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Thread: Looking for a good big aperture full frame Nikon zoom lens

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    The TomTom did it. Alok's Avatar
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    Looking for a good big aperture full frame Nikon zoom lens

    I will use it mainly for track use. I have started feeling that the 70-200 hasnt got enough reach to do all the track action photos lately, especially for full frame. A fixed aperture would be ideal. Expert opinion anybody? I wont be buying it, but a company will be, and I will just be allowed to use it, but I have to tell them what I want. Price cap at 2 grand...
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    Hormone Induced BerserkerCatSplat's Avatar
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    well, if it has to be a zoom, it has to be longer than 200, and it has to work for motorsports, the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR is unquestionably the lens to get if natural reach is key. If you'd rather have a little less reach but a larger aperture, look into the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8. I hear it may even work OK with a TC, but at the usual expense of image quality.

    I've used the 200-400 and I can tell you it's fantastic. I have not had the chance to try the 120-300 because my local shop has only ever had it in stock in Canon mount, but I hear it is a decent lens but a bit less sharp than the 300/2.8 primes.

    Edit: Damnit, missed the $2000 price limit. Long glass is $$$. Look into a 1.4X teleconverter for your 70-200 or a Sigma 100-300f/4 HSM; either would be well within your price limit.
    Last edited by BerserkerCatSplat; August 26th, 2009 at 1:05 AM.
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    The TomTom did it. Alok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerserkerCatSplat View Post
    well, if it has to be a zoom, it has to be longer than 200, and it has to work for motorsports, the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR is unquestionably the lens to get if natural reach is key. If you'd rather have a little less reach but a larger aperture, look into the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8. I hear it may even work OK with a TC, but at the usual expense of image quality.

    I've used the 200-400 and I can tell you it's fantastic. I have not had the chance to try the 120-300 because my local shop has only ever had it in stock in Canon mount, but I hear it is a decent lens but a bit less sharp than the 300/2.8 primes.

    Edit: Damnit, missed the $2000 price limit. Long glass is $$$. Look into a 1.4X teleconverter for your 70-200 or a Sigma 100-300f/4 HSM; either would be well within your price limit.

    Thanks man, but damn that 200-4000 is 5999 euros the cheapest I can find, thats almost two D3s :S How does the teleconverter affect the depth of field and optics though?
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    Previously known as epp_b Top Geek's Avatar
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    ...200-4000
    Dang, where did you find that lens?

    How does the teleconverter affect the depth of field and optics though?
    As a 1.4x TC penalizes you by 1 stop down to f/4, I imagine it would look like ... an f/4 lens? But, then you're maxing out at 280mm and, therefore, focusing closer. Maybe it evens out, I'm not sure.
    Last edited by Top Geek; August 26th, 2009 at 1:33 AM.

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    Have you been high today? Ramseus's Avatar
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    The physical aperture (ie. what determines the depth of field) remains the same though, you just lose 1 or 2 stops of light. I don't know but I would have to assume that depth of field remains the same. As for the optics, everything I've seen shows that wide open you'll get vignetting with some TCs and you always lose contrast, stop down and it's fine.
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    Previously known as epp_b Top Geek's Avatar
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    The physical aperture (ie. what determines the depth of field) remains the same though, you just lose 1 or 2 stops of light. I don't know but I would have to assume that depth of field remains the same.
    But, the relation between the focal length and the size of the opening is different. 70-200/2.8 + 1.4 TC = 98-280/4.

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    Hormone Induced BerserkerCatSplat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramseus View Post
    The physical aperture (ie. what determines the depth of field) remains the same though, you just lose 1 or 2 stops of light. I don't know but I would have to assume that depth of field remains the same. As for the optics, everything I've seen shows that wide open you'll get vignetting with some TCs and you always lose contrast, stop down and it's fine.
    Not exactly, the TC does not act as a ND filter, rather it "extends" the focal length, but since the element dimensions stay the same the max aperture changes due to it being a ratio. That's why when you put a 1.4TC on a 200 f/2, it doesn't have the DoF of a 280f/2, rather a 280f/2.8.
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    Have you been high today? Ramseus's Avatar
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    Ehhhhh, you sure about that? As I understand it teleconverters englarge the image, nothing more, nothing less. Of course the distance to subject to fill the same amount of the frame is different so it may lead you think that it produces a different depth of field (just like how a 50mm lens on a full frame requires you to get closer to fill the frame with something than on a crop body, decreasing the depth of field). Since a 2x TC enlarges the central portion of the image by 2x, resolution is halved and since you have the same amount of light covering a larger area the amount of light is reduced by two stops (which could by calculated by some formula I don't know), but that doesn't change the fact that the physical aperture - which is, again, what determines the depth of field - remains at the same size. So I'm saying that the depth of field should therefore be the same as it was without a TC and just look like the image was cropped, thus the depth of field hasn't changed.

