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Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Fill The Frame"; What Do You Do If You Need Range?

For many years now, I've been struggling with the realization that I just don't have enough "range (reach)" with my lenses that I have. I currently, for wildlife photography, have the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6 G which tends to chromatic aberrate out the wazoo (and in my opinion is a piece of S***) and my Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII which is one of the finest lenses that Nikon has ever built in my humble opinion.

The problem comes when I do my favorite type of photography which is wildlife. I can't seem to "fill the frame". When you don't fill the frame, you lose megapixels of resolution in your image because you're forced to crop extraneous background details away from your subject. For example, here is the eagle shot that I took on my birthday.


Now, this is the original photo for comparison purposes.


Note how much image I had to crop out in order to achieve the shot with just the eagle. Not only did I lose resolution, the image became unuseably blurry. Certainly to the untrained eye, it looks just fine; but to me, it's just horrendous.

Now my only solution is to "fill the frame". Now how do you do that other than to buy long expensive telephoto prime lenses. temporary solution while I'm saving up for the hugely expensive telephoto prime lenses is this: to use a teleconverter.

The one I'm looking at is the Nikon TC-20EIII which should effectively double my focal length, if I was using it on a full-frame FX body like the Nikon D700, while losing two stops dropping the f/2.8 to a f/5.6 and effectively making my 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII into a 140-400mm f/5.6

On my D300s, it ends up becoming a 210-600mm f/5.6 counting the 1.5X conversion factor. Until such time as I am able to obtain the 600mm f/4 and the 400mm f/2.8, this stop-gap measure will have to suffice.

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