BIF Lens for Travel

Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
406
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
I will be joining my beloved and her family on a trip to Grand Bahama Island this summer for my FIL's milestone birthday. While I normally travel with my m4/3rd's gear because it is compact and light and reserve my Nikon gear for BIF close to home so I can bring what equipment I desire in the car, this trip turns out to be crossing the lines a bit.

There is supposed to be a birding excursion for my FIL on the trip and I was considering bringing my D500 body rather than my E-M1 as this is what I would normally choose for birding and wildlife. But, my lenses are not that small and I am wondering what would be a good compromise solution. The lenses at my disposal are the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII, the 300 f/4 AF-S and the 200-500 f/5.6. I have traveled with the 70-200 in years past, but not with either of the latter two. I am considering purchasing the 70-300 AF-P as it has very good reviews and is currently on sale. But, I had the 70-300 VR for a number of years and onece I had the 70-200, the 70-300 was never used and finally sold to a friend looking for a decent budget telephoto.

My Lowepro camera backpack will probably not hold any of the bigger lenses, so I may be looking at using my Domke F-2 bag for the trip. I understand that the birding excursion is by jeep, so I should not have to shoulder my gear all day long. And, I may bring a monopod if it is permitted.

I normally do not travel to tropical places in the summer, and this is not a place that I would have selected, but I want to make the most of the situation. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

--Ken
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2011
Messages
1,329
Location
Brooklyn NYC USA
In my experience, the sharpest one remains the last 80-400 Nikkor. Take a look at this sample image with about 200% crop. Z7, the lens at 400mm, wide open. Looks like this lens still outresolving even 46MP sensor, as well as any previous one.
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Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
406
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
I do a lot locally with the D500 and 300/4 AF-S
Lightweight and easy to carry.
Just to confirm that we are talking about the same version. This is the one with the built-in retractable hood that is prior to the current E PF model with VR. It is about the same size as the 70-200 f/2.8. Am I correct?

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
406
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
In my experience, the sharpest one remains the last 80-400 Nikkor. Take a look at this sample image with about 200% crop. Z7, the lens at 400mm, wide open. Looks like this lens still outresolving even 46MP sensor, as well as any previous one.View attachment 1638973 View attachment 1638974
I know that this lens has a great reputation and a loyal following (and that is a great sample image), but it is out of the budget for this trip. I just picked up some gear and about all that is left is funds for the new 70-300 if I do not take one of my existing lenses.

--Ken
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
1,041
Location
Dubois, Wyoming
Real Name
Bill
Looking at your list I would go with the 70-300p
200-500 is great but kinda big for travel. 300f4 is a wonderful lens but not as flexible as a zoom. 70-200 is too short in my opinion.
Another option would be a Sigma 100-400. Great range and lightweight. I would get the dock as most of them need some level of adjustment, mine did.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
406
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
Looking at your list I would go with the 70-300p
200-500 is great but kinda big for travel. 300f4 is a wonderful lens but not as flexible as a zoom. 70-200 is too short in my opinion.
This was kind of my thought, although I was wondering if the 70-200 might work. My question is if the new 70-300 will deliver decent images. All signs indicate that it will, but it almost seems too good to be true (albeit it is a variable aperture).

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
406
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
Well, I picked up the 70-300 AF-P today. Wow, that lens is small. I had the previous version, but this one seems a bit smaller. I fired off a few casual shots in the back yard today and so far, so good. This may work out quite well for my trip. I am hoping to shot with it a bit more this weekend.

--Ken
 
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