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Nikon AF-D Lenses on Monopod (1 Viewer)


Hi Folks,

Hope everyone is doing fine.

I have been doing birding with my quirky AF of Sigma 150 - 500 for quite some time now.

I'm trying to upgrade myself to the super telephoto lenses. Has anybody got experience on handling Nikon 400/500 f2.8 AF-D (non VR) lenses on monopods?

Reason for going towards AF-D is they are super sharp, superb built, fast focus, only lacking VR & since being of yester years it comes at a reasonable hit to my wallet. Also I think AF-D will focus fast on Nikon D3/3s/4.

Depending on availability & affordability of lens/camera I might even jump ship to Canon.

There is a previous thread on AF-I lenses here

As suggested in that thread, I would….

...check with Nikon and ensure all parts are still available for it as that lens went out of production in 1998.

Concerning the use of VR or non-VR, as long as you keep the shutter speed up, it should not be an issue.
There were three versions of the 500mm f/4 and 400mm f/2.8 in AF-D form, the AF-I versions, and then the AF-S I and II versions. My current long lens is the 500mm f/4D AF-S II. I picked up a well-loved gray version last year, and it does in fact focus quickly and accurately on my D800E (and previously on the D7100 before I sold it). It can be handheld for short periods; for shooting for extended periods I put it on an Induro CM25 monopod with a Sirui tilt head. I don't find myself missing VR very much, since the weight of the lens already helps to stabilize the view, and I usually shoot at shutter speeds high enough such that camera shake isn't an issue.
One thing to remember is that the big primes are BIG and HEAVIER than the Sigma you currently own. It WILL take some time to get used to the weight and feel, but you'll never go back to your old rig. Best of luck!
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