200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

Started Aug 17, 2019 | Discussions
DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 6,376
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

The 200-400mm looks way better and sharper to me !!

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olindacat
OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 456
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

Well, I must confess I have not purchased the 200-500, for anyone considering these lenses. My reason is the slow focusing. When I posted this question I hadn't realized how much I need snappy fast focusing solution. I also need more, not less, reach but in a zoom scenario.

Bruce, I think both you and Leonard might have mentioned the 150-600S or C Sigma.

I was reading about those two lenses, but that dock and some examples by I think you Leonard, of your teddy bear, and some others were giving me pause.

I understand the Sigma and Tamaron lenses have come a long way. Sigmas I guess is it 2016 Art era and beyond?

But the complexity of the dock scares me, as I am really one big idiot when it comes to refining things, and one more interface is a big turnoff.

I can't swing 3500 for the 500, and remember my biddy Jose had a Canon 500 we had to out on a tripod and it was a PITA. Now, the PF is smaller, I think like the 70-200 2.8, but the focal length for me needs to zoom.

I hear mixed reviews about the 80-400 at 400, and the 200-400 at 400, and I can't get close to golfers as they are often a miserable lot who will blame you for their lousy play lol.

I wish the 200-500 had a better AF/MOTOR.

There must be a lot of us who 'wish' for what we can't have.

I manage to get the focusing to work with my cheesy 70-300. It is not the P version. I wanted that 500 reach, but the inability to focus quickly is tough. Golfers are static, then move like fast. I am shooting continuously. The D500 is a fantasy cam for me.

I did read somewhere the Z6ii helps with better long end focus. I have no idea how. I thought a lens is a lens regardless of the body.

I wonder if the 150-600 is better than the 70-300 Nikon, and if the dock is mandatory?

Wish I could just live with the 200-500. Remember sideline sports shooters saying that it was fine. They are staying by a field that doesn't move. I'm speeding around on a cart over 18 holes, and moving between shots to get the sun behind me, out of their way or line of sight, and often shade makes it an almost low light situation, which I believe the 200-500 struggles to lock on the subject as light diminishes.

Is why I haven't pulled the trigger. I have a little bit saved for updating my kit so really want to do it right. The Zs I am not sure I want the TV screen in my view finder. I've looked in them a the store. Wasn't horrid, but I used to put a loop on ground glass!

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,288
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

olindacat wrote:

Well, I must confess I have not purchased the 200-500, for anyone considering these lenses.

AF, while not fast, is not slow compared to many lenses from 10 years ago.

The 200-500 at about 35% of the price of of the 500 PF has IMO decent AF speed at the price point.

For me the big limitations (at the price point) of the 200-500 are weight and size extended to 500mm.

AF speed can be significantly speeded up with any lens with approximate pre-focus on where action is expected to happen, though predicting where action might happen is not always easy.

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Leonard Shepherd
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David5833 Senior Member • Posts: 1,723
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

owlseye wrote:

In addition, it takes 360 degrees (plus) to go from 200-500...

As long as we are resurrecting old threads, we might as well correct this error:  It takes a little less than 180 degrees to go from 200 to 500, not 360 degrees (plus).  Simply look at the focal length markings on the lens and it will be obvious.

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olindacat
OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 456
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

Love your composition and Flickr David. I like your use of your 70-300 in this: https://flic.kr/p/JSVrvT

Was that eh "P" version? I don't have the P but know it is supposedly much better.

I see you have the 200-500 too. I guess I should give it a try before I knock it. My dilemma is I position myself in places where I am shooting golfers on up to three different holes at nearly the same time (they tee off, putt, chip, etc., at different times, often close to the same moment. So, I'm swinging around to and from trying to get it all.

olindacat
OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 456
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

That's good to know. I don't recall ever hearing that (about the speed being no worse than 10 years ago. My 24-70 2.8 and now sold 70-200 2.8 were bought new an B&H in 2005. Is the 200-500 comparable to them? (I still use my 24-70 now.)

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,288
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

David5833 wrote:

owlseye wrote:

In addition, it takes 360 degrees (plus) to go from 200-500...

