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70-200 Tips

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by cculler, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. cculler


    Aug 12, 2008
    So I picked up a rental 70-200 2.8VR for a wedding I'm second-shooting this weekend. This is the first time I've had a "Big-kid lens" like this. Are there any tips or tricks I should know to get the REALLY good shots this weekend?
  2. It's a pretty strait forward and forgiving lens. My advice for you would be, don't shoot it at f2.8 if you don't have too, but don't hesitate to go there if you need too. That's not to scare you, f2.8 is nicely sharp, but f4 and above are razor sharp. If you can, get some feel for 1/100th or slower shutter speeds (obviously with VR on) and get a feel for what you are comfortable with as a minimum.
  3. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    to add to what tim said,

    1. VR takes a split second or so to settle. it's a good idea to half press and wait a bit before releasing the shutter.
    2. this is a heavy lens, so if you're not that strong, take a break from holding it when you have the time.

  4. I second the allowing the VR to settle. I use mine with my D80. Given that it's a wedding, run it AF-S, move the focus point to an eye, lay it down, relax, half-press, quick pause, and shoot. It'll give you shockingly sharp shots, even at f/2.8 with a shallow DOF. f/4 and f/5.6 are even crazier.

    The lens produces excellent bokeh for a zoom, so try to set up some shots at close range with the focal length as far out as you can go at f/2.8.

    It's not that great shooting into the sun so watch out for that if you try any outdoor shots with the sun in the composition (or even indoor shots with more intense point light sources). Use the hood.

    Best lens I have. Enjoy it!
  5. mematsu


    May 2, 2007
    los angeles
    All of the above and the main thing...

    Have fun!:smile:
  6. Do some tests with the lens focus at F2.8 to be sure your camera sensor is callibrated for such a small dof [ if it is not in the right position you could have focus issues ]. Try some close focus shots and some 'distance' focus shots to see how well it works . With my D80 I had and now with my D50 I get different results at different distances and subjects with different contrast .
    In this shot it focused on the rear lamp , when I was aiming at the middle , I'm getting different results in different situations so before shooting at f2.8 do some tests .
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  7. Zee71


    Apr 1, 2007
    Queens, NY
    One more thing............if you're going to be using a tripod or monopod with the 70-200mm VR len, it has been recommended that the VR be shut off. Have a great shoot!!!!
  8. NPA2008


    Apr 15, 2008
    It's good that you asked about tips and tricks, because the 70-200 is one of the more difficult lenses to use. Hopefully, you did not get it just last night or this morning.

    I have found that matrix metering is unreliable with this lens. Use either center weighted or spot metering. Either of those is more appropriate for wedding photography anyway. It is easy to forget to turn off VR. Keep in mind what others have said, if the lens is mounted on a tripod for the formals.
  9. MeSince83


    Apr 3, 2008
    Why is it recommended that VR is off when on a mono or tripod?
  10. prowicz

    prowicz Guest

    One thing VR takes up more juice from your battery. If you are shooting at fast shutter speeds, VR does not help, so its better to turn it off. VR on a tripod is good if you are panning your shots, because then you can use really low shutter speeds. But if for example, the lens is mounted on a tripod, and you are using a low shutter speed and a cable release, well you would not really need the help of VR, because the tipod is doing the work for you.

    Hope that help.

  11. Here's Nikon KB article on whether VR should be on and off on a tripod.

    Net-net, with the 70-200VR they say it should turned off when it's locked on a tripod, but turned on if it's on a tripod but the pan/tilt is "fluid" (not locked down).

    Supposedly the VR in the 70-200 can get "confused" when absolutely steady and be counterproductive, adjusting when no adjustment is needed and impacting the shot.

    I often use the VR for hand-held portraits, and often these can't be at very fast shutter speeds (I use ISO 100 when possible, and sometimes I don't want a shallow DOF in a portrait so the aperture can be relatively small). It can make a huge difference.
  12. cculler


    Aug 12, 2008
    Thanks everyone for the tips! I'll be sure to put them to good use! :smile:
  13. It can be left on with a monopod because there is some movement but with a tripod I think it all boils down to consructive interference of waveforms .
    Nothing is made perfect and when you have a spinning motor causing vibrations on a stable object the waveforms can add to each other at the same frequency and multiply eventually causing more movement .
    Look at the colours diesel causes on water , 'destructive interference' is caused when the light waves bouncing off the water under the film of diesel at a thickness that is at the exact distance of a waveform bouncing off the surface cancel each other out leaving different colours .
    Constructive interference is when they add to each other like with the vibration of your washing machine spinner slowing down and at a certain point they add to each other and the whole garage starts shaking - well at least with my washing machine :smile: . [ well that's my theory anyway ]
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