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Author Topic: New super tele  (Read 25426 times)

BernardLanguillier

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New super tele
« on: January 08, 2018, 10:36:56 PM »

https://www.dpreview.com/news/1232076604/nikons-180-400mm-f4e-tc1-4-fl-ed-vr-lens-features-built-in-teleconverter

One important gap in Nikon's line up has now been resolved.

Judging from the MTF charts it should be decent optically. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 01:39:39 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 01:17:38 AM »

Wow! Amazing lens it seems. At $12 000 Iím glad I have no need for such a thing. Never made much money out of long lenses personally. Still it will excite some people Iím sure. Be fun to play with for a day or two.
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tom b

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 01:41:38 AM »

For the rest of us peasants:

Panasonic-Leica 100-400mm @[email protected] for a fraction of the cost.

Cheers,

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Tom Brown

shadowblade

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 01:49:47 AM »

Finally - a much-needed alternative to Canon. The Canon lens is great, but it'd be nice to be able to combine it with a high-resolution, fast-shooting body with a capable AF system. The 5Ds is decent for sniping at slow-moving animals in the distance, but not great once they start running.

Looks like I'll be borrowing this lens to use on a D850 for my next wildlife trip, unless Sony brings out a similar lens or the 5Ds2 turns out to be a D850/A7r3 clone.
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NancyP

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 10:26:11 AM »

This is a sports and moving wildlife lens. Isn't the natural mate to this sort of lens the top body D5 or 1DX (i, ii)? The big bodies have 10 to 11 V batteries, vs the 7 V batteries the D850 and 5D bodies use. Supposedly, bigger batteries make the autofocus of the bigger lenses faster - that's a lot of glass to shove around. Bird photographers using 500 and 600 f/4 lenses almost always pair them with the big bodies with 10-11 V batteries (ok, maybe that's a function of "if you can afford one, you can afford the other").

My 7V battery in my crop camera shoves the tiny focusing element of the 400 f/5.6 quickly enough for birds in flight.
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 03:02:41 PM »

Plenty of wildlife pros using lenses like the 500 f/4 with D500's and the performance is phenomenal.
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shadowblade

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 03:10:25 PM »

This is a sports and moving wildlife lens. Isn't the natural mate to this sort of lens the top body D5 or 1DX (i, ii)? The big bodies have 10 to 11 V batteries, vs the 7 V batteries the D850 and 5D bodies use. Supposedly, bigger batteries make the autofocus of the bigger lenses faster - that's a lot of glass to shove around. Bird photographers using 500 and 600 f/4 lenses almost always pair them with the big bodies with 10-11 V batteries (ok, maybe that's a function of "if you can afford one, you can afford the other").

My 7V battery in my crop camera shoves the tiny focusing element of the 400 f/5.6 quickly enough for birds in flight.

Depends whether you need speed or resolution more. Any of those bodies will do a good job of focusing on moving wildlife - certainly as good as the top-tier action bodies of a generation ago. Wildlife isn't usually the most challenging subject for AF, due to the typical distances involved.

8fps is more than fast enough for wildlife. But resolution is always needed, whether it's for added reach (a lot of wildlife shooters carry a crop body for this reason; the A7r3 and D850 have similar pixel densities to crop bodies), to frame a bit loosely in order to crop for an ideal composition (exact composition in-camera can be impossible when dealing with fast-moving animals bobbing their heads up and down as they run) or simply for more fur and scale detail.

I rarely shoot birds, so don't know if the speed is relevant for things like getting the shot with the wings in the right position. Can't tell most of them apart unless they're literally cooked and served up on a plate in front of me.
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shadowblade

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 03:12:22 PM »

Plenty of wildlife pros using lenses like the 500 f/4 with D500's and the performance is phenomenal.

No reason to do that any more, though. The D850 has the same pixel density, almost the same frame rate and allows much more flexibility in composition and cropping.
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 04:43:17 PM »

No reason to do that any more, though. The D850 has the same pixel density, almost the same frame rate and allows much more flexibility in composition and cropping.
Sure, my point was to refute the argument that the camera bodies like a D850 or D500 can't drive a large lens properly which is just plain not true and spoken like someone that doesn't have any experience doing that....  And there are A LOT of wildlife shooters using a D500 with the big lenses.  By the way, the D500 is still much faster than a D850 for frame rate unless you add the vertical grip, then it's almost a wash - and yes, the system does balance better with the vertical grip when using large super-tele primes. ;)
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NancyP

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 05:18:35 PM »

Well yes, I am just repeating what prominent bird photographers have said in the past. I don't have hands-on experience, due to the difference between a $2,200.00 set-up (crop camera, oldie-but-goodie 400 f/5.6) and a $18K to $20K+ set-up (top body plus fast and optically perfect supertele lens). I agree that the important thing is "does the set-up get the shots you want?". 

