Long lens question..

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My next lens will be of the long and expensive type. Lots of options in this area which seems to boil down to 2 lenses. Either the 300/2.8 or the 200-400. I already have the 1.4TC that I use with a 300/4. How does a 300 + 1.4 compare to the 200-400 with both wide open?

I'm not a bird shooter unless its in my backyard. It would probably be used for the occasional animal, moon, and landscape shots. Maybe kids sports as Amanda gets older. These things are expensive enough that I can't just buy them all and find the one I like. Just not sure which will fit me better.

The 400/2.8 would be great but money and size says no.
 
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I think Mike Mac would say 300 2.8
Flew (and a few others) would say 400 2.8 (birds)

Look what Mike shoots with the 300 2.8
He is the best. Sports. Birds, everythig he shoots

The 500 f4 is a contender (birds)(wildlife) longggggggg Harry B shoots that one (well so do alot of folks)
Just trying not to leave put some of the best folks.

Andreas, Louie Chapman, Jim Fenton, my list goes on
They are some of the best to talk to

Rory is another, Jim thiel... OMG don't leave out Dewy...lolol

You have some really greats here on this forum that can really help you alot.

Me, I am stuck with the 80-400 VR..good.. But sure not the best. Takes alot of work on my part. I lose alot. But I have some great stuff to.

Might consider getting your feet wet with a used (good) 300 f4
Fantastic lens. Good with the TC's
Get it used and you won't lose any money.. Resale will be what you bought it for.

Another thought. A zoom does have advantages. 200-400VR Excellent lens and tc's work with it.
I think Mike Mac is selling his

If I could have what I want for long it would be a 500 f4. But would need a back-up camera and a zoom lens vr.
Sometimes in action you just can't zoom backwards foot style fast or safe enough...lolol
 
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If you are looking for a lens in the 300-400mm range, what's wrong with what you already have?
Its not fast enough for evening work and I would like VR for those times when I don't have time to setup a tripod.

300/4 + 1.4tc = f5.6 wide open
Doesn't lock focus quickly in low light.
Should be stopped down to improve contrast. Now its an f8 lens.
Its a good performer if the light is good. I use this setup often.
 
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Its not fast enough for evening work
If you need speed, go for the 300/2.8 VR.

and I would like VR for those times when I don't have time to setup a tripod.
If you are not using a tripod, again, go for the 300/2.8 VR - it's much more handholdable than the 200-400VR (2850g vs 3275g, 268 vs 358mm long)
 
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Still want to hear how the 300 + 1.4TC compares to the 200-400 when thier both wide open. My gut tells me that the 300 + TC may need to be stopped down a little to be equal. I think I can handle a 200-400 handheld.
 
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Hi Charles,I was just conversing with some other members and this came up.A Sigma 120-300 2.8 Ex APO DG If HSM & all this for the grand total of 2,999.00.I've seen some photos and was very impressed.Jump over to Lens lust and look for sigma 120-300.Some very interesting posts.Hope this helps.
arnie
 
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Hi Charles,I was just conversing with some other members and this came up.A Sigma 120-300 2.8 Ex APO DG If HSM & all this for the grand total of 2,999.00.I've seen some photos and was very impressed.Jump over to Lens lust and look for sigma 120-300.Some very interesting posts.Hope this helps.
arnie
I have heard good things about the Sigma 120-300 but it doesn't have VR or OS, in Sigma terms.
 
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I was very interested in reading this thread since I am on the verge of buying a 400/2.8. I own the 300/2.8 (Version II - not VR) and I can categorically state that the 300 at 2.8 is VERY sharp. This is a dream lens by any measure.

That said, I shoot a lot of sideline sports and a fair amount of critters as well. I was trying to decide between the 400/2.8, the 500/4 and 600/4. I was also considering the 200-400. Here is how I arrived at my conclusion to buy the 400.

The other 3 lenses in consideration are all f4. Once you get used to shooting with a long 2.8 lens that is great even wide open, the thought of giving up the brightness left me cold. Combine that with the fact that the 500 and 600 were actually too long for sports, I decided that the best overall compromise for me was to get the 400/2.8 and slap on my 1.4TC which would bring me in between the 500 and 600, while still at roughly f4.

And - for the sports shots, the 400/2.8 is almost legendary.

How does this relate to your original question? I am ditto'ing the sentiment that you should go with the 300/2.8 because of the 2.8 aperture.

Just one added thought- Friday I shot a late afternoon lacrosse game with my 300/2.8 (with and without the 1.4). A guy next to me had the 200-400 and I gave it a try. Late afternoon, cloudy day. Man - the view through his viewfinder was a LOT less bright than through my 2.8. That time of day (about 5:30 pm) and the cloud cover made me really appreciate the faster glass. And - when he mounted his 1.4 on his zoom - man it was like someone turned out the lights. His ISO crept into where one does not want to be with a D2X. I was shooting at ISO 320 by games end; he was around ISO 1600.

I'll take the fast glass thank you.

By the way - if you can hold out until August or so, I will be selling my 300/2.8. It is in very good condition. Some minor cosmetic scuffs on the hood, etc, but the glass is pristine on both ends. Not even I can justify owning a 300 and a 400 lens.
 
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Thanks for the detailed post Rick.

Since I have used my 300/4 and 1.4TC in cloudy situations I do know what you are saying about the dark viewfinder. I do have a Katz eye focusing screen, so its a bit brighter than the factory one.
 
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Charles, i would agree with the others in that the 300 2.8 is the clear winner here. While I love the idea of the 200-400 it is an f4. The 300 2.8 will focus faster and be better in low light. From what you have stated for reasons to upgrade it only makes sense to go with the 2.8. As far as sharpness with the tc compared to the 200-400 I am not 100% sure. I can tell you that it is(300 2.8) one of if not the sharpest nikkor in the telephoto range(from word of mouth). I would not hesitate to use the 300 2.8 with a tc at all...whether it is as sharp as the 200-400 with the tc i find a moot point(as both will yield exceptional results).
 
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I went a completely different route for now, and purchased a 80-400vr. I'm sure that I would not want to carry the 300 or 200-400 in my everyday kit. A 400mm on my camera will take a much better picture than one that is on the shelf at home.
 
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Its not fast enough for evening work
Doesn't lock focus quickly in low light.
Its a good performer if the light is good. I use this setup often.
The 80-400 is a very sharp lens but the above complaints you have about the 300F4 I would also give to the 80-400.
 
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It is good in lower light if you have a sb800
And possibly a better beamer
Depends on what you are shooting
D2 type camera drives it better as well

I shoot everything with it. lol
 
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The 80-400 is a very sharp lens but the above complaints you have about the 300F4 I would also give to the 80-400.
Played with it a bit in low light and it locks focus better than the 300/4 +1.4TC. That doesn't surprise me though. It seems that AFS lenses don't lock as quickly as my AF lenses on my D2x. Its always been like that. My 180/2.8 locks focus so much faster than my 70-200 in low light. Same with my 28-70/2.8. I hope they bring out a new line of AFS primes so that everyone else dumps their old AF lenses cheaply. :Devil:
 

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