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New Nikon Lens: Trying to up my game for 2021 (updated with 1st pics) Login/Join 
Truth Wins
Picture of Micropterus
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The vast majority of the wildlife pictures I post are through my Nikon FX 70-300mm 4.5-5.6E. It's fast enough and usually gets me what I want.



But I've been wanting more reach. So my wife got me this 200-500 5.6E ED lens. Now I do feel like I'll be hauling around a pack howitzer.


This message has been edited. Last edited by: Micropterus,


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"I enter a swamp as a sacred place—a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength—the marrow of Nature." - Henry David Thoreau
 
Posts: 4019 | Location: In The Swamp | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Muzzle flash
aficionado
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I bought one of those (refurbished by Nikon) last year for my Africa tour. It's a great lens, but is very heavy. I never carried it on the strap, just put it on the seat next to me when in a vehicle. It takes fantastic photos, but is definitely not a "walk around" lens.

A couple of examples:
_DSC7771.jpg by David Casteel, on Flickr

_DSC7806.jpg by David Casteel, on Flickr

_DSC7864.jpg by David Casteel, on Flickr

flashguy




Texan by choice, not accident of birth
 
Posts: 24769 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The 2nd guarantees the 1st
Picture of fiasconva
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Can't wait to see some results with your new toy. But you already take some fantastic pics.



"Even if the world were perfect it wouldn't be." ... Yogi Berra
 
Posts: 1397 | Location: York County, VA | Registered: August 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Crusty old
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A friend of mine has that lens and he loves it. At a little over 5 pounds it would too heavy for this old guy to take steady shots with it. I'll stick with my 70-300 as I don't like hauling a tri-pod all the time. Have fun with it and I'm looking forward to seeing some of the shots you get with it.

Jim


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"If you can't be a good example, then you'll have to be a horrible warning" -Catherine Aird
 
Posts: 8977 | Location: The right side of Washington State | Registered: September 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Wins
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Great pictures, Flashguy. Africa is on my bucket list.

Yes, the lens is ridiculously heavy. I believe the lens it replaces, a 200-500mm f5.6-6.3, was all plastic. That lens felt way lighter to me, but maybe it was the same. This one feels like there is some metal in it. I do a lot of walking around to get some of the pictures I take. I'm going to have to get a monopod and look into another way to carry it. A few hours of carrying this and I'll be over it.

But it's f5.6 across the full range of focal lengths. That I like. I should be able to still get some decent shots in fading light.


_____________
"I enter a swamp as a sacred place—a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength—the marrow of Nature." - Henry David Thoreau
 
Posts: 4019 | Location: In The Swamp | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Muzzle flash
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I had a wonderful 13-day trip to Kenya with a firm called Holiday Vacations (holidayvacations.com). The price includes the airfare and all accommodations and park fees. I think all meals were also included. The accommodations were excellent, the 4x4 vehicles and drivers wonderful, and the service was fantastic. I highly recommend them. This is the tour I did: https://www.holidayvacations.c...ours/african-safari/ If you do this, do take the hot-air balloon ride at the last lodge. You can view all my photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/...s/72157713295140362/ Or, if that's too much, here's a set of selected pics:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...s/72157711628146807/

flashguy




Texan by choice, not accident of birth
 
Posts: 24769 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Wins
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quote:
Originally posted by flashguy:
I had a wonderful 13-day trip to Kenya with a firm called Holiday Vacations (holidayvacations.com). The price includes the airfare and all accommodations and park fees. I think all meals were also included. The accommodations were excellent, the 4x4 vehicles and drivers wonderful, and the service was fantastic. I highly recommend them. This is the tour I did: https://www.holidayvacations.c...ours/african-safari/ If you do this, do take the hot-air balloon ride at the last lodge. You can view all my photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/...s/72157713295140362/ Or, if that's too much, here's a set of selected pics:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...s/72157711628146807/

flashguy


Your photos are amazing. And I did look at them all. Thanks for posting them.

I have a friend that did Kenya and Zanzibar one or two years ago. She had to get several immunizations she otherwise wouldn't have had to get if she were going anywhere else. She said that was the only downside.


_____________
"I enter a swamp as a sacred place—a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength—the marrow of Nature." - Henry David Thoreau
 
Posts: 4019 | Location: In The Swamp | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is pickles
she loves long walks and can haul a lot of camera gear.

Big Grin





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 51570 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Muzzle flash
aficionado
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quote:
Originally posted by Micropterus:
quote:
Originally posted by flashguy:
I had a wonderful 13-day trip to Kenya with a firm called Holiday Vacations (holidayvacations.com). The price includes the airfare and all accommodations and park fees. I think all meals were also included. The accommodations were excellent, the 4x4 vehicles and drivers wonderful, and the service was fantastic. I highly recommend them. This is the tour I did: https://www.holidayvacations.c...ours/african-safari/ If you do this, do take the hot-air balloon ride at the last lodge. You can view all my photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/...s/72157713295140362/ Or, if that's too much, here's a set of selected pics:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...s/72157711628146807/

flashguy


Your photos are amazing. And I did look at them all. Thanks for posting them.

