Thursday, July 18, 2024

FE 200-600/5.6-6.3

FE 200-600/5.6-6.3

FE 200-600/5.6-6.3

The Light Weight Long Range Shooter



A7R, f5.6 1/125 Batis 40/2 CF Distagon, ISO 320.


Finally a 'proper' long range lens for me for shooting birds. With the convenience of zoom from 200mm to 600mm, though for birds and wildlifes most likely the lens will be deployed at 600mm all the time, if not with 1.4x tele convertor.

I am not a serious bird photographer. 500mm is a standard or basic focal length for bird photography, and I have made do with a Rollei 500/5.6 and a Nikkor 600/5.6 manual focus lens with adaptor on A7R Sony for that matter. Manual focus can be a handicap but not something impossible. Nikkor has an advantage being internal focus so is much easier to use. I always have that feeling that these lenses although still can perform (especially for the price), there is a issue of lack of resolution and fringing correction on modern digital sensors. So I get a FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 G Master, the first non-German lens that I seriously using, for bird photography. However, the 100-400 will need to be used with 1.4x teleconvertor, or 2x teleconvertor most of the time.

Then it comes this FE 200-600/5.6-6.3. Strange enough Sony decided not to make this lens a G Master. For user like me, with a profile that is too old for the weight of a 600/4 prime (and actually also the 500/5.6 Zeiss and 600/5.6 Nikkor being lighter than a modern 600/4 already), old enough not to have the pocket for a 600/4 at S$15000, the FE 200-600 comes in handy. Not being a G Master, the lens is slower (and therefore lighter), and is more 'affordable' (at least 1/5th FE 600/4 GM, or 1/2 used FE 600/4 GM if you can find one few years down the road). 

The first few hands on with the FE 200-600, I felt that, not being a G Master, the lens resolution and fringing correction at full aperture seem slightly below that of the GM 100-400. When I finally looked at the photos on the computer the results were totally acceptable, and can easily be considered very good. Of course if you want the best for bird photography then go for the 600/4 (any brand), but that is not the scope of the discussion here : D. 600/4, period.



White Breasted Water Hen, Satay by the Bay Lily Pond, @ 600mm

f6.3, 1/500, ISO 2500, MT190CXPRO3/BHQ2, 20 July 2019


 The White Breasted Water Hen was taken very late in the afternoon and almost evening. Aperture was wide open, the lens at 600mm focal length, ISO was high at 2500. With AF-C mode the photo is very good.







Oriental Dollar Bird, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

A7R2, f8 1/500 @ 600mm, ISO 800, 20 July 2019

MT190CXPRO3/BHQ2, APS-C mode


The Oriental Dollar Bird was shot against a bright white background at f8. I would say the lens performed satisfactory under such extreme condition, although the GM 100-400 will perform slightly better under such condition.






Black-Crowned Night Heron, Stay by the Bay Lotus Pond, 20 July 2019

f6.3 1/500 @ 463mm. ISO 800

MT190CXPRO3/BHQ2, APS-C mode


The Black-Corwned Night Heron was taken at relatively low ISO of 800, the aperture was wide open and the A7R2 was in APS-C mode with 18 megapix. The picture quality is still good enough.







Lesser Whistling Ducks, Satay by the Bay Lily Pond, 20 July 2019

A7R2, f7.1 1/500 @ 266 mm  ISO 2000



Photographed at high ISO, aperture slightly stopped down to f7.1, in full frame setting, the photo of the mummy duck and her 4 cute ducklings has very good quality.






Lesser Whistling Ducks, Satay by the Bay Lily Pond, 20 July 2019

A7R2, f7.1 1/500 @ 496 mm  ISO 2000



Another shot of the mummy duck and her 4 cute ducklings. The bokeh in my opinion is good.






 A7R2, Striated Heron, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, 27 July 2019

f9, 1/1000 @ 840mm with TC1.4x. ISO 640



Tested the 200-600 with the 1.4x tele-convertor photographed this Striated Heron. Image quality is still good. I probably would not use the lens with the 2x tele-convertor. Autofocus speed wise probably cannot be judge properly as my A7R2 is a pretty old model and facing some limitations when the lens is used with the 1.4x tele-convertor.




Woodlands Waterfront, 15 Aug 2022

A1, f11 1/400 @600mm, TC1.4x, ISO 250, MT190CXPRO3/GHFG1


Woodlands Waterfront, 3 Sep 2022

A1, f11 1/1250. @600mm, TC 1.4x, ISO 100, MT190CXPRO3/GHFG1,


Lim Chu Kang Nature Park, 2023

A1, f8 1/500. @200mm, ISO 200, MT190CXPRO3/GHFG1


Lim Chu Kang Nature Park, 2023

A1, f6.3 1/10000 @209mm, ISO 800, MT190CXPRO3/GHFG1


Lim Chu Kang Nature Park, 2023

A1, f6.3 1/640 @397mm, ISO 400, MT190CXPRO3/GHFG1







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