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

has anyone tried this lens

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#21 divegypsy

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:01 PM

Tom,

 

I also have the 200 Micro-nikkor and did have the tripod collar removed back about 2000 or 2001.  The work may have been done by a NYC repair shop called Professional Camera Repair or perhaps Fred Dion at Backscatter East.  I know that Fred did remove the tripod collar on an 70-180 Micro-nikkor that I use underwater.

 

Fred



#22 TomR1

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:05 PM

Update. I tried my Af-105-vr with a Kenko 1.4 T/C and found that the autofocus is faster with the 105/Kenko, the overall length is slightly shorter and the working distance is longer than my Sigma 150 F2.8. I have ruled out the Sigma but divegypsy's post causes me to reconsider the 200MM Nikon. Essentially I am selling the Sigma 150mm and the Kenko 2:1 T/C on ebay and trading up to the 200 if I can find someone to remove the tripod collar.

 

Tom



#23 tdpriest

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:01 AM

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.

 

Fred

 

Where, then, is the advantage? You may as well use a teleconverter, dry or wet diopters on a 105mm. The only advantage that I can see of an f4 200mm over an f2.8 105mm is the "stand-off" distance for skittish creatures. I'll grant that's fun to try a new lens if your bent is that way, and a challenge...

 

... but the difference between air and water is going to be particularly marked for this lens.



#24 tdpriest

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:10 AM

Perhaps the new 105mm with VR image stabilization would help you keep the image framed and the focus point where you want it.

 

Fred

 

Nah...

 

... it is, I'm afraid, all in the wrists, the bit of stone or sand that you brace against and lots and lots of patience! It's not so much vibration as an earthquake that you see in the viewfinder at extreme magnification...



#25 tdpriest

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:30 AM

 

I am using the new 105. I looked at the Nikon tele-converter but it doesn't autofocus with the 105 ...

 

 

Nikon say this, but it usually works just fine...

 

... I use the 2.0x T/C with aspherical optics on the 105mm, AF seems perfectly adequate on the more recent cameras.



#26 divegypsy

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:34 PM

Concerning tdpriest's question "...where, then, is the advantage?" in the comparison of using the 200mm Micro-nikkor with the 6T close-up lens for super-macro subjects vs the 105 VR with the Nikon's new AF-S TC20EIII.

 

As I have said, I have not shot what I consider a definitive set of comparison shots to determine if there is any difference in sharpness.  But my "gut" feeling is that the 200mm MN with the the Nikon-made dual element 6T close-up lens would be sharper than the 105VR + 2.0x T/C.

 

Beyond the issue of sharpness, there is the fact that the viewfinder brightness of 200mm + 6T is significantly better than with the 105mm + 2X.  According to the effective aperture readout shown in the D800's viewfinder, the wide-open effective aperture of the 200mm +6T at 1.8x life-size is f5.3.  With the 105VR + 2X the wide-open effective aperture at 1.8x life-size is f9.  And f9.5 at 2x life-size.  This is a brightness difference in the camera viewfinder of 1.67 f-stops.  I think this brighter viewfinder, which also exhibits less depth-of-field, will make it easier to find and frame your subject.  And focus more accurately if you are using manual focus.

 

Additionally there is the issue of auto-focus accuracy. Nikon states fairly clearly, that their auto-focus system works best when the maximum aperture of the lens, or lens + accessory, is f5.6 or wider.  The 200mm MN + 6T meets this criterion throughout its whole focusing range, from infinity (f4) to minimum focus (f5.3).  The 105VR + AF-S TC20EIII does not meet this criterion anywhere within its focusing range.  My D800 says the wide-open effective aperture at infinity is f6.  This is probably why Nikon originally stated that the 105VR + 2X did not work.  As we know, it will auto-focus, or at least try to auto-focus.  But as you focus closer and closer, the wide-open aperture 105VR + 2X the drops downward towards f9.5, at minimum focus. And I would believe the auto-focus becomes less and less accurate, particularly when the ambient light levels at lower as they frequently are underwater.

 

Those are two answers to tdpriest's "where, then, is the advantage?"

 

Fred



#27 JimSwims

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 05:40 PM

Concerning tdpriest's question "...where, then, is the advantage?" in the comparison of using the 200mm Micro-nikkor with the 6T close-up lens for super-macro subjects vs the 105 VR with the Nikon's new AF-S TC20EIII.

