Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Upgrade or Jump Ship?

  1. #1
    BPN Limited Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    6
    Threads
    1
    Thank You Posts

    Default Upgrade or Jump Ship?

    Hey all,

    I am looking to upgrade my gear and was hoping to get your advice as i am having a hard time making a decision and your input would mean a lot.

    Currently i am shooting with 7D + 100-400 (the originals), and i have never been happy with the general IQ and AF performance of them but it was just something i was unable to change. I am finally in a position to make a big purchase and since i am not heavily invested so far, and the recent shift of many photographers i am having a hard time deciding if i should jump ship or not.
    Another important note is that i am currently planning a lengthy backpacking trip to Australia. (btw if someone has local tips and is willing to share it would be more than appreciated)

    My photography is mostly wildlife, mostly large mammals over recent years but would love to get more into birds. I usually find myself on lengthy trips and can involve substantial hiking so my first priority is weight without sacrificing IQ.
    I usually try and keep the weight to a minimum for all my gear many times leaving my tripod at home.


    It seems to me that the D850 is quite superior to my needs than any other offerings but the lenses on the canon side seem to be a bit more versatile.
    it seems like it comes down to 500 PF vs 400 DO II.

    some questions:

    1) how is the AF on the D850? would it be viable at f/8 for action/bif? how would it compare to the 1Dx-I? 1Dx-II? D5?
    (i have read that many times manufactures advertise the same AF system for multiple cameras but don't back that up with sufficient computation/power to have similar performance)
    2) how is the AF and IQ of the 500 PF + 1.4 vs the 400 DO II + 2X?
    3) it the 400 DO II + 2X viable for action on a 5D IV or would it demand a 1DX body? (the weight reduction is quite appealing)
    4) Am i correct in assuming that the nikon AF advantages to maintaining focus on birds with busy background would also hold in situations such as tracking a leopard through tall savanna grass?
    5) Also i am not sure how i would replace the versatility of the 100-400 as a secondary lens on the Nikon side. The 200-500 is both too heavy (~1 kg more) and IQ also does not seem quite as good. The 80-400 also looks like is a no go in terms of IQ. maybe the 300 PF + 1.4X? I'm often traveling in harsh environments that make swapping lenses risky so there is a big plus to those high end zooms.
    6) Have i completely lost it thinking that packing a 14 mm,24-70, and a 500 mm is viable? :D



    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    16,103
    Threads
    1,074
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Hi Gal,

    you seem to be considering a lot of different options, what is your budget?
    New! Nikon Capture One Pro Guide
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/Guides/


    ------------------------------------------------
    Visit my blog
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/blog

  3. #3
    BPN Limited Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    6
    Threads
    1
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    hey Arash,

    Fortunately, i don't have a fixed budget. Obviously i would like to get the best bang for my buck but i would rather get what i need now that be disappointed later. I have a few too many missed opportunities in the past years where the peak of action happened and i was too limited by my own gear.

    so i guess what i am saying is what would you recommend if weight and versatility were the major limiting factors?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    16,103
    Threads
    1,074
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    The lenses you mention are great, but they are all too short for general bird photography and will limit you. If you are into bird photography there is no way around owning a 600mm f/4 prime lens. The lenses you mention are secondary lenses for this purpose and will not have enough reach in many cases. Both Nikon and Canon 600mm lenses can be used hand held depending on your psychical condition. For wildlife you want a zoom lens.

    Canon just came out with the lightest 600mm f/4 at the time being (MKIII) but its AF and image sensor technology are significantly behind Nikon and everybody else. If you want to shoot birds in flight I recommend Nikon system. The setup you need is both a D5 and a D850 plus the 600mm f/4 E FL and the 500mm PF, the 200-500 is a good lens for larger subjects and wildlife but not so much for birds.

    Nikon D850 and D5 are both excellent bodies, Canon don't have anything comparable with the D850. The 1DXII on paper competes with the D5 but it is held back by its AF

    I haven't used my 500 PF in the field yet but paired to my D850 it gives the same reach as my old 1DXII , 400DO II and the 2XIII. The Nikon combo easily wins due to better AF, much lighter weight and smaller form factor plus the 500 PF is 1/2 the cost of 400 DO II. As much as I loved my 400 DO II I would not pay 7K for it today given that 500mm PF sells for half as much. When shooting either stationary, slow or large subjects Canon can do the trick too but so does Nikon and with D850's 45 mega pixels you get better detail. Overall the camera and the lens you currently use doesn't have much residual value as you have probably figured, so to me you are starting fresh...

