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The Law of Unintended Consequences.........

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Retief, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. As some of you have noticed, my wife Nancy has begun to enjoy the added benefits of the DSLR world and decent zoom over the past month. This is a "Very Good Thing" in most ways, but there are some interesting consequences. I had to buy more CF, she is going crazy :wink: , and my post-process time has doubled. These aren't so bad, but we were out Saturday and she is now complaining that lenses won't focus fast enough for her :oops:  . So, here is the dilemma, weight and handling versus focus speed and acquisition. Lenses such as the 70-300 Tamron are a great range on the D70, but focus speed is not where this lens excells. Weight, on the other hand, is quite tolerable. One option, of course, is the 70-200 AFS VR with a TC-14E to get the same range, but weight is then an issue. Another option would be a 300 AFS f4, but again I think weight would be a problem. Given that a D2 body is too heavy and bulky, the only option I see is the 70-200 or the 300 f4 and use a monopod all the time rather than hand-hold. This might mean that I carry the camera more often, but that is doable. Does anyone have any other suggestions for surviving this dilemma?

    Only serious responses wanted. Yeah, right, like THAT would do me any good around here :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Thanks in advance, folks....
  2. Buy her a DV cam... this way she'll never complain again about slow-focusing, weight, or zoom and you get to see yourself on your big screen at home... ;-)
  3. Bill,

    If you are interested. I have a 300 f/4 with a RRS collar that I'll be selling shortly. I bought it for a trip to Alaska, but doubt I'll use it much now. If your interested send me an email.
  4. faenix


    Jun 21, 2005
    Bayside, NY
    Why not a Nikon 80-200 or Sigma 70-200? They're half the cost of a 70-200.

    Sigma 100-300? Sigma 120-300? (Forget which one)
  5. If Nikon made one that delivered a decent RAW image, what a great way to go :lol: . Unfortunately, I haven't found any that will deliver an image nearly as good as my D2H or D70.......
  6. Remember, weight is an issue. The 80-200, I had the 80-200 f2.8 AFS prior to the 70-200, weights more than the 70-200. I have the Sigma 120-300, and even I can't handhold that puppy for long. It might be too much for Nancy to handle even on a monopod. No problem on a tripod with Gimbal, which may be the other option. The Sigma 100-300 is a great lens, but doesn't get much more than the 70-200 plus TC, although that may be another option vs. the Nikon 300 f4 AFS.

    Such issues to deal with, too much fun :wink:
  7. If you have a D-70 and the 18-70 kit lens, there is a new lens that will give you great range with minimal weight and it is inexpensive and pretty good from early reports. The Nikon 70-300. The problem is that it is not fast and it will not give you the razor sharp images at some settings you might be used to if you had the 80-200. As you said, trade offs. You will always have to make them with todays technology. The one great benifi is that you will be able to carry this combo easily and won't be saying, man if only I had my camera for that great shot you might hav otherwise missed.
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Yes get her a 80-400 VR VR VR If I can run around with it anyone can.

    70-200 VR with 1.7 not 1.4 might work, it is just a bit heavier.

    I like my 80-400 the best. Tripod not necessary. Only if you want to.
  9. Scott, I have heard the same regarding the quality of the 70-300, and it is a great range. What concerns me is that since Nancy is complaining about how long it takes to lock focus with the Tamron 70-300, I don't think the Nikon will be appreciably faster. I may have to rent a lens or two and let her practice with a monopod to see if that will work to get her and internal motor, either HSM or AFS.

    You are right, it is all trade-off. THe good news is that we have choices.

  10. Gale, that is an intersting thought, and one I had not considered. How do you find it for focus lock speed? Sufficient for moving birds or only static subjects? I have heard that it is also quite slow in that regard, but I think it may be worth a days rental. Too bad it is not also AFS, but then that would probably add another pound or two, eh?
  11. This is very funny Bill because of course ever since I got my husband a D70 for Christmas I have the same problems :lol: Even though I said "I am not going to do any post-processing for you, you have to learn to do it yourself" hahahaha that will never happen. But I have set up his D70 so that most of the time we can get away with little post-processing.

    Anyway, the lens question--I second, of course, Gale's suggestion of the 80-400VR VR VR :lol: But, fast-focus is not its fine point. Still, best option for light weight/long reach, there's just nothing else. What kind of stuff does your wife like to shoot? If she's not trying to shoot birds, the Nikon 28-200 might be a great all-around option--that's what I got my spouse and he likes it a lot...its so lightweight, with the reach when he needs it.
  12. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Bill on lens

    Bill, It takes a technique for flying birds you gotta learn.

