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Interesting finding about D200

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Commodorefirst, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    In my continuing quest to tame the D200, particularly with my 200-400VR and also with 1.7 attached I was shooting test shot comparisons between my D200 and D70 set up the same way from the luxury of my home (no wind) out the open patio door.

    In one set of tests that I was doing with the timer release to take human error out of the equation, I discovered that the D200 shutter actuation caused the entire rig to vibrate quite a lot more when locked on a tripod than the D70. I used the timer feature, set for 10 seconds on both cameras, both cameras shot at 650mm and locked down, VR off, and I found that while the camera images were about the same sharpness as viewed on the CPU, the vibration after the shot on each camera was very very different.

    Looking through the D70 viewfinder (without touching the camera at all) when the shutter fired the focus and image barely moved on the actuation.

    On the D200 when the shutter fired with it's Ka Thwack, the focus spot and image in the viewfinder jumped quite a lot. This was repeated over 20 different times at different shutter speeds, and while the initial image sharpness taken with each camera wasn't that different, (better color, WB, and resolution, with D200) the camera was bouncing and vibrating a whole lot more after each single shot with the D200.

    I am thinking that when I am shooting Continuous 5fps with the d200 on the tripod or monopod in birding, this may be the reason why my keeper % is much lower with the D200 than my D70. The shutter may be vibrating the camera more even with me holding it the same way and using the same technique.

    Now, I couldn't watch while in continuous mode, since I don't have a release yet, but I will soon and try this out.

    thoughts anyone? This is one advantage I could see for a heavy D2X or D2H Body. I may have to try the dual battery setup to add weight and mass on the D200.

    I also did some extensive testing indoors handheld in comparing the sharpness with various lenses (35mm f2, 28mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4) and I couldn't notice a difference at all in my keeper percentage (very very high with both cameras) even when shooting as low as 1/20-1/40th shutter speeds.

    I also tried this with the 200-400 and no tele adapter and the same thing happened just with the 200-400. D70 shutter bounces the camera and lens less than the D200.

    thought I would provide this info for you, maybe someone could compare the post shutter bounce of the D200 to the D2x for me.


  2. F15Todd


    Feb 1, 2005
    I know you were only do test, but in the real world you might want to make sure you using proper long lens holding procedures.

    Here is part of the text from Moose Peterson's website.

    "First and foremost -you must rest your hand on the lens barrel above the tripod head! (you can also put your hand on the bottom of the lens barrel if you're pointing the lens down) You rest your hand on the lens just like you'd rest it in your lap. Vibrations are what causes images to be out of focus, vibrations that normally start at the camera. These vibrations travel as a wave to the front element and if they are not stopped, they travel back through the lens to the film plane, causing images to be out of focus. The simple resting of a hand on the lens barrel stops this wave before it reaches the front. No, a bean bag resting in the place of the hand is not a good idea for many reasons."

  3. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005

    Thanks for the info, but, with respect, :smile: I do use proper technique when out in the real world that works with the D70, and a friends D2H (at 8 FPS) and I am familiar with proper technique, however, I know you don't know my background and experience level so no offense taken, and your thoughts and link, (which I am very familiar with,) may help someone else. There is also a good thread at the D2X forum, with D2X learning tips that others may find useful too. I also did state that I may have to adjust and do things even differently with the D200 vs the D70.

    The purpose of the test was to remove human error. Holding the lens would add another variable. I was attempting to isolate why things were different for me with D70 vs D200 in regards to keeper rate when birding at extreme tele photo ranges and magnifications (fewer sharp keepers). I can get good keepers, just my ratio is lower, even after 3500 shots in the last 2 weeks. I suspect that after the first shutter release that subsequent shots are perhaps being rattled a bit due to the camera shake at 5fps.

    Please note in my post that I did state that images were sharp from both cameras when they were shot locked down on the tripod using timed release. When viewing through the viewfinder without touching the camera the images were completely still. It was the vibrations after the shot that was interesting. If the D200 creates more shutter vibrations that may be why at 5fps in the real world at 650mm and shutter speeds from 1/100-1/300 my keeper ratio is lower with the d200 than the D70.

    In conclusion this means that I will need to work on real world methods, as you stated. (hmmm, sorry if I seem a bit touchy on this post, just seemed like you were perhaps critical about my test methods which I believe were sound, sorry , please accept my apologies for my response.)

    Anyway, I was just illuminating something interesting. I wouldn't have thought that the d200 would be more vibration prone from the shutter release than the D70. With a heavier body, and more weight you would expect it to be less vibration prone.


  4. Illuminating thread for this newbie. Will your next tests be with your hand on the lens as in the article? Those results would be very interesting to me.
  5. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Larry my first 3000 shots were with technique as described above, hence why I did the tests. I wanted to see what was different between my d70 and D200 shots or cameras.

    In the last few minutes I have gone back and analyzed a very few series of my shots that I still have that aren't as good, and sure enough, on those series of shots when birding, the larger percentage of my keeper shots are from the first few shots in the series of images at the start of the rapid firing, vs after 2 or three shots have been fired. I may just have to concentrate even more after the initial first few frames. Panning on flying birds (tripod or monopod) is when I seem to have the least amount of keepers compared to the D70 days. Everything else is the same.

    Interesting though, I get far fewer completely blown autofocus errors with the D200, than the D70, now I have to work on the shutter bounce/ camera isolation problem.

    Next time out at the river, I will try to up the concentration even more as the FPS rate climbs. I think just being aware of the difference will allow me to do better. As with anything practice makes perfect.


  6. Wade, I have a series of 5fps shots at the golf course. As soon as I can figure out how to reduce them with batch in Bibble (although that may not be possible without upgrading to BibblePro?) I will see if I cand determine if I had the problem. They were handheld with the 17-55 so it may be difficult to detect the same problem a longer lens would have.

