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Author Topic: Telephoto Options  (Read 1549 times)
vaphoto
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« on: November 12, 2013, 12:30:24 PM »
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I am looking for a reasonably small and light telephoto lens to use on the Nikon D7100 DX camera.
It would be used for birds, wildlife and other similar subjects.
I have the 70-300 VR. The options I am considering include the new 80-400 lens or the 300 f/4 lens.
Four years ago I had the 200-400 f/4 and the 500 f/4 both great lenses, but too heavy and bulky for me at this point in my life. I switched to lighter gear and sold my big telephoto lenses and don't want to go that route again.
If Nikon would update the 300 f/4 that would be my first choice. It seems that the new 80-400 is a much better lens than the original and would also work. What am I overlooking?
Thanks
Bob
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Bob
vaphoto
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 12:53:53 PM »
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I am not sure in reading your question but it seems like the implication is that your 70-300 VR is insufficient some how. If it is focal length limiting, then getting a 300 F/4 buys you nothing new. Which leaves some thing from Sigma like their telephoto zooms or as you indicated the Nikon 80-400.

Another option would be to try using the Nikon V2 + 70-300. Which will be equivalent of 189-810 mm. The Nikon V2 firmware was recently updated to allow AF Servo for the center point for normal F-mount lenses via the F mount-to-Nikon 1 adapter. This option will provide tremendous weight savings.
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robdickinson
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 01:16:18 PM »
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See what the new tamron 120-600 is like?
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vaphoto
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 02:20:55 PM »
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Capital:
I have nothing against the 70-300 VR and use it a lot, but the 300 f/4 is reportedly much sharper and works well with the 1.4 extender. Also, it may be old school, but I still like prime lenses better than zooms.
Bob
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vaphoto
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 02:39:20 PM »
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Have you seen website "The Digital Picture":

Check out their lens performance reviews, especially the side by side resolution charts. Use the drop downs to select the focal length with an extender for the 300 F/4 and compare with the 80-400 VR or the 70-300 VR

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=651&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=1&LensComp=915&CameraComp=614&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=5&APIComp=0
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 03:21:37 PM »
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What about the 200 f2? It got top marks at DxO.
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NancyP
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 04:29:35 PM »
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Sigma? Lots of people swear by the Bigma 50-500mm. Also an option is the Sigma 500mm f/4.5, which is more expensive. Finally, for the budget-minded and don't mind manual focus and no stabilization, try a mirror lens. So, the contrast is not as good as a first-rate prime. So, the bokeh is donut shaped. If you are an occasional user, the price can't be beat at under $200.00. Take whatever I say with a grain of salt, because I am a Canonista and shoot with the budget Canon birding lens, 400mm f/5.6L.
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Isaac
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 04:51:40 PM »
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... for the budget-minded and don't mind manual focus and no stabilization, try a mirror lens.

Now see what you made me find! AF + stabilization :-)

And a pros/cons discussion about Sony 500mm f/8 reflex.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 06:33:28 PM by Isaac » Logged
langier
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2013, 07:16:51 PM »
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You'll just get a much heavier and larger lens going with the 300/4 to gain but a stop and perhaps a little sharpness with a camera that's got good-quality megapixels to burn, even with the iso cranked up.

If you need a little longer, use the 1.3x crop mode and you'll gain nearly 100mm more focal length (about 600mm equivalent on an FX camera) at 15.4 mp, still plenty of detail to make some nice 16x24 prints with good craft.
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Larry Angier
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wildlightphoto
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 08:23:49 PM »
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If you need a little longer, use the 1.3x crop mode and you'll gain nearly 100mm more focal length (about 600mm equivalent on an FX camera) at 15.4 mp, still plenty of detail to make some nice 16x24 prints with good craft.

How does that "gain" focal length?  As I figure it crop mode just throws pixels away.  Use the full image area & throw away the ones you don't want later.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2013, 02:51:22 AM »
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I found it challenging to get sharp images with the Nikon 300mm f4 when I owned one.

It is a very sharp lens optically, but the default tripod foot is a disaster and handheld is tough without VR. It seems that replacement tripods from RRS and Kirk help a lot with sharpness on tripod but you need to factor in this cost also.

Besides, there have been repeated rumors recently indicating that a replacement to the 300mm f4 with VR may be just around the corner. There seems to be very little logic in Nikon's lens announcements so who knows, but it would a lot of sense.

Cheers,
Bernard
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vaphoto
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2013, 09:01:00 AM »
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Thanks for the help.
I want to stay with Nikon options.
Your are right about the 1.3 crop on the D7100 the resolution is poorer and I can selectively crop in post.
The Nikon 1 option is interesting but I will have 2-camera systems with me the D7100 for telephoto and a rangefinder for landscape and I that is all I want to take. It seems that I can stay with 70-300 VR, hope for a new 300 f/4 with VR before April or go with the new 80-400. In 2005 on a trip to Alaska I used the old 80-400 on a D100 body and got good results and had the flexibility I needed. So, I will stay on the sidelines until it gets closer to my travel date, who knows Nikon might come up with few surprises. If I had to decide today it would likely be new 80-400.
Bob
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Bob
vaphoto
Peter McLennan
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2013, 06:23:37 PM »
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Thom Hogan reivews the 80-400 here:

http://www.dslrbodies.com/lenses/nikon-lens-reviews/nikon-80-400mm-f45-56g-af-s.html


I've tried it briefly twice.  Very impressive tool.  Also very demanding of the operator.  It's not very fast, but it's not very heavy, either. If it was F4 it would probably be twice the weight.  I found it relatively easy to hand hold but critically sharp images are always a crapshoot with VR.  When it's sharp, it's very good.
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