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

  
 
arbitrage
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


molson wrote:
I bought my wife an EOS R7... the mechanical shutter on that camera sounds like someone banging two empty sardine tins together.


I doubt it can be worse than a D850....



Mar 01, 2024 at 06:13 PM
billsnature
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


bs kite wrote:
To bills nature:

interesting post you have above.

I wonder if you would explain what is meant by your "hummingbirds without mechanical shutter" sentence.

Last season (July, August, Sept 2023) I did a lot of hummingbird, hb hawkmoth stills and videos on a tripod at my flower garden. It's a blast!

As far as a light hiking lens the 500PF is all of that.

I have the Z8 (still learning it ), the 500PF and a couple of other f-mounts... so far

Robert


Hi Robert,

My concerns about "doing hummingbirds without mechanical shutter" is the possibility of distorted wings from rolling shutter effects of an electronic shutter that cannot happen with a mechanical shutter. In A1/A7R V they have a mechanical shutter you can switch to. The Z8 does not. Others have weighed in that they do not think it will be a problem. I have seen the issue on rare occasions in A1 which is why I use mechanical shutter on A1 for hummers and might be my only reason to keep an A1 in addition to the Z8.

Bill



Mar 01, 2024 at 07:45 PM
cliffWQJ
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


arbitrage wrote:
I shot an entire morning of BIF this past Saturday in gloomy conditions with the 300GM/2xTC. Including swallows. I'm satisfied with how the 300GM takes the 2xTC (and I haven't used my 2xTC on my 400GM or 600GM in well over a year as I hate it on those lenses). That said, I'd assume the 600PF bare lens will be better than 300GM/2x for critical sharpness and max AF hit rate. But the 300GM has the plus of being a 300 and 420 lens.


I heard that the lack of fluorite elements in FE300gm will cause chromatic aberration, especially with a 2x teleconverter,Some people are discussing this on Chinese forums like :
https://forum.xitek.com/thread-1983879-2-1.html



Mar 01, 2024 at 09:26 PM
1bwana1
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


billsnature wrote:
Hi Robert,

My concerns about "doing hummingbirds without mechanical shutter" is the possibility of distorted wings from rolling shutter effects of an electronic shutter that cannot happen with a mechanical shutter. In A1/A7R V they have a mechanical shutter you can switch to. The Z8 does not. Others have weighed in that they do not think it will be a problem. I have seen the issue on rare occasions in A1 which is why I use mechanical shutter on A1 for hummers and might be my only reason to keep an A1 in addition to the Z8.

Bill


I agree and have seen, and personally encountered situations in motion, lighting, and rendering where having a mechanical shutter solves for the problem. deleting the mechanical shutter on a Global Sensor shutter makes sense. Deleting it on a Rolling Shutter Sensor removes capabilities. Therefor I agree with you, and prefer that my RS cameras do have the mechanical shutter option.



Mar 01, 2024 at 10:29 PM
bs kite
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Thanks for explaining that Bill.


Mar 01, 2024 at 11:55 PM
elkhornsun
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


The revelation for me was acquiring the Nikon 500mm PF lens that was the size and weight of a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. No need for a tripod and this was great on land and even more of a boon when shooting from a small boat.

I sold my 600mm f/4E lens that I used most of the time with a 1.4x teleconverter with a total weight of 9 lbs, and replaced it with the 800mm PF that weighs 5.2 lb and which with the Z9 I have no difficulty shooting hand held. The 600mm PF is a similar marvel with its weight of only 3.24 lb and is even easier to use hand held.

There is the recommendation with wildlife photography to shoot at the eye level of your subjects. Most photographers ignore that and mount their lens and camera on top of a tripod and gimbal head that has working height of 55 inches or more. With no need for a tripod I can move much faster and tend to move around a great deal more and in so doing can change the backgrounds for subjects and get down on one knee to be at eye level with many subjects.

For me it is a trade-off between ultimate image quality and mobility. For me the mobility is more important as it greatly influences how I shoot and where I shoot.

With Nikon there are these lightweight super telephoto lenses for the Z cameras.

400mm f/4.5 2.7 lb
600mm f/6.3 3.24 lb
800mm f/6.3 5.2 lb

I own the 800mm and the 400mm and recently acquired the Nikon 180-600mm zoom lens.



