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Archive 2016 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions
  
 
Asio_Otus
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Hi,

i am planing to buy a new combination for wildlife photography at the end of this year. I am thinking about this topic since months and it always boils down to the following setups. Either the Canon 5d mkIII and the 600mm f4 II or the Nikon D810 and the 600mm f4 G ED VR (not the FL!). I know there are other options but those two are fixed for me - no crop-cam, no tamron/sigma, no 500mm etc.

One thing that concerns me a bit is that it is really hard to find a full review about the Nikon 600mm f4. There is quite a good amount to read about the new FL but the previous 600mm version seems to be like a ghost. I couldnt find a single full review. Where can i find good sample images in high resolution (nothing to find at pixel peeper)? How fast is the AF speed? Has it a nice soft bokeh?

I wonder why it is so easy to find the Canon reports but so less stuff about Nikon.

Does someone here has a homepage where i can see sample images or does someone know a wildlife photographer who is using this lens?



Oct 06, 2016 at 01:58 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Comparing a 5DM3 to a D810 is an easy choice - the 5DM3 competes more closely with the D750 from a feature standpoint.

The nice thing about picking a modern 600mm/4 is that they are all so good you pretty much have nothing to worry about. I don't think anyone buys one of these lenses without knowing exactly what they're getting. You can also go on Flickr and search for the lenses to see samples, but remember you have no idea what the shooter's skill is so it isn't always the most objective arena.

The review conclusions are pretty obvious - world class lens, big & heavy, high price.

Some reviews here (not all full):

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/341

52 more reviews here:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/520646-USA/Nikon_2173_Telephoto_AF_S_Nikkor_600mm.html

Another review here:
http://www.naturalart.ca/artist/cameragear2.html

And here:
http://www.simonleechphotography.com/blog/gear-review-nikon-600mm-f4g-vr-lens/


Also keep in mind the D810 is due for replacement in Q1 2017.






Oct 06, 2016 at 03:43 PM
Gary Irwin
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Nikon has always had a smaller market than Canon when it comes to superteles, but the 600VR has been around for years so you just need to spend more time searching for examples...try pbase or flickr.

But there's really not much to know...the 600VR was Nikon's best performing 600mm until the 600E. It has a solid reputation for being very sharp...reputedly sharper than the 500VR but not quite up to the standards of the 400/2.8 versions. From an IQ perspective it's only bested by the 600E (and the Canon 600 IS II, I would expect).



Oct 06, 2016 at 03:54 PM
egd5
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


There is one for sale on the B&S boards here for $4500 I believe. At least it was a few days ago. That's an amazing price for a great lens.
As for no crop cameras, I would reconsider that if I were you. The D500 is amazing. I have both it and the D810, and for wildlife, the D500 wins. IMO, the high iso is about the same, but the noise on the D500 is different. It's finer and more like film grain. Kind of hard to explain and still just my opinion. Plus 10 fps will stand a better chance of getting just the right shot if action happens. Although the shutter on the D810 is extremely quiet, the D500 is not bad either.



Oct 06, 2016 at 04:12 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


I would also second the above opinion - the D500 is arguably the best wildlife camera in existence right now, and gives up nothing in the AF department even to the D5. Image quality is excellent, and you can almost always use more reach for wildlife. Strictly for wildlife I would take a D500 over a D810.


Oct 06, 2016 at 04:25 PM
Asio_Otus
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Thank you for the answers so far!

Are there any specifications regarding a d810 replacement?

Currently i am using a 7d mkI and the 400mm f5,6. I am only shooting from a blind and so far i had no issues with lack of focal length. But i never liked the image quality of the 7d. If i see the images my photography mate makes with his 5d mkIII i always become jealous.
And because i want to shoot owls i wanted to have the ability to raise the ISO a bit more.



Oct 06, 2016 at 05:54 PM
Gary Irwin
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Asio_Otus wrote:
Are there any specifications regarding a d810 replacement?

Currently i am using a 7d mkI and the 400mm f5,6. I am only shooting from a blind and so far i had no issues with lack of focal length.


