Nikon Lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rashed, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. I am so confused with Nikon, just less than two months after buying the 70-200MM F2.8 VR and the 300MM F2.8 VR, nikon decide to lunch a new 300MM F2.8 VR II where they also lunched last month the new 70200MM F2.8 VR II ?
    What is wrong with earliest two lenses , to my use experinces for the last two months these lenses I bought are not of good quality and they might have some major design problems, specially where the auto focus is concerned, but I am of no expert to prove this and I might also be wrong.
    Yestrday I had an expert to tune my camera, every single mode in the menu been tuned and this morning the same problem with the focusing is still there, I use the Sigma lens with my D3X and the focus was so great.
    Did I buy the wrong lenses from the wrong manufacturers NIKON ?
     
  2. Rashed,
    You don't mention it, but I have to ask if you're shooting with support. Personally, even with VR (I or II) I'd not be usiing a 200 or 300mm lens without at least a stick. That's some heavy glass to hold steady even at high shutter speeds.
     
  3. That Nikon was overdue to replace the 70-200mm is not a surprise at all and was widely expected. On DX cameras that lens is wonderful but on FX the corner performance is compromised for a lens of pro aspirations and price. If you only shoot DX cameras you would never know this deficiency existed.
    As for the 300mm the changes are more subtle as optically it has an excellent reputation already and indeed the changes made are more to do with the operation of the autofocus and it also gets the new VRII.
    However neither of the lenses you have are known to have generic focusing problems so it seems like the problem is specific to something you are doing or a problem with the camera itself. Unless you give us much more detail on the problems you are experiencing nobody here can say.
     
  4. The "older" 70-200/2.8 VR was known to have an issue with vignetting as well as with soft corners when used on FX cameras - the lens is an outstanding performer on DX cameras. I know of no problems with the 300/2.8 VR - it is generally regarded as among Nikon's finest. Your D3X is very demanding of lenses and will bring out any flaws - neither the 70-200 nor the 300 should perform poorly with it though (aside from the soft corners already mentioned for the 70-200).
    You can't blame Nikon for updating lenses that you have purchased two months prior - such is life.
    While it might feel good to rant - no one can help you with your AF problems unless you provide more detail as to their nature.
     
  5. Well, those lenses have a very good reputation.... what I don't understand is why Nikon is replacing those lenses when there are so many wholes on the Nikon line up. I think they should update the AF 85 and 180 to AFS before improving the 300/2.8
     
  6. My friend Mark Mandell, I was all of this time using a tripod or like today a mono pod.
    Last year during my holiday here in Thailand I did use the 70-200 F2.8 IS Canon and it was most of the time hand help and I got very sharp images, specially for people in the street, at a time where they are walking.
    My friend, if Nikon decide to build another 300MM F2.8 VR and already lunched a new 70-200MM VR in the market, there must be a good technical reason behind this, couldn't that be the failure with their same range previous lenses ?
    My friend, I always used the Sigma also 70-200MM F2.8 HSM hand held and the result was superb.
    I am not sure my friend whats is happening but I am not happy with Nikon, I paid a lot for the system and totally failed because of the lenses.
     
  7. My friend James Symington, I used the 70-200MM F2.8 VR with tripod and with monopods, I had to bush the ISO up to 800 to maintain a high shutter speed, the lens I was shooting also at F4 not to operate on slow shutter.
    I fine tuned the camera by a Nikon Pro. Personnel , the camera also been tested yestrday and today with the Sigma 70-200MM F2.8 HSM and the result for the same catures at the same condition are amazing comparing them to Nikon Lenses.
     
  8. Rashed,
    The 70-200 was updated to moderate to poor performance on FX cameras. If you shoot DX, I wouldn't worry one bit. The 70-200 is a workhorse lens for pros so Nikon needs to make sure this one is tip-top.
    As for the 300mm, it looks as though all it got was the new VRII system. Optics seem to be the same if I am reading the spec sheet correctly. It also costs more than the one you just bought. I wouldn't worry about the differnce unless you need some features the VRII provides.
     
