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Lens tests of D800 vs V1 for small 'distant' subjects.

walk43

Pennsylvania, US
719 posts

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walk43 Registered since 07th Feb 2012
Thu 07-Nov-13 09:12 PM

So I decided to try a 70-300VR for my V1(I know this is the D800 Forum...hold on a minute) to replace the 55-300VR I have loved due to its light weight. I bought the 70-300 VR today (my second purchase actually...I had one for my D90 and sold it when I got my D800 gear).

I wanted to see the IQ of the used lens, so I mounted it on my D800 and a tripod with a remote release. At about 15ft, I took several shots each with my 28-300VR, 70-200VR w/TC14E, 55-300VR and 70-300VR, all at the same settings. I backed off the 300mm lenses to 280mm (300 is soft on most 300mm's) and also since the 70-200 with the TC14 is effectively a 280mm FOV. I wanted to see which lens would give me the best IQ from the same distance on the D800.

The reason I did the test this way, was to simulate long distance shots in the field. If a bird is 50ft out and I can't get any closer which lens will give me the best IQ....on the D800.

The best repeatable results were with the 70-300VR. The TC14 added too much softness on the 70-200VR combo...the 28-300VR was the worst (it always has been in my lens tests for IQ)and the 55-300VR came in second.

Then, I mounted the 70-300VR and the 55-300VR on the V1 with the timer and tested again. The 70-300VR won....but by VERY slightly. The biggest advantage of the 70-300VR is the manual override on auto focus. With the 55-300VR you have to flip a switch and it's a real frustration when you want to get a shot and need to fine tune (macro or birds in the shade)....and the 70-300VR is a bit longer and 7oz heavier but less diffraction and CA. Bottom line I will be selling my 55-300VR and adding the 70-300VR back to my flock.

Again, this was a test to see what is the best combo for me to use for distant shots of small subjects (D800 cropped or V1...and with which lens).

The V1 with the 70-300VR wins for those kinds of shots....someone once said 'the more pixels you can get on the subject the better the detail will be'.... I agree.

Dan
(Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40)
"I don't read, I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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