Thu 07-Mar-13 10:08 AM | edited Thu 07-Mar-13 10:22 AM by Shy Talk
I'm intrigued by this talk of 'visual birding'. What is that? I think it might be taking pix and then checking them to see what type of bird you have seen. If this is correct, then this is 'using your camera like a telescope' (rather than for making nice photographs) and is something that aircraft guys do too.
When I was leaving Oly and trying to decide what to get next, I looked at Canon and Nikon only.
The thing that swayed me to Nikon was the superior AF. I believe it's still the best AF you can buy, so thus far I'm glad. No lens can compensate for second rate AF (although Canons is much better than Olys). You RELY on the AF. You can work around other issues, but the AF has to be the best.
Lens wise, I wanted more than 400mm. Like in birding, 400 isn't going to cut it. 600 and upward though, is too much to handhold- and too much to 'work' in typical atmospheric conditions (I realise birders shoot 'close in' with large magnification rather than using the lens to 'see' for miles) as well as being too heavy to carry and invariably a prime. Primes are nowhere near as useful as zooms for an aircraft guy as the a/c vary very widely size-wise.
What's needed is a zoom with stabilisation and about 500 at the long end. There's really only one candidate.... The fact that it goes to 50mm at the short end is a truly giant bonus.
In summary, Nikon new 80-400 will give folk the same as Canons 100-400. OK, it'll cost more money and the Canons' a little 'longer' due to their 1.6 crop. If I had to choose between Nikon and their new lens or Canon with the 100-400 or what I have (300s w/ 50-500 OS) I'd take what I have now every single time.
The previous poster mentioned a price point of about $15-1600. Spot on! Exactly the price of the Sigma 50-500 OS. It's only a hobby after all (for most). Once you start asking $2500 you really reduce the numbers that you're going to sell. Nikon will discover this very soon. It might say 'Nikon' on the barrell, but it don't go to 50 and it dont go to 500. And it's a thousand dollars more!
I just need the 24mp sensor (aka D400) to take it up a notch or two now resolution-wise! If it's not arrived in a year or so, I guess it'll need to be the 7100.