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Thread: Nikon 80- 400

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    Nikon 80- 400

    I am thinking of buying a Kenko 2X teleconverter for use with my Nikon 80-400 lens.
    My question is, is this a feasible option?

    Will be using the rig for birding.

    Thanks Ross.
    Ross. Nikon D80, Nikon D300s, Nikkor 18-200, , Nikon 105mm Micro lens.

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    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    probably not... its a slow lens as is. the image quality is likely to go down the guggler. guessing tho.
    I know a 2x tc on my 150-500 siggy aint that great.

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    Hi Merlin.

    No.

    In more detail, you don't have enough light to spare to go throwing away most of it, A 2 x converter will leave you at f/11 wide open - that is before you stop down trying to recover lost sharpness. Starting at f/4, using a professional-grade body, and having a prime rather than a zoom, a 2x converter is marginal at best, already at or a little beyond what can be achieved with a more modest and sensible 1.4 converter. On a slow 400mm f/5.6 zoom, you can't achieve any genuine improvement with any sort of teleconverter (even a top-quality Nikkor 1.4). A Kenko 2X will be a disaster, plain and simple.

    ^ That's not a mild "no" or a qualified "no", not even a "good idea but" - it's a "don't even bother thinking about it!". You have nothing to gain except cost, frustration, blurriness, horrible trouble focusing manually with a very dim, nearly black viewfinder (no AF at all), poor contract and lost colour.
    Tony

    Edit and critique at will. Tokina 10-17 fish, Canon 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, TS-E 24, 35/1.4, 60 macro, 100L macro, 500/4, Wimberley, MT-24EX, 580EX-II, 1D IV, 7D, 5D II, 50D.

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    Thanks Ving and Tannin, I had the same thoughts but needed a bit of qualification. 2X has now exited my mind. May need to think about another lens.

    Ross.

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    Or get closer
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
    Please support Precious Hearts
    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Cheers Ross.

    You'll probably have to go with Kiwi's advice - there is no real advantage in going to one of the 500mm third-party zooms because what you gain in focal length you lose in sharpness, weight and bulk, and speed (at f/6.3 they are slower than your 80-400), and everything that is clearly superior is way, way more expensive. The 200-400/4 VR (which will take a 1.4 well) is maybe 7 or 8 grand, and the big iron (400/2.8, 500/4. 600/4, and 800/5.6) is well into five figure territory. The Canon big iron will save you a couple of thousand, but then you need to buy a compatible body, so you are back over 10G again.

    Best to go with the Kiwi.

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    Thanks Kiwi, That is my intention, just have to get to know the birds habits.

    Ross.

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    ive always thought really you want your bird shots to be close to full frame, and regardless of whether you have a 400 or 600 that's going to be close

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    A n 80-400 Nikkor really comes to life on a D3, but even a 1.4x degrades the image.
    You would be better off getting a D3x or D7000 and cropping the image

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    Thanks RRRoger, I have just purchased a D300s, so I will be working on my technique with the equipment that I have.

    Ross.

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    The 80-400 is an excellent lens. I had one dedicated to a D3 for 3 years.
    Just try cropping the image from your D300s.
    I think the 80-400 will lock on better without the converter, plus it will be easier to spot the bird.

    The best Teleconverter I've used with mine is the discontinued.
    There were two versions. I like the N-AF 1.5X TELEPLUS MC DG KENKO.
    It will AF in all but the dimmest light with very little degradation.

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    Thanks for the info.

    Ross.

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    Not a good idea the lens is slow enough as it is without adding more restrictions.
    Regards Allen

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    Quote Originally Posted by driverkelly View Post
    Not a good idea the lens is slow enough as it is without adding more restrictions.
    Regards Allen
    Yes, the lens is only fast on a D3 and then you have to turn off VR and much of the in-camera processes.

    Maybe will will get lucky and an affordable AF-S version will be announced Aug 24th or Sept 5th?

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    Here's hoping.

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    "Consider another lens", or "get closer", or "work on my technique" - all good options.

    Another one is to consider manual focus, which is viable with a fast sharp lens with bright finder image. I just noticed that a certain well-known Nikon shop in Victoria Rd, Sinny Town has an old Nikkor 300mm f2.8 Ai for less than a grand.

    That's real glass, and would blow the 80-400 out of the water with a TC14b teleconverter (420mm f4 but a real 400mm, not pretend 400mm which shrinks to less than 350mm up close. And so sharp you can crop, and use faster ISO because it's sharp.

    It feeds on itself - faster lens, more shutter speed, sharper detail that hides more grain, faster speeds, more sharpness... But yes, you'd have to focus it!

    (I like my 80-400, but I love my old MF 400 f3.5 more, and for birding I know which one gives me the best success rate - in photography you get what you carry. Fast and sharp beats light and compact every time!)

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