Author Topic: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED  (Read 7955 times)

jgould2

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 142
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2018, 18:37:33 »
Hi
MILLIREHM

I will not be going to Costa Rica until July but will report back then. I do know that if I mount my 600 f/4 on a Gitzo series 3 with my Wimberley gimbal and tap the end of the lens hood it vibrates for about 3-4 seconds. Mounted on my series 5 it settles down in one second. As long as the effective focal length is less than 1200mm I am quite happy with the results as long as I am properly practicing my long lens technique. Longer than that you need to set it in concrete.



JIM

RoyC

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #76 on: February 23, 2018, 01:00:10 »
I understand the tap test, but does it matter when the camera is mounted on a gimbal that is not locked down?  BTW, I have a 55 series Gitzo and a TVC-43 RRS, the Gitzo is not in the same league.

MILLIREHM

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 468
  • Vienna, Austria
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #77 on: February 23, 2018, 12:18:09 »
Most of the  dealers here offer either Manfrotto or Gitzo products. So it does not wonder that these are the first choice for many people. It can be fruitdul thougfh to search for potentially better niche-products. Thanks RoyC for sharing the experience with the TVC-43 RRS  BTW.
Thera are a lot of viable support options for dast superteles, for the most critical point appears to be the tripod collar design of the lens and the possibility and qualitiy of replacements.
Wolfgang Rehm

Ilkka Nissilš

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1136
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #78 on: February 23, 2018, 13:08:50 »
I understand the tap test, but does it matter when the camera is mounted on a gimbal that is not locked down?  BTW, I have a 55 series Gitzo and a TVC-43 RRS, the Gitzo is not in the same league.

I think even with a gimbal head, it helps reduce mirror and shutter bounce to use better tripod legs (in my case going from 3 series to 4 series Gitzo CF made a noticeable improvement for 500mm focal length) and  a better lens tripod mount (i.e. two-point support instead of a single point, or a more rugged tripod mount vs. a flimsy one). Although the gimbal head might not be the most vibration resistant, it still pays off to improve those other areas of the support system. Furthermore the specific camera used influences how much vibration there is due to shutter and mirror use.

Gary Irwin

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • A wildlife in habitat shooter
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #79 on: February 23, 2018, 14:20:00 »
FWIW I hand hold my 600E 95% of the time. The odd time I do use a tripod I have a Gitzo 3541 with a Wimberley II...I've never experienced any stability or vibration issues. I also leave VR on Sport mode virtually all the time in all cirucumstances, again without any issues.

bobfriedman

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1066
  • Massachusetts, USA
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #80 on: February 23, 2018, 20:05:32 »
FWIW I hand hold my 600E 95% of the time. The odd time I do use a tripod I have a Gitzo 3541 with a Wimberley II...I've never experienced any stability or vibration issues. I also leave VR on Sport mode virtually all the time in all cirucumstances, again without any issues.

i do the same.. almost.. i almost always have VR turned "off"... only on rare occasions where i absolutely need that kind of assist do i use it.
Robert L Friedman, Massachusetts, USA
www.pbase.com/bobfriedman

Maggiee

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • You ARE NikonGear
    • http://nuderetouching.com/
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #81 on: March 26, 2019, 21:35:07 »
I vote for the 400 2.8 on the D500, that would be my next lens for birding.
 You can read more about choosing a camera here http://fixthephoto.com/blog/tech-tips/trending-hdr-professional-cameras.html

Ilkka Nissilš

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1136
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #82 on: March 27, 2019, 12:49:43 »
Most of the  dealers here offer either Manfrotto or Gitzo products. So it does not wonder that these are the first choice for many people.

At least where I live the shops display a variety of tripods (Manfrotto, Gitzo, Benro, Sirui etc.) but the models which I am interested in typically have to be ordered separately. I don't use Gitzo because it is widely available but because it has the characteristics I'm looking for at a price I can afford.

The price I found in Europe for RRS TVC-43 is £1498 = 1755 EUR, whereas the Gitzo 4-series I use cost about 1000 EUR. The Gitzo came with snow shoes as standard accessory (and spikes are built in as one feature that costs extra for the RRS), and above all its minimum height is around 9-10cm if I recall correctly (18cm for the RRS). I find it very stable and well made.  I'm not saying the RRS cannot be better - I am sure it is excellent, but if equipped to the same level (spikes, snow shoes etc.), it costs about 2x of the price of the Gitzo 4 series, so it ought to be substantially better.

The one area where I find Gitzo to be weak is ability to cope with immersion of the locks to the water (which is to be avoided, as if it is very cold the water gets inside and freezes the locks) - but does the RRS handle this any better?

I think money also matters as many people seem to use undersized tripods for their long lens work and just turn on VR to compensate. I find this approach very unsatisfactory. My 3-series vibrates quite a lot with 500mm (VR OFF) unless I keep it to knee level and I don't use this combination any more. VR SPORT does alleviate the vibration but I find controlling the lens more pleasant and "free" when VR is OFF, then there is no drag, floating feeling or whirring sound due to the VR.

Quote
It can be fruitdul thougfh to search for potentially better niche-products.

I can't realistically carry multiple tripods in the field to cover situations where I may need to get low or high, one tripod has to be able to do it all. Obviously different people have different requirements, which is partly why there are so many tripods on the market. Someone who only uses long lenses would have different requirements than another photographer who shoots a variety of subjects.

Quote
Thera are a lot of viable support options for dast superteles, for the most critical point appears to be the tripod collar design of the lens and the possibility and qualitiy of replacements.

