Author Topic: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC  (Read 3378 times)

MFloyd

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2021, 15:09:17 »
1000mm: TC2.0 + Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF, one of the best lenses I have.


_8525111.jpg

Nikon D850
Nikkor 500.0 mm f/5.6 PF + TC2.0
ƒ/11.0  1000.0 mm 1/50s  ISO64
RRS TVC-34L Mark 2 Tripod + Ballhead BH-55/ E-shutter and delay


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Robert Camfield

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2021, 23:29:05 »
Comments (along with sample photos) by a friend about his new 500 f5.6 PF confirm the consensus view expressed below...it's arguably the preferred choice: resolute, effective VR, fast and accurate autofocus, moderately priced, and modest size and weight. The 500 PF approximates the size and weight of contemporary 70-200 f2.8 Nikkors.

Nonetheless, I'm rather wedded to longer MF Nikkors, despite the burden of size and weight. Among the longer lenses, the 400 f3.5 is a favorite which, as Bjorn has alluded to, is quite good wide open. The fast 400s provide considerable compression of distances and subject isolation. The 600 f5.6 AIS is also quite sharp at 5.6, at least for a 24 MP camera...there is visible axial CA under some conditions, though it is slight.

Are TCs necessary: I anticipate a moderately-cropped image from a 500 to obtain resolution equivalent to that of a 600, and improve on that of a 500+TC(1.4) (for 700mm).

Robert

Robert   

Roland Vink

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2021, 03:51:14 »
Are TCs necessary: I anticipate a moderately-cropped image from a 500 to obtain resolution equivalent to that of a 600, and improve on that of a 500+TC(1.4) (for 700mm).
Whether the lens+TC or cropping yields better results will depend on a number of factors, including:
  • Quality of the lens
  • Quality of the TC
  • How well the lens+TC work together. Some combinations work better than others although I expect most modern lenses and TCs are well matched. If a lens+TC only gives "empty magnification", in other words does not give better quality than cropping, then it is better to not use the TC. I doubt manufacturers would make TCs if that were true :)
  • Resolution of the camera. A low MP camera is likely to take lens+TC combinations better but offer less scope for cropping. The reverse is likely to be true for a high MP camera.
There is also convenience to consider. It might be better to get the shot and crop, and accept a slightly lower quality output than to fumble about trying to add a TC to your lens and miss the shot entirely :o 
I suspect many newer super-telephotos from Nikon will either be zooms or have a built-in TC (or both), so the need for external TCs will be less than before.

MFloyd

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2021, 08:51:12 »
I’m using exclusively the Nikon TC-20E III on the following Nikkor lenses: 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR; 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR (the latest one); and the 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II. The most extensive experience I have is with the 70-200mm; then it becomes a sort of poor man 180-400 mm 1:4E TC1,4 FL ED VR. The quality of the 70-200 mm TC combination is so outstanding that I decided to forego the very expensive 180-400mm. The latter I had for 3 weeks to cover the 24h of Le Mans in 2020. Reasons: quality difference indiscernible; weight & size; cost.

For my work - car racing tracks all over the world - I prefer my combination 70-200; 500; and TC2.0 rather than the 180-400 TC1.4. More flexibility: shorter focus to 70mm / no need for focus over 500mm; weight; no need for monopod in most cases (I have a very stable hand).

And, my experience makes me preferring TC to crop. In few occasions using the 500mm on the D850 in 18x24.


IMG_2990.jpg
The 180-400 mm courtesy of NPS Switzerland
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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2021, 11:23:04 »
My experience on the 70-200/2.8 FL and TC-20E III is different; I found the AF was sluggish and couldn't keep up with an approaching walking subject, whereas with the 1.4X III it could and did very well. The image quality of the 2X combination was OK, not great, when the subject was stationary, but the AF was just too slow to make its use worthwhile. I was using the D5 at the time. The TC-14E III by contrast was really good stopped down 1 stop, high contrast and resolution with no obvious flaws that I could detect at the 36MP level, and I felt it was a good combination for landscape details (with the 70-200/2.8 FL and D810 at the time).

Jan Anne

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2021, 12:29:35 »
Would Bjorn or Erik like to comment on any revised options, based on
- current lenses now available in the 6 years since this thread started
- what is likely to become available in Z mount by the end of 2022?

Many thanks.

