I am SO bad....

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May 5, 2005
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Just couldn't stand it and bought a 70-200mm VR today. We are leaving in a coupl of hours to go on a waterskiing trip. Anyone have any suggestions for me in using this lens in a boat taking pictures of skiers.

Also, any tips on the best focusing method for this type of shot. Right now my D70 is set for continuous focus single spot.

Thanks, I'll report my experience when I get back.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
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Houston, TX
I think in a boat you'll want to use the "Active" mode of the VR unless there's enough light that your shutter speed is well above 1/1000, in which case you may be better of disabling VR.

As for focusing I always use continuous (AF-C), but I focus with the AE-L/AF-L button mapped to AF-ON, so the shutter release isn't used for focusing. I do think you'll want to use AF-C for this type of photography. Also, continuous mode for shutter release is useful because when firing off a burst of shots your chances of getting one that is in-focus and shake-free go up.

Have fun with the lens, I'm sure you'll love it. It's a bit bulky to use at first until you get used to it, but the results are worth it.
 
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Jan 31, 2005
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B&H Web Site, Lens Section
Yep -- you're gonna love that lens.

The skier is always 75ft (or 60 -- depends) from the boat. Cont focus might give you a prob if the bracket drifts off the skier -- could grab the background just when you want to shoot. I say try AF-S, make sure you lock on the skier, then just pan and fire at the optimum point. Since the light will normally be very good, you will be stopped down far enough for good DOF for any minor distances due to angle at the cut. Sometimes it's fun to blur out the background at F2.8 so, in that case, grab focus a little closer to the point you want to shoot. I'm also thinking active VR is a good idea unless you are on glass-smooth water.

Phil
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
JeffKohn said:
As for focusing I always use continuous (AF-C), but I focus with the AE-L/AF-L button mapped to AF-ON, so the shutter release isn't used for focusing. I do think you'll want to use AF-C for this type of photography. Also, continuous mode for shutter release is useful because when firing off a burst of shots your chances of getting one that is in-focus and shake-free go up.
I've never really tried or understood the focusing with the AE-l?AF-L button. I better quickly read up on it before I go.

Thanks for the advice.
 
Joined
May 23, 2005
Messages
745
Jeff,
I notice a lot of people do this with the AF, but can you explain why you would want to disasociate focusing from the shutter.
 
H

HardBall

Guest
twig said:
Jeff,
I notice a lot of people do this with the AF, but can you explain why you would want to disasociate focusing from the shutter.
I'm glad this came up... I've been wanting to understand this myself.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
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SE Florida
Got a Monopod? Use it

Congrats, that about the best all round lens Nikon offers, imo. did several shoots of my kids & their friends last yr, and your arms will get Very tired handholding that beast. Use AF-C, VR on (Active), and stop down quite a bit if in midday sun. Check your histo. An example of my efforts:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Model NIKON D2H
Flash Used No
Focal Length 95 mm
Exposure Time 1/1600 sec
Aperture f/3.3
ISO Equivalent 200
Exposure Bias
White Balance auto
Metering Mode multi spot
Exposure Program aperture priority
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
PhilY said:
Yep -- you're gonna love that lens.

The skier is always 75ft (or 60 -- depends) from the boat. Cont focus might give you a prob if the bracket drifts off the skier -- could grab the background just when you want to shoot. I say try AF-S, make sure you lock on the skier, then just pan and fire at the optimum point. Since the light will normally be very good, you will be stopped down far enough for good DOF for any minor distances due to angle at the cut. Sometimes it's fun to blur out the background at F2.8 so, in that case, grab focus a little closer to the point you want to shoot. I'm also thinking active VR is a good idea unless you are on glass-smooth water.

Phil
Thank you for the pointers. I sure hope I can remember everything!!!
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
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Houston, TX
When you read the lens manual you'll see - but just to be sure, Jeff's advice to use "active VR" is good for following a skier when you anticipate stopping the action.
If you pan at all, you'll need to revert to "normal VR mode".
Excellent point, have to confess panning is something I've not had much practice with.

I've never really tried or understood the focusing with the AE-l?AF-L button. I better quickly read up on it before I go.
Well you might want to play with it a bit but don't feel like you have to use this approach to take advantage of AF-C; it does take a little getting used to and you may or may not like it.

