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Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-...
  
 
Pixphatic
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Since the release of the excellent D850, time and again, I tend to ask myself, would the D850 and 500mmf4E FL be best all-round bird-photography combo....?? This, keeping out any TCs (1.4x, 1.7x or 2.0x) from the scenario.

Looking at the hand-holdbility, AF speed,acuity and reliability along with the huge 'crop-ability' factor of the D850m which would hold it's own position even in low-light. With the BG...then there is 9 FPS...What more one can ask for..??

Many would consider either the 400mm f2.8 ( for it's one extra f-stop ) or the 600mm f4 ( for 100mm of extra reach), but even for small duration of handholding, both are much more exhausting, compared to the 500mm f4 E FL.

IMHO, with a total weight of around 4000gms ( or 4 kilograms), this FX 46mp 500mm f4 thing certainly looks like a enviable set-up, even in very challenging circumstances.

Love to hear from this forum.


Thanks.



Oct 06, 2017 at 01:50 PM
RoyC
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


If you define "Bird Photography" as walking around with a camera and lens in your hands, could be. But maximum acuity is enhanced by the old Tripod. Depending upon the time of day and cloud conditions, I could make an argument for:
D5 +400mm f2.8 (early and late) or D500 + 800mm f5.6 (small subjects and distance) or D850 + 600mm f4 (soft light days).

As with many aspects of photography, "It Depends" will be included in the answer.






Oct 06, 2017 at 02:07 PM
TimMunsey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


I'm not convinced about the D850 AF yet, I have one only tried it one day last weekend on birds found the AF fast very fast but not sticky, I'm hoping it's just me that's not found the correct settings. With the D500 flying birds are easy, fast and super sticky. By sticky I mean it tracks perfectly not leaving the subject.


Oct 06, 2017 at 02:15 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


When I've done comparisons in the past to cropping a full frame camera vs using a TC, the results are always the same - use the TC, you capture more info. The math stays the same with the D850. So, although it's very "crop-able," you'll still get better results using the larger possible area of the sensor - so that means shooting it like a full frame camera for birds - 600mm / 800mm + TCs as needed and get as close as possible.

The thing is, if you're planning on cropping all the time to the DX area, a D500 is cheaper and faster and will give the same results.

Like Roy says, it really depends...



Oct 06, 2017 at 02:18 PM
Pixphatic
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Well, I would not term the 500mm f4E as a 'walk-around' lens, rather a more of a specialist one,BUT even then, for those who are not that much comfortable with a tripod or for those wanting some super low-angle perspectives, this would be the combo to go with. The 500mm f4E balances really well between reach and weight factors, compared to any other super-tele primes, it seems.

As for the D5, yes it is a great camera body, but D850 would be better in situations demanding more 'crops'. D500 is also a great offering, but again in some situations, images from a 46mp FX mechine would be just great to have.

I agree, it depends on the aspect of photography.

Thanks for your view Roy.

Edited on Oct 06, 2017 at 02:24 PM · View previous versions



Oct 06, 2017 at 02:22 PM
Gary Irwin
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


IMO the "best" birding lens from strictly an IQ perspective is the longest prime a person can handle. For me, it's the 600E. The 800E is too long and heavy, has too long a MFD and is limited to f5.6. The 500E is smaller/lighter and more convenient, but the 600 provides more reach so there's a greater chance I can forego using a TC. The 400 is too short for a dedicated birding lens.

That said, most of the time the "best lens" for an individual reflects personal usage/preferences (as well as financial considerations), not only raw performance specs.



Oct 06, 2017 at 02:22 PM
Pixphatic
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Steve Perry wrote:
When I've done comparisons in the past to cropping a full frame camera vs using a TC, the results are always the same - use the TC, you capture more info. The math stays the same with the D850. So, although it's very "crop-able," you'll still get better results using the larger possible area of the sensor - so that means shooting it like a full frame camera for birds - 600mm / 800mm + TCs as needed and get as close as possible.

The thing is, if you're planning on cropping all the time to the DX area,
...Show more

Thanks Steve... yes TCs has their own merits....cannot deny.