As long as we are resurrecting old threads, we might as well correct this error: It takes a little less than 180 degrees to go from 200 to 500, not 360 degrees (plus).

I make it just over 180 degrees on a quite stiff zoom ring.

The 200-400 had much less resistance and (from memory) fewer degrees of zoom turn. - making the 200-400 the zoom turn convenience winner.

The 200-400 has over 12 inches of focus ring travel compared to about 6 inches on the 200-500.

On a tripod the 200-400 had easily the most precise manual focus of any Nikon lens I have used - close to the standard of using focus peaking on a ML body.

Digressing to focus peaking (unknown when the thread started) - it is a measure of acutance on the short edge of the frame - not necessarily the same of sharpness in the available depth of field. My advice is never use more than 1 as a setting and if working from a good tripod zoom in to 50/100/200% (your choice) to confirm focus is exactly where you want it.

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than anything else.

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owlseye Regular Member • Posts: 234
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

David5833 wrote:

owlseye wrote:

In addition, it takes 360 degrees (plus) to go from 200-500...

As long as we are resurrecting old threads, we might as well correct this error: It takes a little less than 180 degrees to go from 200 to 500, not 360 degrees (plus). Simply look at the focal length markings on the lens and it will be obvious.

This was corrected on page one... I don't know what i was thinking at the time.... Obviously, it can't be a 360 degree throw, but it sure feels like it is.

Having been out in the field all weekend w/ my 200-400, I can tell you that it is a pleasure to be able to zoom the lens with one or two fingers and make subtle shifts between focal lengths. Were this lens just a little better with a 1.4x converter, I would not be using the 500PF too. As a shooter who prefers to work from a tripod, the 500PF is not designed for a guy like me. I only own this lens so I can shoot smaller subjects or wildlife that requires a 750mm field of view (possible w/ a D500).

As a Nikon shooter, I am at a crossroads. Nikon makes the amazing 180-400 w/ built in converter, but the lens ranges from $9500 (used) to $12,500 (new US). This is a giant investment in a glass that will receive reduced support as Nikon transitions to mirrorless. In the mirrorless catalog, Nikon has yet to release a lens that exceeds 200mm. The 200-600 on the Z-roadmap is not an "S" lens. This suggests that the lens will be more like the 200-500 than the 200-400. While it might be great to be able to shoot at 600mm, if this is accompanied by a loss of optical acuity, then the lens is not for me.

While Sony seems to be building lenses that would meet my needs, I am not interested in learning a new UI, so until I see what the 200-600 nonS looks like, I'll continue to plod along w/ what I have... Linked are some recent pics w/ the 200-400 and Z6II

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regards,
bruce

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David5833 Senior Member • Posts: 1,723
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

olindacat wrote:

...Was that eh "P" version? I don't have the P but know it is supposedly much better.

It was a Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC, now discontinued. It was as good or better than the comparable Nikon AF-S version and less expensive. I sold it a few years ago. I would probably get the Nikon AF-P version if I was in the market today.

I see you have the 200-500 too. I guess I should give it a try before I knock it. My dilemma is I position myself in places where I am shooting golfers on up to three different holes at nearly the same time (they tee off, putt, chip, etc., at different times, often close to the same moment. So, I'm swinging around to and from trying to get it all.

I guess if you have to zoom quickly through a wide range of focal lengths the 200-500 would be a PITA.  It is a little less than 180 degrees from stop to stop, but as owlseye said, it feels like more.  This is because of its large diameter.  I'm almost always using mine at 500mm, so it isn't a problem for me.

The only way to know if it would work for you is to try it.

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olindacat
OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 456
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

On a tripod the 200-400 had easily the most precise manual focus of any Nikon lens I have used - close to the standard of using focus peaking on a ML body.

Digressing to focus peaking (unknown when the thread started) - it is a measure of acutance on the short edge of the frame - not necessarily the same of sharpness in the available depth of field. My advice is never use more than 1 as a setting and if working from a good tripod zoom in to 50/100/200% (your choice) to confirm focus is exactly where you want it.