  9. Rashed,
    Just for laughs and giggles, retry your 70-200 on the tripod with the VR switched "off." I've used 2 Nikon VR lenses and BOTH lens manuals said to turn off the VR when shooting on a tripod. I would also try setting your sensor to DX format option (if you can) even though your 70-200 doesn't have "DX" in its name. I've seen any number of comments about the D3X getting the worst out of lenses and the 70-200 actually being a DX lens
    Remember, you're now shooting full frame, and that format has been ignored in lens design while the manufacturers race around trying to pack more and more MP's into the DX sensors. Maybe (just maybe) the FX format will get some more attention now. I had to go to "old" film glass to get decent performance on my D700 at prices I could afford.
     
  10. My friend Mark Mandell, thank you a lot for your input which is very much approciated.
    I understand that the 70-200 and the 300MM are mostly used by serious photographer all over the world and these two lenses spouse to be doing the horse job for those photographers, the question is why Nikon when they brought up the a camera like the D3X for those photographers, why didn't pay attention to make those cameras work well with those lenses, Nikon only have one pro. film camera on line at the moment which is the F6 while they have more than one pro. digital camera on line.
    Only now Nikon is concedring to come with a new line of VR lenses, isnt that too late my friend for those photographers ?
    I am so sorry my friend as my English is not real good to say whats go inside me about my problem, I sitll have one week left out of my holiday and I will try to covence my self that my nikon lenses can do a better job than what I had out of them so far and I will also see nikon specialist tomorrow and for second time to check my camera against my lenses.
    Thank you my friend a lot.
     
  11. Rashed,
    Your English is just fine; your message comes through quite clear. Plus, I neither speak nor read a word of Thai.
    Your comments are quite valid, and "I feel your pain," having been there myself although with far less of an investment. While I wouldn't doubt they read this forum, I wouldn't hesitate contacting Nikon directly to voice your disapproval. Here in the US, goods are sold with an implied warranty that they are fit and proper to be used for the particular purpose that they are sold for. While your remedies in Thailand may be different, after trying your expert's "services," I wouldn't hesitate seeking to return the items that are not performing to their reputations and your reasonable expectations, even if the return is for credit against an upgraded model more compatible with your camera. Worst they can say is "no."
     
  12. My friend Mark, I bought the Nikon F5 battery charger with two batteries, for more than 1200 USA dollars, this is directly from Nik Thailand, not from an out side shop, I thought I bought them at relatively correct price, then some one here on photo net brought to my attention other wise, the charger did not cost more than 150 USA dollars.
    This is one of the other problems I have gone through, I am from Qatar and on holiday here, people here are so friendly and so nice, every one will give help, its just nikon been going other wise.
    Tomorrow I will try again although I am sure I did have everything in according to the book with both the lenses and the camera.
    I do approcaite your help my friend a lot and do hope some one from nikon come though this thread and give me some solid assistant in what to do next.
     
  13. First of all Rashed. Return to Nik Thailand and complain about the US $1200 you paid for a charger and batteries. You are being taken advantage of. Ask them to show you proof of the suggested retail price from a Nikon Internet source.
    Next, you have not told us if you are using your new Nikon lenses tripod mounted with the VR turned off. Make sure the VR is turned off except when hand holding the camera lens combination.
    I have to believe that there is a problem with your shooting technique because the chances of both of these fine Nikon lenses being defective is remote. However, I can't explain why you get such good results with the Sigma lens.
     
  14. "I am from Qatar"
    My Arabic is no better than my Thai, but please enjoy your holiday! I trust you'll be using your Sigma to capture the memories.
    |;-}}
     
  15. My friend Robert Hooper, I switch off the VR when using a tripod and I keep it active when using monopod or when hand held.
    My friend, it is too late to talk to Nik Nikon about the charger and battries cost although I have the receipt for them, it couldnt be a person over charging me and given me an offical paper for what I have paid, this is real Nikon, it is not just a shop but a manufacturing plant as far I know, there are many nikon stuff manufactured here.
    My friend as long as I have my lenses work, I really do not demand anything from nikon, I do not like to switch again to another camera mark, that will be very costly again.
     
  16. I just though of something else. If you are using a light weight travel tripod, perhaps it is inadequate for the weight of your camera and lens combination. You need solid support. Throw a towel over a window sill or wall at your hotel and brace your camera on it. Take some test photos and see if you notice any improvement in performance. Also, use some high shutter speeds and see if that makes a difference in the sharpness of your images.
     
