Richard Peters Photography

200-400 + 1.7x TC test
August 13, 2008, 2:33 pm
Filed under: 200-400 VR | Tags: , , , , , ,

*** My blog has moved home, for the most up to date version and comments for this article please click here.***

I recently visited a newly discovered local nature reserve. Not the greatest weather so thought it would be a good chance to just scout it out. I had tried this lens with the 1.7tc on my old D2x and never had good results, images were always very soft to the point that they didn’t even look that great at websize. However, as the D3 has adjustable focus I thought I’d try tweaking it for this lens/tc combo and use this opportunity to do a few test shoots in between the rain…

**This wasn’t a test of the D3’s high ISO, there are enough of those on the net. These shots are a bit grainy on the sharpened %100 crops but I think thats to be expected at ISO 2000 **

Test Images, handheld from a hide:

1/800, f8, ISO 2000, 650mm

Original shot resized for web

Original shot, click for full web size

%100 crop, click for full res

%100 crop, click for full res

1/500, f8, ISO 2000, 650mm with slow panning as the chick moved along the water.

Original shot, click for full web size

Original shot, click for full web size

%100 crop of head

%100 crop, click for full res

%100 feather crop

%100 crop, click for full res

Please remember this was a worst case scenario, overcast and the lens not supported very well. If you already own this lens and don’t have any longer glass then I ‘think’ with more favourable conditions (proper sunlight, lower ISO, decent support) it would pass in an emergency…its certainly made me less reluctant to reach for a TC in times of need.


Thanks for this … I have been thinking of getting the 200 – 400 VR, primarily to use with TCs so as to extend my focal reach. I currently use the 80 – 400 VR. I am seriously reconsidering my decision (I have a 200 -400 VR on hold at a shop) because of the kind of info you are presenting here … does not seem like I would not really get the shots that I want without compromising sharpness.

Comment by Beverly Kune

Hi Beverly, you should definitely try and test the combo out for yourself if you can – given more favourable conditions the results would be improved I think, especially if a proper support is used instead of hand holding. Ultimately though, if your not an owner of this lens already and longer reach is your main goal then I would not be looking to buy the 200-400 with TC use in mind anyway, especially as you already have the 80-400 VR. I’d go for a lens with more reach to start with, as if you already own the lens adding a TC is quite easy in an emergency but if your starting from scratch and long reach is your goal, a 500 or 600 would make far more sense.

Glad the information was of some use and has potentially aided finding a better solution to your requirements!

Comment by Richard Peters Photography

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