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antoinepsaila
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400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:31 am

Next July I'll be visiting Nellis airforce base and I'm in desperate need for a good 400mm lens for my Nikon D80. I really like the canon 100 400 but as I'm a Nikon user I cannot buy one. I'm considering several options. Nikon 80 400( They say that it has a very slow auto-focus), Sigma 120 400(Is it sharp at 400mm?) Nikon 200 400(very expensive) Nikon 70 200 VRII with TC2-E III(know nothing about this combination).
 
damien846
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:36 am

Quoting antoinepsaila (Thread starter):
Nikon 70 200 VRII with TC2-E III(know nothing about this combination).

I use this and works for me...but you sdo loss some of the shapness with the convertor on.
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:33 am

They say that the 70 200 is a very sharp lens. How do you compare its sharpness when attached with the converter with that of the canon 100 400 alone?
 
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Ian777
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:00 pm

I would consider the AF-S 300mm F4 with a 1.4x TC would give you 420mm. I use the 300mm F4 (with no TC at the moment) and it is very very sharp. It has no VR but in good light with good technique and a fast shutter speed, it can be hand held with no problems. From what I have read the loss of sharpness with a TC is very small.

Ian Marsh.
 
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ptrjong
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:56 pm

Quoting Ian777 (Reply 3):

Yes, it is still very good with the TC.

Peter 
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:49 pm

The Nikon 300mm f4 is a very good lens but I prefer a lens with a variable zoom because you'll have to change position according to the aircraft size. Hopefully nikon will soon release an update version of the 80-400mm
 
diezel
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:17 pm

Never, never, never try the 200-400 if you don't have the cash to buy it. That lens is just superb and no other lens will compare to it. You will be spoiled forever.

The 300 F4 + 1.4TC is a very good choice. But you do not have VR and no zoom. The 80-400 was my first Nikon zoom lens. An OK lens but no competitor compared to the 300F4 and the 200-400.

You could consider renting the lens you like best.

Roel.
Never be afraid of what you like. (Miles Davis)
 
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alevik
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:58 pm

A lot of people dis the 80-400, but it has put a lot of images on the database for me. Probably 75% of my images on ante are from this lens. It does focus slowly, but for aircraft moving in a straight, consistent line I have not found this to be a problem.

I have owned the 300 f/4 - great lens but as noted limiting in focal length. I have the 200-400 but only take it out for when doing only photography for photography sake- - i.e. it is not a great travel lens like the 80-400.
Improvise, adapt, overcome.
 
chris78cpr
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:35 pm

Sell the Nikon D80 and buy a 60D and 100-400!

Whatever the camera costs you more than what you get for the D80 the cheaper price of the 100-400 over a 70-200 and 2X (which is the best option btw) will offset it.
5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
 
soon7x7
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:07 am

Quoting Ian777 (Reply 3):


You stole my thunder...my next to "New" 300mm, f4 is tack sharp and light enough / balanced, the absence of VR barely noticable. Works A+1 with 1.4TC. It is going on ebay next week as I am picking up the 200-400 for my Nikon's. This 300mm lens is a sleeper...It yields bright clear, sharp images, it is light and not cumbersome. I also have the 70-200, 2.8 however for off airport shooting not powerful enough. A fantastic lens though. I purchased the 80-400 once upon a time and it never made it out of my shop as I tested the focus speed first as it had been rumored it was slow...it was...back in the box it went. It would be nice to see Nikon re engineer the 80-400 with VR, internal focus @f/4...g
 
cpd
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:20 am

Quoting chris78cpr (Reply 8):
Sell the Nikon D80 and buy a 60D and 100-400!

Nothing wrong with the D80, it can still do nice images and work acceptably in most cases.

I'd probably recommend the AF-S Nikkor 300mm F/4.0 lens with a 1.4x or 1.7x TC - this combination should give outstanding results.

Renting the 200-400mm would be one option, but I would never recommend the 200-400mm be used with teleconverters when the camera body is a D80. The autofocus is not consistent enough for photographing fast-jets in action. It is better on the FX cameras though.

Unfortunately - it won't be very flexible in terms of range, so you'll need to think about how you frame your shots.

Quoting alevik (Reply 7):
it is not a great travel lens like the 80-400.

Yeah, it's a big tank of a lens. I transport it around in its own wheeled hard case. Can't be bothered hauling that CL-L2 over my shoulder.
 
FedexL1011
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:01 am

I would try photography stores. One here in SEA has a 200-500 for the big three. And its reasonably priced for here anyways     .

