New camera bodies with FF, DX and long lenses - my choices as a birder

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Hello Allan

For where you and I shot pal...can you honestly convince yourself that the 400 is long enough?

What would you shoot shorebirds with?

The 400 and TC17 doesn't get you the 500 and 1.4 even.
 
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For where you and I shot pal...can you honestly convince yourself that the 400 is long enough?

What would you shoot shorebirds with?

The 400 and TC17 doesn't get you the 500 and 1.4 even.

While I don't know where you shoot shorebirds from, are you saying that:

400 * 1.7 = 680mm
500 * 1.4 = 700mm

Makes a substantial difference? I might not disagree that you need even more, but you will be hard pressed to convince me that 20mm makes a substantial difference.

I just noticed Andreas post as well, where he takes into account the 1.5 crop factor, but the question still stands, where it be a 20 or 30mm difference in "length".
 
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400mm x 1.5 x TC17 = 1020mm
500mm x 1.5 x TC14 = 1050mm/
Yes, but I already get the 1050 and want more. Jim will tell you we need it a lot. Yes, I know focus would be better with the 400 x 1.7 but it can't be by much. I would like to know if I can use the 1.7 with a new 500 vr or whether more people like the 1.4 with a 600.

Leaning towards doing nothing (500 afs1) or wanting a 500 vr.
 
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For where you and I shot pal...can you honestly convince yourself that the 400 is long enough?

What would you shoot shorebirds with?

I don't think that much about the 400 though it would be nice for flight shots. But I have to admit our birds don't fly that close.

400 + tc2 for shorebirds? But then again, shorebirds means a lot of hiking and that 400 is heavy.
 
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Didn't you sell your TC17 because you couldnt get good enough shots with it Jim? Somehow I'm not getting through, I sold my 500 because I didn't get more reach then the 400 with the IQ I wanted.

Joseph as for the 400 and the AF speed, tracking ability and accuracy with TC's there is a HUGE difference between the 400 and the 500, I know I have tested it.

The 500 with a TC17 needs very good Florida light to work well....'

You choose - it's your decision. I and If I may say Bill, David and Frank already have chosen.


For where you and I shot pal...can you honestly convince yourself that the 400 is long enough?

What would you shoot shorebirds with?

The 400 and TC17 doesn't get you the 500 and 1.4 even.
 
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Andreas, I don't think there is any way to agree with you more.

Allan, I was speaking with a friend this morning, she shoots a lot of wildlife and her most used lens is the 600. So, let's do a bit of math again, using the Andreas method with the 1.5 crop:

400*1.5*1.7=1020mm f4.8
400*1.5*2.0=1200mm f5.6
500*1.5*1.7=1530mm f6.73, as Andreas says, you need very good light
600*1.5*1.4=1260mm f5.6

Per my friend, the 600 is decent with the 1.4, not so good with the 1.7, forget the 2.0.

But you also comment on the weight of the 400, but you would consider the 600? Not only heavy, but physically quite large.

If you want ultimate reach, get the Sigma, either the 800 or the 300-800, a number of folks here at the Cafe have them and love them. I saw the one Andrea had, and I find the 600 unwieldly, the 800 is a real monster.

I used to use the Sigma 500, and I also wanted more and the Sigma doesn't work for beans with anything more than the TC-14e, or one of the other 1.4 TC's, which is why I looked for either the 400 2.8 or a 500 f4, but for the reasons both Andreas and I have noted, I am very happy that a 400 showed up prior to the 500. As to your question about the new 500 VR with the 1.7, I have no clue, I don't think they are available yet, but I can't imagine the new VR would make the AF work any better with TC's.

If you want to go longer, you are going to have to bite the bullet somewhere regarding weight and bulk. Only you can decide the importance, as well as how much you are willing to crop to get what you want.
 
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There seesm to be som eslight variance in the Quality of the TC20EII but in general this is what I have learned, and it is my own experience, I sold my TC20EII because of it.

But dont forget the DX crop factor, you don't need a TC20EII on your Nikon lenses (unless you opt for the D3) to get past 1000.mm

400mm x 1.5 x TC17 = 1020mm
500mm x 1.5 x TC14 = 1050mm

Thanks Andreas. I get reading what others say - when they basically agree but have minor differences. You do not use the tc2 with the 400, but Bill and David do.

You say you do not like the 1.7 on the 500, so maybe our idea of IQ are similar as I do not like the 1.7 on my 500 either. But then David, who did not like the 1.7 on the 500 either, says the 2.0 works great on the 400.

The 400 with 2.0 and 500 with 1.4 are both at 5.6. Does the 400 really focus that much better for bif?

