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Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF

  
 
weomck
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Alistair1 wrote:
That new Sigma 500/5.6 for E mount is worth factoring in to consideration now too. Apart from poor VR and no extenders, it looks fabulous.


Agree that should be worth taking for a test drive, as long as 15 fps is enough.
I'm all Nikon Z at this point but I'm still curious about that lens going forward.



Feb 23, 2024 at 01:07 PM
Jemini
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Where did u hear about poor VR of Sigma? One YouTuber mentioned he can get consistent sharp results at 1/60 or so.

Alistair1 wrote:
That new Sigma 500/5.6 for E mount is worth factoring in to consideration now too. Apart from poor VR and no extenders, it looks fabulous.




Feb 23, 2024 at 02:10 PM
Alistair1
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Jemini wrote:
Where did u hear about poor VR of Sigma? One YouTuber mentioned he can get consistent sharp results at 1/60 or so.



Christopher Frost review IIRC. It depends upon the reviewer's point of reference. We are spoilt by Nikon's VR. I found this out recently at my own expense when I purchased the Tamron 150-500mm, a well reviewed lens. But the VR is very poor compared to what I am used to from Nikon lenses. No reviewers mention this.



Feb 23, 2024 at 04:39 PM
DWOfPaul
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Bill I look forwards to hearing your thoughts as you try out the Z8 and the 600mm PF. I am currently debating if I would be better off with a second Z8, upgrading my Sony A7rIV to an A7rV, or sticking with my current Z8 and A7rIV combo.

BTW it could be worth buying the Megadap ETZ Pro to see how your 200-600mm preforms on the Z8 compared to the A1 and A7rV. If your happy with the performance you could then take the 200-600mm and 600mm pf with you for the Z8.



Feb 23, 2024 at 04:55 PM
arbitrage
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Alistair1 wrote:
Christopher Frost review IIRC. It depends upon the reviewer's point of reference. We are spoilt by Nikon's VR. I found this out recently at my own expense when I purchased the Tamron 150-500mm, a well reviewed lens. But the VR is very poor compared to what I am used to from Nikon lenses. No reviewers mention this.


Was he comparing it to Nikon's VR or native Sony OSS? For sure Nikon's VR is miles ahead of Sony's OSS. If he said it was poor compared to Nikon then that still may put it on par with native Sony. If it was poor compared to native Sony then we got us a big problem.



Feb 23, 2024 at 06:46 PM
Alistair1
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


arbitrage wrote:
Was he comparing it to Nikon's VR or native Sony OSS? For sure Nikon's VR is miles ahead of Sony's OSS. If he said it was poor compared to Nikon then that still may put it on par with native Sony. If it was poor compared to native Sony then we got us a big problem.


Good question, I should clarify that. It was my assessment of the VR having viewed the footage he shows in his review which looks very similar to my Tamron lens. It is basically unusable for hand held video but probably a non-issue for stills shooting or when using a tripod. Other than that though, it looks like a beautiful lens. Kind of a refresh of the 500 PF without the PF. Shame it probably won't be available to Z mount.



Feb 23, 2024 at 06:57 PM
Jemini
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Alistair1 wrote:
Christopher Frost review IIRC. It depends upon the reviewer's point of reference. We are spoilt by Nikon's VR. I found this out recently at my own expense when I purchased the Tamron 150-500mm, a well reviewed lens. But the VR is very poor compared to what I am used to from Nikon lenses. No reviewers mention this.


Hmm, that's possible. I got sharp images with 800PF at 1/60 sec. It's unbelievable!



Feb 23, 2024 at 07:17 PM
Buckeye2604
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF




Alistair1 wrote:
Good question, I should clarify that. It was my assessment of the VR having viewed the footage he shows in his review which looks very similar to my Tamron lens. It is basically unusable for hand held video but probably a non-issue for stills shooting or when using a tripod. Other than that though, it looks like a beautiful lens. Kind of a refresh of the 500 PF without the PF. Shame it probably won't be available to Z mount.

I do think the sigma has a “PF” type of element.



Feb 24, 2024 at 09:53 AM
ilkka_nissila
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Buckeye2604 wrote:
I do think the sigma has a “PF” type of element.


