A question for Nikon 24-70 AF-S owners past and present.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mel_cox, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. I have longed for this lens for awhile. Everyone raves about it. All the reviews say it is THE Nikon zoom to own. All the Adorama and B&H reviews are positive.
    So I bought one and I was disappointed in that my number of acceptable shots was low due to out of focus shots. I just couldn’t hold my camera still enough to get a decent hit rate. I sent it back.
    I was shooting still objects indoors and outside in the Florida sun. D300 @ ISO 200. I put it on a tripod and shot after shot was crisp and sharp so I don’t think I had a defective lens. But handheld I just couldn’t keep it still enough. I also have Nikon 35mm, 50mm and a 60mm lenses and have no problem getting handheld shots from them.
    For me, this lens needs to have VR. I can only surmise that the weight of the lens and camera prevented me from keeping it stable enough.
    Am I the only one with this problem or have others experienced it as well?
  2. I did experience this for a while when I first got the lens; it was much heavier than the Tamron 28-75 that it replaced. Once I got used to the weight though my success rate improved and now this lens is on my D700 most of the time.
  3. Barring having any bona fide health issues, I'd suggest that you need to work on your shooting technique. I could see a need for VR in poor light or with a slow lens, or a longer focal length, but not under outdoor conditions. IMO, needing VR for a wide angle to mid focal length f/2.8 lens in broad daylight is needing a crutch for poor technique. At f/8 outdoors or f/2.8 indoors you should have been using around 1/800 sec. shutter speed...plenty fast to avoid blur from camera shake.
    What I don't understand is how you're getting good results with other lenses while getting poor results with a zoom lens in the same focal range that performs fine on a tripod. How did you hold the zoom?
  4. Your other three lenses are much lighter and shorter than the 24-70. What shutter speed were you at? I'm guessing if you're in the sun, you should have a fast shutter speed, but that's going to be the determining factor. Because of its weight, you're going to be shakier. The general rule of thumb is to keep your shutter speed above the focal length.
    I shoot handheld with a D3s and 24-70 all day long at weddings and rarely have a motion blur issue. It can take some time to get used to.
  5. I hope I didn't sound harsh in my earlier reply. Typed words don't have any vocal inflection, and where I'm coming from is concern with some puzzlement. I'm 54, not in such great shape, and have carpal tunnel syndrome...one surgery for it so far, some permanent nerve damage and a bit of associated muscle atrophy.
    I've had to reinvent my shooting technique as I get older...definitely not as steady or strong in the hands as I was when I was 21. About two years ago I watched a Joe McNally DVD and copied him. For real solid support, he places his right hand across his chest holding the camera, then places his left hand on his right bicep...sort of like crossing his arms, but not exactly. Next, he lays the lens on his upper right arm, which is held roughly horizontal to the ground, with his right hand cradled against the inside of his left elbow. It's rock solid, and the closer to your shoulder the camera ism the steadier it gets. I can shoot the 24-70 and a 135mm f/2 lens indoors handheld with no problem. I also breathe out slowly during the shot, drift the lens from high to low into the target, and when the camera is on target, I click the shutter. But I don't quit the shot then...I make an effort to see the same framing when the mirror drops back down, and that 'follow through' helps a lot. It works. if handholding in the usual way, if you don't already, your left hand should be under the lens supporting it, and have both elbows touching your body to anchor your arms. Same breathing and follow-through. Hope it helps you. It sure helped me. It's really pretty easy...if I can do it, I know you can.
  6. Ask your doctor about taking vitamin D for your carprel tunnel. I have had two surgeries on each wrist, whitch did not help. My Doctor put me on 50,000 units of vitaminD injectable 100 units a week, and it has been a miricle, I wish they would have tried the vitamin D before any of the surgery. I still have a very mild pain in my wrist, but very livable.
    Dennis Hardeburger
    Sorry maybe this post doesn't belong here, I am just hoping I can help D. B. Cooper
  7. Ask your doctor about taking vitamin D for your carprel tunnel. I have had two surgeries on each wrist, whitch did not help. My Doctor put me on 50,000 units of vitaminD injectable 100 units a week, and it has been a miricle, I wish they would have tried the vitamin D before any of the surgery. I still have a very mild pain in my wrist, but very livable.
    Dennis Hardeburger
    Sorry maybe this post doesn't belong here, I am just hoping I can help D. B. Cooper
  8. I hope that you are supporting the barrel of the 24-70 with your left hand (assuming you're right handed) and not griping the camera with both hands as I've seen many people do. I find the weight of the 24-70 to be an aid to steady shooting.
  9. I`m in the opposite, the VR system will add even more weight and the lens could be also bigger. To my taste it`s now on the limit. Performance could be compromised as well.
