How long is long enough?

Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Hanging around with you guys can be dangerous. I've been looking at your wonderful pictures of small birds, and getting the itch to try my hand. Problem is, my longest lens is the 80-200AFD hung on a 1.4x teleconverter, and I find myself having to make deep crops, with a resultant loss of quality :-(. Here's my best of the day.

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

View attachment 4766
View attachment 4767
View attachment 4768

Think I'm going to have to hit the lottery, or wait till the Snowy Egrets come back to town.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
Hey, UF, I think this is becoming the Question of the Year :wink: . Strangely, I have run into a couple of situations lately where my 500 is too long and my 80-200 is too short, go figure, no rest for the wicked. My solution will be the 120-300 f2.8 HSM from Sigma. I know, it ain't a Nikon, but for my needs I think it will serve me well. If I could my collection would be:

1. 70-200 f2.8 AFS VR
2. 120-300 f2.8 HSM Sigma
3. 200-400 f4 AFS VR
4. 500mm f4 AFS-II
5. 600mm f4 AFS-II
6. 800mm f5.6 HSM Sigma

Anybody have $20,000 I can use? I'll pay it back, I promise, eventually ... :wink: . With all of that and a couple of Sherpas, the question becomes moot. Hmmm, then I would need a body for each one so I wouldn't have to do lens changes.....

To specifically answer your question, "it depends", I don't think there really is one. I can't find it now, but have you seen the picture of the guy shoting Airplanes with a bank of bodies layed out on a single tripod? I think he had one of every Nikon long lens on that puppy.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
731
Location
Montreal area, Canada
Retief said:
Hey, UF, I think this is becoming the Question of the Year :wink: . Strangely, I have run into a couple of situations lately where my 500 is too long and my 80-200 is too short, go figure, no rest for the wicked. My solution will be the 120-300 f2.8 HSM from Sigma. I know, it ain't a Nikon, but for my needs I think it will serve me well. If I could my collection would be:

1. 70-200 f2.8 AFS VR
2. 120-300 f2.8 HSM Sigma
3. 200-400 f4 AFS VR
4. 500mm f4 AFS-II
5. 600mm f4 AFS-II
6. 800mm f5.6 HSM Sigma

Anybody have $20,000 I can use? I'll pay it back, I promise, eventually ... :wink: . With all of that and a couple of Sherpas, the question becomes moot. Hmmm, then I would need a body for each one so I wouldn't have to do lens changes.....

To specifically answer your question, "it depends", I don't think there really is one. I can't find it now, but have you seen the picture of the guy shoting Airplanes with a bank of bodies layed out on a single tripod? I think he had one of every Nikon long lens on that puppy.

Honnestly Bill, dump the Sigma 800mm and add a TC 1.4 on the Nikon 600mm, it will be as bright, sharper and better for focus.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
33,092
Location
St. George, Utah
UncleFrank said:
Hanging around with you guys can be dangerous. I've been looking at your wonderful pictures of small birds, and getting the itch to try my hand. Problem is, my longest lens is the 80-200AFD hung on a 1.4x teleconverter, and I find myself having to make deep crops, with a resultant loss of quality :-(. Here's my best of the day.


Frank, I think you have done quite well. We would all like the perfect glass for the shot we are taking but most of us can neither afford or carry that many cameras and the glass to go with them. If I could shoot hummers like you I would give up on the other birds.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
Boobie Joe said:
[SNIP
Honnestly Bill, dump the Sigma 800mm and add a TC 1.4 on the Nikon 600mm, it will be as bright, sharper and better for focus.
You are quite correct, Yves, what a surprise, but that 800mm just looks like such a monster :) . Too be honest with you, I have tried the 600mm as well and I find that son-of-a-gun a real beast to handle. Not sure I'd do any better with that either. For the time being I'm 500 + 1.4 and soon-to-be-1.7 happy :wink: .

This is such a dilemma for us all, isn't it?

By the way, I do agree with you on the sharpness issue as well. While I really like my Sigma 500, especially for the cost, I still think, very subjectively, that the Nikon 500 is still a bit better. My own subjective and meaningless observation is that the Sigma is 90% or a bit better, of the Nikon.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
731
Location
Montreal area, Canada
Retief said:
Boobie Joe said:
[SNIP
Honnestly Bill, dump the Sigma 800mm and add a TC 1.4 on the Nikon 600mm, it will be as bright, sharper and better for focus.
You are quite correct, Yves, what a surprise, but that 800mm just looks like such a monster :) . Too be honest with you, I have tried the 600mm as well and I find that son-of-a-gun a real beast to handle. Not sure I'd do any better with that either. For the time being I'm 500 + 1.4 and soon-to-be-1.7 happy :wink: .

This is such a dilemma for us all, isn't it?

By the way, I do agree with you on the sharpness issue as well. While I really like my Sigma 500, especially for the cost, I still think, very subjectively, that the Nikon 500 is still a bit better. My own subjective and meaningless observation is that the Sigma is 90% or a bit better, of the Nikon.


For the 500mm it is quite good, the 800mm on the other hand is not even close to the 500mm quality in terms of sharpness. I have had those 2 for months last year as a trial from Sigma. I supplied them with 500 shots but was still asked to return the lenses. I wanted to keep the 500mm more than the 800mm.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Thanks for the responses and suggestions!

After reading them, I'm convinced that specializing in small birds in the wild is a road that leads to two destinations...
bankruptcy or insanity. My two part solution will be to...

