Using a D7100 w/ 200 f/2 VR II

RocklandDragonRocklandDragon Posts: 12Member
edited April 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Good morning, ladies and gents. Currently, I am in the market for a second camera. I currently own a Canon 7D and a 70-200 f/2.8 NON-IS. I do like the Canon camera and has served me greatly but I'm having some problems with low light situations. I dont mind working with the 7D to get better at that but I have always wondered about Nikon cameras. I initally was going to get a D7000 but ended up with a 7D due to its quicker autofocus, higher fps and buffer.

I rented out a D7100 and used a Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR II and I really liked the combination and I got great shots of baseball. The crop mode came in handy when I took shots of the outfield and base position players. I was using JPEG so the buffer wasnt a problem. The thing that was tricky with the Nikon is to me you had to know your ISOs because auto-iso wasnt yielding good results, but once I adjusted the iso and set the shutter priority, I was doing fine. The shots were going off smooth with the occasional out of focus shot. I didnt have to spray and pray as much and it made me anticipate the shots better. I was happy with the D7100 and 70-200 f/2.8 combo. The camera never stopped shooting and hit it's mark even when the sun was gone. Nothing but baseball stadium lights and the camera and lens were great.

Now, I decided to up the ante a bit. During the shots, I constanlty shot at 200. Generally 200 was enough and got enough of the player. So, I wanted to rent the prime.I rented a 200 f/2. This beast is heavy but I didnt have a problem hand holding it. The focus was fast but during this week, I had to shoot through a fence. I couldnt get the autofocus to cooperate. It would focus on the player and then shift to the grass. When I wanted to take the shot, the camera would shoot but the fps would drop to 2 to 3 fps. My settings were correct, I believe. I was in aperture priority when it came to the batters in the box and went to shutter when it came to action on the field but the camera wasnt cooperating. I wonder if the lens with the hood on was having to bypass the fence too much.

I dont think it was a problem with the lens. I went to manual focus and once I got the player in focus, it shot the full 6fps and 7fps in crop. Only a few times this way, itwould get stuck trying to shoot and would dip to 3 fps. I had better luck with the autofocus taking pictures of the nephews on Easter but there was still trouble with the AF and D7100. Using it on manual focus and it was fine.

So, what do you think I need to adjust my settings to? Am I using the 200 f/2 wrong? Today, it would focus quick on my nephew but then would shift to the right and get the tree in the back, or the building. I'm thinking I need to adjust my AF settings. Maybe I needed a monopod but I really had no trouble holding the lens. It didnt act up on manual focus.

I'm not gonna lie though. When I got the lens and camera to work, it was fantastic! This 200 f/2 is going to make me sad to let it go. The bokeh on a portrait shot is the best I've seen and even on a crop body (where apparently it's more like 2.8) it was great.

I will end up getting a Nikon body. I really have enjoyed shooting with the D7100. It simply is a better low light camera than my Canon 7D and that took a bit to admit. Still, I like my 7D and it does some things better than the D7100 so I wont be getting rid of it. I'm looking at getting a D7100, but I can try for a used D3 or wait for the D9300. My plan is to have two cameras for events and me and someone else can help shoot events if I need it. One of my nephews wants to learn photography and I think having a second body would be useful and learing two different systems wont hurt. I will likely use Canon for daytime events and sporting events and the Nikon will be used for low light and portraits. I dont have a lot invested in glass so to me, a second body will be fine.

Comments

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,356Moderator
    Shooting through a fence may require focus lock-on at 5 (long). This allows the camera to "miss" the fence if it momentarily becomes the primary focus element. This also helps if the subject momentarily moves out of the focus point.

    The 200mm f/2 is nice, I am told, but the 300mm f/2.8 is the really nice hand held, even the 400mm f/2.8 can be hand held if you are willing to pay the price physically. A used D3s is the body to get IMO. Or waiting is a favorite game of mine and if this is a reality for Nikon, this should be a phenomenal crop sensor body.

    Welcome to NRF. You are certain to get many opinions, some are from the very best at what they do.
    Msmoto, mod
  • RocklandDragonRocklandDragon Posts: 12Member
    I totally forgot about the switch. I knew I should have used it. Every play was well past the 5 meters. I'll try that today during the JV's baseball game today and the Freshmen game tonight.

    Thanks! What setting is best for AF for sports on the D7100?
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,498Member
    If I read this right you never told us which focus mode setting you used from about 6 available
  • RocklandDragonRocklandDragon Posts: 12Member
    Oh my goodness, the post above me just made me realize I made another brain error. Oops. I used AF-S this weekend. Last time I used AF-A. I needed to use AF-C. For some reason, I thought AF-S was the mode I was supposed to use. I got the modes mixed up. I didnt use single center point like I did last time, either. I need to use AF-C and likely either center point or nine point.