  17. I know how frustraited you must be Rashed. I wish I could be there to try and help you with this problem. Perhaps someone here will come up with a solution. Insha'Allah.
     
  18. My friend Robert Hooper, my monopod is Manfrotto 682b and the head is Manfrotto 322RC2 while the tripod is Manfrotto 055XPROB , these two which I take out both of them on all my trips and also I have with me a Silk tripod which some times I do also use, that one also very large tripod.
     
  19. sorry that was repeated my friend, I approcaite your help a lot, I am lucky to have 2 sigma lenses with me here, if not my 2 months photography would have been all spoiled by now.
     
  20. I just remembered in my D2X menu I have sharpning options, do I have one on the D3X menu, please as I can not find it in the operating manual ?
    Thank you all
     
  21. D3X manual, Picture Controls, p 161.
    Sharpening shouldn't be your problem though since the images with the Sigma lens are sharp. Unless you describe the problem in more detail and maybe post a few images that show the problem, I doubt anyone will be able to help you.
    It appears that all your equipment is new and that you are not very familiar with it - so chances are rather high that the problems you are having are operator errors. It's always a gamble to take unfamiliar equipment along for a major shooting event.
    BTW, I wouldn't consider the 322RC to be an adequate head to support a D3X with 300/2.8 attached. Could even argue that the 055XPROB will barely be able to cope with the task at hand - in particular when the center column is extended. Wouldn't explain though why the Sigma 70-200 gives good results and the Nikon 70-200 doesn't. Can you post some comparison shots of the two please...
     
  22. Have you considered front focus/back focus issues? Is everything soft, or just the spot you are expecting to be in focus? If your camera is calibrated to the Sigma, perhaps it is just having some focus issues with the Nikkors. I believe on the current generation of cameras you can program the focus on each individual lens, instead of having to send it off to get this done.
    Also, are you using any filters?
     
  23. I will post some images my friends and I also only use an UV filter on the 70-200MM lens, the 300MM only rear drop filter is there since I bought it.
     
  24. I am sorry my friends but I did expect the 70-200 VR should work fine with hand held, why should I need a one tone tripod head to get a sharp image ?
     
  25. I have used the old 70-200mm VRI lens on my D700 for a long time and it is sharp and clean. Yes, there are issues in the corners, but for portrait work, it really is not bothersome and for some, it could be considered a benefit. Autofocus issues---- On the D700, the only focus point that works with lines/contrast in both the horizontal and vertical positions is the center one. All the others have a stronger performance in one of the two orientations. I discovered this by trying to focus on a 3x3 inch white square on a dark wall. In one orientation the camera would not autofocus, but rotate the camera 90 degrees and it focuses instantly. It is a design element in both the D3 and D700. I can't comment on other bodies
    There was a recent discussion on photo.net comparing the new 70-200 with the old 70-200. You might take a read on this thread
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00V9pI
    After initial testing, I was not all that impressed with the new lens. BUT, I have now used the new lens in real world applications and it is clearly much superior in terms of sharpness and image quality over the older version and at 200mm, I would not hesitate to shoot at 1/50 second and if pushed would do 1/25 of a second. I am very glad that I upgraded to the new lens.
    I should add that I almost always shoot handheld and rarely use a tripod or monopod. And I did not fine tune the lens in the camera... this is right out of the box.
    I sold my old 70-200mm for $150 less than what I paid for it 5 years ago. So that is something to consider.
     
  26. Frankly, I'm very alarmed at the fact that they would sell you a charger for US $1200... did you say you are buying directly from the manufacturing plant?
    I've traveled a 'bit' in southeast asia, and agree that the people there are very very nice and pleasant... BUT... You always have to be aware of people trying to take advantage of you and your money. Are you sure you bought from the official Nikon representative in Thailand? A good place to check, would be Nikon's official website with a list of representatives in Thailand. If they are official representatives, I'm sure you can complain about the charger, and possibly even exchange the lenses - as they do not perform to the Nikon standard, and are still under warranty.
    As for why Nikon decided to upgrade these specific lenses, I believe someone in the other post noted that it is probably in time for the winter olympics...
    Hope this helps...
     
