Good choice for 500/600 f4 on Z6?

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I'm pretty sure that it someone is talking about picking up a used AF-S D lens, that a brand-new AF-S E lens costing over $12k isn't even a thought for them.
To be fair, I did say in my original post that I’d consider saving years of money for a new lens, though that seems much less likely now.
 
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Don’t buy it new unless you know you’ll never sell it, depreciation is hard on this lens
Personally 400mm is useless for wildlife so add a tc and now it’s 5.6 and it’s heavy
How well does it handle cropping at a distance on 400mm? I’ve been looking at many options (prime and zoom) and discovered the Sigma 300-800/5.6, which, despite being third-party and one stop slower, has my interest piqued. A used copy often sells for cheaper than a used 200-400/4 VRII.
 
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How well does it handle cropping at a distance on 400mm? I’ve been looking at many options (prime and zoom) and discovered the Sigma 300-800/5.6, which, despite being third-party and one stop slower, has my interest piqued. A used copy often sells for cheaper than a used 200-400/4 VRII.
It’s the camera that determines crop ability
 
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It’s the camera that determines crop ability
If I want to crop a 24MP image to get an apparent 800mm or 1000mm FOV using the 200-400/4, how soft would the resulting image be? I’ve read distant 400mm shots can sometimes be quite soft with this lens.
 
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I wouldn’t be happy knowing I was usually going to need a 50% crop
The general rule is if you always need a TC then you need more reach

I’ve heard rumors that the lens was soft on big crops
 
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If I want to crop a 24MP image to get an apparent 800mm or 1000mm FOV using the 200-400/4, how soft would the resulting image be? I’ve read distant 400mm shots can sometimes be quite soft with this lens.
If memory serves me right, cropping a 400mm image to an 800mm FoV would result in 6MP. Cropping to 1000mm would result in 3.8MP

If you really need that much reach, have you considered looking at m43? You can pick up an E-M1 II, 300mm f/4 (600mm FoV), and 1.4x TC used for less than the cost of a Nikon telephoto prime. You'd get out to 600mm with the bare lens (840mm with the TC), and have something MUCH smaller and lighter. That combo is very popular amongst wildlife photographers. Here's the image thread from the m43 sister site for the 300mm f/4 lens, so that you can get an idea of what the lens is capable of.

The only reason I ask is because you're all over the place in terms ofwhat you're asking, which makes me think you don't really know what you need. You had originally asked about 500/600mm primes, then said you were thinking about a 200-400, and are now saying you want to crop that to an 800mm FoV. Cropping the 200-400 will result in disappointment, I'll tell you that straight up. If you need reach, you need to either spend the money on a telephoto prime, or look at a crop-sensor system to take advantage of the additional reach they provide.
 
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If memory serves me right, cropping a 400mm image to an 800mm FoV would result in 6MP. Cropping to 1000mm would result in 3.8MP

If you really need that much reach, have you considered looking at m43? You can pick up an E-M1 II, 300mm f/4 (600mm FoV), and 1.4x TC used for less than the cost of a Nikon telephoto prime. You'd get out to 600mm with the bare lens (840mm with the TC), and have something MUCH smaller and lighter. That combo is very popular amongst wildlife photographers. Here's the image thread from the m43 sister site for the 300mm f/4 lens, so that you can get an idea of what the lens is capable of.

The only reason I ask is because you're all over the place in terms ofwhat you're asking, which makes me think you don't really know what you need. You had originally asked about 500/600mm primes, then said you were thinking about a 200-400, and are now saying you want to crop that to an 800mm FoV. Cropping the 200-400 will result in disappointment, I'll tell you that straight up. If you need reach, you need to either spend the money on a telephoto prime, or look at a crop-sensor system to take advantage of the additional reach they provide.
I used M43 for two years and, while I did appreciate the size/weight advantage, I was always disappointed with its low-light performance and noise. Since much of the wildlife I like to shoot is active at dusk, dawn, or night, my results were often subpar. To help anyone who wants to assist me with my decision, most of the wildlife photography I do is herping (reptiles and amphibians), so I can usually get fairly close, even with a 50mm. However, doing so undoubtedly causes the animal stress, and could potentially put me at risk, so I want something less invasive.
 
