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Author Topic: Help with information on the Nikon 300mm f/4.0  (Read 820 times)
jduncan
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« on: March 15, 2013, 06:13:52 AM »
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Hello,

I have an Nikon D600 and I need a medium telephoto, compact an relatively light that I can use with TC.
I am considering the newer version of  Nikon  300mm f/4.0.  I will use it in combination with tcs.
I am planing to use the Nikon TC-20E III and the TC-14.

Information I will like to have:
1. Any experiense will help, as images.
2. Autofocusing with the TCs.
3. Sharpness with the TCs.

I did saw this ones : http://www.pbase.com/ronnie_14187/image/57655589

But I will like to have some hands on  experience.  The Nikon 80-400 and the sigma's 120-400 are heavier and I belive they will have less resolution at long distance than the pure 300mm  and I hope that at 400mm the 300mm  +tc will be competitive with them.

Please let me know  your experiences.

Best regards,

J. Duncan
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2013, 06:24:51 AM »
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I used to have a copy but sold it. The tripod foot never worked for me (but it seems that some of the replacements really help with that) and the lack of VR forced me to use too high ISOs for my liking.

This being said it is very good optically by itself, but I was not super impressed by the results with the tele converters. Judging from its excellent MTF graphs at 400mm I would not rule out the new 80-400 without a test.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Kerry L
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 06:16:47 AM »
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Hi,
You don't mention what type of photography you plan to use the 300 f4 for. I use it for both my work, industrial work (destined for technical books, exhibits and manuals), and for landscapes for my wall and website. The end product needs to part of your equation. Printed to 17"x 22" and you likely won't see any difference from any of the lenses that you've mentioned.

Use of a tripod and MLU (and use of a cable release not the self timer) will make a big difference in sharpness over hand held or a monopod,

The tripod foot can be replaced, however the aftermarket ones are very expensive; making other "expensive lens" alternatives more price competitive. The cost of the RRS replacement will go a long way to paying for a better head or about 1/2 the cost of a bigger carbon tripod.

You should also look at the TC specs, the TC20E iii is listed as "auto focus not available" for the 300 f4 as is the TC17e, I believe.

I use the 300 f4 and the TC14E ii, its reasonably sharp. I don't pay too much attention to MTF graphs and other "pixel peeping" tests. Not that there's anything wrong with them, it's just that real life use is more telling. A lot can be over come especially using Clarity.

The D600 won't match MFDB, not matter which lens you end up buying. Work backwards from the end use of your images. Renting is a good way to be sure that you'll make the best choice given your needs.
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jduncan
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2013, 10:42:58 AM »
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Hi,
You don't mention what type of photography you plan to use the 300 f4 for. I use it for both my work, industrial work (destined for technical books, exhibits and manuals), and for landscapes for my wall and website. The end product needs to part of your equation. Printed to 17"x 22" and you likely won't see any difference from any of the lenses that you've mentioned.

Use of a tripod and MLU (and use of a cable release not the self timer) will make a big difference in sharpness over hand held or a monopod,

The tripod foot can be replaced, however the aftermarket ones are very expensive; making other "expensive lens" alternatives more price competitive. The cost of the RRS replacement will go a long way to paying for a better head or about 1/2 the cost of a bigger carbon tripod.

You should also look at the TC specs, the TC20E iii is listed as "auto focus not available" for the 300 f4 as is the TC17e, I believe.

I use the 300 f4 and the TC14E ii, its reasonably sharp. I don't pay too much attention to MTF graphs and other "pixel peeping" tests. Not that there's anything wrong with them, it's just that real life use is more telling. A lot can be over come especially using Clarity.

The D600 won't match MFDB, not matter which lens you end up buying. Work backwards from the end use of your images. Renting is a good way to be sure that you'll make the best choice given your needs.

Thank for the detailed answer. I will check the auto focus issue that you mention. It was my impression that the limitation concern the older bodies, since with the TC-20E the aperture will be f8.

J. Duncan
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jduncan
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2013, 10:44:34 AM »
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I used to have a copy but sold it. The tripod foot never worked for me (but it seems that some of the replacements really help with that) and the lack of VR forced me to use too high ISOs for my liking.

This being said it is very good optically by itself, but I was not super impressed by the results with the tele converters. Judging from its excellent MTF graphs at 400mm I would not rule out the new 80-400 without a test.

Cheers,
Bernard


Thanks for your advice. I found the new  80-400 a little pricey, but it may truly deliver an outstanding quality.

Best regards,
James
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 11:58:29 PM »
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I had the last version 80-400mm before upgrading to the 70-200 f/2.8 better for more of my work, and the 2x TC for if I needed a bit longer. The 80-400mm was very good though and in good light I had no complaints with it, I can only imagine the new 80-400mm will be a superior lens in every sense of the word especially considering some of the lenses Nikon has been coming out with recently and the demands placed on their new releases by the D800(e) for lenses with enough resolving power etc.

I took the Canon 300mm f/4.0 to Indonesia last year, and wound up not using it seriously but did some informal and personal tests with it and even at f/4.0 it was a very solid lens. I believe the Nikon version may be newer in design and have played with it at trade-shows and considered buying it in the past for its convenient size. 2x TC might be pushing it, not sure if autofocus will stay at this point, I think its limit is f/8 and you don't want to approach a cameras AF / AF confirmation limits, something I have found out with the super-telephotos on my 645DF...
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sunnycal
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 07:52:51 PM »
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In my experience it is more the technique then the lens itself, with these telephotos.

I have the 300mm AF-S, and have through multiple copies. Everyone of these is super sharp even at f/4. With 1.4TC you lose some IQ and AF speed but it is still very good. Using 1.7x TC the sharpness is still good if you have good technique, and Lisht (or ISO) is not a problem. Reserve 2x TC only for emergencies. If you need to use 2x TC regularly, you should invest in 300mm f/2.8, or the new 80-400 with 1.4x TC

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