Adding a used long macro lens to my kit

Posted on 30 Apr ’09 by Earl

Every once in a while I’ll check online photographic merchants and Ebay for bargains in used camera equipment–mostly for lens or flash units.

Nikon Micro 200mm f/4Last week I found an on-going auction on Ebay for a used Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4 D IF-ED lens that appeared to be in great shape.   The big down side of the auction was the seller was located in Taiwan but I decided to put in a low-ball bid anyway, sure I’d lose and never hear anything from it. To be honest I was thinking it was possibly a scam and that who ever won the auction would be lucky to ever get the lens.

Long story short, I unexpectedly won the auction at my original bid and have since received the lens. It’s in excellent shape–looks like new. I was able to register the lens with Nikon without a problem (it’s not hot). It’s a big lens, almost as long as my Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8.

While the 200mm Macro lens has been around since 1993 it’s still being produced by Nikon in limited quantities.

I’ve only taken a few handheld shots with it thus far but it seems to work perfectly. I’ve noticed the AF is slow but normal for this f/4 lens.

The good thing about a long micro lens is that you don’t have to be right on top of what your shooting–great for shy insects and other creatures. It’s a good 200mm prime lens as well.

What Others Are Saying

  1. don 30 Apr ’09 at 10:30 am

    Very interesting about your long macro lens. What a good deal! I like your macro shot today. Fine detail and a nice range of tones. Very nice photo.

  2. Pingback: Testing: Used Nikon Micro 200mm f/4 — Meandering Passage

  3. Paul 30 Apr ’09 at 3:30 pm

    That’s great, Earl. I keep a lookout for a great deal on a 14-24mm and 24-70mm. :-) Let me know if you see one!

  4. Earl Moore 30 Apr ’09 at 5:02 pm

    @Paul: A deal on either of those lens would be almost two times what I gave for this 200mm lens. They would be great for that trip to Africa you’re planning. ;-)

  5. Mark 1 May ’09 at 9:36 am

    These are hard to find new or used – so I hope you got a good deal. Sounds like it. I bought one of these used not too long ago as well, but almost ended up paying close to what they are brand new. It is a sweet lens for isolation and those soft dreamy backgrounds. Very shallow DOF can make it tricky to use at times. I really love mine and am often torn on which to carry around most of the time – the 200 or my 105 VR.

  6. Anita Jesse 1 May ’09 at 11:09 am

    Congratulations on a great buy. Now, we can look forward to some more macro shots, right?

    So far, I have been too chicken to venture into Ebay land for camera gear. I am afraid that I would end up having thrown away precious gear funds. Still, your story may tempt me to give it a try. In spite of having a nice collection of lenses, I am embarrassed to admit that I keep wanting even more. Sometimes, I think it’s an illness.

  7. Earl Moore 1 May ’09 at 11:13 am

    @Mark: I did notice the shallow DOF when I was doing test shots but I didn’t mention it because I’ve not shot enough with it to form a definite opinion on it.

    If you’ve got any tips, suggestions or information on how you get the best use out of your 200mm, I’d certainly love to hear them! :-)

  8. Earl Moore 1 May ’09 at 11:27 am

    @Anita: I’m cautious about Ebay for photography gear. I’ll only place a bid that if winning would make the risk worth while (a bargain). Most of the time I’m outbid and I never think anything else about it. In this case someone must have fallen asleep and I won. :-) I was surprised getting the email from Ebay saying I’d won the auction.

    If wanting gear is a illness I’m afraid I have to report that I’m critically ill…but then you wouldn’t deny a dying man his last lens would you? ;-)

  9. Anita Jesse 1 May ’09 at 1:42 pm

    Your strategy sounds like a winning one. Good advice.

    Goodness no, you shouldn’t be denied that one additional lens. A man suffering from this dastardly disease is entitled to some comfort, as well as compassion.

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