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janzin

Lens dilemma for Kenya-Masai Mara

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Posted (edited)

Dave... yes the weight ssue is a personal thing. but I was referring to that usage in a vehicle rather than outside - theory that anything you can't easily lift and swing one-handed tends to get used less.- especially after you've sprung one of your vertebrae. You put up with if for birding because you have no option. You'll be using the 100-400 anyway for animals, and so my finding (based on a survey of one - me) is that you will gradually use the vertebrae-popper less and less.

 

I think you're on top if the thought process though!

 

The 500 AND 600??? With a 15kg limit. Nudity will get you arrested quicker than camouflage though - so maybe wear three layers of clothes for the flights or something - just to keep you covered?

 

I see your friend's logic re. 200-400 and think Canojn kind of killed it by bringing out a better 100-400, but it does make sense for vehicle safari. That one lens - lots of low-light shooting. Changing lens in vehcile is strongly not recomemnded in Etosha. All a matter of opinion though and not a birder's lens I guess.

Edited by pault

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Posted (edited)

In the future who knows, I might even decide to take a fly-in safari but with only 15kgs , the usual total luggage allowance, weight will be critical..

 

@@Dave Williams you need to consider Sth Luangwa, the flight to Mfuwe allows 23 Kgs.

 

Also if you're going to the Mara what you do is purchase a child's seat for your extra weight. For the extra minimal cost you can take 30 kgs and put the 600mm on the seat next to you.

Edited by Geoff

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Interesting options @@Geoff

 

One thing that struck me a slightly strange @@janzin was your statement that as you'd already been to Tanzania you didn't think you'd see any new birds. Was this a deciding factor on your decision not to take the 500mm? I guess if your interest isn't really avian I can understand but personally no matter what I have seen before I always hope to get better and more interesting shots next time out.

 

@@pault I wasn't intending taking an internal African flight yet but my recent trip to The Gambia only allowed 15kg hold and 6 kgs hand baggage from the UK. That's package holidays for you. You can't buy extra hand but hold luggage was available for about £30 for another 5kgs.

 

@@xelas Been out this morning with just the 500mm and wished I had the 600mm when the action was 50m away!

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@@pault, @@janzin, @@pomkiwi and all others!

 

What would you recommend for an enthusiastically optimistic beginner with a Nikon D7100? I know that I will need more than my usual Sigma 18-250 for my upcoming trip to Kenya.

 

Are there online courses somewhere that explain bracketing in layperson's terms?

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Posted (edited)

@@AmyT I used my Nikon 80-400 most of the time and I don't think you need much longer much of the time unless you are particularly interested in birds. Occasionally I would use a shorter lens on a different body but in general if the animal in question got that close it was time to put the camera down and enjoy the moment!

 

Bracketing involves taking a number of pictures with different exposures (essentially). It is not anything I have found necessary on safari - in general the camera (both Nikon D7100 and D7200) judges exposure pretty well and as I shoot in RAW adjustment is easy using a programme such as Lightroom. I don't have any info on video resources but have found Thom Hogan's manuals on the Nikon cameras very useful in learning more about their use.

Edited by pomkiwi

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There are a variety of functions which you can "bracket". Essentially, you take a string of photos, whith the camera automatically adjusting the selected setting above and below what the camera thinks is ideal.

 

The variable, number of shots, size of the variance and order in which the shots are taken can all be adjusted.

 

To my mind, the most useful bracketing variable is exposure, and to be honest I tend to use it only when trying to shoot a scene in which the dynamic range is such that I expect to have to do an HDR rendering. In other words, I will later on blend all the photos in that HDR string together into a single image.

 

To activate exposure bracketing, there is a button on side of the camera close to the built-in flash. Rotating the two control wheels while pressing this will adjust the number of images in the string and the variance between values.

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Looking back on my trip to Namibia I could have left so much weight at home. Tripod and head not used very much as nearly all my shots taken from the car which will be the case for most folk I would think. A decent beanbag a wise bit of kit.

I didn't use my flash, hardly used the 24-105 and the 70-200. I took two shorter lenses, the 70-200 and the 100-400 so my o/h Claire could use one but she didn't bother after the first day preferring to use her iPhone and iPad.

That left me using both the 100-400 and my 600f4. I tend to use a full frame body most so 600=600 whereas on a D7100 it would theoretically be 900mm. In reality the picture quality is better on a full frame body so you can crop to a greater extent which reduces the apparent deficit.

