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Wildlife lens

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by LordWotsit, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. LordWotsit

    LordWotsit Member

    Hi all I have recently bought a D3400 and I am looking for a lens suitable for shooting wildlife.
    I have been looking at the Nikon 300mm f/4D IF-ED AF-S which I would pair with the 1.4 teleconverter. Can anyone give an opinion on this setup or maybe an alternative?

    Thanks in advance
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That is how I started (with Canon) but there were not so many credible zooms around 10 years ago. Now I use a fixed 400 rather than the combination but that is mainly because I was working abroad and the 300 mm was in the UK so I doubled up.

    It much depends what wildlife you are interested in. For walking around the zoo, for example, a fixed lens can often be too long. I find a 300 on a x1.3 crop OK and a 400 on a x1.3 crop a bit long, except when I really need it and then it is too short. (This is a truism - no lens is ever long enough if you espy something small, focal length cannot compensate for distance).

    A converter is a bit awkward to change when you are walking about. You need to sit down, or have three hands. i'd expect the prime will outperform a budget zoom at 300 mm and the combination should work well. I've not noticed significant image degradation using a x1.4 Canon converter although AF takes longer. My converter is an old one - new Canon ones work better with AF in modern cameras. I have no idea about Nikon ones.
  3. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    To retain autofocus with a D3400 your options are restricted, you need lenses with built-in motors, so many older lenses are not really options. The set-up you mention would be one way to go, or possibly consider the Sigma 100-400, which is recent and seems to be receiving decent reviews. Either option will have a fairly dim finder image though, as you are looking at around f5.6 whatever with anything affordable at 400mm.
  4. Mark Coull

    Mark Coull Active Member

    Hi LordWotsit,

    I have the Nikon 300mm AF-S f/4 IF-ED and it is fantastic, I am also thinking of getting the tc for it, but that will be much later down the line.

    I progressed from using the Nikon 55-300mm lens to the Tamron 150-600mm and stopped at the Nikon 300mm prime mentioned above. As I got better at photographing the seabirds around me I found I wanted less reach, but better clarity. I would rather just crop the image than faffing around with changing my focal length on my zoom.

    I've heard the Tamron 150-600 G2 is great though and you can pick one up at ebay for £750 (if that's within your budget). The G2 has a lock mechanism where you can lock your focal length so the lens doesn't slide. Be warned though the Tamron is 2kg in weight lol.
  5. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I used the Tamron 200-400 f5.6 for a long time and rated it highly.
  6. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I still use mine from time to time and as long as I avoid wide open I agree, it does a nice job. I also like the fact that it's remarkably compact when closed down and fit's well into quite a modest sized camera bag.

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