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Best long lens for about a grand for D7200

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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 17:26   #1
Apodidae49
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Best long lens for about a grand for D7200

Always get good recommendations from you gents so looking for the above for later in the year when I may be blessed with a big(gish) birthday present. The D7200 is an upgrade from a D5600 and is on its way in around a week when I get back from my hols in Portugal.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 19:36   #2
marcsantacurz
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I don't think it's changed much recently. The Tammy 150-600 g2 or Sigma 150-600 C.

There's also the Nikon 200-500 f/5.6. I used to have that but am happier with the Tammy 150-600 g2. I found the 200-500 to be kind of bulky and slow to operate (zoom ring wise).

The Sigma and Tamron 100-400 lenses would also be OK in that price range. You trade zoom reach for lower weight.

I would not use a 1.4x extender with any of those (well maybe the 200-500 by a hair). The quality does not hold up.

The Nikon 500mm f/5.6e pf is a great lens, but way out of that price range.

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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 20:01   #3
Andrew Whitehouse
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The 300mm PF f4 is over budget but not necessarily by a huge amount. It's very good and versatile as well as being small and light.
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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 23:01   #4
marcsantacurz
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The 300mm PF f4 is over budget but not necessarily by a huge amount. It's very good and versatile as well as being small and light.
Yes, that's a very light lens. Easy to carry. It does work OK with the 1.4x TC too, so you can get 420mm or 630mm f/5.6 equivalent from it.

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Old Saturday 14th September 2019, 09:45   #5
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Endorsing what Andrew and Marc have said, I use the 300f4 PF lens with the 1.4 TC iii on a D7200, and it's an excellent lightweight set-up.

It is a bit more than you are budgeting for, especially if you buy the TC, but worth it in my opinion.

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Old Saturday 14th September 2019, 14:45   #6
Apodidae49
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Originally Posted by Andrew Whitehouse View Post
The 300mm PF f4 is over budget but not necessarily by a huge amount. It's very good and versatile as well as being small and light.
Yep, looks well over budget but a great suggestion regardless, so thanks, Andrew. I have the 70-300 DX VR that you recommended and that’s great!
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Old Sunday 15th September 2019, 17:05   #7
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Had a look at the suggestions and the Sigms 100-400 looks a contender in both price and size. Looks a bit more of a carry around lens than the Tammy (but with the obvious limitations) I presume I’ll get good results using the in-camera crop mode with this? What equivalent zoom will I get using the crop mode?
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Old Sunday 15th September 2019, 17:41   #8
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Originally Posted by Apodidae49 View Post
Had a look at the suggestions and the Sigms 100-400 looks a contender in both price and size. Looks a bit more of a carry around lens than the Tammy (but with the obvious limitations) I presume I’ll get good results using the in-camera crop mode with this? What equivalent zoom will I get using the crop mode?
On the D7200 in 1.3x in-camera crop mode (which also gives you 7fps), the 400mm of the Siggy will be 800mm equivalent, f6.3, and resolution of 14.2MP. The weight of the rig will be just under 2kg ~ or around about the weight of the Tammy itself.

I find I am still (mostly) searching for more reach even than the Tammy G2 150-600 in in-camera 1.3 crop mode (which is 1200mm equivalent or 50% more than the Siggy 100-400 you are contemplating). Certainly you want the Tammy rig on a sling. It's about as much size and weight as I really want to carry.

It's going to come down to which compromise suits you best. Suggest trying both out for a few days in a row if possible to help you decide.




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Old Sunday 15th September 2019, 17:53   #9
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
On the D7200 in 1.3x in-camera crop mode (which also gives you 7fps), the 400mm of the Siggy will be 800mm equivalent, f6.3, and resolution of 14.2MP. The weight of the rig will be just under 2kg ~ or around about the weight of the Tammy itself.

I find I am still (mostly) searching for more reach even than the Tammy G2 150-600 in in-camera 1.3 crop mode (which is 1200mm equivalent or 50% more than the Siggy 100-400 you are contemplating). Certainly you want the Tammy rig on a sling. It's about as much size and weight as I really want to carry.

