Author Topic: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC  (Read 2586 times)

jhinkey

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Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« on: July 04, 2015, 02:07:17 »
Currently am covered at 400mm (trusty 400/5.6 ED-AI), but occasionally need something longer for my long-distance landscape shots that are my thing to do.  Looking for something around 600mm.  My 400/5.6 is just too slow many times when used with the TC (need to stop it down 1 stop usually to get to excellent sharpness), so the 600/5.6 ED comes to mind.  The 500P+TC is an option, but it's getting a bit too long at 700mm perhaps, but if the IQ is good I can live with that.

So, any opinions on the 600/5.6 ED vs. 500P+1.4TC? I'd primarily use both stopped down to f/8 for the most part, but also, when the light gets dim f/5.6 is likely to be used.

And, just to cut off the argument, I know that atmospherics can very much limit the sharpness of a long tele, but for my locations and what I shoot, many times during the spring and fall (and winter) it's not a big factor:  Reach & light gathering & flare/ghosting resistance are also very important as well as sharpness.  CA, if removable in post is just fine.

Thanks for any info!

- John
PNW Landscapes, My Kids, & Some Climbing

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 02:57:05 »
I own the 400/5.6 Nikkor PC ('ED' without the ED inscription on it), the 400/5.6 ED-IF, 500/4 AI-P ED-IF, and the 600/5.6 ED-IF. Plus 200-400/4 Nikkor ED that I purchased specifically for landscapes (I'm not much into wildlife except for flowers, so manual focusing is fine with me). There are also the 180-600/8 ED and the 360-1200/11 ED Nikkors if you really lust for the long cannons (I got both).

My general impression is that each of these performs best without any TC added to them. For landscape use, each can do a fine service, although some lateral CA might occur with high-contrast scenes. The IF designs add a touch of axial colour (longitudinal CA) as well, but rarely to a level that requires additional processing steps to get rid of. In terms of sharpness, I'd rank the 200-400/4 ED (and the 360-1200, if you can find one) a notch above the rest of them.

You are of course well aware of the requirement for decent tripod support with such lenses, but for the benefit of others this is a critically important aspect of long lens landscape shooting. Without proper support, simply forget about getting adequate sharpness.

jhinkey

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 03:38:49 »
Thanks Bjorn - yes, especially with the 400/5.6 ED I know all about good technique - it's so light to carry around, but then it's too light sometimes.
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Erik Lund

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 00:38:36 »
The 500mm 4.0 Ais-P is a really nice lens size and weight gives it a super nice balance on a D3/D4 body size
Handles really well on monopod or tripod and even hand held :) And over the shoulder when not in use.
It takes converters but yes a true 600mm would do better,,,
Erik Lund

govindvkumar

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2021, 10:42:48 »
Thanks Bjorn - yes, especially with the 400/5.6 ED I know all about good technique - it's so light to carry around, but then it's too light sometimes.

Beautiful image. Really loved the colors on this image, the orange, blues, blacks, and the purple.
Loves to capture the Beautiful Nature, Wild birds and animals
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ColinM

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2021, 14:34:24 »
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

Roland Vink

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 20:21:03 »
I would say the 500/5.6PF is the best option that is currently available. It has a useful increase in focal length over the AI 400/5.6 in a very compact and portable package and optical quality is very high. If more reach is required I suspect that it would perform better with a modern TC than old telephoto with old TC combinations.

Nikon also have the AFS 200-500/5.6. It is not as light or compact as the 500PF and optical quality is not quite as good, although it is at a very high level. The ability to zoom would be very useful for landscape applications, allowing you to precisely frame your scene.

In Z mount, Nikon also has a 200-600mm zoom (probably f/5-6.3) on their roadmap which is likely to be available by the end of 2022. Optical quality will probably comparable to the the AFS 200-500.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2021, 20:23:19 »
"Bjorn" no longer exists, but Birna concurs with the assessment of Roland Vink :)

MILLIREHM

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2021, 00:29:34 »
I have used a lot of Nikons Superteles, neither the 600 f/5,6 nor the 500 mm f/4 P belongs to this list.
Weight and dimensions do not differ much, the 500 mm gives the advantage do be equipped with a CPU, and is a bit newer designwise (a lot of photographers switched from 600/4 to 500/4 in these days) and one stop faster (not too important for landscape work) so I would chose the 500 thus far .... If you need 600 mm take the native 600 which is probably bette than a 500 with TC. I nearly ceized to use Teleconverters due to quality loss (the TC800 or the one included in the 180-400 is an exception- as well as lenses like the 400/2,8 can take TCs relatively good).

I Agreee to Roland that a 500/5,6PF is probably the better option (my old 600/4 can't compete with the newer lens designs) i- should be still available -and you get half the weight.
Birna has reported that her very old long lenses are good at infinity (the newer 200-400 VR is not)

The 200-500/5,6 is a fine and relatively cheap lens - but i havent made any good experiences in combining it with Teleconvertes.


Given the Z-system Nikon is mainly imitating the F System with quality improvements (and f/1,2 designs instead of f/1,4). No tele lens is available currently so better stick with f-mount lenses than just wait. In this logic The 100-400 appears to be a more advanced design of the AF-S 80-400 whereas i expect the 200-600 to be some follow up of the 200-500 with slightly more range and improved IQ.
Wolfgang Rehm

Nasos Kosmas

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 17:33:45 »

The 200-500/5,6 is a fine and relatively cheap lens - but i havent made any good experiences in combining it with Teleconvertes.

I’ve got 200-500 and use it with 1,4x kenko - 1,7x Nikon- 2x III Nikon and the overall impression for stationary subjects is very good
I use it with Z6 where every combination is OK , but on  Z50 you are on the lens limits above 1,4x
If you go for this lens check it, there is a lot of sample variation

ColinM

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2021, 20:20:43 »
thank you all

MILLIREHM

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2021, 21:42:46 »
I’ve got 200-500 and use it with 1,4x kenko - 1,7x Nikon- 2x III Nikon and the overall impression for stationary subjects is very good
I use it with Z6 where every combination is OK , but on  Z50 you are on the lens limits above 1,4x
If you go for this lens check it, there is a lot of sample variation

I am very satisfied with this lens. It is just a general development route that the more i used Teleconverters over the years the less I was convinced by the results, even with better lenses than the 200-500 is
Wolfgang Rehm

Kim Pilegaard

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2021, 08:02:34 »
A very lightweight and not very expensive solution is the 300/4 E PF with the TC-17E II. It works well on both the D500 and the Z7.
Kim

Snoogly

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2021, 08:13:15 »
I’ve got 200-500 and use it with 1,4x kenko - 1,7x Nikon- 2x III Nikon and the overall impression for stationary subjects is very good
I use it with Z6 where every combination is OK , but on  Z50 you are on the lens limits above 1,4x
If you go for this lens check it, there is a lot of sample variation

I often read that this lens has considerable sample variations - but what is the most easy and failsafe way to check? Sellers sometimes only offer a three day window for returns, so a no-brainer way to check would be a boon :-)

Nasos Kosmas

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Re: Getting To 600mm: f/5.6 ED-IF or f/4 500P + TC
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2021, 14:59:24 »
Check here
https://photographylife.com/good-bad-copy-of-lens

It’s my general impression for teleconverters too but I have no other way to go more than 500mm
Yes I have used 300/ 4 AF-S not afp with 1.7x with good results but 200- 500 is better but the combo you mentioned must be very lightweight!