    With all this brought to my attention, I am surprised the camera and lens shot as well as it did, considering it was not in a sports shooting AF mode.

    Still a novice to Nikon. :) I'll get better.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,356Moderator
    edited April 2014
    OK, on my D4, I might start with AF-C, Nine Point, AF-Lock-On at 5. 10 FPS for baseball, shooting burst as necessary to cover the action.

    Example:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/9011431181/sizes/k/

    D4, 400mm f/2.8, 1/600 sec, f/8
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,735Moderator
    Generally: If you had bought the D7000, you would have got a camera that was about the same as the 7D for low light up to 1600 ISO, but inferior after that as although the 7D isn't great at 1600, it doesn't get much worse all the way to 6400 whereas the D7000 is useless above 1600 in low light. The D7100 slaughters the 7D for low light to 6400 ISO.

    The 7D is better than the D7100 for AF, fps and buffer size so IMHO either wait for the 9300 which will be brilliant at everything, or wait for the 7D mk2 which is bound to appear if the 9300 does and would still use your Canon glass.

    BTW the 'AF lock long at 5' reference Msmoto made is a menu option (not a switch) that reduces the AF system's sensitivity to sudden changes in subject to camera distance so would ignore the strands of the fence unless you stopped with one strand smack on the centre focus point for some time.

    If I were you I would wait and buy the 7D2 although because I do not follow Canon, I don't know when it is likely to show.

    HTH.
    Always learning.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    There is also a focus limiting switch that will select "full" range or "infinity to 5m" which will prevent hunting all the way back to minimum.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @RocklandDragon: Welcome to NRF. I'm pleased you are giving the D7100 a go and so far it has provided you with some great results. The more you play with it, the better your understanding of its functionality and limits.

    Now for some advice: 1) The 200 f/2 is a very amazing piece of glass...if not the best in Nikon line of lenses...and you will pay for it. Yet, I have to agree with Msmoto; consider the 300 2.8 VR II as well. I personally think the additional focal length will really come in handy, and you will not be disappointed with the result in anyway shape matter of form..it is right up there with the 200 f/2. Moreover, the added 1.5 crop factor of the DX, will allow for more cropping if needed. 2) Given that these lenses are for FX/FF bodies, should you find yourself a good deal on a D3, I too would pull the trigger on it. The AF and FPS will early rock your world. 3) For the time being, when it comes to how to use the AF system on the D7100, have look at the video below...it should prove itself very rewarding....cheers.

    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 |
  • RocklandDragonRocklandDragon Posts: 12Member
    Thanks for the tips everyone. They helped immensely and getting baseball pics was a lot easier and got much better results. However, one problem that I cannot overlook did occur with the 7100. I knew it was a flaw but didnt think it was going to hamper me that much, but it did. I decided to shoot in RAW+JPEG today and the buffer simply couldnt keep up when the ball was put in play. I missed a play at the plate or a steal at second. A shame too because the lens was focusing fast on the moving subjects.

    The D7100 and 200 f/2 did fantastic today, overall but if I use a Nikon for sports, I will likely have to get a D9300 or D3. I really want to make photobooks out of my prints and using RAW will help me out more in the event I need to clean up an image. RAW would be real good for weddings and special events, I think. I do like the RAW+JPEG option because I can upload the JPEGs online and they come up fine, and use the RAWs for prints.

    Very happy with Nikon and will be glad to add a Nikon to my camera arsenal. Hopefully the 7D and the Nikon I get will get along. :D
  • clskeltonclskelton Posts: 31Member
    I'm happy to hear about your results with the D7100 and glad you're having a good time with it.

    In my own testing, these options have relieved some of the buffer issues for me, but you can only go so far when shooting RAW. You're probably already familiar with most of them:

    Use 12-bit lossless instead of 14-bit lossless
    Two 90/95MBps cards, splitting the RAW and JPEG across them (or use a slower card for the JPEGs, I use a MicroSD card so I can pop it in my phone for uploading 1 or 2 pics)
    RAW+JPEG basic
    Auto distortion control: OFF
    Noise reduction: OFF
    1.3x crop
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited April 2014
    If you get a D3, then get the 300 2.8. If you get a D7100 or D9XXX when it comes out, the 200 2.0 is about the same price and same field of view.

    Another alternative to think about is combining the 200 2.0 with a D800. The incredible sharpness of this lens combined with the resolution of the D800 will allow you to crop to your heart's content. Of course, even more so with the 300 2.8.