 

As I have said, I have not shot what I consider a definitive set of comparison shots to determine if there is any difference in sharpness.  But my "gut" feeling is that the 200mm MN with the the Nikon-made dual element 6T close-up lens would be sharper than the 105VR + 2.0x T/C.

 

Beyond the issue of sharpness, there is the fact that the viewfinder brightness of 200mm + 6T is significantly better than with the 105mm + 2X.  According to the effective aperture readout shown in the D800's viewfinder, the wide-open effective aperture of the 200mm +6T at 1.8x life-size is f5.3.  With the 105VR + 2X the wide-open effective aperture at 1.8x life-size is f9.  And f9.5 at 2x life-size.  This is a brightness difference in the camera viewfinder of 1.67 f-stops.  I think this brighter viewfinder, which also exhibits less depth-of-field, will make it easier to find and frame your subject.  And focus more accurately if you are using manual focus.

 

Additionally there is the issue of auto-focus accuracy. Nikon states fairly clearly, that their auto-focus system works best when the maximum aperture of the lens, or lens + accessory, is f5.6 or wider.  The 200mm MN + 6T meets this criterion throughout its whole focusing range, from infinity (f4) to minimum focus (f5.3).  The 105VR + AF-S TC20EIII does not meet this criterion anywhere within its focusing range.  My D800 says the wide-open effective aperture at infinity is f6.  This is probably why Nikon originally stated that the 105VR + 2X did not work.  As we know, it will auto-focus, or at least try to auto-focus.  But as you focus closer and closer, the wide-open aperture 105VR + 2X the drops downward towards f9.5, at minimum focus. And I would believe the auto-focus becomes less and less accurate, particularly when the ambient light levels at lower as they frequently are underwater.

 

Those are two answers to tdpriest's "where, then, is the advantage?"

 

Fred

 

 

  That does sound impressive for chasing bugs in the garden, but in the wash underwater how does that transfer to a clear

advantage in image quality? How much further will the 200mm lens push the user away from a subject than a 105mm user at

same magnification?

 

Would the 200mm be as practical as the 105mm? In my mind the 200mm housed would be considerably more bulky and front

heavy especially when pushing strobes forward.

 

Cheers,

Jim.


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D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#28 TomR1

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 06:17 PM

I am kinda moving away from my standard Af-105-VR plus a +5 or +10 Subsee (wet diopter) and am trying a 1.4 Kenko T/C plus a Nikon 5T (+1.5 dry diopter). What does everyone think?



#29 divegypsy

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:36 PM

In response to JimSwims "bugs in the garden" comments. 

 

When TomR1 started this thread, he specifically asked for people that might have experience with the 200mm Micro-nikkor in combination with a diopter (presumably for shooting subjects at greater than 1:1) and was not asking for advice on a general use macro lens which has been the topic of many threads.  So I responded with his question in mind.  IF you would try to use a 105 in combination with a tele-coonverter, particularly the older 105 with a "budget" 2x converter, you would have a combination with an effective focal length of 210mm and very similar working distances to the straight 200 Micro-nikkor with the Nikon 6T diopter.  But my experience has indicated that the results of the 105 + 2x would be less satisfactory.  And either 105 + a 2X converter would not be that much shorter or lighter than the 200mm + 6T.  And as I indicated, might be considerably less accurate auto-focusing.  This kind of optic, a longer than 105mm macro lens, would be useful for shooting subjects that have better eyesight than your shot of the short-tailed nudibranch and might react adversely to being "crowded".  Subjects such as little seahorses or doughboy scallop eyes.  I have done many dives under the Edithburgh jetty in South Australia which has conditions and subjects quite similar to what you find in Mornington and although most of my macro shooting has been with the 105, as I work to get better and different shots I have begun shooting with longer macro lenses, particularly the Sigma 150 and Nikon 200mm in combination with either dual element diopters or extension tubes which also provide magnifications greater than 1:1 and those great working distances.  And have enjoyed getting "new views" rather than more of the "same old, same old" shots.

