Nikon 200mm Micro is the best close-up lens, a dream of any close-up photographer. This is an equipment for professional photographers because it’s price, weight and sizes are quite considerable. You will have to accept the situation if you need an exceptional quality and reliability.
The construction is very safe, nothing moves on the outside while focusing, the lens is made of metal. The focus ring is of great size and it is not very convenient to use it. In comparison with small plastic lens, 200 mm micro evokes the sensation of bazooka. The weight of this glass is nearly 1.2 kg, thus, taking into account the weight of a full-frame camera for which it is intended it is practically impossible to take photos holding this construction with one hand. That is important because you may need the second hand to hold the flash. It is known that you can not do anything without an additional lighting using macro if the meridian sun does not shine brightly.
By the way, they often compare us with a well-known Ken Rockwell who complained in his review of this lens that he could not get a noticeable star on the sources of light using this glass. Well, if you meet Ken, give our best regards to him.
Beams on the photo are not a photoshop but the consequence of a tiny aperture f/22, which is usual for a close-up photography due to a very small depth of sharpness at short distances. There are special calculators to calculate the depth of field.
The lens has an autofocus but in order it works an AF-S is necessary. However, it should not frighten the owners of low-cost cameras without a motor because you will focus manually at the macro-range in any case. And it is a pleasure to focus manually with this lens.
The autofocus does not work well in macro, it is too slow and there is no urgent need in it. As for a normal range the autofocus works quite quickly in it. However if you want to focus on a distant object automatically at a macro-range, the autofocus will go mad. Normal people do not do it, that is why it can not be considered a drawback.
There is a range limiter to speed up the work of the autofocus. Switching it on your lens will focus only either on macro-distances or on normal distances depending on where the focus is at the moment of switching the limiter on. It helps enormously because the range of focus is very big, though it is not needed in its full volume at once. The focus ring rotates the entire circle from the minimum to the maximum.
Of course, following our traditions I was interested what else could be taken photos of on 200 mm micro except macro. This is always interesting to do using a highly-specialized equipment.
I would tell you that you would not do much. Working with portrait Nikkor 105DC you have to go farther and with 200 mm micro you will have to go away by train.
The lens is very sharp, one of the sharpest among 200mm. If you think that the sharpness is not sufficient it means that you are doing something wrong.
Nikon 200mm f/4 Micro does not have any special rapidity but there is enough of it in the majority of situations when the light is bad.
Due to the fact that the lens is very big and heavy there is an installation hardware for a trepied with two holes for a better balance of cameras of different weight. This installation hardware can not be removed, it can only be rotated which, nevertheless, makes it possible for it not to disturb during taking photos. As for me, I take photos without a trepied, but I admit that sometimes it would be useful.
Taking photos at the ground level you may face the problem of focusing in the manual mode as you have to lie on the ground or use LiveView mode. At such moments LiveView becomes indispensable taking into account the fact that it is possible to increase the image up to 100% in it using buttons +/- and to focus to a nail on the aperture that will be during the photographic action. It means that you will be able to see the factual depth of sharpness. In this case you will discover a tilting display anew as on Nikon D5100, and you will like it even more.
What is good in Nikon 200mm Micro is a working distance of 26 cm to the lens in case of a zoom 1:1. It is a large distance in comparison with cheaper macro lens. Such a supply of distance will make it possible for you to take photos of various living creatures not bumping into them and bringing them into a state of a heart attack.
In comparison with macro-rings on multifunctional lenses this is a great step forward as micro-rings make it possible for you to take photos of only inanimate nature, to take it lightly.
By the way, do not forget to clean your matrix before taking macro photos. Due to small apertures you will discover with surprise a lot of dust at the edges of the sensor and your photos will turn out to be speckled.