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| p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · UPDATE: Tested - 80-400 Vs 300 + TC Vs 70-200 + TC |
So, I did a whole bunch of testing this weekend.
I took the 300mm f/4, the 1.4x TC, the 1.7x TC, my new 80-400mm and my 70-300mm out to a parking lot and shot a bunch of test charts.
Then I took my new 80-400mm and the 1.4x TC out to a local park and did some shooting of subjects I've shot a lot with both other lenses/TCs.
All told, here are my impressions:
- The 300mm has a startling amount of purple fringing when compared against a lens that doesn't have any. The 80-400mm has virtually none. I knew the 300mm did this, it's just even more noticeable when side by side with the new zoom.
- The 300mm + 1.4x TC is less sharp than the 80-400mm. The 300mm + 1.7x TC is very slightly more sharp than the 80-400mm + 1.4x TC.
- The 300mm & 80-400 @ 300mm are very similar. 80-400 is obviously a stop slower, but that's no small accomplishment, given how sharp the 300mm is. Also, no purple fringing on the zoom.
- If I were only interested in the long end, I am very impressed with how well the 300mm + 1.7x TC holds up. It is slightly sharper than the zoom + 1.4x. Not a whole lot, but still - very good. All this for half the price. Sweet.
- Given that I don't have to pinch pennies right now, I am extremely pleased with the 80-400. It is sharp across the board, fast to focus, and allows me to half a "grab and go" zoom lens with very few compromises. This will be perfect for vacations, especially since it accepts the 1.4x when needed, giving me a huge zoom range for wildlife on trips where I would be unable to lug a big lens, would be hampered by the lack of a sub-300mm option with the f/4 prime, and would be uncomfortable with the optical compromise of the 70-300mm.
- The addition of VR makes wildlife video actually feasible. I had the opportunity to watch some cygnets leave the nest for the first time and made a video of it, which would have been unwatchable without VR.