 

Fred

 

Fred



#30 pdemaagt

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:59 PM

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.

actually the nikon tele-converter allows autofocus with the 105 without any problems...I know the manual contradicts this. But it works underwater



#31 divegypsy

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:24 AM

Hi Guys,

 

I just did two dives with the Nikon 200mm Micro-nikkor combined with the 6T close-up lens.  This gave a magnification range of from .6x at the distant end to 1.8x at closest focus.  I did not find holding the lens steady significantly harder than I had when trying to shoot super-macro with the 105mm plus accessories which gave similar me similar magnification on previous trips. These were my very first dives with the 200mm + 6T and only my third and fourth dives with my new D800 camera in a Subal ND800 housing.  The shots were taken while diving on the beach in front of Scuba Seraya in Bali

 

The first two shots show a juvenile sea cucumber that mimics phyllidia nudibranchs. The more distant shot is at the farthest distance the 200mm can focus with the close-up lens 6T.  It is about .6x life-size.  The closer shot is almost at closest focus distance and is about 1.8x life-size.

 

The third shot is a small hawkfish on a barrel sponge is somewhere in the middle of the focusing range.

 

The fourth shot is a small hypselodorid nudibranch that was shot at close to 1.8x 

 

The crab was shot in about 4 meter depth during my deco stop. And despite some wave action, it is reasonably sharp.  This species is pretty wary and I have never been able to get close enough for this sort of tight framing with the 105mm Micro-nikkor.

 

All of these images are the full frame just as they were shot and are "not processed".  I used the Adobe Photoshop scripts tool to make 800 pixel jpgs directly from the NEF files with no adjustments in exposure and no sharpening beyond what the D800's normal setting provides.

 

I like the results so much that this will become my "standard" super-macro set-up.

 

Fred

Attached Images

  • 200mmMN+6T at .6x lifesize.jpg
  • 200mmMN+6T at near 1.8x.jpg
  • 200mmMN+6T at mid-range focus A.jpg
  • 200mmMN+6T at near 1.8x B.jpg
  • 200mmMN+6T at mid-range focus C.jpg


#32 TomR1

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 09:15 AM

Dive Gypsy,

 

So my questions:

1-Where/how did you get the tripod collar removed? Was it hard?

2-Would you try it with a +5 and +10 diopter and see how the supermacro turns out.

 

Tom



#33 TomR1

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 09:27 AM

My issue with the 105 plus any T/C is that I can't house it. The 105 is very fat and just fits inside my one-piece port but it does not fit in my multiple-section port which is necessary to use with a T/C. With my Sigma 150 I was able to remove the focus limiting switch and get the 150mm to fit in the multiple-section port but removing the VR/limiting switch on the 105 looks much trickeyer. The 150 DOES have the advantage of greater magnification at a distance of greater than minimum focus distance. The 200mm however, gets 1:1 at a greater working distance.

To answer water-between-subject-and-lens issue, a 105 with a +10 diopter has a very short minimum focus distance. It appears that the 200 would work better with the +10.

Tom

#34 divegypsy

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:48 PM

Tom,

 

I had the tripod collar removed ages ago so I'm not positive who did it.  I'd guess that it was a NYC repair shop called Professional Camera Repair on 47th Street or possibly by Fred Dion at Backscatter East in Derry, NH. The tripod collar is still in one of my photo gear "junk boxes" in case I ever want it put back on. There is no "open window" beneath the tripod collar on the 200MN as there is on the 70-180 MN zoom, so you could also go to a good local machine shop and have them use a milling machine to carefully mill a cut downward thru the tripod collar to get it off, which would destroy the collar.

 

I am not in a position to try the 200MN with any of the wet" diopters as I don't own one and feel that their lack of precise alignment with the lens inside the housing is likely to lead to more sharpness loss than I would be happy with.  And because the Nikon 6T, which I do have screws directly on to the 200MN and gives such nice results.  If I run into someone who has the wet diopter, I'd be happy to try it and shoot some comparison shots vs the 6T to get a real answer, and not just my "gut" feeling about wet diopters.

