Richard Peters Photography

First shots & impressions of the 600/4 AFS II
September 1, 2008, 2:18 pm
Filed under: 600 f4 AFSII | Tags: , , , ,

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My friend recently upgraded his Nikon 600/4 to the new VR version…he offered me a very good deal on his old one that I just could not say no too…! I’ve not had much chance to use it. However I thought I’d share a couple of my first shots and imperssions so far including one of the best features I’ve ever seen on a lens…

Cormorant Reflection

Cormorant Reflection

These shots were actually taken at 850mm as I was using the 1.4x TC which works very well indeed with the 600. I went down to my local nature reserve and spent a couple of hours in the only hide that’s big enough to photograph from. Unfortunately its quite high up (as in head height, I’d like one that lets you get down to the level of your subjects) as all hides tend to be so reflections were the name of the game! It was a pretty quiet afternoon but as I was walking along the hide from the furthest of the 3 windows back towards the first, this Cormorant came up from under the water right in front of me. He was far too close for 850mm and he caught me off guard so I had to pretty much hand hold this to get a couple of shots off before he dived again looking for fish. It was all over in seconds and he never came close again!

And this Duck was having a rest, fairly ordinary shot but I really liked the colours of the water around him as the far off tree’s and blue sky gave a nice split tone to the image.

Resting Duck

Resting Duck

I’m hoping once I get back from holiday I can really get out with the 600 and start capturing some really nice images with it. One thing I have noticed is just how sharp this lens is. I thought my 200-400 VR was pretty sharp (especially for a zoom) but the 600 is just incredible! Even with the 1.4x TC on I would dare to say its as sharp as the naked 200-400, in fact maybe even a tad sharper!

Its a big heavy lens though, so they are not for everyone. You have to be pretty dedicated to the cause to lug one of these around although finding the right bag certainly helps. I am currently carrying mine around in my modified 200-400 VR bag so it helps to keep the lens feeling as compact as possible as the bag isn’t too big.

Best feature ever for beanbag shooters!
Such a handy feature this, the lens has the usual A/M and M switch that you find with all AFS lenses but also includes an ‘A’ only position. With this you have full auto focus but the focus ring is disengaged so twisting it has no effect. This means when your on a beanbag, moving the lens about, the focus ring will not knock your focus off. And if you want to quickly swap to portrait mode of vice versa you can simple rotate the lens by the focus ring. Genius!

Once I’ve spent some more time with the lens I’ll post back with more observations of ownership and how I’m finding using one of the biggest Nikon lenses you can buy ‘off the shelf’. What I do know so far is that from my limited use up to this point I think I’m going to be very happy with it indeed!

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