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Old Jul 18, 2006, 10:18 AM   #1
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Do you have the experience of using any of the following lenses for taking shots of birds?

Nikkor 80-400 mm, F4.5-5.6 (at around 241,500 JPY)

Nikkor 200-400 mm F4 (at around 1.029,000 JPY)

Nikkor 500 mm F4D (at around 1,008,000 JPY)

Nikkor 600 mm F4D (at around 1,260,000 JPY)

Which one, from your experience,is the best for the abovepurpose?

I like 200-400 but I have invested in80-400 because the range is wide, the priceattractive and the weightmanageable [1.3 kgs versus 3.3 kgs].500 and 600withoutdoubt arerazor sharp in image quality and faithful in colour renditioning, but I am afraid they areless versatile judging bythe absence of thezooming function and the heavy weight of the lenses [3.4 kgs and 4.7 kgs respectivley].

No doubt about the excellent performances of 500 and 600 and would be interested in hearing from youabout 200-400's.
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 10:27 AM   #2
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Great thing about the 80-400mm and the 200-400mm are VR. The 80-400mm is very easy to handhold all the way out to 400mm w/ shutter speeds as low as 1/125, and with decent sharp/blurred ratio even slower. The problem w/ the 80-400mm VR is it is somewhat slow. Capturing fast action, especially in low light, is not its strong point. You really need a faster (f/2.8 ) lens for that... and that's where they start to get really expensive, especially f/2.8 with VR. That said I love my 80-400mm VR and it does a very good job and hasn't failed me even in action shots though a faster lens would have likely yeilded more keepers.
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 11:49 AM   #3
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I really don't think that there should be a choice to make if money isn't the prime consideration. I have the 70/200 f2.8 and the 200/400 f4 plus several TC's and find both lenses crisp and fast acting. However, it has to be said that both of my lenses react fastest with the TC14E and the TC20E is pretty useless causing hunting and slow focus.

I am not a nature photographer, motor racing being my thing, but every wild life photographer I have met says that in the end you end up with a 500mm lens if you are serious about getting great photos. Many have said that they started with 300 or 400mm but that it just isn't enough. My 200/400 is perfect for my purposes and if you are using a D2X you can crop without muchloss of quality anyway.
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 9:56 PM   #4
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cameranserai:

Thanks!

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Old Jul 21, 2006, 9:56 PM   #5
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Stephen

Thanks!
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 12:37 PM   #6
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If you don't mind the weight and need for a tripod I'd go with the Nikkor 200-400 mm F4 it's constant f/4 aperture through out its zoom range will be a big factor. You can handhold this big lens but a tripod would be better with it to get those tack sharp images.

If weight and size is a concern it would need to be the Nikkor 80-400 mm, F4.5-5.6 but as you zoom towards the 400mm side and its aperture moves towards f/5.6 so will its shutter speed drop, but a tripod isn't needed because of its size.


The longer lens are always nice you never seem to have enough you shoot motor sports so a 1.4x added to the Nikkor 200-400 mm F4 would put it in the f/5 aperture range while giving you more reach a nice combo. The longer converters work but for sharp images the 1.4x you will not notice it. 560mm with out the 1.5 crop factor added a nice range 280mm - 560mm or w/1.5 crop factor @420mm - 840mm a hard to beat combo.


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Old Jul 22, 2006, 3:10 PM   #7
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I can't agree with you more! Many thanks!
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 4:15 PM   #8
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so the suspense is killing me... any idea which beast your going to get?

-Logan
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 11:01 PM   #9
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I think the prime will be my choice, from which I will be choosing the 600 and the 1.4X as the extender. The reason is the image quality as well as speedoffered by the prime, which far excels the ones offered by 200-400. With the prime, the 80-400 I am now having will act as an additional support to my outdoor tele-photography.

Having said the above, if I did not have the 80-400, I would go for the 200-400 in order to save money for other items.
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 11:21 PM   #10
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did you ever consider the APO 300-800 5.6 from sigma? which would be in the same range as the 600 + 1.4 (which is 840) and im pretty sure that the zoom capabilities would be of some benefit. just a thought?

-Logan
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