AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED
Worth every penny
I had been doing a lot of macro work in the field lately, both with extension tubes and the 105mm macro, but wanted to be able to get really good shots of insects which are difficult to say the least! I decided to get this lens, and the first time I used it I got a shot of red ants as good as any I've seen. I shot with my F6, 400 speed color neg, was shooting at 1000 shutter priority, handheld laying on my stomach. At near 1:1 I got a shot of two ants that came out perfect. Other shots had detail and were good technically, but the focus locked on the wrong spot or couldn't keep up with the ants. I got the photo attached. The first ant is carrying that stick, and the second was escorting it. The shot is so sharp you can see the texture of the ants skin and the hair on it's legs. Anyone that cannot take a good photo with this lens either has no idea how to use it or is working with something that is broken!
June 13, 2012
Quite a tool!
I bought this lens for hand held macro shots of insects with an R1-C1 flash system and a D300 camera. At long distances, my test images were extremely sharp and contrasty from full aperture down.
In the macro range, from 1:3 to 1:1, I found that the weight of the lens and the 6X magnification made quite difficult finding the subject and focusing. In manual focus mode, even with strong arms, it is difficult to keep the subject in focus for the fraction of a second required to shoot. An approach that gave good results was presetting a distance, then, in AF mode, letting the lens do the final adjustment and shooting without delay.
The quality of the results is at par with the 105mm micro, with the added advantage of twice the working distance.
February 26, 2012
This lens is perhaps my sharpest lens. I really love to use it even though it is not versatile. It does the job for which it was intended and one could not find a better quality lens anywhere
July 31, 2011
My favorite Nikon lens!
I have been shooting with Nikon for about two and a half years. My favorite type of photography is macro. I love to shoot flowers of all kinds. This lens is superb! It is solidly built and takes tack sharp photos. It is a heavy lens, so a good tripod is a must. I have taken some shots with success without a tripod, but they were not macro shots. I still prefer to use a tripod simply because of the weight on my D300 camera.
A local camera shop told me that the 200mm is a fantastic landscape lens as well. I'm so glad I was given this advice! I was strictly using it for macro photography and was very surprised at the results after trying it on wildlife and landscapes! I finally got a great photo of Mt. Rainier, here in Washington, with this lens! A very elusive subject due to the weather.
Of all of the lenses I own, this is by far my "baby" lens. My other favorite lens is the 60 mm macro, which I had for about a year prior to getting the 200mm.
July 22, 2011
Great Macro lens
I've only begun playing with this lens to get to it's full potential. Very nice glass-sharp as can be ! Biggest macro I've ever used and that takes a little getting used to, but I'm impressed so far with the results.
April 18, 2011
Real nice piece of equipment
This is easy to use. Just a little bit heavy. It takes some really nice pictures. I need a better monopod to help hold it in place. Used to take sport photos of my son.
April 18, 2011
One great throwback
When my new 200mm Micro was delivered, I was surprised how heavy the box was. Reason? Old fashioned heavy-duty lens construction, and a "leather" case (no wimpy pouch). I thought it was 1972 again! Downside...no lens hood. At this price, it should be included. The lens itself is terrific. Shot about 40 flower photos with Velvia 50 and 100 film, and they are amazing. It's a little strong for portraits, but will work fine for most.
April 17, 2011
An outstanding macro lens!
In my opinion this is the best possible macro lens because, with its long focal length, it blurs more of the background at a particular aperture and has a narrow field of view. Also, it has a tripod mount on the lens itself, which allows me to freely rotate my camera body for creative compositions. And, like all Nikon lenses, it is very sharp. It's only negative--if you will--is that it is heavier and larger than the 105 mm macro.
April 14, 2011
Pricey but worth it (if you like macro)
As is generally agreed, the 200MM Micro-Nikkor is an outstanding close-up lens with a good working distance and excellent image quality.
There is no downside; if you can afford it and enjoy close-up shooting this is the ne plus ultra of lenses.
April 14, 2011
Micro Working Distance ++ Awesome
My first review was kicked back by Nikon - I water marked the images with my copyright.
So here is a revised edition;
The 200mm F4 Micro is legacy Nikon, built to go anywhere. The only plastic on this lens that I know of is the aperture ring and it is protected by being so closely mounted to the camera body no worries to break it.
I own a couple of other Nikon Micro/Macro lenses. It has taken me 2 weeks to get accustomed to using this "longer" lens.
The Nikon 200mm F4 is one mighty fine example of a micro lens. Beautiful depth of field control all the way up to F40 at 1:1. When used with a Nikon Creative Lighting System the results are amazing.
