I’m contemplating my next lens purchase for the end of the year. I currently have the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 and Nikon 70-210mm f4-5.6 shooting on the D800. I’m looking at purchasing a telephoto for birding & sports (surfing most likely). I have two lens combos in mind:
- Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 with TC-20EIII = 140-400mm f5.6 (~$3,500 based on DCW pricing)
- Nikon 300mm f4 AF-S with TC-14II = 420mm f5.6 ($2,300 based on DCW pricing)
The key criteria include image/optical quality, AF performance and price (I cannot afford the pro 2.8 telephoto lenses… I’m not a lawyer.. yet.. :P )
Now I know that it is difficult to directly compare these two lenses as they are not the same. However, I’d be interested to know generally which lens has the better image quality and AF performance using their respective teleconverters at the long end (~400mm)
The main benefits going with the 70-200 2.8 + 2x TC include the added flexibility with zoom, presumably faster AF, vibration reduction, weather sealing and using the lens without the TC gives an extra stop of light. Obvious drawback is the high cost and the fact that I already have an equivalent lens in focal length, being the 70-210 (although I find it to be rather soft, slow to focus and…. it has dead fungus inside >_<)
Now the 300mm f4 + 1.4 TC gives slightly more reach at 420mm and is considerably cheaper. However, it apparently doesn’t have a ‘rear glass element' to stop dust getting deep inside, so poor weather sealing which is an issue for use at the beach. Key question is, however, does it offer superior IQ vis a vis the 70-200 2.8 combo at ~400mm?
Given that the 70-200 2.8 combo is ~$1,200 more, which one would you pick and why?
Thanks in advance for all suggestions. There isn’t much info on the net regarding these two competing directly, so hopefully people here have had some experience with them.