When it finally comes down to it, since I can't really be sure of anything, weight and price would lead me to either just keep my 500 afs1 or get a 500 vr. Hard choice.
 
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The 400 with 2.0 and 500 with 1.4 are both at 5.6. Does the 400 really focus that much better for bif?

When it finally comes down to it, since I can't really be sure of anything, weight and price would lead me to either just keep my 500 afs1 or get a 500 vr. Hard choice.

Remember, though, that the 400 with the 2.0 is 800mm, while the 500 with the 1.4 is 700mm. I'm not sure I'd say it focuses "that much better", but it does give enough more reach to notice. I know that the folks I shoot with are pretty amazed with the 400+1.7, which is what I normally shoot and which is more comparable to the 500+1.4, for focus speed and accuracy. Part of this is the fact it is an f2.8 lens. And for us, with the weather, at times being able to drop the TC and shoot at f2.8 is a real boon. Yes, this means I have to crop more than I'd like, but I have the option.

I think the 500 is a super lens, but part of what you need to decide is if reach is most important, or if flexibility and f2.8 is more important.

The more I think about this, and given the cost of a change, I would go down to my local Pro store that has a great Rental section and I'd rent a 400 f2.8 and a 600 f4. If you don't have a 1.7 and/or 2.0 TC I'd rent those as well. And then I'd go find something easy to shoot that doesn't require a lot of walking, maybe some Seagulls off a pier or beach, set up and try them. Nothing is going to give you a better "feel" than actually giving it a go. If Reach is paramount, it is tough to beat the 600+1.4. If flexibity is paramount, the 400 f2.8 with TC's allows one stop more light at the expense of some crop. The 500 is a great "middle-ground" and if you can find a combo that works well with a 1.7 TC, you lose a little light over the 600 combo but save weight.

Best thing, though, is to try them. And if you don't have friends with all these lenses, try one of the rental places. You will spend a couple of hundred dollars, but it beats the cost of a mistake with lenses this expensive. And just think, once you figure out what works for yourself the best, you can come back here with "the facts" and tell me I'm all wet :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin: and full of beans :eek::eek::wink:
 
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Just my opinion but;

I wouldn't assume the D3x (or whatever it will be called) will have a Dx crop mode. It could just be a studio camera like the 1DSMkIII will be. If Nikon thought the crop mode was for everyone then perhaps they would have put one on the D300 as well. I don't se Nikon thinking a landscape/studio camera needs a HSC mode.

I opted for a D3 and a 600vr, both ordered a while ago. Sure a FF camera but coupled with a 600 with VR and converters I expect it will shine. Remember when the D2x came out the buzz was all about camera shake, perhaps this is why lots of problems with the current big glass and the x1.7 and x2. Canon users do not really have that much trouble in fact my friends stack converters and get clean shots....maybe because of IS.

As far as weight goes there is only a 1lb difference between the 400 and the 600.
600 = 10.7lbs
400 = 9.7 lbs
500 = 7.6 lbs

Time will tell but I am excited about the prospects of the D3 (with it's better/faster AF) and a 600vr with converters.
 
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Well, Nikon seems to think they have a DX mode on the D3 and not on the D300.

From the Press Release for the D3:
" When used with DX Nikkor lenses, the D3 automatically switches to the DX-format mode that uses a cropped portion of the sensor to generate 5.1 megapixel resolution images. While in this mode, the D3 automatically masks the portion of the viewfinder that will not be photographed and enables the capability to shoot up to 11 frames per second. "
Nikon Press Release

As well as from the D3 Spec Sheet
"http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=2&productNr=25434"

No such information appears for the D300.

As to long teles and Stacking converters, I have never understood the aversion of Nikon shooters to do this. I have stacked my TC-14E and TC-20E with good results, although the Nikon TC's do require a modification to make this work and the TC-14 and TC-17 cannot be stacked due to the protuding front element. Given that many folks feel that Nikon glass is superior to Canon glass, this has always puzzled me, that for some reason Canon shooters "can" but Nikon users "can't". Maybe Nikon users are just more "picky" :wink:

Just my opinion but;

I wouldn't assume the D3x (or whatever it will be called) will have a Dx crop mode. It could just be a studio camera like the 1DSMkIII will be. If Nikon thought the crop mode was for everyone then perhaps they would have put one on the D300 as well.

I opted for a D3 and a 600vr, both ordered a while ago. Sure a FF camera but coupled with a 600 with VR and converters I expect it will shine. Remember when the D2x came out the buzz was all about camera shake, perhaps this is why lots of problems with the current big glass and the x1.7 and x2. Canon users do not really have that much trouble in fact my friends stack converters and get clean shots....maybe because of IS.

