Confused - For Wildlife, what's the rational for the 400 f/4.5

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
EricK214 Senior Member • Posts: 1,378
Re: Confused - For Wildlife, what's the rational for the 400 f/4.5

ARClark wrote:

shuncheung wrote:

EricK214 wrote:

There is a pretty large distinction between sports and wildlife photography for camera and lenses. Choosing a lens for sports, you generally setup your position in relation to where you know where your subjects will be. NFL, Baseball, motorsports and Olympics. in this manner you will be shooting at a known distance in most cases. You can choose the lens focal length that will fill the frame or fill it to the point you want. This is also why sports cameras are usually lower MP FF sensors (lower pixel density), smaller files sizes for uploading on the fly, better low light performance and no cropping needed. This is why I would never shoot with a low MP (20-24) on a FF camera, just no real croppability, at 20-24mp, it would have to be an APS-C for the pixel density or a FF 45MP+ sensor.

Wildlife on the other hand you need a lot of reach most of the time and your subjects are the absolute LEAST predictable. Your location/Distance is rarely ever predetermined. Getting close enough is harder and harder the shorter the focal length without a blind. With bird photography, even large raptors can be difficult to get close enough even with 500mm, nevermind 400mm or less.

Well said.

Also, to me, it doesn't make much sense to pair the 400mm/4.5 with a DX body. The reason I used DX, e.g. the D7200, D500 ... is to enhance the 500/5.6, 600/f4 with their pixel density. There is no point to use a shorter 400mm to begin with. I often use my D500 with the 500 PF.

Of course shooting with a Z7, Z9 or D850 offers almost the same pixel density and reach as those DX cameras but with a wider field. So I assume you’re comparing the DX bodies to low MP Z6 or D780 FF bodies?

I was as I explained that in my post. Though you still have slightly less pixel density crop 45mp down to the FOV of the D500 APS-C's 20.9mp. You are cropping so you are also losing any ISO advantage of the FF Sensor. On a FF body I would much rather more the extra 100mm then to have to crop in obviously.

I am used to shooting my 500PF with teh D500 for 2+ years, so the FOV equivalent of 750mm. It's bad enough to go FF with the Z9 and 500mm means 500mm FOV, So 400mm is really crazy town to me in the not enough reach. So I admit I am biased but I don't image predominately wildlife/BIF shooters are looking to buy a 400mm just to put a TC on it.

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Wildlife/BIF Hunter: Nikon Z9 is my weapon of choice, the 500mm f5.6 PF is my ammo.

 EricK214's gear list:EricK214's gear list
Nikon Z9 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF
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