The lens performs exceptional , but for those who are use to a 105mm Micro lens the extra length = the need for an extra stable mount. Call me crazy but I carry a tripod still!!, If you use a flash you can get away without the tripod.
When used correctly the lens is an exceptional micro lens - I look forward to using it this year.
When mounted, you know you have it on.. It is SOLID.
Best used with a flash or in sunlight..I only manual focus with this lens, so the focus speed is not an issue. However, automatic focus is touch and go depending on available light.
My favorite Micro lenses are the older 105mm and this awesome 200mm F4.
The pictures I attached were taken with a Nikon Flash and under Natural sunlight, the spider is a new born almost invisible to the eye, you can see his legs are translucent., a VERY tiny spider.
The cat was shot under setting sun wide open.
This is one fine lens..
March 19, 2011
the best micro Nikkor ever produced
I have had this lens since it was first released by Nikon. It is my primary macro for flowers and butterflies which are two of my favorite subjects. This lens is tack sharp and built to withstand any field conditions. It is so well used that is shows brassing and it has been back to Nikon twice for repairs (not as a fault of the lens but the owner) and it comes back just like new. It can be difficult to find one, but if you do get one, never let it out of your possession.
August 3, 2010
After getting my D90 I got a 60 macro, then a 105 VR macro for more working distance and foreshortened perspective and want MORE. So I bit the financial bullet and got this 200.
It is a tank. I'd been put off by the bulk of my 105, but that now feel small. But when you look through the viewfinder it's all worth it, then you see the images and you can't help but be moved. Exceptional performance - every f-stop - 1:1, wow. If you think you need this, you do. (You know who you are!)
July 22, 2010
Its true as some say (heavy, slow etc) but on the end of all there is nothing better for Macro photography !
I got one 6 months ago and I handling it as jewel because it is !
July 15, 2010
I recently asquired this lens to augment my 60 mm and my 105 mm macro lenses as well as my bellows and extension tubes. My primary goal was a better working distance than I can get with my 105 mm macro.
The lens delivers well, I'm still getting used to being further from my subject a real treat when doing insects. The lack of an image stabilizer is a mixed blessing. I spent thirty five years without one but I have to admit to having been spoiled by the 105 mm macro in this regard. Still though, it's simply a matter of getting used to it again and also using higher shutter speeds something that's a lot simpler in the digital world since ISO adjustment is built into the cameras.
Missing too is the AM switch, with this lens you have the choice of auto or manual focus but not both as with the 105. This too takes some getting used to. My solution tends to be to use manual most of the time which makes it easier to find the subject anyway and I achieve fine focus by moving the camera and the lens forward and back.
The weight of the lens is a bit much and the autofocus is really slow but again it's just a matter of getting used to it and adjusting accordingly. Thirrty five years ago I had to adjust aperture and focus and shutter speed and get the picture all in a matter of seconds and I managed to learn how to do that. I have to do less with this lens so it's easier to learn again.
Finally, the lens has a screw in lens hood. That's super if you're using close up lenses or filters. But it's a problem if you're trying to use a polarizer of course. A more aggravating problem is that flipping the hood over prevents you from attaching the lens cap. There is no way to keep the hood with the lens, you have to carry two pieces with this lens which seems a rather inept design.
My reward for adjusting to the lens is the images I'm getting are amazing, crisp, excellent hues and colours and excellent contrast. I am also treated to what seems to be an enormous working distance compared to my other two lenses. The lens reallly is a dream. I expect I'll be used to it quickly enough and I will then get consistently excellent images.
June 3, 2013
Can't get a truly sharp image
No matter what I try, I can't get a truly sharp image out of this lens. I actually got sharper images with my all-in-one Canon G11. I'm not sure if there is a defect with this lens or if this is just the way it is. I look around on the internet for bug photos and I find many that are much sharper than the ones I've taken with this lens, with every possible detail standing out. Meanwhile, my best images have colors blending into one another in ways that look fuzzy and washed out. I've taken thousands of photos with this lens already, adjusting settings and lighting in every possible way, but there is never a truly crisp photo. You would think that even if I were an absolute novice that by the time I'd taken 4 or 5 thousand photos, at least one of them would be really crisp if the lens was actually capable of accomplishing this feat. But thus far nothing.
This isn't to say that my clearest shots aren't very nice looking. They are. But they're not as nice as the sharpest photos I see on the web. I got this lens because all reviews praise it up and down as creating the sharpest images--but I just can't see it.
Maybe my standards are too high?
September 14, 2011