Last lens for a while.

Rob

Joined
Jul 28, 2005
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873
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Truro, Cornwall, UK
Some advice please from your collective knowledge.

I have a D70s, I use a 105 VR macro, the 18-70 and also the 70-200 VR with a 1.4TC fitted. The 70-200 spends it's life at 200mm and I read in another thread that this is an indication that more zoom is needed. :smile: Sounds obvious really.

I really enjoy photographing wildlife, especially birds, although the species range available here is nowhere near as mixed as the US.

Get to the point!:mad: I need a more powerful lens, I can't afford, or more to the point I can't justify the mega bucks that a Nikkor lens would cost; we get smacked fairly hard over here for tax etc. So what alternatives are there for somebody who can create camera shake when asleep, but wants to improve the 'closeness'/clarity of his images?

Thanks in anticipation. :wink:
 
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Jan 2, 2007
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Nottingham, UK
Sigma 120-300mm + 1.4TC? Sigma 500mm f/4.5? Both are very good lenses that can be had at a reasonable cost (compared to Nikon equivalents). The Nikon 500mm goes for £2K while the Sigma is £1K and very much compariable (second hand that is). There is no Nikon equivlent for the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 so it's a unique lens, and also very sharp even at 300mm.
 
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May 13, 2007
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990
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Cleveland, OH
Have you considered the 80-400 VR? Seems like it would fit the focal range you're seeking out. The 200-400 VR seems to be out of your price range.
 
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Jan 26, 2005
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San Jose, CA
So what alternatives are there for somebody who can create camera shake when asleep, but wants to improve the 'closeness'/clarity of his images?
I'm in the same boat. I enjoy shooting birds, though I'm far from a dedicated birder, but there's no way I could justify buying one of the big lenses to myself, much less to my CFO. The following work for me.

Become a stalker. Study the species you're interested in, and learn their behaviors and food sources. Typically, if you plant yourself near a rich food source, birds will tolerate your presence, provided you don't wear bright clothes or make sudden moves. My favorite birds are hummingbirds and egrets, both of which will fly if you get too close. But if you set up your gear near to a feeder, 200mm is more than enough to take hummer pics...

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... and if you find an egret's favorite fishing hole, he'll let you get close enough to count his pinfeathers.

View attachment 100151

Find a rookery. Since there will be a constant stream of birds flying in and out with building materials and food, you'll be able to capture bird-in-flight pictures that would be impossible anywhere else. I have a rookery about an hour's drive away, and it's well worth the time to go there when I feel the need for bird pics.

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The 70-200 spends it's life at 200mm and I read in another thread that this is an indication that more zoom is needed.
Nah, it just means you haven't gotten close enough :wink:.
 
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Oregon
Since you've got a tc1.4, think about a used 300 AFS. such a combination makes for a great combination.
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Denver, CO
Tough one....

It depends on your shooting style. Either the 300/4 with your 1.4tc or the 80-400vr.
 

Rob

Joined
Jul 28, 2005
Messages
873
Location
Truro, Cornwall, UK
Thanks for the replies so far, very interesting and it gives me a supply of ideas to feed the boss. "Dwahling, have I ever told you..........":biggrin:

Frank, I understand about the creeping and crawling bit, as a former Commando I was used to it, but with two new knees and six bolts in my back I'm kind of restricted in my movements and speed. :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin: Sorry I should have put that amongst the info prior to posting. :wink:

My mum won't let me play in the mud any more.

Jordan, this is Toots. She's a Parson Jack Russell, with a broken coat. Jack Russell developed this longer legged dog to run with Fox Hounds. She has 'Cute' burned on her retina. :biggrin: Here's a link to the description.

http://ds.dial.pipex.com/town/square/gm72/parson.htm

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Rob

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Messages
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Truro, Cornwall, UK
The 80-400 looks good to me. I've a friend visiting the US in Sept so maybe, just maybe it can slide back into the country and be put away until Christmas. :biggrin:

Thanks for the advice and help.
 
How about a tripod plus a cheap 400/5.6?

