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Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4 D IF-ED Lens

has anyone tried this lens

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#1 TomR1

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:09 PM

Has anyone tried this lens underwater. It provides 1:1 at about 10" working distance. It looks like I could add a diopter and still have adaquate working distance.

 

Tom



#2 tdpriest

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 04:15 AM

I predict that lighting macro shots at 25cm will be a struggle...



#3 Kelpfish

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:23 AM

I predict that lighting macro shots at 25cm will be a struggle...

 

So will focusing.


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#4 divegypsy

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:45 AM

Tom,  

 

Don't let the nay-sayers discourage you.  I think the 200mm micro-nikkor has a lot of potential.  I tried it many years ago in the film era in combination with Kenko extension tubes to get closer than 1:1.  I got some very good results, but many not so good.  A lot of the failures I attribute to being limited to ISO 100 with film.  And the auto-focus with the F4 that I was using at that time was mediocre, particularly when I tried to use the lens with extension tubes.

 

More recently I ran a couple topside tests that were encouraging enough that I will take the 200mm with me on my next trip in preference to the 105mm.  In the interval since I last tried it underwater, I picked up the Nikon 5T & 6T close-up lenses which mount on this lens.  

 

IN THE AIR the 200mm + 5T gives you a magnification range of .29x (at infinity) to 1.4x (at minimum focus).  With working distances IN AIR of 7" to 28".     

IN THE AIR the 200mm +6T gives you a magnification range of .6x to 1.8x and working distances of 5" to 14".   In water working distances would be about 33% greater.

 

Concerning Tim's comments on lighting, depending on your strobe arms, and the wariness of the subject, there is no reason you can't position the strobes forward of the lens port and reasonably close to the subject.  With digital you have the option of going to higher ISO's which has the effect of making your strobes stronger.  The newer cameras also have much better auto-focus than my F4's had.  In my experience, holding the camera steady for framing and focusing will be one of your biggest problems.  And although the greater water distance may mean a little less sharpness, it should also allow you to get better shots of wary subjects.

 

Good luck.

 

Fred



#5 Kelpfish

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 07:08 AM

Tom,  

 

Don't let the nay-sayers discourage you.  I think the 200mm micro-nikkor has a lot of potential.  I tried it many years ago in the film era in combination with Kenko extension tubes to get closer than 1:1.  I got some very good results, but many not so good.  A lot of the failures I attribute to being limited to ISO 100 with film.  And the auto-focus with the F4 that I was using at that time was mediocre, particularly when I tried to use the lens with extension tubes.

 

More recently I ran a couple topside tests that were encouraging enough that I will take the 200mm with me on my next trip in preference to the 105mm.  In the interval since I last tried it underwater, I picked up the Nikon 5T & 6T close-up lenses which mount on this lens.  

 

IN THE AIR the 200mm + 5T gives you a magnification range of .29x (at infinity) to 1.4x (at minimum focus).  With working distances IN AIR of 7" to 28".     

IN THE AIR the 200mm +6T gives you a magnification range of .6x to 1.8x and working distances of 5" to 14".   In water working distances would be about 33% greater.

 

Concerning Tim's comments on lighting, depending on your strobe arms, and the wariness of the subject, there is no reason you can't position the strobes forward of the lens port and reasonably close to the subject.  With digital you have the option of going to higher ISO's which has the effect of making your strobes stronger.  The newer cameras also have much better auto-focus than my F4's had.  In my experience, holding the camera steady for framing and focusing will be one of your biggest problems.  And although the greater water distance may mean a little less sharpness, it should also allow you to get better shots of wary subjects.

 

Good luck.

 

Fred

 Fred,

 

I never said that the set up wouldn't do a good job, what I said is PURE FACT.....one of the challenges with this set up will be focus. Period.  If that is nay saying, you miss the point of forums.


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#6 trimix125

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:00 AM

Hi Tom,

i use the Nikon 70 - 180mm Macro zoom lens 
http://www.kenrockwe...nikon/70180.htm

 


Focus and lightning work both ok. Havent tried a diopter, simply because my setup was not build for one.
But for small shrimp in Lembeh it worked fine ;-))

Kind regards,
Wolfgang



#7 eyu

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:57 AM

I second using the micro nikkor 70-180 mm lens.  It is very flexible being a zoom lens and also works well with wet diopters for small critters like pigmy seahorses.

Here are some Little Cayman macro shots: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=50210

 

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#8 davephdv

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:49 PM

You will need clear, calm water.
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#9 davichin

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:38 AM

Maybe you can try 105VR+1.7x TC for a similar lens length but with a higher ratio result and a more versatile combo for trips...


