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TC14EII Appears Soft

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Django, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Just received the TC14EII today. It is a new US model. Coupled with the 70-200VR it appears soft and out of focus. These were actually 2 of the better pics the rest were a real disappointment. I have had the 70-200vr for several months it is razor sharp by itself. Is there a trick I am missing using the combo together or maybe a bad TC? Ted B

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  2. I see sharpness in the first pic, and I think I see motion blur in the second pic. What was your speed in the second shot pls? When asking for help with lenses, it greatly helps viewers if you leave in the EXIF data so we can analyse all the parameters of the shot.
  3. Sorry,
    I thought the exif was still enbedded.
    The first pic
    f/5.6, 1/25, ISO 200
    The second pic
    f/4, 1/30, ISO 400
  4. Thanks for the info. I don't see much wrong with the first shot, but I'm still thinking motion blur in the second, just looking at the type of softness. There seems to be a movement, rather than a bad focus or general softness of the combo. I achieve tack-sharp shots with my 70-200VR/TC14EII.

    Not picking on your lens holding capabilities, but it is a long combo to hand hold for any great length of time. I'd say take the gear out into great light and just keep testing. If you're getting some sharp, then it's your hand/arm movement... if you're getting no sharps pics at all, then you might have a problem with the converter. I shoot this combo extensively and intensively for up to ten hours from a kayak - thankfully the paddling has given me the strength to avoid arm fatigue but this is no lightweight kit. Don't lose heart so quickly - I'm thinking it's OK.
  5. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    If I remember correctly, RandyNikonCafe said that he was experiencing the same results with his 70-200mm and TC-14E II.
  6. At speeds of 1/25th and 1/30 it is difficult to get sharp pictures even with VR

    Try uping the ISO to 400 in lower light and keep the speed to 1/60.

    I agree with Sandi -- second shot looks like motion blur. Your holding technique is good as the first shot is sharp, the second is subject movement.

    My 1.4 TE works very well with the 70-200 VR.
  7. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    It Works Fine with the 70-200

    You just gotta stop down to at least 5.6.

    The 70-200 IMHO isn't great until f4 anyways and with the TC14EII on board, that is the equivalent of f5.6.
  8. Well I broke out a strobe and tripod. Defiantly a lot better but her eyebrows still appear soft at 100% crop. I don't know if it is maybe a bad copy or more than likely just user error:smile:
    f/5.6, 1/80, ISO 100
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    View attachment 92455
  9. Appears much sharper stopped down at f/11, 1/125, ISO 100

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 92457

    I will give it a try this weekend at baseball.. Thanks everyone...Ted B
  10. I second. I was peeved when a weekend's worth of shots came out soft when I shot with my 70-200mm VR + TC-17E II. I did some reading around sites like this and found that the combo really needs to be f8 or more to be effective. I'm now pleased with my choice and have several successful outings since then.

    Just because your lens is "capable" of being fast doesn't necessarily mean you should be shooting at its fastest. I was shooting everything at f2.8 (or f4.8 with the TC) because the lens was capable. Now I know.
  11. sclamb


    Jan 2, 2007
    Her eyebrows are soft because you have very little DOF with that lens + TC combo. The eye is sharp though and that is good.

    I find my 70-200mm + TC14E II to be as sharp as f/4 (i.e. wide open) as it is stopped down. There may be a very small increase in sharpness at f/5.6-f/8, but not much.
  12. I use this combo all the time and love it! Your second attempt is much better.

  13. Do you have an example of that? Many of us got rid of our 70-200s when the D2X came along.

    And for good reason.
  14. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    The point of focus to me is clearly in front of the eyebrows.

    To me, the eye simply looks sharp because of the reflective quality of the eye.

    Keep in mind that the DOF is razor thin at these distances and apertures.
  15. sclamb


    Jan 2, 2007
    Not sure what you mean by 'in front of the eyebrows'. The point of focus is the eye quite clearly. Look at the skin texture below the eye (and on the same focus plane as the eyeball) - the lines and pores are visible which they are not elsewhere. The veins in the eye are also well defined.
  16. sclamb


    Jan 2, 2007
    An example of what? I bought my 70-200mm when I had the D2X so that I could wring all the performance from it. Why did you get rid of it once you got a D2X? What was the good reason?
  17. Now I am scratching my head.. Out of 10 or so shots this evening this was the sharpest:frown:
    f/7.1, 1/180, ISO 400
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    100% Crop
    View attachment 92460

    Then I take a quick shot of the brick wall. Seems to be quit sharp.

    f/5.6, 1/40, ISO 400,

  18. NJDJ


    Apr 15, 2006
    Much guess is that your shutter speeds are too low. I know you have VR, but remember that shutter speed = or > focal length thing?:rolleyes: 
  19. Too soft below f/5.6.

    I would never name names, but I know several pros that felt the same way.
  20. sclamb


    Jan 2, 2007
    Hmm, I haven't found that but then again softness is often a personal perception based upon one's own idea of what is sharp and also one's expectations from a lens. For example, my 500mm f/4 is sharper at f/4 than my 70-200mm is at f/2.8, but then I would expect that. I will try and find some crops from images taken wide open with the TC-14E II attached, but here are some web images at f/4:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    and with the TC-17E II wide open:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Of course, these have been processed, but I don't print images at 100% size, so I am only really concerned if they stand up at A3 and for web display, which I think all these do. These are also about 25% of the full frame.

    What did you get to replace the 70-200mm range?
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