    good luck
    New! Nikon Capture One Pro Guide
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/Guides/


    ------------------------------------------------
    Visit my blog
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/blog

  5. Thanks Gal Kamar thanked for this post
  6. #5
    BPN Limited Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    6
    Threads
    1
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Arash thanks for the info it is really helpful and spot on!

    i understand that nothing can beat the 600 f/4 and that for that kind of reach and IQ the physics demand big and heavy glass (well there is still hoping for a 600 f/4 DO or PF someday :D) its just that for my current situation even with the amazing engineering that canon has done on the 600 MK iii bringing the weight down to 3 KG it is still just too big for my purpose as its not just the weight as much as the volume of it as well. I am looking for a setup that will be able to fit in a backpack along with a tent sleeping bag food and clothing. (Also why i am looking at a setup with only 1 body)

    What you stated about having the D850 + 500 PF + 1.4X having the same reach as the 1Dxii + 400 DO II + 2X mirrors exactly what i was thinking. If my math is correct the D850 would have to be cropped by ~24 % to compensate for the extra 100 mm in optical reach to have an equivalent FOV. Leaving a 34 MP image on the D850 vs a 20 MP image on the 1Dx-ii which i would imagine gives a similar result IQ wise since the 1Dx ii larger pixels would produce a cleaner image on a pixel level.

    I know you said you haven't had a chance to use the 500 PF yet but could you maybe give me your thought on the AF performance between D850 vs 1Dx II?
    its so hard to quantify and i haven't been able to find any honest comparison between those.

    Also i still can't figure out an alternative for the 100-400 ii on the Nikon side for my purposes (weight and volume restrictions) which is the biggest thing stopping me from making a decision

    Thanks

  7. #6
    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    16,103
    Threads
    1,074
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Hi Gal,

    It boils down to one thing, do you like to take images of challenging birds in flight or you are focused on a stationary subject. If they answer is yes you need not to bother with reach math and all that because Canon's AF is just not that great when you compare with Nikon. Weight, reach, IQ etc. is all meaningless if the camera cannot grab sharp focus on the subject at first place.

    I haven't used the Nikon 80-400 VRII (the new lens) you may want to look at that too. 1-4's are too short and not very useful for shooting birds.

    Best
    New! Nikon Capture One Pro Guide
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/Guides/


    ------------------------------------------------
    Visit my blog
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/blog

  8. Thanks Gal Kamar thanked for this post
  9. #7
    BPN Limited Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    6
    Threads
    1
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Got it thanks!

    (The 1-4 was intended for times when i go shooting mammals rather than birds)

    Anyways I really appreciate the help. Thanks again.

    ill update where i end up going for those interested.

    Thanks

  10. #8
    BPN Limited Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    7
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    At this particular point in time the best still cameras are from Nikon and the best lenses are from Canon. For still photography nothing beats the ability to use a D5/D500/D850 and have the same general layout and use of XQD and SD cards. The D850 and D500 use the same EN-EL15 batteries so one charger. The D850 can use the same batteries as the D5 which is also convenient.

    For video the Canon 1d X Mark II is without peer in terms of its autofocus and tracking performance. There is also a far greater number of cine lenses available for the Canon mount.

    I shoot with the Nikon 80-400mm, 200-500mm, 500mm PF, and 600mm f/4G. The 80-400mm is faster to focus than the 200-500mm and with a APS-C crop is a very usable 120-600mm f/5.6 zoom lens. With Nikon there is only the 400mm f/2.8 beast as compared to three different 400mm lens options from Canon. But I find 400mm short for wildlife and use the 80-400mm for large animals and the 500mm or 600mm prime for smaller subjects. The 500mm f/5.6 PF is a very special lens. It is smaller than the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and weighs only 3.2 lbs which is difficult to fully appreciate. I do not hesitate to put the 500mm with a D850 into a small backpack and take it with me on the off chance I will find something to photograph. It is also easy to handle from a small boat when photographing wildlife and no need for a tripod or monopod.

    Without a doubt one can save enough money buying Canon super telephoto lenses (instead of Nikon ones) to pay for a very nice DSLR. The same can be said for tilt shift lenses for landscape photography and their are better options for macro photography with Canon.