For most mammal occasions the 100-400 was perfectly good but I did use the 600 with TC's attached, even the 2x with a crop body, the 7D,( I'm a Canon user if you hadn't guessed!)

For birds the 600 was hardly ever long enough without a TC on it.

 

As a Nikon user you have a crop body, the perfect combination would be an 80-400 or the 200-500. I know little about them in terms of performance and price, well not true. I used to own a MK1 version of the 80-400 but sold it as it wasn't suitable for my needs . It's very slow to focus, noisy but takes pin sharp pictures.The Mk2 should be loads better. I think they are expensive though. The cheaper option might be a 300mm f4 plus a TC ( not sure how good they are now either but even a 2.0x might be OK, I'd ask others first though) but then you loose the zoom which is so very useful and one I was pleased to have.

If you want to get full frame pictures of individual beasts you need more than your 18-250mm most of the time but to be honest it's very easy to become obsessed about fine detail and in doing so forget the big picture.If all the shot shows is the animal it could just as easily be taken in a zoo.Maybe that's why my o/h Claire decided she was using her iPad or iPhone. She took some excellent scenic shots including the animals with them.

 

The most important bits of kit are a spare battery and plenty of card space. Try not to delete anything until you get a chance to check it out on a bigger screen than the camera and if you get the chance take lots of shots using different settings. I would advise anyone to use manual settings from the off. Use the camera's light meter to tell you if you are roughly in the right place for exposure and if you can't really see the result using the back screen to check the shot because the light is too bright, check out the histogram.

Bracketing is basically doing the same thing in as much as it lets you decide how many shots either side of your "chosen estimated perfect figure" you want to take at different exposures. If you choose -1/+1 you get three shots one darker, one lighter and one as you told it to in the first place. Depending on the camera you can take 2 or 3 darker/lighter ones and you can tell it if you want a full stop, ( big difference) or as little as a1/3 stop( not much difference) for each one. If you have decided to bracket -2/+2 you press the shutter button and keep it pressed whilst the camera takes 5 shots. Then it stops. You need to take your finger off and press again to take more. I was advised to use bracketing from the beginning by someone who doesn't. I haven't either.

You'll realise why if you do. You might get a different pose for each shot if the subject is moving and it's sod's law the perfectly exposed one is not the best pose! Try to learn to pre-empt the correct light in your original setting. In manual you can choose three ways, shutter speed, f number or ISO setting. Take five shots that are all the same and then you won't be frustrated by the one that has the wrong pose right light. Try to fix it in post processing if it needs it. As Pomkiwi suggests, shoot in RAW.

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I am so sorry to contradict a fellow photographer, and a great one like @@Dave Williams , but his sentence "I tend to use a full frame body most so 600=600 whereas on a D7100 it would theoretically be 900mm.". Unfortunately, marketing people from both black&white side has started to share this misconception and we, users, are sharing it further afield.

 

The 600 mm on a full frame body will be a 600 mm on full frame. The 600 mm on crop body will be the 600 mm on cropped body. So basically, one would end with same photo if:

A. using the same lens at same distance on full frame size sensor and cropped the image to 1.5 (1.6) factor

B. using the same lens at same distance on cropped (smaller in size to so called full frame) sensor

There is more to the story, when either of above images has to be cropped further, but that is already entering into details.

 

 

@@AmyT , the selection of the lens depends on the type of the wildlife you are planning to photograph, and on the type of the park/game drives you will be participating. Visiting National Parks, and/or self driving, the photographer is constraint to stay on the roads, and is at the mercy of the wildlife. Usually, most of the wildlife tend to stay well away, and long zoom lens like 80-400 or 200-500 is usually used on its longer end. If photographing in private reserves, where driver will took you much closer, then 70-200 or 70-300 is much used zoom.

 

We have started our safari photography with D7100 with 300f/4+TC14 = 420 mm and D90 with 70-200 f/4. For larger mammals like elephants and giraffes and zebras at waterholes, D90 at 200 mm was often used. For cats and for birds, the 420 was the tool used.

Second trip, in Kgalagadi, we have used almost exclusively the D7100 with 300f/4+TC14 = 420 mm, as wildlife tends to be further away, or smaller in size, and were too short for many birds.

Third trip, Kgalagadi again, we have used the TC17 thus the 300mm -> 510 mm. While the final IQ did suffer a little, and focusing was not that fast, end results were acceptably good. All thanks to the excellent light - plenty of sun.

