"D800e with 300 mm 2.8. Surprising results without and with TC 's"
The purpse of this test was to evaluate above combination for usability for photographing nonflying birds. I wanted to find best settings for the quality and reach of my combination of D800e and 300mm 2.8.
This week I set up my D800e on gitzo 1325, legs low, mirror cable release, small target at 60 ft, manual settings, sunny outdoor lighting, and target tilted to account for potential focus issues. 300mm 2.8 VR, 1.4TCII, 1.4 TCII.
I went through tests of various f stops, wide open to in the twenties. I also checked w/o TC, with 1.4, and with 1.7. Prior to this I tested for optimal ISO settings and chose ISO 400 for best combination of detail and low level contrast.
Jpeg images were compared at 100% crop side by side in LR4.
Findings: Detail of my target was best at 60 ft with using the 300 2.8 with the 1.7 TC. This was very noticable and I believe significant since my use is for detailed bird photography. The other finding of note was moire was absent with 1.7, present with no TC, and annoying with 1.4. Upscaled images with no TC and 1.4 TC to size of 1.7TC were not as detailed. There was a big surprise for me. With the 1.7 images became much sharper at F9 vs F7, much worse below F7. Detail was best at F14 and slightly less quality at F16. This has made me reevaluate my ideas of what is best F stop on D800e. I am interested if there has been similar in the field findings. David