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Thread: Next step recommendation. Lens? Nikon here.

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    Default Next step recommendation. Lens? Nikon here.

    Hi all!!!!. I am new here.

    Currently I have a Nikon D7200 with an old second hand Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF-S But the lens is damaged. The lens was a birthday present about 2 years ago. Optics are good but no autofocus. The lens autofocus worked slow at first for a year and then it died. I have been taking bird photos in manual focus and with the camera in manual mode since, sometimes I add it a Nikon TC II 1.7X (second hand too) and use a Monopod for stability. I have been able to photograph even warblers in flight that way, absurdly extreme lucky shots as you could imagine. My gallery is here if you want to see the results: https://oquinterophotography.com/

    Why I have not fixed the lens? Because I live in PANAMA. No nikkon service here and a big big hassle to send that to the US to fix. Here mail works decently to ship to Panama but not to send stuff abroad, one-way. Well...I want to buy a new lens anyway and was thinking in the Nikkor af-s 200-500 f/5.6 ED VR. My budget is very tight so a 500mm prime is out of my pocket. But I could afford the 200-500, and maybe add it a 1.4tc and use the old 300mm when I don't need AF (for birds standstill) as I am now used to use it that way. I could order online the lens with fingers crossed that it arrives in good order as sending it back for warranty issues would be a big big headache or buy in local camera shop that sometimes sell this nikkor lens. Also I want to photograph birds in flight, as I had good results with the 300mm when the AF worked. But I hated that the 300 need the TC to have more reach, almost always. There are tons of birds here that I can't photograph properly because I can't be quick enough with manual focusing (warblers specially) or because the 300mm can't reach.

    Well what do you think guys? the Nikkor 200-500 is a good choice or there other stuff I am not considering?

    Thanks!

    Osvaldo



  2. #2
    BPN Member Alex Becker's Avatar
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    Hi Osvaldo, welcome to BPN. I'm sure others will chime in, but I would recommend the 200-500mm. If your budget is around ~1500 USD I don't think there is a much better lens you can buy if you want more reach than 300mm. I've shot with this lens for about 3 years now, so I know it pretty well. The IQ is pretty good, especially when you're close to your subject like perched passerines, etc. The AF is relatively slow, but birds in flight are possible. I've gotten keepers of puffins, harriers, etc in flight with the lens, but with that said I've gotten many more keepers in flight with the 300 f/4 PF (with and without 1.4 TC), but that may be moving outside your budget. I've heard good things about the 150-600mm lenses from Sigma and Tamron, but haven't used them much. Arash has a nice review of the 200-500 posted I think below on this forum that will be worth a read. Overall, I would highly recommend the lens especially if budget is a constraint. Best,

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    Thank you Alex, great advice!!!

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