    Harry B is the best to ask, he has a ton of them with the 80-400 VR.
    He could prob explain better than I..

    How is this one.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I have more if you need me to post some more.
  13. ckdamascus


    May 14, 2005
    New Jersey
    I will do a more extensive test later on, but so far an old 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Sigma DL Super Macro focuses much faster than my new 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Nikkor ED lens.

    The Sigma has a stiffer zoom lens and is a bit heavier but smaller. It also has informative markings on the focus barrel to guage magnification.

    After testing it a few times, the sigma focuses as fast on a d70 as my nikon on a d2h.

    I'll retest it again for more conclusive details. I have not shot in situations to stress the CA factor (since a Sigma DL should do worst in that situation) but for upclose and at 300mm, they seemed to perform identically at all major aperatures.

    The smoother zoom ring might be a bigger plus though for faster recomposition though.
  14. Now THIS is hilarious. Just goes to prove that "Gender is No Barrier" :lol:

    As to the lens, we went out yesterday to do some experimenting, and even though the birdies didn't cooperate much, we got enough bits going to come to some conclusions. I know that my Sigma 120-300 f2.8 focuses very fast on the D70 as does my 70-200 AFS VR. So I set up the D70 with the 120-300 on a monopod and let Nancy have a go. She liked it, a lot, except when she tried to follow a flying bird, just couln't swivel up enough. Put it on the Gimbal Mount for her, she was in hog heaven. She also commented that the focus speed is only a real issue for fast moving objects, like birds, so I think that perhaps the wise thing to do is to keep the lenses I have, buy a second tripod and head for when we go out looking for moving birds together, and then have her see if something like the 80-400 is too heavy to hand hold for a day. If it is then we can stick with one of the lighter, and slower, lens options for "walk-around" and go the tripod route for Flying Critters. This also has the advantage of a second tripod and gimbal setup when I am out alone with both camera's, but don't tell her that :wink:
  15. Re: Bill on lens

    Yeah, I gotta learn that "Flying Bird" technique...

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

    Oh, wait, you meant with the 80-400 :!: :!: :lol: :lol: Sorry, just couldn't help myself :oops: 

    Your shot looks gorgeous, and your comment, by the way, is applicable to every single lens out there, regardless of speed. I sure as heck don't have it "right" as often as I'd like with anything I have. Your example, however, sure does show what is possible.

  16. Thanks a bunch, I'm looking forward to the results. I think we have "solved" the issue for cases where carting a second tripod works, but for a "walk-around" lens we are still up in the air. For me, I'll walk around with my 500mm on a monopod. but for some reason my wife doesn't find that to be a good solution at all :wink:
  17. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl

    I meant with the 80-400 VR takes a bit of a different technique, silly me should have said that.

    I know you know how to to it LLOLOLOL
  18. ckdamascus


    May 14, 2005
    New Jersey
    My test results with a 3-4 year old Sigma DL 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Super Macro vs a Nikon 70-300mm F/4-5.6 ED are very surprising. Even more surprising is when I actually timed the focus speed differences between the lens on the D70 and the D2H.

    Sorry for the teasers, but I got to test it a bit more as the results are a bit too shocking to believe.
  19. ckdamascus


    May 14, 2005
    New Jersey
    My results are a bit discouraging. I have to crop and mark up the pictures with EXIF but for now here are the results. My old used, 3-4 year Sigma DL Super Macro 70-300mm f/4-5.6 vs my Nikkor ED 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens.

    For sharpness the Sigma wins at 70mm, 100mm, 180mm, 300mm at F/4, F/5.6, F/8, F/11 and at infinity and close focusing.

    For contrast where I shot closer towards the sun the Nikon lens beat the Sigma. However, Sigma has an APO version which is the equivalent of the Nikon ED! I am testing the Sigma's DL version which is like Nikon's G version!

    The Sigma focuses about 0.1-0.2 seconds faster (not big enough to make a huge difference).

    The Sigma has a very stiff zoom ring though and weighs a bit more (it has a macro mode).

    I wonder if I have a bad copy and if it is covered under warranty. The problem is, the results ARE usable so it's not like it's broken. It's just compared to the Sigma, the Nikon looks like crap.

    Seems like the Sigma APO version is the best buy considering the Sigma versions have macro mode on them. Unless somehow the Sigma APO is worse than the DL.

    Another scary finding...

    On the D2H and the D70, both lens focused at similar speeds. This was pretty alarming as everyone and their grandma has told me the D2H's motors should focus the lens faster than the D70. As far as I can see, there isn't really a difference at all in raw focus speed.
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