zoom lens tradeoff speed+teleconverter or slower lens
Within the zoom range of 70 - 400, Could someone please comment on the relative trade off of getting a fast (2.8) 70-200 with a 2x teleconverter vs a slower 80-400 4.5-5.6. If am comparing the two VR lenses, the 70-200/2x combo isn't all that much more.
Similarly, the Nikons non VR 80 - 200 2.8/ED with a 2x is not all that much less than the 80-400 VR.
Granted when your not using the tele the lens is faster, is this worth the inconvenience of the teleconverter?
I'm putting these on a D70.
#1. "RE: zoom lens tradeoff speed+teleconverter or slower le" | In response to Reply # 0bill500 Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2002Thu 04-Nov-04 01:17 AM
Using a TC degrades image quality. How much depends on the lens and TC combo-there are many variables.
As far as which is better, that depends on your needs. I am an old school photographer that believes that there is no substitute for a fast lens. I'd go for the 70-200 2.8 and TC. When you need 400mm, put it on and when you need speed don't use it. That give you more options. However, if you're using it on a DSLR, the 80-400 may be fast enough because you can turn up the ISO. I shoot film and try to stay at 200 ISO or slower.
Nikonian in Houston Texas
D300, D50(never gets used anymore)
#2. "RE: zoom lens tradeoff speed+teleconverter or slower le" | In response to Reply # 0akert Nikonian since 19th Dec 2002Thu 04-Nov-04 05:15 AM
I use the 70-200VR with the TC17 II and it's AF is still very fast. Faster than with the 80-400. I opted for the 1.7x increase over the 2x in order to not loose too much speed and I never regretted it. The diff of having 340 or 400 was not a prob for me.
"A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into"
#3. "RE: zoom lens tradeoff speed+teleconverter or slower le" | In response to Reply # 0walkerr Nikonian since 05th May 2002Thu 04-Nov-04 11:07 AM
The 70-200mm 2.8 VR and TC-20E combination works pretty well when stopped down a bit, but I find it to be noticably less sharp and contrasty at full aperture than 80-400mm VR lenses I've used. That's a pretty common situation for lenses and teleconverters, but it does impact my use of this combination, primarily because I like shooting wide open with wildlife.
If you can survive with just a 1.4x converter, the results are much better, and the equivalent focal length on a D70 is really pretty long - 420mm. The 1.7x has received good initial reviews, but I haven't seen anything really rigorous on it yet that would indicate it's much better than the TC-20E. If it is better, that would be another good way to go.
I've done a fair amount of wildlife photography in the last few months, and I find myself appreciating the virtures of the 80-400mm more and more. If I were to continue doing a lot of wildlife work, I think I would be tempted to purchase one. The most appealing feature of the lens is the ability to go between 80mm and 400mm without changing lenses or adding a teleconverter. I've been in several situations where I've missed shots adding or subtracting a teleconverter. The focusing speed wouldn't have been an issue for me, but that's very dependent on the subjects you photograph.