Firstly, nobody knows what the D810 successor will have. We'll all find out next year.

If you find 400mm on DX to be adequate, try looking for a used 500mm MK I and used 5DIII. Relatively inexpensive and very effective.



Oct 06, 2016 at 09:34 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Asio_Otus wrote:
Thank you for the answers so far!

Are there any specifications regarding a d810 replacement?

Currently i am using a 7d mkI and the 400mm f5,6. I am only shooting from a blind and so far i had no issues with lack of focal length. But i never liked the image quality of the 7d. If i see the images my photography mate makes with his 5d mkIII i always become jealous.
And because i want to shoot owls i wanted to have the ability to raise the ISO a bit more.


No details on the D810 successor, but you can bet it will have the 153 point CAM20K AF module from the D5/D500, and all the other key features from the D5/D500. They might split it into high and low MP bodies as well, who knows.

Coming from a 7D, the D500 would be a night and day difference. There is also no comparison to be made to the 5DM3 in terms of autofocus performance or speed. Totally different cameras. The D500 basically gives you a D5 with a crop sensor and 2 fewer FPS - that value proposition is unmatched in the industry.

The D500 has some pretty good ISO performance, not a whole lot different than a D810. I don't know how high you need though. If you need a camera now, and definitely want to go full frame, either the D750 or D810 will do the trick just fine. If you primarily shoot wildlife though, I can't think of a better camera than the D500.



Oct 06, 2016 at 10:00 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


The 600 F4 G is an astonishingly good lens - but it is heavy so include the cost of a good tripod / gimbal head in your decision. I've been using one for a few years now (had a 500 F4 before it) and I really love it. I do miss the smaller size and weight of the 500 (and it was easier to pack / take on planes) but I like the extra reach of the 600mm - especially for birds. For large mammals, the 600mm - even on FX - can sometimes be too much of a good thing, but I'm willing to accept it

One thing I have seen in looking at reviews of the two lenses, it seems like most people think optically there is next to no difference between the G and E versions. However, I have read the 600E can sometimes have vignetting problems (I think with a TC attached maybe?) that the G version did not have. For the money, you just can't go wrong with the G version.

Some pics from it are below (PS - not sure why the TC shots say "unknown" 604mm - weird. It is the 600 G in any event)




  NIKON D4    Unknown 604 mm lens    850mm    f/6.3    1/400s    1600 ISO    -0.7 EV  






  NIKON D4    Unknown 604 mm lens    850mm    f/5.6    1/800s    2010 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  NIKON D7200    600.0 mm f/4.0 lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/2000s    1100 ISO    -0.7 EV  






  NIKON D4    600.0 mm f/4.0 lens    850mm    f/6.3    1/3200s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  






  NIKON D500    600.0 mm f/4.0 lens    850mm    f/5.6    1/4000s    640 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Oct 06, 2016 at 11:04 PM
Lauchlan Toal
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Steve Perry wrote:
Some pics from it are below (PS - not sure why the TC shots say "unknown" 604mm - weird. It is the 600 G in any event)


Always love that shot of the wolf/coyote leaping - spectacular work.



Oct 06, 2016 at 11:34 PM
 

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Steve Perry
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Lauchlan Toal wrote:
Always love that shot of the wolf/coyote leaping - spectacular work.


Thanks so much It's one of my favs, so I like posting it when I have a good excuse



Oct 07, 2016 at 12:08 AM
Donzo98
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Lauchlan Toal wrote:
Always love that shot of the wolf/coyote leaping - spectacular work.


I was thinking the exact same thing... that shot just screams STEVE PERRY!!

Amazing pic...




Oct 07, 2016 at 12:17 AM
Bill Graham
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


I'll say stick with whatever system you're shooting now. Both cameras are state-of -the art, both lenses ditto. You'll find some reviews that say the D810 has an advantage in DR at lower ISOs but who shoots wildlife in good light at ISO64 anyway? Likewise, there are those who insist that the Canon superteles are sharper at long range than the Nikon but my experience shooting the Nikon 600 and 800 is that atmospheric conditions are the limiting factor, not the glass. But I haven't shot the Canon system so take this observation with the same grain of salt you should use when reading Internet reviews...