It does not. Quoting from the press release on dpreview.com: "By incorporating multiple large-diameter, exclusive low-dispersion glass elements that are challenging to process, SIGMA succeeded in significantly downsizing the lens construction without the use of diffractive optical elements. "

PF elements are diffractive optics.



Feb 24, 2024 at 09:58 AM
ChrisMak
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


I don't believe the Sigma has diffractive lens elements, only refractive.


Feb 24, 2024 at 10:18 AM
 


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Buckeye2604
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Thanks for clearing that up.


Feb 24, 2024 at 10:21 AM
billsnature
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


billsnature wrote:
Got my Z8 and 600mm PF yesterday and got to do a bit of testing today on songbirds in yard. The results were a bit surprising and require more testing to follow up.

Standard disclaimers....It is one copy of each lens. Lighting was variable. Birds even more variable. Sharpness comparisons were mix of bird results and non-moving things like dried up flowers and stumps.

1) Z8 acquisition speed and ability to find birds is much better than Sony A1. Haven't tested against A7R V, but I think they will be closer since A7R V is also much better than A1. I suspect
...Show more

Here is an update from my earlier posting of first days testing.

FRIST AND FOREMOST - My disappointment in the 600mm PF is completely gone!!!

1) Is still true. The Z8/600PF is amazingly fast at acquisition and lock. Nikon has come a long way from where they were with the 500PF and Z7 which was my last test of the system. Kudo's to Nikon for that!!! Really impressive.

2) I guess the correct term isn't focus breathing but actually "loss of focal length". Still true. However, if you add an extension tube to both the Sony and the Nikon, that changes significantly and depending on exact length of the tube used. You can get the Sony to act like a longer lens than the Nikon with extension. The cost is really bad CA towards the edges of the Sony. The Nikon shows less gain in focal length and less problems with CA. Performance of Nikon with extension tube and VR on is bad.

3) Adding an extension tube to 600mm PF with VR on appears to be a bad deal. That isn't really surprising if you think about the reported distance being wrong. Seems still to be less than ideal with VR off, but not as bad as when VR is on.

4) Point 4 is a total remake. The 600mm PF is a little sharper than 200-600 in the center if you keep the extension tube out of the system. The Nikon is wildly sharper as you move away from the center. Nikon 600mm PF really retains most of it sharpness out to the edges. Much better performance than what I saw on day one where much of the work was done with an extension tube in system. Tremendous performance by Nikon here in a 3.2 pound lens.

So, I think I have answered the question I posted to start the thread.. For me (YMMV) spending money on creating a split system and adding Z8/600PF and 1.4X is a much better investment than buying the Sony 600mm GM. I know that the 600GM has a huge advantage being an f4 vs f6.3 for reducing ISO and blurring background. I know the 600GM has the ability to work with a 2X TC to be 1200mm f8 and the 600PF is maxed out at 840mm and f9 with 1.4x, but even with those advantages, the 600mm GM isn't the winner based on weight, portability and my ability to hand hold for extended periods of time. If I weighed 225 lbs and had a 40 pound ass as a counterweight I might feel differently, but at a buck forty with no counterweight, I think I am good. Only remaining question is what is a lightly used A1 worth as I will probably sell mine unless Sony announces a 500mm f4 in the next week which seems unlikely.



Feb 24, 2024 at 08:23 PM
suteetat
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


billsnature wrote:
So, I think I have answered the question I posted to start the thread.. For me (YMMV) spending money on creating a split system and adding Z8/600PF and 1.4X is a much better investment than buying the Sony 600mm GM. I know that the 600GM has a huge advantage being an f4 vs f6.3 for reducing ISO and blurring background. I know the 600GM has the ability to work with a 2X TC to be 1200mm f8 and the 600PF is maxed out at 840mm and f9 with 1.4x,.


Why is 600PF max out at f9 and TC x1.4?
You can definitely use 600PF with TCx2 at f13 easily as long as light is not an issue. In 600PF image thread, I posted some example of bif with 600PF with TCx2. Not something that I would use daily but when neccessary, it is a viable option.





