Is my 16-35 a bad copy?

chakoochakoo Posts: 19Member
edited January 2013 in Nikon Lenses
Hi Everyone

I recently bought used 16-35 f/4 lens for my D600. I took it to shoot traffic trails, results are disappointing. Edges look soft to me even stopped down to f/16. May be I had high expectations on this lens reading all positive reviews. Please tell me if below samples look soft to you.

Both are original size and JPG SOOC. Forgive me for the huge files and sensor dust on my D600.

Atlanta Midtown

D600 - f/22 - 30sec - ISO 100 - Tripod (VR off) - Focused on top of the tallest building. Edges of the buildings (Even the one I focused) and freeway look soft to me.

Millennium Gate

D600 - f/6.3 - 1/125 - ISO 800 - Handheld - Focused on top of the building. This isn't too bad as the other sample.

Thanks
Post edited by chakoo on
«1

Comments

  • Several things come to mind - well, two at least...

    1: Movement on the tripod - 30 seconds is a LONG time - you need to be well anchored (I know - I've had fuzzy shots too)

    2: The red (rear) lights in the foreground (left) are not nearly as bright as the headlights in the middle of the image - which to me at least gives the 'impression' of sharpness
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,484Moderator
    Tell us about your techniques chakoo. What tripod do you have? How do you release the shutter?

    The last pic may not be as bad as the others because you used f6.3 instead of f22. Try using a neutral density ND8 or ND10 instead of apertures like f22 - I am sure you will see a better result.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited January 2013
    @ spraynpray

    For sure...technique is the key and stopping down past f/11 amy create a series of problems. For f/22 it looks pretty good. But a huge ND filter is best. And a tripod which holds 50 pounds so it is crock solid. Even the base we stand on, if a bridge for example, will be vibrating and cause poor resolution.

    The second image looks sharp...some CA, but otherwise pretty good.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • chakoochakoo Posts: 19Member
    edited January 2013
    @darkslide - I did not anchor my tripod. That evening was not windy at all.

    @spraynpray - I was using BENRO A-058EX Aluminum Tripod EX with Manfrotto 322RC2 head. Benro tripod legs are not super steady, but there was no wind on that evening. For trigger, I used Nikon remote with mirror lock-up.

    I will try with ND 3.0 (10-stop) filter. I also plan to do side-by-side comparison with 24-85 VR lens at 24 and 35mm focal lengths. I assume 16-35 to do better, I will let you know the results.


    Post edited by chakoo on
  • I'm sorry but even the most insignificant (to us) vibrations can sometimes cause havoc - the simple fact of not using a cable/wireless release can create vibrations (been there, done that) - in any case, my text was possibly misleading - I didn't mean to imply using Hilti bolts on a foot thick concrete base, just that good tripod/long exposure technique really helps - windy or not, the problem is the same.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    The 35mm end of the 16-35 is known to be a little weak, try a wider setting. 18-24mm is considered the strongest in terms of sharpness from what I've read.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • chakoochakoo Posts: 19Member
    Thank you all for your replies. I read some lens testing articles, I will try these at home in more controlled environment.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited January 2013
    @chakoo your setup was on par...hence, tripod, remote and mirror lockup. From the looks of it your lens is fine. Getting the result you seek require practice and good technique. Long exposure shots are tricky and shooting at F/22 does not always yield the results we want. I agree with spraynpray recommendation on the ND filter. But here are a few things I would recommend trying:
    1) Use Matrix Metering vs Spot
    2) Shoot wide for land scape...hence, PB_PM recommendation
    3) Try taking some HDR or familiarize yourself with such type of photography...if architecture is your subject
    4) For traffic trails use F/8 to f/10.

    Lastly, I notice some dust or other unwanted object on your sensor. Thus, it needs cleaning.

    Keep at it and don't get discouraged...you will get the shoot you have imagined it just takes time....cheers.


    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • chakoochakoo Posts: 19Member
    @Golf007sd - Thanks for your reply. Sensor dust is the infamous issue with D600, mine is not even 1000 actuations. I'm planning to send it to Nikon after 3000, till then I'm spot cleaning them in LR.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @chakoo No need to wait amigo. Knowing how to clean your sensor is something you should get to know how to do. And it is an easy process. Have look at this video by Peter Gregg and judge for yourself.


    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,484Moderator
    edited January 2013
    ...But be very aware that self or third party professional cleaning of your sensor VOIDS YOUR WARRANTY if Nikon find out.

    EDIT: I just watched this guy clean his sensor - I wouldn't use his method!
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @spraynpray I have been clean my sensor in this manner since 2010 and have never had an issue. I started out with my D7000 and now with my D4. And how exactly do you think Nikon is going to find out about how a photographer goes by cleaning his sensor?
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • @spraynpray +1
    I don't know who Peter Gregg is, but I'm for avoiding anything he says. Thom Hogan is the guy to follow and he gives perfectly simple cleaning instructions over on his site (without the continuous blah blah blah - sorry Golf007sd :D )

    @Golf007sd Nikon know when we've taken the lens off - so knowing whetheror not we've cleaned the sensor is childsplay for them!! Seriously, I doubt they'd ever find out, or care - but some heavy handed people might leave marks on the sensor - and a good camera tech would notice those..
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,484Moderator
    Well, if you watch that clown huffing in his camera and rattling that sensor wipe around pretty carelessly, there is a pretty good chance of you picking up a piece of cr@p and going over the sensor a few more times! You try telling the experts at Nikon that you haven't been cleaning your sensor when it has side-to-side scratches on it!

