Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
I Love Furry Animals Junior Member • Posts: 45
Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

I have the AF-P 70-300 FX lens, been very happy with it. Want a second lens so both me and my wife can shoot wild life together. Looking for one with slightly more reach, better AF and IQ if possible.

I rented the AF-S 200-500 for few days just to get the feel of it, it was a great lens but we think this probably too heavy for us.

What are our options without breaking my shoulder and the bank? Which of these are better overall compared to what I already have?

  • AF-S 300 f4 (plus TC 14e)
  • 70-200 f2.8 (with TC 1.7 or 2.0?)
  • 80-400 VR
  • Any better option from Tamron or Sigma?

What I shoot is mostly 300mm so I don't really need the zoom, but appreciate more reach if possible. 500mm PF is just too expensive for us, so please don't suggest anything around or above this price range 🙂

 I Love Furry Animals's gear list:I Love Furry Animals's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon D500 Nikon AP-F 70-300mm F4.5-5.6E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 +1 more
Peter3579 Contributing Member • Posts: 569
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300
1

Both Sigma and Tamron offer 100-400’s. Not as heavy as 200-500.

i haven’t used either as I have the 500, but if you look in the third party lenses forum you will see good reports.

 Peter3579's gear list:Peter3579's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z50 Fujifilm X-E3 Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR +11 more
cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 5,237
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300
2

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

I have the AF-P 70-300 FX lens, been very happy with it. Want a second lens so both me and my wife can shoot wild life together. Looking for one with slightly more reach, better AF and IQ if possible.

I rented the AF-S 200-500 for few days just to get the feel of it, it was a great lens but we think this probably too heavy for us.

What are our options without breaking my shoulder and the bank? Which of these are better overall compared to what I already have?

  • AF-S 300 f4 (plus TC 14e)
  • 70-200 f2.8 (with TC 1.7 or 2.0?)
  • 80-400 VR
  • Any better option from Tamron or Sigma?

What I shoot is mostly 300mm so I don't really need the zoom, but appreciate more reach if possible. 500mm PF is just too expensive for us, so please don't suggest anything around or above this price range 🙂

Out of your list the first option is probably the one that meets your requirements best, the 70-300 is already a fast focusing lens with stunning VR that few other of your available choices can better. I sold my 70-200 after buying the 70-300 for it's better range, and lighter weight with little or no loss in image quality.

-- hide signature --

Mike.
"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

 cosmicnode's gear list:cosmicnode's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D2X Olympus OM-D E-M1X Nikon D1 Nikon D1H +16 more
Geoliebert Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

Best lens I had for wildlife was the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary.  A big heavy thing though, but extremely sharp.  Sometimes I shoot the 70-300 AF-P in crop mode because i'm going to crop anyway in most cases.  300 mm is not really close enough for wildlife, maybe at a zoo, ok. I was going to give the Sigma 100-400 a shot, they make really good lenses and that one is not so big.

KBINNJ Regular Member • Posts: 490
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

I rented the AF-S 200-500 for few days just to get the feel of it, it was a great lens but we think this probably too heavy for us.

Have you tried the 200-500 with a sling strap such as a Blackrapid?  At 69 I'm not sure I'd fancy carrying my gripped D7200 with the 200-500 for very long but with a Sport Breathe I can easily carry it all day.

 KBINNJ's gear list:KBINNJ's gear list
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon D7200 Nikon D90 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +4 more
vzlnc Regular Member • Posts: 463
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

cosmicnode wrote:

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

I have the AF-P 70-300 FX lens, been very happy with it. Want a second lens so both me and my wife can shoot wild life together. Looking for one with slightly more reach, better AF and IQ if possible.

I rented the AF-S 200-500 for few days just to get the feel of it, it was a great lens but we think this probably too heavy for us.

What are our options without breaking my shoulder and the bank? Which of these are better overall compared to what I already have?

  • AF-S 300 f4 (plus TC 14e)
  • 70-200 f2.8 (with TC 1.7 or 2.0?)
  • 80-400 VR
  • Any better option from Tamron or Sigma?

