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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2014 at 15:58
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Here's some pictures that I took while out with Rifledude one afternoon.
 
I was using:
Nikon D7000 Body
Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
 
Some of these have a lot of noise, which is my fault. When I received the camera I was toying with the settings.  Meanwhile, I set the auto ISO and when I did, it was put on High 2. After talking with Ted, we discovered this is like 26,000 ISO. Thus the noisy imagery.
 
After looking at them, it's not bad if you are looking at the image with artistic point of view because it appears as a canvas shot.
 
None the less, here's the images.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The twelfth picture was my favorite to shoot. It's unfortunate that is didn't turn out like the rest. It's not often that you come across three Alpha looking whitetail deer congregated together.  These are going to be some huge deer come Oct. / Nov. They hung around for a short time allowing Ted and I to photograph them, but then lost the sense of safety and decided to exit back into the dense woods.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2014 at 16:16
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2014 at 17:23
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Way cool! Considering the fact the ISO was 12,800 and after seeing the huge amount of noise in the original RAW files, I think the noise reduction in post worked remarkably well!

You should post the pics you took of the deer we saw on the side of the road outside Lake Somerville State park too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2014 at 18:21
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S**t, only in my dreams. Thanks guys pics are super!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2014 at 08:58
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Prior to the shots above, Ted and I drove around Somerville Park looking for some deer to take pictures of. We drove around the entire park and didn't see anything because the park was packed. But as the sun made it's descent, and while we made our exit, these two were on the side of the road feeding.
 
These were shot with a Nikon D800 Body.
The lens was Nikon Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF ED with a Nikon TC-14EII (1.4X) teleconverter attached.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2014 at 13:06
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Those pics turned out great!Excellent Very sharp, and you can see every little hair on the antler velvet!

Looks like the doe was shedding her coat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2014 at 13:10
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Nice shots!

I got some wildlife shots this week.

Is there a July contest?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2014 at 13:13
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Thanks Matt.
 
Not yet. We still have one more day of voting. The winner will choose what July's contest shall be.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2014 at 13:26
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Those pics turned out great!Excellent Very sharp, and you can see every little hair on the antler velvet!

Looks like the doe was shedding her coat.
No kidding. The lens you are using, combine with your camera body capture some amazing pictures.  I was explaining to Lovie last night when taking pictures at my son's tee ball game, with the new lens that I want, compared to the one I have,  there is a noticeable difference with how well they work together.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2014 at 13:31
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white tail!!!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2014 at 07:05
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Excellent depth of field and detail! Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2014 at 13:34
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Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2014 at 16:24
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Nice shots!

I got some wildlife shots this week.

Is there a July contest?


Update Matt. Photo contest is Summer images.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2014 at 16:26
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

Excellent depth of field and detail! Excellent


Honestly this was a quick point and shoot.

I was using Ted's camera and we were driving by. I didn't make any adjustments and with the focal length I was just trying to locate this youngster in the view finder.

But thank you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2014 at 16:52
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The camera was set at f/5.6, which at 420mm (300mm lens x 1.4 due to the teleconverter), blurred the background nicely to make the deer really stand out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2014 at 17:13
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Ted,

I am saving for a lens, as I have discussed. The 70-200 f4 and 300 f4 are my finalists. Reach is important, as it is for wildlife primarily, but the amazing VR of the 70-200 had me leaning that way.

Having both, what do you think?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2014 at 18:20
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Hi, Matt, I'll give you my thoughts on that when I get home tomorrow. Posting with my cell phone is much more cumbersome for my big, clumsy fingers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2014 at 21:59
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No hurry Ted,  I still have plenty of saving to do.

Maybe they will release the 300 f4 VRIII while I am waiting.

Boo Hoo
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2014 at 22:25
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Here is a wildlife pic I took this week:


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2014 at 22:34
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Wow!!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2014 at 08:29
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Very nice, Matt!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2014 at 16:39
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Indeed!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2014 at 17:50
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Couldn't ask for a better bow shot!!!!!!!! What an awesome animal!! And well fed I might add!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2014 at 18:18
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Originally posted by Skylar McMahon Skylar McMahon wrote:

Wow!!!!

Concur!! I never tire of looking at pictures of wapiti. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/13/2014 at 20:53
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Ted,

I am saving for a lens, as I have discussed. The 70-200 f4 and 300 f4 are my finalists. Reach is important, as it is for wildlife primarily, but the amazing VR of the 70-200 had me leaning that way.

Having both, what do you think?


OK, back home now, so I have a grown-up size keyboard to type on.Big Grin

My thoughts on this...

300mm (equivalent) is about the minimum useful focal length for wildlife photos in my opinion. Even so, you will do a lot of heavy cropping unless the animals are pretty close... something like 50-75 yds, so 300mm is IMO a barely adequate wildlife lens. As you no doubt have seen, stuff starts getting crazy expensive really quick beyond 300mm, and even the f/2.8 VR version of the 300 will set you back a hefty $5800.00 or more! That'll leave a mark!

You can get by with 200mm if you have a high res sensor (so you still have decent pixel density when cropped), and you're mainly taking photos of big game animals. 200mm isn't enough for good bird shots in most situations, as you'll seldom have enough reach to fill the frame... unless you're REALLY stealthy or you're shooting from a blind and get lucky.

The above minimums are my observations when used on 35mm equiv / full frame sensors. You get a bit of a break on crop sensor cameras. If I'm not mistaken, I believe you told me you have a D7000 and one of the Nikon 1 variations. So, with the 70-200 f/4 @ 200mm, you'll have 300 equiv with the D7000 and 540 equiv on the Nikon 1. With the 300 f/4, you'll have 450 equiv/D7000 and a whopping 810 equiv on the Nikon 1.

