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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 12:13   #1
DRodrigues
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FE100-400mm GM

For Sony E-mount users it's the best birding lens and decided to do a thread to call their attention - it's mentioned on the A9 thread but it deserves a specific one...
I'm a a6000 user that probably never will invest on this lens since it's expensive and for my type of photo I would need to add at least the 1.4x extender (increasing cost even more...), and I think I will stay with digiscopy and astro-telescope solutions - see http://www.pt-ducks.com/cr-photography.htm
For those interested on this lens experience I recommend https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/59934998 and hope that Justin and others will add photos and info here also...
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Old Wednesday 16th August 2017, 21:03   #2
Zackiedawg
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It's a beauty of a lens! I had the opportunity to try it out when a friend received his, and let me put it on my A6300 and shoot for a few hours out in the wetlands. Sharp sharp sharp - fast and accurate, reasonably light, stabilization is excellent, and close focus ability is very impressive - at around 3 feet at 400mm and even with the 1.4x TC attached, shooting 560mm.

My first round of samples with the lens, and all future shots, are in this gallery:
Zackiedawg's 100-400mm Lens Gallery

I also posted some 100% crops, shot in JPG, on Dpreview - which are the ones posted in that thread linked above from David. I've ordered the lens myself, and it's on the way - I'm hoping to receive Friday - and I also have the 1.4x TC already, so will be shooting it with and without.
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Old Friday 1st December 2017, 20:43   #3
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I must update to give props to this lens. It's become my primary shooter for all birding and wildlife - I've retired my FE70-300mm to travel zoom needs as it's a little more portable...and I haven't felt any need to pick up my Tamron 150-600mm or DSLR body anymore, with this lens and the 1.4x attached, both covering nearly the same range, in a lighter and smaller overall package, plus sharper, cleaner, better bokeh, better fine detail, and much faster focus.
Now I've had the chance to shoot through the migration season down here, lots of tiny birds in dark forest and branch clutter, and also into the mating season with lots of BIF/Bird-in-flight action with the lens - and it's proven to be a beauty in all cases.

The same gallery link above is constantly updated with my newest shots on the first page - and I'm now up to 10 pages. Gorgeous lens.
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Old Saturday 2nd December 2017, 11:47   #4
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This lens is on my wishlist, but the current exchange rate makes it prohibitively expensive in the UK. You're not helping my case, Justin! Thanks for the update, though - it just confirms that I should start saving up for this one.

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Old Thursday 7th December 2017, 23:19   #5
DRodrigues
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Thanks Justin.
I wonder if the 2x extender works well with this lens for birding...
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Old Wednesday 13th December 2017, 16:34   #6
Zackiedawg
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Generally, I haven't really met a 2x I was that impressed with...I've used several, but I can always see some image degradation, enough that I don't find it really worth using versus cropping and up-rezzing. The 1.4x TCs on the other hand are usually pretty good - very little loss of IQ, and generally better than cropping or uprezzing, as long as it's a good quality 1.4x. The Sony one is quite good, and I'm quite happy using the 1.4x TC with this lens, but I haven't bothered with the 2x.
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Old Friday 15th December 2017, 10:40   #7
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Do you have any more info, Justin, on which 1.4 extenders for A-mount fit are `good quality'? I've been variously tempted to get one, but the variety of models, some of which are not good at all, stops me every time. (There are also availability issues with some of them.)

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Old Friday 15th December 2017, 15:22   #8
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On the A-mount side (NOT for the FE100-400mm GM lens or E-mount), I always found the best teleconverters to be the original Minolta APO II matched TCs that were specifically to pair with the Minolta APO lenses. They didn't work with any other lens, similar to how the E-mount's FE 1.4x TC works - it only mates with certain lenses which makes it specifically engineered to work with those lenses and the results are generally better than third-party or unmatched generic TCs. I used the Minolta APO II 1.4x TC on my Minolta 300mm F4 APO and 400mm F4.5 APO lenses, and they were essentially lossless IQ-wise - just the aperture hit, and a very modest amount of additional purple fringing around very bright highlight edges...which those lenses were already somewhat prone to. Of course the limitation there is that you can only use them with the Minolta APO lenses (or high-end Sony A-mount lenses that came from the APO line) - they wouldn't even fit on other lenses.

I also had several other TCs - one was a Kenko 1.4, and I had a pair of Tamron 1.4x and 2x TCs for my other A-mount lenses. I was never too impressed with them - the Kenko was the best of the three and generally usable versus crop - there was enough gain in reach and retention of detail to be worth using...but it still showed some detail loss compared to the lens without the TC. The Tamrons were OK at best - the 1.4x was tolerable and the 2x was pretty lossy...I really ended up not using them very much.
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Old Saturday 16th December 2017, 10:17   #9
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I do have some old Minolta gear which I inherited, but the extenders won't fit onto the 100-300G lens which I do have. I do now realize, thanks to your response, Justin, that I was confusing this lens with the A mount 70-400mm. So I'm in the wrong thread, really.

Thanks for the clarification,

Andrea
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