New to the site and looking for any/all advice on what I am trying to accomplish. I am searching for advice on options for better shots at 300mm+. Subjects I am shooting include bald eagles, orca whales, zoo animals, etc. I currently have a Nikon D610 body and the 70-300mm VR model. I find this lens to be "ok" and consider I get what I paid for. However, I find images above 200mm are soft (even on tripod with remote release). So, I've been pondering some options considering I do most work handheld:
- Nikkor 300mm f4 prime (the new PF version) and using a teleconverter for longer ranges or finding a D7100 for crop factor. Downside is no range, upside with low weight and a Prime.
- Nikkor 70-200mm f2 or f4 with teleconverter
- Nikkor 80-400mm f4 - seems pretty heavy. This is the top end of my budget.
- Tamron 150-600mm - I actually bought this and results are "ok". I found the 4.3 pounds too much for hand held (strained my neck muscles), but, I love the range and image quality was acceptable when I could stabilize this weight. Said another way, I had less 'keepers' trying to stabilize the weight, but, the keepers were great. I had to compensate with higher shutter speed and ISO. So, Im considering returning it for a different option.
So, obviously, weight is an issue on the Tamron, but, and I find most of my opportunities to shoot these subjects don't lend well to using a tripod.
What advice do you folks have for these options or other options that I have not yet considered.
Appreciate anyone reading this rant and/or taking the time to respond.
Have a great day!