Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:31 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:36 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7925
Location: Germany
I just received the following question:
Quote:
Hi,

First, thanks for the great posts--just discovered the forum and your blog and it is very helpful.

You clearly have a lot of experience so I respect your opinion on a lens recommendation. I have a D7000 and am a relative newbie, but have learned a ton in the last year and am enjoying the new hobby. I leave in a week for a hiking safari in Africa. There will be relatively little time in a jeep with tripod or window mounts, so the form factor and weight are an issue--thus, I cannot take one of the "super-zoom" (up to 400mm) solutions and even my 70-200 2.8 is probably more than I can handle via foot (10- 15Km hiking each day).

So, ideally, I'm looking for a single lens solution (I realize the trade-offs here) that has a relatively small form factor and relatively low weight (medium weight is fine--just nothing extreme!). Two options I am considering, both Nikon:

70-300 (I own this lens)
28-300 (I have considered a purchase or could rent).

Basically, I am wondering about the tradeoff, figuring a lot of the shots will be taken at full zoom (animals at a relatively safe distance)--is there any advantage to the 28-300? Or said another way, within the 70-300 range, does the 28-300 offer any advantages (speed?). I cannot find a comparison of the two anywhere online (including the forum here), so wondered if you had any thoughts.

Thank you for any help--sorry for the long message.


To me the answer is quite clear:
I'd go for the 28-300, which I own myself and have reviewed here (as you surely have seen).
I think highly of the 70-300 in term of image quality. But to be honest the missing focal lengths shorter than 70 would make me shy away from that lens as my only companion.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:06 pm 
with only one lens its got to cover wide to zoom.

Its a no win situation this one.

African skies are huge, the landscapes massive. On a walking safari (he doesnt say where) the animals will be quite distant compared to vehicle based safari's where they can get close and still stay safe. Walking safaris just aren't ideal for photographing wild life. Even with big game like elephants if your close enough to get good photos while your on foot your probably pretty damn uncomfortably close!!

I prefer the experience as its a lot more real, you get much more of a feel for the environment your in than when your in an crowded, airconed matatu trundling round the savannah driving right up to all the other safari vehicles crowding round the days pride of lions.

I think I'd want something wider than 28mm if I was only taking one lens.

I dont know anything about x? converters. Is there a decent zoom thats sub 20mm at the wide end but could be ramped up to 300mm using a converter without sacrificing too much quality


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:22 pm 
Been reading a bit about converters, doesnt seem such a good idea.

I'd still want something suitable wide though.

It all depends on what you find interesting. My take on it is if you want close up images of big animals the best place to go is the zoo. If you want to experience the African environment (see, feel, small, touch and taste) then go on a walking safari. The trick for the guy asking the question is how does he record some of that experience into images and what lens does he need to help do that best?


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8025
Location: UK
If you keep the 70-300, could I suggest the addition of a high end compact to use for the wide(er) angles? Yes, it is another camera, but maybe small enough not to be an issue.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:28 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7925
Location: Germany
The reply came in:
Quote:
Thomas,

Thanks much--your reply is helpful. It's a tough photo situation--I know exactly what I would do if I had the convenience of a jeep and didn't have to lug the stuff I was shooting with, but that really changes my thinking.
At the long-end (300mm), do you find the 70-300 and 28-300 comparable in terms of image quality and speed? I think the long shots are probably the "typical" use case, though not the only one for sure, so I want to be sure I'm OK there first.
Thanks again--sorry to clutter your inbox as I am sure you get many questions. I appreciate the reviews and detailed info in the forum that you (and others in the community) provide.
Best,

It's a pity I didn't test the 70-300, but Gordon had high praise for this lens. If you look at www.photozone.de you can find tests with comparable methods of both lenses on a D3x. The recorded resolution figures at the long end (=300mm) were 2886 (center) and 2293 (border) for the 28-300mm lens wide open (=f5.6) versus 3143 (center) and 2690 (border) for the 70-300mm lens, also at f5.6. (All figures are line widths per picture height at 50% contrast)
So the Nikon 70-300mm VR zoom indeed has the better IQ, albeit in my books that difference would not outweigh the benefits of having a zoom reaching down to 28mm with me on a trip where only one lens is feasible.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:33 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7925
Location: Germany
@ianganderton: At least the Nikon Tele Converters cannot be used on standard zooms. They simply don't mount. A Kenko 1.5x TC might work (no guaranty, I didn't test it), but the results with the f5.6 aperture at the long end of say a 18-200mm will not satisfy:
- focus will be slow, if it works at all (the max aperture is smaller than f8.0!)
- IQ will be worse than any lens going originally to 300mm
So all in all I wouldn't advise the combination of a shorter kit-zoom plus a TC.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:07 am 
Thanks to all so far. I am the original poster and appreciate that Thomas moved this to the main forum. The responses are helpul and yes, I had actually thought a lot about a high-end compact for the wider shots and just using the 70-300 for the rest.

Locaton is Zimbabwe (my first time, but with colleagues who have been). Body will either be a D7000 or possibly a borrowed D90. We will have a jeep for some game drives, but the main portion of the trip is hiking, tracking rhino, and anything else we encounter.

Obviously, there's no perfect solution, so I'm just trying to manage the tradeoffs as best I can. I am probably rapidly approaching the "paralysis by analysis" phase, which is usually my game when it comes to important life-changing decisions such as career, family/love, or what lens to take with me on a trip. :)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:26 am 
Eidolon,

I was in Zim in early 1999. We spent a bit of time in Hwange and it was one of the best safari experiences I've had. We did game walks with the park rangers every morning. I cant remember what the more northerly camp was called we started at. Fantastic cat tracking, walking past hippo pools and all with this old boy who was just a star.

We then moved to Main Camp. One morning walking just outside the camp we found ourselves walking through herds of giraffe and zebra and even saw 2 wild dogs on the road between us and the camps main gate. Fantastic stuff.

Out in our safari vehicle (a hired Toyota Corolla, hire vehicles have off road performance only surpassed by stolen vehicles!!) we saw everything including huge quantities of elephants, herds of giraffe and zebra and several prides of lion of the course of a few days.

Where are you headed?

Whatever lens you finally decide on you'll have a great time


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:28 am 
Do NOT buy the 28-300. Why would you buy a new lens that covers what you have already? Buy a 10-20mm type lens, and take the 70-300 with you.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:36 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7925
Location: Germany
Changing lenses in the heat of the moment (and the dust and dirt on a safari trail) has its disadvantages.
And imagine: one of the big 5 coming towards you an BANG you hit the 70mm barrier while frantically zooming back. Lot's of opportunities lost :(

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:08 pm 
That's why you have two bodies. DX body with 70-200VRII on the one and FX body with 300 f2.8 AI with 1.4TC on the other. Least that's my plan for my two month trip in december. KTXBAI.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group