Nikon 400 f2.8G or 500mm f4G - best choice for wildlife?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
dave gaines
dave gaines Veteran Member • Posts: 9,564
Re: Nikon 400 f2.8G or 500mm f4G - best choice for wildlife?

masterm82 wrote:

Hello all

I have been using a 300mm f2.8G VR2 for my wildlife photography With a D500, but want something with a little bit more reach.

P.S. it would be the G versions of these as I can’t afford the FL models.

How do you carry the telephoto when you're walking about looking for wildlife? If you had the 400 mm f/2.8 or the 500 mm f/4 would you also carry the 300 mm f/2.8 in your pack? Or just take one lens and hope it's the right focal length?

I have the 300 mm f/2.8. I like to use it on a tripod and gimbal head. I do a lot of hiking and carry it all in a backpack. Given the time it takes to get it all out and set it up I prefer to shoot it from one good spot. I have used it on a monopod with the RRS monopod head and it's okay, but not as stable and more work.

The down side of this setup is weight. The gimbal head is bulky and weighs 8 pounds. The tripod weighs 6 pounds. The tripod could weigh more, depending on what you have. This setup fills my medium large backpack, along with extra water, lunch and warm clothes.

Weight is an issue when hiking any distance. So is the amount of space you have in your pack. I carry the camera in a pouch, usually with the 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens attached for scenic shots where the telephoto won't do. The telephoto lens rides in a very padded pouch until I find the right place to set up.

Last month I hiked up into a very rugged, remote canyon in Joshua Tree. I knew the 300 mm f/2.8 was going to be too heavy to boulder hop with. So I carried the 300 mm f/4 instead. A couple of weeks ago I climbed 1200 feet up to a peak at 4100 feet asl. On that 2 hour hike (one way) I also carried the 300 f/4. I carried it all the way back down on the camera with a monopod attached and got a few bird shots along the way.

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Dave - Be safe. Stay Healthy.

 dave gaines's gear list:dave gaines's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-330 Nikon D800E Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +17 more
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