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Archive 2012 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII
  
 
markdennis
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p.1 #1 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


Hi all,

Just about to purchase one of these. I would like to know others opinions regarding the 400 F2.8 or the 600 F4 option. This will be used as a wildlife lens that will , on occasion, be hand holdable. I'm sure that I have made up my mind but it is a lot of money and it has taken forever to save up for it I just do not want to make a mistake.

Mark



Feb 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #2 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


500/4 is generally the most versatile long tele for wildlife. If you do small birds then obviously a 600/4 is nice, but the current version is quite heavy and much harder for most people to handle than a 500/4. Optically you won't go wrong with any of the big teles.

EBH



Feb 19, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Scott Grant
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p.1 #3 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


EB-1 wrote:
500/4 is generally the most versatile long tele for wildlife. If you do small birds then obviously a 600/4 is nice, but the current version is quite heavy and much harder for most people to handle than a 500/4. Optically you won't go wrong with any of the big teles.

EBH


Ditto.

IQ is great. It's quite handhold able and much easier to travel with than 400 or 600mm super tells.



Feb 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM
ReyGay
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p.1 #4 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


I just hope Nikon makes a 400mm f/4... I have been waiting for years. 400mm 2.8 is nice but its not as light and compact as a 300mm f/4


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Feb 19, 2012 at 08:19 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #5 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


ReyGay wrote:
I just hope Nikon makes a 400mm f/4... I have been waiting for years. 400mm 2.8 is nice but its not as light and compact as a 300mm f/4


A 400/4 would be about the weight of a 300/2.8, but longer. Given that a 300/2.8 with a 1.4x has fine IQ and there is also a 200-400/4, I doubt that there will be a 400/4.

EBH



Feb 19, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Jan Brittenson
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p.1 #6 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


Minolta used to make an APO 400/4.5:
http://www.mhohner.de/sony-minolta/apo400.php

Smaller than the 200-400/4, yet only slightly bigger than the Canon 400/5.6L. An f/4.5 IMO looks like the perfect tradeoff between size and speed, at least for handheld use. I'd love a lens like this in AF-S VR with nanocoat and updated optical performance (the Minolta is a little long in the tooth and not up to par really).



Feb 19, 2012 at 08:37 PM
ReyGay
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p.1 #7 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


400mm f/4.5 isn't bad, I can live with that. EBH, you're right, 300mm f/2.8 with 1.4x is still great but the price... the new VRII is great optically - I think its a great trade off, which is carry 2 lenses: 300mm f/4 and 400m f/4.5 vs one 300mm f/2.8 and a 1.4x...damn. Ok, the hassle of selling my 300mm f/4, lol.


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Feb 19, 2012 at 09:03 PM
gfinlayson
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p.1 #8 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


Sigma do a very nice 500 f/4.5. Built in focussing motor. No Vibration Reduction though, but hand holdable at fast shutter speeds. Cheaper than a 300 f/2.8 too.......


Both of these were hand held:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1085565/0#10342365



Feb 19, 2012 at 11:01 PM
gspiridakis
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p.1 #9 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


Ian, does that Minolta lens come with Nikon or Canon mounts??
What about stabilization? Does it have?
George



Feb 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM
LLondon
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p.1 #10 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


The VR1 is very hand holdable. Not that bad to hump around in the woods.


Feb 20, 2012 at 12:43 AM
 

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Gary Irwin
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p.1 #11 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


markdennis wrote:
Just about to purchase one of these. I would like to know others opinions regarding the 400 F2.8 or the 600 F4 option. This will be used as a wildlife lens that will , on occasion, be hand holdable. I'm sure that I have made up my mind but it is a lot of money and it has taken forever to save up for it I just do not want to make a mistake.


If you haven't already, check out Thom Hogan's comments on Nikon's entire 'exotic' lens lineup...definitely worth the read...Thom Hogan Exotic Telephotos

The 400/2.8 is one of Nikon's sharpest lenses of any focal length and takes TC's better than most, but it's really meant for sports shooters IMO (e.g. shooting night games/isolating the subject). It works well for wildlife too but needs a tripod and isn't long enough for birds w/o a TC.

