NIKON 400MM F/2.8E FL ED VR vs 500mm F/4E FL ED VR on D500

Started Jan 17, 2017 | Discussions thread
exRhodesian Contributing Member • Posts: 710
Re: NIKON 400MM F/2.8E FL ED VR vs 500mm F/4E FL ED VR on D500

ajm057 wrote:

Nick Edwards wrote:

I find I use a 1.4 TC on my 600mm f4E FL and D5 nearly all the time, principally for bird photography, inc BIF. I occasionally go to a TC2.0III, which even then, I sometimes wish was longer than the 1200mm! Depending on your wildlife photography specifics, you may find that you can't really have too long a lens (but not all the time).

The 600 f4 and TC1.4, as a 840mm f5.6 is, I find, a very high quality and transportable combination, which I generally use with a monopod or even handheld (lifting the whole caboodle when the bird goes overhead).

Thus a 600 or 500 f4 on a DX body would not be a ridiculous consideration unless you envisage being relatively closer to your subjects most of the time.

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A l'eau, c'est l'heure

I agree 100%. The both 400mm/2.8 FL and 600mm/4.0 FL are extraordinary lenses with huge capabilities when on a D500 or D5 in very low light. My guidance, for what it is worth, is to pick your lens based on what you expect you will be shooting - how big/small the subject is likely to be; how far will it be from you, how fast moving, and in what light. The majority of my shots on the last 3 safaris were taken with a 600mm on either the D500 or D810 - the subjects are almost always a long way away or relatively small. Hence the need for long reach. Most professional Bird Photographers (which I am not) I follow seem to be using the 800mm f/5.6 - Nikon on D5, D810 and D500 bodies -- but this is a huge investment.

I'm somewhat insane and so bought both the 400mm/FL and 600mm/FL in 2016 and took them on a series of safaris in Africa and other places. The investment was worthwhile for me and all part of the cost of the trips.

I hesitate to provide some of my shots -- but here we go.

Here's a shot of a kite shot with a D500/400mm in low light (hence ISO 1250) and no cropping. It was flying at me head on so needed a high shutter speed. On this occasion, the bird flew relatively close to us.

1/3200th, f/5.0, ISO 1250 D500 400mm FL

Most of my shots have been taken in Africa at fairly long distance and so the 600mm is my go to lens. However, even with a 600mm I have found the need to crop in a long way to fill the frame. I found that unless the bird filled 50% or more of the frame then the results of cropping in on an image taken with D500 when shooting in low light were not good. For example, I took lots of shots of Pied Kingfishers with the D500

When the light is good the combination of a D500 and 600mm can be OK.

1/400th at f/6.3, ISO 125 with a D500 and 600mm/4.0 FL

Shot from 40m - 1/3200th at f/6.3, IDO 125 with a D500 and 600mm

I also tried shooting wide open.

Shot from 40m away - 1/2000th at f/4.0, ISO 560 with a D500 and 600mm f/4.0 (1/3 cropped off)

Shot from 25m 1/3200th at f/6.3, ISO 640 with a D500 and 600mm f/4

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Excellent shots taken. Well Done. Looks like you had a rewarding trip.

Agree that even the 600mm is often too short which is where the D810 comes to the rescue enabling cropping. I wanted to get the D5 but have decided to rather wait for the D810 replacement mainly because of cropping when used with the 600mm.

Post more images.



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