What I shoot is mostly 300mm so I don't really need the zoom, but appreciate more reach if possible. 500mm PF is just too expensive for us, so please don't suggest anything around or above this price range 🙂

Out of your list the first option is probably the one that meets your requirements best, the 70-300 is already a fast focusing lens with stunning VR that few other of your available choices can better. I sold my 70-200 after buying the 70-300 for it's better range, and lighter weight with little or no loss in image quality.

I second that. The 70-300 is awesome already. It weighs 400 grams compared to 1.2Kg of the 80-400 for only a little bit more reach, to put it into perspective.

400mm doesnt really get much closer compared to 300mm. A much more real jump would be 500/600mm, but that might be out of our price/weight bracket.

I think any of the sigma/tamron 150-600 zooms might be a good step up if you can justify the weight. I wouldnt bother with teleconverters if you are using a body which does not have AF fine-tune or with f/4 type lenses.

If you are not going to be shooting BIFs, any of the small sensor superzooms might actually be a better idea. I guess the older ones with less insane zoom range like 30x-50x can be bought very cheap used/refurbished.

Also as you go for longer lenses, haze/pollution might start becoming an issue and you might want to think if your subject/location will benefit from a longer lens.

OP I Love Furry Animals Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

KBINNJ wrote:

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

I rented the AF-S 200-500 for few days just to get the feel of it, it was a great lens but we think this probably too heavy for us.

Have you tried the 200-500 with a sling strap such as a Blackrapid? At 69 I'm not sure I'd fancy carrying my gripped D7200 with the 200-500 for very long but with a Sport Breathe I can easily carry it all day.

You make me so embarrassed, I'm not even in my 40s yet

Actually I can carry the lens all day - hand hold the tripod foot. But I'm not strong enough to hold it in a shooting position for very long time. Especially when waiting for the bird to make some 'action'. Or when panning birds in flight for longer duration.

 I Love Furry Animals's gear list:I Love Furry Animals's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon D500 Nikon AP-F 70-300mm F4.5-5.6E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 +1 more
KBINNJ Regular Member • Posts: 490
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

Monopods aren’t very heavy and they collapse down very small but I agree that the Nikon 200-500 is a beast!

For nature shots - especially for photographing small birds - 500mm is the minimum I’d want.

 KBINNJ's gear list:KBINNJ's gear list
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon D7200 Nikon D90 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +4 more
bluzman
bluzman Contributing Member • Posts: 774
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

I have the AF-P 70-300 FX lens, been very happy with it. Want a second lens so both me and my wife can shoot wild life together. Looking for one with slightly more reach, better AF and IQ if possible.

I rented the AF-S 200-500 for few days just to get the feel of it, it was a great lens but we think this probably too heavy for us.

What are our options without breaking my shoulder and the bank? Which of these are better overall compared to what I already have?

  • AF-S 300 f4 (plus TC 14e)
  • 70-200 f2.8 (with TC 1.7 or 2.0?)
  • 80-400 VR
  • Any better option from Tamron or Sigma?

What I shoot is mostly 300mm so I don't really need the zoom, but appreciate more reach if possible. 500mm PF is just too expensive for us, so please don't suggest anything around or above this price range 🙂

I have the DX version of the AF-P 70-300mm that I use on both a D5600 and a D7500. It's light and sharp...love that lens. For more reach, I added a Sigma 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 DG OS HSM C lens to my kit. I got it for what Sigma has it listed for currently (https://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/telephoto-lenses/100-400mm-f5-63-dg-os-hsm-c). At the time, that included the lens dock.

It's a full frame format (DG=FX) lens with image stabilization (OS=VR). On a DX format camera, I believe it will give what a full frame 150-600mm would give on an FX format body. I also considered the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM C but it's almost 2 pounds heavier. I'll be 76 in a couple of months and have no problem shooting handheld with the 100-400mm although if I'm going to be in the field for extended periods, I use a monopod.

Here are a couple of images.

 bluzman's gear list:bluzman's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II Nikon D7500 Nikon Z50 Nikon D750 Tamron 35-150mm F2.8-4 +17 more
OP I Love Furry Animals Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

vzlnc wrote:

I second that. The 70-300 is awesome already. It weighs 400 grams compared to 1.2Kg of the 80-400 for only a little bit more reach, to put it into perspective.

I think I'm happy with things under 1.5kg as long as it is sharper, faster AF, and a bit more reach. But the 80-400 is still a bit on the expensive side for me hence I'm looking for cheaper combo such as AF-S 300mm f4 with teleconverter. Want to know if there are better options than that.

