200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Started Apr 24, 2013 | Discussions
Laci55
Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Has anyone compared these lenses shooting wide open? What would you choose?

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Jane79
Jane79 Regular Member • Posts: 438
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Check out Nasim Mansurov's review of the AF-S 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II .

The latest version of these lenses are compared in the comparison section of the review including 300mm + TC-14II vs. 200-400mm.

RBFresno
RBFresno Forum Pro • Posts: 12,576
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Laci55 wrote:

Has anyone compared these lenses shooting wide open? What would you choose?

HI!

Thom Hogan

RB

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Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Thank U so much Jane! I´ve got all the answers I wanted... Have a nice evening! Best regards; Laci

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Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Thank U so much! Have a nice evening!

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jsr4522 Regular Member • Posts: 111
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

I have both.  For me the decision  comes down to what I will be shooting.

The 1.4 TC lives on my 300 f/2.8 VRII. If I was going to shoot primarily at infinity, this would be my choice over the 200-400.  IQ / sharpness seems to be a bit better for my style of shooting.  It's my handheld option for birds in flight or from the kayak.  Performs great at distance for smaller fast moving objects at f/4.  My combo shows little degradation in IQ with the TC.  AF appears to be on par with the 200-400.

The 200-400 VRII is my big game lens.  It affords a great deal of flexibility on safari or when framing large animals.  F/4 is helpful in the woods or for early AM shooting, but more often than not I am using it at f/5.6+ (more as a result of lighting conditions than IQ issues).  The issues around image quality at distance are over blown and are more of an issue for the pixel peepers than in actual practice.

Its more of a question of the right tool for the job vs material differences in IQ.  Both are great lenses.

Laci55 wrote:

Has anyone compared these lenses shooting wide open? What would you choose?

Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Thank U so much for the detailed answer! It was nice to read your opinion about the picture quality at long distances... If I understand U right it is not so bad as some people saying it was... Could U please tell me what is the distance you think it was "long distance" by definition... How is the lens at 20-30 meter distances? Have a nice day! Best regards; Laci

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RBFresno
RBFresno Forum Pro • Posts: 12,576
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Laci55 wrote:

Thank U so much for the detailed answer! It was nice to read your opinion about the picture quality at long distances... If I understand U right it is not so bad as some people saying it was... Could U please tell me what is the distance you think it was "long distance" by definition... How is the lens at 20-30 meter distances? Have a nice day! Best regards; Laci

Hi!

I  am one of those who, without any rigorous testing, but over 8 years use, thinks that the 200-400vr (I) performs better at  less than infinity focus. Just my impressions from everyday use.....

For distant subjects , I would put it this way. If you using the 200-400VR at 350 mm or less, and the subject fills at least 50% of the FX frame , then I've been pretty happy withe the results even at f/4 and for distant subjects.

At closer distances (I'm being intentionally vague!) I've had  shots  at 560mm using a 1.4 TC that have been fine.

I can't really explain why I have  these impressions, and others might well have contrary thoughts....

And of course the 200-400VR focuses closer than the other exotic Nikon tele's (200 through 600 VR primes)

But my 200VR and 500VR beat the 200-400VR, which partly explains why I finally sold my zoom.

RB

)

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Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Thank U so much once again! The fact is that I just sold my 500 because I´ve got the 500 4,0L IS II + C 1Dx combo. I went for the C because of the substantial weight reduction. I loved my Nikkor 500 otherwise... I´ve been contemplating now to get the 200-400 but I think I will stay away from it for the moment... You helped me a lot! Have a nice day!

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 15,327
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

jsr4522 wrote:

I have both.  For me the decision  comes down to what I will be shooting.

It is the same for me.

When I am in need of the zoom facility I am usually shooting landscapes from a tripod.

When I am shooting sports I usually use the 300 f2.8 hand held which has significantly faster AF without a converter, faster AF with a converter and the advantage of a brighter viewfinder without a converter.

In good contrast light I find the 200-400 focus perfect at or near infinity. The zoom does have slightly lower contrast and is f4 rather than f2.8 which limits autofocus ability in difficult lighting conditions.

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Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Thank U for your comment Leonard! I have the 300/2,8 VR and I love the image quality of it rather without the TC... Have a nice day!

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ralphcramdon Senior Member • Posts: 1,170
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Laci55 wrote:

Has anyone compared these lenses shooting wide open? What would you choose?

unless you need 2.8 or f/4 I'd go with the new 80-400

I shoot the 300vr and with the TC on it stopped down to f/5.6 the 80-400 wide open at 5.6 comes very close IQ wise

D7100 + 80-400AFS

RBFresno
RBFresno Forum Pro • Posts: 12,576
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Laci55 wrote:

Thank U for your comment Leonard! I have the 300/2,8 VR and I love the image quality of it rather without the TC... Have a nice day!

HI!

Yep, once one gets spoiled by "great glass" it's hard to go back, or even put a TC on a lens!:

Nikon D4 ,Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED AF-S VR
1/640s f/6.3 at 200.0mm iso400

Best Regards,

RB

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Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Fantastic capture! Yes, this is exactly what I mean too... I´ve been just out with the 300 VR and the D 4 and took some Pictures... I made a terrible mistake though... I never shoot JPEG but this time the camera was programmed on the wrong way... I took JPEG Pictures with normal quality. Despite this mistake I really enjoyed thew results with the "naked" 300 wide open...

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Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Thank U so much for thew comment and for the pictures! These are very Beautiful captures! How is the image quality at 400 mm wide open in comparison with the 300+TC 1,4??? Have a nice evening!

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jsr4522 Regular Member • Posts: 111
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

My definition of long distance is 40+ meters (also depends on atmospherics, humidity, air quality, ect).  At 20-30m its great for large subjects and can do birds, but I would prefer the 300 f/2,8 II + TC for birds.  I totally agree with RBFresno  - its a great lens when your subject fills 40%+ of the frame at 350-375mm, but like all zooms, the breakdown (and it is <5-10% quality loss to a non pixel peeper) comes at 400 @ infinity focus when you are shooting something that is less than 50% of the frame.

I would also second the recommendation of the 80-400 AFS VRII.  Unless I plan on shooting bears or other large game in low/challenging lighting conditions  - one stop down its pretty close to the 200-400 (90-95%) and a whole lot easier to carry around as a second lens......

Laci55 wrote:

Thank U so much for the detailed answer! It was nice to read your opinion about the picture quality at long distances... If I understand U right it is not so bad as some people saying it was... Could U please tell me what is the distance you think it was "long distance" by definition... How is the lens at 20-30 meter distances? Have a nice day! Best regards; Laci

Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Thank U so much for the answer! Yes, I think I will have a look at the 80-400 now... Have a nice day! Best regards; Laci

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peterclark55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,379
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

For me, the ideal is the 500 (for distant  shots) and the 200-400 (for flexibility) for framing small birds from close up. It all dépends upon what you shoot. Peter

ralphcramdon Senior Member • Posts: 1,170
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Laci55 wrote:

Thank U so much for thew comment and for the pictures! These are very Beautiful captures! How is the image quality at 400 mm wide open in comparison with the 300+TC 1,4??? Have a nice evening!

the 300 2.8 AFS VR + 1.4 is better but not by as much as you might expect or not by as much as the price diff

the 300/4 + 1.4 is not as good

the 80-400 is amazing wide open at 400

Laci55
OP Laci55 Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: 200-400 4,0 vs 300/2,8 VR + TC 1,4II

Thank U so much Peter! Have a nice weekend!

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