Advice about BIF combination D500

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htimm1948 Regular Member • Posts: 139
Advice about BIF combination D500

What would you advice for handheld Birds in Flight in combination with the D500.

D500 with Tamron 150-600 G2 (well balanced combi)

D500 with Sigma 150-600 C (also well balanced)

D500 with Sigma 150-600 Sports

D500 with Nikon 200-500

I like the extra reach of the above three combinations.

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Chuvarsky
Chuvarsky Senior Member • Posts: 1,845
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

Kristopher Rowe has used the Tamron G2 with the D500 with some amazing results. Mike Jackson uses this lens as his "go to" for wildlife, though mostly with the D5.

There is a comparison of some of the lenses here: https://www.cameralabs.com/tamron-sp-150-600mm-f5-6-3-di-vc-usd-g2-review/2/

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Dick

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larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,689
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

Here's an image taken with the d500 and Tamron 150-600 g2 lens.

The tammy with the d500 works really well especially for fast moving birds.

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lokatz
lokatz Senior Member • Posts: 1,457
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
1

htimm1948 wrote:

What would you advice for handheld Birds in Flight in combination with the D500.

D500 with Tamron 150-600 G2 (well balanced combi)

D500 with Sigma 150-600 C (also well balanced)

D500 with Sigma 150-600 Sports

D500 with Nikon 200-500

I like the extra reach of the above three combinations.

I don't mean to be overly negative, but to me, the image shot with the Tammy G2 another poster shared only illustrates the issue with this lens: it is pretty decent overall, but not that great at 500mm and above. In 100% view, nothing is really sharp in that example pic.

Of these lenses, I have owned the 200-500 (also on a D500), extensively tested the Tammy G1 and G2, and studied numerous reviews of the remaining ones published by others. Almost all my bird pics are shot handheld, by the way.

From a performance standpoint, which for BIF I define as the combination of center sharpness and AF speed/accuracy, I see the ranking as follows (best-to-worst): Sigma Sports, Nikon, Tamron G2, Sigma C, Tamron G1. I upscaled images from the Nikon to 600mm in Photoshop so as to compare apples to apples, and they were still sharper than the Tamron G2's.

I would actually add the Sigma 60-600 to the list in second place, just ahead of the Nikon, though I don't yet have a complete enough picture of that lens. Example pics I saw were pretty amazing.

Problem is that this ranking also reflects almost the exact order of weight and price. The Sigma 150-600 S and 60-600 are HEAVY and fairly expensive. I could not see myself using either of them handheld for any extended period of time.

The Nikon is not exactly lightweight but lighter, which IMO is what makes it so popular. To me, the Nikon is the best compromise in this group. Others will feel differently, I'm sure. I would not use the older Tamron or the Sigma Contemporary - they're just not as good.

My personal choice, with which I am extremely happy, was to buy the Nikon 500 PF, a lens that is both light and high performing, but that's an investment not everyone is prepared to make.

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larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,689
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
1

lokatz wrote:

htimm1948 wrote:

What would you advice for handheld Birds in Flight in combination with the D500.

D500 with Tamron 150-600 G2 (well balanced combi)

D500 with Sigma 150-600 C (also well balanced)

D500 with Sigma 150-600 Sports

D500 with Nikon 200-500

I like the extra reach of the above three combinations.

I don't mean to be overly negative, but to me, the image shot with the Tammy G2 another poster shared only illustrates the issue with this lens: it is pretty decent overall, but not that great at 500mm and above. In 100% view, nothing is really sharp in that example pic.

Of these lenses, I have owned the 200-500 (also on a D500), extensively tested the Tammy G1 and G2, and studied numerous reviews of the remaining ones published by others. Almost all my bird pics are shot handheld, by the way.

From a performance standpoint, which for BIF I define as the combination of center sharpness and AF speed/accuracy, I see the ranking as follows (best-to-worst): Sigma Sports, Nikon, Tamron G2, Sigma C, Tamron G1. I upscaled images from the Nikon to 600mm in Photoshop so as to compare apples to apples, and they were still sharper than the Tamron G2's.

