Birding with a 500mm F4 or 600mm F4

Started Feb 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
Dr Bob
OP Dr Bob Senior Member • Posts: 1,319
Re: Birding with a 500mm F4 or 600mm F4

sgtsalamander wrote:

I agree with Vern. I have used the 500 f4 for birds, with a 1.7 TC (rented as combo) and I still wished I had the 600 mm. You ALWAYS want more reach with bird photography If you're using an appropriate tripod and head, the weight difference between the 500 an 600 shouldn't be an issue. Hand-holding with either is possible, but is definitely tough, and an acquired skill. If you're using a TC, I'd recommend only using a 1.4 TC though, as the loss in autofocus speed and image quality is noticeable with the 1.7, but very noticeable with the 1.4. I have recently bought a d800 and I own a 300 f4, which I don't use the TC on very much as I'd prefer to simply crop, since the 800 has such high resolution. I'd rather not lose the autofocus speed with the TC, however small the loss may be.

Thanks to both you and Vern for the vote on 'reach'. I do find the ability to crop significantly on the D800e/D600 amazing but it becomes more difficult at higher iso hence the need for more reach from the lens.

JP Sherrer - I take your point on the 600 only being 20% more reach over the 500 but the cost of that is "only" £1.5K. If you compare the 500mm with the 80-400 zoom I will have to pay £5.8K for 25% improvement. At these prices it sounds like 20% more for £1.5K may be worth it.

 Dr Bob's gear list:Dr Bob's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G +1 more
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