I use AF-ON because it allows me to do any of the following without having to go into the menu to mess with focusing modes:

1) Focus and shoot normally
2) focus, recompose and shoot
3) Continually focus while following action and shooting continuously


You cannot do all that with focusing tied to the shutter button unless you're continually going into the menu to change between AF-S and AF-C. Another advantage is that, for me anyway, pressing AF-ON is easier/more reliable than half-pressing the shutter.

The biggest reason I changed though is because the behavior of AF-S when shooting continuous is pretty stupid on Nikon cameras. When shooting continuous the camera will still insist re-focusing after each shot even though you're in AF-S mode. This means that if you focus with half-shutter press, recompose, and then shoot a burst of 3 shots only the first shot will have the focus where you want it. With AF-ON I can focus and recompose without worry even when shooting continuous.

Bottom line, it gives me more control over focusing because focusin is completely independent of shutter release.
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Re: Got a Monopod? Use it

Steve S said:
Congrats, that about the best all round lens Nikon offers, imo. did several shoots of my kids & their friends last yr, and your arms will get Very tired handholding that beast. Use AF-C, VR on (Active), and stop down quite a bit if in midday sun. Check your histo. An example of my efforts:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Model NIKON D2H
Flash Used No
Focal Length 95 mm
Exposure Time 1/1600 sec
Aperture f/3.3
ISO Equivalent 200
Exposure Bias
White Balance auto
Metering Mode multi spot
Exposure Program aperture priority
http://www.pbase.com/sshyone/image/19593716/original.jpg[/img
][/quote]

I sure hope I can do half as good as you did. I wish I had a monopod. It will definitely be the next thing on my wish list. I have a little left to pay on the lens before I can get anything else.

Thanks for showing me your picture with the exif. It will help me a great deal.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
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Salt Lake City, UT
Congratulations Terri! Seeing what great shots you got with your 70-300mm, you'll be fantastic with the new one. Good luck with the waterskiing trip and have fun.

Brian
 
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  • #16
Re: Oh c'mon Terri, monos aren't expensive! (link)

Steve S said:
20-30 bucks will get you one, and you don't need any kind of head on top of it. Just screw the tripod foot directly onto it! You could go into and "Fall-apart-mart" and pick one up easily.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=search&Q=
Well, I have a fall-apart-mart tripod. I won't have time to search for a monopod until I get home. Still trying to cook and pack--(and take a break every few minutes to check this thread). Do you use a monopod often with your 70-200? How much do you handhold?
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
4,741
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SE Florida
Don't normally ever use a mono

with my 70-200, but I sure could'a used one that day on the lake! I guess it depends on how long the kiiers stay up! :wink: If you're sitting in the observor seat, I think it would be perfect if extended low enough, although I admit, and haven't tried it.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
338
Location
Salt Lake City
Re: Got a Monopod? Use it

I agree with the handholding. I opted to use the 24-120 VR most of the time last year. 120mm is plenty for waterskiing. Here is one of my keeper that I blew up to a 20X30 poster:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Shooting data:
Nikon D70
Focal Length: 120mm
Optimize Image: Custom
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Noise Reduction: OFF
2004/08/07 17:34:27.2
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
White Balance: Flash -3
Tone Comp: User-Defined Custom Curve
RAW (12-bit) Lossless
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
AF Mode: AF-C
Hue Adjustment: +3°
Image Size: Large (3008 x 2000)
1/800 sec - F/6.3
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Saturation: Normal
Exposure Comp.: -0.3 EV
Sharpening: None
Lens: VR 24-120mm F/3.5-5.6 G
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Steve S said:
Congrats, that about the best all round lens Nikon offers, imo. did several shoots of my kids & their friends last yr, and your arms will get Very tired handholding that beast. Use AF-C, VR on (Active), and stop down quite a bit if in midday sun.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
338
Location
Salt Lake City
Re: Wakeboarders use a 40 ft rope, skiiers a 75

Steve S said:
Not sure if 120 is quite enough reach for a skiier.
Perhaps you are right, I forgot that wakeboarders use a substantially shorter rope length (It has been a long time since I did anything other than wakeboarding or kneeboarding).
 

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