I used a tripod for landscapes back when I was using view cameras, or trying to get the flags on greens in focus from >150 yards away. It was hit or miss back then, as I was using a D2X and don't think I even knew what fine tuning was, of if that feature worked on that body. It wasn't until the 800s came along I started understanding bad-focus, etc., and honestly still don't aim at a card just handhold and sheet at tree bark, making adjustments on the fly. It has worked but hardly precise.

I'm shooting for this: https://769c0729.flowpaper.com/SFGseptdec2020V7/#page=1

I apologize some ere have told me the flip book sticks. (Don't try this on your iPhone or mobile it's mostly double truck images.) Not every photo in it is mine. I share space with others whenever I can get anything from anyone else. A gardener is there at 4am daily and has an iPhone 11 Pro and gets some super shots with it. I just dropped my 6S+ and smashed it, so now have a 12 Pro Max and am excited to have that tool.

Here I think I'musing a D3500 @ 300mm with my 70-300 AF-S as the ball is going into the hole. I was up on a hill behind the green maybe 60 yards away. This is "close" to my subject.

300mm on the 70-300 again. Same day, almost same exact location (I think I might have snuck this through some bushes, sun must have darted behind a cloud.) I use the D3500 as I think it gives me better results than my D810 in DX mode, but more importantly I can keep my 24-70 on the D810 for wide shots.

olindacat
OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 456
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

David5833 wrote:

I would probably get the Nikon AF-P version if I was in the market today.

It's handy to have and I've managed with that focal range, but know the extra 200mm would be a joy. I just got myself caught between Nikon system vs say Sigma. I don't really like 3rd party so the 200-400 or 200-500 or 500PF (too much $ and stuck at 500mm) seem to be... 'it'.

I guess if you have to zoom quickly through a wide range of focal lengths the 200-500 would be a PITA. It is a little less than 180 degrees from stop to stop, but as owlseye said, it feels like more. This is because of its large diameter. I'm almost always using mine at 500mm, so it isn't a problem for me.

The only way to know if it would work for you is to try it.

Ya, it's only 1300, and there seems to be a ready market of buyers at 900, so the cost of getting one, or loss, isn't mind-boggling. I hope Nikon keeps making DSLRs. That D870 will be where I'm headed, and a D500 successor if one comes out.

The Sigma 150-600 contemporary, while not robust, did seem a good deal were it not for the whole dock thing, and my bad experience with Tameron back in the 2000s.

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,288
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.
1

owlseye wrote:

Nikon makes the amazing 180-400 w/ built in converter, but the lens ranges from $9500 (used) to $12,500 (new US).

In the UK recently with a Nikon deal - including 20% sales tax - it was £9,800.

It is currently around £10,900. For this lens the UK price seems lower.

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than anything else.

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owlseye Regular Member • Posts: 234
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

owlseye wrote:

Nikon makes the amazing 180-400 w/ built in converter, but the lens ranges from $9500 (used) to $12,500 (new US).

In the UK recently with a Nikon deal - including 20% sales tax - it was £9,800.

It is currently around £10,900. For this lens the UK price seems lower.

Wow!... that is a steep price cut.

The lens price in the US has been stable. It is the same price point of the 600mm f/4E. My decision to spend this much money on a lens is fraught with conflict, as I am a teacher (translate... not rich with disposable income), and my income from photography and workshops/seminars has crashed precipitously since March, 2020. Furthermore, the decision to invest in expensive F-mount glass is complicated by the less than transparent rollout of Z telephotos lenses. While we know that Nikon has Z lenses like the 100-400, 200-600, 400 prime, and 600 prime on their roadmap, we don't know anything about their maximum aperture, time of introduction, "real" availability, or price. I find all of this terribly frustrating, and it has me looking at the competition.

As a wildlife and nature photographer, I could sell my current gear and easily slip into Sony with class leading AF and a 200-600mm internal zoom lens for both my wife and I, 70-200 f/4 lenses, and a pair of wide-angles without putting much money into the move.

