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Ship based Alaska Landscape - Cropped IQ and Reach of D800E vs D300 On Alaska National Geographic Trip

JECoutre

Concord, US
376 posts

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JECoutre Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2008
Wed 20-Feb-13 10:55 PM

Looking forward to an Alaska National Geographic trip this spring, but as a portrait and event photog, I’ve only started Landscapes of the world’s great scenic places within the last two years (it’s time). Landscape from the ship’s deck and Zodiac are without benchmark experience .. please share some counsel.

For certain I will take Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G, 24-70 f2.8G and 70-200 f2.8G VR II lenses and a Nikon TC-17EII 1.7x (concerned about this TC’s softness). I will take a D4 and then need to choose between a D800E or D300. I’m concerned about reach and resulting image quality from ship and shore captures (with monopod and tripod respectively as possible). I like to print wall art up to 20x30 inches on Epson 7900 (I am comfortable with onOne’s Perfect Resize Pro 7.5 for upres). I am unlikely to ever repeat the trip.

1. Is a D800E (cropped) or the D300 a better choice in the reach versus IQ consideration?
2. Would the choice change if I purchase the Nikon TC-14EII?
3. Would renting (~$700USD) a Nikkor 200-400 f4 VR for ship based captures only despite abbreviated learning curve experience with it change the body choice recommendation? (I do realize the small avian is a 600mm+ but even then, technique rules and is not developed in very short time frame.)
4. Would renting a 300mm f2.8 with the TC-17EII or TC-14EII be a better choice on D800E or D300?

Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and years of experience!
Jim

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