity. I rented the 400mm f/2.8 while shooting surfing in Hawaii a few months ago and the AF on that lens is far, far superior to the 200-400, especially wide open.
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Thread Title: Nikon 400mm f/2.8G vs F2.8E (and 200-400 f/4)
Thread Started By: PJ Heller
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