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Archive 2012 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice ...
  
 
Wayne123
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p.1 #1 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Hi,

I'm a wildlife shooter - mainly Africa - and a Canon user (7D and 100-400 F5.6 zoom)

I'd like a better lens which is faster and is capable of delivering better IQ than my current set up. I still want a zoom, and don't want to lose any reach - if anything I'd like more.

As you may know Canon keep promising to release a 200-400 F4 with a built in 1.4 teleconveter. Problem is they have been promising this lens for ever and still no release date, and rumours are that it will be expensive (~$10k).

So, I am considering switching. Based on some very basic reserach on Nikon gear I am thinking of getting a D300s body (I'd like to keep the crop factor), 200-400 F4 VR II lens and 1.4 teleconvertor. Why - I think I can get that kit for less than the rumoured Canon 200-400 lens price (factoring in selling my current Canon gear), I have the budget for it, it is available now, and hear that the 200-400 lens is excellent. The downside is having to sell my current kit and learn a new system.

What do established Nikon users think?

Your views appreciated.



Nov 04, 2012 at 01:20 PM
hjanssen
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p.1 #2 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


When you take a D800 you have the advantages of new and FF camera and more pix in a DX crop(about 45% of 36MP).


Nov 04, 2012 at 01:40 PM
davidnholtjr
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p.1 #3 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


I had the D300 and 200-400/1.4x combo and it was a good set up and never really had any problems with it.

Some say the 200-400 is not good at longer shots and better up closer.


Wayne123 wrote:
Hi,

I'm a wildlife shooter - mainly Africa - and a Canon user (7D and 100-400 F5.6 zoom)

I'd like a better lens which is faster and is capable of delivering better IQ than my current set up. I still want a zoom, and don't want to lose any reach - if anything I'd like more.

As you may know Canon keep promising to release a 200-400 F4 with a built in 1.4 teleconveter. Problem is they have been promising this lens for ever and still no release date, and rumours are that it will be expensive (~$10k).

So, I am considering switching. Based
...Show more



Nov 04, 2012 at 01:42 PM
DaveOls
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p.1 #4 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Sigma has a 150-500mm lens that sells for a little over $ 1,000. It starts a f/5 at 150mm and goes to f/6.3 or so at the long end. I don't know how good it is. Seems like Sigmas are a mixed bag on sharpness.


Nov 04, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #5 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


I personally had a D300 and 200-400 - sold them both.

I just never liked the D300 sensor, always felt it was too noisy. The 200-400 is a stellar lens - as long as your subjects are close. At a distance, it just wasn't as sharp as I would have liked (and I'm not the only one who thinks so).

I like the D800 suggestion above - in DX mode it's 4MP higher res than the D300s with better ISO performance. As for a lens, if a zoom is a must the 200-400 can work, just know its limits.



Nov 04, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #6 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Steve Perry wrote:
I personally had a D300 and 200-400 - sold them both.

I just never liked the D300 sensor, always felt it was too noisy. The 200-400 is a stellar lens - as long as your subjects are close. At a distance, it just wasn't as sharp as I would have liked (and I'm not the only one who thinks so).

I like the D800 suggestion above - in DX mode it's 4MP higher res than the D300s with better ISO performance. As for a lens, if a zoom is a must the 200-400 can work, just know its limits.


Exactly my experience.

I now use the 200-400 (version I) with my D800E and I like this combination much better.
The 200-400 is the best safari lens in the Nikon line-up.

IMHO D300 is 'old' technique and I consider the D7000 as a better alternative (buffer is too small).

Edited on Nov 04, 2012 at 02:13 PM · View previous versions



Nov 04, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Wayne123
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p.1 #7 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Thanks so much - already.

I wasn't aware of the option with the D800 to switch to a crop mode. So, I believe I have the budget to go for the D800, plus the 200-400 and the TC, which I assume would be a better wildlife set up.




Nov 04, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #8 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


The 200-400 is not so good with TC's (at least mine isn't).
This one is with the 1.7X TC on a distance (1,5x crop).






  NIKON D800E    200.0-400.0 mm f/4.0 lens    600mm    f/8.0    1/800s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #9 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


And this one with the 'naked' lens in FX-mode.




  NIKON D800E    200.0-400.0 mm f/4.0 lens    280mm    f/5.6    1/320s    180 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 04, 2012 at 02:17 PM
hjanssen
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p.1 #10 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Wayne123 wrote:
I wasn't aware of the option with the D800 to switch to a crop mode.

I never use the DX-mode on my camera, but do the cropping in LR so you can change the composition more freely.



