I just returned from a terrific ANPW workshop in Alaska (if you are interested in next year, there are a few spots still open). We had a private charter into Kenai Fjords NP one day photographing orcas, seals, birds and whales, and spent a number of days photographing bears in Lake Clark NP. I brought my long lens with me, my 500mm, which is always good to have shooting wildlife in Alaska. But I also tried out my F4 70-200mm with a 1.4x converter as a lighter, more accessible option to capture the action. I wasn’t disappointed.
I am using my 70-200mm F4 a lot these days for a few reasons. First, it is a lot lighter and smaller than my 70-200mm F2.8. Second, this lens features Nikon’s latest VR technology, and it is simply incredible, noticeably better than any earlier versions of VR. And third, to my eye, this lens is as sharp as the 2.8 version. If there is one thing the F4 version doesn’t do as well as the F2.8 version, its focus as fast, especially in low light conditions. But I just got done shooting this lens everyday in Alaska, and it is impressive.
All these images were shot using the 70-200mm F4 with the 1.4x. I was very impressed at how tack sharp this combination was. I wound up using this set up more than my 500mm since the bears were close, and it was much easier to get low shooting angles and follow moving bears.
I will still be using my 70-200mm F2.8 for action sports, but I have been very impressed with the F4 version. And since it is tack sharp with a 1.4x converter, I’ll be using it even more.