Feb 24, 2024 at 08:35 PM
Laslo Varadi
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


I took a lot of photos today of Snow Geese and still have to “develop” them but here is a blue heron with the Z8 and 600PF. The combination seems to be quite good for birding and easy to handhold for extended time, the Z8 bird eye af is very sticky.




  NIKON Z 8    NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/2000s    450 ISO    -0.7 EV  




Feb 24, 2024 at 08:43 PM
ChrisMak
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


arbitrage wrote:
Was he comparing it to Nikon's VR or native Sony OSS? For sure Nikon's VR is miles ahead of Sony's OSS. If he said it was poor compared to Nikon then that still may put it on par with native Sony. If it was poor compared to native Sony then we got us a big problem.


From Dustin Abbott's review:

"Sigma has employed their new and improved OS2 which gives a nice rating of 5 rated stops. That’s not quite the 6 stops touted on the 60-600mm, but Sigma’s OS is very nice here. A good stabilizer is hugely important in a long telephoto like this even in properly composing your shots. I was able to get this stable shot at 1/8th of a second (I got about 35% keepers at this shutter speed)."



Feb 25, 2024 at 06:27 AM
billsnature
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Couple of test shots from newly acquired Z8 and 600mm PF. So far I am liking this combo better than Sony A1 and 200-600.





Yellow Rump Warbler

  NIKON Z 8    NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S Z TC-1.4x lens    840mm    f/9.0    1/1600s    1400 ISO    -0.3 EV  







Yellow Rump Warbler showing rump

  NIKON Z 8    NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S Z TC-1.4x lens    840mm    f/9.0    1/1600s    1000 ISO    -0.3 EV  







Downey Woodpecker

  NIKON Z 8    NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S Z TC-1.4x lens    840mm    f/9.0    1/1600s    640 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Feb 29, 2024 at 11:42 PM
ChrisMak
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


billsnature wrote:
Couple of test shots from newly acquired Z8 and 600mm PF. So far I am liking this combo better than Sony A1 and 200-600.


A direct comparison would be Nikon Z8 + 180-600 vs Sony A1 +200-600, but I would still love to hear your impressions.



Mar 01, 2024 at 02:30 AM
arbitrage
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


billsnature wrote:
Couple of test shots from newly acquired Z8 and 600mm PF. So far I am liking this combo better than Sony A1 and 200-600.


Glad you are liking it. Not surprised it is better than the 200-600. If it wasn't then that would be a big disappointment.
Do you prefer the Z8 over the A1 or is it mostly the lens?
I still have this Z8/600PF combo on my short list for a lightweight setup. Having a hard time deciding after being blown away by the 300GM/TCs when I got to shoot it last weekend.
I've got to figure out a way to try that combo soon.



Mar 01, 2024 at 07:42 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


ChrisMak wrote:
A direct comparison would be Nikon Z8 + 180-600 vs Sony A1 +200-600, but I would still love to hear your impressions.


That would be one fairly direct comparison, but another fairly direct comparison would be the Z8 + 600 PF vs. the A1 + 300 f/2.8 GM with a 2X TC. Similar weight of the two setups and the Nikon set up would be about $2,500 cheaper, but the Sony lens would be shorter on the camera. I assume the Nikon lens without the TC might focus a little better, but maybe not. Either might well be a nice step up from the zoom for either system for some shooters.



Mar 01, 2024 at 07:51 AM
cliffWQJ
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Steve Spencer wrote:
That would be one fairly direct comparison, but another fairly direct comparison would be the Z8 + 600 PF vs. the A1 + 300 f/2.8 GM with a 2X TC. Similar weight of the two setups and the Nikon set up would be about $2,500 cheaper, but the Sony lens would be shorter on the camera. I assume the Nikon lens without the TC might focus a little better, but maybe not. Either might well be a nice step up from the zoom for either system for some shooters.


I don't think 300 f/2.8 with a 2x Teleconverter Lens could shorter than 600pf.

FE300f2.8GM 265mm
2x Teleconverter 42.7mm
600pf 278mm

also WEIGHT

A1 737g
328GM Without tripod mount 1470g
Tc-2x 207g
2414g


Z8 910g
600pf Without tripod mount 1390g
2300g



Mar 01, 2024 at 08:58 AM
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