Oct 06, 2017 at 02:33 PM
Pixphatic
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Gary Irwin wrote:
IMO the "best" birding lens from strictly an IQ perspective is the longest prime a person can handle. For me, it's the 600E. The 800E is too long and heavy, has too long a MFD and is limited to f5.6. The 500E is smaller/lighter and more convenient, but the 600 provides more reach so there's a greater chance I can forego using a TC. The 400 is too short for a dedicated birding lens.

That said, most of the time the "best lens" for an individual reflects personal usage/preferences (as well as financial considerations), not only raw performance specs.


Thanks Gary for your view.

I would love to assume hand-holding the lens for forest / mountainous terrains / river bed walks, without any use of tripods/ monopods for a considerable period of time.

Yes, financial considerations does play a major role.




Oct 06, 2017 at 02:43 PM
gdsf2
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


I would get a 600mm G. I have one. Not light, but the best bang for the buck right now on used market. Those E lenses are very expensive for the marginal improvement.


Oct 06, 2017 at 03:27 PM
cohenfive
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


I can't vouch for the camera, but I can vouch for the lens..it is superb, and performs really well with the new 1.4 tc...I used the combo to shoot wolves in Yellowstone last winter and was pretty happy with the results (with a d500 body)..And I have only used the lens handheld to date. Looking forward to some day getting a d850 to try with it, as well as with my 80-400..


Oct 07, 2017 at 02:30 PM
 

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Pixphatic
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


cohenfive wrote:
I can't vouch for the camera, but I can vouch for the lens..it is superb, and performs really well with the new 1.4 tc...I used the combo to shoot wolves in Yellowstone last winter and was pretty happy with the results (with a d500 body)..And I have only used the lens handheld to date. Looking forward to some day getting a d850 to try with it, as well as with my 80-400..


... did not find any further info abt the combo, ie D850+500mm ..might just get some time in recent future.

gdsf2 wrote:
I would get a 600mm G. I have one. Not light, but the best bang for the buck right now on used market. Those E lenses are very expensive for the marginal improvement.


Certainly the 600mm f4 G is a great lens to have, esp if acquired an used one at a good price point, but for many like me... it would be well beyond the physical capability to hand hold for a longer duration of time, and longer walks.
That's where the new 500mm f4 E FL would come handy.

Thanks friends for your valuable observations.




Oct 07, 2017 at 04:15 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Not sure why some people make suggestions that contradict what the OP states:

Pixphatic wrote:
This, keeping out any TCs (1.4x, 1.7x or 2.0x) from the scenario.

Looking at the hand-holdbility, ......

Many would consider either the 400mm f2.8 ( for it's one extra f-stop ) or the 600mm f4 ( for 100mm of extra reach), but even for small duration of handholding, both are much more exhausting, compared to the 500mm f4 E FL.


For many people, handholding a 400 f2.8 or 600 f4, is a handicap, not an advantage. Does not matter what camera you use with those lenses if you can't get the shot in the first place because you can't maneuver the gear quickly and easily.

As for the D850 going to give you better IQ, it certainly will not if the AF is not as good as a D500 or D5, and you can't get the subject in focus.



Oct 07, 2017 at 04:48 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


I have the D850 and the D500 and spent last week photographing wildlife at Point Reyes. For birds in flight the D500 was much easier to use to track the birds as I had the entire viewfinder available, and not half the viewfinder as with the D850 in DX mode.

For high resolution full frame images the D850 is a fantastic camera and the autofocus is much better than the D750 so a win win win in every way. It is not a replacement for the D500 for me for small animals and this includes macro photography and again the limitation is in part the greatly reduced viewfinder area and in part having an extra 30MP to save and move around and ultimately crop out in many cases.

The DX mode is usable and so the D850 can be a viable backup camera for my D500 should the D500 have any problems. I did this in Point Reyes when a piece of debris got on the D500 sensor and I did not have a way to clean it and so when the sky was going to be in my shots I resorted to using the D850 with its clean sensor.

As the D500 and D850 use the same memory cards and battery types they work very well together in a way that has not been possible before with Nikon cameras.

