Torn between Min 500mm Reflex and Min 100-400mm APO

Started Apr 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
arie
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finding long range shots with 500mm
In reply to Chris Malcolm, Apr 29, 2013

Chris Malcolm wrote:

The virtue of the 500mm reflex is its portability. Mirror lenses can't match refractors in image quality or speed. But a 500mm reflex is small & light enough to take out with you just in case. I often have mine in my bag just in case, & most of the time it stays there. But more than half of my best 500mm shots were completely unplanned & unforeseen lucky opportunities. If I hadn't got the 500mm in my bag I'd have missed them.

You know, the one thing I noticed about using a cheap 500mm MF prime is that you start searching for scenes that you wouldn't ordinarily catch with a 50mm or 90mm. At the risk of stating the obvious, it's like being able to transport yourself a pretty good distance and take a snapshot. I don't think many people realize the effect until they try it. Really opens up your field of vision and possibilities of what you can capture.

Having a zoom like the 70-400mm would be nice if you want to find the subject on the lower range, then get closer on the longer for the shot.

I've compared the image quality & detail resolution against the 100-400mm f4. It's definitely inferior, but at a small fraction of the size weight & price that's to be expected. And if I had the big one I'd still keep the reflex as a stuff in the bag just in case lens. And it would continue to take half of my best long shots.

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Chris Malcolm

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1500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow. -MIB

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