For the fourth safari, in Kruger NP we used D7200 with 200-500 f/5.6. This combination is the very best for hobby/non-pro photographers, IMO. The focus speed is excellent, the HighISO less noisy in comparison with D7100, and 200-500 gave us option to take photos of big mammals on short end (200 mm), and photographing cats+birds on long end (500 mm), by only turning the zoom.

 

So my advice is to buy yourself one of the long zooms that are now on the market: Nikon has 200-500, and both Tamron and Sigma has 150-600 lenses. They are all suitable candidates for safari photography.

 

I have never used bracketing, so no help with this. There are three important advices already shared above:

1. have at least 2 batters, 3 or more are better

2. have plenty of SD cards, never delete or format before back home

3. take photos in RAW

4. enjoy photography with whatever tools you have/will have. You will love your photos because they will be part of you!

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We will be in reserves most of the time, but will venture into Amboseli and the Mara. Daughter will use her Lumix and iPhone and probably have superior photos.

 

There are two lenses available used that I'm interested in...the Nikkor AF-S 80-400 and the Sigma 150-600 Sport lens; both used at roughly the same price. Opinions?

 

I have two batteries and a power bank (bought for hubby but will take along without him.)

 

Will I need beanbags for Porini camps?

 

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

@@AmyT

 

Until they come out with a 14-600 f/2.8 that is lightweight and affordable (I know, keep dreaming....), this decision is going to involve a number of trade-offs, and you just have to decide which things are most important to you and which things you can either put up with or go without.

 

I would certainly recommend more reach than 250mm, even on a body with a cropped sensor like the D7100. A zoom lens is going to give you a lot more flexibility than a prime, although most experts agree that primes yield sharper images.

 

Whatever lens you ultimately choose, make sure it's one with a fast, responsive autofocus and that you've practiced with your lens/body combo enough to feel really comfortable with the controls and end product. (Believe me, when you are fortunate enough to spend an afternoon with 5 cheetah cubs playing in straw-colored grass in beautiful sunlight, the last thing you want to do is come home and realize that the cubs in all of your shots are soft but the blades of grass in front of them are razor sharp).

 

If I were told I could bring only one lens on safari, I think I'd choose the 80-400 (newest version) because of its versatility and autofocus capabilities. But if I could take 2 lenses, I'd probably take the 200-500 and my newest toy, the newly released 70-200 f/2.8. (And, you always want to slip in a wider angle lens for landscapes plus the occasional friendly elephant or buffalo).

 

So now for the tradeoffs:

 

1. 80-400

 

Pros: Greater versatility, faster autofocus, lighter weight, smaller dimensions.

Cons: More expensive (like almost 70% more: $1,400 vs. $2,300), 100mm less reach, images sometimes slightly less sharp

 

2. 200-500

 

Pros: Greater reach, cheaper, images sometimes slightly sharper

Cons: Less versatility, autofocus is more sluggish, heavier and bulkier

 

I have not used the 300 f/4, so I can't comment on that. I also do not use teleconverters, but I do not hear good things about them when used with zoom lenses. (The 300 with a 1.4 TC seems to generate positive reviews). Also, I have not owned any of the super zooms from Tamron or Sigma, as I've always preferred the Nikon lenses when trying those out.

 

Like @@xelas, I find that the D7200 is noticeably better than the D7100 in both sharpness and at higher ISO levels.

 

Speaking of which, if you do take more than one lens, I'd highly recommend you find room to take along another camera body. You don't want to be changing lenses out in the field. So this might be a good time to beg, borrow or...rent a D7200 and try it out. I mention the D7200 instead of the D500 (which has gotten rave reviews) simply because the controls are all the same as on the D7100.

 

And if you were to bring two camera bodies, that might simplify your decision. Since you already have the Sigma 18-250, why not try the 200-500, which, taken together, would give you 18-500 on a cropped sensor? That's pretty great coverage.

 

By the way, welcome to the slippery slope. We took our first safari in 2013 (South Africa) and brought a Nikon Coolpix P520 and an i-Phone. Fast forward 3 1/2 years, and we now have 3 D7200s, a 200-500, an 80-400, a 70-200 2.8, a 16-85 and a 10-24, flashes, flash brackets, a travel tripod and 2 LowePro backpacks and a LowePro lens case to put it all in -- and a much smaller bank account. But nothing beats the memories and photos we have since accumulated. Have a great trip!