Both the commonly found third party 400/5.6s are actually pretty good stopped down (the later version of the Tokina and the later version of the Sigma) and can be found on the cheap (I paid ~$225 for the Sigma, and ~$125 for the Tokina, then sold the Sigma for more than I paid total for both). Another option is the really slow Sigma 500/7.2, which I haven't shot but heard was actually pretty good.

VR is great for fighting camera shake, but even VR II can't compete with that trusty old tool, the tripod =)

Shooting slower lenses means you'll be limited a bit by needing goodish light, but ~3/4 of the bird pics I see online are shot in good light anyway, so . . .

Just thought I'd chime in with a cheap option, to go with the other things you're considering. I love my 300/4 (like just about everyone else that has one) but usually carry my cheap Tokina 400/5.6 instead (for size/weight reasons--the Tokina has much less of both).

Greg
 

Rob

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Jul 28, 2005
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Truro, Cornwall, UK
Thanks Greg, I am leaning towards something cheaper although the 80-400 fits the bill.
At my level of expertise the cheaper lenses would make sense. I have a good Manfrotto tripod and monopod. The argument that is usually pursued is that you buy Tokina or Sigma then eventually graduate 'Up' to Nikon, so save the money long term and go straight to Nikon. All I have to do is use my silver tongued excuses on her; but will she listen? :biggrin:
 
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A van, down by the river (in the SW Chicago 'burbs
The argument that is usually pursued is that you buy Tokina or Sigma then eventually graduate 'Up' to Nikon, so save the money long term and go straight to Nikon. All I have to do is use my silver tongued excuses on her; but will she listen? :biggrin:
As an excuse to She-Who-Rules I don't mind this argument at all--otherwise I cringed whenever UF or someone else pontificated to noobs using this logic over at dpr. In my experience you can play with the $200 option and usually get your original $200 back out when you want to upgrade without much problem, and I'd rather somebody get out and shoot with the lesser option while they're saving/justifying-to-she-who-rules for the better option.

FWIW, I already had (and still have) Nikkor glass going to lengths way beyond the 300/4 I mentioned earlier when I sought out a cheap/light 400, so I went the opposite direction to what your prevailing wisdom stated ;)

Greg
 
R

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The 80-400 looks good to me. I've a friend visiting the US in Sept so maybe, just maybe it can slide back into the country and be put away until Christmas. :biggrin:

Thanks for the advice and help.

Christmas is long time away from now.

That will test your resolve Rob. :biggrin:
 
Joined
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Denver, CO
Depends on the animal. Some animals don't liked to be stalked. A wrong move could get you a hoof to the head.

The family went to Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend and the 80-400vr came in handy. I saw a lot of tourists putting themselves in danger by getting to close to a moose with calf. Started going through the shots last night. Here is a quick PP of an elk. Didn't make it to the momma moose images yet.

I was happy with the 80-400 results, and I was able to keep a safe distance.

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Rob

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Truro, Cornwall, UK
Thanks Charles. All my images from Yellowstone are damaged on negatives. That took me back many years. Fishing while Bison roamed past me.:smile:
 
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
17
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New England
I have the same problem. Any lens I buy has to fit in my carry-on camera bag when I head to shoot those Florida birdies. I am considering the 80-400vr but I'm afraid Nikon will just come out with an AF s version the minute I buy it. The 300 afs is just not quite enough lens for me. The Tamron 200-400 I have doesn't like TCs. I'm lusting for a non-existant 400 f4 VR afS that won't break the bank. :biggrin:
 
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Not really sure . . Maybe I'm lost . . ! !
Thanks for the replies so far, very interesting and it gives me a supply of ideas to feed the boss. "Dwahling, have I ever told you..........":biggrin:

Frank, I understand about the creeping and crawling bit, as a former Commando I was used to it, but with two new knees and six bolts in my back I'm kind of restricted in my movements and speed. :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin: Sorry I should have put that amongst the info prior to posting. :wink:

My mum won't let me play in the mud any more.

Jordan, this is Toots. She's a Parson Jack Russell, with a broken coat. Jack Russell developed this longer legged dog to run with Fox Hounds. She has 'Cute' burned on her retina. :biggrin: Here's a link to the description.

http://ds.dial.pipex.com/town/square/gm72/parson.htm

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Nice pics...Looks abit like Rick Stein's "Chalky"
Here's mine taken with 80-400vr..
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