200-400 VR does not equal prime lens sharpness?

Started Nov 2, 2006 | Discussions thread
TonyCT Junior Member • Posts: 26
Cameranserai

Hi Cameranserai,

My first image sold back in Feb 1986 was of a racing motorcyclist falling off his motorcycle in the rain. It made the cover and got a bigger space than the coverage of George Micheal leaving Wham. I was really excited until I did the sums and found out that the film I had used on the day and all other expenses cost more than I was paid. However, I digress. Racing cars are big brutish beautiful colorful things with lots of contrast and they follow...well most times a track which makes them quite predictable. Playing with saturation and contrast also gives you options more so than with wildlife as these sliders can make wildlife images look unnatural. So with the likes of heat shimmer off surfaces and the likes you have a bit of leeway. Now my wildlife agents in the UK and Germany happen to check my submissions at 100% magnification and so in order to not submit them too many images destined for rejection I am forced to use as much of the frame and do the 100% check. Cropping small images is not an option. Different quality is needed for different markets. I would love to say that the image quality on my 200-400mm F4 is good at distance but it is not as good as it was on my 300mm F2.8 nor my 500mm F4. I am not making this comment to make conversation or for effect I am desperately seeking any kind of guidance or solution to my problem. I do not feel good about letting some poor unsuspecting person acquire the lens but I cannot afford to take it along to costly and in some instances once in a lifetime destinations only to be able to use it effectively when the subject is less than 20 metres away.

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