Nikon fit Tamron 150-600VC birds

Started May 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
dwa1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,565
Re: Thanks for your efforts Brandon.

Brandon birder wrote:

dwa1 wrote:

Brandon birder wrote:

It's all been a bit of a rush since Bempton having gone on two holidays. Got round to evaluating my Tamron images and have come to the conclusion that the tamron has less acuity of fine feather detail at 600mm and f8 than the 80-400 at 400mm and f 5.6 for the distances I usually shoot at. The AF acquisition for birds in flight is slower too. So I have sold my Tamron.

For those wanting an 80-400 but not the price the Tamron is an excellent lens though for me the Nikkor is worth the extra. Also the Tamron does not work with N1 cameras at the present time.


Thanks so much for all of your efforts (time, skills and $$) in testing out the Tamron against the other birding lenses. Threads like this one is where many photogs look for the findings of experienced birders / photogs.

Wayne that's a pleasure. I have been helped a lot by others doing similar.

I do have one question for you... With regard to the AF sensor (single point) being able to pick out that "bird among the branches", how much did the extra 200mm of FL come into play 80-400 vs. 150-600? It's one thing to be able to crop from 400mm but another thing to have enough FL to put the AF sensor on the subject only (and not the branches). I realize that this may vary for FX to DX and even the AF system "version". For this question, perhaps consider the D7100 AF system.

Well in theory it will make a difference but in practice as the D7100's AF point is quite small I've not noticed that the Tamron helped that way. Maybe the long range cuckoo shot.

Based on a few threads on the N1 forum, it looks like the new CX 70-300 VR has IQ "similar" to the 80-400g. That's a lot of "N1 reach" for sure. The total price of a V3 and CX 70-300 VR is fairly close to the cost of a 80-400g. The main thing here is the low light / high-ISO performance.

The V3 70-300CX is a great and unique ultra portable bird combo. IQ is good enough in normal and good light and acceptable in less light with a few PP tricks which include downsizing. It's not going to beat a D7100/80-400G or D800/500f4 but it certainly can go places they can't. AF is amazingly fast it must be the only mirror less combo suitable for birds in flight. The lens is really sharp and makes the V3 better. The frames per second are astonishing and will provide a whole new range of images. I took a 30 raw sequence at 10fps of a heron strike today while walking the dog. Try doing that with a large camera and lens.

I wish that Nikon would upgrade the IQ of their current 70-300 VR lens (even if they had to increase the price). The hi-res sensors like the D7100 provide a great deal of cropping reach and a 70-300 lens with better IQ at 300mm would get us some "decent" reach with good IQ.

Agree. The new CX lens is sharper than the FX 70-300. I feel though that an 800mm fov is the optimum lens camera fov for birding. Any less is not enough reach and anymore needs excellent technique or heavy rock solid tripods for high quality images. So a sharper 70-300FX though better would not be quite enough with a D7100 imo. The 80-400g is much better but pricier. Curiously and I've not worked out why but may relate to my above statement, the 80-400G on a V3 is not as sharp in the field as with the CX 70-300.

fwiw... For next year's birding lens, I am currently leaning more toward the Nikon 300 f4 and 1.4xTC instead of the Tamron 150-600 VC. I shoot with 2 bodies anyway (D7100 and D300) so the lack of a zoom may not be a problem - not sure though until I have some "real time field experience".

You won't be disappointed with that combo. Just use a monopod. Zooms are useful if large birds or animals are your main or frequent subjects.

Thanks again for your work and for reporting your findings.



thanks for your encouragement. Take care.

-- hide signature --

Cheers, BB

Thanks for your detailed and helpful reply Brandon. I am gald that you like the V3 and CX 70-300 VR combo. Considering that combo (someday), but it is not high on my list. Good to know about the amazingly fast AF (and with no need for AF Fine Tune!). Would love to see that heron strike someday.


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