Nikon 300 f2.8, Nikon 400 2.8 or a Nikon 200/400 f4 for shooting wildlife in Malaysia


ndwgolf

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Sep 25, 2013
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#1
I am in the market for a long Telephoto lens and thinking either fixed 300 or 400 f2.8 or get something a wee bit more versatile with the 200/400mm f4............what do you guys think?
 

Jul 12, 2004
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#2
It would also depend on the body.
If you are using at least D3S, D4; go for 200-400 for the zoom versatility.
I use both AFS VR 300 and AFS VR 200-400, both have their own merits.
But if you have limited space and carrying capacity, the zoom would be the best option.
 

ndwgolf

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Sep 25, 2013
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#3
It would also depend on the body.
If you are using at least D3S, D4; go for 200-400 for the zoom versatility.
I use both AFS VR 300 and AFS VR 200-400, both have their own merits.
But if you have limited space and carrying capacity, the zoom would be the best option.
Sir I have a D3s but will upgrade to a D4X if it ever materializes. Could you please elaborate a little on the two lenses that you have...............my gut says 300 f2.8 but my heart says 200/400
 

Jun 2, 2012
818
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Singapore when back at home
#4
It depends on the type of wildlife you want to shoot and how close you are able get to them.

For small and shy birds, 300 or even 400mm is not enough. You will definitely need to use a teleconverter. Image quality with the 1.4X teleconverter is still very good. Image sharpness loss with the 2.0X is very noticeable, even with the latest Nikon 2.0X teleconverter.

Rent both and do a field test and see if the 300mm / 400mm focal length is good enough for you.
 

Luminare

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May 25, 2012
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#5
If you want reach, best quality images then you'll have to compensate versatility through the use to Teleconverters on the versatility part.

Birds and small mammals need at least 600mm and above unless you are in a hide/tent.

That would point you in the direction of either the 400mm f/2.8 or 600mm f/4 that both cost in the range of 11.5K SGD onwards.

Some folks use a 500mm f/4 + TC 14E II and this offers better weight and compactness ratio to reach 700mm f/5.6 that can shot wide open at f/5.6

My choice went to a 400mm f/2.8 + the full range of TC 1.4/1.7/2.0 as my plans were to bring this setup to photograph bears, eagles in the northern part of the world where at times, hides are available and the subjects actually come close enough to the hide that anything longer that a 400mm would result in "Passport" shots which is not what I want.

In Malaysia or Singapore, IMHO, anything short of 600mm would be pretty challenging without startling the subject. Hence, the best lens of choice for photographing wild life in Malaysia or Singapore would be a 600mm f/4 mounted onto a Wimberley WH-200 gimbal

The photo below of a resident Golden eagle was shot in a Arctic national park with the 300mm f/2.8 VR II from a camouflaged location

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ambient_pixels/9576996758/sizes/c/in/photostream/

The next photo is from Singapore, Bidadari, with a 400mm f/2.8 VR II + TC 20E III

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ambient_pixels/10491972205/


I am in the market for a long Telephoto lens and thinking either fixed 300 or 400 f2.8 or get something a wee bit more versatile with the 200/400mm f4............what do you guys think?
 

Apr 2, 2006
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1
0
CCK
#6
If you want reach, best quality images then you'll have to compensate versatility through the use to Teleconverters on the versatility part.

Birds and small mammals need at least 600mm and above unless you are in a hide/tent.

That would point you in the direction of either the 400mm f/2.8 or 600mm f/4 that both cost in the range of 11.5K SGD onwards.

Some folks use a 500mm f/4 + TC 14E II and this offers better weight and compactness ratio to reach 700mm f/5.6 that can shot wide open at f/5.6

My choice went to a 400mm f/2.8 + the full range of TC 1.4/1.7/2.0 as my plans were to bring this setup to photograph bears, eagles in the northern part of the world where at times, hides are available and the subjects actually come close enough to the hide that anything longer that a 400mm would result in "Passport" shots which is not what I want.