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antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:21 am

Unfortunately in Malta no one have lenses for hire. I was considering switching to canon to get their 100-400 but I prefer Nikon bodies and still hoping for an update version of the 80 400 which I'm sure it will be better than the canon 100 400 which now it's a bit old. As I said with a 300mm f4 i'll be a bit restricted. What do you think avout the sigma 120-400?
 
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WingsFan
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:13 pm

If you are using D80, you may consider 70-300 VR. With crop factor of 1.5 you will get pseudo 400mm range at 267mm.
I hear this lens is outstanding as long as its not fully extended at 300 mm. So using it at 267-270 mm range should get you acceptable results.
 
sluger020889
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:41 pm

Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 5):

The Nikon 300mm f4 is a very good lens but I prefer a lens with a variable zoom because you'll have to change position according to the aircraft size.

Lose that line of thought and you'll be all set at Nellis. I shot a Red Flag with a 300 F4 AF-S and a 1.4x and had no problem with aircraft size. Most of it is pretty far, unless you're gonna be runway side. That in my opinion is your best option.

Here's an example...


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Photo © Joey Collura



Joey
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antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:23 am

What do you think about the sigma 100 300 f4 with a 1.4 converter?

Is the 70 200 with Tc2-E III as sharp as the Nikon 300 f4 with 1.4tc?

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 14):
Here's an example...



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Photo © Joey Collura



Joey

Is this photo taken form the motorspeedway?
 
sluger020889
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:43 pm

No, that was taken from the other side of the field. The one below was though. The 300 + 1.4x was a great combo for Nellis, great for everything from F-16s to KC-135s and C-130s.


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Joey
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iamlucky13
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:53 pm

Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 15):
What do you think about the sigma 100 300 f4 with a 1.4 converter?

Is the 70 200 with Tc2-E III as sharp as the Nikon 300 f4 with 1.4tc?

I don't own them, but I've been looking at lens tests at places like SLRgear.com and photozone.de as I slowly shop for an upgrade over my Nikon 70-300, which is generally pretty good and versatile, but gets a little bit soft at 300mm. Long term, I will probably keep the 70-300 and get a 300mm F/4 plus a TC to pair with it.

From what I've seen of the Sigma lenses, while some of them are pretty good, they consistently seem to show a moderate amount of softness at their longer focal lengths. They would be great for most uses, but not ideal for use with a teleconverter for the sharpness expectations of A.net. Still that 100-300 looks like one of the better ones and is reasonably priced.

From what you've said, and based on the test reports and measurements I've seen and other user's reviews, it really sounds like a Nikon 70-200 and a 2x teleconverter is your best option short of shelling out over $6000 USD for the 200-400mm.

In particular the newest versions of each, the 70-200 VRII and the TC-20E III are reported to pair very well together, although they're pretty spendy themselves.

I would not count on an update to the 80-400 VR coming out before July. One is expected, but the rumor mill has been pretty quiet about it, so I'm dubious it will be out before the end of the year, much less in stock.
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:35 pm

Joey your phots are very good and from the reviews I read the 300mm f4 + TC1.4 is a perfect combination but I prefer a variable zoom. Unfortunately I couldn't come across any aviation photos taken with a 70-200 + TC2E-III on the net. ALso if Nikon decide to upgrade the 80 400mm probably I will not use the 300mm f4 anymore but the 70 200 will still remain usable.

Quoting WingsFan (Reply 13):
If you are using D80, you may consider 70-300 VR. With crop factor of 1.5 you will get pseudo 400mm range at 267mm.

I'm currently using the Nikon 18-200 so it's not worthed to buy a new lens for just 70mm extra.
 
soon7x7
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:24 am

Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 18):

I've got the 70-200 2.8VR, 70-300 4.5 VR, and the 300 prime f4. For your trip, sounds like the 70-300VR would be your best bet. I use it as a travel lens and while a tad darker than the others this is easily overcome but it shoots great images. I have not found softness on the top end (300) as others report, its about 1/2 -3/4 stop darker though. The VR fearture on this lens is exceptional. Just preset your camera. It is inexpensive , light and versatile. The 70-200 with a 2x will put you in the 70-300 arena for more $$$. The 70-300VR performs in everyway, the way the current 80-400 should!...g
 
captainstefan
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:41 pm

Quoting antoinepsaila (Thread starter):
Nikon 70 200 VRII with TC2-E III

I use this combination, and the TC is really inconsistent. Some days it will produce tack sharp images at f5.6, other days f11 will barely render the images usable at all, much less to the standards of the screenings here on a.net (not wanting to launch that debate, just using it as a benchmark). I have learned that I cannot depend on it at all and have been looking around for a used longer lens. It may be that my copy of the TC is internally off or damaged (it was purchased second hand), so I would find a store with a good return policy and try out the combo. I can tell you that I've shot nothing sharper than the 70-200 2.8 by itself, and it is much much much more usable in low light situations than the 70-300 would be.

