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400 2.8 VR +TC or 600 4 VR advice please

ianspector

UK
1086 posts

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ianspector Registered since 03rd Jul 2006
Tue 20-May-08 07:49 PM

I have been wrestling with this lens choice dilemma ever since the new super teles were announced. I am currently photographing birds with my D3 and my 800mm Nikkor f/5.6. I am delighted by results I can get with this combination, sharp wide open, easy to focus, challenging to focus for birds on the wing. I also shoot rugby matches using my 70-200 VR or 80-400 VR. Moving onto the FX format has left my 70-200 a little short for covering all the field of play.

This coming January I have a place on Moose Peterson's DWLS in Yellowstone, followed by his coming out of retirement week long photographic safari also in Yellowstone (hey, if I am already out there..). I just can't really see myself carrying the 800 plus 5540LS with full Wimberley through snow drifts.

My inclination is to choose the 400mm VR f/2.8 and add converters to get me back to around 600mm and 800mm, whilst retaining the flexibility of shooting 400mm in bad light or for rugby.

Of course the way these things are priced this is going to cost me more than the 600mm VR and does not really weigh that much less.

This is a boat load of money just to get the same reach as a 70-300 on a D40!

I would love to have autofocus and have something that could track faster for sport. But how much of a quality compromise am I making using a 400 with a TC 1.4 than a 600 without. I also wonder if a D2x with a 400 is better than a 400 on a D3 with a TC 1.4.

I am sure that the wonderful 200-400 will be brought up, and boy it looks attractive in terms of price and weight, but I do feel that I would miss the chance to get out to 800mm.

I would really appreciate your advice. Ultimately I think I need to get my hands on these combinations and try them out but I would like to tap the knowledge here as well.

Grateful thanks,

Ian

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