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DrJohn

Sony 200-600 mm with 1.4x or 100-400 mm with 2x

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I was really excited to hear about the new Sony 200-600 mm lens. But, now I'm not sure that is the best way to go for my needs. I would like some opinions.

I like to image the moon. 600 mm  x 1.4x = 840 mm. 400 mm x 2.0x = 800 mm. Around 800-1,000 mm works well for imaging the moon. There will be a lot of light lost with 2.0x. However, the moon is very bright and it shouldn't matter. Also, imaging the moon is done on a tripod with manual focus. In the past, I used the Sigma 150-600 mm lens with 1.4x TC and got excellent results.

I also like to do nature and wildlife photography. However with advanced age and Lyme disease, I can't carry much in the woods and need a telephoto and a wide angle lens (either 16-35 mm or 24-105 mm). I definitely cannot carry the 200-600 mm lens and a wide angle lens. The 100-400 mm and wide angle lens is pretty much the limit of what I can carry and 400 mm has worked well for nature wildlife photography so far.

Currently, I'm carrying the Sony 24-105 mm and Sigma 100-400mm  with MC-11. 

John

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The 200-600 seems a lot heavier when compared to the 100-400, plus being another four inches longer.  While I think the 200-600 would be better suited to your needs, it won’t help much if it makes it difficult for you to walk to a place where you can actually use it.

Personally, I think a good course of action would be to wait a while until the lens comes out and maybe trying renting it for a weekend, preferably one with a full moon and clear skies so you can try it out for both wildlife and moon-shots. Then try walking around with it for a while and see how it feels. Another option would be to consider a smaller wide angle lens. My go-to is the 35 f2.8, not as wide as the 24-105 but it’s so light weight that I can just drop it in a pocket and forget about it.

The added benefit of waiting a while is that there will likely be more detailed reviews of this lens that may help tip the balance. I would also expect to see some price reductions on that 100-400 before the end of the year, especially with that 200-600 coming in under 2k.

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What LiveShots said, if you are able to borrow or rent that is the way to go.

Personally, I find the 100-400 to be just the right size and that you can add the extra TCs to extend the reach makes it just incredible for the size. I do think images without a TC looks a little bit better but you'll have to put them next to each other to be able to tell. The resolving power of the 100-400 is amazing.

I haven't gotten the chance to try the 200-600 myself, but looking at samples posted online, there hasn't really been anything that has made me want to replace the 100-400, not yet anyway.

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One problem with waiting to rent a lens is that it will be winter. The winters get severe in the Northeast. 

I leaning towards the 100-400 with the 2x and probably with the 1.4x also. I would use the 2x for lunar imaging (from my backyard) and the 1.4x for wildlife if needed. I usually get away with 400 mm. 

John

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To follow up, I received the Sony 100-400 lens yesterday and took some test shots handheld with the 2x teleconverter just before it rained. It is definitely an incredible lens. It's hard to believe an 800 mm handheld shot can come out so clear. The photo below was not processed in any way except to reduce the file size for the internet.

John

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Tony and Chelsea are working on a video of the 200-600, some Instagram users were asking Tony to test with the 1.4 and 2.0 TC’s. Initial feedback seemed to suggest the 1.4 was ok but not the 2.0. I’m not sure when the video will be posted. 

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Here's a picture I tool some time ago of the moon with my FE 100-400mm.  It was hand held; 400mm ISO 1,000 1/2,000 f/5.6.

I want to get the 2x converter for both Astronomy and Wildlife; we're off to Namibia next year and I was intending to use the 100-400mm in conjunction with the 2x converter.

 

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Here is one I took with my A9, 100400GM and SEL20TC, also neither processing nor crop:

 

BTW: tonight there will be a partial eclipse of the moon.Visibility info here, depending on cloud coverage.

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Have you considered a high quality used mirror lens for Moon shots?  A good quality 500mm mirror lens is much easer to carry and set up, and I will bet they are much less expensive than any of the lenses discussed here.

 

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On 7/19/2019 at 10:15 AM, pcr1040 said:

Have you considered a high quality used mirror lens for Moon shots?  A good quality 500mm mirror lens is much easer to carry and set up, and I will bet they are much less expensive than any of the lenses discussed here.

 

The quality is not there.

John

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I have been using the 100-400 with the TC1.4 for my wildlife / aircraft photos and find it a superb combination that is superfast, holds focus and delivers very good image quality. 

From what I have read / seen, the 200-600 is much larger than the 100-400 and even though cheaper I am not sure certainly in my case I could even consider letting the 100-400 go in place of the extra reach.

This is an image taken this year at an air show on a wet and very overcast day, 100-400+TC1.4 yet I am very happy with the quality of the image.

 

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