No reason for a 500mm PF on African safari?

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I have a different experience with the 80-400, I hated it.

the canon 100-400 II and the Sony 100-400 destroy it IQ wise, Nikon really need an update.

im currently loving the 200-500 and have a 500 pf on order, unfortunately, here in the UK, having nps status doesnt speed up the ordering so I’ll just wait.
 
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Actually, I have found the bokeh of the 80-400 much better than the 200-500. Many times the bokeh on the 200-500 can be "nervous", squiggly.......not sure how to describe it. Of course, if there is a good amount of distance between the subject and the background, then it is not an issue for the 200-500 or the 80-400.

My personal assessment is that if you are lucky enough to be able to walk/move around a shoot birds, especially BIFs, (or maybe some sports? planes? and other situations I've not thought of) then hand holding the 500 PF is probably the best option out there right now. Unfortunately I seldom get to do that kind of photography.
I think you are missing one other benefit of the PF... It's portability makes it an easy travel lens. With your trip to Tanzania, it will be easier to pack the 500PF and all other gear, transport it through airports, and stow it in overhead bins. I currently pack three lenses and three bodies in an F-stop Tilopa. My bodies and lenses are in ready to shoot position in my bag and I never need to change lenses in the field.
Should you be interested, I have a D500 on a 70-200E, D500 on a 500PF, and Z6 on a 24-70 f4. At the top of my bag in its own pouch is a 300mm f4 AFS, chargers, laptop, cards, and batteries. All fits in the overhead bin of most planes.

cheers,
bruce
 

Butlerkid

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I think you are missing one other benefit of the PF... It's portability makes it an easy travel lens. With your trip to Tanzania, it will be easier to pack the 500PF and all other gear, transport it through airports, and stow it in overhead bins. I currently pack three lenses and three bodies in an F-stop Tilopa. My bodies and lenses are in ready to shoot position in my bag and I never need to change lenses in the field.
Should you be interested, I have a D500 on a 70-200E, D500 on a 500PF, and Z6 on a 24-70 f4. At the top of my bag in its own pouch is a 300mm f4 AFS, chargers, laptop, cards, and batteries. All fits in the overhead bin of most planes.

cheers,
bruce
This will be my 3rd trip to Africa. I have always hand carried a 500 or 600 with 2 pro bodies and several other pro lenses. On trips like this I am not willing to take anything less than the best gear I have .
 

Butlerkid

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So....the store called me today and said they had "my" 500 PF and could ship immediately. I politely declined....... UGH!
 
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I work off and on in an area in Tanzania where I wish I had the 500mm PF, but I never had the space to bring photo gear along for my visits, biggest I've had with me was the 70-200mm. It worked well for birds and local critters but not for anything I didn't want to get too close to. I wish I could go back with the 500mm PF.
On a side note, a colleague told me he had encounters with bigger animals when driving to various places we had to go for work, and of all the times he's encountered lions it's always been times when 50mm would be enough... rather him than me.
 
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Ok, just my 2 cents....

The 500pf is very sharp and focuses faster, much better than the 80-400. It also plays well with the 1.4 III tele.

So for me it would be:

500pf, 300pf, 1.4III TC and the 70-200 f2.8 (the latest one) all these lenses are sharp and focus fast. and you have a light kit.

Cheers
Alexis and Georgie Beagle

"i'd include the 20mm f1.8 for landscape too..." - Georgie Beagle
 

Butlerkid

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Ok, just my 2 cents....

The 500pf is very sharp and focuses faster, much better than the 80-400. It also plays well with the 1.4 III tele.

So for me it would be:

500pf, 300pf, 1.4III TC and the 70-200 f2.8 (the latest one) all these lenses are sharp and focus fast. and you have a light kit.

Cheers
Alexis and Georgie Beagle

"i'd include the 20mm f1.8 for landscape too..." - Georgie Beagle
Appreciate the post. I took the current 70-200/2.8 to Africa on our first trip there. Seldom used it over the 80-400 AF-S. However, on our second trip to Africa, I took only the 80-400AF-S and 500 f4 VR. Look at this photo and the next 5 photos of a diving kingfisher. All in focus, hand held with using the 80-400 AF-S on my D5. AF and tracking was fast enough for me. And the 70-200 with a 1.4 tele, for me, in Africa is generally way too short. And the 600 f4 FL, with or without the 1.4 TC, will give me the reach needed for distant animals or small birds.

The tour guide will be using a Canon 600mm and the Canon 100-400.
 
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Appreciate the post. I took the current 70-200/2.8 to Africa on our first trip there. Seldom used it over the 80-400 AF-S. However, on our second trip to Africa, I took only the 80-400AF-S and 500 f4 VR. Look at this photo and the next 5 photos of a diving kingfisher. All in focus, hand held with using the 80-400 AF-S on my D5. AF and tracking was fast enough for me. And the 70-200 with a 1.4 tele, for me, in Africa is generally way too short. And the 600 f4 FL, with or without the 1.4 TC, will give me the reach needed for distant animals or small birds.

The tour guide will be using a Canon 600mm and the Canon 100-400.

Karen,

Those are awesome shots!!!!! Perhaps my 80-400 is miss aligned... I can see why you took the 80-400 with the D5, it is fast and sharp.

Cheers,
alexis an Georgie Beagle

"you can never be too rich or have too many lenses..." - Georgie Beagle
 
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I have a different experience with the 80-400, I hated it.

the canon 100-400 II and the Sony 100-400 destroy it IQ wise, Nikon really need an update.

im currently loving the 200-500 and have a 500 pf on order, unfortunately, here in the UK, having nps status doesnt speed up the ordering so I’ll just wait.
Yep, I had the 80-400D along with the 24-120D and hated them both, scared me so much I have never even though about looking at the newer versions of these lenses. I know both of these lenses have been updated several times over, but I will not even look at them. Maybe counselling would help.
 
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Yep, I had the 80-400D along with the 24-120D and hated them both, scared me so much I have never even though about looking at the newer versions of these lenses. I know both of these lenses have been updated several times over, but I will not even look at them. Maybe counselling would help.
I used to like my 24-120 until I got a 16-80
 
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Yep, I had the 80-400D along with the 24-120D and hated them both, scared me so much I have never even though about looking at the newer versions of these lenses. I know both of these lenses have been updated several times over, but I will not even look at them. Maybe counselling would help.
I used to like my 24-120 until I got a 16-80
However, the 24-120 f/4.0G is leaps and bounds better than the D version.
 

Butlerkid

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OT - I remember just a few years ago getting "roasted" when I said the newest 24-120 was just "ok" and not great! That it didn't have the sharpenss and clarity of the 24-70/2.8. LOL!
 
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I don't know why Nikon doesn't make f4 gold ring zoom lenses like Canon? I'd totally dig an updated 17-35mm f4 VR (with less distortion than the 16-35mm) or a 24-70mm f4 VR. Also I'd love an updated 80-400mm that's a 100-400mm VR with sharper optics!
 
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