I recall seeing many of your images from the pre digital age. I’ve forgotten
what your lens was at the time but it was a cracker which complemented your
Time has moved on, I use a Nikon D7100 usually coupled to a Nikkor 300mm f2.8,
a cracking lens, albeit a little heavy. My first ‘big’ lens was the Nikkor
70-300mm f 4.5 - 5.6 It taught me a lot about photography but it was, after
all, not a great lens and the 300mm prime replacement was a no-brainer, even if
at the limit of, or in reality, outside my budget.
Back to the point in question, I trust your judgement in these matters and was
very interested in your comment re the 200 - 500mm lens; “brilliant".
One question, do you have a preference for the 200 - 500mm or the 300mm f4 PF
for bird photography. In your view does either match the 300mm f2.8, bearing in
mind that photography hardware is full of compromise.
> On 23 Feb 2016, at 6:45 PM, Graeme Chapman <>
> Hello Paul,
> Thank you for your useful comments regarding the new Nikkor 200-500 mm
> I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote.
> In recent times I have virtually replaced all my birding lenses and now have
> what I consider is the ultimate combination - these lenses (and cameras) are
> so good that I doubt very much whether I will ever have to buy any more gear
> in my lifetime. The most important issue in future in future will be being
> there. Two very, very important words.
> I traded in the latest version of the 80-400 on the new 200-500 and in a
> word, brilliant, I can even handhold it the VR is so good and in my copy, the
> autofocus is spot on at 500 mm.
> As you probably know from my website, I do a lot of photography of small bush
> birds - most of the Australian ones are there already. However, as you
> noted, quickly homing in on a small subject with a 500 mm lens is not easy -
> that fraction of a second dithering often means getting the picture or not.
> Enter the new Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF lens - one of the best lenses Nikon have
> ever made and some say equal in quality to their legendary 300 mm f/2.8.
> Last year we spent a lot of time on Eyre Peninsula chasing Blue-breasted
> Fairy-Wrens. All that time, I used the 300 f/4 PF, often with a 1.4 extender,
> a very LIGHT and manoeuvrable combination. It even works well with the 1.7x
> extender (= 510 mm). I also had the big 500 f/4 lens with me, but where did
> it remain? in its bag. I find that big lens too heavy to hand hold, so it has
> to go on a tripod. If you are travelling in a car, often the time it takes to
> set up on a tripod is crucial. The outcome of all this is that I have put the
> 500 f/4 VR up for sale, mainly because the new 200-500 is so much easier to
> handle, and even hand hold.
> I should qualify my earlier statement - I do know of one item I'll buy as
> soon as it becomes available and that is the newly announced D500 camera.
> And so it goes on. My wife Pam says to me " I hope you aren't thinking of
> buying any more cameras" - and for the moment, I agree.
> Graeme Chapman
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