1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

AF problems with D2H

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by fireman, May 12, 2007.

  1. For the last month, I haven't had a chance to shoot much as the winter races are over and the summer season just began last week. During this time, I sold my 85/1.8 and my 180/2.8 in order to get the 70-200 VR. The last pictures I took with the 85 and 180 were a bit soft but the conditions were not easy and I was lusting big time for the 70-200 so I put average results on me.

    Then, 2 weeks ago, I received the 70-200 and took a few shots and I wasn't impressed at all. But then again, I thought that with all these switches, I better read the manual and makes a few tests before I start worrying.

    Last week, during an indoor event, I took a few pictures with it and the results were OK. But then again, I wondered if the sub par conditions "helped" me get those poor results. Today, I went to an outdoor event where the conditions were really good and again got poor results. I traded my Nikon 70-200 for a Sigma 70-200 HSM and also got below average results while my partner got excellent results with my 70-200 VR :eek: 

    Not, it seems my D2H needs to go to the doctor. :frown: Anybody had something similar to this happen to them ? If so, what was the doctor's diagnostic and how much did it end up costing you ?

    Here is a sample from today's event.

    The image was only resized. No sharpening.

    100 % corp of original nef file. No sharpening

    100% crop of original nef file. Sharpening applied in Camera Raw. This is salvageable but with this kind of equipment, I'd like to get shap images out of the camera...
  2. Looking at the original, it appears as though the asphalt is sharpest between the bike's wheels. Why not try some controlled tests?
  3. I did and those were not very good. Let me put them online and I'll post the link.
  4. Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2007
  5. For those who would prefer to see them within a structured gallery, you can go here.
  6. Am I the first to to experience AF problems with this camera ?
  7. InitialD


    Mar 12, 2007
    Depending on the subject distance, DOF at 200mm f/2.8 can be quite thin.

    What AF focus group settings did you use on the D2H? Group Dynamic? Pattern 1 /2 ? Center or Closest Subject? AF-C / AF-S? Focus or release priority? Lock On to Off or On?
  8. Looking at the unsharpened 100% crop at 400% you can see that some vertical edge colour transitions on the jacket are only a single pixel wide. I don't see how you can get sharper than that. You may just be realising the limitations of 4Mp. That said the textures on the jacket look rather strange. I know that I am looking at the jpeg version here with all its artifacts but I wonder if noise reduction has had an effect on image quality here. Has any been done?

    I had a cursory look at the test charts and got a slight impression that the ones with VR in use are a little less sharp but other than that they don't look bad. I assume a tripod was used which is supposed to be a problem with VR. Can you point me to one which you consider to be particularly bad?
  9. InitialD,

    I must admit that you most certainly got me there. :frown: I must also admit that I have been using this camera pretty much the way it was setup when I got it from jjdesanto1. I had printed the user's manual but never really got to reading it :eek:  Maybe I should have read it before I started using this fine piece of glass but eh !!! it worked quite well that way with the 85/1.8 and the 180/2.8...

    Let's see what I can tell you.
    Focus mode: Continuous-servo AF
    Setting a1: AF-C priority selection: Focus
    Setting a2: AF-S priority selection: Focus
    Setting a3: Group dynamic AF: Pattern 2 - Center area
    Dynamic-area AF
    Continuous high speed

    Now I feel like a complete idiot. I have this state of the art camera and lens and I did not even bother to RTFM...

    From what I've read so far, it seems that with AF-C - Focus was a good thing right ? But I have a feeling that using wasn't necessarily the best option for action shots...

    So let's start fresh OK. I'm a noob with a great camera and a superb lens and I want to take action pictures of fast moving vehicles. Can someone provide me with setting I could use and explain why these setting would work better than the ones I have used up until now.

    -=-=- Disclaimer -=-=-
    Remember, I have been using DSLR for less than a year and the last time I took major action pictures where when the FE2 and FM2 bodies where featured in the then current Nikon catalog. I never owned an AF body before I bought a D50 last year so I'm actually quite new to this AF stuff... :tongue:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2007
  10. No noise reduction. I only adjusted the levels in Camera Raw and converted to jpeg.
    I also had the feeling that the ones taken with VR off were a little sharper which is the way it is supposed to be when used with a tripod. Actually, I do not consider any of them any worst than the other. It's just that I have seen quite detailed pictures taken by other members on this forum with this very lens and they always seem to show so much more details. I guess this is where the 4 MP really hurts right ?

    But then again, why didn't I get that feeling when I was using the 85/1.8 and the 180/2.8 ? Those lens have been said to deliver fine images and I can testify to that as I have had many many fine pictures taken with them.

