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Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms
  
 
hashaama
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Hi I am looking to have a play shooting wildlife/birds and the longest lens I currently have is 70-200 2.8 first version since this is not something I want to spend a lot of money on my options seem quite limited. I would appreciate some help deciding. The options I am considering from fav to least fav are:

1-Old version of 300mm f4 + 1.7 TC as I think this will be the best image quality for the money
2-sigma 150-600 "C" version
3-sigma 100-300 f4 with 1.7 TC
4-Nikon 200-500 f5.6 I would like not to spend this much money though
5-2x TC for 70-200 suspect this will be pretty bad image quality

This is my thinking currently, would like to confirm or change as appropriate.

Thanks
Hash



Oct 18, 2016 at 12:19 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Even the older 300mm AF-S is an eye opener, as far as excellent image quality. The differences in IQ between it and the new 300mm f/4E PF ED are very small (it's multiple other differences that separate the two lenses). If you don't want to pay for the Nikon 200-500mm it's a no brainer IMO. You can find the 300mm AF-S, in the US at least, for around $650 - $800. Problem is, you want to add a teleconverter which can range from $200 to $500 depending on what you want.

I know nothing about the Sigma "C" as I own a Sigma 150-600mm "S". Other than the fact that the "S" is a heavy lens.




Oct 18, 2016 at 12:41 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Optically, the 300 AF-S and 300PF are very close, not enough difference to care. You're paying for the weight and VR on the PF model.

I did a comparison of the 300 PF and 200-500 at the link below that you may find helpful. I have some shots with the 300PF + TC vs the 200-500 at the same focal length. Again, the AF-S 300mm would have about the same performance optically as the PF, so I think you might find the review useful:

http://backcountrygallery.com/nikon-200-500-vs-300pf-review-and-comparison/



Oct 18, 2016 at 01:27 PM
Christian H
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


I have found the 300 to be all but useless with converters. Slow AF, sketchy IQ. Sure, it's possible to get it to work in great light etc. but it's no fun, and the lack of VR really starts to bite at 400-500 mm. The bare lens is a thing of a beauty, of course, and still is one of my favorite portrait lenses for foxes, etc.

Why not wait and save up for a 200-500? A refurbished or gray market deal will come around sooner or later.

Christian



Oct 18, 2016 at 01:33 PM
Lightsearcher
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


I use the old 300mm f4 with the 1.7 TC II all the time and the results are fantastic.

Fast AF and very sharp, during cloudy days the combo tend to hunt a little but when it catch focus it will track the subject to the end.
































Oct 18, 2016 at 01:34 PM
hashaama
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Thanks all appreciate your inputs. I have D750 what can I expect in terms of AF speed with 300 + 1.7 TC


Oct 18, 2016 at 02:25 PM
slopoki
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


This is the one lens I will never part with until I wear it out, then I'll purchase another one like I have in the past. Coupled with the TC-17E IQ is OK shot wide open. but will hunt in less then bright sunny days. I use with a TC-14E and find IQ very good wide open and it stays on the lens almost always. It's a real bargain if you buy used.

Some samples with D7200 and 300/4 with 14E attached.
Rick




































Oct 18, 2016 at 02:42 PM
rick_reno
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


I've used mine with a 1.4TC, I've kept the TC on the lens since I got it. Image quality is excellent. I've never tried the 1.7TC with it, and this has reminded me I've never tried it with any lens I have.


Oct 18, 2016 at 02:54 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Some with the 300mm AF-S. I did want to upgrade to the newer version, but the bottom seemed to drop out on the market for this lens. So, I just use it. Never lets me down. The trick isn't the lenses anyway, it's finding subjects...




  NIKON D800E    500mm    1/500s    640 ISO    0.0 EV  






  NIKON D800E    300.0 mm f/4.0 lens    500mm    1/1000s    6400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  "NIKON D800E"    "300.0 mm f/4.0" lens    1/320s    -0.3 EV  






  NIKON D810    300.0 mm f/4.0 lens    300mm    1/1600s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Oct 18, 2016 at 03:04 PM
DGC1
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Christian H wrote:
I have found the 300 to be all but useless with converters. Slow AF, sketchy IQ. Sure, it's possible to get it to work in great light etc. but it's no fun, and the lack of VR really starts to bite at 400-500 mm. The bare lens is a thing of a beauty, of course, and still is one of my favorite portrait lenses for foxes, etc.