Nov 04, 2012 at 02:25 PM
 

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Steve Perry
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p.1 #11 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


hjanssen wrote:
I never use the DX-mode on my camera, but do the cropping in LR so you can change the composition more freely.



Keep in mind that when you DX crop in camera you get faster FPS and more room in the buffer though...



Nov 04, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #12 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


I have changing the crop-mode (1.0 - 1.2 and 1.5x) assigned to the function button, so I can change quickly.
With the grip (pen-lights or D4 battery) you can get 6pfs in dx-mode.



Nov 04, 2012 at 02:41 PM
joshn
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p.1 #13 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Chris Dees wrote:
I have changing the crop-mode (1.0 - 1.2 and 1.5x) assigned to the function button, so I can change quickly.
With the grip (pen-lights or D4 battery) you can get 6pfs in dx-mode.


+1 I shoot DX on my D800 when I need the 6fps. The 200-400 is amazing as well. If you can try renting a kit for your next trip to see what you can do with it.



Nov 04, 2012 at 03:39 PM
penpro
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p.1 #14 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


If you want the crop factor have you looked at a D7000? Has pluses and minuses over the D300 I have read. There are several thread here that cover them.

I also have the 150-500 Sigma. For the price, especially used it is a great lens. Definitely soft at 500 but I just pull it back a bit. I'm going to guess the Nikon is better just because it is a Nikon.



Nov 04, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Two23
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p.1 #15 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


The Canon 7D is probably the BEST camera for wildlife right now. Nikon really doesn't have an equivalent. Nikon's equiv. to the Canon 100-400mm IS is now aboug 10 years old, too. If I were you, I'd simply get an adapter and use a 200-400mm f4 on your 7D. A d800 would be my last choice for wildlife. You lose the 1.5x reach, there are AF issues, and the fps is pretty slow. It's more of a wedding camera. The problem with shooting a D800 in crop mode is you are basically getting the performance of the D7000 camera. Why spend $3000 on a camera and then have it perform like a $1,000? It makes a LOT more sense to just buy the $1,000 camera and spend the $2,000 saved on a great trip somewhere, or on a better tripod etc. There is a LOT of hype on camera bodies.


Kent in SD



Nov 04, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Loren E
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p.1 #16 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Nikon isn't too different from Canon in the sense that many are waiting...many wildlife shooters are waiting for the D400 and 80-400 AF-S VRIII! 7D is supposedly a killer camera for wildlife...nikon D300 has a dated sensor (only 12 MP and limited high ISO ability) and nikon d7000 has limited buffer and reportedly slightly less capable AF (but an awesome sensor). What about sticking with your 7D and getting a Canon 400mm F5.6? Maybe you've already ruled this option out if IS or ability to zoom are paramount, but if you shoot with a tripod and zooming isn't mandatory, you would probably be in heaven with that combo. The sharpness is supposed to kill the 100-400 as it should, since it's a prime. Also this combo would be light in hand and easy to hike around with in addition to a solid tripod all day.

I just got setup for wildlife shooting with the Nikon 70-200 VRII + 2x TC III that I'll use on my D7000 a lot, but one cool thing about Nikon is the option to attach any AF-S tele setup like this to a 1 system camera with the FT-1 adapter for mega reach (IF AF-single and center point focus will get you by). I got a V1 with the adapter and so I can reach out to a FF equivalent 1,080mm!!! Tests look surprisingly good in the IQ department with 10.5MP image results, but I have yet to do any real shooting with my new setup yet so can't provide any examples yet.

happy shooting -L



Nov 04, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Thang
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p.1 #17 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


don't switch. Give it another 3 months and I am sure you will see something on the white 1.4x2x4! the 2x4 VR II is not that much cheaper. The fact that you have built-in TC is priceless.

I am a nikon shooter with the 600 VR and D800. So there is no brand loyalty from me here!



Nov 05, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Avi B
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p.1 #18 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Don't switch until the D400 comes out. Then switch
Sure the D400 is rumourware... but still.



Nov 05, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #19 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Thang wrote:
don't switch. Give it another 3 months and I am sure you will see something on the white 1.4x2x4! the 2x4 VR II is not that much cheaper. The fact that you have built-in TC is priceless.

.....!


Rumours are it will be over $10K, so you can have Nikon's 200-400 + a D800 for that price.



Nov 05, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Wayne123
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p.1 #20 · Wildlife shooter considering switching to Nikon - advice needed and appreciated


Chris Dees wrote:
Rumours are it will be over $10K, so you can have Nikon's 200-400 + a D800 for that price

That is exactly what is going through my mind.

How do people find the IQ on the 200-400 lens (with and without a 1.4 TC?)



Nov 05, 2012 at 08:26 PM
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