300 Prime vs 70-200S w/TC

Dec 7, 2005
This is comparison I've been meaning to explore since I first started reading the reviews of the 70-200S. Given the pretty much across-the-board praise of the 70-200 f2.8S lens along with the ZTC's, the question for me was how close IQ was the 70-200 compared to the 300PF prime. Shown below are crops from each lens taken with a Z6. Note that I took several images and these are pretty representative. Both were run through LR at default settings.
First the 300 at f5.6:
300 pf f5,6.jpg
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Now the 70-200 f2.8S with the ZTC2x set at 300mm (150mm on the 70-200):
70-200 f 5,6.jpg
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To my eyes, the 70-200 is less crisp as if there is just a bit of haziness to the image. Look especially at the plant stems on the lower right which just have a hair more definition on the 300. So not surprisingly, the prime slightly outperforms the zoom.

But jeesh, we are talking about a Zoom with a 2x TC being close to a prime in the center portion! Now here is the 70-200 image with Topaz Sharpen AI lightly applied:
70-200 f 5,6 Topaz.jpg
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And frankly I find that all but indistinguishable from the prime.
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