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Archive 2013 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC
  
 
Two23
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


I'm looking to replace my 80-400mm VR-1 this year and have been waiting for either the price of the new lens to settle a little, or for a 300mm f4 VR to appear. I've been taking my 80-400mm on distant trips with me instead of the 70-200mm f2.8 VR. The 80-400mm is SUCH a useful range that I'm willing to put up with the compromises. Sounds like the new lens has removed those compromises! The 300mm + TC-1.7e is an attractive option because of the 510mm and the cost. But then again, when a VR updated 300mm comes out I'm betting the price + TC will be very close to what the 80-400mm is. It certainly won't have a $1,000 price advantage. The new 80-400mm on a D7100 is likely the best combo for wildlife short of a D4 and a 500mm f4 VR. If we end up going to Arctic Canada this summer, I'll have to break down and get one earlier than I planned.


Kent in SD



Apr 01, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Wow, the new 80-400 and the 300 + 1.4TC are comparable and the 300 + 1.4TC is known to be a sharp combo. If I faced the choice today, I would go with the 80-400.


Apr 01, 2013 at 01:32 PM
binary visions
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Two23 wrote:
The 300mm + TC-1.7e is an attractive option because of the 510mm and the cost.


Yes, I was really hoping that the 80-400mm + 1.4x would be within spitting range of the 300mm + 1.7x. I didn't really expect it to be identical, but Steve's crop there looks like it strays into the realm of unacceptable.



Apr 01, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Tyl3n0L
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Thank you so much for this test. This is exactly what I was looking for! I currently have the 70-300VR along with a D800 and despite being a good combo for most of the time, I feel like my D800 need a better companion I keep hearing about the 300 F4 being a fantastic lens even if it is an older lens without VR and such. The new 80-400 seems also pretty good but at 3000$ Canadian the 300 F4 is about half the price!

I really hope Nikon is coming out with an updated version of the 300 F4 relatively soon! Ill wait up until Christmas and then make my final decision!




Apr 01, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Ripolini
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Steve Perry wrote:
Whew, just got finished comparing the new 80-400 to the 300 F4 with a 1.4TC and the 70-200 2.8 + 2X TCIII.


Very good test, Steve.
It's much more useful than many 'AF-S 80-400 images' threads in fora. Thanks for sharing it.
I would have appreciated seeing the behavior of the 80-400 @ 7.1, compared to 300 + TC14.
You found that the 300+1.4X @ f/7.1 has a similar quality as the 80-400 @ 400 & f/5.6. What happens when you close the aperture by 2/3 stops on the 80-400? How much IQ improves?
A final comment.
Looking at the Prestone Bottle pictures, I noted that the size of the word 'Prestone' is 12 % larger when the 300+1,4X combo was used. The difference in FL is smaller (420 is 5% larger than 400). Therefore I guess the effective FL of the 80-400 at that distance could be lower than 400 (due to slight focus breathing). However, the comparisons at 300 mm FL doesn't show any significant difference in subject size and, consequently, in FL. This is rather strange.

All the best,

R.






Apr 01, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


binary visions wrote:
Yes, I was really hoping that the 80-400mm + 1.4x would be within spitting range of the 300mm + 1.7x. I didn't really expect it to be identical, but Steve's crop there looks like it strays into the realm of unacceptable.



Did I miss something? I did not see any tests of the 80-400mm + 1.4x vs. the 300mm + 1.7x in Steve's link.

Not that it would matter much to me at that point. I shoot DX and if I need more than a 400mm lens (i.e. 600mm FX FOV) I would simply use my 300 f/2.8 and my 1.7TC on a tripod/monopod. To me, an 80-400 or even the 300 f/4 are for those days you are keeping it light.



Apr 01, 2013 at 04:38 PM
ckcarr
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Just thinking to myself, I was all convinced to buy it yesterday but my current 300mm f/4 + 1.7 teleconverter is acceptably sharp on my D800e, which is approximately 500mm.

Although we don't know for sure yet, I'd be curious how the 80-400mm with the 1.7tc sharpness is at varying apertures. and fine tuned. On a tripod of course.

It seems, that it's good to go up to 400mm (without any teleconverter), but then you still need the jump one way or another to or a higher cost/quality lens to get out to the 500mm + range.

Of course your getting better glass, VR, zoom, etc.

Could the sharpness issue be a result of the tripod collar, as was the complaint with the old version I had? I did put the RRS replacement collar on that one, which seemed to really tighten it up. Using the new version handheld with vr up to 400mm and then realizing you need the tripod isn't so bad, if it's the collar.

In the end, if money is a concern, the 300mm f/4 seems the bargain. Which as was stated above, won't be the bargain lens (new updated version) anymore once it's updated. Although the "D" version will always be a bargain.



Apr 01, 2013 at 04:38 PM
binary visions
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Andre Labonte wrote:
Did I miss something? I did not see any tests of the 80-400mm + 1.4x vs. the 300mm + 1.7x in Steve's link.


There aren't any tests - but I use the 300mm + 1.7x now, and I get better results than what Steve posted for his 400mm + 1.4x test. His test appears to render what I'd consider to be unacceptable results.

I'm withholding some judgement here, since it's one sample, and Steve acknowledged that the test might not be perfect.



Apr 01, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


binary visions wrote:
There aren't any tests - but I use the 300mm + 1.7x now, and I get better results than what Steve posted for his 400mm + 1.4x test. His test appears to render what I'd consider to be unacceptable results.

