Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 3 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Which one is better for large bird / animal photography? A D4 or a 1D X  (Read 7260 times)
hasselbladfan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 407


« on: July 31, 2012, 12:03:49 PM »
ReplyReply


I know it is a controversial question (Nikon or Canon), but nearly all my old R gear is out of the door and now I am in front of the question :

Do I go D4 or 1D X for my action shots?

Main use for this camera will be nature photography (I live in a forest) and I am considereing a 400mm/2.8 or a 500mm/4 with 1.4x / 2.0x extenders. I have a real zoo around me, so why not take advantage of it.

Feel free to comment also on the lens quality. Both systems seem very close to me considering the specs.
Logged
Ellis Vener
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1766



WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 02:53:05 PM »
ReplyReply

The D4 is excellent. I haven't had a chance to shoot with a 1D X yet so I can't comment on it. The prime long teles in both lines are superb. if you focus manually you'll probably like the Canon more as the near to infinity focus rotation direction goes in the same direction as your old Leica lenses.
With either  the Nikon or Canon system  get the long ruler version of the Lens Align Mark II so you can tune the camera's phase based ( i.e focusing through the viewfinder) autofocus system to your specific individual lenses.
Logged

Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
wildlightphoto
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 619


« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 03:14:50 PM »
ReplyReply

Do I go D4 or 1D X for my action shots?

be careful what you wish for:
http://leica-users.org/v29/msg06594.html
Logged
Ellis Vener
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1766



WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 03:44:24 PM »
ReplyReply

be careful what you wish for:
http://leica-users.org/v29/msg06594.html
How exactly does 7 year old experience with  mid 1990's  film camera and lens AF technology relate to  2012 experience with a D4 or 1 D X?  AF technology in both lenses and bodies is at least a quantum level or three beyond that.
Logged

Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
wildlightphoto
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 619


« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 03:57:11 PM »
ReplyReply

How exactly does 7 year old experience with  mid 1990's  film camera and lens AF technology relate to  2012 experience with a D4 or 1 D X?  AF technology in both lenses and bodies is at least a quantum level or three beyond that.

Touched a nerve?

Except for speed and the ability to fine-tune the system (or, put a band-aid on the technology) PDAF still has PDAF's weaknesses especially being limited to focus "points".
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 04:00:42 PM by telyt » Logged
lfeagan
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 208



« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 04:31:11 PM »
ReplyReply

Both cameras are stellar. For action shooting they are similar enough that other constraints should be introduced to determine which best meets your needs. Given how excellent both are, I would consider ease of use, handling, and similar non-specification factors primarily. When wandering about taking static nature photos, on occasion wildlife wanders (or darts) by me. Being able to quickly change drive, focus mode, etc can be critical. What works best for you may not be what works best for me, so I am not going to give any advice other than try them out or read the manual and see how easy (or annoying and hard) it is to change the settings you care about most on both models.

As far a personal opinion, I prefer the Nikon layout to Canon, but the 1D X is a kickass camera. You really should see how each feels in your hands.

My gripe with the Canon layout was and still is the 4-button in a row layout on the top-right. The light button is waaaayyy over there to the left and the ISO button is a bit cramped in. Still, this may just be my personal preferences and you may love this layout.



The 400/2.8 from both is also kickass.

P.S. Don't feed the troll. Grin
Logged

Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
hasselbladfan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 407


« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2012, 04:43:09 PM »
ReplyReply

Good idea.

I fiddled with both on a Calumet demonstration, but probably not long enough to acquire a real preference. Maybe I should rent them both for a day.

Logged
hasselbladfan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 407


« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 04:46:52 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks, Ellis.

I am not sure yet what it means (long ruler), but I will certainly ask for. It is going to be a nice learning curve (after 40 years manual focus).
Logged
wildlightphoto
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 619


« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 05:27:58 PM »
ReplyReply

The 400/2.8 from both is also kickass.

