Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebookYoutubeGooglePlus
Categories Menu

on Jun 3, 2010 in Camera Tech, Wildlife Photography

Nikon 200-400VRII w/TC-20eIII

I am a little amazed after my quick blog posting about the 200-400VRII w/TC-20eIII works…but…I didn’t get one query. That but though is a big but and has absolutely nothing to do with image quality!

This movie requires Flash Player 9


Finding a subject to do real world field shooting and cooperative to do a side by side has been a challenge. In the last couple of days the Violet-green Swallows have come back to Mono Lake to nest. And with sex in the air, a photographer testing a lens just doesn’t register. Thanks goodness, this was not only a gorgeous male but dang helpful in illustrating my points.



Photo on left is just 200-400VRII / on right is the exact same everything but with TC-20eIII added.

First and foremost, shooting the 200-400VRII with the TC-20eIII (no, didn’t test and not going to test with 1.7x) produces gorgeous quality, easily producing a 24×30 print which is my standard. With this said, I would personally never use that combo. The 200-400VRII lives to be shot on its own! The reason is two fold, the main one being the DOF is just too damn narrow! I had to work my butt off and think way too much about technique taking my concentration away from the subject. Next, the number of elements in the 200-400VRII cuts the light down enough so the AF system isn’t as responsive. Shooting the exact same swallow with the 600VR w/TC-20eIII, AF was snap on. Those two factors would keep me from taking this as a serious wildlife photographer solution. Sorry.

This movie requires Flash Player 9

This movie requires Flash Player 9


This pair of swallows was great, the male displaying to keep other males away from their nest site. And the female bringing in nesting material, feathers being a very popular item. I was only 9.5′ away during my shooting which made testing real simple. Now many have asked about the “old” 200-400VR with the TC-20eIII. I have no clue on that combo. Many have asked about the combo I did test, hopefully you have my own personal conclusion there, it works and works optically beautifully. I still get a lot of folks asking if the new 200-400VRII is “better” than the old version. Like I stated just last week, displaying via the web a visual of what I’m seeing on my Cintiq just isn’t going to happen. IMHO and for MY photography, the new 200-400VRII produces a cleaner image. Or in terms that have become infamous in my 70-200VRII video, it’s a TAD of an improvement. YOU will have to decide for YOUR photography if the upgrade is worth the price. I’ve already put my money down (thanks Jeff) so my mind is already made up. I sure hope this helps some folks, it’s all I have to offer.