To summarize: Find a way to try everything that might satisfy your needs, and decide based on how each one fits your own requirements (price, usability, quality, etc).
Long Live the Tulip!
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:21 pm

It's strange how a lens can give you an optimum performance on an occasion and a horrible one on another. My choice now is between the nikon 300mm f4 + TC1.4 and nikon 70 200 + TC2-E III. Hopefully you'll manage to discover if it's your TC problem or everyones' problem because this is the first time I read that the TC2-E III can produce horrible images when combined with a 70 200mm. I can expect that it will reduce some sharpness but not to produce unaccaptable images. The 70 200 VRII is a friggin sharp lens, sometimes compared to that of a prime lens so I might think that the loss of sharpness is minimal. As I told you I never saw a result of this combination.
 
soon7x7
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:49 pm

I just ran this test...while I don't have a 2x to put on my 70-200, you will get the idea. Camera was on tripod, D300, ISO 200 @ f8. No post processing, just conversion from Raw to JPG. Image #1 was Nikon 70-200 @ 200 focul length. Image #2 was same lens w/ 1.4 Nikon extender. Image # 3 was Nikon 300mm, f4 prime. Image #4 was same with Nikon 1.4 extender. Image #5 was Nikon 70-300 4.5/5.6 at 300mm focul length. This should help...g
nikon 70-200mm
Nikon 70-200, 1.4xtndr
nikon 300 f4
nikon f4, 1.4extndr
nikon 70-300
You can see how even a 1.4 xtndr cuts light...the 70-300 is short of a whole stop darker but is fairly sharp.
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:33 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 22):
You can see how even a 1.4 xtndr cuts light...the 70-300 is short of a whole stop darker but is fairly sharp.

You're saying that the 1.4TC reduce light?
Didn't understand the statement "the 70 300 is short of a whole stop darker"

The images for me are sharp. The 70 300 is the least sharp.
 
cpd
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:57 am

Quoting captainstefan (Reply 20):
I use this combination, and the TC is really inconsistent.

How are you using the combination?

I expect you are using realistic shutter speeds and aperture settings.
 
kanepjk
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:22 pm

I've got the Sigma 100-300 F4 and realy like it. On my D90 it was usually more than long enough although I have a 1.4TC that I use on it occasionally. I don't notice alot of degradation with the TC on there.

I'd say about 80% of my photos inthe last year come from this lens.
 
captainstefan
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:26 pm

Quoting cpd (Reply 24):
How are you using the combination?

I expect you are using realistic shutter speeds and aperture settings.

I only use it outdoors, and when the TC is being used I shoot in A mode at f8 (f11 if it's really bright or I'm shooting a moving prop)... Is that my problem?
Long Live the Tulip!
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:07 pm

Yesterday I called my local store and he gave these prices

300mm AF-S 1148 euro
TC1.4II 345 euro
70 200 1769 euro
TC2-E III 398 euro

When he have the TC2-E III available i'l be able to try it with the 70 200 at his store. In Malta we got only one Nikon store and mostly he has nothing in stock. You have to order them..

Still very very confused what to buy
 
soon7x7
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:38 pm

I post the image comparison for you on Sunday so you could view the difference as much as one could from this site. If you are entertaining the Nikon 300mm, F4 AF-S I am selling mine. It is in NEW condition with original box and everything. I used it twice and not even away from my house. It is immaculate,...I am going back to the 200-400VRll and need to lean out my quiver of lenses for $$$. If you go that route I will send images...g
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:37 am

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 28):
I post the image comparison for you on Sunday so you could view the difference as much as one could from this site.

To tell you the truth I cannot figure out any difference between the photos regarding sharpness and colours. I will be glad to read the others opinion too.
 
jwenting
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:19 am

Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 29):
To tell you the truth I cannot figure out any difference between the photos regarding sharpness and colours. I will be glad to read the others opinion too.

the last few are a bit dim, and seem oversharpened (but that may be downsizing).
I wish I were flying
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:21 pm

Nikon 70 200 + TC2-EIII dropped from the list

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 14):
Lose that line of thought and you'll be all set at Nellis. I shot a Red Flag with a 300 F4 AF-S and a 1.4x and had no problem with aircraft size. Most of it is pretty far, unless you're gonna be runway side. That in my opinion is your best option.