  11. Thanks Gal Kamar thanked for this post
  12. #9
    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    16,103
    Threads
    1,074
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Bruce has a good point there, although I have no problem hand holding my 600FL (or Canon 600 II before that) all the day long, sometimes I just don't want to commit to taking the big guns and end up not finding anything to shoot and have to lug the beast around in disappointment. In short you need to plan your outing around the big lens if you take it out. the 500 PF fits in the glovebox of my car. I can take it everywhere and anywhere, if something great shows up I am ready, if not, I can easily toss it in my wife's bag or my backpack and go out to the bar for drinks! it's that small... it can be used easily in a dry bag on a kayak, or from a helicopter etc. etc.
    New! Nikon Capture One Pro Guide
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/Guides/


    ------------------------------------------------
    Visit my blog
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/blog

  13. Thanks Gal Kamar thanked for this post
  14. #10
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indian Lake Estates, FL
    Posts
    29,063
    Threads
    1,315
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Chiming in here :) I am not sure why Bruce says that the best lenses are from Canon ... If you like to do birds in flight, your choice -- as you have ruled out a 600 f/4 -- is between the 500 PF and the 200-500. I will be selling my 200-500 as soon as my 500 PF arrives. I was able to borrow one for my Emperor Penguin trip and loved it. See my upcoming blog posts. The only reason to purchase the 2-5 is to save money. From where I sit the following gear for you makes the most sense to me:

    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Lens

    Nikon D850 DSLR Camera (Body Only)

    Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III

    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    Nikon D850 DSLR Camera (Body Only)

    If you go the route above, please use the links above. For a serious trip you would want two D850 bodies. The 80-400 fits perfectly with the 500 PF especially with the TC-E14 III in your pocket. I made some very good images with the TC-E17 II in Antarctica ... See my blog right now for tons of images made with the 80-400. In future blog posts I will be sharing 500 PF images (naked and with both TC-Es).

    Before you purchase, please note: at times you will have problems with Nikon AF when using a teleconverter and an AF point that is away from the center AF point. Again, see my blog.

    Lastly, I would disagree with my friend Arash by saying that for folks who work with somewhat tame birds and animals the kit above might just be ideal, in other words, a 600 in not always mandatory ...And as the recent kestrel post by David Salem shows, you can crop a sharp D850 image substantially and still wind up with a high quality image file.

    with love, artie
    Last edited by Arthur Morris; 11-14-2018 at 05:39 AM.
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs): San Diego -- January 2019, Galapagos Photo Cruise of a Lifetime -- July 2019. UK Puffins, Gannets, and Red Kites, late June 2019.

    E-mail samandmayasgrandpa@att.net for BPN member IPT discount info.










  15. Thanks Gal Kamar thanked for this post
  16. #11
    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    16,103
    Threads
    1,074
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Hi Artie, I agree if you live in Florida a 500mm lens might be all you need :) I was shooting kites and harriers the other day and even 600mm + 1.4X wasn't enough 80% of the time :)

    I will publish my review of the 500PF soon, it's a great lens. I was never a fan of the 200-500, although I made some nice flight frames with it, it wasn't sharp enough for the kind of shots I wanted to get. can't expect more for 1300 anyway....

    BTW the new Canon 600 III is about 2lbs lighter than the old one, now if Nikon made a 600 f/4 PF it would be hand hold-able for pretty much everybody....
    New! Nikon Capture One Pro Guide
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/Guides/


    ------------------------------------------------
    Visit my blog
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/blog

  17. #12
    BPN Limited Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    6
    Threads
    1
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Hey guys,

    I just really wanted to thank all of you again for the thoughtful response, you were a huge help!

    It took me a while to make up my mind but i finally decided to get the D850 and 500 PF!

    I want to clarify as well that i have no doubt i will eventually get a 600 f/4 but for the current situation it is just not practical as you all have stated that lens requires you to plan around it.

    So now the last thing i need to figure out is which lens to add along the 500 PF for general wildlife photography.

    Its interesting that both Bruce and Arthur are using the 80-400 as i had an impression that the lens had some sharpness issues.

    LenseRental did some testing on it that showed some disappointing results ( https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...00mm-shootout/),
    but hey MTF isn't the real world

    Bruce, could you explain your comment about the 80-400 being serviceable for an APS-C specifically? does it have issues when mounted on a full frame?

    Arthur, I saw the posts from snow hill and first of all i just have to say how jealous i am, that must have been an amazing trip!
    I do have to say that your shots with the 80-400 are among the best i have seen from that lens. However i did notice you were stopping down when using it. Is that intentional? is the lens soft wide open?

    The other option i have been looking at is the sigma 100-400 f/6.3. I know, i am cringing as well talking about a 3rd party lens but from the reviews i found it seems to have better sharpness and less weight but loses out on AF speed acquisition and VR, and it is f/6.3!

    so what do you guys think? 80-400 or sigma 100-400 f/6.3?