It's going to come down to which compromise suits you best. Suggest trying both out for a few days in a row if possible to help you decide.
I think 800mm equivalent (d7200 in 1.3x crop at 14 MP) is not too bad You could probably crop it again in post down to 10MP at 950mm. That's not bad, but that will be around the max you'd want to go. Maybe you could press it out to 5MP at 1330mm, but you would need to be at a lower ISO and maybe shooting raw not jpeg.

With a 600mm native lens, you'd be at 900mm equivalent with no cropping. At 10MP you get 1394mm, at 5MP you get 1971mm. That's a really big difference to starting at 400mm.

As we said, it's trading reach for weight. If you want to compare, grab your camera bag or some other shoulder bag and put canned soup or beans or something in it until you match the weight of the camera + lens + battery and try carrying it around for an hour. See how the weight feels.

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Old Sunday 15th September 2019, 18:40   #10
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Originally Posted by marcsantacurz View Post
I think 800mm equivalent (d7200 in 1.3x crop at 14 MP) is not too bad .....
Yes, it isn't bad (especially considering the smaller size and lighter weight advantage). It will be better on large Pelican sized birds, but the little geewhizzits will still be frustratingly small even when you are seemingly close. (I like to keep my distance on all birds - too many 'ooh-aah' shots you see on various forums are the result of baiting/enticement/staking out nests etc).

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Originally Posted by marcsantacurz View Post
As we said, it's trading reach for weight. If you want to compare, grab your camera bag or some other shoulder bag and put canned soup or beans or something in it until you match the weight of the camera + lens + battery and try carrying it around for an hour. See how the weight feels.

Marc
I think as important as the actual total weight is how stably you can hold the weight with the lens extended to it's maximum length for shooting - especially with the rig shouldered for a length of time as in when waiting for a particular pose/aspect of the subject. In many ways I find the carrying sling helps here as it can be braced around the forearm and shoulder providing a very solid triangulated support. If you lean back slightly the tension and hence support increases. All of these ergonomic matters are very much an individual equation. A monopod is another option. I will try and find a vertical tree trunk to brace against where possible - a solid fork in branches at a convenient height is even better. Laying down on the ground can be good too. It's a matter of finding what works for a person for where they are likely to find themselves and the type of shooting on offer.

It didn't take me too long to get to grips with the big Tammy shooting wise - even on rapidly direction changing BIF. Perhaps the biggest bugbear is the need to mostly keep a loose hand on the rig as it is slung by the hip when walking at a reasonable clip.




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Old Sunday 15th September 2019, 22:06   #11
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Ah, another question emerges! Does the D7200 have Image Stabilisation/Vibration Reduction and, if not, does the Tammy and/or Sigma have it?
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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 06:32   #12
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Ah, another question emerges! Does the D7200 have Image Stabilisation/Vibration Reduction and, if not, does the Tammy and/or Sigma have it?
It's not something you really need to worry about - the biggest factor in deciding will still be maximum native focal length vs size/weight. The IS/VR systems are all in the lenses only and work to give the extra f stop effect as in their respective specifications.

Mostly for birds (especially for geewhizzits) you want a higher shutter speed (to avoid two headed birds, blurred feathers, wings when undesirable, etc) than when the IS/VR kicks in to really make a difference between usable shot and no shot (based on an inverse reciprocity of the focal length). The IS/VR will still be of some assistance even at mid to higher shutter speeds.



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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 07:08   #13
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I'm still going to recommend the Nikon 200-500.......for me the constant f5.6 aperture is far more useful than an extra 100mm at the long end.Far better images can be produced if you try to get closer to your subject rarther than trying to shoot away at small subjects from massive distances.
The D7200 paired with the 200-500 produces stunning results and it can be purchased for less than a grand now.
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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 08:18   #14
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I'm still going to recommend the Nikon 200-500.......for me the constant f5.6 aperture is far more useful than an extra 100mm at the long end.Far better images can be produced if you try to get closer to your subject rarther than trying to shoot away at small subjects from massive distances.
The D7200 paired with the 200-500 produces stunning results and it can be purchased for less than a grand now.
Good recommendation and 2nd hand from a reputable retailer, could be a good acquisition.
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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 09:14   #15
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I'm still going to recommend the Nikon 200-500.......for me the constant f5.6 aperture is far more useful than an extra 100mm at the long end.Far better images can be produced if you try to get closer to your subject rarther than trying to shoot away at small subjects from massive distances.
The D7200 paired with the 200-500 produces stunning results and it can be purchased for less than a grand now.
It's a good option. Given that the Siggy/Tammy 600mm superzooms are at their best when backed off a bit to a genuine ~550mm you are really only giving up about 10% reach anyway. I think the Tammy G2 and the Niki are on about a par for sharpness - it's just a shame that the Niki is that ~300grams heavier.