What do you think about this combo during airshows ?

I saw great photos of yours but do you feel restricted during airshows?
 
captainstefan
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:04 pm

Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 31):

I saw great photos of yours but do you feel restricted during airshows?

Note that most full-time professionals (who can afford them) shoot with long prime lenses of 400 to 600 mm, sometimes longer.
Long Live the Tulip!
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:08 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 28):
If you are entertaining the Nikon 300mm, F4 AF-S I am selling mine.

How much are you asking?
 
zbot69
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:39 pm

Good thread. Faced a similar problem last fall after I sold off all my Canon gear. Ended up going with the D90 and the 70-300VR. The lens was a steal and I saved a ton of money and now I'm looking at augmenting it and conducting a similar review. Sharpness is the least of your concerns with the 70-300VR btw. My copy is very sharp all the way through, even shooting wide open (check the lens in the shop if possible). Have found the auto focus slow though, and find it hard to get used to the "plasticy" feel of the lens after owning the Canon 70-200L's, although the 70-300~D90 combo is gentler on the arms for long carries. While I do miss the ability of the Canon to acquire instantly... the sharpness and depth of color on the RAWs never disappoints when I get back home. Thinking of going for something longer to augment it.

Good luck on finding the right lens and have a great trip!
 
soon7x7
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:30 pm

Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 33):
How much are you asking?

Sorry for response delay....been away for week and a half...I'm going to post the lens on ebay @ $800.00. I purchased it new from B&H for $1250.00 If I recall...I have all papers/box/case...etc. I used it once for an Aviation Week cover shot and I haven't used it since as I am no longer photographing full time...G
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:31 pm

I would like to ask the Nikon 300mm AF-S f4 users what is approximately the average maximum shutter speed it gives you on f4 in poor light conditions(horrible weather) as it is without VR.

[Edited 2011-04-26 13:47:23]
 
NIKV69
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:22 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 35):
Sorry for response delay....been away for week and a half...I'm going to post the lens on ebay @ $800.00. I purchased it new from B&H for $1250.00 If I recall...I have all papers/box/case

I stole mine from an ebay auction for $810. They are normally going for $900-940 used. It's an insane lens.
90 Day Fiancé has taught me that Russian woman are excellent.
 
antoinepsaila
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:18 am

I read several reviews about the Nikon 300mm AF-S because I'm seriously considering buying it. Most of the users of this lens use it with a tripod. Is it that difficult to shoot handheld?
 
NIKV69
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:55 am

Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 38):
I read several reviews about the Nikon 300mm AF-S because I'm seriously considering buying it. Most of the users of this lens use it with a tripod. Is it that difficult to shoot handheld?

Not really but I don't understand why you would want to.

I shot this recently with it and a monopod. BTW buy it. It's a great lens!


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Geezer
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed May 04, 2011 8:01 am

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 39):
Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 38):
I read several reviews about the Nikon 300mm AF-S because I'm seriously considering buying it. Most of the users of this lens use it with a tripod. Is it that difficult to shoot handheld?

Not really but I don't understand why you would want to.

Antoinepsaila ;

Are you really thinking of shooing moving aircraft with a 300 mm lens, hand held ? If so, I wouldn't be expecting many "tack-sharp" images !

Here's an "idea" that is a fairly decent "compromise" if you don't want to lug a tripod around; get on Amazon, go to "cameras", and do a search for "Clik Elite" bodylink pack.

I just bought one of these to carry my N 300s around when I'm shooting in "crowded" places; here's what it does; the thing is a very nice "chest pack", perfect for a largish D SLR / 70 / 200 f2.8 combo. also , it has a very light tubular aluminum "frame" around it ( which is instantly detachable ), and this frame has a very nice mounting for a ball head;

When you remove the camera to shoot, the front half of the pack swings forward, ( the bottom of the pack serving as the "hinge") and you stick the camera on the ball head and shoot away! When I first got the thing, I picked up a cheap ball head on eBay for less than U.S. $ 30 to use with it; The little head is great for the price, but it has one thing that makes it useless for me..........it has a lever type quick release mount, which mates with all the popular manfrotto QR plates; I'm not "big" on this QR system, as I have "Arca" style plates on all of my lenses and I'm waiting on one from RRS for my 300s body; so now, I just screwed a 3/8 in to 1/4 in reducer bushing into my Arca Swiss B-1 head and screw it onto the frame; is this setup as steady as shooting on a heavy duty tripod ? I seriously doubt it, but then again, it's definitely a heck of a lot steadier than shooting hand held, and it takes 1/3 the time to "set up" than a tripod, and we all know there are many places you can't even use a tripod ! ( And I don't know of anyplace where they don't allow you to carry your........"valuables" in a smallish chest pack. ) I bought the thing primarily to shoot interiors in a museum ( where I am allowed to photograph, even with a tripod ) but I only need a 200 mm F2.8 for what I do, and this thing is quite capable of sufficient stability for my needs there, ( and I don't have to lug my Gitzo downtown on the "Metra"!