If you are not going to be shooting BIFs, any of the small sensor superzooms might actually be a better idea. I guess the older ones with less insane zoom range like 30x-50x can be bought very cheap used/refurbished.

I shoot BIF, and got 2 bodies already 😁

 I Love Furry Animals's gear list:I Love Furry Animals's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon D500 Nikon AP-F 70-300mm F4.5-5.6E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 +1 more
OP I Love Furry Animals Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

cosmicnode wrote:

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

What are our options without breaking my shoulder and the bank? Which of these are better overall compared to what I already have?

  • AF-S 300 f4 (plus TC 14e)
  • 70-200 f2.8 (with TC 1.7 or 2.0?)
  • 80-400 VR
  • Any better option from Tamron or Sigma?

What I shoot is mostly 300mm so I don't really need the zoom, but appreciate more reach if possible. 500mm PF is just too expensive for us, so please don't suggest anything around or above this price range 🙂

Out of your list the first option is probably the one that meets your requirements best, the 70-300 is already a fast focusing lens with stunning VR that few other of your available choices can better. I sold my 70-200 after buying the 70-300 for it's better range, and lighter weight with little or no loss in image quality.

So 70-200 f2.8 VR + TC-20e is not better than AF-S 300 f4 + TC-14e ?

When you had yours, have you had chance to use TC with it?

 I Love Furry Animals's gear list:I Love Furry Animals's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon D500 Nikon AP-F 70-300mm F4.5-5.6E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 +1 more
cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 5,237
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

cosmicnode wrote:

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

What are our options without breaking my shoulder and the bank? Which of these are better overall compared to what I already have?

  • AF-S 300 f4 (plus TC 14e)
  • 70-200 f2.8 (with TC 1.7 or 2.0?)
  • 80-400 VR
  • Any better option from Tamron or Sigma?

What I shoot is mostly 300mm so I don't really need the zoom, but appreciate more reach if possible. 500mm PF is just too expensive for us, so please don't suggest anything around or above this price range 🙂

Out of your list the first option is probably the one that meets your requirements best, the 70-300 is already a fast focusing lens with stunning VR that few other of your available choices can better. I sold my 70-200 after buying the 70-300 for it's better range, and lighter weight with little or no loss in image quality.

So 70-200 f2.8 VR + TC-20e is not better than AF-S 300 f4 + TC-14e ?

When you had yours, have you had chance to use TC with it?

My usage is different to yours, I have always had lenses that are longer than the 70-200 at the same time. I have had 120-300 f2.8 Sigma, 200-400 f4, and currently 200-500, I have used TC 's on both the first two but never liked the loss in quality of the image, so I never bothered to use the TC's I had with the 70-200, they only matched the focal length of my longer zooms without a TC. you don't seem to want the 200-500 which is the best option, due to the weight, I currently use 70-300 and 200-500 for motorsport, the latter on a monopod fitted with a balljoint. I presume you are looking at the super light Nikon 300mm f4E PF ED VR AF-S Lens which is cheaper than the 80-400 vr. and is well regarded. A 1.4 tc is a better compromise to get more reach than a 2X converter which will reduce image quality greater.

-- hide signature --

Mike.
"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

 cosmicnode's gear list:cosmicnode's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D2X Olympus OM-D E-M1X Nikon D1 Nikon D1H +16 more
Kazmarov Contributing Member • Posts: 649
Re: Looking for minor upgrade for AF-P 70-300

A couple of examples from the Sigma 100-400mm which I chose after evaluating against the Tampon equivalent. Others have gone for the Tamron and are very happy with it. I also have the Nikkor 70-300mm AF/P E lens but the Sigma is my go-to lens for the extra 100mm reach. I do not like it with the TC as I find the IQ suffers. If you do go for either the Sigma or the Tampon I would suggest getting the dock with it to enable fine tuning and future firmware upgrades.

I attach two examples from the Sigma.

Winter afternoon sun

Peek - a boo

Buzzard - far far away!

 Kazmarov's gear list:Kazmarov's gear list
Sony RX100 III Nikon D90 Nikon D5500 Canon EOS 60D Nikon D7200 +10 more
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