This is a bit of a geeky post but thought I’d share a few pictures taken on a pre-release version of the new Nikon 800mm f5.6 lens. I had the chance to use it in two sessions at the Aquatics Centre of the Olympic Park today and so far it’s held up well.
The light in the pool area isn’t great and as the lens is f5.6, I’m shooting at between 4000 and 6400ISO to get these shots at around 1250th/sec and 1600th/sec. While it isn’t the greatest of lighting conditions, it’s a pretty good “real world” test rather than outside in floods of bright sunshine on a tripod, as magazines will inevitably do when it’s released!
The shot above is an unsharpened 100% crop of the frame below with no noise reduction applied. As you can see, not only has the lens done a pretty good job of tracking but the D4 has provided good results at 4000ISO. Image stabilisation seemed subtle with no obvious “clunk” as it kicked in like some lenses. The only discernible giveaway was the soft purr of the IS motor disengaging after I took my finger off the trigger. Likewise, the effect of the stabilisation was equally subtle with only a barely noticeable delay when looking through the viewfinder at a subject.
On a monopod, the lens feels well balanced and not at all “front heavy”. This may well be due to being used to carrying the 400mm f2.8 that has a hell of a lump of glass on the front!
In a brief moment when I could enjoy some natural light, I managed to take a couple of shots outside the Aquatics Centre on more reasonable 640ISO at 1600th/sec and f5.6. The first shot is at 70mm on a Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 to give you perspective.
The second shot is the full frame, straight out of the camera with no sharpening.
The third shot is a 100% crop with a touch of sharpening.
As stated above, this is an un-badged pre-production model so results may differ in the retail version. Nikon have yet to announce a release date or price on the lens. I just need another royal wedding to shoot now!
Update – 12th August 2012
Following all of the requests for direct comparisons regarding the size of the 800mm, here’s a quick shot of the 800mm f5.6 (left), 600mm f4 (2nd left), 500mm f4 (2nd right) and 200-400mm f4 (right) ahead of this evening’s closing ceremony.