Yes, this is important, but fortunately Nikon have been improving their tripod collars in recent years from what they used to be. Unfortunately the price of the lenses has gone up as well.  8)

chambeshi

  • Woody
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 546
  • Woody
    • Chambeshi Photography FCotterill Photographic Explorations
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #83 on: March 28, 2019, 13:39:57 »
At least where I live the shops display a variety of tripods (Manfrotto, Gitzo, Benro, Sirui etc.) but the models which I am interested in typically have to be ordered separately. I don't use Gitzo because it is widely available but because it has the characteristics I'm looking for at a price I can afford.

The price I found in Europe for RRS TVC-43 is £1498 = 1755 EUR, whereas the Gitzo 4-series I use cost about 1000 EUR. The Gitzo came with snow shoes as standard accessory (and spikes are built in as one feature that costs extra for the RRS), and above all its minimum height is around 9-10cm if I recall correctly (18cm for the RRS). I find it very stable and well made.  I'm not saying the RRS cannot be better - I am sure it is excellent, but if equipped to the same level (spikes, snow shoes etc.), it costs about 2x of the price of the Gitzo 4 series, so it ought to be substantially better.

The one area where I find Gitzo to be weak is ability to cope with immersion of the locks to the water (which is to be avoided, as if it is very cold the water gets inside and freezes the locks) - but does the RRS handle this any better?

I think money also matters as many people seem to use undersized tripods for their long lens work and just turn on VR to compensate. I find this approach very unsatisfactory. My 3-series vibrates quite a lot with 500mm (VR OFF) unless I keep it to knee level and I don't use this combination any more. VR SPORT does alleviate the vibration but I find controlling the lens more pleasant and "free" when VR is OFF, then there is no drag, floating feeling or whirring sound due to the VR.

I can't realistically carry multiple tripods in the field to cover situations where I may need to get low or high, one tripod has to be able to do it all. Obviously different people have different requirements, which is partly why there are so many tripods on the market. Someone who only uses long lenses would have different requirements than another photographer who shoots a variety of subjects.

Yes, this is important, but fortunately Nikon have been improving their tripod collars in recent years from what they used to be. Unfortunately the price of the lenses has gone up as well.  8)
As the Gitzo tripods are NOT waterproof, so I have the Sirui W2204, designed for amphibious habits. At least twice I have stood it for at least 1 hour in 1+ m of muddy freshwater with no ill effects. It also the silt and salt etc in water that clogs up the sleeves inside the joints.

While I can hanhold mine on a D850, I use the For hide work, I use the excellent Gimpro gimbal (S African made) on Gitzo 5531. For more mobile shooting I moved on from a heavier Sirui P324S (with feet) to a QR (Quick-release) "expanding" Manfrotto 985B. This works well, in those situations that amplify the need for fatigue free stake outs of a subject. The monopod has a light gimbal (Jobu Jr. 3 . But I replaced the original foot with a Gimpro one; longer plate and its QR lever works better for safety and speed.

Nearly all locking plates sold on gimbals and ball heads only have a thumbscrew release, which is not only too slow but dangerous IME. The danger is amplified on heavy rigs if the lens foot is not aligned properly. A properly adjusted well made QR lever mechanism (Gimpro or Acratech) will not close if the lens foot is not aligned properly. These are safer overall - besides advantages of speed with getting fleeting wildlife subjects. Considering the high costs of gimbals one would expect a QR plate

The other harsh lesson is a std monopod head under 5+kg of fast tipping telephoto works very well as a guillotine / knuckle crusher. This has the tendency to occur in an action situation when you change position/teleconverter/camera etc.... it only needs to hit once hard.

This Jobu works fine on its Stick, but it's typical of nearly every gimbal out there - zilch QR plate. So I modified a Gimpro QR plate + drop arm, sending the Jobu plate to aluminum scrap. This QR locking plate is almost 9cm long, better to position the Wimberley lens foot of my 400 f2.8E with a D850 or Z7 and/or TCs. the vertical adjustment is also much better than the Jobu to balance the gimbal properly
see Steve Perry's videos on optimizing a gimbal (and gimbal on your monopod etc)

https://youtu.be/OWAzwWOaXwc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wbQgQKqglc

There is also the new Steadify, a telescoping monopod that works of a hipbelt. I'm looking forward to trying this:  https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/photography-gear/tripods-supports/steadify-be-the-tripod/

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1245624-REG/steadify_hjsy_steadify_1_steadify.html/?c3api=2572%2C113041916107&gclid=Cj0KCQiAwc7jBRD8ARIsAKSUBHJsYxnUrLAa4-E82TAJ_fg81LbHvhojt43usoHO4iVOA8mlTS3EySoaAqCDEALw_wcB
D850, Z7, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 105 f2.5AIS, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E P, 18-35 G, 24-70 f4S, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

chambeshi

  • Woody
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 546
  • Woody
    • Chambeshi Photography FCotterill Photographic Explorations
Re: SHOWDOWN: Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED vs. 600mm f/4E FL ED
« Reply #84 on: March 28, 2019, 13:47:36 »
There is a consensus among appreciative owners that the sui generis of 400 f2.8E is its excellence performance with all 3 of the current Nikon Teleconverters. So it is a 400 f2.8; 560 f4 and 800 f5.6. It is rare for an optic to score such accolades for all three top scores of IQ, reach and AF.

The 2 compact Nikkor phase fresnel primes run close 2nds on IQ and both work very well with TC14 III. I have been shooting the 500 PF nearly daily and it's the first choice as a light walkaround, but the 400 f2.8 has the edge on all fronts, except haptics.
D850, Z7, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 105 f2.5AIS, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E P, 18-35 G, 24-70 f4S, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8