Edited by Alexander33
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@@AmyT

 

As if I haven't been too verbose already, I just saw your last post. If you are looking at a used 80-400, find out if it's the f/4.5-5.6 G or the D. The G is the latest version, which I own and am very happy with. The D is an earlier model and reportedly generated a lot of customer dissatisfaction (although I have never used it so don't have firsthand experience there).

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Posted (edited)

Regarding the Nikkor 80-400, I (still) have the D-version. It is optically not too bad, but it focuses at a glacial pace, and was Nikon's first effort at vibration reduction, and first efforts are never very good. Suffice to say I typically get sharper results without VR, even at low shutter speeds.

 

If that's all you are prepared to spend, rather look at a Sigma 120-400 (comparable optically but much faster focusing) or the Sigma 150-500 (more reach).

 

But any of the 150-600's are better than the two lenses discussed above, and the Nikkor 200-500 is better than all the 150-600's except for the Sigma Sport version. But that is again much heavier and more expensive.

 

The 300 f4 pf (the current version) is an excellent lens, works well with the smaller teleconverters and is incredibly light and compact. I believe that makes it an excellent traveller's lens.

Edited by Peter Connan
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I am so sorry to contradict a fellow photographer, and a great one like @@Dave Williams , but his sentence "I tend to use a full frame body most so 600=600 whereas on a D7100 it would theoretically be 900mm.". Unfortunately, marketing people from both black&white side has started to share this misconception and we, users, are sharing it further afield.

 

The 600 mm on a full frame body will be a 600 mm on full frame. The 600 mm on crop body will be the 600 mm on cropped body. So basically, one would end with same photo if:

A. using the same lens at same distance on full frame size sensor and cropped the image to 1.5 (1.6) factor

B. using the same lens at same distance on cropped (smaller in size to so called full frame) sensor

There is more to the story, when either of above images has to be cropped further, but that is already entering into details.

 

 

@@xelas Thanks for the compliment Alex but I'm neither a great photographer or a technical expert as you can tell!

You are of course right, a 600 is a 600 lens no matter what it gets mounted on hence it's only theoretically a 900mm. The final images a full frame camera produces allow more cropping than their cropped bodies cousins can take. My thoughts are that the 1.6 "advantage " of the Canon 7D is reduced to about a 1.2. I imagine Nikon's bodies are similar. Still an advantage though.

Nikon's D500 does seem to be an all singing all dancing masterpiece for the money but:-

@@AmyT I bought an Olympus Tough point and shoot as my go anywhere camera and it cost less than my least expensive lens. I bought from the now bankrupt Simply Electronics in Hong Kong for £207. Originally it was intended for a bit of underwater use but it is so handy and has an amazing array of features for the price. I have no hesitation about changing lenses in the field but it does take a bit of time and effort so for a quick scene shot or even to take out to dinner it's small and lightweight and produces excellent images. One of the attractions was that it is one of the only bodies that I found that produces RAW images if required.

Being Tough you can stick it out of the car window in all weathers too !

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By the way, welcome to the slippery slope. We took our first safari in 2013 (South Africa) and brought a Nikon Coolpix P520 and an i-Phone. Fast forward 3 1/2 years, and we now have 3 D7200s, a 200-500, an 80-400, a 70-200 2.8, a 16-85 and a 10-24, flashes, flash brackets, a travel tripod and 2 LowePro backpacks and a LowePro lens case to put it all in -- and a much smaller bank account. But nothing beats the memories and photos we have since accumulated. Have a great trip!

 

 

@@Alexander33 You and me both! I started with a Lumix and ended up with a bad back from lugging too much gear around just in case I needed it. Time someone came up with an equivalent of Alcoholics Anonymous. I don't think we can be cured, just restrained from further financial and physical damage.

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@@AmyT Lots of choices emerging (as would be expected here :) ) If you have a decent camera store locally it would make sense to go and try the various options and see how they handle. The Sigma 150-600 is getting to be a big and heavy lens if you are hand holding it for a long day.

 

I've idea where cost fits into the equation for you but another option would be to consider hiring your preferred lens - although buying a good second hand example would always make more financial sense in my opinion.

 

Finally I know that Porini Lion has at least one bean bag on the vehicle - you could drop them an e-mail to ask about the other camps. Having said that I'm not sure how much you will use it particularly as the vehicle sides are quite low. If you want some stabilisation I think a monopod would work better (although even when I have one with me I only use it <1% of the time).