Mar 09, 2024 at 06:24 PM
 


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suteetat
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


For me, having 400/2.8S, 600PF and 800PF, I am loving 600PF more and more.
I love the versatility of 400/2.8S. I love the range of 800PF with its relatively light weight for
the focal length but 600PF is really something else.
500PF comes close but I find 500mm is just not quite there for reach. 600mm is better. I used to have 600/4e FL but its weight was not so great for handholding.
600PF gives me the liberty for easy handholding and excellent IQ. 400/2.8S is now relegated to larger mammals and when light is an issue. I still use 800PF a lot as I still need reach very often.
Recently I was shooting from a barge with 800PF on a tripod and handholding 600PF. I have to say
shooting fast moving birds have never been more fun.

A friend is waiting for her Sony 300/2.8GM. With 2x TC, it will give as much liberty as 600PF. Really good time to be shooting birds for most people




Mar 09, 2024 at 10:49 PM
nmerc_photos
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


Hey Bill,

Between the 600GM and 600PF, you will find their IQ almost identical. If you put two of their pictures side by side, you may be unable to tell the difference depending on how busy the background is. Your only indication between the two lenses would be DOF/Bokeh, or in EXIF data - your 1.33 stops of light gathering.

For me, it's a no-brainer to go Z8 + 600 PF. The 600 PF is the most fun wildlife lens I've ever used. The image quality is unbelievable for the price. And since the Sony 600 F4 doesn't have a TC, it's an even easier choice. Now the Nikon 600 TC vs the 600 PF is a different conversation, since you get the added value of that built in TC - which I think is incredible.

I personally won't ever spend more than $6K USD on a lens that doesn't have a built in TC. We know the manufacturers can do it - so why should we let them skimp on it?

If you use 840mm often (600 + 1.4x), you will find the 800PF to be about 2lbs lighter, 5" shorter, and nearly $10,000 cheaper - and it will produce images that are as good, if not better than the 600 GM + 1.4x.

Sony lenses do adapt well to the Nikon bodies, so you could always keep using your 200-600, and in the future add a 300 2.8 if desired.

If budget isn't an issue - I don't see a reason to shoot any brand other than Nikon for wildlife. The lens options are just too great. If you can afford the switch, you'll be extremely happy.

Cheers,
Nick



Mar 10, 2024 at 11:44 PM
AlphaPhotography
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


If you could start over which lenses would you buy first? Would you get the 600PF? How do you find the Nikon 180-600mm compared to your other lenses? It seems decently sharp from samples I've reviewed but the 600PF looks SHARP.

elkhornsun wrote:
The revelation for me was acquiring the Nikon 500mm PF lens that was the size and weight of a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. No need for a tripod and this was great on land and even more of a boon when shooting from a small boat.

I sold my 600mm f/4E lens that I used most of the time with a 1.4x teleconverter with a total weight of 9 lbs, and replaced it with the 800mm PF that weighs 5.2 lb and which with the Z9 I have no difficulty shooting hand held. The 600mm PF is a similar marvel with its
...Show more



Mar 11, 2024 at 02:13 AM
elkhornsun
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


The emphasis is on the lenses but it is the internal image stabilization of the Z cameras and the fast eye detection that makes it practical to shoot a long telephoto lens hand held. This should carry over to shooting video hand held and this is being done by Sony shooters.


Mar 27, 2024 at 09:29 PM
AlphaPhotography
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Nikon Z8 with 600 PF vs Sony A1 200-600 or 600 GM for Birds and BIF


It's really tough to find feedback on actual video functionality of these bodies/lenses. It seems like the vast majority of users with these (wildlife) kits are only shooting photos. I'm looking to potentially move from Canon to another platform to do more video work (but also plenty of photos). Canon's stabilization isn't quite good enough for handheld video and I find their codecs a PITA to work with. CLOG3 needs to be overexposed for the best results and AF falls apart in video, especially in log. Nikon seems like it may be the best choice but Sony have always had fantastic AF and recently their stabilization has improved with Active and Dynamic stabilization modes. One thing I love about Sony is how compact so many of their lenses and bodies are. It's what I miss most after shooting with Canon now the past few years. The Z8 and many lenses are even bulkier in comparison.

elkhornsun wrote:
The emphasis is on the lenses but it is the internal image stabilization of the Z cameras and the fast eye detection that makes it practical to shoot a long telephoto lens hand held. This should carry over to shooting video hand held and this is being done by Sony shooters.




Mar 27, 2024 at 09:35 PM
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