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500/4 VR vs 400/2.8 VR

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Harry S., Jul 27, 2009.

  1. A question for the owners of either/or or both lenses. Are both equally good wide open?

    I have been shooting a musical production again last week (EVITA) and my D3 and lenses served me really well. However, I want to get a frame filling shot of the classical Evita pose on the balcony and for that my available focal lengths are limited, i.e. too short.

    I am going to borrow one of these long lenses from NPS for next weekend, that's why I am asking. I also have to decide whether 400mm is long enough, but it is easier to attach a TC14 in that case than being too long because I cannot tear down the wall behind me :smile:

    I want to get a pic similar to the one below but showing Evita only and without cropping (70-200VR + TC14 is too short) as I want to print it in poster size. More images of that production will follow soon (in another subforum, though).

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

  2. i have them both and both are excellent wide open but equally good, no, the 400vr is magic glass.....
    Personally i'd rather slightly crop a 2.8 image in low light than not crop an f4 image, but then again iso is not a prob for your d700....

    and how will you hold it
    the 400 could be a problem to hold
    the 500 should not be
  3. For that kind of lighting, I would go 400 2.8 VR no doubt. I'd also test using a D300 if the results are acceptable. I'm now more inclined to switch between FX and DX instead of using TCs. In my test while shooting good light, the pixel density of the D300 closely matches longer lenses on the D3 (ex: 300mm on the D300 vs 500mm on the D3).

    Randy is the expert here regarding both lenses so I'd listen to him!
  4. jimeast


    Mar 17, 2008
    Metrowest. MA
    400 vs 500

    For shooting inside, I think f/2.8 might win. Even with the ISO capabilities of the D700 and D3. On a humorous note I often find myself thinking, "but it's just one stop" until... I need that stop.
  5. Thanks for your input. I was pretty much settled on the 400/2.8 anyway (not least because of the "magic" which Randy mentioned :smile:) , but I wanted some mental back-up by experienced "bazooka" users. I feel more comfortable now.

    That's an open-air stage. The premiere last friday was, as usual, a wet experience, but the politicians deserve sitting in the rain, because their speeches are more important to them than the chance to finish the play before the rain sets in :biggrin:.

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