 

 I've also have a Sigma 150, the pre-VR model, and have used it in combination with Kenko extension rings to get closer that 1:1.  The brighter viewfinder with the 2.8 aperture is nice, but I don't think I ever shot it at magnifications quite as high as 1.8x.  Making a manual focus gear for it was difficult, whereas I already have one for the 200MN that works with my previous Seascam housings, but the gear for the AF-M selector switch will need a minor modification to work on my new Subal housings so I've used it only on AF this time.  I think that manual focus is worth having at high magnifications as you can manual focus to the approximate distance/magnification you want and then switch to AF for "fine tuning" the focus. This saves the time that the lens "searches" to find the subject, which can be considerable when the subject is so far out of focus.  The Sigma 150 has the advantage of not needing to switch between M and AF focus as it has Sigma's equivalent of AF-S.  Using the Sigma 150 with Canon's close-up lens 500D would get you to about 1.5x with no light loss.  Adding a Kenko extension tube, the 20mm or 36mm, might get you to almost the 1.8x of the 200mm MN with Nikon's 6T close-up lens.  This is something that I will look at when I get home and perhaps since the Sigma is a much newer lens design, the results may be as good, or better, than with the Nikon 200mm.  Comparing, side-by-side, initially on land, will also give me good info about the working distance (front of lens to subject) with each.  My recollection was that the working distance with the Sigma was not as much greater than with the 105mm as I had expected based on 150mm vs 105mm.  But the images I got with it using Kenko extension tubes were quite sharp.

 

Fred


Edited by divegypsy, 20 July 2013 - 03:57 PM.


#35 TomR1

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 07:53 AM

Fred-

 

My experience is also that I did not get much more working distance out of the Sigma 150 than I did the Nikon 105. I am thinking I did not give it much of a chance for that reason. The pictures I did get were quite sharp. I might try my 5T woth it. I think I'll check with a local camera shop to see if they can remove the tripod collar. I don't want to distroy it so i can sell the lens if it doesn't work underwater.



#36 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 12:13 PM

I borrowed the 200mm macro lens from Martin Edge last month and took it to the Red Sea. With no diopter, it was an excellent fish portrait lens for the more skittish. I had two INON Z240s on very long arms ahead of me. Here are some results:

 

Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, several extension rings

 

9158347712_7ecd030812_z.jpg

 

 

9158350122_4812925bab_z.jpg

 

With a FIT Pro +5 and +8 close up 

 

9158349362_02d14e21dd_z.jpg

 

With a cokin radial blur filter

 

9156126133_57d9c44858_z.jpg


www.flickr.com/photos/alextattersall

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#37 TomR1

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:11 AM

Alex, Divegypsy-

 

Thanks for those shots. I don't have anyone who will lend me the 200mm lens so I needed to see actual shots before investing in the lens and the tripod collar removal.

 

Regards,

 

Tom



#38 divegypsy

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 06:58 AM

Tom,

 

If you are planning to go to this year's DEMA in Orlando, we could "hook up" there and I could let you try my 200mm Micro-nikkor in a motel swimming pool.  Either in your housing or in one of mine.  And with and without the 6T close-up lens.  And also comparing it to the 105 with a tele-converter and vs the sigma 150 with the Canon 500D close-up lens.  I arrive home only a couple days before DEMA so I won't have time to shoot a batch of comparison shots and post them pre-DEMA.  Good Luck.

 

Fred



#39 TomR1

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:34 PM

Fred

 

Thanks for the offer. I am not industry and won't be going to DEMA. I have decided i will just spring for this lens if I can find someone to remove the collar. I have two dive trips next year where supermacro would be interesting, Wakatobi and Atmosphere/magic Island (Philippines), so i need to get this done this year. I only have a 5T but I also have a dual subsee. Please post shots as you take them.

 

Tom



#40 divegypsy

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:02 AM

Tom, 

 

As I said, my best guess as to who might have removed my 200mm's tripod collar was a repair shop in NY city called Professional Camera Repair. As best I can recollect, it was at 37 West 47th Street.  If it still exists you should be able to find it with a google search.  And then give them a phone call.  PCR was THE big name camera repair and modification outfit in the 70's , 80's and 90's.  It used to get all sorts of good press in the US photo magazine and they did several special custom jobs for me. All very well done.  Your 5T close-up lens should get you to about 1.5x life-size I think.  As I've indicated I'm away from home and don't have my notes with me.  I had hoped to dive with the 200MN while I'm here in South Australia but the weather has been very uncooperative and I may not get back in the water with the 200MN until I make it back to Bali in September.  Once there I will certainly do some more dives with it.  And will post a couple more shots here when I do.

 

Fred


Edited by divegypsy, 22 August 2013 - 06:05 AM.