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I'll second all the compliments on your race photos Peter. I can sense how seductive that kind of shooting can be with the high energy, high speed cars and the intense competition inherent in racing. You obviously mastered the craft and your 600 f/4 AI-s seems up to the task even if the teleconverter is a bit wonky. Of course, back in the day that was what everyone was using to do this work, so we shouldn't be surprised at that. But also remarkable is that you were shooting with a camera not specifically designed for this kind of shooting,...Show more →
Thanks everyone for the compliments - going back with the 600mm was a journey into the past, trying to see if I still could do it. It has become easier today to pull off these shots, because ISO 400 and higher was impossible in the film days, so we rarely pulled out a converter, only on really nice days. The lens I used back in the 90s was better than the 600 AIS, I have to say. The Canon USM lenses of that generation were optically better than this lens, but not by much, and it could also be the fact that film hides some of the flaws better than the unforgiving sensor of a D600. I am sure my shots would not once raise any suspicion among editors as to coming from a vintage lens and a pro-sumer camera.
The D600 may not be marketed for this type of shooting, but I think it is the best body Nikon offers for it. The only thing a D4 has over the D600 is durability. The higher frame rate it gains by dropping resolution (same processor, just chewing on less data) is unimportant for my way of shooting and the DR and resolution at the typical ISO ranges in use are inferior on the D4. I'd never use that camera even if I did this professionally, even if it cost half as much. AF is not really useful either, even if you have the latest and greatest VR lenses. I think the D600 is the perfect compromise between resolution and speed and price in the FX lineup. I'd buy a second one if I shot racing more frequently (because you don't have time to change lenses in a lot of shooting situations).
By the way, you can pick up a 600mm f/4.0 with the D600 body mount - I caught myself once doing it in shock... - Back in the day with the EOS-1n we always did that. That camera is a tank, I still have it, just no lenses for it. Maybe I should look into getting a Nikon to EOS converter and try the 600mm on my old racing film body.