    I would clean mine by using a tiny amount of liquid after blowing and inspecting and following that with a fresh wipe to dry it.
    Always learning.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited January 2013
    I have read Thom Hogan instructions on how to clean your sensor.

    And I quote: "First, don’t be put off by Nikon’s...the Lithium Niobate filter over the Nikon sensors is somewhat difficult to scratch if you use the right tools (on the MHOS Scale of Hardness table that ranges from talc at 0 to diamond at 10, Lithium Niobate is a 5, the same as Apatite, and a bit lower than Orthoclase and Quartz; Fujifilm and Kodak don't identify the material they use [nor does Nikon on the latest cameras], but it seems just as durable). While it's possible to scratch the filter surface, it's also not at all easy to do if you're using the right tools."

    With that said, I think you will find that modern sensors are far more durable than you think. In fact, I have had the opportunity in holding in my hand the Phase One P65 Back, like the one below and I agree with Mr. Hogan description of the modern sensor.

    EK021374-31
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Are there any threads left that are have remained on Topic
    what has sensor cleaning got to do with the 16 -35
    I feel sorry for people who are told
    "Do a search before starting a new thread "
    most answers have little to do with the original question
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,484Moderator
    ooooOOOOOoooooo! Who died and promoted you to chief constable seven?

    Seriously though, the reason for starting on the sensor cleaning was because it is a D600 and bad spots do give the same effect as out of focus-ness. I just thought it prudent to warn about the warranty issues of DIY as Golf skipped that and the D600 is still in warranty.
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    ooooOOOOOoooooo! Who died and promoted you to chief constable seven?
    .
    Sorry, I will go away

  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    Additional long-exposure techniques:

    1. Bag your tripod: Add a small shotbag or sandbag (10-15 lbs.) to the bottom of the center column (some tripods have hooks here for this purpose).
    2. Wind protection: hold a small 18" x 24" flag or piece of cardboard in front of the camera to deflect any wind.
    3. Remove camera strap (tends to catch wind).
    4. Don't make exposures when any large trucks pass nearby.
    5. Use mirror-up mode (MUP) in conjunction with a wireless cable release.
    6. Note that diffraction robs sharpness at smaller apertures--try to avoid shooting at apertures smaller than f/11.
  • friedmudfriedmud Posts: 14Member
    As a self professed "pixel peeper" (I sent back _2_ Canon 16-35 f/2.8s last year for being soft on one side) here is my diagnosis:

    1. f/22 will make any lens look soft. If you are after sharpness, don't shoot beyond f/11. The 16-35 looks like it is shapest around f/8 or so (http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/492-nikkor_afs_1635_4_ff?start=1). If you need a large depth of field, use proper hyperfocal techniques. If you want long exposures use filters. This is why your first photo is fuzzy.

    2. The 16-35 is sharpest in the middle of its zoom range. The extreme wide end is the worst wide open, but at 35 no amount of stopping down is going to bring back the borders.

    3. Your second photo looks fine... the lack of sharpness on the left looks like it is out of focus. Where were you focused?

    Can we get one more photo of a normal landscape where everything is off in the distance, shot from a tripod, manually focused using live view? Also, can you upload the full resolution photo somewhere?
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    edited January 2013
    CHAKOO, I think I am seeing about a two pixel motion shift that is about 10 degrees or less off vertical. I fixed two different areas located inside the red box so you could make a comparison. The areas inside the box look significantly sharper to me. No sharpening was added to he image. The extra pixels on these new sensor probably makes them more sensitive to motion and looking out of focus.

    image

    Sorry for having them vertical. You are welcome to download them for a close inspection.

    image

    I hope this is helpful to you.
    Post edited by TriShooter on
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    edited January 2013
    BTW I forgot to say that the 2 pixel shift during the exposure for the building shows up as three pixel shift in the foreground because of being closer.

    There are a lot of good suggestions above securing the tripod and reducing the impact of wind on the equipment which I enjoyed reading and appreciate everyone posting. These new sensors are going to force all of us to a new level in terms of preparation and our techniques as I have discovered using my little Nikon V1s while waiting for Nikon's replacement for my D300 because I prefer the APS-C, and cx formats for birding.
    Post edited by TriShooter on
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    edited January 2013
    After playing with the full size image I used 3 pixels an angle of about 55 degrees off vertical and uploaded the full size picture which you can download from http://db.tt/Nru5cgxt

    image
    Post edited by TriShooter on
  • I don't know about the detail, but this shot shows clearly the rubbish all over your sensor...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,484Moderator
    " this shot shows clearly the rubbish all over your sensor..."

    ...Or lens. Early on I thought I had a D7000 that suffered from spots on the sensor but it turned out it was the lens.
    Always learning.
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