In Malaysia or Singapore, IMHO, anything short of 600mm would be pretty challenging without startling the subject. Hence, the best lens of choice for photographing wild life in Malaysia or Singapore would be a 600mm f/4 mounted onto a Wimberley WH-200 gimbal

The photo below of a resident Golden eagle was shot in a Arctic national park with the 300mm f/2.8 VR II from a camouflaged location

The next photo is from Singapore, Bidadari, with a 400mm f/2.8 VR II + TC 20E III
Really good advise, I learned something today! :thumbsup:
 

Dfive

Senior Member
Nov 20, 2008
3,141
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Singapore lah....
#7
Sir I have a D3s but will upgrade to a D4X if it ever materializes. Could you please elaborate a little on the two lenses that you have...............my gut says 300 f2.8 but my heart says 200/400
D4S is next ;)
 

ndwgolf

New Member
Sep 25, 2013
163
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Kuala Lumpur
#10
If you want reach, best quality images then you'll have to compensate versatility through the use to Teleconverters on the versatility part.

Birds and small mammals need at least 600mm and above unless you are in a hide/tent.

That would point you in the direction of either the 400mm f/2.8 or 600mm f/4 that both cost in the range of 11.5K SGD onwards.

Some folks use a 500mm f/4 + TC 14E II and this offers better weight and compactness ratio to reach 700mm f/5.6 that can shot wide open at f/5.6

My choice went to a 400mm f/2.8 + the full range of TC 1.4/1.7/2.0 as my plans were to bring this setup to photograph bears, eagles in the northern part of the world where at times, hides are available and the subjects actually come close enough to the hide that anything longer that a 400mm would result in "Passport" shots which is not what I want.

In Malaysia or Singapore, IMHO, anything short of 600mm would be pretty challenging without startling the subject. Hence, the best lens of choice for photographing wild life in Malaysia or Singapore would be a 600mm f/4 mounted onto a Wimberley WH-200 gimbal

The photo below of a resident Golden eagle was shot in a Arctic national park with the 300mm f/2.8 VR II from a camouflaged location

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ambient_pixels/9576996758/sizes/c/in/photostream/

The next photo is from Singapore, Bidadari, with a 400mm f/2.8 VR II + TC 20E III

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ambient_pixels/10491972205/
Thank you Sir
 

Luminare

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May 25, 2012
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#11
If a 400mm f/2.8 is within your budget, I would suggest taking your sights to the 600mm f/4 VR unless you are doing sports concurrently or require 400mm at wild life hides like myself.

Should your budget range be around the 300mm f/2.8 or 200-400mm f/4 VR, my preference goes to the 300mm f/2.8 VR + TC.
DxoMarks gave their verdict on these super telephoto lens. check it out:

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Niko...ens-reviews-legendary-performers-in-the-range

 

NikF601

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2010
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#12
I am in the market for a long Telephoto lens and thinking either fixed 300 or 400 f2.8 or get something a wee bit more versatile with the 200/400mm f4............what do you guys think?
Have you tried to carry one and move around for few hours ? before you want a telephoto lens... specially in Malaysia where the paths are "wild"

 

Luminare

Senior Member
May 25, 2012
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#13
The "Plush toy" on the tripod looks familiar ...... :think:

Have you tried to carry one and move around for few hours ? before you want a telephoto lens... specially in Malaysia where the paths are "wild"

 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,645
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lil red dot
#14
The new thinking of birders i know in taiwan and more recently in vietnam, is 400/2.8 with all the TCs. Their rationale is the ability to reach 800 at f5.6 and yet able to move back to 400mm when needed. With a tc and using dx crop, you can efdectively reach up to 1200/5.6 and still fall back to 400mm on a full frame. Makes it a much more versatile setup.

In the end a lot depends on the shooting habits of the person behind the camera as well as the intended subjects.

