Interesting comments Graeme,
I have long thought that the longer focal length lenses, 500-600, are
totally unsuited for field photography, especially for the smaller
Sensor technology has improved so much in the last couple of years that
shorter focal length lenses really come into their own, especially
combined with reasonable teleconverters.
I have been using the older Nikon 300/F4 with a 1.4tc, no VR, for years
now and combined with the newer bodies ie D7200 crop or D810 full frame
they make a great, light, rig with outstanding results.
So combine the newer 300/F4 with a D500 body and I agree that you have
close to the ultimate birding field setup.
Of course the big prime telephotos have their place and are magnificent
lenses in their own right but in most field scenarios I don't believe
they are the right tool for the job.
Interested to hear other comments on this.
Regards Rick Nash
On 23/02/2016 6:15 PM, Graeme Chapman wrote:
> 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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