Also agree that the closer you get, the better photos you will get.




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Old Monday 16th September 2019, 14:39   #16
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Getting closer is almost always the best option. I think any of the lenses will give you great results, you'll need to practice with the setup some and get your routine going. Good shooting technique counts for a lot.

Generally, IS does not work beyond 1/800 - 1/1000th or so, depending on the components. Some people claim they get worse shots with IS on beyond 1/1000th some say it's OK and the lens figures out to turn it off. I think it varies between lenses. Just like at slower speeds some people say turn it off on a tripod, other say no leave it on if there's wind vibration, etc. Anyway, for faster shutter speeds, you don't need it and likely don't want it turned on (all the lenses have a switch on them for on/off and the VR mode: normal, sports).

All Nikon F-mount systems only have IS in the lens, if they have it. The Z-mount has in-body IBIS. Rumor mills say the D6 will have IBIS, but that would be the first for Nikon in the F-mount.

All the lenses we've talked about have it. Nikon lenses call it VR (vibration reduction). Sigma calls it OS (optical stabilization). Sony calls it OSS (optical steady shot). Tamron calls it VC (vibration control). I hope I got all those right; it is an alphabet soup

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Old Thursday 26th September 2019, 12:40   #17
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Watching some vids on YouTube about Tamron 150-600 vs Nikon 200-500 and reflecting that the pros and cons could see me buy either!

Question: if I select the 1:3 in-camera crop mode does that come in “on top” of the DX crop giving a further multiple of magnification?

So what would be the crop mag effect using 1.3 with the Tammy or the Nikon? Figures please gentlemen.

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Old Thursday 26th September 2019, 20:35   #18
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The 1.3x crop is on top of the 1.5x DX crop.

Here's how to think of it. Beginning with a full frame sensor, the DX sensor is physically a 1.5x crop: the sensor diagonal of the FF = 1.5x DX. Standard 35mm FF = 43mm diagonal. Nikon DX = 28.3mm. 28.3 * 1.5 = 42.5. So you always have that crop.

The 1.3x crop mode means that you take the DX image size and throw out about 30% of the diagonal (or horizontal if you keep the aspect ratio the same). So 42.5 / (1.5 * 1.3) = 21.8mm, which is essentially the same as Micro 4/3 (21.6mm diagonal). You could also see that from 1.5 * 1.3 = 1.95, or about the same as the 2x crop of MFT.

There's not really much difference shooting in 1.3x crop mode or regular DX and cropping later, except the camera goes a little faster FPS and the file sizes will be smaller. A 300mm lens would see the same field of view as a 600mm lens using the 1.3x crop on a DX sensor.

One thing to remember is you won't be able to crop the image later as much, because you've already blown it up some. But if you want the extra speed, then go for it.

Another thing to remember is that you'll see a smaller image box in the viewfinder. The outside of it will be blacked out. It will make tracking and finding things harder.

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Old Thursday 26th September 2019, 21:19   #19
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Thanks Marc, good response, as always. I’ve messed around a bit and selected the 1.3 crop and noticed that it shows an inner rectangle (the cropped area) in the viewfinder but didn’t notice the outer being blacked out? The graphic in the manual shows a superimposed rectangle on the larger image but no blacking out?
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Old Friday 27th September 2019, 01:29   #20
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Thanks Marc, good response, as always. I’ve messed around a bit and selected the 1.3 crop and noticed that it shows an inner rectangle (the cropped area) in the viewfinder but didn’t notice the outer being blacked out? The graphic in the manual shows a superimposed rectangle on the larger image but no blacking out?
Yes, that's correct. In 1.3x in-camera crop mode there is a reduced rectangular outline in the viewfinder that represents the photographic area that the photo will be taken from. The periphery to that is merely the same normal bright viewfinder view - it is not blacked out or cross-hatched in any way - it is just not used but you can still see what is going on for instance if your aim wanders off the target and out of the frame.