I would actually add the Sigma 60-600 to the list in second place, just ahead of the Nikon, though I don't yet have a complete enough picture of that lens. Example pics I saw were pretty amazing.

Problem is that this ranking also reflects almost the exact order of weight and price. The Sigma 150-600 S and 60-600 are HEAVY and fairly expensive. I could not see myself using either of them handheld for any extended period of time.

The Nikon is not exactly lightweight but lighter, which IMO is what makes it so popular. To me, the Nikon is the best compromise in this group. Others will feel differently, I'm sure. I would not use the older Tamron or the Sigma Contemporary - they're just not as good.

My personal choice, with which I am extremely happy, was to buy the Nikon 500 PF, a lens that is both light and high performing, but that's an investment not everyone is prepared to make.

I think maybe you need another monitor.  To my eyes the bif shot is plenty sharp  especially for printing.  I do print up to 13 X 19 and have printed this image.  I would recommend not looking at images on a monitor at 100%.  More to a long lens besides sharpness anyway.  The Tamron has very good moisture and dust resistance, and handles better then the Nikon and has a very good vc.

 larrywilson's gear list:larrywilson's gear list
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lokatz
lokatz Senior Member • Posts: 1,457
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

larrywilson wrote:

I think maybe you need another monitor. To my eyes the bif shot is plenty sharp especially for printing. I do print up to 13 X 19 and have printed this image. I would recommend not looking at images on a monitor at 100%. More to a long lens besides sharpness anyway. The Tamron has very good moisture and dust resistance, and handles better then the Nikon and has a very good vc.

Maybe you did not share the original shot here? A 2000x1334 image printed at 13x19? At a pixel density of 105px/inch, where 150 is barely ok and 300+ is what you really want for a sharp print? You would have to be kidding!

I repeat: nothing is really sharp in the image you shared. If you shared a scaled-down version of a sharper shot, what's the point?

Another thing I'll note: one of the Nikon 200-500's strongest points is that it is sharp wide open. You gain almost nothing with that lens by stopping down. Every test of the Tamron G2 I saw reports, and my own testing also indicated, that you'll want to stop it down a bit to get sharper shots, as you did with yours. Stopping down is no issue with the fantastic light you had in this case (you were able to shoot at ISO110, after all), but not in most birding and BIF situations where the light is usually mediocre.

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DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 5,668
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
1

lokatz wrote:

larrywilson wrote:

I think maybe you need another monitor. To my eyes the bif shot is plenty sharp especially for printing. I do print up to 13 X 19 and have printed this image. I would recommend not looking at images on a monitor at 100%. More to a long lens besides sharpness anyway. The Tamron has very good moisture and dust resistance, and handles better then the Nikon and has a very good vc.

Maybe you did not share the original shot here? A 2000x1334 image printed at 13x19? At a pixel density of 105px/inch, where 150 is barely ok and 300+ is what you really want for a sharp print? You would have to be kidding!

I repeat: nothing is really sharp in the image you shared. If you shared a scaled-down version of a sharper shot, what's the point?

Another thing I'll note: one of the Nikon 200-500's strongest points is that it is sharp wide open. You gain almost nothing with that lens by stopping down. Every test of the Tamron G2 I saw reports, and my own testing also indicated, that you'll want to stop it down a bit to get sharper shots, as you did with yours. Stopping down is no issue with the fantastic light you had in this case (you were able to shoot at ISO110, after all), but not in most birding and BIF situations where the light is usually mediocre.

D500 + Tamron G2 ...... are these sharp ??

https://www.flickr.com/photos/124690178@N08/

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N Deacon
N Deacon Contributing Member • Posts: 617
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
4

lokatz wrote:

larrywilson wrote:

I think maybe you need another monitor. To my eyes the bif shot is plenty sharp especially for printing. I do print up to 13 X 19 and have printed this image.