Just dance with the one that brung 'ya, you won't go wrong.

P.S. If you're planning to get serious about shooting wildlife you really need to consider a crop-sensor body. And add a 400/2.8 to your wish list.




Oct 07, 2016 at 12:21 AM
Asio_Otus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Thank you all for your answers and the fantastic images! The Snowy Owl is great

I already checked some raws from dpreview from the d810 and the d500. Its a real step above the 7d.

As background information. I only want to buy the gear new. And i have the financial opportunity to do this this year. There are still a few 600mm G EDīs new available. The good thing (compared to canon) is, that there will be parts for the 600mm nikon for maybe 10 years. I Got that information from the Nikon service. Canon will have parts for their "old" 600 only around the end of 2017. Thats an important factor for me becaus it should be a long time investment. The Nikon 600FL is even 2000€ over the canon 600 f4 II and therefore to expensive. So the options are either Nikon 600mm G ED or Canon 600mm f4 II. From the standpoint of mony i could buy the nikon 600mm and either a d500 or d810 for the price of the canon 600mm alone. I could even add a d750 i would still be under the price of the canon combo. So the Nikon option is way "cheaper". And maybe thats the way i go for.

As supporting head i have a berlebach pegasus and will buy a heavy berlebach wooden tripod too. As mentioned above, i dont want to walk around and shoot what i get. I will scan the area around my home for opportunitys and then using a blind on the best spots (as i already do now). So i dont have to carry the gear more than a few hundred meters.



Oct 07, 2016 at 09:01 AM
Gary Irwin
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Well, all of the gear you're talking about is expensive. If you are happy enough with Canon's bodies and sensors the easy choice is to go for the 600 IS II. But if you do decide to make the jump to Nikon and insist in buying new equipment, I really think the extra money for the 600FL would be well worth it, as financially painful as it may be. I just don't think buying a new 600G at this point would be money well spent in the long run.


Oct 07, 2016 at 01:58 PM
Asio_Otus
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Gary Irwin wrote:
I just don't think buying a new 600G at this point would be money well spent in the long run.


Can you explain why?



Oct 07, 2016 at 02:32 PM
Gary Irwin
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


The new 600FL is slightly sharper, much lighter and better balanced, has the latest VR and AF technology, fluorine coating and has a one-piece hood which is much more convenient to use than the dual-hood on the 600G. The new version will not likely be replaced for at least 10 years and the resale value will be much higher than with the 600G over that period (check the prices on the used market). So to me, the extra $2k euro would be a small price to pay over the long term cost of ownership to get these options even if they don't seem important to you right now.

If you were going to acquire a used 600G, the financial dynamics would obviously be quite different.

I'm not trying to spend your money, just conveying my own personal experience.



Oct 07, 2016 at 03:06 PM
Lance B
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Gary Irwin wrote:
The new 600FL is slightly sharper, much lighter and better balanced, has the latest VR and AF technology, fluorine coating and has a one-piece hood which is much more convenient to use than the dual-hood on the 600G. The new version will not likely be replaced for at least 10 years and the resale value will be much higher than with the 600G over that period (check the prices on the used market). So to me, the extra $2k euro would be a small price to pay over the long term cost of ownership to get these options even
...Show more

Sage advice, Gary.

I had forgotten about the two piece hood, one of the (many) reasons I was not going to buy the previous 400 f2.8G.



Oct 08, 2016 at 12:02 AM
Asio_Otus
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Since i will only shoot with tripod i think that weight, balance and better vr are not that important for me. The 600FL is pricewise also almost alone as expensive as the canon 600 II with 5d mkIII.

First it sounded as if it would be a good choice and now it sounds a bit like a big mistake to buy that lens?



Oct 08, 2016 at 07:54 AM
Desertcruiser
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Nikon AF-S 600mm f4 G ED VR questions


Sorry for the OT, but your pics @Steve Perry are that great. I must write it strait out of my head...


Oct 08, 2016 at 08:34 AM
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