  18. #13
    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    16,103
    Threads
    1,074
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    congrats on your new rig, please consider becoming a member and sharing your images with us.
    New! Nikon Capture One Pro Guide
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/Guides/


    ------------------------------------------------
    Visit my blog
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/blog

  19. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  20. #14
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indian Lake Estates, FL
    Posts
    29,063
    Threads
    1,315
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gal Kamar View Post
    Hey guys,

    I just really wanted to thank all of you again for the thoughtful response, you were a huge help!

    It took me a while to make up my mind but i finally decided to get the D850 and 500 PF!

    I want to clarify as well that i have no doubt i will eventually get a 600 f/4 but for the current situation it is just not practical as you all have stated that lens requires you to plan around it.

    So now the last thing i need to figure out is which lens to add along the 500 PF for general wildlife photography.

    Its interesting that both Bruce and Arthur are using the 80-400 as i had an impression that the lens had some sharpness issues.

    LenseRental did some testing on it that showed some disappointing results ( https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...00mm-shootout/),
    but hey MTF isn't the real world

    Bruce, could you explain your comment about the 80-400 being serviceable for an APS-C specifically? does it have issues when mounted on a full frame?

    Arthur, I saw the posts from snow hill and first of all i just have to say how jealous i am, that must have been an amazing trip!
    I do have to say that your shots with the 80-400 are among the best i have seen from that lens. However i did notice you were stopping down when using it. Is that intentional? is the lens soft wide open?

    The other option i have been looking at is the sigma 100-400 f/6.3. I know, i am cringing as well talking about a 3rd party lens but from the reviews i found it seems to have better sharpness and less weight but loses out on AF speed acquisition and VR, and it is f/6.3!

    so what do you guys think? 80-400 or sigma 100-400 f/6.3?
    Hi Gal, You are welcome. Where do you live? Where did you pre-order the lens from? The sharpness issues with both the 80-400 and both versions of the Canon 100-400 are a result of operator error. Please remember that most lenses are a lot sharper than most photographers ... Like Arash, I have never looks at a lens or camera body test. Ever. We make images and evaluate them. I use my 80-400 only on full frame bodies, most often the D850. Envy might be a better choice than jealousy. Out of habit I almost always work stopped down 1/3 stop from wide open. At Snow Hill, I stopped down more than usual because there was lots of light, and often because the birds were so close (when you need a bit of extra d-o-f). The lens is perfectly sharp wide open. Do note that all of my gear is AF Fine-tuned. Good advice especially with a D850: get yourself LensAlign/FocusTune here and follow that up with my Nikon Focus-Tune e-Guide here. Please understand that the online experts do not know s--t. I have always gone with lens made by the manufacturer ...

    with love, a
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs): San Diego -- January 2019, Galapagos Photo Cruise of a Lifetime -- July 2019. UK Puffins, Gannets, and Red Kites, late June 2019.

    E-mail samandmayasgrandpa@att.net for BPN member IPT discount info.










  21. #15
    BPN Limited Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    6
    Threads
    1
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Thanks Arash, I definitely will consider it!

    Arthur, I live in Israel so ordering from B&H is a bit tricky (lots of import taxes), i preordered at a local shop hopefully it will be arrive soon but you never know here. :D
    I apologies if jealousy was the wrong word, i just wanted to say that it sounded like an incredible trip and was very happy for you since i know over the past few years most ships failed to reach snow hill.
    I agree with you that what ultimately matters is the pictures you get so i am very pleased to hear that you are satisfied with the 80-400 and to see that you are getting such sharp results, you are definitely changing my mind about that lens.

    I am also very wary of 3rd party lenses. I only had one 3rd party lens in the past that had many issues both in terms of quality as well as reliability (sand would always get stuck in the zoom barrel and it would get stuck). However i do try and keep an open mind and i saw a couple of wildlife photographers who claim to use it so i thought i would put my prejudice aside and look into that lens

  22. #16
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indian Lake Estates, FL
    Posts
    29,063
    Threads
    1,315
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    No worries Gal. Thanks for letting me know. No apologies needed -- I suggested envious as better for you :) Made no difference to me. As I said, I always go with the MFRs stuff ...

    with love, artie
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs): San Diego -- January 2019, Galapagos Photo Cruise of a Lifetime -- July 2019. UK Puffins, Gannets, and Red Kites, late June 2019.

    E-mail samandmayasgrandpa@att.net for BPN member IPT discount info.










Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Web Analytics