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We will be in reserves most of the time, but will venture into Amboseli and the Mara. Daughter will use her Lumix and iPhone and probably have superior photos.

 

There are two lenses available used that I'm interested in...the Nikkor AF-S 80-400 and the Sigma 150-600 Sport lens; both used at roughly the same price. Opinions?

 

I have two batteries and a power bank (bought for hubby but will take along without him.)

 

Will I need beanbags for Porini camps?

 

Thanks!

 

@@AmyT , if the weight is not a limiting factor, go for Sigma Sport!

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Regarding the Nikkor 80-400, I (still) have the D-version. It is optically not too bad, but it focuses at a glacial pace, and was Nikon's first effort at vibration reduction, and first efforts are never very good. Suffice to say I typically get sharper results without VR, even at low shutter speeds.

 

If that's all you are prepared to spend, rather look at a Sigma 120-400 (comparable optically but much faster focusing) or the Sigma 150-500 (more reach).

 

But any of the 150-600's are better than the two lenses discussed above, and the Nikkor 200-500 is better than all the 150-600's except for the Sigma Sport version. But that is again much heavier and more expensive.

 

The 300 f4 pf (the current version) is an excellent lens, works well with the smaller teleconverters and is incredibly light and compact. I believe that makes it an excellent traveller's lens.

 

 

I have a Sigma 120-400 lens which I have used with great results for several years. It is not too heavy either.

My bug bear with this lens is that the zoom ring works in the opposite rotation to Nikon lenses.

 

More recently I have started leaving this lens behind in favour of my Nikon 300mm f4. This is a much easier lens to hand hold and does get better results. By adding a 1.4xtc it becomes effectively a 450mm lens (or 675mm if you allow for the crop factor.)

 

Even though I love my old model 300mm f4 lens, I treated myself last year to the new version which has VR.

I don't really use VR. Like @@Peter Connan I find I am much more comfortable without it and that was not the main reason I bought the lens.

The great thing about this new 300mm f4 lens is its size. It is smaller and lighter than the previous version and now will autofocus with a 2x tc. This gives me as much reach as I can comfortably hand hold.

 

Before buying this lens I did look at the Tamron 150-600mm. I even ordered one but then had the chance to cancel it when there were problems with delivery.

I ultimately decided that it would be a heavy lens to carry around all the time, for the few occasion when I need that much reach.

Instead I take my 300mm lens and add either a 1.4x or 2x converter when necessary.

Not quite as flexible as a zoom lens, but much lighter and much easier to get sharp results.

 

I also find that with a prime (fixed focal length) lens I can concentrate on getting a sharp image whereas with a zoom lens I inevitably find that I waste time zooming in & out to try and get the best composition. With a good sharp image I can achieve this with cropping.

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Posted (edited)

I like(ed) the @@Soukous post above, and I have great admiration of Martin's photography, but as with David, I will jump into the ice cold waters and will comment some of Martin's statements.

 

"By adding a 1.4xtc it becomes effectively a 450mm lens (or 675mm if you allow for the crop factor.)" - with a 1.4x extender factor, the 300 mm lens will act as a 420 mm lens. The 675 mm, would become a 630 mm FOV (Field Od View) if taking into account an APS-C size sensor by Nikon or Sony (28.2 mm diagonal) which represent 1.5 x crop ratio.

 

"With a good sharp image I can achieve this with cropping." - one can achieved a good composition only down to actual prime lens focal length; or in other words, if the subject would fill the frame at 250 mm of focal length, you can zoom down the 150-600 lens, but you cannot crop down the 300 mm taken photo.

 

 

I do however support the other ideas about using a fixed FL lens (a prime), and last version of AF-S 300f/4 PF ED VR lens is as small and as light as the 70-300 zoom, and takes both TC-14 III and TC-20III very well (i.e. the IQ is not impacted too much). I do own a 300f/4 onon-VR and it give us good results with both TC-14II and TC-17II. Funny thing is, while Zvezda has had comments on 200-500 weight when she started to use it for the first time, 6 months later, having the 300f/4 on the body, she said."Why this lens is so light?! I prefer the weight and stability of the heavier (200-500) one!!". Moral of the story: we do adapt quickly to better things :) (and lenses).

