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Jim S, I have the 600mm f/5.6 AIS and can attest to you to be a fine lens for wildlife. Not too heavy as the 600/4, but anyway it needs a tripod for better results like all long lenses above 400mm.
Burrowing Owl with the 600mm f/5.6 AI-S EDIF by labecoaves, on Flickr
Taken around 8-10m of distance. D300 + Nikkor 600mm f/5.6 ais EDIF N supported on a beanbag at my SUV window. ISO 200, f/8 at 1/160s
The image was ~ 33% cropped. I think this is not bad for an "old, outdated and garbage" MF lens.
Note that even at f/8 just the head is in good focus, the tail and even the feet are OOF.
Thraupis palmarum with Nikkor 600mm f/5.6 AIS EDIF by labecoaves, on Flickr
Nikkor AI-S 600mm f/5.6 ED-IF at minimum focus distance (5m), tripod + flash
D3 1/250 f/11 ISO 500
This lens can present a little more CA than the 800mm f/5.6 AIS, specially wide open at very harsh and contrasty light conditions, but PP can fix most if not all CA.
_D2X3463dpreview by labecoaves, on Flickr
600mm F/5.6 AIS MF ED-IF. The Sayaca Tanager was at ~17m. Insets show original image (it was a 2x crop mode of D2X) and CA in the bill and eye
One way to fix that:
600mm ais CA removal in NX2 by labecoaves, on Flickr
600mm f/5.6 ais EDIF CA removal in NX2:
The example is a 200% crop of a D2x crop mod (2x) shot.
In NX2 the default is at left: auto lateral CA correction only.
In the right, when I enabled the axial CA correction - default level was 50, the result is no red fringes and a removal of the green cast.
Finally, if you have time, take a look at this flickr group with tons of sample shots with MF long lenses and some discussions among mebers:
Edited on Jan 28, 2013 at 02:39 AM · View previous versions