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#10 divegypsy

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:21 PM

With respect to the people that have talked about Nikon's 70-180mm Micro-nikkor, I concur that this lens is great for underwater use.  I bought it when it first appeared and have lauded it ever since.  The 70-180 and Nikon's 24-85mm f2.8D are my two most used lenses.  Nikon first made its 62mm dual-element close-up lenses, the 5T and 6T for use with the 70-180mm.  But even the stronger of these, the 6T, only increases the maximum magnification you can get with the 70-180mm from .75x to 1:1.  Not a great gain.  And not as much as you might want for really small critters.  

 

For these smaller subjects, my usual optic of choice for the last dozen years has been the 105mm f2.8D combined with one or several Kenko extension tubes.  I chose to go this route because it added no optics so I was still using the 105mm exactly as it had been designed to be used.  But the greater magnifications meant closer working distances that the subject did not tolerate well. My notes tell me that the 105mm + a 36mm Kenko tube resulted in a magnification range of .34x to 1.48x with a working distance (from the front of the lens to the subject) IN AIR that ranged from 11cm at 1.48x to 35cm at .34x.  With the 105mm + 56mm of Kenko tubes the magnification range was .52x to 1.75x.  And IN AIR working distances of 10cm-26cm.  When your working distance in AIR (for the 1.75x) is 10cm, your water distance would be 33% more at MAXIMUM if none of the working distance is "eaten" by air distance inside the port. Thus you get 10x1.33/ 2.54= 5.25 inches.

 

David Chin has mentioned the newer 105mm VR micro-nikkor in combination with the Nikon 1.7x tele-converter to attain a similar maximum magnification.  Again, solely from quick topside tests on this combination my notes say that the maximum magnification of this combination is actually about 1.85x (because the lens itself focuses slightly closer that 1:1) and that the IN AIR working distance at this magnification is 15 cm.  This working distance is almost the same as with the 200mm with the 6T close-up lens or the older 105mm with 56mm of Kenko extension tubes at very similar magnifications.

 

There is also a basic rule in optics that says the for any given magnification (about 1.8x in this discussion) that the depth-of-field will be the same if the aperture setting (f16 for example) the picture is shot at is the same.  So interestingly, these three different lenses, in combination with three different means of making them focus closer, all end up with approximately the same working distance as well.  

 

So to my thinking, the choice comes down to which optic gives you the sharper image and which is easier to use.

 

Fred



#11 TomR1

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:02 PM

It does not appear that lighting is an issue @ 200+MM but focusing is difficult at minimum focus distance both with the 200MM F/4 and a 105MM and a Kento 2:1 T/C. Essentially, it is almost impossible for me to keep the camera steady.  I think I will back off to a 1.4 or 1.7 T/C.

 

Thanks for your comments



#12 divegypsy

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:50 PM

Perhaps the new 105mm with VR image stabilization would help you keep the image framed and the focus point where you want it.  And a Nikon tele-converter would be almost certainly give you better image quality vs the Kenko tele-converter.

 

Fred



#13 TomR1

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:27 AM

Fred-

 

I am using the new 105. I looked at the Nikon tele-converter but it doesn't autofocus with the 105 so I opted for the Kento. My goal is greater than 1:1 so the 70-180 doesn't work for me.

 

Regards.



#14 divegypsy

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 04:54 AM

Tom,

 

The Nikon AF-S 1.7x tele-converter should work with the Nikon 105mm AF-S VR Micro-nikkor.  As I write this I have just tried my 105mm VR with all three Nikon tele-converters, 1.4x, 1.7x and 2.0x. All three combinations auto-focus.  Are you sure that your 105mm is the AF-S VR version and not the 105mm D lens?  The auto-focus of the 105 D is driven by the camera body's auto-focus motor and would not work with Nikon's tele-converters which are AF-S and require that the lens has its own auto-focus motor.  There have been other threads on WetPixel about using the 105VR in combination with Nikon's tele-converters.

 

Concerning the 70-180mm I did say in one of my earlier posts that this lens only focused to .75x alone and only reached 1.0x, life-size, in combination with Nikon's 6T close-up lens.  And probably isn't really suitable for larger than 1:1 shooting which many refer to as super-macro.

 

Fred



#15 scorpio_fish

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 01:36 PM

I still have mine.   It is one of two Nikon lenses I still own, even though I don't own a Nikon camera any more. 

