I bought a mint version of this lens on eBay from Japan for $1000 and have never regretted it. This lens is a bit heavy but the build quality is superb and it delivers sharp, beautiful images. I added a Lux focus gear for video and have found it helps significantly when manually focussing for stills. Just the larger size and accessibility of having something a focus grip that is much more tangible to focus with helps enormously and is far more accurate. The focus ring is smooth as silk, the barrel just rolls beautifully with the right amount of dampening and the lens works seamlessly with my D500 and D850. You probably wouldn’t use this for fast moving wildlife or action but if you mount this on a good gamble or fluid head you can shoot most situations easily with a little focus practise. Using Nikons manual focus meter in the viewfinder of most of their higher end DSLR’s makes it easy get focusing spot on and if you have the lens chipped you also have in-camera aperture control.
Using this lens on an DX or APSC sensor makes it a fast 600mm without the need for an extender. Image quality is the bottom line with lenses and this just delivers beautiful sharp images. I was a bit concerned about how this lens would resolve files on my D850 with such high resolutions but have not been disappointed. The detail and beautiful organic colour this lens produces is superb for a lens of this age and is highly recommended for anyone looking for a high quality telephoto at a fraction of the price of a modern Nikon telephoto lens.
An ancient glacial valley in the Kokh Serkh Special Protected Area, Altai mountains western Mongolia. Taken with Nikon D810 and the Nikkor 400 3.5 AIS ED lens from a distance of about 10 kilometres. The sharpness and colour rendition of this lens is excellent. Copyright © Adam Oswell 2018