So what ELSE gets driven by the higher voltage batteries in the D5 and 1Dxs? Speedier processing?
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 06:30:10 PM »

So what ELSE gets driven by the higher voltage batteries in the D5 and 1Dxs? Speedier processing?

Not sure anything really does, but most people using large lenses shoot them with the vertical grip and that uses the same battery as the pro bodies (the D5 in my case).

I would agree that with the D810 I had the "feeling" that AF was a bit faster with the vertical grip on with pro tele lenses, but I have never attempted to actualize this feeling.

I have to confess that I have not yet paired my D850 or D850+MB-D18 (yes, I have one!) with my 400mm f2.8 E FL, need to try that soon.

Cheers,
Bernard

E.J. Peiker

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 06:46:11 PM »

Not sure anything really does, but most people using large lenses shoot them with the vertical grip and that uses the same battery as the pro bodies (the D5 in my case).

I would agree that with the D810 I had the "feeling" that AF was a bit faster with the vertical grip on with pro tele lenses, but I have never attempted to actualize this feeling.

I have to confess that I have not yet paired my D850 or D850+MB-D18 (yes, I have one!) with my 400mm f2.8 E FL, need to try that soon.

Cheers,
Bernard

The camera they are likely referring to is the Canon EOS 7D II and EOS 5D III which, despite similar AF modules to their bigger brothers had sluggish AF performance in comparison and Canon said that this was due to the lower drive current in the smaller battery.  They were/are still capable cameras though even with big lenses.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 12:04:11 AM »

The camera they are likely referring to is the Canon EOS 7D II and EOS 5D III which, despite similar AF modules to their bigger brothers had sluggish AF performance in comparison and Canon said that this was due to the lower drive current in the smaller battery.  They were/are still capable cameras though even with big lenses.

Makes sense indeed.

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 01:15:08 AM »

Sure, my point was to refute the argument that the camera bodies like a D850 or D500 can't drive a large lens properly which is just plain not true and spoken like someone that doesn't have any experience doing that....  And there are A LOT of wildlife shooters using a D500 with the big lenses.  By the way, the D500 is still much faster than a D850 for frame rate unless you add the vertical grip, then it's almost a wash - and yes, the system does balance better with the vertical grip when using large super-tele primes. ;)

Obviously you'd use the grip if you needed the frame rate - it basically turns the D850 into a D500 with an expanded field of view. But even 7fps is usually plenty for wildlife, so it's optional, rather than a must-have. The appeal of the D500 for non-bird wildlife photography isn't so much its frame rate, but its AF (as compared to the D810 and D7xxx) and pixel density (as compared with the D5).

As for the 'balance' argument, usually, long lenses are used on a monopod or tripod (possibly with a gimbal head) anyway, which makes balance a non-issue. I'd rather have less weight and actually be able to fit my hands around the controls.

The A7r3, fortunately, doesn't need a grip for maximum speed - I just hope Sony comes out with a range of long telephotos for wildlife soon. The 400/2.8 is a good start, but is really more of a sports lens than a wildlife lens. 500/4 and 200-400/4 would be a good place to start, although these will more likely come  with the A7r4/A9ii than the current generation of bodies.
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 07:24:43 AM »

As for the 'balance' argument, usually, long lenses are used on a monopod or tripod (possibly with a gimbal head) anyway, which makes balance a non-issue. I'd rather have less weight and actually be able to fit my hands around the controls.

I just hope Sony comes out with a range of long telephotos for wildlife soon.

While I shoot landscapes, wildlife and birds professionally, the majority of my income is from photographing waterfowl with the big super-teles!  The problem you run into with a lens like a 500/4, 600/4, 800/5.6, or 400/2.8 without the battery pack even when mounted on a gimbal head like a Wimberley is balance!  Often the lens feet even with a replacement foot with a long dovetail doesn't allow the rig to be placed far enough back on the mount to balance the whole rig when using the lighter cameras without the vertical grip/batterypack.  By using the battery pack, this is no longer an issue.  On some really front-heavy optics, I've even attached the ausiliary flash battry pack to the bottom of the camera in order to be able to balance things better.

