Tamron 70-300mm on Nikon D3100

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by venkatuhegde, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Hi there,
    Very recently I bought Nikon D310b with kit lens and tamron 70-300 as adition
    lens. I am a biginner. What I observe is tamron lens is very soft at the tele end
    and most of the times distant subject loks completely out of focus. I heard some
    where that the high megapixel will demand for great optics. Is high pixel density
    of my toy is to blame or the por optics? Can this be avoided by using lower
    resolution settings in camera?
    Please help me find an answer.
  2. Most likely it is:
    1. your shooting technique.
    2. your lens.
    Even with a 300mm Nikkor one can get soft pictures with poor lighting and poor shooting technique.
    Inspect your pictures EXIF data and see if the shutter speed was slower than 1/450 sec, so you have the likely reason.
    Shoot at shutter 1/500 to 1/1000 sec and hold lens steady.
    Actually test your lens on a tripod, to see if it is the lens, or your technique?
    most likely combination of both reasons..?
  3. I'd agree on Frank's point 1, and the proposed way to test.
    If distant things look out of focus, try focus manually to infinity to see if that improves matters. AF systems are good, but not flawless.
  4. Please tell us exactly which version of Tamron 70-300 did you purchase.
    If is the version with stabilization (VC), make sure that VC is active. This lens is a decent performer and you should get very good results with it.
    If is the cheaper version without stabilization I am afraid that this lens is a dog.... and there is not much hope for 300mm sharp pictures.
  5. I have to agree with Mihai - the older Tamron 70-300 is a very soft lens. I borrowed one briefly some years ago (used it on a D200) and even the photos I shot on a tripod were pretty bad. It's just not one of the better pieces of glass out there. Couple that with anything less than perfect technique, and you have the makings for some pretty crappy photographs.
  6. thanks for responses,
    Frank, the image i am talking is shot at @300mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/160sec, using a tripod and 10s auto timer with Nikon D3100
    Wouter, i agree with you and not want to use auto focus most times. here i used manual focus set to tight infinity of the focus ring.
    Lens in question is Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
    i am posting the original image (unaltered except Raw to Jpeg conversion in photoshop lightroom) and the 50% crop of main subject.
  7. here is 50% crop of original image
  8. The moon looks out of focus. With the camera up on the tripod, put the camera in Live View mode, zoom in on the moon and manually focus. If the camera has much mirror slap, there will be camera movement and the self time doesn't help.
    Another issue is the exposure. On a clear night, you should be able to properly expose the moon at ISO 400, f11@1/400 sec. In any event, the lens will perform better stopped down to f8.
  9. 1/160 is too slow to take a good shot of the moon.
  10. OK, the older Tamron 70-300 is soft at the long end, but not this soft. I have the Nikon 70-300G (old one) which is much like this Tamron. It just has to be stopped down, wide open aperture it's not good.
    So, what Bruce and Elliot say, both are points (to me) why this photo is soft.
    Test in good light, with a static object (the moon is not!) that is well lit and has decent contrast - that way you can see whether it's really the lens, or whether other factors are at play.
  11. Thanks a lot peers out there. So I was very much
    wrong at selecting shutter speed and aperture.
    Next time I will try something like you
    have.suggested. This is a lot of learning for me.
    Keep helping me. Highly grateful to all.
  12. here i used manual focus set to tight infinity of the focus ring.​
    MMM Carefull here : "Tight infinity"may be a little "past" infinity on some lenses since on some lenses you can go past the infinity point resulting in unsharp or soft pictures...

    So i agree with bruce that it might be better to focus manualy using liveview on the LCD in those situations, if the lens can focus "past infinity" this will show when using this method...
  13. Having owned that lens, I can tell you it is rather soft beyond 200mm. Shooting at f8 helps a bit, but it's not great. At the short end it was a pretty decent portrait lens. The newer VC version is a massive improvement, but more than double the price.
    Saying which, a friend who now uses that lens has gotten better results with moon shots. Something is not at it should be.

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