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Nikkor 200mm f/4 AI-S

Weight: 19oz
Filter Size: 52mm
 A simple lens with nothing fancy inside, but due to superb design it offers outstanding performance. While most lenses have a lot more fancy features like ED glass and IF, most are also not sharp when shot at maximum aperture. The Nikkor 200mm f/4 AI-S is incredibly sharp wide open with lots of contrast too. In fact it hardly improves when stopped down.

Taylor Cavin, South Branch Feather

Nikon D200, Nikkor 200mm f/4 AI-S @ 1/800 f/4 ISO 200

I'm about thirty yards away from Taylor; the only loss of detail is from pushing the image +1.15 in photoshop.

Nikon D200, Nikkor 200mm f/4 AI-S @ 1/800 f/4 ISO 200

Similar in size but slightly smaller than the Nikon 75-150 Series E

It looks like a faster lens than it is.

   On a DX format camera the 200mm f/4 AI-S makes an incredibly cheap and sharp 300mm f/4.

  Build: 10/10                   - Absolutely beautiful, real traditional Nikkor AI-S quality. I love the built in lens hood and wish Nikon still made them.
  Handling:  8/10              - Not much to talk about here, but I wish the focus ring had a longer throw.
  Performance: 10/10       - For what it has to offer you can't ask for much more.
  Value: 9/10                    - For only $100 on the used market this is a gem.
  Overall: 7/10                 - A wonderful lens but very far from versatile.

Practicality for kayaking: 7/10

   I believe in cropping with your feet for normal photography, but that's often not physically possible in kayaking, and a true hindrance to this lens. Even on FX this lens is a bit long for normal use and the issue is compounded on DX. I also find that when shooting telephotos I tend to follow focus, which makes AF a very desirable trait. It's a great lens but often rendered redundant by zooms of the same range.

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