Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
lokatz Senior Member • Posts: 1,388
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

krebnickel wrote:

Thanks! I already have a few questions that I don’t think I’ll find in the manuals:

Congrats on your new gear!

I already damaged a D500 by not properly considering these aspects with the heavier 200-500, so I'm an expert here:

1) with this lens attached, is it OK to hold the camera from the camera or do I always have to support the lens so as to not damage the area where it attaches from strain? Ive found already that when I am playing with the camera settings I have both hands on the body of the camera...

I prefer to use both hands as much as possible, but with this comparatively lightweight lens, there should not be much risk in only holding the camera with one hand as long as you keep the lens pointed downward, I think.

2) related to that - for strap attachment - do I attach to the camera body, or with this 500PF should I be attaching to the lens mount (e.g., with the black rapid screw in attachment, or also I have peak design straps that have the little anchors you attach).

Always use the lens mount. The combo balances much better that way, and the lower camera weight puts less stress on the lens mount than the lens would.

3) I’ve never used filters to protect a lens before - but I’ve also never had a lens this valuable. What are people’s thoughts on this? I’d rather not use one if not necessary as I’ve always found the hood is protective enough and I don’t want to put a cheap piece of glass over a very expensive one.....

That's a discussion that is nearly as old as filters are, and you will find lots of supporters on both sides of the argument. Steve Perry, for example, argues that they do not add value ( Personally, I'm in his camp: I had a broken filter once where I felt the shards might have damaged the (otherwise unimpressed) lens, and just like Steve, I'm of the opinion that the front element withstands a lot more bang that a UV filter anyway. My 500 PF goes unprotected.

What I DO use on it, though, is a neoprene camouflage cover, not so much because of the camouflage effect but because the neoprene protects the lens well. While birding in New Zealand early this year, I fell off an edge and probably would have seen some lens damage (in addition to my knee and elbow), were it not for the cover. (Well, the hood's lock-in-place part broke off, so I needed a new hood.)

Please let me know if I should be posting these questions elsewhere or at least on a separate thread.


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