  27. Yes my friend Dave I bought from Nik THailand the offical place of Nikon in Thaialand and I have all of the paper of price for it, singed and stamped by Nik Thailand which I can photo copy and post any where Nikon would like.
    I also did not sleep trying to find out where Nikon did state that their 70-200MM F2.8 VR can only be operated by using a tripod, if this is the case Nikon has failed to add this statement in their operating manual.
    My friend, I did call Nik Thailand several time but they did not respond to why the price of the charger and the 2 batteries are so high comparing it to the prices of them on the internet with other dealers.
    I will also call them this morning again if some one from nikon did not so far did read this thread and reported it.
    I only knew the prices different after some one here pointed out here on photo.net, then I had to check for the price with b&h and adorama and other internet sources.
    Thank you a lot my friend, I do approcaite your input and hope Nikon can read all of this.
    Thank you my friend
     
  28. Thank you very much my friend Steven Seelig, I bought my 70-200 f2.8 vr for more than 2000 USA dollars, 67,000 Bat, I do not fail it is right to sell it for 150 dollrs after just 2 months of buying it, I also noticed the different between the photos you have posted, the sharpness is very much different with the new lens, you did a great job my friend, to post these images here, thank you a lot my friend.
     
  29. No one stated that the 70-200 can only be used on a tripod; it was said that when it is mounted on tripod Nikon recommends to turn VR off.
     
  30. Rashed
    Just to be sure you understand.
    1. I always shoot handheld and almost never shoot on a tripod
    2. My old 70-200, I sold for 90% of what I paid for it in 2004.
    Both the old one and new one are great lens with great pictures, but the new one is much better than the old one.. so if you can imagine something better than great then you can imagine the VRII lens.
     
  31. I found this comment on the mtf of the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR by Klaus in Photozone.com interesting:
    "We're a little worried about the amount of sample variation we saw during the creation of this review. A total of 4 lenses were run through the complete test cycle, two of which showed resolution values significantly below what you see in these charts. Two additional lenses were so soft wide open that we stopped to review them after just a few test shots.
    In all cases softness wide open seemed to be a result of misalignment of one of the elements, maybe the VR unit (but this is pure speculation on our side)."
     
  32. Even more so because in the older photozone test on a DX camera, one sample also showed a misalignment defect...
    So. maybe, just maybe Rashed got one of those bad samples. Wonder how they make it past Nikons QA/QC - or do they get messed up in transit?
     
  33. My friend Brian Sprague, thank you for posting this information.
    Yes, the first day I bought these two lenses, I did hear a click after shooting, then I asked here and found that this click is just normal, this shows that the VR selonid do operate , engaging and dis engaging the VR realy.
    I will have to test it again and see , on the other hand my friend, many are saying that these lenses given soft results during the tests at F stop 4 or lower.
    The give best result at F 11 or F8, but this is just asemptions from some people as I did not read anything offical about this issue, still there is a room to do this test and see for my self.
    I did call Nik Thailand just one hour back and requested to change my present 70-200mm VR one with the new one and I am prepared to pay the difference, but they did not agree although the lens I have comes with one year warranty.
    I will try to find a way to control this lens as much as its possible till I get back home on 19th. this month and then drive to Dubai and buy again the new lens as the priceses here are far more than what they are in our part of the world, the F5 battery charger is a good example for that.
    Thank you my friend for your input again and wishing you all of the members here all of the best
     
  34. My friend Dieter Schaefer, thank you very much for all of the informations you have put to this thread , I do approciate it a lot my friend.
    The canon 70-200MM F2.8 IS which I had, was a very sharp lens, I photographed people on the street in Pattaya and posted many of them on photo.net last year, all of those images being so sharp and crispy.
    On the other hand the Sigma 70-200MM F2.8 HSM is another wonderful lens I worked with, it is not the way the camera been operated by me my friend, it is just the Nikon could well have a problem with their VR system.
    Investing too much money by Nikon to replace the horse lens of Pro. and serious photographers and adding a definiation of VR-II, means something is wrong with VR-I, even if some of the Nikon presentitve on different internet site are saying other wise.
    Again my friend, all of your points did reach me in proper manner and I will make sure I get the banefit out of that.
    Thank you my friend again and wishing you all of the best.
     
