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I had this lens, and sold it for the 1.4 model. The 1.8D is made in China, the non-D or pre-D was from Japan. I found the Chinese version to be lacking in build quality. Image quality was pure Nikkor, that is to say outstanding. The 1.4 is 3X the cost new, only 1/3 stop faster, and if it is sharper, I can't really tell. Some of my shooting the extra speed is a help, but it "feels" a little more like a Nikon than the 1.8D did. If looking for image at cost, truth be told, the 1.8D is a good value. The older 1.8 Jap. version at about $50 US a better value.
John, appreciate your info. just one silly info, when attaching this lens to say a F65/N65, the aperture setting has to be set to the minimum. During shooting, i suppose the camera will take over in adjusting the aperture size instead of being limited to f/22(min set on the lens) right?
I just reread my post. DUH!!! We ARE talking about the D, with a cpu. SO, you will set the apeture to the minium setting and engage the little clip that locks it there. The camera will adjust it to whatever setting you select with the cameras controls. Sorry, had a brain fart.
Build quality is good enough for all except for the most demanding situations like those encountered by folks from national geographic! which i believe they have the top gears that are also well padded/prodected by ziplocs for their professional uses! heh.. why imagine the extremes when one's not there? does everyone need a quality suitable for mission to Mars?
This Lens is sharp and contrasty! suitable for half body portraits and also landscapes too..
If you want to see how the fstop works on that lens, take the caps off the lens (clean it later, ok?) and set the aperture to f/22. there's a little tab sticking out on the mounting ring on the lens, it's spring loaded, move it and you'll see the fstop blades open right up very easily! That's how your camera changes aperture! I'm not sure how film camera's are, but my D100 has a button to the left of the shutter release that allows me to look through the viewfinder and see the light through that fstop to see if I need to adjust the light (a/k/a metering)
I use the 80-400 VR which gives great results at f8-16. Now I'm sure that others will have other opinions, but it's been my experience that if you buy a 200 zoom, when you reach the end of the zoom range you always say to yourself, man I wish it just had a little more. from 80 to about 300 it kicks butt on portraits and at 400 you can get just about anything you need. (and if you can't move closer) The VR lets you shoot as slow as about 1/15 HAND HELD, WOW!!
ED glass....nuf said
AT 5.6 on mine anyway, I get some fringing of the colors toward the outsides. but there are action sets for Photoshop that help minimise that and if you watch how you compose a photo, light on dark and dark on light, you can minimise it or just shoot at f 8 and above. Build is plastic but rugged, wieght is acceptable (I used to carry 45 lb tv news cameras and 35lb vcr and 25 lbs of spare batts.,so I don't listen much to whiney film/digital photographers, when it comes to that)
Sharpness is good to very good above 5.6 best around 11.
For the money I think it's a very good buy especially if you buy used from a non-pro or take advantage of the rebates til jun 30.
Just my opinion and I'm sure orthers will say otherwise, which is fine of course, but just consider each point I made and I think you will come to the same conclusion I did, many lenses in one, with good to very good performance.
BTW, the 80-400 is *NOT* af-s, it's af-d and the focus capability can suck, loud n slow, but if you look in the gallery here and look in the photo competition area, the last shot (guy on horse) is with the 80-400 at 192mm f6.3. It will give you an idea of how this lens looks. (notice the contrast, light on dark like I mentioned above, next to zero fringing in that shot)
Also, I can't really comment on a 200 zoom, because I've never owned one. But I gave my perspective on telephoto zooms and why. The 400 was my first zoom ever. I've always used prime lenses to get the job done. I do own one other zoom it's the 24-120VR zoom. One other might be bought this week, the 12-24 DX.
Sorry about the multi part message, but I have about 6 things going at once right now, I think that's it for the question though.