I use it nearly all the time, and in practice it is very easy to use and keep the subject within the inner frame. It is like that is the focus of your vision, so mostly you keep things nicely centred and don't chop bits off. The extra fps taking it to 7fps is very handy.

It also gives smaller files to handle which means you can fit more shots on a given memory card, and then less data to handle on your computer when you get to the processing stage. The number of Megapixels drops as the square of the in-camera crop factor, so from 24 ÷(1.3)^2 = 14.2. This usually is no drawback since mostly you are just discarding extraneous background anyway. It also helps you to effectively blur the background out more if you can get close to your subject with the background some distance away.

As Marc said previously, you also effectively get 2x the len's rated focal length overall. So the Tammy G2 150-600 f6.3 becomes a 300-1200 f6.3 (same aperture at least as far as shutter speeds are concerned). 1200mm 'reach' is pretty sweet ay?



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Old Friday 27th September 2019, 02:07   #21
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Good to know the d7200 does not black out the border of the rectangle. The d850 blacks out going from FF to DX mode.
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Old Friday 27th September 2019, 04:52   #22
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Good to know the d7200 does not black out the border of the rectangle. The d850 blacks out going from FF to DX mode.
I used to think that I would prefer it completely blacked out, and I was quite annoyed initially when I found out it wasn't. However after using just the superimposed reduced border for a long time I seem to have consciously and subconsciously adapted to it - in fact I prefer it this way.

If I chop a wingtip or whatever it's invariably because a large raptor or something rapidly maneuvers towards me. Having the full field visible is good because especially with the Tammy I can zoom out - and that's become more of a habit over time. I know that when the Holy Grail PF 600 f5.6 becomes an option I'll be giving some of that flexibility up - which will be missed. Hopefully whatever body I'm using by then will have the ability to set a handy button up to quickly toggle between various crop modes.


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Old Saturday 28th September 2019, 10:04   #23
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Seen a couple of negative vids about the Tammy, one where the focus (it was front focussing) was so far out that it couldn’t be tweaked to acceptable parameters in settings, etc (bad sample of lens?)

The other where a large, bald, tattooed guy was comparing it to the Nikon 200-500 and saying the Tammy had an annoying tendency to “jump” when using VR.

Keeping an open mind but veering towards the Nikon 200-500!
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Old Saturday 28th September 2019, 11:29   #24
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Seen a couple of negative vids about the Tammy, one where the focus (it was front focussing) was so far out that it couldn’t be tweaked to acceptable parameters in settings, etc (bad sample of lens?)

The other where a large, bald, tattooed guy was comparing it to the Nikon 200-500 and saying the Tammy had an annoying tendency to “jump” when using VR.

Keeping an open mind but veering towards the Nikon 200-500!
The Nikon 200-500 is a fine lens, as is the Tammy G2. They are on about a par. The thing is with this level of lens that unit to unit variability is a prospect (same goes for the Sigmas too) that could tip the IQ one way or the other. You can fine tune the Tammy throughout it's range and to your individual camera body.

The biggest difference is the extra reach of the Tammy G2 (it's a little better backed down from maximum to ~550mm - so in effect 10% more reach).
The Tammy autofocuses just a very tiny bit better which should hold true on the D7200. Obviously Pro bodies are a little better though at another price stratosphere entirely.
The Tammy can give a little 'jump' - very little - when the VC first engages, but not all the time, and once it is going it is fine. Hair_splitting in my view. If you're not bald and tattooed you should be fine.
The Niki is 14% heavier (1/7th) ..... 300grams.
The Niki is a half stop faster from 420mm to 500mm. The Tammy equal or faster prior to that.

If you get the opportunity stick both lenses on your D7200 and see which one you like the handling of the best. That's as good a way to decide as any.




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Old Saturday 28th September 2019, 22:17   #25
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Ah, another question emerges! Does the D7200 have Image Stabilisation/Vibration Reduction and, if not, does the Tammy and/or Sigma have it?
No image stabilization in Nikon DSLR bodies, has to be a feature of the lens.
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