    *goes off to find a depth of field calculator*

    So it looks like you're wrong. Go find a DOF calculator to do the calculations to see for yourself, but DOF with a 1.4x TC actually behaves like the lens is 2 stops slower than what your chosen f-stop is (or if your TC reports effective rather than physical f-stop, 1 stop slower).

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    Previously known as epp_b Top Geek's Avatar
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    ^ What's with you and myth busting lately? Yeesch.

    And, actually, you're both right, you just explained it in different ways

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    Have you been high today? Ramseus's Avatar
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    I noticed that after I wrote out my stream of consciousness (except for the DOF of a 200 2.0 with a 1.4x TC being equal to 280 4.0 and not 280 2.8 )
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  11. #11
    Previously known as epp_b Top Geek's Avatar
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    (except for the DOF of a 200 2.0 with a 1.4x TC being equal to 280 4.0 and not 280 2.8 http://forums.finalgear.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif )
    Exactly how do you figure? Do you understand the relationship between the size of the aperture opening and the focal length?

    Code:
    F = focal length (in mm)
    F/N = aperture expressed normally as a fraction
    N = aperture expressed as an integer (in mm)
    Normally:
    F = 200
    F/N = 2
    N = 100

    With 1.4x teleconverter:
    F = 280 (200 x 1.4)
    F/N = 2.8 (1 stop less light)
    N = 100

    Notice that N is the same because adding a teleconverter doesn't change the physical size of the aperture diaphragm.
    Last edited by Top Geek; August 26th, 2009 at 5:02 AM.

  12. #12
    Have you been high today? Ramseus's Avatar
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    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

    using a 5d2 for the calculations (just because it was the first full frame I saw in the drop down)

    Focal length (mm) - 200
    Selected f-stop - f/2
    Subject distance - 15 feet

    Depth of field
    Near limit 14.9 ft
    Far limit 15.1 ft
    Total 0.2 ft

    In front of subject 0.1 ft (50%)
    Behind subject 0.1 ft (50%)

    Hyperfocal distance 2187.9 ft
    Circle of confusion 0.03 mm
    Focal length (mm) - 280
    Selected f-stop - f/4
    Subject distance - 15 feet

    Depth of field
    Near limit 14.9 ft
    Far limit 15.1 ft
    Total 0.2 ft

    In front of subject 0.1 ft (50%)
    Behind subject 0.1 ft (50%)

    Hyperfocal distance 2144.4 ft
    Circle of confusion 0.03 mm
    zomfg look at that!

    unless you're saying that the guy who made that calculator doesn't know his maths
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  13. #13
    Previously known as epp_b Top Geek's Avatar
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    Nobody is saying that the DOF is the same with and without the teleconverter, Ramseus.

    BCS just said that a 200/2 + 1.4TC = 280/2.8.

    So: wide open, the DOF is actually shallower than without a teleconverter. Stop it down to f/4 and it's the same. I don't think anybody's arguing against you on that.

    EDIT: um... just had a thought. BCS introduced a non-existent 200/2 lens into this conversation... is that causing any confusion?

    If we plug in the 70-200/2.8 numbers, then 200/2.8 = 280/4 in terms of the same aperture size expressed as an integer.
    Last edited by Top Geek; August 26th, 2009 at 5:08 AM.

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    Have you been high today? Ramseus's Avatar
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    I already busted that myth, DOF is the same with or without a TC, teleconverters don't magically make your lens longer or mysteriously decrease the depth of field, they just blow up the image - it's just like cropping but keeping the same image resolution and having more optical resolution than a crop. The same shot, without adjusting zoom or repositioning, will have the same DOF with or without a teleconverter. The same shot, with zoom or position adjusted to get the framing of the subject the same, will have different DOF because you changed the conditions.