    The low light abilities will also be a big step up from a DX sensor, though not as good as a DF/D4 (not sure about the D3).
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    When you "get down to the brass tacks" of it when comparing the 300mm f2.8 to the 200mm f2 you quickly realize that the weight difference isn't terribly substantial at 2930g for the 200mm and 2700g for the 300mm and that the advantages of either choice is down to a few very specific advantages. The nature of the lens design gives a handholding advantage to the 300mm because of the resulting weight distribution, however the 200mm isn't really that challenging to handhold for short periods of time, but chock one up for the 300mm.

    As far as IQ goes its an easy win for the 200mm and when you consider how incredible the 200mm performs with the 1.4x tele wide open @ f2.8, it quickly becomes a challenge to choose the 300mm f2.8 over the 200mm f2(Its worth noting that I owned a 300mm f4 for two years and a 300m f2.8 for even longer before I opted for the 200mm f2). Despite having the distinct advantage of being able to essentially be both a 200mm f2 and a 300mm f2.8, there is definitely a big AF speed and accuracy advantage to the 300mm @ f2.8 vs. the 200mm with tele. So, if your looking to strictly use the lens for sports and quick moving wildlife, then its an easy call to choose the longer telephoto. However, if pragmatism tends to be your tact for these kinds of decisions, then its really, really hard not to choose the 200mm.

    It can shoot at f2, the 300mm can't. That one usually keeps ringing in your head while mulling these decisions. :]

    Good luck.
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2014
    One thing to also consider, should you happen to travel a lot to your shooting events. It has come to me attention that the 300 2.8 is more manageable for travel, given its front element in relation to the 200 f2.

    In the end, the solution is an easy fix....buy both and call it a good year. I have a feeling this will be the path I end up going over the next few years.

    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 |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,356Moderator
    @SquamishPhoto

    Wow, what a very useful post. I really did not have any idea about the sharpness of the 200mm f/2, so I looked at the MTF chart vs. the 300mm f/2.8. The 200 is hands down the winner…. sharper than any lens other than possibly the 500mm and up telephotos.

    Of course now this means I will have to give some serious consideration of this vs. the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO Sonnar T.

    Thanks, SquamishPhoto for providing this info
    Msmoto, mod
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2014
    Perhaps someone could point to me where the 200 f2 is the "hands down" winner by looking at the MTF charts.

    300 2.8 VR II:
    2186__MTF

    200 f/2:

    AFS_200_ED_VR_II_MTF_i

    Moreover, here are other lens to compare them too:

    500 f/4 VR II:

    2172-AF-S-NIKKOR-500mm-f4G-ED-VR_MTF-1

    400 2.8 VR II:

    2171_AF-S-NIKKOR-400mm-f2.8G-ED-VR_MTF

    800 f/5.6:

    2205_MTF_01_en
    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 |
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,247Member
    Perhaps someone could point to me where the 200 f2 is the "hands down" winner by looking at the MTF charts.

    Love it when you back stuff up with those FTF charts. +1
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    Just because mrsmoto said it doesn't mean thats the reason the lens is sharper, which is worth pointing out as that was the basis of comparison. As was posted on the main NR page a while back, the 200mm was at one point the sharpest lens tested at DXO. Now only two lenses beat it out and they're both Zeiss lenses.

    http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Ratings/Optical-Metric-Scores
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2014
    Let me be very clear....as I said before above, the 200 f/2 is a dream lens...hence "...the 200 f/2 is a very amazing piece of glass...if not the best in Nikon line of lenses" and anyone that has it would be very much in their right to say that it is the sharpest lens in there bag...I sure would not argue with that point. I hope one day to shoot with it and find out first hand.

    My remarks as to the MTF charts was for educational purpose...I wanted to know what I was missing in reading the chart. This was not a rhetorical question.

    It is also worth noting, given that you have brought our attention to DxOMark, is that each lens they test, yield a different score based on the body used, more specifically the sensor inside the body. Hence the images below.

    This is something the OP should consider given that he/she is seeking a new Nikon body.

    Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 9.10.01 PM

    Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 9.32.14 PM

    Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 9.33.57 PM
    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 |
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited April 2014
    @Squamishphoto, thanks for the very well written comparison. You have me convinced. After I buy the 58mm 1.4 and a DF, it is the 200 f/2.0.

    Golf, the 200 f/2.0 is sharper at 30 lines per mm (the eyelash zone) in the centre and since this is a portrait lens, perhaps that is what really counts. This is just a hypothesis, so I am not sure if it is true but it might explain some of the opinions.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
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