At this point, I need Nikon to throw me a bone... tell me more about the two telephoto zoom lenses, show me more than shadow diagrams, and publish an anticipated release date. For the record, I do not want to move systems, as I am comfortable with the Nikon UI, but the lack of transparency and questionable business survivability, has my eyes wandering.

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regards,
bruce

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,288
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.
3

owlseye wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

In the UK recently with a Nikon deal - including 20% sales tax - it was £9,800.

It is currently around £10,900. For this lens the UK price seems lower.

Wow!... that is a steep price cut.

In the UK the 600 PF is around £10,800 including sales tax.

Furthermore, the decision to invest in expensive F-mount glass is complicated by the less than transparent rollout of Z telephotos lenses. While we know that Nikon has Z lenses like the 100-400, 200-600, 400 prime, and 600 prime on their roadmap, we don't know anything about their maximum aperture, time of introduction, "real" availability, or price.

We know as the 400 and 600 have a large outline on the road map - they are fast aperture lenses.

We know, although unlikely within your budget, Sony so far has only 1 long fast prime, no 180-400 optic and no 300 or 500 PF - all good for wildlife at different points.

I find all of this terribly frustrating, and it has me looking at the competition.

As a wildlife and nature photographer, I could sell my current gear and easily slip into Sony with class leading AF and a 200-600mm internal zoom lens for both my wife and I, 70-200 f/4 lenses, and a pair of wide-angles without putting much money into the move.

Right now Sony has a wider lens range, though over time the lens range will be held back by the Sony narrow lens flange.

The Nikon 200-600 may be class leading over Sony - when it arrives.

Many do not accept Sony AF is class leading compared to the top Nikon and Canon pro DSLRs - the Canon R gives it a good run for the money - and Nikon are likely to announce pro bodies with improved AF soon.

Your situation seems a classic short term gain v long term pain decision - which only you can make.

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Leonard Shepherd
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owlseye Regular Member • Posts: 234
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

owlseye wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

In the UK recently with a Nikon deal - including 20% sales tax - it was £9,800.

It is currently around £10,900. For this lens the UK price seems lower.

Wow!... that is a steep price cut.

In the UK the 600 PF is around £10,800 including sales tax.

Furthermore, the decision to invest in expensive F-mount glass is complicated by the less than transparent rollout of Z telephotos lenses. While we know that Nikon has Z lenses like the 100-400, 200-600, 400 prime, and 600 prime on their roadmap, we don't know anything about their maximum aperture, time of introduction, "real" availability, or price.

We know as the 400 and 600 have a large outline on the road map - they are fast aperture lenses.

We know, although unlikely within your budget, Sony so far has only 1 long fast prime, no 180-400 optic and no 300 or 500 PF - all good for wildlife at different points.

I find all of this terribly frustrating, and it has me looking at the competition.

As a wildlife and nature photographer, I could sell my current gear and easily slip into Sony with class leading AF and a 200-600mm internal zoom lens for both my wife and I, 70-200 f/4 lenses, and a pair of wide-angles without putting much money into the move.

Right now Sony has a wider lens range, though over time the lens range will be held back by the Sony narrow lens flange.

The Nikon 200-600 may be class leading over Sony - when it arrives.

Many do not accept Sony AF is class leading compared to the top Nikon and Canon pro DSLRs - the Canon R gives it a good run for the money - and Nikon are likely to announce pro bodies with improved AF soon.

Your situation seems a classic short term gain v long term pain decision - which only you can make.

Your last comment is the salient point. I have been in this place before and mistakenly moved away from Nikon in 2004. I had been shooting with the D100 and D1x and wanted a full frame sensor. I had a large lens collection at the time that included an AFS 300 f/2.8 converters, AFS 80-200 f/2.8, 14mm lens and so on.

Somehow I convinced myself that Nikon had given up on tech innovations, and I sold it all for Canon and the 1Ds... wow was that expensive at the time! I have vowed to never pay so much on a camera again. Years later Nikon made the D3/D300 and I was mad at myself for giving up on the company. It was the price of the 200-400 in the Canon system that made me realize that I would need to go back to Nikon if I wanted to shoot in that range. I sold off my Canon gear in 2014 and have been happily shooting Nikon gear since that time.