1. Take pictures of medium/large birds in the wild, and ignore the little ones.

2. Put up a wild bird feeder in my backyard, and shoot the small birds from close range, like I do with my hummingbirds.



Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
Boobie Joe said:
SNIP

For the 500mm it is quite good, the 800mm on the other hand is not even close to the 500mm quality in terms of sharpness. I have had those 2 for months last year as a trial from Sigma. I supplied them with 500 shots but was still asked to return the lenses. I wanted to keep the 500mm more than the 800mm.
Very interesting, thanks for the info. I have not had a chance to see any images from the 800mm, so I really was just "talking from my hat" on that one. Sigma does make a interesting set of long glass though, with the 300-800 and the 800. Hate to think what the price-tag would be for those from Nikon :lol: .
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
Re: Thanks for the responses and suggestions!

UncleFrank said:
After reading them, I'm convinced that specializing in small birds in the wild is a road that leads to two destinations...
bankruptcy or insanity. My two part solution will be to...

1. Take pictures of medium/large birds in the wild, and ignore the little ones.

2. Put up a wild bird feeder in my backyard, and shoot the small birds from close range, like I do with my hummingbirds.
You, my friend, are in a complet no-win situation so just give in and realize that no matter which way to go you will annoy yourself, one way or the other :lol: . I think that the real key to a lot of this is "placement", having the ability to get closer to the subject. This is one area where I have to get much better.

Thanks for the thread, it has been informative.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Re: Thanks for the responses and suggestions!

[quote="Retief]I think that the real key to a lot of this is "placement", having the ability to get closer to the subject. [/quote]

I agree. Better light helps, too. I gave it a try this morning...

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
1,196
Location
Brooklyn, NY USA
Hey UF, may I recommend the 80-400VR. It does great with little birds. Seriously! And used ones can be found for under $1000.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
Location
Alabama
Beautiful janet!!

We have got so many *great* photog's on the nikoncafe that I can't believe it. :D

This is just wonderful. Great shot Janet. :!: :!: I'm seriously considering this lens.

jczinn said:
Hey UF, may I recommend the 80-400VR. It does great with little birds. Seriously! And used ones can be found for under $1000.

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

Frank
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Tepmtress: An alluring, bewitching woman
Examples:
Eve offering Adam a bite of her apple.
The Sirens tempting Ulysses to crash his ship on their rocky shore.
Janet showing small bird shots from her 80-400.



Janet, that's an awesome shot, but I'll bet you could produce eyecandy with the bottom of a coke bottle :).

Seriously, how would you rate the 80-400 versus the 300 f/4 AF-S with a 1.4x teleconverter? [/i]
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
33,092
Location
St. George, Utah
jczinn said:
Hey UF, may I recommend the 80-400VR. It does great with little birds. Seriously! And used ones can be found for under $1000.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Absolutely beautiful shot Janet. You certainly know how to make a guy feel inadequate. I have got to get with the flash program on small birds.

Gordon
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Doug Barber said:
Janet... you just blow me away.... That's it "I quit"....
You ain't seen nothing yet, Doug. She just pulled out that finch shot so I could compare it to my finch shot.
Wait till she starts posting her good stuff. It's enough to make me take up a different hobby :-/.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
1,661
Location
Central and Northern Canada
UncleFrank said:
Doug Barber said:
Janet... you just blow me away.... That's it "I quit"....
You ain't seen nothing yet, Doug. She just pulled out that finch shot so I could compare it to my finch shot.
Wait till she starts posting her good stuff. It's enough to make me take up a different hobby :-/.
I really did not need to hear that frank.... i'm already depressed enough
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
1,196
Location
Brooklyn, NY USA
UncleFrank said:
Tepmtress: An alluring, bewitching woman
Examples:
Eve offering Adam a bite of her apple.
The Sirens tempting Ulysses to crash his ship on their rocky shore.
Janet showing small bird shots from her 80-400.



Janet, that's an awesome shot, but I'll bet you could produce eyecandy with the bottom of a coke bottle :).

Seriously, how would you rate the 80-400 versus the 300 f/4 AF-S with a 1.4x teleconverter? [/i]
Awwww UF, please....your hummers are just as sweet as this shot, so don't sell yourself short. You are the master of the hummers for sure! You know what they say...its not the equipment...(uh, sorry, that was for Boobie...I mean Yves) :twisted:

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...I honestly can't compare in terms of quality because i've never shot with the 300 F/4. That seems to be an excellent lens. But, I can compare in terms of utility. Personally what I love about the 80-400VR is its size and the ability to walk around with it. That's how you get small wild, non-feeder birds...NOT by sitting with a tripod (unless you have a blind, and a lot of patience...neither of which I have) but by stalking them in their habitat. I can't maneuver in the woods with a tripod. The key to getting small birds is to learn how to bird. Learn their habits, learn when they are approachable. Go out with binoculars without a camera (gasp!) and learn about the birds and their behavior first. That's how all the best bird photographers started.

I'd love the 200-400VR (if I could afford it!) but even if I could, I don't see how it would replace my 80-400VR. Its not something I could walk through the woods with or carry hiking. I'd be one ecstatic camper if Nikon would just re-do the 80-400VR with AFS.

Also, at this point I just would not buy any long lens without VR. Period. Maybe I'm just spoiled, but I don't think I could be happy without it.

BTW, the bird in the photo is actually not a finch. Its a Prairie Warbler...same bird, actually, as in my avatar. Here's that shot, in full size:

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom