Telephoto upgrade sounding board

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djd97 Regular Member • Posts: 241
Telephoto upgrade sounding board

I've been long contemplating upgrading my 70-300 AF-S. I've made a couple threads over the past few months and I'm still not quite sure what is the "best" option for me.....I don't necessarily expect anyone to have an answer, but I'd appreciate any thoughts and maybe just a sounding board.

I mostly shoot landscapes and occasional wildlife when going on hikes (both locally and when traveling), portraits are mostly limited to my dog, and maybe occasionally of people. I do also occasionally go out at night. Realistically, I'll almost certainly never actually print anything, but I do irrationally pixel peep some times and always am a bit disappointed with a picture if it's not in perfect focus even when it is otherwise really interesting (imo).

Part of the reason I wanted to upgrade was for the extra reach over my 70-300, which is why I was originally considering 100-400 options. Namely, the Sigma and Tamron 100-400. I've been testing a Sigma 100-400, but I'm not too thrilled with the backwards zooming, its focusing speed, or the need for the FTZ adapter. I know the 70-300 AFP is a large upgrade, but I'm reluctant to upgrade to something that doesn't increase my reach.

The upcoming 100-400 S will likely solve all of the above problems, although, obviously at quite a premium ($2500~) compared to the $500~ I could find a used Sigma/Tamron 100-400 at, and will also certainly be even better across the board while likely only being a slight increase in size. After the stellar reviews of the 2xTC, I started to give serious consideration to the 70-200 S and 2xTC, which I think makes me question if the 100-400 is the right option for me at all -- for 25% more (not an insignificant amount), I gain the extra 1.5 stops and extra bit of background separation over the 70-200 rage while getting most of the performance of a 100-400 (a loss of a bit of sharpness?).

Alternatively, the 70-200E with its current sale price is significantly cheaper than the 70-200 S ($700 less -- $1000 if I get something used from KEH, but I don't know if $300 is worth the cost of 4.5 years of warranty). For the difference between the E and S plus the cost of the 2xTC, I can likely get pretty close to the price of the upcoming 200-600 (or maybe a cheaper 150-600 would suffice). Obviously the 200-600 class of lenses is quite a bit larger, but it does yield a significant increase in reach. Realistically, I would never bring both with me on a vacation or a hike, so the TC route does offer that advantage, but I think it would be pretty clearly defined if I wanted the speed of the 70-200 or the reach of the 200-600.

Regardless of what option I decide to go with, I will generally be pairing it with my 14-30.

 djd97's gear list:djd97's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +3 more
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