Owl, Fish, Frogs, Rabbit, and of course Birds! (7/22/21)

Started 2 months ago | Photos thread
Joachim Wulfers
Joachim Wulfers Veteran Member • Posts: 5,142
Re: Joachim,

zackiedawg wrote:

Joachim Wulfers wrote:

Justin, objectively, do you notice a better performance of the 200-600 over the 100-400 with 1.4 TC to the point where making a compromise and "living" with the longer MFD is worth it?

I sort of made that decision myself - though I did keep both lenses. I just found overall that the 200-600mm was better IQ than the 100-400mm + TC in the extended ranges, plus had more overall reach at 600mm vs 560mm, plus was faster to focus and lock at those extreme focal lengths. Enough that I pretty much decided I won't be using the 1.4x on the 100-400mm anymore - I use the 100-400mm when I want to go a little lighter, and when I want to mix in more closeup shooting. I use the 200-600mm when I know I want the reach more than anything, and then use it for closeup work when the opportunities arise, as it's 'good enough' at that moment.

I guess it would really depend on just how much of your shooting is done with the closeup work vs the long focal length. If you're 50/50, or leaning towards the closeup more, then the 100-400mm with 1.4x would be worth it as you're compromise is mostly down to the distant and small birds. If you're leaning more heavily towards needing the reach and small birds, the 200-600mm is probably the better overall, as it can still do the other stuff in a pinch too - that would be your compromise.

And the compromise isn't horrible either way - we're talking the 200-600mm is maybe 5-10% better than the 100-400mm with 1.4x TC for the long work, and the 100-400mm is maybe 10-15% better for the closeup work than the 200-600mm.

Also, are you thinking of keeping the 70-300mm? If yes, then the other option is to just use that lens sometimes on days when you know your shooting will involve more closeup shooting than birds. That's the way I use the 100-400mm and 200-600mm - on any given day, I usually just bring one of them and then I focus on that lens' forte for that day - if an opportunity comes along, such as a distant bird with the 100-400mm or a closeup with the 200-600mm, I can get the shot, but it just takes a little more compromise and adjustment. There have been rare winter days when the shooting is really good where I'll bring both lenses with me, leave one in the car, and shoot one lens for the first half of the day then switch to the other...but I never go out hiking/walking with a bag and additional lenses - I much prefer to just bring the camera and one attached lens and stay light and mobile.

Thanks for the detailed account. I plan on keeping the FE70-300G but I also kept the SEL 18-200 which for close-up shots is even better. Decisions.. decisions!

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