    And it is the lens I use to take when I want sharper shots. Don`t know if it`s sharper than the primes or not, but looking at my pics I`d think so..
    Anyway, the classic rule of 1/focal lenght for the minimum shutter speed doesn`t work for me. I like to shoot faster for better results.
  10. VR would increase the length and weight of the lens further, and possibly reduce optical quality.
    I suggest you keep your hands steady, and use shutter speeds of 1/200s or faster. This is what I do anyway to avoid motion blur on people subjects. I don't see VR useful here as I wish not to have to trust my luck that people will miraculously stay still for 1/50s or whatever ... they usually don't, and the best expressions are lost to motion blur. At 1/200s things are much better.
  11. To add, since your subjects were still, it would make sense to use the tripod when possible since then you get more depth of field options and consistent results from shot to shot. I did some comparisons between using the 70-200 at moderate shutter speeds (1/160s) (VR on; normal mode) vs. a solid tripod (VR off) ... the results showed a clear advantage to the tripod shots even though the VR shots were ok, the tripod shots were clearly sharper.
    However, if you can use >=3*higher shutter speeds than given by the 1/FL "rule" (i.e. 1/250s for 70mm focal length) then even hand-held you should get very sharp results, though using a tripod has the additional advantage that the composition is less random whereas in hand-held shooting there is always some variation from shot to shot.
  12. About two years ago I watched a Joe McNally DVD and copied him​
    D.B. Thanx for this one, i looked the guy up on u-tube because I remembered some earlier of his video's there, and trying to read your explanation was a bit to much for my poor brain. :) ...
    Anyway, i found this short instructional video from Joe, which may be helpfull for others to improve "Da Grip" :
  13. I honestly think it's likely the wrong lens for both your shooting style and for your camera format. I think a 17-55 is better for that camera, and a Tamron 17-50 would be a better lens if you must have VR... for a LOT less... and both of those are f2.8. Honestly, imho, 24mm at the wide end is just too long for a zoom like that on DX.
    Could you still return it?
  14. From your description, camera shake appears to be the problem. There are several ways to insure you get better pictures but all achieve the same goal.
    The easiest fix is to increase your shutter speed. I suggest shooting at 1/500 or 1/1000 using S mode for your outdoor shots. Turn your auto ISO on. This should resolve your issue to your satisfaction for the exterior shots.
    For interior shots, set your ISO to 1000 or 1600 and shoot at f2.8. This should allow a fast enough shutter speed indoors for perfect shots.
    A monopod might be useful for you in low light situations.
    We could probably help you better if you give us a little more information about exactly how you are shooting and what your settings are.
    Unlike Peter, I really like the 24-70mm on DX. I found there is too much distortion at the outer left and right edges from the 17-55mm and could not use it under 20mm for people shots, and always enjoy a little extra reach that the 24-70mm gives.
    Adjusting/improving your technique will give you the superb images you are looking for.
  15. Thanks for all your input. To answer some of the questions and respond to some of the suggestions:
    My testing was done in aperture mode at 2.8. ISO was kept at 200. I noticed the blurrier shots were at sub 1/100 sec shutter speed. I'm 64, in good shape and my wrists and fingers are strong and I have no shaking. My shooting technique is: right hand holding the camera, left hand cradling the lens below, elbows against the body and exhale and shoot. I've tried Joe McNally's "Da Grab" but it doesn't work for me because I'm a right eyed shooter.
    Since I'm the only one on the planet who was less than thrilled about this lens I'll attribute my dissatisfaction to poor shooting technique. I returned the lens after 2 days of trying it so apparently I didn't give myself enough time to adapt my shooting style to be successful with this lens.
    I plan on trying the 24-70 again and improve my shooting style. I probably also need to ensure that my shutter speed adheres to at least twice the focal length not be afraid to bump up the ISO. I stay at ISO 200 unless I'm forced to go higher.
    Once again, thanks for all the input and any additional suggestions are welcome.
  16. It is just too damn heavy.
  17. A 300S & a 24-70 = 5.6+ pounds, depending on your battery pack etc, it may be more! That is a lot of stuff. Try holding a 5 pound hamburger & feeding it to a pet dog. Not surprised you're having trouble. I shoot the thing almost always on a tripod. I have the fitness to handle but this is at the limit. See some 17-55/24-70's on D80 & 300s: http://patwarner.com/new_pix.html
  18. Don't be afraid of higher ISOs - the D300 can handle it.
  19. Weight adds stability, not the other way around. For example, a heavy rifle is easier to hold steady than a light one; ask any target shooter. Same thing applies to a camera/lens. It might be a pain carry around but when it comes to using it the weight helps, providing the combo is reasonably well balanced.

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