    Of course I will have to spend less time at the Cafe to get this accomplished. :-D Thanks for the update on the analysis.
  7. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Hey Larry,

    I haven't found this problem at all with handheld indoor shots, even at low shutter speeds, just at the long telephoto lengths where every little thing is magnified. I doubt you will see it, but you never know.

    Of course most of my 5fps isn't done indoors this time of year. (yet, dance season soon!)

    Shame is that I can't go back through all of my images since I had the camera, since I cull the less sharp images fairly quickly to save on storage space.
  8. without any kind of formal testing, I have noticed this as well. When shooting continuous with the D200 for birds, I'm finding that the first shot in the series is sharper than the subsequent shots--which is opposite of what I found with the D100. Part of this (I thought) might just be my inexperience with such rapid-fire continuous--the D100 was so pokey compared to the D200. I will be interested in your future findings!
  9. What are all of your focus settings? In camera as well as C/S/M.

    And for that matter, how many places are there to set focus something?
  10. Very intersting thread, I will keep my eye on this as I learn the new AF system. I am sure that there are settings that will help and or hurt burst mode, I have only started reading last night(the manual). I also would like to know if you had performed this test again with selecting a lower FPS via the menu of the D200. I am curious to see if this would make a difference. I did purchase the battery grip and it is an excellent addition, it adds weight as you state above, which I like, I tend to do better with the added weight when shooting without a tripod. Thank you for posting this info, I will check back!

    Best regards,
  11. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    The D200 has an efficient dampening device on the mirror. It will release the energy "trapped" after the shutter has closed and the mirror has returned to the viewing position. This is what causes the stronger sound and also more after-shot vibration. If you fire a rapid sequence and don't hold the camera with your hand(s), standing waves can build up and eventually reduce image sharpness.
  12. If I remember well, I read in some Forum that F100 and N80 compare and behave in a similar way as D200 and D70/D100 DSLR. D200 and F100 probably need the dampening device Bjorn was referring to due to the different (= more robust) mechanics of their shutters compared to N80-based shutters.
    Several years ago I performed a comparison between my F801 (N8008) and my F100. Both cameras do not allow mirror lock up. I took pictures in single-shot modality (both cameras on Gitzo G1320 tripod). Pictures taken with F100 were sharper, probably due to a better dampening device on the mirror, which allowed to reduce vibrations during exposure.


  13. 21farms

    21farms Guest

    i noticed same thing

    wade, i'm glad you posted this. i had done the same thing about a month ago with my D200 and noticed the same exact thing. i had the D200/70-200VR (kirk replacement tripod foot) locked tight on my kirk ballhead and was quite surprised to see the movement in the VF (my 20D/70-200f4L combo, withOUT a tripod collar even, hardly budged at all). what this means, i have no idea :biggrin:
  14. Hi!
    did you notice any difference in sharpness when comparing the photos obtained by the two systems (20D+70-200/4 & D200+7-200VR) with same aperture and time ?
    I mean did the photos taken with the "apparently" less vibrating system show less blurring?


  15. 21farms

    21farms Guest

    yes, i did...

    ripolini, yes, i did. the canon 70-200/4L shots were substantially sharper than the nikon 70-200VR shots when shot at the same settings but without mirror lockup. i recently retook the 70-200VR shots, this time with mirror lockup, and it was like night and day. i may have the files on my home computer...i'll look tonight and, if i can find them, i can post them if you're interested.
  16. Thank you very much.
    I understand (but I am not sure :smile:)  that in the previous tests you've used mirror lock-up with the 20D and not with the D200. Only when you retook pictures with D200+70-200VR combo you have used MLU. Right?
  17. 21farms

    21farms Guest

    ripolini, sorry for the confusion. the first time, i shot both cameras without MLU. after i got my D200 back from nikon factory service, i shot the same target again but, this time, with MLU. *however!* i was just looking at my pics again and i think i may be very wrong. i am going to reshoot them in very controlled manner to verify what i am seeing but i can keep you posted.
  18. Thanks.
    I remain looking forward to seeing yor tests.
  19. futurexboy

    futurexboy Guest

    Hi, I'd like to hear how the shots turn out with the added battery grip, and if they ever start shipping the 18-200mm D200 kits I'll have a chance to test mine, haha..., but keeping up with the post here has already helped and made me aware of what others are going thru and what to expect.
  20. 21farms

    21farms Guest

    okay, today i carefully shot a series of the same target using my D200 with 70-200VR and my 20D with 70-200/f4L and i was able to confirm my initial thoughts and perhaps able to also confirm the original poster's findings. more specifically, the D200 does seem to suffer more vibration from mirror slap than we may be used to.

    here's what i did. i mounted the nikon rig using the 70-200VR's integral tripod collar and a kirk replacement foot (which lowers the center of gravity) and clamped it down tight on my gitzo tripod/kirk ballhead. i shot series first with no mirror lockup, with mirror lockup and with VR enabled (all with remote release) at apertures from f2.8 to f11.0 with full stop intervals. i waited just a tad after the mirror went up before releasing it just to make sure any vibrations had died down. here's the composite: http://www.pbase.com/norm/image/56416156/original.

    my conclusions: 1) mirror lockup helps quite a bit, 2) the sweet spot of my 70-200VR appears to be around f5.6, and 3) don't leave VR enabled on a tripod. i also did this with my canon rig and, even though i didn't use a tripod ring there and the center of gravity was much higher (because of the battery grip), there was no discernable difference between using MLU and no MLU. i shot each of the sets with both cameras twice to ensure the results were repeatable (they were).
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