Nikon's path of trying to use zooms to fill the gaps in longer Z glass is understandable
But (esp if the issue Bjorn mentioned with older TCs used with long glass is less of an issue now) I'd like to know some other options.

Personally, I won't be choosing a Z body just based on the new lens choices under 100mm make that 200mm
What is the intended use Colin?

Travel, landscape, wildlife, birding, stationary use on a tripod or walking around tele, etc?

A 100-400mm is very compact and travel friendly setup and has a very versatile zoom range for portraits, wildlife and landscapes but might a little short for birds. The 200-500VR works great for almost everything but is a large and heavy plastic fantastic consumer grade lens but delivers the goods on both DSLR and mirrorless.

Attached an image of the D500+200-500VR and Sony a7RII+Canon 100-400mm, the latter combination is a kilo lighter and fits in a messenger style bag where the former needs be carried in a backpack or on a strap. The mirrorless setup should be similar in size to a Z6/7 with the new Nikkor 100-400mm which is the same length as the pictured Canon lens and adapter.

I love the dependability of the D500 + 200-500VR combo but on the road prefer the more compact 100-400 setup.


Cheers,
Jan Anne

MILLIREHM

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2021, 13:14:41 »
For me 400 mm often is too short, so I never did try to use the 70-200 with converters (as it was a late aquisitions and the longer lenses came first).
Havent gained too much experience with it but so far I really like the 180-400 with TC. It is the most convenient thing to put a TC in use or remove it, it is likewise better than an external TC and it extends the range to 560 mm - and it does not extend its length while zooming.

I never got a 500 PF in my hands because I already had the 200-500 when it came out.



For landscape work older cheaper MF lenses might do a good job and be the right choice, good results at infinity are more important here than at the usual bird shooting distances.
Wolfgang Rehm

MFloyd

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2021, 16:46:10 »
My experience on the 70-200/2.8 FL and TC-20E III is different; I found the AF was sluggish and couldn't keep up with an approaching walking subject, whereas with the 1.4X III it could and did very well. The image quality of the 2X combination was OK, not great, when the subject was stationary, but the AF was just too slow to make its use worthwhile. I was using the D5 at the time. The TC-14E III by contrast was really good stopped down 1 stop, high contrast and resolution with no obvious flaws that I could detect at the 36MP level, and I felt it was a good combination for landscape details (with the 70-200/2.8 FL and D810 at the time).

Here some images with D5 + 70-200 + TC2.0 III


_D560243.jpg


_D539340.jpg

At around 300km/h sluggishness wouldn’t forgive.

Please click on the images for HR
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ColinM

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2021, 01:13:15 »
What is the intended use Colin?


I use my current 300mm PF with a D500 and sometimes a TC14 for wildlife & birding. This setup allows me to handhold. I sometimes take a monopod but rarely use it.
Increasingly I find myself taking landscape shots/joiners with this setup

I'm often at the limit for acceptable quality/magnification with this combo.
The 500mm PF would help but is out of my price range.
Notwithstanding your observations Jan, ive seen such good results with some people using the 200-500mm that might be something I'd consider.

But it appears the 100-400mm will also be a premium product
So if I eventually move to a Z body, I'd be using F mount lenses still :(


Robert Camfield

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2021, 03:48:10 »
An acquaintance, a long-time Nikon user, has recently committed to Canon, including the fairly new 6R and Canon's fixed aperture 600mm F11. It is small and light, and the improved high ISO performance of contemporary cameras allow for sufficient shutter speeds, despite the small aperture. Photos look good...not surprising as the correction of chromatic aberrations associated with refraction are significantly mitigated with smaller apertures. While we haven't discussed it, I expect viewfinder darkness, common to OVF cameras at F11, is less of an issue with EVF technology. Regardless, slow fixed-aperture lenses would seem to give up flexibility, with only limited capability to isolate subjects from background.

Robert     

Jan Anne

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2021, 10:56:50 »
I use my current 300mm PF with a D500 and sometimes a TC14 for wildlife & birding. This setup allows me to handhold. I sometimes take a monopod but rarely use it.
Increasingly I find myself taking landscape shots/joiners with this setup

I'm often at the limit for acceptable quality/magnification with this combo.
The 500mm PF would help but is out of my price range.
Notwithstanding your observations Jan, ive seen such good results with some people using the 200-500mm that might be something I'd consider.

