Long Lens & D2X technique learnings (very long!)

Joined
Nov 18, 2005
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Portugal
It appears that this week a couple of things i ordered are about arrive…..the Manfrotto 393 head, the Nikon 1.4 TC II and the Lens Trekker 600 AW…:biggrin:

I’m “gearing” up for the winter surf shooting and I’m considering a new camera body….since I have a D70, the obvious initial choice would be a D200 but I can get a used D2H even cheaper and I don’t really need 10MP, I prefer faster focus and fps instead…... Since I’ve noticed that some of you still use this camera for your nature work, could someone give some feeback on its use with the 500 F4 and if possible post a good shot, full-size taken with it…
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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15,253
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Marysville, WA
Sounds like fun, Sandro. To address your question re: D2H vs. D200 for you at this time, I think they are both superb. I used a D2H the last couple of years and have just gotten a D200. Here are the things that made the difference for me.

1. I shoot a lot under poor stadium lighting, and really good ISO 1600 will help me a lot. The D200 appears to be much better at this than the D2H.
2. 5fps vs. 8fps. I tested this on the D2H for several weeks prior to the D200 being available to see just how much difference it made for me and the answer was not much. 5fps is "pretty darned fast", 8fps "pretty darned fast plus a bit more" :smile: , this is a tough one to test if you don't have the ability to do both for a bit, but for me it became no big deal.
3. 10mp vs 4mp. My sports shooting is usually close enough that a player fills most of the frame anyway, so for this the 4mp was quite sufficient, not an issue. But I also like to shoot birds and wildlife and I often find that my subject is less than 50% of my frame. Doing crops of this much, and more, on the D2H becomes a bit problematic as so much is going away, but the D200 at 50% is still a 5mp image. For me this was a big deal.
4. AF speed and aquisition. I am finding that the D200 is really darned close to the D2H in AF. Subjectively I think the D2H may do a better job in lower light, but to be fair I certainly have not done any extensive testing yet.

In your case, if you can fill most of the frame with the subject you want to capture, the D2H is more than adequate, and given that you will, by definition, be generally shooting in good light the higher ISO performance will not be an issue at all.

As to "good shots", I'll post a couple of links for you. The first is from a game at QWest field last year, late afternoon, Christmas eve, shot off a Monopod:
Seahawks Jerry Rice

The second is a daylight shot:
Everett Osprey

These are the Sigma version of the 500mm f4.5, the second is with the TC-14E attached.

In either case I doubt you will be disappointed.

Sandro Bravo said:
It appears that this week a couple of things i ordered are about arrive…..the Manfrotto 393 head, the Nikon 1.4 TC II and the Lens Trekker 600 AW…:biggrin:

I’m “gearing” up for the winter surf shooting and I’m considering a new camera body….since I have a D70, the obvious initial choice would be a D200 but I can get a used D2H even cheaper and I don’t really need 10MP, I prefer faster focus and fps instead…... Since I’ve noticed that some of you still use this camera for your nature work, could someone give some feeback on its use with the 500 F4 and if possible post a good shot, full-size taken with it…
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2005
Messages
1,868
Location
Portugal
Thanks Bill. I guess i'll have to think very well until making a decision.....but i'm feeling inclined for the D2H, i have to confess...

Anyway.....i finally got the Manfrotto 393 gimbal head and the TC 1.4 and i mounted the lense immediately on it just to see "how it feels".......all i can say is "wooow"....:smile: ......never such a heavy lense seemed so light to me, almost like it "floats"...i moved it around without effort holding only the camera body....it should be great to track birds in flight and doing some slow-shutter surf photos...something i don't even imagine myself trying with the previous tripod head...

I even took some shots with and without TC, ISO 1600 (indoors), between 1/30s and 1/80s that were reasonably sharp....can't wait to test it in some real shots...
 
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