D4 or D800E for birds?

Started May 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Forum Pro • Posts: 12,425
Re: Might be a lot to expect for $1069

jamesg28 wrote:

Lance B wrote:

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Lance B wrote:

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

I have both the 500 and the 80-400 f4.5-5.6G and the 500+1.4xTC is definitely a better bet than the 80-400.

No way, Lance. The 80-400VR is sharper on my screen without a doubt, magnification aside.

I don't know what is wrong with your 500+1.4xTC combo.

Nothing, it looks fine to most people, but it is well off what is possible without the t.c.

Well, as I say, there must be something wrong with your 500 + 1.4x TC as my 500 + 1.4x TC is a tad better than my 80-400 and my 80-400 is a good version as it is sharp as a tack.

As a card carrying pixel peeper and nonrecovering perfectionist, Lance,

LOL. I am a bit that way as well.

I would simply say that no one could tell what lens you were using, be it an 80-400VR or a 500mm by looking at any picture you've got at equal framing at any magnification.

I would agree to a point. It comes down to things like micro contrast and loss of overall contrast for these lenses. I see less contrast with the 80-400.

There is a limit of available resolution and both lenses are there at f8. The Tamron maybe not, we'll see soon enough.

I think the differences will be more noticeable in the number of keepers you obtain from a 500 f4 compared to these "lesser" lenses. This comes down to AF speed and accuracy and VR for that matter, especially in low light. Yes, you will see great results from a Tamron, but not the "just throw the lens up and get a great result almost every time" that you would from a fast prime like a 300, 400, 500 or 600.

I spent a whole day shooting ducks with a brand new 500VR plus 1.4 t.c. and got some good fairly sharp pics, but I also got a great many pics like this:


Now, I think you will agree, this is not up to what the D800e can produce by a long chalk. If the Tamron doesn't outperform this, I will send it back and let everyone know why :^)

I can't see your photo.

It's a NEF, a raw file, which I posted in order to take my post processing out of the equation.

But all I will say is. One cannot expect to just pick up a supertele and expect to come away with brilliant results. Technique and particularly long lens technique takes time. A camera or a lens does not take a photo...... a person does

Fooey.  I've doing this photography thing for a long, long time, and I have more than adequate skill to press the AF On button and fire away with the little red square on the eye.  One of the least skilled types of photography there is if the truth be known.  I know when the gear isn't sharp. I took off the t.c. the next two days and got the expected performance back. The crops from the bare 500 look better than the t.c.  The 500VR doesn't impress me as being as good as the 80-400VR or the 600VR for focus on bifs.  I'm terribly sorry to offend all you 500VR owners, but it just isn't $10K special on the D800e compared to the 600VR.  It's not long enough, as good at tracking or as sharp.

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