I do not subscribe to the Swiss Army knife approach of trying to find all the answers in a single camera or single lens or single tripod or single camera bag or single tripod head. It makes absolutely no sense at all. These are all tools and no single tool does it all and each tool has its strengths and its weaknesses depending upon the particular situation.



Oct 07, 2017 at 06:25 PM
gdsf2
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Pixphatic wrote:
... did not find any further info abt the combo, ie D850+500mm ..might just get some time in recent future.

Certainly the 600mm f4 G is a great lens to have, esp if acquired an used one at a good price point, but for many like me... it would be well beyond the physical capability to hand hold for a longer duration of time, and longer walks.
That's where the new 500mm f4 E FL would come handy.

Thanks friends for your valuable observations.



I would never suggest anybody plan on handholding the 400mm G, the 500mm G, and certainly not the 600mm G. Could you, sure. Will it be fun, not for me, and I am a big guy. Sturdy tripod and gimbal head are your friends when using any super telephoto lens.





Oct 07, 2017 at 07:08 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


elkhornsun wrote:
I do not subscribe to the Swiss Army knife approach of trying to find all the answers in a single camera or single lens or single tripod or single camera bag or single tripod head. It makes absolutely no sense at all. These are all tools and no single tool does it all and each tool has its strengths and its weaknesses depending upon the particular situation.


It makes perfect sense for those who do not want the extra expense, weight, and hassle.

Different answers for different people.



Oct 07, 2017 at 07:37 PM
DGC1
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Having used the 500 AF-S f4 for the last 18 years, if I had it to do over, I'd probably have bought the 600. That said, the 500 + TC14EII has never let me down.


Oct 07, 2017 at 09:06 PM
Surfnsun
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??




Imagemaster wrote:
It makes perfect sense for those who do not want the extra expense, weight, and hassle.

Different answers for different people.


Agreed.



Oct 07, 2017 at 09:20 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Imagemaster wrote:
It makes perfect sense for those who do not want the extra expense, weight, and hassle.

Different answers for different people.


The whole point is that with the D850 AND the D500 one can use a single set of memory cards and a single set of batteries. The extra weight of a D500 is 1.9 pounds which should not be that much of an ordeal for even a child to manage.

If weight is truly a problem due to some physical infirmity then it would be wiser to make the switch to MFT cameras and lenses and cut the load by 40% or more. One would also save a good deal of money as well with a MFT kit.

As for expense if one is constrained then a D7200 with a D750 still makes more sense than a D850 and having no backup camera and one can save more than $800 in the process. So buying a D850 to save money simply does not add up.

When I am traveling to take photographs and incurring travel costs and lodging and meal expenses, then I want a backup camera in addition to the primary camera and by backup I mean a body that I can use with my lenses and not a P&S.



Oct 08, 2017 at 06:18 AM
Photozack81
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


This debate is one reason why I got the 400 f/2.8. Add a 1.4 and it's basically a 600 f/4. Ad a 2x, and now it's basically an 800 5.6. There is some image quality loss due to the TC, but considering the initial starting image quality of the lens, it's minor.

Back that up with the comparatively low resolution D500 that I use it on, and it's pretty much a non issue.

I bring up the D500 because while the D850 has a similar pixel density, using it and cropping it like a D500 means you're giving up the full frame advantage. I'd rather stick with the D500 for birding in just about any circumstance.

The D850 would be a great compromise camera to do it all, but if you want the best bang for the buck, D500 all the way for long lens work.



Oct 08, 2017 at 06:56 AM
Lance B
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Would the Nikon D850 & 500mm f4E FL be the best bird-photography combo..??


Photozack81 wrote:
This debate is one reason why I got the 400 f/2.8. Add a 1.4 and it's basically a 600 f/4. Ad a 2x, and now it's basically an 800 5.6. There is some image quality loss due to the TC, but considering the initial starting image quality of the lens, it's minor.

Back that up with the comparatively low resolution D500 that I use it on, and it's pretty much a non issue.

I bring up the D500 because while the D850 has a similar pixel density, using it and cropping it like a D500 means you're giving up the
...Show more

My sentiments exactly and why I purchased the 400 f2.8E FL VR.



Oct 08, 2017 at 07:10 AM
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