 

About using or not using the (latest) lens (or body) stabilization systems (VR in NIkon lingo), that is where users have much different opinions. Ourselves, we shoot almost exclusively hand hold or from loose supports (bean bag), and VR is on all the time. It not only helps with achieving relatively sharp (contrasty) photos of stationary subjects and objects in dim light at very slow shutter speed, even more important is the stabilization of the picture in the viewfinder. That last one is upmost useful when taking photos of birds in flight or those tiny creatures behind the wall of branches. Only in very distinct situations, I have noticed that the background was not to my liking. Was that the result of using VR, I do not know, as I was unable to repeat the situation.

Edited by xelas
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Even though I love my old model 300mm f4 lens, I treated myself last year to the new version which has VR.

I don't really use VR. Like @@Peter Connan I find I am much more comfortable without it and that was not the main reason I bought the lens.

 

The direction issue is unfortunately true for all Sigma lenses.

 

Perhaps I wasn't very clear: I absolutely love and frequently use the VR on my more modern lenses. When shooting planes, I often use the 500f4 down to 1/80th or 1/100th hand-held and with good results, which would be impossible without it. On my Tamron 15-30mm f2.8, I can get sharp photos down to 1/2second exposures, which is wonderful for indoor use where flashes are not allowed or otherwise troublesome.

 

But on the aforementioned 80-400 D, it just isn't very effective.

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Posted (edited)

Well said @@xelas

I don't know why I always do that.

I know my tc is 1.4x but in my head I think of it as 1.5X just because the maths is easier.

Maths was never my strong point

Edited by Soukous
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Posted (edited)

"With a good sharp image I can achieve this with cropping." - one can achieved a good composition only down to actual prime lens focal length; or in other words, if the subject would fill the frame at 250 mm of focal length, you can zoom down the 150-600 lens, but you cannot crop down the 300 mm taken photo."

 

again quite correct @@xelas, I generalised too much.

I was comparing more the ability to crop to achieve a similar reach to the longer focal length of the 150-600mm lens. Of course if the subject is closer and a shorter lens is required I cannot crop down my 300mm lens.

 

For some years I had the Nikon 70-300mm lens. I loved it's combination of lightness and focal range and used it a lot. When I bought the Sigma 120-400mm lens I found that the Sigma 120-400mm lens gave me better results.

Then I lost confidence in my 70-300mm lens completely after one safari where I used VR for the first time and almost all my photos suffered from poor sharpness.

I never used that lens again.

Because of this I looked much more closely into VR - when to use it and when not to. I understand it much better now but still use it very little.

Edited by Soukous

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No worries, @@Soukous ! Math is also not my strong side, so I have even produced a little spreadsheet with all my lenses and bodies and TC's to calculate different FOVs. And then, the actual FOV when using a zoom lens, is never what is written on the lens! Sigma, instead of being 600 mm FOV, is more like a 560 mm FOV lens. Some other lenses/brands are even worse in this field.

 

Myself, as a total safari newbie, I have still to experience a game drive where my lens would be "too long". Cropping in PP is mostly for the reason of FL being too short. However, watching TV and seeing game drives where people were happily using the smart phones to photograph lions and leopards, I must assume that there are also places where 70-200 on a full frame body is a way to go.

 

The 70-300 VR was also our "staple lens" for many years. While Zvezda has always been able to achieve a decently sharp photo, I have suffered big time, to the point that I have almost stopped taking photos. The 200-500 VR completely changed the game for me! Handheld photos are not tabu anymore. I leave VR on at all times, off only when on a tripod with tightened ball or gimbal head.

 

Trivia: this past week I have used D90 + 300 + TC14 ... and while photographing bridges went OK, the AF was soooooo sluuuuugish I have almost felt asleep while waiting the camera to finally focus on the bird. The birds, of course, did not wait that long :) !

Incredibly what a difference between a D90 (which I have, stupid me, bought instead of D300) and a D7200 is. Or better to say, the improvement in the AF technology is only matched by the improvement in the ISO technology. I wonder how photographers say 10 years ago were able to take the photos at all?! Not to mention the film/slide days. One roll of slides has had to produce 38 excellent frames :D .

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@@xelas I also sometimes wonder how I took photos with 35mm film with an ISO of 25 or 64.

And I used 300mm and 500mm lenses as well. :o

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For better or for worse, I ordered a used Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm f.4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens and it arrived yesterday. I will be giving it a workout this weekend! Thanks for the input!

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