D7100/TC1.7/300 AFS f4 1.3 crop

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May 16, 2006
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Any examples of this combination? Just about a month away from having the cash for ordering one, dreaming of this fall and winter birds stuff with this combination. The poor man's 1020mm wildlife combination:)
 
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I think you may be disappointed with that combo for a couple of reasons. I just finished shooting the BUB Motorcycle Land Speed Trails at the Bonneville Salt Flats for a local racing team. I was using a 300mm f/2.8 + 1.4 TC and D7100/D800 combo on the track. I found the D7100 setup barely adequate for fast moving subjects in very bright light conditions. I'll post some examples later this week. Still working on the images for my sponsors.

First, putting a 1.7 TC on an f/4 lens makes the maximum aperture f/6.7 wide open. In my experience using my f/2.8 lens + 1.4TC, (maximum aperture f/4), the AF on the D7100 just isn't good enough to handle fast/distant subjects at f/6.7 with a high success rate even in good light. Let the light level drop and shooting with a max aperture of f/6.7 is asking a lot from a "prosumer" body. The D800 was better at nailing the focus using the exact same lens+TC setup.

Second, the 1.3 crop of the D7100 is not like the 1.5 crop advantage of DX versus FX. All it does is crop pixels from the outer edge. If you shoot at full 24Mp resolution and manually crop in PP, you get the same result and same resolution in regards to pixels on the subject. There is no additional FOV reach achieved. Since video uses a small subset of the sensor pixels in DX or 1.3 crop modes, the effect is like a 2X FOV reach for video, but for stills, that effect doesn't apply. For any given lens or lens+TC combo, you get the same number of pixels covering the subject whether in DX or 1.3 crop mode.

I had considered buying a D7100 to replace my aged D300, but after last week, I'm keeping the D300 and waiting for something better than the D7100. I found the VERY small buffer in the D7100 incredibly limiting. While I think it is a pretty good camera for the money, I personally would not buy a D7100 if there is any chance of a D400 becoming available.

I rented the D7100 and D800 to augment my D3 while my D300 was shipped out to APS. I wanted the D7100 for maximum number of pixels possible in the shots from the press area on the track. The D800 was its backup and the body for use with large groups. The D3 shot everything in between. The D800 easily surpassed the D7100 in almost all areas, including the distance shots. The 24 MP versus 15 MP difference wasn't as big a factor in the results as I thought it would be. The D800 AF nailed the focus more often and the ISO 900+ IQ was better. So, overall I found the D800 gave me better results with the distant subject track shots, even with fewer available pixels.

Don't take my word for it. Try before you buy and see for yourself. Do what I did and rent a D7100 for 2 weeks @ $137.00 (or 1 week @ $78.00), from the very nice folks at BorrowLenses.com. http://www.borrowlenses.com/category/nikon_bodies
 
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Thanks Mike, the prices on refurbished D600 are falling so fast I'm starting to think Full Frame.
 
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Yep still have the D7K, it will die in my hands like my D200.
 
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Randy
Any examples of this combination? Just about a month away from having the cash for ordering one, dreaming of this fall and winter birds stuff with this combination. The poor man's 1020mm wildlife combination:)
I can do some backyard stuff to show you IQ and maybe a BIF will fly by.

The 300/4 + 1.7 is gonna be noticeably slower on AF on any body so I wouldn't expect great but I would expect that you could AF a big BIF like an osprey w/o any problems.
 
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Randy - thanks I appreciate your advice. I normally use the 1.4 but in certain places for birds on water and in ponds I think the extra reach would work fine. I've seen your stuff and it is very good. If you get a chance a shot or two for IQ would be great.
 
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Remember also, Jeff, that the D7100 has a lot more pixels so you can
crop a lot farther than you can with the D7000 and still have good IQ...

You may not really need to use a 1.7x TC...

Just something to think about... :wink:
 
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