About the Nikon 200-500 AF-S vs expensive primes & your test

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About the Nikon 200-500 AF-S vs expensive primes & your test

Postby Roy Kikuta » Tue 13 Oct 2015 07:29

Stany,
For what it's worth - I agree with you. Personally, I have a 500f4VR and 300f2.8VRII - and now the 200-500. They all have difference strengths and weaknesses, depending on the situation - I'm certainly not upset that my copy of 200-500 seems to achieve sharper images at mid-to-longer distances than my (nearly $9k) 500f4 But just as certainly - there are those that get upset at any claim that a lens costing 8x as much could be matched by the 200-500 (under certain specific circumstances-and almost certainly for web posting uses).
Meanwhile, my 500f4 and Wimberley and legs all sit at home - I may eventually put them up for sale. I firmly believe that the 200-500 is a game-changer in that - for the first time in Nikon history - it puts very high quality 'reach' within the means of a lot more people at a relatively affordable price - the once-exclusive super exotic club is about to be overrun by a horde! Horrors! :D
Those of us who have been birding for a while understand that we'll need to work even harder at the craft (photography, technical and artistic, and especially post-processing) in order to produce images that stand out from the crowd! I'm not sure whether Nikon realized what a sharp lens it produced - there's something almost magical about the way the 200-500 manages to pull really sharp, detailed images of subjects that are very far away - and just as surprising that it's really good at very close range, too. I think the VR works really well - and that Nikon was smart not to skimp on VR, since most people will be shooting at 500mm handheld because the smaller size and reduced weight is built for mobile applications.
I wish Nikon would capitalize on this lens' success, and build a "sport" version with faster AF - but that would really eat into super exotics sales.
Roy
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Re:About Nikon 200-500 AF-S vs expensive primes & your test

Postby StanyB » Tue 13 Oct 2015 09:17

Dear Roy,
And BTW, I found out that -if- you use the 200-500 "6m-∞ setting" the AF speed is pretty decent and MUCH faster than while using the "full" range.
Kindest regards,
Stany
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Re:About Nikon 200-500 AF-S vs expensive primes & your test

Postby Roy Kikuta » Tue 13 Oct 2015 09:23

Stany,
I've tried the AF limiter, but find that I often shoot at between MFD-and-6m, causing me even more frustration :D
As for the type of photographer that I am - I would characterize myself as an opportunist, shooting whatever catches my eye or interests me - not just birds. And speaking of birds - we have one very curious and friendly species called a White-rumped shama, that literally walks up to you...so much so that I have to backpedal away to get the bird in focus :D
I would equate the AF acquisition speed of the 200-500 to the 70-200 with TC14 added - i.e., not very fast - at least on my D810 (perhaps it's faster on the D4s). So when I think over the tradeoff between reduced AF speed vs. the flexibility of being able to AF closer than 6m - I almost always choose the latter (for the type of shooting I mostly do today). And I rarely shoot BIF - most birds here are way too small, unless it's an albatross or heron (and truth be told, my BIF tracking skills are probably not up to snuff, either). But I agree - if I'm shooting surfers, for example, the limiter would be quite useful. Ah, well - Nikon had to differentiate the 200-500 from other "pro-level" lenses somehow and also cut costs ...
Aloha,
Roy
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Re: Re:About Nikon 200-500 AF-S vs expensive primes & your t

Postby StanyB » Thu 22 Oct 2015 15:35

Roy Kikuta wrote:Stany,
............ And speaking of birds - we have one very curious and friendly species called a White-rumped shama, that literally walks up to you..................Roy


Hi Roy
Do you have a picture of that White rumped shama?
Kindest regards,
Stany
kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
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Re: About the Nikon 200-500 AF-S vs expensive primes & your

Postby Roy Kikuta » Thu 22 Oct 2015 18:56

Image
Image
Hi, Stany! Photos of white-rumped Shama attached. Top one shot with 200-500 and bottom with 300f2.8VRII. Shamas are curious and friendly birds, and often come closer to get a better look at you :-) ... so much so that one often needs to back up due to lens minimum focus distance limitations.
Aloha,
Roy
p.s. This past weekend, I used the 200-500 at a Blue Angels airshow. Normally I use a single AF point, but decided instead to try the Group AF setting because I thought it might be easier to maintain focus while tracking the aircraft. I've previously used Group AF on my D810 to try and track small birds (not BIF, but moving around in trees and on the ground), and achieved mixed results (i.e., although the Group AF is supposed to be biased towards the central AF point, my experience has been that AF gets easily confused when backgrounds are bright, busy, or contrasty) with the 500f4VR, 300f2.8VRII, and 80-400G lenses. Well...I'm not exactly pleased with the results from the airshow - I think I would have done better sticking with a single AF point. I'm wondering whether you or other posters have tried Group AF and what your experiences have been. It could be that I'm using Group AF for the wrong situations, or perhaps my other settings aren't quite right... I'd like to hear what your experience has been.
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Re: About the Nikon 200-500 AF-S vs expensive primes & your

Postby StanyB » Sun 25 Oct 2015 12:07

Roy Kikuta wrote:Hi, Stany! Photos of white-rumped Shama attached. Top one shot with 200-500 and bottom with 300f2.8VRII. Shamas are curious and friendly birds, and often come closer to get a better look at you :-) ... so much so that one often needs to back up due to lens minimum focus distance limitations.
Aloha,
Roy
p.s. This past weekend, I used the 200-500 at a Blue Angels airshow. Normally I use a single AF point, but decided instead to try the Group AF setting because I thought it might be easier to maintain focus while tracking the aircraft. I've previously used Group AF on my D810 to try and track small birds (not BIF, but moving around in trees and on the ground), and achieved mixed results (i.e., although the Group AF is supposed to be biased towards the central AF point, my experience has been that AF gets easily confused when backgrounds are bright, busy, or contrasty) with the 500f4VR, 300f2.8VRII, and 80-400G lenses. Well...I'm not exactly pleased with the results from the airshow - I think I would have done better sticking with a single AF point. I'm wondering whether you or other posters have tried Group AF and what your experiences have been. It could be that I'm using Group AF for the wrong situations, or perhaps my other settings aren't quite right... I'd like to hear what your experience has been.


Good morning Roy!

Nice picture, thanks for posting.

I use group AF for erratic moving little subjects. -->Hooverfly in flight with D810.
I use single point AF for aviation photography. --> Airshow Ursel(B), 2015 July 27
Kindest regards,

Stany
kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
http://www.nikonuser.info
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