But it appears the 100-400mm will also be a premium product
So if I eventually move to a Z body, I'd be using F mount lenses still :(
The 200-500mm is an awesome pairing with the D500 and also future proof as it is a E lens with an electronic aperture for which less complex adapters can be used. It works great on the Z6 for the slow AF or high ISO shots so its a perfect lens for the DSLR to mirrorless transition as it works on both platforms equally well.

Nikon has a Z 200-600mm on the roadmap as a dedicated mirrorless alternative to the 200-500, the one from Sony is priced around 25% above the Nikon. As the size seems to be the same as the Sony lens it will offer 100mm more range with probably less weight than the 200-500VR and hopefully also with internal zooming design.

Attached a few screenshots from the CameraVille review of the two lenses to see the size difference with the 200-500 collapsed and extended.
Cheers,
Jan Anne

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2021, 11:27:44 »
Yes, but photographing people approaching in close range at a few meters' distance (2-10 m) is a different problem than cars at longer distances such as 50 m. The 70-200 FL + 2X + D5 is notably too slow to keep up with my situation and most photos turn out out of focus (when camera and lens are correctly calibrated for static subjects). No such problem with the same lens with 1.4x or the lens without TC.

With the cars it appears the depth of field covers about one half of the car's length. In the case of my subjects', the depth of field would be around 2 inches. Nevertheless, this is not a problem for the same subjects, camera and lens when the 2X is not being used.

MFloyd

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2021, 15:07:16 »
Yes, but photographing people approaching in close range at a few meters' distance (2-10 m) is a different problem than cars at longer distances such as 50 m. The 70-200 FL + 2X + D5 is notably too slow to keep up with my situation and most photos turn out out of focus (when camera and lens are correctly calibrated for static subjects). No such problem with the same lens with 1.4x or the lens without TC.

With the cars it appears the depth of field covers about one half of the car's length. In the case of my subjects', the depth of field would be around 2 inches. Nevertheless, this is not a problem for the same subjects, camera and lens when the 2X is not being used.

Different experiences. But never experienced slow focus, be it with a D850, D5, or D6. My working distance is rather between 5 and 15m. And I never used a TC for photographing people in the 2-10m range.

The 200-500mm is a definitive NO GO for my practice (optical quality, ruggedness).
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Robert Camfield

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2021, 00:28:39 »
Whether the lens+TC or cropping yields better results will depend on a number of factors, including:
  • Quality of the lens
  • Quality of the TC
  • How well the lens+TC work together. Some combinations work better than others although I expect most modern lenses and TCs are well matched. If a lens+TC only gives "empty magnification", in other words does not give better quality than cropping, then it is better to not use the TC. I doubt manufacturers would make TCs if that were true :)
  • Resolution of the camera. A low MP camera is likely to take lens+TC combinations better but offer less scope for cropping. The reverse is likely to be true for a high MP camera.
There is also convenience to consider. It might be better to get the shot and crop, and accept a slightly lower quality output than to fumble about trying to add a TC to your lens and miss the shot entirely :o 
I suspect many newer super-telephotos from Nikon will either be zooms or have a built-in TC (or both), so the need for external TCs will be less than before.

I suspect that we all concur with Roland's comments per above...good/bad lens and TCs, whether the combinations works well together, and convenience are relevant factors. Not mentioned is the difference in expenditures: TCs obtain varying reach at dramatically reduced costs...e.g., one long lens or zoom plus TC in lieu of two long telephotos.

Comparing image quality of a moderate crop to that of the lens + TC may well favor the lens + TC, measured in technical, absolute terms. However, my experience suggests that image quality often holds up well - should I say, well enough - with a moderate crop. The image quality differences between lens + crop and lens + TC are sufficiently minor that it simply doesn't matter, at least with the modern gear made available by major manufacturers.  But this reflects my experience using moderate density sensors (24 MP) combined with photo viewing no larger than 16 x 20 inches.   

ColinM

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2021, 21:45:31 »
.
Sorry Jan, I realised I never replied to your well-reasoned post above.

I think you understand my particular (hobbyist) use cases and your suggestions are indeed practical.

I also quite understand why others who need professional standard gear to support their business will choose gear that's appropriate to that & the budgets available to them.
Who knows, I may even be able to buy some this "used" gear when they upgrade in the future!  :P