But you no doubt know all the technical aspects. As for my thoughts on the lenses themselves:

This is a tough one, as I can make the case for either, depending on how they'll be used and your style of shooting.

If your intent is to use the new lens solely for wildlife, there's no substitute for reach, and the 300mm f/4 obviously wins out there. It's a very sharp lens, rivaling the 70-200 when your technique and the conditions are right. The problem there is it's a rather unforgiving lens to use. It doesn't have VR so you either have to use a tripod for everything or you have to use pretty fast shutter speed if handheld, which means you either have to bump ISO really high or you need really good light, the latter frequently incompatible with wildlife sightings. Despite this, you can take good handheld shots with it as long as you pay close attention to your shutter speed, focus accurately, and either have rock solid technique or support the lens against something. Some may actually enjoy the challenge of getting all the IQ this lens is capable of delivering without a tripod. I use a tripod or rest the lens on a steady object whenever possible when using this lens. One negative characteristic it has is the rearmost lens element (on the mount side) is really far up inside the body of the lens, so you have to be really careful to prevent dust from getting inside, as it's hard to clean if this happens. This fact, along with the desire for more reach on my D800 is why I leave a TC-14EII teleconverter permanently attached to this lens, giving me 420mm. This is a common setup among wildlife photographers who don't want to pay the breathtaking $9500+ price for the 400 f/2.8 VR. Fortunately, and believe it or not, you will not notice any discernible loss in IQ with the 1.4X teleconverter attached. Really; it works that well! The downside is, of course, you do lose 1 stop of light, so your max aperture is only f/5.6 with the TC attached. The good news is today's DSLRs handle high ISO pretty well, and today's newer PP software have really good noise reduction features, so you can still produce some very high quality images in somewhat low light with this pairing. I'm willing to live with the 1 stop of light loss in exchange for 40% more reach. Because of this, I pretty much shoot at f/5.6 almost exclusively with this lens, which is just fine for how I use it. The 300 f/4 + TC-14 tele can thus be thought of as the "poor man's" 400 f/2.8 (if spending "only" $2K for lens and TC can be considered a "poor man's" option)... except with a 2 stop light penalty and no VR. The other downsides to this lens: First, I think the autofocus speed is a bit on the slow side. That, and the lack of VR mean this isn't a good fast action lens. Second, the OEM tripod mount collar is a little weak, so if you buy this lens, I would get the Kirk replacement collar for it. I did, and I'm really pleased with it.

Despite those disadvantages, the 300 f/4 is a very sharp lens, it's VERY solidly built, and it has a built-in sliding lens hood. Though it isn't exactly light or compact, compared to the alternative lenses at this focal length, it is comparatively lighter and more compact. It's a great value for the image quality and reach you get, as long as you can live with the tradeoffs.

On the 70-200 f/4 VRII:
I love this lens! All things considered, it's probably my favorite Nikon lens. If I was forced to only have 2 SLR lenses, I'd have a hard time deciding on the "wide to regular" coverage lens, but the 70-200 f/4 would definitely be my medium to tele choice. I would actually rather have the f/4 version over the f/2.8 version even if they were the same price, because the f/4 is MUCH lighter and shorter, with the same or better IQ, and with slightly better VR technology. According to Nikon's own MTR charts, this lens actually has slightly better resolution at mid apertures than the f/2.8 version, yet it's roughly HALF the price!

I can ONLY think of 2 negatives with this lens. It doesn't quite have enough reach for a dedicated wildlife lens (on an FX body) and it "only" has f/4 max aperture, though that's a constant f/4 across the full zoom range. I can make up the 1 stop of light loss when I need to by bumping ISO up slightly, with very little IQ penalty. Due to the incredibly effective VR, you frequently don't even have to do that until the light gets really dim. I rarely shoot wide open with this lens anyway. On the D7000, you have 300mm equiv, so it still has o.k. reach for most wildlife that's not too far away, though not the best choice for birds. You'll have plenty of reach for almost anything on your Nikon 1, however.

There are several obvious advantages to this lens over the 300 f/4. As mentioned, the VR on this lens is absolutely amazing! Being a relatively new offering, it has Nikon's latest and greatest VR tech. Because of this, it's a very forgiving handheld lens. If you're not singularly interested in reach, it has much greater flexibility than the 300 prime. With its zoom range, it's a great portrait lens, a great long range "travel" lens, and a good sports lens. It can be a great dedicated wildlife lens on the D7000 as long as either your wildlife photography interest tends toward larger animals, you're able to sneak a little closer, or you plan to use a teleconverter. It wouldn't be the best choice for taking photos of birds or other small critters, unless you use it on your Nikon 1. Although it is considered a "pro" level lens in terms of features and performance, it has a polycarbonate body rather than the "mostly metal" build of Nikon's f/2.8 "pro" lenses. This could be viewed as either a positive or a negative, depending on your perspective. It doesn't have the "solid" feel of the all-metal lenses, but then it's also pretty light for its size. Despite the polycarbonate body, I don't have any gripes with its build quality and have no reason to suspect it wouldn't hold up to many years of use. It's light enough that you don't really need a tripod collar. It really is a fantastic lens!

The short version:
If you want a lens exclusively for wildlife and you're willing to live with the limitations mentioned to get the extra reach, buy the 300 f/4. If you want a great all-purpose telephoto zoom with superb VR that can double as a great wildlife lens with a crop camera and/or a teleconverter, and you value the much lighter weight and shorter length, get the 70-200 f/4 VRII.


Edited by RifleDude - July/13/2014 at 21:01
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