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How should I test my new 12-24 & 300mm f4 Nikons ?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by photonAL, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. I have 2 weeks to check out these lenses that I bought from Adorama, (they have a strict return policy, no one else had the 300mm in stock)
    I've read some complaints about lenses being soft at corners and not focusing correctly, so I want to test these new ones. I will try to print out the Air Force 1950 and Koren 2003 charts and photograph them and a Newspaper classified ad, using a tripod of course.
  2. NICKF


    May 14, 2009
    North America
    That's not how I'd recommend testing lenses. Take both out somewhere you enjoy shooting - a park, perhaps - and see if the images they produce are satisfactory. Unless, of course, you have a passion for classified-ad photography. :wink:
  3. Agreed! Get out and shoot with each, the subjects you intended them for. Are you happy with how they are coming out??
  4. I plan on using the 300 for bif photos and the 12-24 for landscapes. Of course I'm going to take a lot of photos. Thanks for reading my ? and giving your opinion. I didn't find it helpful though
  5. MD2595


    Jul 6, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I think what he was trying to say was judge the photos by the subject matter you are going to be shooting, not some fancy lines on on a piece of paper.
  6. I agree with the posters. I have a 80-400VR. Great lens but I found it not very suitable for BIF. Bought the 300/4. How did I test it? I shot BIF. I was (am) very pleased with the results. My keeper rate improved tremendously. So I kept the lens. Simple.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2009
  7. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Focus charts are stupid, all they do is make you doubt your lens. Unless you photograph documents for a living they are pointless IMO. Do what everyone else says and go out and shoot some real stuff!
  8. Al,

    As far as the 300 goes. Shoot a subject about 30-40 feet away. Use a tripod. Shoot wide open at F4. Make certain that you can see the ground in front of your subject.

    Your subject should be sharp. The DOF is very narrow at this distance & F-stop....maybe one or two feet. So there really should not be very much sharp ground in front of the subject. But you should see some sharp ground along with a sharp subject.

    Post back with your findings....I would be happy to assist you in evaluating. My 300 is focusing on the money....with a slight AF Fine Tune:smile:

  9. Another consideration will be shutter speed. Without knowing your photography experience, realize that with the tele, you need to shoot at a shutter speed that is roughly the equivalent of the lens' focal length. With a 300mm lens on a DX body, your effective focal length becomes 450mm. To get consistently sharp images, you should plan to shoot at 1/450 or faster. That said, certainly you can get good images shooting at lower speeds, but your keeper rate will drop rapidly as the shutter slows.

    Also (again, you experience being unknown), make sure your tripod and head are up to the task. A flimsy tripod (read - cheap) will allow and even introduce vibrations and movement that you may not perceive, but will degrade your image sharpness. For BIF shots, I assume you'll be using at least a good ballhead or better - a gimbal? Bottom line is making sure your supporting gear isn't causing problems...
  10. Use the dpreview method - take photos of brick walls and cats and then pixel peep at 100% and if you dont have soft corners youre set. :smile:

    Seriously though just shoot what you like and if youre happy with the images then thats what counts.
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