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EMA747
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Nikon Spotting Lens

Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:50 pm

I am possibly going to switch from Canon to Nikon and a D700. With it being full frame I was wondering what is a good spotting lens that won't break the bank. There doesn't really seem to be anything similar to the Canon 100-400.
Are any of the Sigma lenses ok?

I will be getting a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 for other photography work but on FF I doubt it will really be long enough for spotting at most airport.

Andy S
Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
 
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alevik
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:39 pm

400 Mm For Nikon (by antoinepsaila Apr 6 2011 in Aviation Photography)
Improvise, adapt, overcome.
 
NIKV69
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:20 pm

The Nikkor 80-400VR gets a bad rap but it does produce nice images. Though I would rather save the money and get the 200-400 f/4.

I use my 200 2.8 for all arrivals and other spotting if I am shooting departures it's the 300 f/4 with or without the TC. Works pretty nice.

Keep us posting I always love to see Canon defections.   
90 Day Fiancé has taught me that Russian woman are excellent.
 
megatop412
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:50 pm

That's a problem we've had for a while, nothing between the 80-400mm and the 200-400mm. You're already paying $1500 for the 80-400mm, a lens that constantly gets dogged. And over $5000 for that grenade launcher 200-400mm is just ridiculous unless you're a working pro. Or rich.

Until they release "the lens", which looked like it was possibly going to happen this year until the tsunami hit, you're looking at 3rd party. I got tired of waiting and went with the Bigma in December, and was pleasantly surprised with its image quality.
 
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alevik
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:31 pm

Around 80% of my ~ 1600 images on airliners.net are with the 80-400. Hardly a dog in my opinion, the results speak for themselves.

I also have the 200-400 and the decision on which of the two to take is usually very simple. If I am travelling, the 80-400 goes with me. The 200-400 is just too much weight and bother considering I can show images taken with it and the 80-400 and 99% of people won't pick the difference.

If I am heading to my local airport I'll only take the 200-400 if I'm feeling like using the monopod.

The final verdict is that the 200-400 vignettes on my D3X and D3s whereas the 80-400 does not. Similar problems reported on the D700 by some sources.

Once the "new" zoom is announced by Nikon you'll be able to get an 80-400 for cheap I'm sure.
Improvise, adapt, overcome.
 
unattendedbag
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:26 pm

Quoting EMA747 (Thread starter):
that won't break the bank.

Please define the parameters of that statement.
Slower traffic, keep right
 
EMA747
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:56 pm

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 5):
Please define the parameters of that statement.

Well I was thinking about a Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II at around £1650. If a converter will get it to a reasonable focal length without much loss of quality then that would be about right at around £2000 all-up. I can justify that because I would use the 70-200 a lot for other things.
If it's JUST a spotting lens then I guess something around £1000ish.

Andy S
Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
 
scopedude
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:37 am

No one suggested Nikon's 70-300VR and Tamron 70-300VC? Both are good performers, better than 80-400VR IMO. With full frame, you will use the longer end most of the time though. That's the reason I rarely used my D3 for spotting.

This was taken with Tamron 70-300VC at 120mm (w/ D7000);
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Royal...d=41510bb709d83476ba116f67a3a8b907

this one at 240mm;
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Garud...d=41510bb709d83476ba116f67a3a8b907

Both won't break any banks, for sure  

Winston
5DSR, 6D, X-T1, 70-200 IS II, 70-300 L, 18-55, 55-200
 
JakTrax
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:52 am

A spotting lens? Surely this is called a telescope.......???  

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Boo to you for switching to Nikon. Traitor!  

Karl
 
SNATH
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:12 am

Quoting scopedude (Reply 7):
No one suggested Nikon's 70-300VR

I've only used it for a short period of time so far but the 70-300 VR is in many aspects marginal on the D700 (IMHO at least). At the shorter end is actually pretty good, but near 300mm is almost unusable wide open (stopped down to f8 is passable, but still not great). And I'd consider it a daytime only lens, since it has real trouble focusing in low light. Having said that, for the price it's very good value and an OK travel lens if you don't want to carry something larger and/or heavier (which is the reason I got it).

FWIW,

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
NIKV69
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:08 am

Quoting scopedude (Reply 7):
No one suggested Nikon's 70-300VR

Awesome lens but once you get some skill and need 400mm for departures it's obsolete.
90 Day Fiancé has taught me that Russian woman are excellent.
 
scopedude
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:50 am

I was focusing on the fact that the lens should not break the bank  
5DSR, 6D, X-T1, 70-200 IS II, 70-300 L, 18-55, 55-200
 
zbot69
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:15 am

Hey Andy,

This is like a recurring theme. Should be a Nikon Lens FAQ or something. Have to agree with Nik, think the 300 F4 with a TC would be a great addition to your 70-200 and compliment the range nicely. But, as Winston points out, you'd be remiss in not at least putting your hands on a 70-300VR just to see how it shoots. I just wanted the extra reach of the 70-300VR and took a chance ignoring comments about softness around 300 and found to my surprise my 70-300 performs well at all ranges, wide open or stopped down. Although, must add, it was for a cropped body, so there may be something about softness @ 300mm on a full frame. No idea. I just know my D90/70-300VR is a fantastic combo and real value for money. Best part about it? I had so much money left over from making the switch I was able to pickup a 300 F4 with a couple of TC's to shoot at longer range. Versatility all over. Happy with the whole collection. I know my lenses are making money for me with every penny drop in the dollar, so as far I'm concerned buying lenses is always an investment, camera bodies not so much.

Good luck picking a lens!
 
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scbriml
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:40 am

Quoting alevik (Reply 4):

I also have both, but unlike you, I can't remember the last time I used the 80-400. The AF is S L O W. I do have plenty of shots here taken with it, but for me it can't touch the 200-400 (and yes, I lug it all over the place).

Quoting alevik (Reply 4):
The final verdict is that the 200-400 vignettes on my D3X and D3s whereas the 80-400 does not. Similar problems reported on the D700 by some sources.

I've certainly not had that on my D700.
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EMA747
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:35 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 8):
Boo to you for switching to Nikon. Traitor!

Lol.   I don't want to go over to Nikon but Canon just don't do something midway between a 7D and 1DmkIV. I might same and get a mkIV again (had to sell the last one when money was tight). The ISO on the 7D just isn't really up to some of the indoor sports I do and the mkIV is VERY expensive.

Andy S
Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
 
McG1967
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RE: Nikon Spotting Lens

Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:48 pm

Andy,

given your last statement, my advice would be as follows:


You've already settled on the D700 as your body of choice, so write a list of what Canon lens you own, then next to it write down what you would replace that lens with.

At the same time, write down how much each of the Nikon leses & body will cost you.

Calculate how much money you could get from selling your existing Canon gear, including the body.

Take the resale value of your existing Canon gear off the cost of the Nikon gear to see how much that would cost.

Take the resale value your existing Canon body off the cost of a 1DIV and see where that leaves you.

It might be that the overall difference between replacing your existing gear with Nikon and getting a 1DIV might not be that huge. You said you used to have a 1DIV, so you will be well aware of it's capabilities. The only issue at the moment is they are in short supply.

Mark

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