    Canikon makes 200 f/2's btw, they just cost *if you have to ask you can't afford it*


    on teleconverters Bob Atkins says [link, btw]
    (1) They work no "magic" with depth of field. The depth of field of a 300/4 lens plus a 2x multiplier (= 600/8) is exactly the same as the depth of field of any other 600/8 lens. For a lens system of any given focal length and aperture, the depth of field is essentially the same, whether or not a multiplier is used.
    he (and most everyone else answering the question) agrees with what I'm saying (DOF DOES NOT CHANGE, DOF does not magically become shallower), but is following a common misconception on the depth of field. Do the DOF calculations and you'll see, as I've already posted, that with a 1.4x tc the resulting equivalent focal length has an equivalent DOF of 2 stops less than the lens (4 stops less for a 2x tc, making his 300/4 with 2x TC have the DOF of a 600/16). I even used Bob Atkins' own DOF calculator and got the same results. These people, they say the same thing as what I'm saying (depth of field is the same with or without TC) but don't bother to check the DOF at X focal length + Y aperture before throwing numbers at you, so I present to you a giberish function of DOF, where X is focal length and Y is aperture:

    DOF(X + Y) ≠ DOF(X*1.4 + Y*1.4)
    DOF(X + Y) = DOF(X*1.4 + Y*2) = DOF(X*2 + Y*4)


    /post took a long time because I was googling and reading wikipedia, trying to disprove myself, finding people on forums who just repeat what other people say without doing any research themselves
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    Hormone Induced BerserkerCatSplat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epp_b View Post

    EDIT: um... just had a thought. BCS introduced a non-existent 200/2 lens into this conversation... is that causing any confusion?
    O HAI






    Quote Originally Posted by Ramseus View Post
    he (and most everyone else answering the question) agrees with what I'm saying (DOF DOES NOT CHANGE, DOF does not magically become shallower), but is following a common misconception on the depth of field. Do the DOF calculations and you'll see, as I've already posted, that with a 1.4x tc the resulting equivalent focal length has an equivalent DOF of 2 stops less than the lens (4 stops less for a 2x tc, making his 300/4 with 2x TC have the DOF of a 600/16). I even used Bob Atkins' own DOF calculator and got the same results.
    I don't think you've interpreted Bob's comment you quoted correctly. Read it again:

    They work no "magic" with depth of field. The depth of field of a 300/4 lens plus a 2x multiplier (= 600/8) is exactly the same as the depth of field of any other 600/8 lens.
    You're saying that the Dof of a 200/2 + 1.4TC is equivalent to a 200/4, and yet that is inconsistent with Bob's results. He said it doesn't work "magic," not that the TC doesn't affect DoF. If you put the 1.4 on the 200, you get the reduced DoF of a 280/2.8, period. Logic dictates it, Bob's statement backs it up, and his calculator confirms it. I understand what you were trying to do with your calculations, but just trying to match DoF was going down the wrong path.
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    Previously known as epp_b Top Geek's Avatar
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    EDIT: um... just had a thought. BCS introduced a non-existent 200/2 lens into this conversation... is that causing any confusion?
    No, I didn't mean that it doesn't physically exist, I meant it wasn't initially a part of this conversation as an "sub-$2000 telephoto"

    I probably could have termed that better

    P.S. Thanks a lot, now I have to mop all the drool off my keyboard!

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    Have you been high today? Ramseus's Avatar
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    Hey, if you're going to be wrong, at least be sure of yourself In any case, and no thanks to you lot, I finally found the piece of the puzzle that nobody talks about which is why urright and it has essentially the same DOF as the equivalent FL and F stop, and I also finally found a TC test that clearly shows bokeh and not just lol some text on a sign a mile away (though it still has that). I have a feeling that I would still be right if you used a ghettofabulous front mounted TC though. The light gathering ability of the lens remains the same but you spread the light out and now each photo receptor now recieves less light, and DOF is affected by my mystery reason and not because the light is less bright like many people are willing to accept. So yes, urright.

    Well, that was fun, occupied a good chunk of time.... hmm... what to do now.... *is bored now*
    Last edited by Ramseus; August 26th, 2009 at 5:43 PM.
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    Brazilian Consultant Redliner's Avatar
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    Wow...this whole discussion just went zooooom over my head.
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    Previously known as epp_b Top Geek's Avatar
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    Don't worry, it was rather pointless.

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    Previously known as The Real Stig Sir Stiggington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redliner View Post
    Wow...this whole discussion just went zooooom over my head.
    x2 Ignorance is bliss
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