Do I just L O V E this lens!

Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 G VRII AF-S

Having made the decision to move away from  shooting film in my Hasselblad “V” series cameras I spent over a year agonizing “do I go Hasselblad H4D or Nikon D3X?”.  A key reason for choosing the Nikon path was that I could (eventually) get long lenses and return to Wildlife photography.  Since making the switch to Nikon I have also re-discovered my first love in photography namely Air Shows and Warbirds, which coincidentally calls for long lenses too.

The Occasion

So I am off to the Florida International Air Show, my first air show in over 40 years and I need a longer lens to shoot the warbirds.  The Nikor 200-400mm F/4 is an obvious choice as I understand that at the Florida International Air Show you can get very close to the flight-line.  So with great excitement a very large parcel arrives via UPS – the lens! Having carefully and lovingly unpacked the lens, I suddenly realize that this is the heaviest lens I have ever held – so with only three days to go before leaving I am frantically working my left arm with a 10lb dumbel!!

I am completely blown away by the detail in the images, the sharpness even at the edges of the frame and the images I can get on its first outing. W O W !!

A Sample of the Warbird images (a lot more to follow):

Black Diamond Aerobatic Display Team

F8F Bearcat in Blue Angels finish. (The Blue Angels adopted the Bearcat as their team aircraft during their inaugural year, 1946)

F-4U Corsair by Vought.

Navy F/A- 18 Hornet, a multi-role aircraft that can switch between fighter and attack function.

The Blue Angels Aerobatic Display Team in Double Fervel formation. Flying Navy F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.

Twin Beech 18 - never designed for aerobatics

Equipment: D3X; 200-400mm f/4 VRII AF-S; Lexar 600X Digital Film

 The Bonus:

During the air show another photographer asked where I was staying.  I said that I was miles away in Venice as I could not get accommodation near the Punta Gorda airport.  He immediately said that I had to go to “The Rookery” in Venice, a fantastic spot for shooting birds.

Louise had located “The Rookery” while I was at the air show so we went there just after sunrise on our last morning before breakfast and heading to the airport.

So the Nikor 200-400mm f/4 proved that it was just as sharp and clear when photographing feathered birds as it was in shooting warbirds – as you can see below.

Early light illuminating a Great Egret at The Rookery, Venice, Florida

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at The Rookery, Venice, Florida

Great Blue Heron (Ardea hernias) and interloping Great Egret (Ardea alba)

A juvenile Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) goes fishing

A nest building male Great Egret (Ardea alba) warning everyone off!

The male Great Egret (Ardea alba) showing discretion as the better part of valor!

Equipment: D3X; 200-400mm f/4 VRII AF-S; TC-17EII AF-S; Gitzo tripod & head; Lexar 600X Digital Film


One Response to “Do I just L O V E this lens!”

  1. New lens Nikor 200-400 f/4 VRII AF-S

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