The 600VR is very sharp and obviously provides the most reach, and is an ideal birding lens and for wildlife at long range, but at 11.15 lbs it really needs a tripod.

The 500VR is really a compromise between the 400 and 600 (ie isn't quite as sharp as the 400 but is shorter and lighter than the 600). I chose the 500VR because it's extremely versatile and I like to hand hold, which I can do for short periods. In my experience the 500 is sharper at shorter/mid ranges, not so much at infinity, but most of my shooting is at short range so it works for me. It also takes the TC14EII very well (almost no need to stop down) but even takes my TC17EII quite well when stopped down to at least f8. I get better results with a pro body (FX) rather than DX, however. I use my 500VR hand held much of the time with the TC17EII tacked on. The VR works very well -- I recently sold my 200-400VR as I find I can use the 500 in my canoe just as well.

Not to nitpick, but there is no 500VRII -- the current model is still marketed as the 500VR, which incorporates the VRII mechanism and has nano coatings.



Feb 20, 2012 at 04:50 PM
markdennis
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p.1 #12 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


Thanks very much to all of you who replied. Very helpful posts. I have read as much as I can about the lenses and will plump for the 500 VR (got it right this time Gary)

Now to transfer my savings and track one down. Thanks again.

Mark



Feb 20, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Gary Irwin
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p.1 #13 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


Good luck Mark -- I'm sure you will be very pleased with the 500VR!


Feb 20, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Rodolfo Paiz
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p.1 #14 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


markdennis wrote:
Just about to purchase one of these. I would like to know others opinions regarding the 400 F2.8 or the 600 F4 option. This will be used as a wildlife lens that will , on occasion, be hand holdable.


If you want to handhold your lens on occasion, then your choices are the 300/2.8 (6.4 lbs), 200-400/4 (7.4 lbs), and 500/4 (8.5 lbs). Neither the 400/2.8 (10.2 lbs) or 600/4 (11.1 lbs) primes are really handholdable, even for short periods. Part of it is the weight, but part of it is the length and balance: the 400 and 600 carry a large part of their weight way out there in the front element.

I consider the 500/4 to be the longest handholdable lens in the Nikon arsenal unless you're built like Arnold. From that point of view, it's the only lens that fits your needs. My other favorite is the 200-400, but that wasn't one of the choices you mentioned so I'll leave it out of this discussion.



Feb 20, 2012 at 05:21 PM
utildayael
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p.1 #15 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


The 500 is a great lens, I own it. You can *somewhat* hand-hold it but honestly, it's still heavy and you want a monopod for any amount of extended shooting. It takes TC's well including the 2x TC III.

The 400 2.8 and 600 4 are about the same weight and are monstrous huge [not that the 500 isnt, the 400/600 are bigger yet] which makes them harder to travel with but not impossible.

400 2.8 takes TC's the best of the three and gives you latitude from 400mm 2.8 to 800mm 5.6 [2x TC].

Ultimately comes to what you shoot. If you have to have ever mm possible you'll end up with a 600mm eventually. No matter what you get, there will always be that point where lens + 2x tc is not long enough and you swear you need something longer.



Feb 20, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Rodolfo Paiz
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p.1 #16 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


I own a 200-400 and a 500. They do totally different things, and I love both of them (though if I were restricted to a single long lens, I'd sell the 500 and keep the 200-400). I'd love a 800/5.6 for my third long lens.


Feb 20, 2012 at 07:19 PM
markdennis
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p.1 #17 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


WOW...you guys have got some money

One off purchase for me for the VERY foreseeable future.



Feb 20, 2012 at 07:32 PM
LLondon
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p.1 #18 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


Rodolfo Paiz wrote:
I'd love a 800/5.6 for my third long lens.


Oh yes we would love one



Feb 20, 2012 at 09:55 PM
LLondon
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p.1 #19 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


markdennis wrote:
WOW...you guys have got some money

One off purchase for me for the VERY foreseeable future.


Hey it is only money. If you don't spend it the Government will take it and spend it as they see fit.



Feb 20, 2012 at 09:56 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #20 · Nikon 500mm F4 VRII


LLondon wrote:
Hey it is only money. If you don't spend it the Government will take it and spend it as they see fit.


+ 1000



Feb 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM
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