    So I guess that most of my focusing problems are user related. First by making bad choices in the camera menus and then probably by not holding this heavier lens properly.

    I can't wait to learn more about a better way to use the camera settings and I guess I might use my monopod a bit more to see if that has an impact on IQ.
  11. Mr Bunky

    Mr Bunky Guest

    OK Fireman

    I don't know if you are snowbound up in Quebec or what. But if you go back and read all your posts it seems you are fussing about nothing really. You do have state of the art equipment but you are too worried about it and not the images you could create with it.

    Concentrate on creating images where the content crowds out the form. Make an image so fantastic that it wouldn't have mattered if you used your dads old Minolta.

    Does anyone care what type of brushes Salvador Dali used?
  12. First of don't feel like a complete idiot. Second - you need to practice a bit - third in extreme conditions the best way to focus is manual as opposed to AF... I kid you not...

    For action like this on AF I would...

    Focus mode: Continuous-servo AF &
    Setting a3: (get this) Use Single Area AF... And aim at what you want to shoot.

    Practice makes perfect as well as ... Get use to unlocking the focus area and moving it to what you want to focus on using single area AF, using the Focus Selector Lock and the Multi Selector will soon become second nature and your best friends for composition purposes. You'll soon use your thumb more than your shutter triger finger :rolleyes: 

    Do not use the menu so much for the settings, i.e. for the focus area use the AF-Area Mode selector switch... Use your shortcuts and skip on the menus, that's what pro-bodies are for, lots of usable buttons ans switches to make our lives easier :smile:

    Post Script: Read the manual one section a week and try new things with the camera for a week, find what works for you and what doesn't - don't worry about all the settings just find what works for you and the type of pictures you take and keep using those settings - just don't be afraid to try new things and settings since you'll discover new ways to take better pictures and feel free to ask anytime.

    In the end ... What do I know, I am just a new guy who takes a lot of pictures :Wink:
  13. Jean-Pierre:

    Menu A-1: Priorité en mode AF-C doit etre en mode de mise au point, contrairement à Cadence ou meme Cadence + AF sinon tes photos seront sujettes à plusieurs erreurs de mise au point.

    Meme chose pour A2: Je te conseille de choisir le mode Mise au point contrairement à Déclenchement.
  14. Ha! Ha! C'est la raison que mes photos sont comme celles de Jean-Pierre... Merci! Maintenant c'est à moi de me sentir comme un idiot! :rolleyes: 
  15. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    Je regle mon appareil comme Ned. D'ailleurs le fonctionnment du Multi-CAM2000 est tres bien expliqué ici :wink:
  16. Bookmarked... Aussitot que je retrouve ma camera, je passerai au travers de l'article encore une fois. Merci Julien!
  17. Merci les gars / Thanks guys !

    Désolé mais j'ai été pas mal occupé cette semaine et je n'avais pas eu le temps de venir répondre à vos messages. Je vais me mettre à la lecture de mon manuel de l'utilisateur et je vais mettre vos suggestions à l'essai.

    Merci Julien pour ce lien. Moi aussi je l'ai "bookmarké" et je vais le lire et le relire pour bien saisir toutes les nuances de ce merveilleux système AF.
  18. Brian-S


    Feb 10, 2007
    Bay Area, CA
    AF problems are a known service advisory issue from Nikon. You should check the advisory and see if you're experiencing those symptoms.

  19. InitialD


    Mar 12, 2007
    What service advisory is that? I only know of metering problem service advisory from Nikon for the D2H.

    Yes, I totally recommend reading that article. A very good summary to understand the different CAM 2000 settings.
  20. InitialD


    Mar 12, 2007
    I think everything's quite ok except for the Dynamic Area AF. I would second The Dude's suggestion to use Single Area AF first and when you've already determine you get correct AF on the places you require, migrate to Group Dynamic AF for more versatility. The Group Dynamic AF covers more Area for AF.

    Dynamic Area AF would let the camera decide (of which may not be correct) on the subject the camera finds closest (by way of highest contrast etc). Focus will also be much "slower" relatively when compared to Single Area AF or Group Dynamic AF since it uses the most AF sensors (all 11 at one time).

    The other thing you did not mention is the a4 setting (Disable Lock ON). This is one setting that basically determines how "responsive" or "slow" the AF behaves on the camera. Try it out and see which one works best for you.

    No worries. Everybody's here to learn and with a complicated body like the D2H, everybody starts somewhere. :smile:
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.