1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Need comments on Nikon 600 af f/4 tele vs.

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by jbm007, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. jbm007


    Sep 5, 2005
    I am suffering from a severe case of lens lust. I can pick up a used Nikon 600 AF ED-IF F/4 tele for $ 2900.00 US

    Or a new Sigma 300-800 F/5.6 zoom tele for $ 3,000.00

    Whats a guy to do? I am looking for the extra reach for birding. I currently have a Nikon afs 200-400vr and a Nikon 500mm F/4 AFS II; but I want more ........ More reach. Somebody please help me! Is $ 3000 for a used 600 thats probably 10 years old but in mint condition to much to pay?

    Any recommendations would be welcomed.
  2. jbm, do you have a specific type of birds you are interested in? small/large??

    if you have a gallery post the link so we can check out your work and make some recommendations...

    If I were you I would go with the Sigma 300-800 ;) 
  3. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    After reviewing all of the equipment that you mention in your signature, I have only one thing possible to say, please adopt me!!!!!
  4. jbm007


    Sep 5, 2005
    Canada geese

    Next year we will be in Quebec Canada and there is very large qeese sancuary out there. Problem is the birds sometimes are a 1/4 mile away and access is limited.

    I was in North Carolina last month and tried to take pictures of blue herons. getting within 400 feet usually sent them off. I can use the 500 with a tele 1.4 ; but then I have to be careful on exposures because many of my pictures are late afternoon.

    Here is an example.

  5. jbm007


    Sep 5, 2005
    I noticed the pictures from air showi your response. I was down there for the show. I shot with the 70-200vr . I think I got whip lash and a sore back taking pictures of the Airforce Group. Fortunately I was there on Friday when they were practicing. I was set to go down on Sunday ;but they canceled their program.
  6. My opinion for you is to get the Sigma so you know that you will have reach plus it is newer than the Nikon one and you don't have to worry about the TC unless you want to go way outtttttt to the birds with the Sigma. :smile:

    Hope this helps.
  7. I'd go for the 600/4. I've seen mixed results from the 300-800. I bet you get a better photo with more contrast shooting with the 600/4 + TC14.
  8. Hi JBM007,

    Please excuse me to be out of the subject. But you mention a large geese sanctuary in Quebec and I'm curious where it is.
  9. A couple of years ago I rented both the 500 afs as well as the 600 afs, and I found that the 500 afs is certainly far more maneuverable and manageable. In speaking further with RR one of the comments was that you don't plan on hiking far with the lenses larger and heavier than the 500 :wink: . I, personally, found this to be quite true and I also found that it was more difficult to acquire the image initially with the 600 then with the 500, and it ain't easy on a small moving object with any of these.

    You might drop Andresb a PM regarding the Sigma. He had issues with, I think, the 800 after he got his D2X.

    Good luck, and you should really send me that 200 f2, as it looks like you have that range so well covered you wouldn't miss it for a year or two, or three or four.....:wink:
  10. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I have the same lust problem. I haven't seen many shots with the 300-800, but Yves posted some really killer 600 f4 shots a few weeks ago. You might want to dig them up.

    Personally, I'd go for the 600.
  11. I think I need a 500 or 600 too...400 doesn't cut it for birding :(  I say go for it!

  12. SteveK


    Mar 16, 2005
    JBM, I have the 200-400, 500, and 600. The lens I use the most of all is the 600 (mine's the newest version). I avoided buying the 600 at first, as it is so large it is difficult to carry, and it is quite heavy. I had to upgrade my tripod head to be able to accomodate it, and it did take me some time to learn to use the lens (and considering that I often used the 500 with a TC-14, I didn't expect any real learning curve). Now, I couldn't live without it. I'd recommend the 600! And yes, I also use the TC on the 600, and yes, I can now find and follow large flying birds (small ones are more difficult with such magnification, but I do frequently work on song birds as well)
  13. general


    Apr 30, 2005
  14. Sue is a very good photographer but most of her images to not appear to be critically sharp in my opinion. I would be interested to see 100% crops. I very much doubt they would equal a 600/4.
  15. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    I very much agree. This is not to take away from her excellent photo's, but compared to this shot from Yves (hope you don't mind B-J :wink:) , just not as sharp:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  16. Hi what you have to remember is that all sues images are taken in the wild and not captive, it's quite easy to take highly detailed shots off captive birds, it is a lot different as you know when you try it in the wild.

    For me I would have the 300-800 as it is better optically than 600 with a 1.4 attached and also it is lighter.


    kestrel-d2x sigma 800mm HSM

    dipper-d2x sigma 800mm HSM 1/50 @ f7.1 iso200
  17. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I hear what you are saying, but I still maintain that the images posted by Yves with the 600 are sharper, wild or in captivity. OTOH, I've never seen any images any better than those that you have posted (including these) at the 800mm focal length. Based on your posts, there is no question in my mind that the 800mm Sigma is capable of very sharp images. I've just not seen the same performance from the 300-800mm.
  18. 300-800

    get ...you will not regret it...
    I have it and absolutely love it...
    very sharp lens.. but make sure you have a
    good tripod and head...
    as far as weight...it's all relevant to what
    one gets used to...
    I have hiked for over 5 miles with it on the
    wimberly head, gitzo 1340 and the d2x...
    I use AC pipe foam insulation wrapped around
    the legs and rest them on my shoulder..
    so as far as portability.. it can be done...
    best wishes,
  19. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Me too, best $5 I ever spent on photography accessories, surprised I don't see more people doing it.
  20. I do this as well and agree with Jeff and Michael. Easy on the shoulders and easy on the hands in extreme cold.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.