Today I received the Nikon 800mm f/5.6 lens. Took me a while to unpackage it – almost felt like a Matryoshka, with boxes coming out of boxes! I think there were a total of 3 boxes before I finally got to the beautiful Nikon case. The lens is well protected for sure! Haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but I will hopefully do it within the next few days – heading out to Yellowstone NP tomorrow. A perfect testing ground for such a lens for sure, since bears and wolves are pretty far at this time of the year.
Planning to test the lens with the 1.2x TC (comes with the lens), 1.4x TC, 1.7x TC and of course the 2.0x TC! I do not expect the 1.7x and 2.0x TCs to do well, since AF will probably not work or cause the lens to hunt a lot even in good light. And I do not know how I will be able to keep this setup stable at 1600mm. I think I will experiment with Live View and manual focusing to see if 1600mm is even practical for really long range video work. For the most part, I will be shooting at 800mm and 1000mm with the 1.2x TC.
The nice thing is, the lens really does feel rather light for its long range. Although it is a little lighter than the 600mm f/4G, it actually feels even lighter to me when hand-holding it. Seems like the weight is indeed distributed differently on the 800mm. I personally would not hand-hold it for long though, especially after the Nikon D4 is attached to it. Together, that’s about 6 kilos of weight! Just finished updating my Nikon D3s to firmware 1.02 that adds support for the lens. Planning to observe the lens behavior with both D3s and D4 camera bodies.
I will be out for the next 10 days, with our wildlife guru Tom Redd. Will provide a report when we get back from the trip before starting the lens + Nikon D4 review. The timing is a little bad on my side, since I was working on other reviews I promised to publish. Those will have to wait a little longer, so I apologize in advance. My two priorities after I return will be to finish my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 review and start working on the D4 review.