I am primarily a landscape/nature semi-pro photographer. I sell a modest amount of my work through the various microstock agencies. I recently moved to the Nikon platform and bought the D600 with a 16-35mm VR, a Sigma 105mm macro, and a Nikon 28-300mm VR walk-around lens. This week I bought the D7100 as a backup body and also for telephoto purposes.
I am looking for a medium telephoto combination for the D7100 body that could be used on occasion with the D600 - i.e. an FX solution. As the title implies, I am considering Nikon's 70-200mm f/4 lens (the f/2.8 version is bigger and heavier than I want) with the addition of TC-20E III for greater reach on occasion. I plan to shoot some wildlife and telephoto landscapes but no birding which would probably necessitate a longer, heavier telephoto lens. I do not plan to shoot in many low light situations hand-held so I think the f/4 lens would be fast enough, even with a teleconverter.
Does this sound like a good plan? I must admit that my 28-300mm lens is not bad on the D7100 but it is a bit soft at telephoto lengths, thus my interest in a sharper lens combo. If anyone with similar needs can share their experience I would be most appreciative.
According to NikonUSA that lens and that TC will auto focus with both the 7100 and 600 If you add a Cir Pol things may get sketchy. I use an older 80-200 2.8 with a 2X TC with absolutely no problem including Auto focusing with a Cir Pol.
That is very helpful. I think you convinced me to stay away from the TC-20 since IQ is very important to me. What is your opinion of the TC-17E II for use with this lens? The extra reach vs. the TC-14 would be nice but what about image degradation?
The TC20E III is a very good 2x teleconverter. It's just that a 2x teleconverter normally impacts image quality. The consensus is the image quality of the TC20E III and TC17E II are about the same - and that's pretty good for a 2x. The advantage of the 1.7 is light - a half stop faster - rather than image quality where they are about equal.
I have all three teleconverters but normally only carry the TC14E II. I'll quite willingly use the 1.4 but only use the 1.7 or 2.0 when necessary. Shutter speed and light levels are a big part of my decision process.
If you want reach, the 70-200 and teleconverter is not the best solution. I'd rather have one of the xxx-400 or xxx-500 lenses. I would also rather use my 300mm f/4 than a 70-200 if I need long reach with a teleconverter.
I'm going to be photographing ocean birds from a boat later this month. I'll use the 300 f/4 and 1.4 teleconverter and the 70-200 will stay in the bag. I'll probably use the 2x teleconverter with the 300 f/4 on land with a tripod for small distant birds on land.
I use the 70-200 for near subjects - deer in the Smokies, large birds in flight, working dogs, sports, etc. If I need more reach, I add the 1.4 teleconverter. I only use the 2x for specific shots where I can take the risk of softness. I need to be willing to discard all images if I'm using a 2x teleconverter.
Eric, again very helpful. I think I may go with the 70-200mm f/4 lens and the 1.4X TC since the combo will reach to nearly 400mm on the D7100 in 1.3X crop mode. Probably enough for my needs. Additionally, I am in the field a lot and need a lighter lens. One more question: Do you know whether the 1.4X TC/70-200mm f/4 lens/D7100 combo limits the user to single-point AF?
Wed 19-Jun-13 11:40 AM | edited Wed 19-Jun-13 11:46 AM by ericbowles
With the 70-200 f/4 and a TC14E II teleconverter you lose one stop so you have an effective f/5.6 wide open. That means you have almost all the sensors working - the 15 central sensors are cross sensors and the other 36 sensors are line sensors.
The D600 has a more extensive layout of AF sensors beyond f/5.6, but of course you give up the crop factor and related reach.
D600 in DX crop mode provides 10.5Mp images. D7100 (DX) provides 24Mp images and the 70-200 f4 is sharp enough to make use of this. even in the 1.3 crop mode, the D7100 puts more pixels in the image than D600 in DX mode.
The D600 in DX crop mode will produce a 10 mp image but you will have the benefit of the CAM 3500 AF system and with 9 sensors at f/8. The other downside is you are trying to frame the image with a very small DX crop within the viewfinder.
I've tried to shoot using the DX crop and find it very difficult - but I'm sure you could pick it up with practice. It would make a lot more sense with a 2x viewfinder or Live View. The big problem is the edges, but the subject is a fraction of the total area of the viewfinder so it becomes tough to precisely focus on such a small subject. Imagine reducing the size of your viewfinder by 50%.