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D300 + Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFS w/possible front focus

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Edrod13, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. To make a long story short, I couldn't quite justify the price of a 70-200VR because this is a hobby, so I settled for what some might call the next best thing. I recevied my lens from a cafe member, minty and seems to be in excellent working order. I have just shot around the house and have tried to shoot it wide open most of the time (reason I bought it otherwise I would just continue to use my 70-300VR). I have noticed on some shots that there is a slight front focus and it seems to happen more when zoomed in at or close to 200mm. I too have noticed that 1/500 SS or so seems to be the minimum in order to get some sharp pics. I guess I am kind of spoiled by my 70-300VR that is very sharp at low SS. At any rate for all you sharpness fanatics tell me what you think about these pics.

    My focus point is the "R" in progresso (center can :biggrin: ) and if you notice the right most can seems to be blurry or out of focus. The left most can is what concerns me because it not quite as blurry and the last "S" and "O" in progresso seem to start getting sharp. I took some candids of my girls and most where in the 120-200mm range which is where I noticed their collars, neckline, hair, and ears would sometimes be a bit sharper than their eyes which is where I placed the focus point.

    f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/10, @ 135mm tripod mounted

    left most can seems to have similar sharpness as center one, but the right one is blurred!
    f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/10, @ 200mm tripod mounted.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    This is more or less what I am seeing in some pics. The focus point was directly on her left eye but it seems that the bubby is much more sharper. Manual mode, f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/250, @155mm w/shoe mounted SB800
    View attachment 247958

    These are a 100% crops by the way so I am wondering if maybe some fine tunning would do the trick? I have read many old post tonight and it seems that some have seen very little difference form +20 to - 20. I mainly bought this lens to shoot my nephews football games and I needed something that focuses fast. I figured that I can also shoot wide open if I ever need to pick up a little more SS.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2008
  2. CindyS


    Feb 29, 2008
    North Carolina
    I have the 80-200 afs/D300 combo and it's great for sports. It focuses very fast and I rarely miss a shot. A while back I started messing with the fine tune and after shooting a game, set it back to 0 and was much happier. I usually shoot aperature priority at either 4 or 2.8 depending upon the light.
  3. Focus problems are tough nuts to crack. I am an AF fine tune fanatic:biggrin:.

    I had a Nikon 80-200AF-D (newest model 2 ring version)that had front focus issues on both my D300 & D3. I only felt comfortable shooting wide or near wide with a +8 AF fine tune at 135mm. Matter of fact, I had velcro firmly fastened to the lens @135mm and used it basically as a 135mm Prime lens.

    The lens also had(or developed?) some kind of a decentering focus issue, and Nikon was kind enough to replace it with a refurbished 80-200AF-S.

    I was already set to throw in the towel with zoom lenses because of the front and back focus issues with the D3/300 bodies. Not only with the 80-200, but other zooms as well.

    I cannot believe how well this 80-200AF-S focuses. It is on the money ...a big '0' AF fine tune at all Apertures & ranges. My wife and I think that Nikon really went out of their way to make this 80-200AF-S right for me. I am now a happy camper.

    Well. I suggest you start with a +5. Then +10 give or take. I think that if you need to got to a +15, I would not be happy about that. Continue your testing at 2.8 on a tripod. Shoot at 80, 135, and 200. See how the lens does in real world shooting(very important). If you are not content, send the lens in to Nikon to make certain that the lens is set to factory specs & has no internal problems.

    Once you are certain that the lens is working to factory specs., check & adjust again on your D300. If not OK, you will need to send both lens & camera to Nikon.

    Good luck. Feel free to e-mail me for further assistance if need be.

  4. Thanks for the comments. Yesterday, I shot my nephews pee wee football game and I do agree that this lens focuses FAST! This was really my first REAL attempt at shooting sports and culling through the files makes me pretty happy. I shot A priority, IS0 200, f/3.5, with SS varying from 1250-3200 or so. I tried a few wide open but my images were a bit crisper at f/3.5 so I just left it there since I had good SS.

    I will mention something that caught me off guard and I started remembering all those post from members having issues with the D300 and telephoto lenses. I mounted the lens and I started taking a few snaps so that I could chimp and see what my exposure was like. I initially thought something was wrong with the lens because my focus point was not turning "RED" and I was not hearing the "BEEP" when it acquired focus. I did a double take, turning the camera off/on, reseating the lens and I still heard nothing when it focused. Now, I have had this camera since the initial release and have never had "ANY" issues before. The entire game it worked fine even though it didn't turn red or beep but I still shot about 300 pics. Later in the evening, I went to another nephews football game and the focus point now was turning red when focus was acquired but it didn't beep which I thought was interesting. I checked the MENU and under BEEP I have HI checked so maybe its the lens causing issues. I have my 17-55 remounted on the D300 so I just might get my bag out and see what it does with this lens. Anyone seen this issue?
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