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I used M43 for two years and, while I did appreciate the size/weight advantage, I was always disappointed with its low-light performance and noise. Since much of the wildlife I like to shoot is active at dusk, dawn, or night, my results were often subpar. To help anyone who wants to assist me with my decision, most of the wildlife photography I do is herping (reptiles and amphibians), so I can usually get fairly close, even with a 50mm. However, doing so undoubtedly causes the animal stress, and could potentially put me at risk, so I want something less invasive.
Fair enough, and yes the low light photography is a downside of using a smaller sensor with a high pixel density. The Z6 will be a massive improvement in that regard.

Getting back to the lenses, if you don't plan on cropping much then the 200-400 is a good option. However, if you know you're going to need more than 400mm of reach, then you're best off picking up one of the super telephoto prime lenses.
 
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Fair enough, and yes the low light photography is a downside of using a smaller sensor with a high pixel density. The Z6 will be a massive improvement in that regard.

Getting back to the lenses, if you don't plan on cropping much then the 200-400 is a good option. However, if you know you're going to need more than 400mm of reach, then you're best off picking up one of the super telephoto prime lenses.
there really is no substitute for focal length. Otherwise, we’d only need one lens for everything.
If I want to crop a 24MP image to get an apparent 800mm or 1000mm FOV using the 200-400/4, how soft would the resulting image be? I’ve read distant 400mm shots can sometimes be quite soft with this lens.
There’s no replacement for displacement (so goes the car analogy). There simply is no way to get the sort of crops you’re talking about without losing image quality and exaggerating noise. More length means less cropping which is obviously the ideal.
 
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After all these responses, I think I’ll start saving for both a 200-400/4 and either a 600/4 or an 800/5.6. Since most of my wildlife subjects are reasonably cooperative, and the lens is usually much cheaper, I’ll likely get the 200-400 first.
 
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Got one last friday.
Mint condition(just a small mark on the barrel),with everything(that came originall)included and 6 months warranty for 1700.
Took a few shots to test it out and I’m impressed,even at medium to long distance seems quite sharp.

837A549F-13E2-4102-AA5C-A0B2C07598D8.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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Got one last friday.
Mint condition(just a small mark on the barrel),with everything(that came originall)included and 6 months warranty for 1700.
Took a few shots to test it out and I’m impressed,even at medium to long distance seems quite sharp.

View attachment 1646817
Thanks for the photo.

For some reason, I usually imagine adapted lenses appearing slightly larger on non-native cameras, but this time I seem to have visualized the pair correctly before seeing it.

How is balance with the combo? I’d imagine it would be at least slightly front-heavy handheld, and that could impact zooming somewhat.
 
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Thanks for the photo.

For some reason, I usually imagine adapted lenses appearing slightly larger on non-native cameras, but this time I seem to have visualized the pair correctly before seeing it.

How is balance with the combo? I’d imagine it would be at least slightly front-heavy handheld, and that could impact zooming somewhat.
Here is an online tool that shows how lens/body combinations will look:

https://camerasize.com/compact/#795.476.4,ha,t
 
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Thanks for the photo.

For some reason, I usually imagine adapted lenses appearing slightly larger on non-native cameras, but this time I seem to have visualized the pair correctly before seeing it.

How is balance with the combo? I’d imagine it would be at least slightly front-heavy handheld, and that could impact zooming somewhat.
yes it’s a little front heavy.
Actually,is heavy,period 😀
But if you put your supporting hand on the tripod mount,after a while,zooming becomes somewhat easy.
Even though the D5 is ergonomically perfect(imo),i actually prefer using the 200-400 on the Z6(less weight and focus accuracy).
 
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