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Nikkor ED 400mm F5.6

This really nice tele lens is 30 year old, has no auto focus, but the manual focus is surprisingly easy to use. Let's test it...

entire image @ F11

These images are taken with a Fuji S3 Pro at 6 megapixel mode and cropped 1:1. The resolution of this lens is so good, that using a 10 or 12 megapixel camera would have made sense. As you can see, most optical problems are visible at aperture F5.6 when you zoom in very closely on a very small part of the image, as I'm doing here. In a real life situation, this will rarely be a problem. Also, when stopping very far down (F22 and F32) contrast seems to suffer because of diffraction.

My conclusion so far is that F5.6 is indeed usable, but if you have enough light, try going for F8 and F11 which seems to be the sweet spot. If you live in a country where the sun shines often, it's a good buy. If you live in Scandinavia, I wouldn't recommend it.

F5.6 - maximum bokeh, maximum light sensitivity


F8 - still some bokeh, better sharpness


F11 - maximum sharpness, good contrast


F16 - maximum sharpness, almost no bokeh, diffraction begins to appear


F22 - very large depth of field (no bokeh at all), diffraction


F32 - very large depth of field (no bokeh at all), severe diffraction


Website by Joachim Michaelis