Expensive Weekend

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For quite a while now I've been contemplating adding a Sony mirrorless body and the 200-600mm to my kit. This past week I took a friend of mine on a multi-day trip out on Prince William Sound. He was shooting an A7R/200-600mm. First of all and most importantly I was impressed with his results. Second, to-date I've poo-pooed the benefits of the smaller body when using a large telephoto lens because the reduction in overall weight is negligible. However I really like how the rig handled. An added benefit that never occurred to me is how much easier it is to slide the camera/lens in and out of a vertical bag due to the small body. So I'm not dumping my Nikon DSLRs just yet but the Sony 200-600 looks like a great addition for use when reach, versatility, and quick access into/out of the bag is needed. I'm all in. Now I just have to decide which body it will be :rolleyes:
 
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Isn’t Nikon doing a 200-600, along with the Z9?
I'm a proponent of bird in the hand theory. Plus Sony is way ahead with mirrorless and already has a good selection of lenses. I'm still married to Nikon DSLRs due to the amount of kit that I have but when they changed the mount on the mirrorless line it became an open marriage :eek:
 
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Before diving in, I think a brief bird in the hand with a Z6 or Z7, FTZ and one of your long lenses is worth a try.
Ergonomically, the Z bodies are mapped pretty similarly to the DSLRs.
 
Sony's 200-600mm is a wonderful lens indeed! Mine, fondly nicknamed "The Bazooka," lives on the tripod, though, since she really is a bit too large for me to carry around comfortably and/or handhold. For walk-around photo excursions I prefer the excellent 100-400mm GM, a beautiful lens which almost immediately became a favorite. Adding a TC to this lens also adds extra reach.

Which camera to purchase to get the best from one of these lenses? Why, the new flagship Alpha 1, of course! It offers a combination of benefits in terms of resolution and speed, which is most useful in wildlife/bird shooting. A couple of people on here already have one, and I"m patiently collecting pennies in the piggy bank for one of my own some day, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.
In the meantime, if your primary interest is in shooting birds and wildlife, as is suggested by the appeal of the 200-600mm to you, then I would suggest that you'd be happy with the A9 II. I do a mixture of kinds of shooting so I use the A7R IV, which I love dearly. The A9 II is the speed demon, though, the one you'll want for high-speed continuous shooting. If you are more concerned about getting higher resolution in order to be able to crop without significant detail loss, then the A7R IV's your tool. Of course, you could buy both, but then that would cost as much as buying just the A1! :)
 
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Before diving in, I think a brief bird in the hand with a Z6 or Z7, FTZ and one of your long lenses is worth a try...
I shoot a lot of BIF and the Z6/7 just don't cut it.
Sony's 200-600mm is a wonderful lens indeed! Mine, fondly nicknamed "The Bazooka," ...Why, the new flagship Alpha 1, of course!...
Yeah I don't think the A1 is in the cards. The A9ii is the logical choice for what I shoot but I struggle with losing the "one body fits all" of my D850. But that's likely where I'm headed.
 
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What's the compelling reason to switch from your D850 to a mirrorless camera?
Per the OP I won't be switching completely. But for working from a kayak the 200-600mm with mirrorless body adds 20 percent more reach than the 500mm PF, is more versatile with the zoom, and it slides in/out of a dry bag a lot easier than the D850. I'm thinking that the animal eye focus in the mirrorless bodies would also be of benefit when shooting from a rocking/bouncing boat.

One thing I won't miss is the way Nikon implements VR by re-centering the image after every frame. That feature has elicited quite a few expletives from me over the years. One benefit of VR at high ss is that it holds the image still in the VF. Somewhat defeated by jumping it around to re-center when firing in burst mode. Pretty much useless when shooting BIF or from a moving boat.
 

JLH

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Stop talking about this lens! Its just the sort of thing I would love for birds but I am so vested in Nikon! Like others I have read Nikon has such a lens on its "road map" but who knows when it will arrive? Right now I am just waiting on my new 105 Z mount macro to come in. I just hope Nikon can keep their lens in the same price and performance range as this Sony lens.
 
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I moved from nikon to sony oct 2019.
The 200 600 is a terrific birding lens and matches really well with the a9. It handles really well, and the short throw from 200 to 600 is great. If the a9 file size is big enough for your work it is terrific.
Enjoy the journey.
Gary
 
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I also moved from Nikon to Sony a few years ago. I currently have an a7II and recently traded my a6300 for an a7C. At first I was skeptical but after a few months I sold all my Nikon stuff.
 
It took me quite a while to make up my mind but I went from Nikon to Sony in late November of 2019. I started out with three lenses, two of them macro (I dearly love macro) and one a fast 135mm. I originally thought that I'd "make do" with using my RX10 IV for longer reach type shots but that thinking lasted only about a month and I soon found myself happily shooting the geese and hooded mergansers off my deck with the Bazooka attached to the A7R IV and don't regret that purchase at all.

The new A1 would definitely meet the "one body fits all" requirement in that it handles higher resolution and faster continuous high so that a user doesn't really need to have an A7R IV for higher resolution and an A9 or A9 II for the high-speed shooting needed for BIF, etc. Prior to the announcement and eventual arrival of the A1 on the market I had been contemplating buying an A9 or A9 II but now am planning to get the A1 instead, as it will be very handy for the kind of shooting I do when walking around the lake and in one situation take some nice shots of pretty flowers or foliage and in the next situation capture a squirrel darting up a tree or Alfred the GBH standing out in the middle of the lake looking for a fishy treat.
 
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I may have to pitch the finance committee that an A1 can do it all and will be the last camera I'll ever need :rolleyes: Prices of the older Sony bodies are incredibly inexpensive. Unfortunately features on the more recent releases are the ones most useful for shooting wildlife. Maybe that's the problem. I just need to transition to shooting all static subjects...
 
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A1 great, especially for AF with high resolution. A9 ii is really nice if you can live with fewer megapixels and less cropping. I don't know if Sony fixed the problem but there was a problem using the 200-600 with the A7r4.
 
It's weird about that problem with the 200-600mm and the A7R IV. I haven't had any problems but I have definitely seen reports from quite a few others that they have experienced this. Either I'm just lucky or have not been shooting with that combination of lens and camera body in a way which brings out the issue, but whatever....
 
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