Nikon recently announced an upgrade to its already-excellent 200-400mm lens. Ain’t it a beaut? And such a bargain!
Well, not really. It’s a whopping $7,000. Good thing that price includes the lens filter!
As much as I might yearn for such a wonderful piece of glass, I have one son headed to college with another one sure to follow in a scant three years. Plus I’m just an amateur. So unless we decide to play the lottery (and then win it), I have to jury-rig my own 400mm lens. I add Nikon’s much-maligned 2x teleconverter (that I rarely use) to my beloved Nikon 70-200mm lens. On my full-frame Nikon D700, that doubles the length!
The negatives to such an arrangement? First, the widest you can open the aperture is f/5.6; not conducive for much bokeh. Plus it’s really heavy, making a monopod or tripod a must. And, as you’ll read on many Nikon photo forums, the teleconverter degrades the quality.
But when I saw the moon shining so big and bright around 7 p.m. the other day, I knew I had to try the cheap 400mm combination to see if I could capture it. And then I looked around my backyard for other things to zoom in on.
Look at this wasp, which built its nest over our master bathroom window. Creepy yet interesting. Oh, and please stay away from me!
Flying things that have stopped to rest were easy pickings for the budget-minded 400mm.
Then I turned on the pool’s waterfall.
Usually I choose my Nikon 105mm macro lens to photograph water.
But I liked the results I got with the bogus 400mm lens.
It was fun looking at my backyard world through a new perspective . . . times two!