‘Tarsier teachings’: experiences with the Nikon D850 & D500, Nikon 600mm f/4E FL, 200-500mm f/5.6E & 70-200mm f/2.8E FL

That’s a rather lengthy title for a post, but it sums up what my next set of articles will focus on! I recently had the opportunity to visit the Philippines again, and I couldn’t resist catching up with the world’s cutest little furballs: the tarsiers on the island of Bohol…

On my previous trip about 2 years ago I found myself shooting the D4S/200-500mm f/5.6 combo; reason being that I needed the low ISO/high dynamic range of the D4S (unlike its D5 successor… but enough said on that already) and the reach of the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6. However, this combo did come with its drawbacks as well: f/5.6 is slow and doesn’t help much when you need to focus on little tarsiers taking naps in the dark shade under leaves during daytime. Fortunately, the D4S was able to cope in low light and had little issues with focusing.

I now only have the Nikon D850 and D500; I recently sold my D4S simply because of the incredible features of the D850: 9 frames/sec. (with battery pack), 46 MP and a very accurate white balance. My initial goal was to experiment with the D850/600mm f/4E FL combo: enjoy the full 46 megapixels with a 1 stop gain compared to the 200-500mm f/5.6. Just in case, I brought my D500, the 200-500mm f/5.6 as well as the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL. I wasn’t expecting much from the 70-200mm f/2.8 simply because of it’s (lack of) reach.

What I did expect was the whole set to weigh a lot; and it did at around 15kg in my F-stop Tilopa bag (where I actually managed to squeeze in the whole set – more on that in the next article). What I did not expect were the results of the different DSLR/lens combos: those little tarsiers taught me some interesting lessons…

I’l address the different combos and outcomes in the next articles… stay tuned!

Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E on Nikon D500, f/5.6, 1/80 s., ISO 1400, -0.3 exp. comp.

As usual, for any questions, comments or feedback, simple add comments below (preferred) or otherwise drop me a note at: enquiry@fliek.com

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