I've learned my lesson, and do not plan to switch again... I think I just needed a moment to vent my frustration. But as they say,.... nothing to see, move along ;-p

bruce

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regards,
bruce

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Igor Sotelo Regular Member • Posts: 461
Re: 200-500 and 200-400 moving forward, e.g., Z.

owlseye wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

owlseye wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

In the UK recently with a Nikon deal - including 20% sales tax - it was £9,800.

It is currently around £10,900. For this lens the UK price seems lower.

Wow!... that is a steep price cut.

In the UK the 600 PF is around £10,800 including sales tax.

Furthermore, the decision to invest in expensive F-mount glass is complicated by the less than transparent rollout of Z telephotos lenses. While we know that Nikon has Z lenses like the 100-400, 200-600, 400 prime, and 600 prime on their roadmap, we don't know anything about their maximum aperture, time of introduction, "real" availability, or price.

We know as the 400 and 600 have a large outline on the road map - they are fast aperture lenses.

We know, although unlikely within your budget, Sony so far has only 1 long fast prime, no 180-400 optic and no 300 or 500 PF - all good for wildlife at different points.

I find all of this terribly frustrating, and it has me looking at the competition.

As a wildlife and nature photographer, I could sell my current gear and easily slip into Sony with class leading AF and a 200-600mm internal zoom lens for both my wife and I, 70-200 f/4 lenses, and a pair of wide-angles without putting much money into the move.

Right now Sony has a wider lens range, though over time the lens range will be held back by the Sony narrow lens flange.

The Nikon 200-600 may be class leading over Sony - when it arrives.

Many do not accept Sony AF is class leading compared to the top Nikon and Canon pro DSLRs - the Canon R gives it a good run for the money - and Nikon are likely to announce pro bodies with improved AF soon.

Your situation seems a classic short term gain v long term pain decision - which only you can make.

Your last comment is the salient point. I have been in this place before and mistakenly moved away from Nikon in 2004. I had been shooting with the D100 and D1x and wanted a full frame sensor. I had a large lens collection at the time that included an AFS 300 f/2.8 converters, AFS 80-200 f/2.8, 14mm lens and so on.

Somehow I convinced myself that Nikon had given up on tech innovations, and I sold it all for Canon and the 1Ds... wow was that expensive at the time! I have vowed to never pay so much on a camera again. Years later Nikon made the D3/D300 and I was mad at myself for giving up on the company. It was the price of the 200-400 in the Canon system that made me realize that I would need to go back to Nikon if I wanted to shoot in that range. I sold off my Canon gear in 2014 and have been happily shooting Nikon gear since that time.

I've learned my lesson, and do not plan to switch again... I think I just needed a moment to vent my frustration. But as they say,.... nothing to see, move along ;-p

bruce

After some years, I restarted my in photography and I started with a clean sheet in late 2019. Was choosing between 5Ds, D750, RP, 6D and used Df. Eventually went with Canon, but soon realized Nikon and Sony have sometimes much better lenses at better price points, particularly with used gear.

It was far cheaper to buy a body for Canon, Nikon and soon Sony, then buy all lenses from just one company.

If I wanted the 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II it has to be Canon. If I want the 14-24mm 2.8G had to go with Nikon. If I want the 200-600mm 5.6-6.3 G OSS then it's Sony.

It also gives more flexibility to take advantage of great offers. Sometimes there is an inexpensive offer of an exotic lens from one brand, sometimes it's for the other.

I guess that approach wouldn't work for a person that want's to use the same batteries for his cameras, same lightning solution, don't want to carry too many bodies, wants consistency in rendering, reduce the number of teleconverters, etc.

Another option would be to get a Z-system with adapters. Not sure if the balance would be right, though that detail is maybe overrated. Another issue is AF performance, but probably isn't bad.

Besides native Z lenses and the adapter FTZ for AF-S and AF-P lenses, there are FE to Z and EF to Z adapters. I'm sure there will be RF to Z adapters too when RF lenses became common.

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