Help from Nikon users please

AnneB50 7 118 18 Scotland
4 Aug 2012 10:07PM
Reading back on previous forums, this is a variation on a theme.

I use a Nikon D7000 and have recently been exploring wildlife photography with a Nikon AF-D VR 70-300 f/4.5 - 5.6 attached. The results are fine up to a point but I really want a longer focal length, partticularly for flying birds. I cannot run to the mega bucks top of the range lenses and am considering; Sigma 150 to 500 but at nearly 2 kilos I'm not sure I could hold it hand held, Nikon 80 - 400, our local camera shop has a second hand model for about 700, however the reviews seem to be few and far between and what I've seen are not great, or a Nikon 1.4 teleconverter which would seem to be a reasonable, not to mention cheap option.

The guys in the local camera shop tell me that the teleconverter will not work with my Nikon lens, which although I don't doubt what they are saying, sounds very odd to me, they also tell me that I would lost the AF functionality with the Kenko equivalent. Any advice would be gratefully received.


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cats_123 Plus
16 4.9k 30 Northern Ireland
4 Aug 2012 10:31PM
does this answer the question of compatibility ?
scottishphototours 16 2.6k 2
4 Aug 2012 10:50PM
Yes, the guys in the camera shop are quite right - the addition of a 1.4x or 1.7x TC to an f4.5-5.6 lens results in loss of AF due to lack of light. This is why TC's are generally fitted to f2.8 lenses, so that the addition of the TC results in greater magnification but also still allows the AF to function.

In regard to your options, there is a Sigma 150-500 in the Epz classifieds at 500 and 50 will get you a Manfrotto monopod to enable you to use it without hand-holding. I would avoid the Nikkor 80-400, which is widely regarded as a bit of a dud. The Sigma 100-300 f4 comes with a matched 1.4x TC and can be had for around 500 secondhand. I have one and it is a STELLAR lens, absolutely razor sharp - have a look on the web for reviews, you won't be disappointed... seems to be very popualar with Bird and wildlife photographers for that reason...

brrttpaul 8 243 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2012 8:16AM
I have the sigma lens, yes it is heavy but I love it, I will say this though it does take a lot of getting used to especially with birds in flight.
Newdevonian 7 466 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2012 9:51AM
All the previously mentioned long lens are good or bad,dependent on the lens sample and the person you talk to. Nearly all lenses are good enough for most photographers, except pixel peepers. It's all down to the economics and the handing. Only you can make that decision. I personally have the Nikkor 80mm - 400mm. With the exception of the slow focussing, i have no complaints about this lens. Yes, all of this class of lens loses resolution at the long end, but is the amount significant to you? Hear are a couple of web pages:
puertouk 8 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2012 9:59AM
Anne, have you thought about using a mono-pod with the Sigma? You are mobile with the mono, so hopefully you should get the shots you want. Put the Sigma on your camera body at the shop and see how it feels. Maybe you will be comfortable using it hand held.
miptog 14 3.6k 63 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2012 10:46AM
It may be worth investing in a Gimbal Head and sturdy tripod.
icphoto Plus
18 2.7k England
5 Aug 2012 10:58AM
I use a Sigma 135-400 on a D7000, it produces great results. Note that this lens is only available second hand now, expect to pay about 300 ish for one, also it cannot be used with a tele converter - even a Sigma.
AnneB50 7 118 18 Scotland
12 Aug 2012 9:29AM
Thank you all very much for this, I have done as Stephen suggested and taken my camera into the shop and tried it with the Sigma 150 - 500 and really liked the feel of it. I have a good tripod but not a monopod so will give that a go too. Watch this space!

KBan 14 512 4 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2012 10:41AM
Good choice

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