Maybe you did not share the original shot here? A 2000x1334 image printed at 13x19? At a pixel density of 105px/inch, where 150 is barely ok and 300+ is what you really want for a sharp print? You would have to be kidding!

I repeat: nothing is really sharp in the image you shared. If you shared a scaled-down version of a sharper shot, what's the point?

I don't want to get into a which lens is best argument as my lens of choice for this purpose is not in this list. I do, however, want to comment on the above (clipped)discussion. When viewed on my 4k screen the image Larry posted is sharp when viewed at its actual size (download the jpeg, open in an image viewer), but when viewed in a browser via the DPR viewer looks pretty awful because the DPR "100% zoom" is nothing of the sort - it enlarges the image way beyond 100% to the point of making perfectly good images look awful - at least on my setup. It's a problem with the viewer that I have flagged up in the past.

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Kenny08 Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

200-500mm is a bit slow to focus, and would not be the best for BIF...perhaps the Sigma Sports is a better option?

FrankG Senior Member • Posts: 1,969
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

DAVID MANZE wrote:

lokatz wrote:

larrywilson wrote:

I think maybe you need another monitor. To my eyes the bif shot is plenty sharp especially for printing. I do print up to 13 X 19 and have printed this image. I would recommend not looking at images on a monitor at 100%. More to a long lens besides sharpness anyway. The Tamron has very good moisture and dust resistance, and handles better then the Nikon and has a very good vc.

Maybe you did not share the original shot here? A 2000x1334 image printed at 13x19? At a pixel density of 105px/inch, where 150 is barely ok and 300+ is what you really want for a sharp print? You would have to be kidding!

I repeat: nothing is really sharp in the image you shared. If you shared a scaled-down version of a sharper shot, what's the point?

Another thing I'll note: one of the Nikon 200-500's strongest points is that it is sharp wide open. You gain almost nothing with that lens by stopping down. Every test of the Tamron G2 I saw reports, and my own testing also indicated, that you'll want to stop it down a bit to get sharper shots, as you did with yours. Stopping down is no issue with the fantastic light you had in this case (you were able to shoot at ISO110, after all), but not in most birding and BIF situations where the light is usually mediocre.

D500 + Tamron G2 ...... are these sharp ??

https://www.flickr.com/photos/124690178@N08/

Plenty of nice photos on that link - you seem to be doing alright with that lens!

Frank

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Nikon D500 Nikon D850
rz350 Regular Member • Posts: 194
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
1

Personally, I like the Sigma sport since I have one. It suits my needs. And I have the 1.4 TC from Sigma for it. Both required AFT. I typically shoot hand held. When I bought it there was the Tamron G1 and the Sigma contemporary had just just been introduced. The contemporary was available before my sport shipped. After I had ordered the sport, Nikon introduced the 200-500. I would have gone for the Nikon had it been around. But after reading Brad Hill's testing of it, I am glad I got the Sigma. Don't let anyone tell you it is not heavy because it is. Like I said, I shoot handheld. The lens and camera combo point very well. It is front heavy with the big solid hood on it. You need a good strap to carry it around. At one point I would have said Black Rapid but after a friend with basically the same outfit had his strap fail, and I looked at mine, I am hard pressed to recommend any of them. Just check all points of your strap system for failure. Weather wise the Sigma sport is superior to all of them. As always, your mileage may vary

arniebook Senior Member • Posts: 1,152
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

N Deacon wrote:

lokatz wrote:

larrywilson wrote:

I think maybe you need another monitor. To my eyes the bif shot is plenty sharp especially for printing. I do print up to 13 X 19 and have printed this image.

Maybe you did not share the original shot here? A 2000x1334 image printed at 13x19? At a pixel density of 105px/inch, where 150 is barely ok and 300+ is what you really want for a sharp print? You would have to be kidding!

I repeat: nothing is really sharp in the image you shared. If you shared a scaled-down version of a sharper shot, what's the point?

