As promised, I am posting some images from the Nikon 200-400. I made these images at the LA Zoo.
I am very pleased with the autofocus. The ability to frame in the 200-400 range was tremendously valuable. The lens acquired focus quickly and accurately. I also like the VR. It works. While I was using a monopod, I would still expect some blur due to camera movement. I was shooting at 400mm (occasionally at 600mm due to DX crop factor) and still was able to shoot 1/90th of a second with no problem.
(f/4 – ISO 280 – 1/90 – 300mm)
The images show very good color rendition. They are sharp and the lens offers a nice soft bokeh, even though it’s only an f/4.
The D3/200-400 combination presents very nice images – on balance, some of the best I’ve ever shot.
(f/4 – ISO 200 – 1/750 – (-0.5 EV) – 400mm)
For a full size version of this image click on Flamingo.jpg.
There is always compromise – on the Canon 1DS MKIII, the camera would have captured more detail in the highlights and the gradation from bright to dark would have been smoother. But at press size, i.e. the size most of these images will appear in books (no larger than 8×10″) there will be no appreciable difference.
(f/4 – ISO 320 – 1/90 – 400mm)
I have uploaded one high res version – the bird image (Flamingo.jpg.) for you to investigate. In order to save bandwidth, I am only posting low-res versions of the remaining images.
NOTE: I shot these images in order to test the 200-400. So I am not claiming they are perfect. Just a quick test of the lens.