Nikon 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR + TC-20E-II AF

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 16, 2007.

  1. I finally had the circumstances to give this combo what I would consider a
    fair handheld test with my D200 this afternoon and obtained the same
    disappointing results I'd achieved at less optimal conditions. While I am
    guessing this is just the ramifications of the combined f/8 maximum
    aperture, I'm wondering if anyone else has gotten a D200 to autofocus ok
    with any f/8 lens or combo?

    Details, fwiw:
    Bright sunny afternoon, shooting aperture priority at f/8, resulting
    shutter speed of 1/1250. Shot sitting down, back against a tree, elbow
    propped up on knee with VR on. Subject was a kingfisher in a tree 75-100ft
    away. I have sharp images with the lens only from a standing position at
    almost double the distance with shutter speeds of 1/750 - 1/800.

    Has anyone else used this combo on any body with decent AF results?
    I'm guessing this is just the manifestation of f/8 on the D200, even
    though it looks like AF works the results just suck and my next move is to
    get a lower magnification TC to use with this lens.
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 16, 2007
    #1
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  2. It's most likely motion blur. You're shooting at a 1200mm equivalent and I
    would suspect this to be your problem. Try again with a decent tripod VR
    off. I'll bet it will be razor sharp.






    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Feb 16, 2007
    #2
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  3. Ed Ruf  (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)

    C J Campbell Guest

    My goodness. I can't even begin to imagine using that long of lens handheld,
    even with VR. VR is good, but it ain't THAT good.
     
    C J Campbell, Feb 16, 2007
    #3
  4. You assume all my test shots are at a combined fl or 800mm, which they are
    not. And I hand hold the 70-200mm f/2.8 + TC-20E combo at 400mm and this
    lens by itself all the time at shutter speeds down to 1/2*f.l.
    Here is a shot at 1/200 with the lens itself. Put the TC on and again shoot
    400mm, and can't come close to this.
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 16, 2007
    #4
  5. You assume all my test shots are at a combined fl or 800mm, which they are
    not. And I hand hold the 70-200mm f/2.8 + TC-20E combo at 400mm and this
    lens by itself all the time at shutter speeds down to 1/2*f.l.
    Here is a shot at 1/200 with the lens itself. Put the TC on and again shoot
    400mm, and can't come close to this.

    Might help if I actually pasted the link...
    http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/dSLR/wildlife/slides/DSC_5207_cr_srgb_800.html
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 16, 2007
    #5
  6. The short end of this combo is what? 400mm. I hand hold that all the time
    using this lens by itself and a combo of the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR + TC-20E all
    the time. I get sharp results way below shutter speeds of 1/f.l.
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 16, 2007
    #6
  7. Ed Ruf  (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)

    ASAAR Guest

    P&S cameras have inferior AF systems and all of their manuals I've
    yet seen warn that some subjects are more difficult for them to lock
    on to the subject. With the 2x TC pushing the lens's max aperture
    to f/8 the combination may not allow the AF to work accurately, but
    maybe you could try a subject that's less difficult than a
    "kingfisher in a tree 75-100ft" to see if precise focusing can't be
    achieved for any subjects, or if you just have to treat that TC-20E
    as not just a 2x TC, but a DSLR to P&S converter as well. :)
     
    ASAAR, Feb 16, 2007
    #7
  8. Rita's and CJ's comments made me look back through some of my best photos
    and I think the answer is the AF capability of the D200 with a max aperture
    of f/8 is marginal at best. Bright light subjects such as this
    http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/dSLR/wildlife/slides/DSC_4617noni_800.html
    seem to be able to be focused. fl = 800, f/8, 1/ 1250.

    The much darker female belted kingfisher mentioned in my OP isn't any
    where close to this sharp.
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 16, 2007
    #8
  9. I find the TC-20E does introduce a very slight softness on the 70-200VR.
    It's not bad, but it is noticeable. That's why I suggested the use of the
    tripod for testing since it will allow you to spot the source of the
    trouble. Even at f/8 I don't think the D200's AF is failing you. I think
    you will discover that the majority of your problem is motion blur since
    even at the lenses/TC shortest focal length of 600mm equivalent. I'm very
    curious what you discover.









    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Feb 16, 2007
    #9
  10. Ed Ruf  (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)

    Paul Furman Guest

    Definitely try a 1.4x TC, I am usually not able to get great results
    with the 2x on my 70-200 but I'm very pleased with a 1.4x on it. The
    1.4x is a quarter the length plus I got an older beat up TC-14E
    (designed for AF-I but works on AF-S) so it was really cheap. That gives
    me a great 280mm f/4.

    F/8 must be the limit for a D200 and it's quite possibly inferior AF to
    a D2x so that might be the issue. Some testing with it sitting on a
    table should verify that.
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 16, 2007
    #10
  11. David J Taylor, Feb 16, 2007
    #11
  12. David J Taylor, Feb 16, 2007
    #12
  13. Ed Ruf  (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)

    Just D Guest

    Just D, Feb 16, 2007
    #13
  14. Ed Ruf  (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)

    banjo Guest

    banjo, Feb 16, 2007
    #14
  15. I've noticed that particular lens and converter combinations
    can work better or worse than others even though both the
    lenses and converters are high quality. Lower magnification
    converters tend to perform better than higher magnification
    ones, and I've rarely seen a 2X that performs well on anything
    wide open. Try shooting one stop (+) down, even though this
    will result in a lower shutter speed. Also the TC1.7X and
    especially the TC1.4X are more likely to work well with the
    lens wide open. With a lucky combination, though, you can
    sometimes get good results even with two converters combined
    (though not wide open, and the AF probably won't work).
    --
    David Ruether


    www.ferrario.com/ruether
    (soon to be www.donferrario.com/ruether)
     
    David Ruether, Feb 16, 2007
    #15
  16. Ed Ruf  (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)

    Paul Furman Guest

    Unfortunately the Nikon AF-S converters will not stack without machining
    off some metal put in to prevent that.
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 16, 2007
    #16
  17. Well...he said the shutter speed was 1/1250, and he was sitting on the
    ground, leaning against a tree trunk, and using a raised knee for camera
    support. That doesn't sound like he should have a motion blur problem
    to me! Even without the VR.

    (Of course one single picture can always be anomalous, but I'm assuming
    he based his opinion on multiple shots.)
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 16, 2007
    #17
  18. I didn't know that - but I did once remove the part of the bayonette
    of a TC20E that prevented it from being mounted on lenses it wasn't
    designed to fit (it wasn't very hard to do...).
    --
    David Ruether


    www.ferrario.com/ruether
    (soon to be www.donferrario.com/ruether)
     
    David Ruether, Feb 16, 2007
    #18
  19. Ed Ruf  (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)

    Paul Furman Guest

    I think that's the same thing. It should be possible to mount the 1.4
    with the 2x in one, not both arrangements. Most lenses won't mount
    regardless because those TCs protrude in front & would bang into the
    lenses back element. The only one of mine that looks possible is the
    28-200 (as long as you don't zoom to 28).
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 16, 2007
    #19
  20. Not necessarily true. At that focal length/speed mirror slap can introduce
    a hell of a lot of motion blur. Tripod/VR off/test both mirror locked and
    not. I would like to see him test all theses different scenarios on a
    tripod.







    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Feb 16, 2007
    #20
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