I don't want to get into a which lens is best argument as my lens of choice for this purpose is not in this list. I do, however, want to comment on the above (clipped)discussion. When viewed on my 4k screen the image Larry posted is sharp when viewed at its actual size (download the jpeg, open in an image viewer), but when viewed in a browser via the DPR viewer looks pretty awful because the DPR "100% zoom" is nothing of the sort - it enlarges the image way beyond 100% to the point of making perfectly good images look awful - at least on my setup. It's a problem with the viewer that I have flagged up in the past.

+1 ... I downloaded it, and it looks at least as sharp as my best 200-500 images.

I think any of these lenses will satisfy.   I met a guy this summer who had a Sigma 60-600 on a Canon mirrorless, and he was loving it! ...

Mostly it has to do with technique (and opportunity).  Get what you can handle price wise and muscle wise, and start using it!

Arnie

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What we spend on this stuff is equal to the depth of our pockets squared ($²) times what we (j)ustify in our minds as to what we expect to do with our pictures plus (+) the (e)njoyment we experience from using our stuff and sharing the result ... $xxxx=$²(j+e )

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larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,689
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

lokatz wrote:

larrywilson wrote:

I think maybe you need another monitor. To my eyes the bif shot is plenty sharp especially for printing. I do print up to 13 X 19 and have printed this image. I would recommend not looking at images on a monitor at 100%. More to a long lens besides sharpness anyway. The Tamron has very good moisture and dust resistance, and handles better then the Nikon and has a very good vc.

Maybe you did not share the original shot here? A 2000x1334 image printed at 13x19? At a pixel density of 105px/inch, where 150 is barely ok and 300+ is what you really want for a sharp print? You would have to be kidding!

I repeat: nothing is really sharp in the image you shared. If you shared a scaled-down version of a sharper shot, what's the point?

Another thing I'll note: one of the Nikon 200-500's strongest points is that it is sharp wide open. You gain almost nothing with that lens by stopping down. Every test of the Tamron G2 I saw reports, and my own testing also indicated, that you'll want to stop it down a bit to get sharper shots, as you did with yours. Stopping down is no issue with the fantastic light you had in this case (you were able to shoot at ISO110, after all), but not in most birding and BIF situations where the light is usually mediocre.

The original image was cropped very little, the 2000 on the long side presented in this thread is resized from the original.  A 300+ px/inch is not needed for a sharp print depending on the size you want to print based on the viewing distance.  The bird was close so the depth of fiend was small.  The head of the bird is plenty sharp for a print.

I don't think you print a lot based on your comments.  I want a lens that is moisture resistant, handles well and focuses fast for bird photography which the Nikon lacks.

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Alex Ridgway Regular Member • Posts: 474
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

Kenny08 wrote:

200-500mm is a bit slow to focus, and would not be the best for BIF...perhaps the Sigma Sports is a better option?

I have to disagree with this comment, BIF isn't my main focus but I've got photos of puffins zipping about and gannetts in a dive that were captured on the D500 200-500  combo.

Ricardo00 Contributing Member • Posts: 598
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
2

I tried the Tamron G2 150-600mm, didn't like it and ended up with the 200-500mm which I have used for photographing BIF. However, I do prefer my PF lenses, both the 300mm f/4 and now the 500mm f/5.6 But it will depend on your arm strength? And skill? Practice helps.

