Any opinions?. Thanks ( f/4 )
Any opinions?. Thanks ( f/4 )
I have a Nikon 200mm f4 I bought back in about 1974. I love it! Always sharp, still works fine. Couldn't ask for more.
I have a non-micro 200mm f/4 AIS. It has a 52mm filter thread, it stops down to f/32, it has nine aperture blades. The inside of the barrel behind the rear element is lined with velvet! The built-in hood is lined with velvet also. It does not focus very close (around 6-1/2 feet). The focusing throw on the AIS version is just okay (1/2 rotation to get from infinity to seven feet). It makes wonderfully sharp, aberration-free images as long as you use it with film. The bokeh is okay, depending on subject matter, focus distance, and aperture. Just get one, they're practically free. I love mine, even though I shoot mostly wides and normals.
I have a 20cm Q and an AiS. They're both great but I still don't seem to use them very much. The focus throw is pretty long, I don't know how sports photogs did it before AF, but it keeps me from having to track back and forth a lot to find focus. If you have a split prism screen like the F's 'A' screen f/4 is close to the point where one of the split sides will go dark and you have to use the surrounding matte. The old non-Ai lenses look rather funky too. They're classics; light, sharp and cheap enough that almost anyone can pick one up if they want to.
I got the 2nd generation Q (focus to 7'/3m) in 1969 and still have it...beaten and rubbed raw it's still a great lens...
I went out a few months ago and took some shots with it just to reaffirm my loyalty and was rewarded....and convinced...
...and then found the AIS on the end of FE2/MD12 for the price of the FE2 by itself, so figured why not...and it's just as good as the Q, and lighter/more compact, perfect for a little sling on my back, bike-riding through nature trails...
....and since this is not a digital site...you can go click on this link and see some shots (tagged) taken with both...on my Canon 40D...
The AI and pre-AI models are optically different.
The pre-AI is supposed to be good.
The AI/AIS is simply excellent: if you don't need 2.8, it nearly equals the 180 ED at similar apertures.
It is light & compact (for a 200), has a built in shade, good ergonomics, 52mm filter and only lags behind a couple of similar FL'd lenses which usually bear the name "Zeiss" or "Leica"...
The only fly in the ointment is that it is effectively more of a f/4.5 than an f/4.0 (which also explains its compactness).
Highly recommended unless you want to shell out for an Apo-Telyt or the like.
I have a Nikkor Q NAI 200f4, Tack Sharp one of my favorite. I use my AIS 180mm for people, and 200f4 for any other subjects.
Thank guys; intelligent and helpful answers. Mine is tack sharp.
I had a 200/4 AI-S. Wonderful lens, so long as you can work with somewhat dimmer finder. I used it with my F3HP that has a P screen (like standard K only with diagonally split prism) and it worked well... except when it didn't, which is when it gets darker outside. Otherwise, sharp and great even wide open but really shines at f/5.6. Great with tubes too. Did anybody say it's cheap? It found a new home when I got a 180; I don't shoot such freakishly long lenses often and 180/2.8ED AI-S is way too good.
I have a 20cm f/4, a Q with John White AI conversion, a QC with factory AI conversion and an AI. My favorite is the QC. The cm has a very long close focusing distance. The Q is fine but the QC is better coated. The AI is supposed to be sharper but I don't see it. It's smaller without being much lighter. The Q and QC seem to balance well on the camera. The AIS is the same as the AI optically but the AIS is slightly different mechanically and might have slightly improved coating. I see very little difference in the effectiveness of the coating between the QC and the AI. There was a 'K' version of the 200/4. It's the same, optically, as the AI but in non-AI form. On a Nikkormat, using a 200/4 is only easy in bright light. With an F2, FE, FE2, N2020 or N90S I use an E screen. There is no focusing aid to black out and the grid lines are a good sharpness reference. Fixed focal length lenses in this range became less popular over time as zooms in the 80-200 range became more popular. In most cases a 200/4 Nikkor from the Q on is sharper across the field than a zoom at the 200mm setting.