Quality of equipment aside, I found that for wildlife especially in a forest environment a 400mm f/2.8 was more trouble than it was worth.  The DOF at f/2.8 is so slim that I had to choose what part of a deer's eyeball was in focus, the huge front element alarmed the animals so that it was much more difficult to get close enough for photos or extenders were mandatory, and the dense understory meant than clear views were possible only at shorter distance.  I find a 300mm f/4 more useful.
Logged
lfeagan
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 208



« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 05:28:20 PM »
ReplyReply

I am not sure yet what it means (long ruler), but I will certainly ask for.

Ellis is referring to this: http://michaeltapesdesign.com/lensalign.html
Logged

Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
lfeagan
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 208



« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 05:43:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Quality of equipment aside, I found that for wildlife especially in a forest environment a 400mm f/2.8 was more trouble than it was worth.  The DOF at f/2.8 is so slim that I had to choose what part of a deer's eyeball was in focus, the huge front element alarmed the animals so that it was much more difficult to get close enough for photos or extenders were mandatory, and the dense understory meant than clear views were possible only at shorter distance.  I find a 300mm f/4 more useful.

Good points. And the lens is ridiculously heavy if you intend to do any serious trekking. A 300/4.0 is *way* more pleasant to carry around for an extended period. (approximately 3 lbs vs 10 lbs)
Also, I strongly prefer to use the 400/2.8 with a gimbal and find it awkward to use with any ball head. This adds even more weight to what you would carry around with you.

Another thought. Thanks to software-based lens correction and high-ISO capabilities, a zoom lens is a much more acceptable choice for a lens than they were 40 years ago (Nikon has a 28-300 and an 80-400). While I haven't yet taken my own advice on lenses, I am sure this will change as I get older. When people see what I carry in my pack they think I have gone mad. I just consider it a good workout. Grin
Logged

Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
Tony Jay
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2103


« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 06:13:16 PM »
ReplyReply

Both are very fine bodies with excellent focusing capablities.

A couple of posts have questioned the choice of 400mm or 500mm f4.0 lenses in the context of shooting in forests.
This is a valid concern.
Depending on how thick and close the vegetation is, and depending on your skills as a "hunter" much smaller lenses such as a 70-200mm f2.8 or a 200mm f2.0 in conjunction with a 1.4X telextender may be a much better bet. Shooting handheld is possible with excellent mobility.
300mm f.2.8 and larger are lenses that for practical purposes require at least a monopod and preferably a tripod and gymbal head for usable images.

Of course most photogaphers are inverterate travellers; in six months you may be shooting cheetahs in Namibia or penguins in Antarctica or Komodo dragons in Indonesia so in reality you may really need a range of lens.

Once you have decided on a body I would highly recommend renting lenses to work out what really works for you and only then purchasing.

My humble contribution

Tony Jay
Logged
NancyP
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 817


« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 07:20:30 PM »
ReplyReply

Isn't speedy AF what wildlife and bird shooters want? H, yes, particularly for birds in flight! Anyway, speedy AF is a major consideration in your lens/camera setup. Teleconverters are said to reduce AF speed. I wouldn't know from personal experience, as I shoot BIF with a bare 400mm f/5.6 lens and consumer Canon body (60D). Using the 1.4x TC means I lose autofocus, so the TC comes out only when I am focusing on nests, relatively quiet perched birds, etc..
Logged
Tony Jay
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2103


« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2012, 07:32:36 PM »
ReplyReply

Nancy you are correct in principle.
With your lens (f5.6) adding any teleconverter converts it to a f6.3 and beyond and as pointed out autofocus is lost.
None of the lenses I shoot with for the purposes of birds and wildlife, even using a teleconverter, put me beyond f5.6.
The Canon L series extreme telephoto lenses matched with an appropriate body give very rapid and accurate focus.
Even with a 5D mark II, not exactly renowned as an action camera, focus speed and accuracy is actually pretty good.

