Speaking of lens quality, this recent cover of mine reminded me just how good Nikon's long, fast telephotos are (yep, I'm late posting this. I have several covers to catch up with, so I'll be trickling them onto the blog over the next few weeks):
Because I'm currently away from my archived pics I can't tell you the shutter speed, but I do know that this was shot (a while ago) with my D200 on the 200mm f/2, wide open at ISO100. It's not a particularly remarkable shot, except that the extremely shallow depth of field, bitingly sharp in-focus areas and rapid fall-off to creamy blur are exactly the things that you pay so much money* for with Nikon's (in fact, any brand's) exotic long lenses. I could have got a similar shot on the 80-200mm f/2.8, but it wouldn't have had quite the same blend of acuity and blur.
Not that any of this means I'm likely to be carrying the 200 f/2 around with me on a regular basis anytime soon. Nope. Tried that... it's just too heavy. Shame, eh?
* I bought my 200mm f/2, mint and barely used, a few years ago for about 20% below the then new price. Since then it's appreciated considerably in value, largely because currency fluctuations have pushed the new lens' price steeply upwards. Lenses as investments - who'd have thunk?