 

I have used it alone back in the film days, with and without diopers and teleconverters.   The big problem was that with two SS200 strobes pushed forward and a long lens and port extension, it could fatigue your wrists very quickly (no Stix or floaties).   With TC and diopter it was also hard to even find your subject in the old non-magnifying viewfinder.

 

I did use it with the D100 and it's sensor crop along with lighter strobes, no TC.   Worked very well getting some jittery blennies.   It is wonderful for giving you plenty of working distance and if you can balance your rig, it would indeed be a good tool for jittery critters.  I don't think lighting will be a problem these days.   I have no issue running at ISO320, which over 2 stops better than the days of Velvia 50.

 

As I said, I still have the lens and the port.   I'm going to hang on to them.  You never know.   The last time I used it on land was shooting butterflies in an inside aviary (aviary isn't the right name, but I don't know the name for a butterfly containment area). 

 

Oh, in today's world, it would be considered very slow to focus.  But so am I.

 

 

 

 


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#16 TomR1

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 07:30 PM

I have the newer VR 105 lens. I can't say it doesn't autofocus with the Nikon T/C only that the Nikon literature says it does not.



#17 eyu

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 12:06 PM

I prefer using wet diopters rather then teleconveters for greater then 1:1 on the 105 mm VR and 70-180 mm micro nikkor lens.

Using a flip down wet diopter gives you more versatility, you are not locked into the extra magnification from the TC.  


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#18 Mark K

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 05:44 PM

200/4 was the sharpest macro lens ever made...but to use it underwater will be....will not be on my wish least. I have this 60mm AFS and 150 OS but will definitely bring 60mm underwater.


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#19 divegypsy

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:22 PM

A couple thoughts on the Nikon 200mm Micro-nikkor and the new 105 VR.  As TomR says, the original Nikon literature for the 105 VR did say that the lens would not work with the AF-S tele-converters. But as a number of us have discovered, they do work. Since the Nikon tele-converters are for use with AF-S lenses and the 200mm Micro-nikkor is not an AF-S lens, Nikon's converters will not work with that lens, though a Kenko still might.  However, as you focus closer, the effective maximum aperture of the combination drops to smaller than f5.6 and the auto-focus becomes less accurate and slower.

 

Eyu says that he prefers using wet diopters with his 105 VR and 70-180. And as he says, being able to flip the wet diopter into place or out of the way, does give you more versatility.  I have not used any of the wet diopters so I have no experience or comparative images, but I have not bought or used wet diopters because I question how their sharpness would compare with a high quality dual element diopter or tele-converter inside the port because the wet diopter has water of questionable clarity between the lens and the diopter. And because the alignment of the diopter to the lens would considerably less precise than that of a tele-converter or a diopter that screws into the front of the lens.  In both cases these additional optics are precisely centered in alignment with the lens.  Of the two, tele-converter vs dual element diopter, I tend to favor the dual element diopters because they do not decrease the maximum aperture of the lens and therefore give you a brighter image in the camera's viewfinder. And frequently faster auto-focusing.  But a 2x teleconverter gives more magnification than any of the dual element diopters I know of.  If I remember correctly, Alex Mustard said that he preferred using a lower magnification tele-converter,  like a 1.4x, in combination with a dual element diopter for magnifications of about 2x.  I think this would be a worthy subject of some comparison shots if there is someone out there who owns all the various combinations for shooting at greater than 1:1.

 

Fred

 

Fred



#20 TomR1

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:39 AM

I am working on comparison shots. I have an Af-105-VR, a +5 and +10 Subsee wet diopter and have ordered a 1.4 teleconverter. I will post pool shots this summer.

 

In my experience so far the Kento 2.0 teleconverter did autofocus somewhat but locked up and simply would not focus occasionally. In addition it was very difficult to hold the 105+2.0 steady.

 

Additionally, using the Subsee +10 directly on the 105 produced dramatic shots (attached) of 2:1 supermacro but autofocus is very difficult. My process is to have my buddy shine a small flashlight on the subject, move in closer than minimum focus distance, than back out till the subject is in focus. I have the camera in focus priority, C autofocus so the camera, no me decides when it is focus.

 

Using the +5 subsee is much easier.

 

I looked hard at the 200/4. The problem is the tripod mount collar is not removeable. I asked Nikon service if they could remove it and they said no. Focus is slow with this lens compared to the Af-105-Vr.

 

I also have the Sigma 150 macro. It did not provide a significent increase in the working distance so i did not see an advantage.

Attached Images

  • _DQO8924_blue_Tulips.jpg

Edited by TomR1, 19 June 2013 - 07:42 AM.