  35. Salam! سلام Rashed, my experience with purchases in Thailand (my wife is Thai and I've been there quite a bit) is that -
    A) cost on Tech items (non-counterfeit) are much higher than in other places around the world (if it’s much less expensive than it is most likely counterfeit) even if they are manufactured there and,
    B) you will have a VERY HARD time trying to make any return or exchange even from manufacture shops with full warranty etc.
    Perhaps you'll be able to get better service in Qatar... perhaps you can return/exchange for the VRII there?
    Bettawfeeq بالتوفيق!
     
  36. There will always be upgrades. That's technology progressing for you and a bit of marketing of course. I would just be satisfied with the fantastic system that you have which the majority cannot afford.
    The poor focus problems you are experiencing are i have no doubt in mentioning are poor technique. Unfortunately people love to blame these problems on their equipment.
    Good photography is not easy and takes a lot of persevering. Unfortunately there is a large proportion of people out there that think they can take great shots because they have the latest gear (load of tosh !). I'm in no way saying you are one of these people but am saying that your focusing issues are down to technique as mentioned.
     
  37. My friend J Williamson, salam alikom and thank you a lot for your input to the thread, I will have to drive down to Dubai as soon as I reach home, you might know my friend it is only seven hours drive drive from Qatar, I am going to buy the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 HSM, I always had a great experince with this lens, smaller in size . less in weight and faster to respond with the camera, the F2.8 with the sigma is a real F2.8 and will do maintain sharp focus, it is very simllier to the canon 70-200mm f2.8 , the nikon one I have expeinced it being more bolky and its extra weight adds on its poor sharpness where you need to operate at higher shutter speed to compensate for that.
    I have tested both lenses this afternoon on the same camera with the same set up and at a matter of only a mint to switch from one lens to another, the sigma is a Thai friend of mine here, the result would shake Nikon by all means.
    I will post them on as soon as my friend put the technical data on the images.
    Thank you my friend again and wishing you all of the best.
     
  38. My friend J Williamson, thank you a lot for your input , it is very much approcaited by all means.
    I understand that I am on my way trying my best to learn photography the right way and from the people whom having more expernices than me, I do find this is very human and of no shame at all, the people who think they know everything are those people who will never learn and will never improve at all.
    For example my friend, you will never find any of my images twisted on the right or the left , this is simple basic and when many of a person images are need be shifted or titlted, then to me he is not learning much and he luck the understanding of photography.
    So my friends I started to learn the basic and from there learn more and more.
    As I have stated earlier , I have given my camera and my lens to a nikon expert and a first class photographer to test, with all of his tuning and playing with my camera setup, he couldn't give me one sharp photo at F2.8 or at F4 with an ISO of 400 and with a mono pod.
    So where I am now, need a high shutter speed and an F stop of 8 or more , 800 ISO or more in order to gain sharpness out of nikon lens ?
    Well my friend, I do not need to operate my camera shooting flowers, insacts or street head and shoulder with those settings, why can't I shoot with the setting of F2.8 and an ISO of 200 in a normal lighting condition ?
    When a lens sharpness is above F4 then that lens is having a problem my friend and the manfacturer are trying to cover it up and come so quick with a modified one , this is not technology upgrade at all, it has another name but I do not know what it is called on internet community .
    Again my friend, I honestly approciate your input and yes I will try more and more to learn and improve my self and I asure you that you will never find me posting an image which need tilting and shifting.
    My best regards my friend .
     
  39. Your lens seems to indeed have a problem and I would insist on having it either fixed or exchanged. However, the 70-200/2.8 VR I was introduced in 2003 and the replacement VR II version is just now hitting the stores - not exactly "a quick cover up".
     
  40. Thank you my friend Dieter Schaefer, I now understand that my lens have long time in the market and its time to have some thing better, just I am so sorry for my self, that I have rushed to buy it , I could have waited just for one month to buy the new one.
    70-200 is the real lens I did need urgent here, no one to plame, its my own fault and may be my own short thoughts and experinces which did count at the end of the day.
    Thank you again my friend, I did learn out of this thread because of my friends input, best regards my friend.
     