I have a friend that did Kenya and Zanzibar one or two years ago. She had to get several immunizations she otherwise wouldn't have had to get if she were going anywhere else. She said that was the only downside.
Yeah, I had to get a Yellow Fever shot and take a bunch of meds for Malaria. Thanks for the nice comments.

flashguy




Texan by choice, not accident of birth
 
Posts: 24769 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ye gods - that is one heckuva lens. And a really nice present Wink


I’d love to have it, but there’s no way I could carry it. My 55-200 lens gives me a little more reach without making my right arm (lots of hardware) scream.


Sig P226 .40 S&W
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Posts: 626 | Location: Maryland | Registered: April 30, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Muzzle flash
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BTW, don't be afraid to use higher shutter speeds. Many of my shots with that lens (full daylight) were at 1/1000 or so. And I had a full shooting session where I'd accidentally set my camera to 1/8000 (yes, 1/8000) -- about 20 photos at that setting. (I'd seen the composition in the viewfinder but hadn't checked the actual shot). The unprocessed photos were just about black all over. Believe it or not, Lightroom was able to find enough information to get a fairly decent picture out of it -- here is an example: _DSC7952.jpg by David Casteel, on Flickr
That photo was taken at 500mm and 1/8000sec, ISO 400, and post-processed using LR. I was devastated on the trip when I found I'd made that mistake, because it included the only decent pictures of a hippopotamus that I'd gotten. To my relief, the error was salvageable.

I don't recommend shooting with that fast a shutter, of course, but with decent light anything from 1/1000 down should be OK.

flashguy




Texan by choice, not accident of birth
 
Posts: 24769 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Wins
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Yeah, I've butched some shots by leaving a CPL filter on my camera and shooting at dusk. Photoshop Elements was able to salvage the shots I got before I discovered my error. It's easy to screw things up in manual by not looking at the shot, especially easy if you are shooting in continuous mode. If I had, I would have seen how dark it was. When I got done shooting and looked, my heart sank, all pictures were super dark. I always leave a UV filter on by default now, which doesn't really do anything except protect the lens. The only time I use a CPL filter is when I'm doing sky shots or trying to see a fish through water.


_____________
"I enter a swamp as a sacred place—a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength—the marrow of Nature." - Henry David Thoreau
 
Posts: 4019 | Location: In The Swamp | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Wins
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With this lens and the additional battery grip, this camera is coming in at over 6 lbs. Carrying it with camera strap I'm using now is out of question. I ordered some carabiner attachments. I'll put one on the lens tripod bracket, another on the tripod point on the battery grip, and a lifeline to the camera body strap points in case anything comes loose. And I got a heavy duty, extra long Op/Tech shoulder strap so I can carry it at waist level.


_____________
"I enter a swamp as a sacred place—a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength—the marrow of Nature." - Henry David Thoreau
 
Posts: 4019 | Location: In The Swamp | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
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Micropterus, I can't wait to see what you get with it.

Flashguy, that is National Geographic quality stuff.

Beautiful shooting.

bendable, you are a hoot!



"I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."

Captain William Mattingly at the Battle of Bulltown, West Virginia 1863
 
Posts: 11288 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Muzzle flash
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ArtieS, thank you--you are too kind. I don't think NG would be as admiring.

flashguy




Texan by choice, not accident of birth
 
Posts: 24769 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Wins
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Took it out for the first time today. One thing I immediately noticed is the VERY short focal plane at high zoom. Anyway, I'm pleased with the clarity. These photos were taken in JPEG format, completely unprocessed, reduced to 800x600 pixels from 6000x4000. They are really just test shots to get the feel for the lens.













_____________
"I enter a swamp as a sacred place—a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength—the marrow of Nature." - Henry David Thoreau
 
Posts: 4019 | Location: In The Swamp | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Wins
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This is cropped out of a 6000x4000 JPEG. Taken at the full 500mm zoom. Size is not reduced for posting here. This hawk was about 100 feet away when I took this pic. The pic is a little soft, but less than I would have expected at full zoom.



_____________
"I enter a swamp as a sacred place—a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength—the marrow of Nature." - Henry David Thoreau
 
Posts: 4019 | Location: In The Swamp | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Crusty old
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Do you normally shoot in RAW as opposed to JPEG?
I used to but got lazy having to spend so much time post-processing.

That shot of the hawk came out great by the way. It's not soft enough to be noticeable by 98% of people looking at it.

Here's a shot I took at 300mm and cropped at about 15%. Soft, sure but it got published in the local paper and got a lot of positive comments.



Jim


________________________

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll have to be a horrible warning" -Catherine Aird
 
Posts: 8977 | Location: The right side of Washington State | Registered: September 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I usually shoot RAW but, I too, get lazy and sometimes revert to JPEG.


_____________
"I enter a swamp as a sacred place—a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength—the marrow of Nature." - Henry David Thoreau
 
Posts: 4019 | Location: In The Swamp | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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