Tue 09-Oct-12 10:09 AM | edited Tue 09-Oct-12 10:35 AM by jrp
A friend of mine just asked me the same question last week because we do have a mutual friend with an eco-ranch where he is raising mountain goats and rams, among other mammals.
Although not at that ranch, I've had the opportunity to use the 200-400 f/4, 400mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4 and 600mm f/4 in several occasions over the last two years. So this was an opportunity to gather my notes.
My initial preferences were torn between the 200-400 and the 400, both with and without the TC-14E and TC-17E II, with the 200-400 giving me flexibility and the 400 the most luminosity or speed.
Nikonians semi-pros and pros -with a sizeable budget- own both the 200-400mm f/4 zoom and the 600mm f/4, skipping the 400mm f/2.8 and the 500mm f/4.
To my own surprise, thinking of a single super-telephoto, my personal favorite ended up being the 500mm f/4 both when on DX and FX, with and without the TC-17E II. Just as other Nikonians recommended me before.
It is $1,000 USD less and weights 26 oz less than the 400mm, with an additional 100mm of 'native' focal length. Plus its sharpness and color rendition is at par with the other three lenses when on a D2X and D700, shooting from a MAGICA 3.3.
Both my friend and me will be buying the 500mm. Surely him sooner In the meantime I have updated my wish list while still saving and hoping we won't be needing new servers soon.