Why not wait and save up for a 200-500? A refurbished or gray market deal will come around sooner or later.

Christian


Huh...

Might not be up to your personal standards but the two TC's (14, 17) in combination with the 300 AF-S f4 have produced thousands upon thousands of great images as can be seen on this thread/forum.



Oct 18, 2016 at 03:31 PM
 

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Christian H
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


DGC1 wrote:
Huh...

Might not be up to your personal standards but the two TC's (14, 17) in combination with the 300 AF-S f4 have produced thousands upon thousands of great images as can be seen on this thread/forum.


Which one? I haven't seen anything to change my mind.



Oct 18, 2016 at 05:52 PM
DGC1
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Have you bothered to look at the images above??.


Oct 19, 2016 at 10:56 AM
LeifG
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Christian H wrote:
Which one? I haven't seen anything to change my mind.


There are some cracking images in this thread. I own the 300mm AFS F4 + TC14E, and the combination is excellent. The cheapest alternative is the old Sigma 400mm F5.6 APO Macro. Note that it must be the APO macro version. It is nowhere near as sharp as the 300mm + TC14E, but it is optically acceptable on a DX camera, and they can be bought cheap.



Oct 19, 2016 at 12:07 PM
etacarinae
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Hi, i use the d500 and old version of 300mm and 1.4 tcii.
I'm happy with this setup. I used both 200-500 and sigma 150-600 (both c and s version). "S" version of sigma is a nice lens but it is too heavy for bif. I did not like the "c" version's image quality. nikon 200-500 is nice but not fast as 300mm+1,4tc on bif, imho.

Some example photos taken with 300 afs f4 + 1,4tc




















Oct 19, 2016 at 01:54 PM
ariel777
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


I have and use both the old and new versions of the 300. Irrespective of what body (700, 750, 800, 810, 7000,7100, 500) I attach (or have attached) the lens to, the results for birding have been outstanding. The images displayed above by others certainly demonstrate this beyond any doubt whatsoever; to conclude otherwise places an enormous strain on credulity. Review the above captures again if there is any lingering doubt.

I have found that there is no diminution (or barely discernible diminution) in IQ when attaching the 1.4 TCII, and "some" (but certainly usable) with the 1.7 TCII. Perhaps it is not quite the equal of captures with my 500/4, but the shortfall is minimal.



Oct 19, 2016 at 03:33 PM
xelas
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Some thoughts also from my side. When switched from 70-300 VR to AF-S 300f/4D it was like miracle. Adding TC-E14 II assured equally stunning (for me anyway) quality by adding 120 mm and subtracting only 1 F-stop. For birds, however, I was always too short. So TC-E 17II and 510 mm ... but only f/8. While in Africa the combo gave me good results (plenty of light, shooting out of the car, supported by a bean bag), back home, less light, hand holding, those 510 mm + f/8 = soft photos. So it was time for 200-500 f/5.6. And sharp photos at 500 mm came back!
For me it is no dilemma: 200-500 f/5.6 is much more usable lens (VR, f/5.6) then any of the above combination. Not sharper, not better, just more usable. The cost of new 300 + one TC was equal to the cost of 200-500.



Oct 20, 2016 at 12:31 PM
Shotokan
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


I keep a 1.4 TC permanently attached to my 300mm AF-S F/4D just to keep dust out of the lens (there is no rear lens element). The IQ degradation from the TC is not noticeable for me. Also, with the focus limit switched to 3M-infinity, the AF is much faster than when it is switched to full focus.
-Bob



Oct 22, 2016 at 07:52 PM
hashaama
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


I bought the lens on eBay and got it delivered today. Took it out for a walk and so far am impressed with image quality, hopefully will find TC to go with it soon. Thank you all who recommended this lens. Posting below some pictures I took today.

Hash












Oct 26, 2016 at 10:36 PM
Woodyg3
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


300mm f/4 with 1.4x TC is almost permanently attached to my D500. Great IQ. I can live without the zoom of the 200-500, and can certainly appreciate the lighter weight, as well.


Oct 27, 2016 at 05:28 PM
ariel777
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Image quality 300mm f4 + TC vs consumer zooms


Excellent choice, Hash. Nice shots, also.

As mine is, Woody.



Oct 27, 2016 at 05:48 PM
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