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Nikon 70-200, Sent to Nikon for repair, IT'S BACK! (feedback please)

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by cleoent, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Lens is back, here's 1 shot at f2.8 with a 100% crop. In camera sharpening at +3, shot in JPG, no, zip zero nada for PP not even levels. Just cuz i'm lazy.

    (focus spot is her eye)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One more, this one has had saturation bumped a bit and has some minor sharpening. This is about a 40% crop or so, shot f2.8, focus point are the pedals of the flower.

    [​IMG]

    Thoughts? Seems pretty sharp to me. Took 6 weeks from send out to receiving it back. Was a very long wait. Got it just in time for my son's 2nd bday, thank god, thank you Nikon for overnighting it with saturday delivery.

    (original thread BEFORE IT WAS SENT TO REPAIR message below)

    I'm having mixed feelings! The lens is incredibly sharp at f4+ but it seems to lose out to the 80-200 at 2.8. It seems like this is fairly common, bummer :(  But boy oh boy is it sharp at f4+. Yowsa!

    I know it's hard to tell with the small internet pics, but i shall post anyways!

    First 2 are at F2.8, others are at F5.6

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    Thanks for looking :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008
  2. What were your other settings? I have noticed some of my 70-200 images are not as sharp as I would like, but FWIW, I think the issue is not the lens, but rather the camera missing the focus at the shallow DOF, or even a touch of motion blur. Looking at your first image, it looks to me like the focus is on the green handle of his buggy. I do get many shots that are quite tack sharp. Here are a couple shots at 200mm f/2.8 to give you an idea

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  3. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca

    Those are outstanding! My other settings were af-c, single point focus, matrix metering, dx2mode 1, sharpness at 7 (too high, back down to 5), contrast 0, brightness -1, saturation +1

    I've taken some pics of static objects (like words on my bbq grill) and found that the 70-200 is not as sharp as the 80-200. I certainly have not been able to achieve results like your OUTSTANDING pics.

    Really great!
     
  4. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Here's one of my most "sharp" ones of my son at f2.8. It's relatively soft. I saved it larger than normal just so it's easier to judge.

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  5. Thanks for the compliments. Those were shot with my D80. Haven't really had the chance to use my D300, which just came in today... right before a big storm system rolled in, so I'm not sure what the other settings you mentioned look like on a photo. About your images, what was the shutter speed used? Also, what mode did you have the VR on the lens set to. I still can't help but think either missed focus (since the green handle in the first image appears sharp), or motion blur. How is your shutter button set? Is it set to release priority, release/focus, or focus priority? If any mode other than focus priority could explain the missed focus, as the shutter will release before accurate focus has been obtained. Consistently blurred photos with that lens are not normal, so it may need calibration at a Nikon Service center. If your focus is off, you can try to fine tune it in the D300 too.
     
  6. Hmm... I can see some real sharp hairs on the back of his head, so it could be a back focus issue. Then again, looking under his left arm, there are hints of motion blur. What was your shutter speed? Are you applying any Smart Sharpen or Unsharp Mask in post processing? Most all photos require a little bit of that, but I think this photo is something else... either missed focus or motion blur.
     
  7. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    I'll spend some time right now and see if i can calibrate it. If it's really not as sharp as it should be, i wonder what it will cost for calibration.

    F2.8 @ 1/6400, not so much motion blur, he was just kind of chilling there.
     

  8. How about the question in regards to the shutter release? How do you have it set? Release or focus priority? At that shutter speed, it's not a motion blur issue, so now we need to look at focus issues. Have you done the all too common brick wall or target test to see if your focus is good? Oh, another question... Are you focusing and recomposing, or are you selecting a focus point close to his eye as it's composed? When shooting wide open, this can make a big difference with a long lens if you're close to the subject.
     