One word of caution to anyone who tries this; several parties sell these on Amazon, and they vary quite a lot in price; don't buy one from Adorama, as they charge about $ 50 too much ! ( and don't pay anyone more than U.S. $ 132 ) (and if you choose the right vendor, the shipping is even free ! )
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
ruudb
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed May 04, 2011 10:42 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 40):
Are you really thinking of shooing moving aircraft with a 300 mm lens, hand held ? If so, I wouldn't be expecting many "tack-sharp" images

I never use a tripod in combination with the 300 + 1.7 convertor and I do think my pictures aren't really soft.
So in my opinion you don't need to use a tripod.


Ruud
 
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scbriml
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu May 05, 2011 2:52 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 40):
Are you really thinking of shooing moving aircraft with a 300 mm lens, hand held ? If so, I wouldn't be expecting many "tack-sharp" images !

Huh?  Wow!

I've plenty of shots here that are hand-held 400mm 1.4TC.

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NIKV69
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu May 05, 2011 11:45 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 42):
I've plenty of shots here that are hand-held 400mm 1.4TC.

Oh I have a bunch too, also many with the 80-400VR but the real question is how many get binned because of slight blur. My ratio of pics that were tack sharp and those that had blur not suitable for here went up bigtime once I added the monopod.

It's about conditions too. Hand held on the top of the parking garage at LAS is not practical in 30MPH winds. Especially when you get one shot at Shamu or a Sands BBJ departing runway 1.
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scbriml
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu May 05, 2011 5:54 pm

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 43):
It's about conditions too. Hand held on the top of the parking garage at LAS is not practical in 30MPH winds. Especially when you get one shot at Shamu or a Sands BBJ departing runway 1.

Agreed! I was there a few weeks ago and struggled to hold said 400mm + 1.4TC.
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Thu May 05, 2011 9:28 pm

Quoting antoinepsaila (Reply 31):
Nikon 70 200 + TC2-EIII dropped from the list

I have the d300s and the 70-200 vr ii and I love that combination. I just received the tc-20e iii and I will be shooting an air show this weekend. We will see how it goes...  

Two good things about this combination (70-200vr ii and the tc-20e iii) are that you have a (relatively cheap price) $500 attachment that doubles the best zoom (arguably) lens that nikon makes. And when you don't need the converter, you take it off and you still have the best zoom (arguably) lens nikon makes.
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Tue May 17, 2011 5:44 pm

Shooting at f4 handheld in an overcast day I don't think it will be a problem regarding shutterspeed. There are photographers who shoot with the bigma 50-500mm handheld and without VR and don't have any problems with sharpness
 
cpd
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Tue May 17, 2011 10:26 pm

Quoting Geezer (Reply 40):
Are you really thinking of shooing moving aircraft with a 300 mm lens, hand held ? If so, I wouldn't be expecting many "tack-sharp" images !

300mm hand held is not that hard, even with shutter speeds of 1/80sec on a non VR lens.

It is all down to how steady you can pan the lens. After a bit of practice you will rattle off those shots with no worries.
 
scopedude
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed May 18, 2011 3:53 am

This is a great thread, esp for Nikon users. I wished Nikon makes lenses like 70-200/4 IS, 70-300L and 100-400L, though. I just got a new D7000 and am having trouble finding the right lens. 70-200 VR II is way out of my league for now - let alone a 200-400 VR   
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cpd
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RE: 400 Mm For Nikon

Wed May 18, 2011 4:40 am

Quoting scopedude (Reply 48):
70-300L

Well, they've got the VR 70-300mm zoom lens. It's not a bad lens for most things. It's certainly not a pro-grade lens, but it's not too bad either.

I reckon the 300mm F/4.0 is the best bet out of the more affordable Nikon lenses (ie, the ones without gold plated prices).

Another possibility might be the sigma zooms, like the 100-300mm:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=103

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