feeding of Eagles from our front garden

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 13,708
Re: feeding of Eagles from our front garden

If you are satisfied with the performance of the old lens, there's not really a need to replace it.  Whatever the lens you are talking about.

You could get better IQ though.  Depends on how much that matters to you.   The new 80-400 is indeed sharper at any aperture, and it's certainly much sharper wide open.  The AF performance is night-and-day better.

You could also improve IQ a slight bit with a 300F4 and 1.4TC at a lower cost, though the new 80-400 would be even better (by about the same amount or relative improvement).  A Sigma 50-500 might also be worth considering.

I have quite a few bird shots with the old 80-400 that I'm happy with, but between those shots (almost always at F9), I had a lot of not-quite-sharp-enough and 'ouch' shots.   The old 80-400 really made me work at getting all the details just right with long lens technique, and even then it seemed a bit of a crap shoot to see if fine feather detail came out where it should have been.  In short, it can be a lot of work to get good results with the old 80-400.

With the new 80-400, it's more a matter of nailing the focus than anything else.   For me it crossed the barrier of 'sharp enough', which the old 80-400 sometimes approached and the 300+TC did if stopped down a bit.

For birds in flight, the new AF will help, but I think being able to shoot wide open helps more since it directly translates into being able to keep shutter speeds up.  If nothing else, you can shoot in lower light levels than before.

Only you can decide if you want to pay the $ to get there.

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