A few shots of BIF with the 200-500mm:

bald eagle photographed with the 200-500mm lens

white-tailed kite with dinner

American kestrel hunting

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FrankG Senior Member • Posts: 1,969
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

rz350 wrote:

Personally, I like the Sigma sport since I have one. It suits my needs. And I have the 1.4 TC from Sigma for it. Both required AFT. I typically shoot hand held. When I bought it there was the Tamron G1 and the Sigma contemporary had just just been introduced. The contemporary was available before my sport shipped. After I had ordered the sport, Nikon introduced the 200-500. I would have gone for the Nikon had it been around. But after reading Brad Hill's testing of it, I am glad I got the Sigma. Don't let anyone tell you it is not heavy because it is. Like I said, I shoot handheld. The lens and camera combo point very well. It is front heavy with the big solid hood on it. You need a good strap to carry it around. At one point I would have said Black Rapid but after a friend with basically the same outfit had his strap fail, and I looked at mine, I am hard pressed to recommend any of them. Just check all points of your strap system for failure. Weather wise the Sigma sport is superior to all of them. As always, your mileage may vary

Yes - I totally agree with what you are saying and in fact I also own the Sigma 150-600 Sport although it gets less use these days since I also got the Sigma 500mm F4 Sport lens.   Although the 500mm F4 is heavier than the 150-600 it actually feels lighter and easier to carry:  this is of course due to the different weight distribution, the 500mm F4 is much better balanced and delivers top quality performance.

At the time that I bought the 150-600, over 3 years ago, there were fewer options than what is now available.  There seem to be some very good copies of the Tamron 150-600 G2 judging by some results I have seen … although to be fair I am not sure whether it is actually as good as the Sigma.  I have had many great results from the Sigma 150-600 Sport.

Frank

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Fotocorn
Fotocorn Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
2

Hi,

I shoot B.I.F.with the D500 & Nikkor 200-500mm,

If I could get just one image to the standard of any of those displayed during the course of this conversation, I would be over the moon.

The right equipment helps but the person behind the lens counts for much more.

It would be great if you "good photographers" could possibly give us "not so good" wanabee photographers a few tips instead of finding nits to pick, it would be wonderful.

I live in anticipation!!!

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Ricardo00 Contributing Member • Posts: 598
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
2

Fotocorn wrote:

Hi,

I shoot B.I.F.with the D500 & Nikkor 200-500mm,

If I could get just one image to the standard of any of those displayed during the course of this conversation, I would be over the moon.

The right equipment helps but the person behind the lens counts for much more.

It would be great if you "good photographers" could possibly give us "not so good" wanabee photographers a few tips instead of finding nits to pick, it would be wonderful.

I live in anticipation!!!

Not sure where to start, maybe you can post an example of one of your "not so good" photos that is only minimally processed with the EXIF data?  Also tell us how your are shooting, ie. which focus setting, fps, etc?  There are ebooks and youtube videos which go into depth on photographing BIF.  Start with some of the larger, slower birds and practice! Learning to anticipate the birds is also very useful.  You might also want to rent/borrow a 300mm pf or 500mm pf lens and see if that helps?  I myself play with my settings, still trying to find a way to get more keepers.  You have to find what works for you, which may be different than what others do?

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n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,981
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500
1

Fotocorn wrote:

Hi,

I shoot B.I.F.with the D500 & Nikkor 200-500mm,

If I could get just one image to the standard of any of those displayed during the course of this conversation, I would be over the moon.

The right equipment helps but the person behind the lens counts for much more.

It would be great if you "good photographers" could possibly give us "not so good" wanabee photographers a few tips instead of finding nits to pick, it would be wonderful.

I live in anticipation!!!

Hi Fotocorn,

There are so many ways a picture can be unsatisfactory that one needs some base reference to start giving advice. If you post one of the images you are not happy with, complete with exif, we can start giving our opinion on wether you need to use a higher shutter speed, or a different aperture, or a different ISO. As it is, the only advice I can think of is: practice makes perfect, so take pictures of everything and everything, try different settings, try good lighting or bad, try moving or static subjects, keep plugging at it until you are happy, then look at the settings for that image, and try to reproduce. After a while, you start getting a feel for what gives you the results you want.

Just post a picture, tell us why you are not happy with it and we will give it a go!

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

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SteveCooper
SteveCooper Senior Member • Posts: 1,162
Re: Advice about BIF combination D500

my advice- buy the Nikon 200-500mm and a Nikon TC-14III

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