Telephoto lens for use in Kenya

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP mfouks Regular Member • Posts: 408
Re: Telephoto lens for use in Kenya

Craig please let me know the results.  I will be very interested in your findings and any pros/cons of either lens compared to each other that you find.  I think my  choice will be between the 300 f2.8  with a TC and the new 80-400.  If the 300 f2.8 with the 1.4 TC is only a bit better than the 80-400, I would probably be better off with the 80-400.  Of course with the 300 2.8 I could also use the 1.7 and 2X  converter for more reach.  Any chance you can also test the 300 2.8 with the 1.7 or 2X converter if you or your friend own it? Also, have you used the 80-400 with a 1.4TC?




mfouks wrote:

I'm really wondering how the new 80-400 lens would compare to the 300 f2.8 plus 1.4 teleconverter.  The 80-400 is much lighter and less expensive as well.

I should find out the answer to that next Wed.   A friend is coming over to shoot some birds with me, and he has a 300F2.8 with Nikon 1.4 TC.   I have the new 80-400 (and the old 80-400 and a 300F4 with 1.4 TC).   He needs to calibrate his 300F2.8 and TC for autofocus, so we're going to play in the back yard with a Lensalign and then go out birding again.

Here is how I rate the IQ (sharpness + contrast, central area) of several popular lens options.

From worst to best, at maximum focal length:

4. 70-200vr II (or I) with 2.0 TC

3. AF 80-400vr (stopped down a bit - F5.6 at 400 is nearly unusable)

2. 300F4 + 1.4 TC (Nikon or Kenko Pro, both seem good)

1. AF-S 80-400

I'm guessing that the 300F2.8 with 1.4TC will be slightly better than the AF-S 80-400.

I'm also guessing that a Sigma 50-500 (at 400mm) slots in around the 300F4 with 1.4TC, based on samples I've been seeing posted for years.

I'm judging the 70-200 with 2.0TC on Imatest testing and comments made by Lensrentals recently.

The others I have personal experience with.   The new 80-400 is really quite good.   The weakest point on it is the tripod collar.  VR could be better, but it's vastly better than the old 80-400.

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