What are my long glass options

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tirediron, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay, I need some good, long glass (Nikon)... I've been been trying to decide on a few options:

    1. The ultimate, the 400mm f2.8. Great lens, but pricey and restrictive.

    2. The 80-400 - very reasonably priced, wonderfully versatile, but slow

    3. One of the older lenses such as the 300mm f3.5; fairly long, fast enough, and I don't see a lack of auto-focus being a huge issue, but still restrictive.

    4. A more verstatil setup like the 70-200 f2.8 with a teleconverter. Reasonably priced, and plenty fast on the short end, but slow with the TC.

    So, assuming that money wasn't an object (Okay, it is, but we won't go into that right now), what would your choice be, and why?
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    200-400 f/4 VR.
     
  3. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    70-200 f2.8

    AND

    400 f2.8
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't tell me that you still do not have the 70-200 F/2.8VR? Arguably the best quality telezoom lens in Nikon's arsenal.

    300 F/2.8
    400 F/2.8

    If you are a weight lifter and the wallet to match, there is always the Sigma Cannon... 600mm F/2.8. It comes with a 2X teleconverter! :lol:
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are seriously considering a 400mm lens, those restrictions should be moot, Obviously you have an idea what you are planning on shooting with it, you are not a noobie judging by what I have seen from you on the forum since I have been here.

    Go with the prime, you will not regret it, I have two 400mm primes, both of them slower than the one you are considering as well as a 60-300 zoom, the long zoom is worthless despite being the equally as fast as my slow ass primes that is are hundred mm larger than the zooms max. Versitility is over rated, if you still want to focus with a TC the prime is the only option
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nah, tirediron is no newbie... he is a certifiable quality glass lens hound! :lol: :lol:

    Now, I do not own it but I did hear that the 1.4 TC from Nikon drops the aperture from 2.8 to 4 on the 70-200, but it is still a great lens and though you say versatility is over-rated, I kinda think it becomes a good option to have if you happen to hit something closer and want more of the subject in a lens and cannot back away becuase you are 25 feet up in a tree. That 70-200 becomes a nice 98-280 F/4 and that *may* be enough for most except the more avid birders. If your camera has good high ISO performance, a 300mm F/5.6 at ISO 1600-3200 is also a very viable solution using that same 70-200 and a 2X TC. It is also a lot cheaper (under $500US).

    Just some alternative trains of thought.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would be too if my wallet wern't so damn thin. :lmao:
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Woudln't we all... and Nikon would have some incredible sales numbers... lol
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yup, :mrgreen:

    I won't argue with you on the TC being a good option. Although I can't say I have ever really had any real issues with the inability to back away. The nature of a the big dawgs under normal occurances provides ample room to move back. The minimum focusing distance on my 400mms is just short of 20 feet. I've gotten inside the minimum focusing distance on my 400mm a few times and If one can get that close to a subject they should not have any trouble backing away for the most part, also the general birding subjects are...well small, sparrows and Blue Jays actually fit quite comfortably in frame at minimum focusing distance of a 400mm.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    from my experiences with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens and teleconverters is that a 1.4 teleconverter works brilliantly - you lose one stop of light, but f4 is still a bright and useable aperture. Quality hardly takes a knock and the focal range boost is decent.

    With a 2* teleconverter you get a 140-400mm lens, however I have found that you get noticable softness and you also lose 2 stops of light. With a 2.8 lens its not too bad - f5.6 is still a usable aperture. However the softness can be a drawback - however it also depends on what camera body you are using - highend bodies will give a sharper result than lowered bodies (its a pixel relaited thing).
    Due to the above I tend to only use the 2* when in very bright conditions - but the 1.4 I use all the time.
    I know all I know is canon, but its a very similar positioned lens to the nikon
     
  11. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    I would get the 70-200mm VR with the 1.7x TC as it's the most versatile option. The performance is supposed to be great with that TC, from what I've read. You get a 119-340mm and you lose 1.5 stops of light (from f/2.8 to f/4.8 maximum aperture).

    I wouldn't get the 1.4x TC for that lens because you're losing a full stop of light for not much more magnification, although performance is supposed to be great. The 1.4x TC would work great on the 400mm f/2.8.--you get the 600mm (almost) f/4!

    I've heard about autofocus and sharpness issues when using the 70-200mm with the 2.0x TC.
     
  12. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Based on thoughts here, as well as a few other factors, I'm really leaning toward the 200mm/f2.8 w/ TC option. I really can't justify the cost of a new 300mm or longer prime, and even a used one isn't going to be all that useful, since I'm not a hard-core birder. I like the fact that the 200 & TC will fit in my big gadget bag as well.

    From those that have/ have used the 200mm, how is it for hand-holding?
     

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