Time will tell but I am excited about the prospects of the D3 (with it's better AF) and 600vr with converters.
 
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I have stacked my TC-14E and TC-20E with good results, ....

Yes, once again most people on here were saying the 1.7 and 2 were NO good even alone with the Nikon big glass currently on the market. All I said was Canon shooters stack them and get good results, perhaps because of IS. I have done the same as you but did not like it.
 
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I used to stack the 1.4 and 2.0 on a Canon 1 d mk2 with their 500 with IS. I have always wondered why the Nikon 500 with 2.0 doesn't work well and wonder if VR will help a lot.
 
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Allan - I do believe my 400 f/2.8 afs vers. I with a 2.0 focuses a bit better than my 500 f/4 afs vers. I with a 1.4 did, but only by a small amount. Keep in mind these are both version I models. Your thought that the new VR models may do even better is worth consideration. For me, the only way to really determine if a lens combo fit my style was to buy the lens and try it for at least a year. I've been through the 200-400vr, the 500, and the Sigma 300-800 before settling on the 300vr and 400 as my long range lenses. I was able to resell them at the same price I purchased them for, meaning I was only out the original shipping charges. Well worth it in my book, to have them for an extended trial. I may very well pick up one of the new VRs after we see what they do, and give it a try.
 
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Like I said, "D3x or whatever it will be called" I know about the cameras that were already announced! :wink:

OK, so get picky, and point out that I missed that lousy little X. Worse yet, I can't even blame it on anything semi-rational, what a Doofus I am today :redface::redface::redface::tongue: Thanks for pointing this out in such a Public Way, I shall now go stand in the corner with my Paper Dunce Cap on whilst I set up and utilize the Automated-Self-Butt-Kicker machine :wink:

I'm not sure how much the IS and VR will assist with the stacking bits, and I sure don't do it as a "normal" course of events, but I do know for sure that if I were to tell my wife that along with a new camera body or two, I was planning to buy the new 400 f2.8 VR and that would "only" cost me an extra $4,000 or so after selling my 400 f2.8 AFS-1, well, it wouldn't just be a new Camera Body I'd be in need of :eek::eek::eek:

The good thing is, that once the lenses are out I can rent one for a day and see if I can notice any appreciable difference. Then I can decide if an added $4,000 is worth it. I was hoping, sort of, that Nikon would bring the long-tele pricing more in line with Canon, but hey, when you buy "the best" what can you expect, eh????? :biggrin:
 
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Hey, lets hope the new stuff is Nirvana for us all! :cool:

ps: Sorry, I was on my way to work got called in, hope I wasn't harsh...I really didn't mean to be if you took it that way! :frown:
 
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Hey, lets hope the new stuff is Nirvana for us all! :cool:

ps: Sorry, I was on my way to work got called in, hope I wasn't harsh...I really didn't mean to be if you took it that way! :frown:

No worries AT all, if that is 'harsh" I'll take it any old day :wink:

To be quite honest, it really annoys me when people don't actually read the whole dang post, and it annoys me even more when it is ME that does that :redface::redface:

I'm not sure about Nirvana, I'm sure we will always find something worth bitching about, but I do think these are great steps forward for all. And it will give the pixel-peepers and measurebators plenty of fodder for the next 18 months or so :biggrin::biggrin:
 
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The thing about the new D3 (D300 too?) camera is it has micro focus adjustment so you can save up to a "x" number of "lenses" in memory....I forget how many BUT take the 600 as an example. I can save 1. 600vr, 2. 600vr +x1.4, 3. 600vr + x1.7, 4. 600vr +x2 so I can optimize those 4 "lenses" on my camera for best possible focus. Add this to having VR as well as a faster and more efficient AF on the D3 and D300 and I think we will be very happy. It can only be much better than we have now!:smile:
 
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Gentlemen (And Ladies Of Course) ~ A TC17EII Question

As I've tried the TC17EII in tests on a tripod in great light at high shutter speeds ( over 1/2000) with mirror lockup and a release and found no difference in the image quality on a 500.....

Why do you folks think VR will help?

I shot a 500 IS last year at PI for a handful of shots with a Canon 2.0 TC on it (tripod mounted) and after I saw the jpegs, I thought that they were every bit as clean as my 500 and 1.4. This was set up throug a dealera as I had asked to demo when considering who's gear I'd be shooting going forward.

Personally, I think Canon TC's simply work better on their lenses and I'm not at all convinced that it has anything to do with VR.
 

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