80-400 focus

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by james_hudspeth, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. Here's a Peregrine Falcon at 400 mm hand held. What do you think about the over all lens performance?
    00ZPSt-403053784.jpg
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    That JPEG image is way too small for evaluating lens sharpness. Moreover, I wouldn't evaluate that from a hand-held tele image. There seems to be some flare towards the tail of the bird, though.
     
  3. OK, Here's a bigger one.
    00ZPT6-403057584.jpg
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    James, if you want to check sharpness, it is best to provide a pixel-level 100% crop of the bird's head.
    The EXIF data show that this image is captured at 400mm, f8, 1/800 sec and ISO 1100. Since the lens was stopped down (from f5.6 to f8) and the shutter speed is fast enough for a 400mm lens, sharpness seems good enough. The problem is that at ISO 1100, even the D3 is showing plenty of noise; it is the noise that makes this image less than ideal.
    You are much better off putting your setup on a sturdy tripod. If you can bring the ISO down to 400, I think you will get much better results.
     
  5. He was a transient and did not seem to want to hang around while I went to the Vette and got out my tripod and set up. This proved to be true as he left about 3 minutes later. Thanks for the comments.
     
  6. Sharpness seems good to me. Not that it has anything to do with the subject but I don't think that's a Peregrine Falcon.
     
  7. That looks very sharp to me. And I don't find the noise disturbing in the least. Of course you need to put a lens on a tripod to evaluate its sharpness and compare it to others, but the lens certainly performed well under the conditions in which you were shooting.
     
  8. James, I also have a 80-400 and use it on a D300. The sharpness is excellent from 80-300 and very good to acceptable from 300-400. I've shot scenic images in the 80-150 range that you would not be able to tell were taken with a long range zoom telephoto. The big problem with the lens is the slow screw focus when shooting fast moving sports or birds. By pre-focusing and limiting the focus range, you can speed up the lens. The vibration reduction is excellent but I use a tripod at the longer end.
     
  9. Nice shot! On the D3, I think the lens is a great performer all around for AF speed and sharpness. I suggest you use the focus limit switch whenever appropriate. Hope you enjoy your lens.
     
  10. Looks Like a Coopers Hawk
     
  11. I don't know.... The noise does bother me..... Also, the shot looks a bit over sharpened to me but I could be wrong.
    But as the OP said, when there is no time you use what you have in hand. Over all, after the conditions it is a really nice shot.
     
  12. Thanks everybody, the Falcon came down so fast that we all almost tipped over the cafe table getting up. My camera was on the table as I had just finished shooting a Dragon fly. I had to turn around and start shooting before it took off.
     
  13. Noise and sharpening are subject to the photographer's preferences and PP skills. All cameras produce noise in their images at anything but the very lowest of ISOs, including the D3/D3S. Any image can have all the noise eliminated using available NR software.
    I recently compared the IQ of the 80-400mm @ 400mm on the 7000 (600mm FOV) vs the 600mm AIS on the D3. The results surprised me as I expected the 80-400mm to be horrible on the D7000. But it held its own...
    These test RAW shots were taken with a tripod, f8, ISO 200 on the D3, ISO 220 on the D7000, 1/640. The image on the D7000 came out a bit lighter than the D3 image and it was slightly adjusted in Photoshop. Other than that, the images are unprocessed.
    00ZPb4-403187584.jpg
     
  14. deleted
     
  15. D7000 image
    00ZPb8-403189584.jpg
     
  16. To my surprise, the CA was almost identical between the two camera/lens combos.
     
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I wonder the OP's original image is somewhat underexposed, due to the somewhat back lit situation. When you try to bring out details from under-exposed areas, it can get quite noisy. And when you try to sharpen an unsharp image, you will also sharpen the noise, exaggerating the problem.
    Otherwise, ISO 1100 on the D3 should not have such serious problems. If you take a closer look at the wire the bird is standing on, it is very noisy. The noise also wipes out plenty of feather details.
     
  18. Your right Shun, the bird landed close to 7pm and in the shade of a tree while the tree in the background was in setting sun light. I have about 12 shots of this bird and before processing they are under exposed. There is very little sharpening in NX2. Also this is at 400mm and my lens is better at 350-375.
     
  19. The 80-400 lens is a good Nikkor lens after all.

    "image and it was slightly adjusted in Photoshop. Other than that, the images are unprocessed."

    AND

    "There is very little sharpening in NX2."
    You already used 2 applications on these examples, and yet you say "unprocessed" ?
     
  20. Frank I think you mixed up my comments and Elliot's comments.
     
  21. Just for comparison, here's a similar shot taken a few days ago using a Tokina 80-400mm f/5.6 on an Eos 5D. The lens was wide open at f/5.6 and handholding at 1/125th of a second didn't improve sharpness - no VR on this lens :-(
    This was the best of about 10 shots, but the bird was tethered so no danger of it flying away, although an owl escaped from the same display to be recaptured 3 days later!
    00ZPlk-403411684.jpg
     
  22. Here's a 300% on same bird no sharpening, different shot.
     
  23. Ill try again
     
  24. Shun,
    Learn to be a bit more diplomatic in your responses to others. Often times your response/knowledge is indeed limited.
     
  25. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dave Becker, my knowledge is certainly limited, and so is everybody else's. For the rest, let's take it to private e-mail.
     
  26. I've had this lens in my bag for many years - it was one of the first zoom lenses I bought before I could afford better. For some reason I have not sold it since acquiring the 200-400mm f4 and the 400mm f2.8. This past Sunday I took it and my D300S to the Yankee game as I was not shooting the game from the pits, rather from my field level seat. I wanted to see how the lens performed once again, so I took it with me. Very disappointing. When shooting signage, on deck batters, fans or the TBS announcers, ie nothing moving, the sharpness was acceptable. But shooting the action - it was horrible. It couldn't focus at all at 400mm, and it wasn't even acceptable at 300mm. Anyone want to buy mine?
     
  27. Kevin, you mentioned using a D300S with the 80-400 VR? Which AF modes/settings did you use? I'm curious because the couple of times I tried the 80-400 VR a few years ago with my then-new D2H, I had little difficulty getting satisfactory autofocus results following motion in bright daylight. It was even able to track through a camera shop window to AF on cars zipping by on the street outside. But I mostly used one of the single AF sensor modes, not the group dynamic modes. That made a big difference with any AF or AF-S lens I've tried.
     
  28. I with you Lex, I shoot sea birds in flight, Sea Gulls, Pelicans and I use the mode that limits travel and have very little trouble with my D3.
     

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