  9. senna

    senna

    Jan 6, 2007
    San Jose Ca.
    I just got my 70-200 back from nikon. I just was not pleased with its performance focusing. $375 later, first impressions are better than before.
    @2.8
    [​IMG]
     
  10. You need to shoot under some controlled conditions. Tripod, remote release, 100% crops etc. I have no experience whatsoever with this lens, but I have read that decentering is more common on the 70-200 (I think VR in general) than it should be.
     
  11. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Set to focus priority, i am on af-c, and i have the focus box aimed at his eyes. I just took 3 pics of my wife's diploma, on a tripod, f2.8, f4, and f5.6, no sharpening, just resized for web, 200+% crops (100% crops down below). After a quick focus adj i've dialed in a +4.

    f2.8

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    F4

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    F5.6

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    Camera on tripod, VR off, i left the exif's for you. Sharpening set at +3 in cam.

    Thoughts?
     
  12. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    oops, nvm, those aren't 100% crops, they are like 200%, new shots coming... my bad :( 
     
  13. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Here are the proper crops (close enough anyway)

    f2.8
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    f4
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    f5.6
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  14. Whew, I'm so glad. When I scrolled down and looked at those crops, not realizing they were 200%, I was thinking, "uh ... you've gotta try to get your money back!"
     
  15. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    375 bucks on a lens i just spent lots of money on... me no rikey!
     
  16. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    i just ran a couple of tests with my 80-200 and 70-200, at f4+ the 70-200 is sharper hands down, at f2.8 they are very close.
     
  17. paradiddle

    paradiddle

    880
    Jun 1, 2007
    U.S.A
    Re

    I also just received a new 70-200. Here are a couple of shots.
    A welcome storm was blowing in. Temps went from 100 to mid 80s in a few minutes! The wind was blowing and moving the flowers. I was bracing on a light stand trying not to let my gear get wet. It was very dark and I didnt move ISO off 100, so I was using pretty slow shutter speeds.

    Lady walks up taking pictures of her son with a camera phone. (me and her taking pictures was probably the picture to get!).

    Medic - before you forget your D80 stuff - can you share your settings? and does the D80 do the shutter commands your were talking about?

    iso 100 f/2.8 1/13s 95mm

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    iso 100 f/2.8 1/20s 82mm

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    iso 100 f/5 1/6s 90mm

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2008
  18. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    those are really sharp as well, are those all at f2.8?
     
  19. Strange. My 70-200VR is TACK SHARP at f2.8, a LOT sharper than my previous 80-200.

    Ok, I see you have an AF-S 80-200 (mine was AF-D), but anyway.... a good 70-200VR should be very, very sharp at f2.8..... I would say that mine is roughly 95% sharp at f2.8 when compared to f5.6.
     
  20. I have always had the 80-200 AF-D. But when I got my new D300 a few months ago, I decided to buy the 70-200 and put my 80-200 up for sale on Ebay. Upon checking out my 70-200 I noticed a focus problem. I sent it to Nikon, as I dd not want to even consider fiddling with the AF Fine Tune on this new lens. I said to myself that I better remove my 80-200 for sale on Ebay, which I did.

    Spoke directly with the Nikon tech who confirmed the focus issue with the 70-200. He assured me that with his adjustments, the lens was now spot on now.

    I received the lens back, but was still not content with the focus. I realized that this would take a second attempt and probably would need to be accompanied by my D300.

    After testing around a bit more with the 70-200, I realized that I did not like the imagery as much as my 80-200. It was not the focus issue, it was not getting acquainted with the VR. But it was more the color, or something in the way it happened to render smoothness of the images. Whatever, I simply felt that the VR and AF-S was not something that overwhelmed the capabilities of my 80-200. IMHO, the 80-200, even though not AF-S was a very fast focsing lens for my needs. There is something about the 80-200 images, that I really like. And there was no sense in fighting that feeling.

    Back to B&H did the 70-200 go.

    I eventually sold my D300, and got a D3. And found a new problem with my 80-200. Soft focus on one side of the image. It has now been at Nikon for two weeks...I can't win:smile:

    mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2008
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