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I am SO bad....

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Terri French, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. 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.
  2. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    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.
  3. 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.

  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. 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.
  6. twig


    May 23, 2005
    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.
  7. HardBall

    HardBall Guest

    I'm glad this came up... I've been wanting to understand this myself.
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    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)
  9. Thank you for the pointers. I sure hope I can remember everything!!!
  10. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Excellent point, have to confess panning is something I've not had much practice with.

    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.
  11. Re: Got a Monopod? Use it

  12. 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.

  13. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
  14. Re: Oh c'mon Terri, monos aren't expensive! (link)

    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?
  15. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    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.
  16. 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:
    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
  17. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Wakeboarders use a 40 ft rope, skiiers a 75

    Not sure if 120 is quite enough reach for a skiier.
  18. Re: Wakeboarders use a 40 ft rope, skiiers a 75

    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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