Nikon Nikkor 200mm f/4: Micro vs Non-Micro?

donlaw

Hall of Famer
Location
Texas
Real Name
Don
The non-micro is probably much less expensive. I have an Nikkor 200mm F4 AIS and it is super sharp.
But I always thought the micro-nikkor would be fun for photographing the world of small things.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Yes that is one of the themes, one goes for about ~100 € and the other for ~200 € give or take a few tenner. But that's what we are talking about here, maybe a 80-100 € difference in the used markets so what's that money really in today's inflation. That's just me talking. I still live in Leicaland and we get to buy a second-hand lens cap for 100 € on a good day.

I noticed that weight might be one of the issues. The Micro is a considerably heavier lens. It's a definite downside for me personally... but the close focus capability is something that could easily be worth it.

Unless the non-micro plays well with extender tubes, which I think it does. If one is a hardcore macro shooter then it's probably a nobrainer to go for the Micro. But on the other hand if one is not that much of a macro aficionado but more like a "casual close-focuser" I don't know, maybe.
 
Size, Weight, Cost. The Micro-Nikkor 200/4 AF-D is one of the sharpest lenses that Nikon ever made. It is big.
The manual focus Micro-Nikkor, a bit smaller and lighter- not as sharp. Sharper than the 200/4 Ais.
The 200/4 Ais is small, light, and not expensive. Plenty sharp on my Df.

Shooting a D800 and above, the Micro-Nikkor is sharper. I also had the older manual focus Micro-Nikkor 200/4, very sharp. BUT- the AF lens is better.
 

phigmov

Probably Not Walter Kernow
Location
Aotearoa
I've got the 200mm f4 AI micro-nikkor - its pretty compact but solidly built. Love the reach on my E-M1 (400mm macro!) but I do get CA which I don't get on my Oly 60 or any of my 50mm adapted macros (the 55mm f2.8 micro-nikkor, 50mm f3.5 OM zuiko, and 80mm f4 OM zuiko). I'm not that fussed as I'd rather use the reach and get the shot than worry too much about the artifacts. I've heard the modern AF version is much much better.

Really just depends how often you'd use the macro capability. I suspect the AF macro will also have extra features like a focus limiter that the non-macro wouldn't have; also, I often find macros can focus slower (my Pentax 100mm f2.8 racks *a lot* compared to a zoom or prime in that range) - maybe finer gearing?
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
I can understand some not being au fait with a 55mm macro and the need to get in very close, 100mm is the sweet spot for me, well the only spot, it's all I have. I get very enjoyable results from that and not just from 'traditional' macro shots - that's the big secret about macro lenses, they do a lot whole whole lot more and similar to 50mm lenses, there's probably very few if any bad macro lenses, all of which could easily be used for general photography - so I can only imagine how good that Nikkor 200mm macro is.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Ignoring aberrations for a moment, would it be sensible to expect a non-macro lens to perform better in the bokeh department? These kinds of focal lengths are of course perfectly suited for dual purposes (macro and portraits) so perhaps they are very even in this department as well?
 

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