  41. Nik Thailand is the distributor for Nikon in Thailand and I have a hard time believing they are taking advantage of the OP. I've bought from them and had cameras and lenses serviced by them for over a decade and have never ever experienced or heard such a story. Believe something is lost in translation, like the currency conversion rate.
    Cheers,
    Leo
     
  42. السلام عليكم Rashed, you have many people following this discussion now. I hope that you are not spending all of your trip on this problem and are out seeing Amazing Thailand and taking pictures. I for one am really looking forward to seeing some of what you've shot on this trip and do hope that you will post to your favorite site (pbase, flicker, whatever) and let us here know when you have.
    Thanks very much
    Leo Laksi... I'm very glad to hear that. My statement was reactionary based on other experiences with other places. I failed to mention that I've had no first hand experience with Nik Thailand and for that I am sorry. If they are as you say than I am very happy for that. Mine was a general impression and I should have made that clear.
     
  43. No problem "J". No harm no foul.
    Getting off the this topic just a bit. Sometimes prices for photo gear can be competitive in Thailand. You just have to know your prices pretty well. For example, I purchased a Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 fisheye today for about 100 USD less then the price at a well known NY-based web retailer in the US.
    Same with returns. I returned my first D700 after the electronics broke down after a couple of weeks use. The dealer gave me a new one in fifteen minutes. Of course not all retailers are created equal so you have to know who you can trust.
    Cheers, Leo
     
  44. My friend J Williamson, I do go out photography every day and by all means I have a great time, I have some very nice Thai friends and thay take me all over different places, I have posted many images since I came here on the photo.net and still posting more, I hope you like them my friend and thank you you been so gentle and kind.
    Best regards my friend and merray Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year my friend.
     
  45. My friend Leo Laksi, thank you a lot for your input, I love Thailand and having many friends here and they do take care of me by all means.
    Nik Thailand did sell me the F5 Battery Charger for 20000 Bat and two Barreries for 20000 Bat, total of 40000 Bat.
    I agree there is prices different from one place to another, but when the charger is sold on the net for not more than 150 USA dollars, I do have the right my friend to complain, the different is beyond beleive.
    I had many things bought from Nik Nikon, in the past, trusting them is not any more my friend but this is just me, I do have the receipt for what I bought and the prices clearly mentioned in them, if you are a Thai person my friend, you can refer to my friend , the owner of foto-ku station studio in Pattaya , he is my close friend and he will tell you that the price I paid is much above what that chrager cost.
    The fault is mine , and I had to pay to learn,
    Thank you my friend , I do approcaite your past experince with Nik Thailand and as I do approciate your input here, this way we all learn and help each other, I wish you all of the best my friend and happy new year to yours.
     
  46. Rashed, I'm sorry that you're not satisfied with your equipment. I would LOVE to have a D3x and a fast 300mm f/2.8 VR lens, but they are a bit beyond my means. I do own the older 70-200 f/2.8 VR and I have found it to be an outstanding performer on all of my Nikon cameras, DX and FX alike.
    Why is Nikon replacing these lenses? Well, for one thing, cameras like the D3X, the D3s, and whatever is coming next are going to put a lot of demands on lens performance. When the 70-200 f/2.8 VR was introduced, Nikon's best digital camera had a 6 megapixel sensor. Sensors have improved, so lenses have to keep up.
    Why is Nikon replacing these lenses NOW? Well, the Winter Olympics are coming up. Nikon sports shooters will want the best possible telephoto lenses to use on their D3S and D3X bodies. Nikon is likely to sell large quantities of these lenses to sports photojournalists.
    I have to say that perhaps your gear is not the problem. Perhaps you need to improve either your shooting technique or your post-processing skills. Have you thought about taking a Photoshop class? That might give you a new perspective as to what is possible with digital technology. You already OWN what is regarded as the best small-format DSLR on the market (the 18MP Leica is a rangefinder), so consider that maybe the problem lies elsewhere.
    Here's a link to a fellow who uses the D3X and the lenses you mentioned with good results. He has a lot of tutorials on his site. Maybe you'll find some of the information useful.
    http://www.daveblackphotography.com
    Good luck!
     

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