I'm withholding some judgement here, since it's one sample, and Steve acknowledged that the test might not be perfect.



Ah! gotchya, thanks for the update

Now, to find a money tree ...



Apr 01, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Steve Perry
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Ripolini wrote:
Very good test, Steve.
It's much more useful than many 'AF-S 80-400 images' threads in fora. Thanks for sharing it.
I would have appreciated seeing the behavior of the 80-400 @ 7.1, compared to 300 + TC14.
You found that the 300+1.4X @ f/7.1 has a similar quality as the 80-400 @ 400 & f/5.6. What happens when you close the aperture by 2/3 stops on the 80-400? How much IQ improves?
A final comment.
Looking at the Prestone Bottle pictures, I noted that the size of the word 'Prestone' is 12 % larger when the 300+1,4X combo was used. The difference in FL
...Show more

If I get a chance I'll see if I can get you a F7.1 sample.

Also, I agree - it's very odd the size difference between the images from both setups. I was about 50 feet away, so I would think focus breathing would no longer be an issue. My hunch is that the 80-400 is more like an 80-380 or 390. I know sometimes camera companies round up a little and that's really the only thing I can think of that would account for the difference.



Apr 01, 2013 at 05:50 PM
 

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Steve Perry
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Also -

Nope, I don't own a 1.7x anymore or I would have tossed it into the mix. However, I'm pretty confident the 300 + 1.7 would easily beat out the 80-400 + 1.4. Primes + TCs are always better than zooms +TCs.

@Craig - The tripod collar is a good thought. The included one is just "OK", it's not as stout as I'd like and that may have been why I couldn't get acceptable results. As soon as I get a chance, I'm going to try another round with the TC attached and I'll use all the tricks I know to keep the rig stable.



Apr 01, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Baywing
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


I recall reading that the new 80-400 is really a 75-382.


Apr 01, 2013 at 06:23 PM
hoodlum90
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Lensrental mentioned it in their review.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/03/quick-take-on-the-new-nikon-80-400-vr

"The new lens is slightly wider than the original version at both ends. Assuming the original is 80-400mm (it isnít, exactly) the new one is about 75-385mm. For example, if you shoot the new lens set to 87mm it frames exactly the same image as the older version set at 80mm. The new lens at 400mm frames exactly the same image as the original lens set at 385mm."



Apr 01, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Ripolini
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Steve Perry wrote:
My hunch is that the 80-400 is more like an 80-380 or 390. I know sometimes camera companies round up a little and that's really the only thing I can think of that would account for the difference.



hoodlum90 wrote:
Lensrental mentioned it in their review.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/03/quick-take-on-the-new-nikon-80-400-vr

"The new lens is slightly wider than the original version at both ends. Assuming the original is 80-400mm (it isnít, exactly) the new one is about 75-385mm. For example, if you shoot the new lens set to 87mm it frames exactly the same image as the older version set at 80mm. The new lens at 400mm frames exactly the same image as the original lens set at 385mm."


I see. This could explain the difference I was referring to in my previous post.
Thanx Steve, Baywing and hoodlum90.



Apr 01, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Chaz
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Very worthwhile info, Steve. Thanks for testing and posting.

I've had the old 80-400 for several years and don't care for it on my D800E. Thus, I've been waiting for the refresh and will now go for it.

Meanwhile, a very acceptable combo for me on the D800E is my old 70-200 f:2.8VR1 coupled with a 1.7 TC (I'm not fond of the 2x) shooting in dx crop mode. That gets me 510mm and my copy is quite sharp. The 1.7 is also very good on my 300 f:4. If used in dx mode it makes for a very acceptable "poor man's" 765mm.



Apr 01, 2013 at 08:55 PM
binary visions
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


http://aboutphography.blogspot.com/2013/03/nikon-80-400mm-f4.html

A couple images shot there with the 1.4x that were made available at full size for download. Not too bad. It's kind of a worst-case scenario with all the atmospheric interference in a shot like that, so it may not be representative, but I don't see the kind of complete lack of acuity that was present on the shot earlier in the thread.



Apr 02, 2013 at 11:09 AM
gugs
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Very interesting (and expensive ) thread, I just placed an order for the new 80-400...
Thanks for making me spend more money
I'll have to wait until Saturday

Guy



Apr 02, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Adam Bavier
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


Steve Perry wrote:
I actually did try that combo and something just doesn't look right to me. The 100% crop of the prestone bottle is below. It almost looks like a little lens movement during exposure, despite mirror lock up and, in this case, waiting a good 5 seconds before tripping the shutter. I need to do some more testing to see if this is really as good as it gets or if there was another issue.

Here's the photo:



VR switch on or off? Maybe the lens is getting confused and engaging VR when not needed. Just a possibility.



Apr 02, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Steve Perry
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


@Binary - That does look better. I really think I needed more shutter speed and / or support. Had planned on trying again today, but ended up in the (home) office all day.

@Guy - Hey, it's only money right ?

@Adam - VR was off for sure. It does have that look, but exif indicates it was off. I honestly think the collar isn't what it needs to be for slower shutter speeds. I have a hunch if I get brighter conditions or a little higher ISO I'll end up with better results.



Apr 02, 2013 at 09:53 PM
mawyatt
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC


I agree the collar is very poor, nikon really needs to provide a better collar on a $2700 lens!! Wonder if having the new VR on will help on a tripod?


Apr 03, 2013 at 09:09 PM
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