For small birds even 600mm with a fullframe is a challenge.
 

ndwgolf

New Member
Sep 25, 2013
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Kuala Lumpur
#15
Have you tried to carry one and move around for few hours ? before you want a telephoto lens... specially in Malaysia where the paths are "wild"
Never but you only live once..........heading to the Nikon store today to try all these lenses out........just need the D4X and I will be a happy man
 

ndwgolf

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Sep 25, 2013
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Kuala Lumpur
#16
OK went to the Nikon store and got my hands on the lenses, I am ready to buy the 500 f4 but forgot to ask if I can use my 2 x T111 with it.........can I use a 2 x or should I opt for a 1.4 or 1.7 or none at all
 

daredevil123

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Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#17
OK went to the Nikon store and got my hands on the lenses, I am ready to buy the 500 f4 but forgot to ask if I can use my 2 x T111 with it.........can I use a 2 x or should I opt for a 1.4 or 1.7 or none at all
If your camera supports AF to F8, then the 2xTC is no problem.
 

Luminare

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May 25, 2012
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#19
With regards to using of TC

Your D3s can only support AF till f/5.6 so using a X2 TC on the 500mm f/4 is not going to get you AF

For D4 / or D800/E that supports AF up till f/8 at selected points, it will work but it is going to be pretty challenging.
For X2 or X1.7 TC, one has to stop down at least near to 1 stop to regain sharpness. This is so even with the TC-20E III. Hence you are staring at shooting at f/10 or f/11 when attaching a X1.7 or X2 TC to the 500mm f/4.

Another point to note is that the 500mm f/4 is not known to work well with X2 TC with regards to sharpness.

Field application wise, forest birds are often in shade or are slight back lit which means one has already to shoot at rather slow shutter speeds even at f/6.3 under native ISO situations. While it can be done, one very much rues their luck and under more challenging light conditions, one can only pray that the subject don't move for up to 1 sec.

As such, most folks rather use it with a X1.4 to reach 700mm and crop. Using a D7100 + 500mm f/4 VR + TC-14E II can yield very good results with the correct techniques.

An example:
This Black Back KF was shot at 1/30sec in native ISO on the D4 coupled to a TC-20E III and 400mm f/2.8 at f/8. The light was very dim.









OK went to the Nikon store and got my hands on the lenses, I am ready to buy the 500 f4 but forgot to ask if I can use my 2 x T111 with it.........can I use a 2 x or should I opt for a 1.4 or 1.7 or none at all
 

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ndwgolf

New Member
Sep 25, 2013
163
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Kuala Lumpur
#20
With regards to using of TC

Your D3s can only support AF till f/5.6 so using a X2 TC on the 500mm f/4 is not going to get you AF

For D4 / or D800/E that supports AF up till f/8 at selected points, it will work but it is going to be pretty challenging.
For X2 or X1.7 TC, one has to stop down at least near to 1 stop to regain sharpness. This is so even with the TC-20E III. Hence you are staring at shooting at f/10 or f/11 when attaching a X1.7 or X2 TC to the 500mm f/4.

Another point to note is that the 500mm f/4 is not known to work well with X2 TC with regards to sharpness.

Field application wise, forest birds are often in shade or are slight back lit which means one has already to shoot at rather slow shutter speeds even at f/6.3 under native ISO situations. While it can be done, one very much rues their luck and under more challenging light conditions, one can only pray that the subject don't move for up to 1 sec.

As such, most folks rather use it with a X1.4 to reach 700mm and crop. Using a D7100 + 500mm f/4 VR + TC-14E II can yield very good results with the correct techniques.

An example:
This Black Back KF was shot at 1/30sec in native ISO on the D4 coupled to a TC-20E III and 400mm f/2.8 at f/8. The light was very dim.

[/IMG]
Sir,
Thanks for the info..........so from what I am reading into here are you saying a 400mm f2.8 on a D7100 is going to be better than a new D4X/S and a 500 f4.........I am starting to get confused now
Does the D4 in camera function of being able to switch from FX to DX mean that there is no need for a 1.4 converter???
 

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