Agreed on the long lenses for Sony.  While I love the 100-400 or the a7R III, getting a proper big lens would really take the system to the next level for me.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 07:34:31 AM by E.J. Peiker »
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NancyP

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2018, 11:04:48 AM »

That makes sense, EJ.
I use a 7D2, 400 f/5.6L no-IS (fast enough focus), hand-hold for BIF, or use tripod with half-gimbal that slots onto the ball head (especially if I use a teleconverter). But currently I am not trying to sell, only to enjoy and to study the birds better (for a beginning birder, a decent picture is a great supplement to real-time ID). I am also not buff enough at the moment to hand-hold an f/4 supertele lens for a morning of shooting. (I am a 115# woman, early 60s, with a lamentable tendency to forget about regular non-aerobic exercise).
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shadowblade

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2018, 03:26:04 PM »

The Sony 100-400 is a great landscape and travel telephoto - probably the best out there. It covers pretty much the entire telephoto range in a single lens, and, critically for landscape use, is sharp corner-to-corner throughout this range. It even holds a 1.4x TC well on a 42MP sensor. The only thing I wish they could change would be to extend the bottom end to 80mm or so, to reduce the gap between it and the 24-70 (either that, or release a new, better 70-200, and then a 200-500mm). But it would be a secondary wildlife lens at best - backup for a longer, faster lens.

But probably the one thing Sony can do that would put it over the edge for wildlife photography isn't even a lens - it's firmware. Eye detection is AI-based image recognition. It's great for ensuring focus right on the eye, not on the nose, eyelashes, ear or some other part of the face. But, so far, it only works on humans, as well as some other primates (the A7r2, at least, recognised monkey eyes, but obviously not monkey faces). There shouldn't be any reason this couldn't be extended and further developed to recognise and track animal eyes and faces, or even inanimate objects. After all, it's the same image recognition technology being used and developed for autonomous cars, security systems and cruise missiles.

Long lenses will come with time. But taking advantage of real-time sensor data and using AI to improve focus and tracking could really put Sony bodies ahead of the others, whose mirror-based approaches don't give them nearly as much data to work with.
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2018, 09:42:23 AM »

But probably the one thing Sony can do that would put it over the edge for wildlife photography isn't even a lens - it's firmware. Eye detection is AI-based image recognition. It's great for ensuring focus right on the eye, not on the nose, eyelashes, ear or some other part of the face. But, so far, it only works on humans, as well as some other primates (the A7r2, at least, recognised monkey eyes, but obviously not monkey faces). There shouldn't be any reason this couldn't be extended and further developed to recognise and track animal eyes and faces, or even inanimate objects. After all, it's the same image recognition technology being used and developed for autonomous cars, security systems and cruise missiles.

Exactly a point I have already written in my a7R III review that I am working on!
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NancyP

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2018, 10:37:18 AM »

Agreed. Part of my hopes when shooting BIF in burst mode is that at least one or two images will have eyes in perfect focus (as opposed to wings, body, etc). That would be one killer feature, bird/animal eye recognition focus!
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shadowblade

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Re: New super tele
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2018, 06:22:32 PM »

Exactly a point I have already written in my a7R III review that I am working on!

Cross-posted from my reply on another thread:

Been saying that for years.

If you can program a camera to focus on a human eye, you can just as easily program it to focus on a particular person (using facial recognition like in security systems), an animal or type of animal or a vehicle. Programming it to seek certain compositions (close-ups, whole-body shots, etc.) is even easier.

Combine it with a motorised gimbal mount, or even a drone (connected to, and controlled by, the camera) and you'd have a system that can track, follow and compose, rather than just focus. Combine it with drone-mounted flash units and you get even more options.

Then you might have a single sports photographer covering an entire stadium, overseeing a network of autonomous cameras from a laptop or remote workstation, telling the cameras what to do and who/how to shoot, rather than doing it directly. One photographer could replace many.

Or, for individual rather than commercial applications, you might have one photographer controlling multiple Gopro-type cameras and mobile flash units, shooting a scene from multiple angles simultaneously.

AI is the future of photography. The individual photographer will no longer be a grunt directly controlling a single camera, but the 'commanding officer' coordinating a whole squadron of autonomous or semi-autonomous cameras. And that gives you far more options and far more flexibility than being restricted to a single camera in hand.
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