Regards

Tony Jay
Logged
Ellis Vener
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1766



WWW
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2012, 07:50:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Touched a nerve?

Except for speed and the ability to fine-tune the system (or, put a band-aid on the technology) PDAF still has PDAF's weaknesses especially being limited to focus "points".

I certainly seemed to have touched one of yours!   But you are right: except for speed, accuracy, a massive increase in the number of AF points - including a multiplication of the number of cross -sensor AF points spread over a wider area, along with integration of  information from the RGB pixels in the metering system to aid in more accurate predictions of  subject direction and speed , and greatly increased light sensitivity , and the ability of a photographer to fine tune AF performance of specific individual lenses with a specific body there have been no real changes to speak of between 1990s state of the art autofocus technology and 2012 state of the art  autofocus technology. None at all.  Wink

Being able to fine tune a lenses AF performance to a specific body is hardly putting a "band aid on the technology". Cinematographers and camera crews  have been able to fine tune individual  cine lens to specific camera bodies to get optimal performance out of those pairings for decades. And in practice this is no different than tuning a guitar , violin or piano
Logged

Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
wildlightphoto
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 619


« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2012, 07:58:57 PM »
ReplyReply

I certainly seemed to have touched one of yours!

Nope.  Just offering an alternative to conventional wisdom.

Isn't speedy AF what wildlife and bird shooters want?

That's the conventional approach, but we're not all the same.

manual focus for all of these photos:








I like being able to focus anywhere on the viewscreen no matter what the lens aperture is.  Often the bird is in a part of the image area that isn't covered by focussing points (or ones that will function at the lens' aperture).

Being able to fine tune a lenses AF performance to a specific body is hardly putting a "band aid on the technology".

Speed improvements in CDAF will eventually make people wonder why we ever tolerated PDAF and the micro-adjust band-aid.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 08:01:52 PM by telyt » Logged
Colorado David
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 587



« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2012, 11:20:09 PM »
ReplyReply

The Nikon 200-400 f4 VR is a truly wonderful wildlife lens.
Logged

ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7333


WWW
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2012, 11:59:54 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I would just add that a professional level APS-C crop camera like the 7D may also be an option. It will have a tighter crop or better angular resolution for a given lens.

Best regards
Erik

Isn't speedy AF what wildlife and bird shooters want? H, yes, particularly for birds in flight! Anyway, speedy AF is a major consideration in your lens/camera setup. Teleconverters are said to reduce AF speed. I wouldn't know from personal experience, as I shoot BIF with a bare 400mm f/5.6 lens and consumer Canon body (60D). Using the 1.4x TC means I lose autofocus, so the TC comes out only when I am focusing on nests, relatively quiet perched birds, etc..
Logged

ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7333


WWW
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2012, 12:03:31 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,


Well yes, but not everyone is capable of focusing on birds in flight by hand. It is well possible that the technique can be learned, though.

Another factor is that AF systems are getting better. The third factor is that AF lenses may not be the easiest ones to focus manually.

Best regards
Erik

be careful what you wish for:
http://leica-users.org/v29/msg06594.html
Logged

lfeagan
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 208



« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2012, 12:10:08 AM »
ReplyReply

The Nikon 200-400 f4 VR is a truly wonderful wildlife lens.

True. For reference, this lens weighs 7.4 lbs (3.3 kg). Not particularly light.

One thing that you might want to include in your decision matrix is the alternatives for a second, less-expensive full-frame body from each company. With Canon it would be the 5D Mark III. With Nikon it would be the D800E. While both are great bodies, they have different strengths and weaknesses. I would assume that in addition to spectacular wildlife, the scenery is pretty wonderful. I believe that a D4+D800E combo yields a more diverse set of capabilities than 1D X + 5D Mark III. Hopefully no one flames me for that statement. Please note that I didn't say "better".  Roll Eyes
Logged

Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
Pages: [1] 2 3 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad