Purchase Nikon's 70-300 mm lens?

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  • BVSBVS Posts: 440Member

    On the other hand, I was surprised that both lenses occasionally failed to achieve focus where my camera was pointed. This wasn't a case of missing focus by just a little; it was all blur and no focus at all.

    Which AF point were you using? The center point usually works fine, but those line type outer points can be a pain sometimes.

    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    edited July 2018
    "Which AF point were you using? The center point usually works fine, but those line type outer points can be a pain sometimes."

    Central point initially. But then I tried a few of the other AF points with the same failure. There were plenty of vertical AND horizontal lines in the scene, which is why I picked it for my tests. Perhaps there was not enough contrast between those linear elements for the D7200, yet enough for the A6300. I'll be doing more tests this week on another standard test scene I often use. And mind you, this says nothing about focussing at close distance, which is not how I typically use this lens anyway. I would not return the lens even if I confirm the problem because the workaround is so simple: in 99.9% of the cases, I'd just move the focus point or camera off to the side a bit in order to get focus lock. In actual use rather than tests it could be a slight annoyance but it's no big deal, really.

    PS: As I wrote earlier, this is unlikely to be a lens issue anyway. I presume it's more a D7200 issue, and I am NOT giving up my D7200 that easily. You will have to take it from my cold, dead hands.
    Post edited by BabaGanoush on
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    Conducted a few more focus tests of my D7200 + 70-300mm AF-P lens today under conditions I think were more stringent than those of yesterday. The camera passed with flying colors. No focus issues at all. Yesterday's difficulties will remain an unsolved mystery for the foreseeable future.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,286Member
    I didn't realize this, but Thom Hogan did publish a complied compatibility chart with older cameras. Seems like if you have older cameras, the FX 70-300 AF-P is the one to go for.

    http://dslrbodies.com/lenses/lens-articles/general-nikon-lens-info/understanding-the-af-p.html
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    edited July 2018
    So, for the last week or two since I received my new 70-30mm AF-P lens, I've been testing it out on my D7200, getting pictures of a pair of sea birds that have decided to nest in the tree next to my house. Those birds are a challenge to photograph. They are very swift and very stealthy fliers, they are entirely white in color except for their eyes and beaks, thus offering very little contrast for an autofocus system to grab onto, and my only access to them as they swoop into view is through a large but somewhat dirty window. I am pleased to say that my new lens performs extremely well despite the challenging scene and, as long as I catch the birds soon enough as they approach so I have enough time to lift my camera to my eye, I've been getting a very good hit rate of sharply focussed images. For comparison I have also been shooting with both my older 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VRII and my 80-400mm ED VRII. Both lenses are showing signs of their age, as the AF on neither one is proving fast enough to grab autofocus reliably on the birds as they fly into view at high speed. I've also shot with my Sony A6300 with my 70-200mm f/4 G and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G. The AF of the Sony is amazingly fast and nails focus each and every time with either lens.

    I should also mention that with the the Nikon lenses I ended up shooting in AF-C focus mode with a single central focus spot. In every other focussing mode I tried, the camera tended too easily to lose track of the approaching birds and to move the focus to infinity on the distant background. And even though I set the delimiting focus switch on the 80-400mm to 6m-->infinity (since I was shooting through a window), the autofocus showed a huge amount of jitter in its attempt to engage focus as the birds approached.
    Post edited by BabaGanoush on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,881Member
    edited August 2018
    Really tempted to pick up the FX AF-P 70-300. It's already $150 off, and there's an eBay bonus bucks offer on now...

    Edit: I caved
    Post edited by mhedges on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,881Member
    Anyone else notice a light "click" sound from the FX AF-P lens when the VR turns on? Mine just came today and I noticed it immediately. None of my other VR lenses do that.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,286Member
    Interesting, my 105mm macro does have a light click when VR turns on.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 721Member
    Several of mine do. The most noticeable is the 200-500. It's almost a palpable clunk. That said the VR on that lens is amazing.
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    mhedges said:

    Anyone else notice a light "click" sound from the FX AF-P lens when the VR turns on? Mine just came today and I noticed it immediately. None of my other VR lenses do that.

    No. If at the same time I am pressing down on the focus button (either AF-ON or Shutter Release, however I have it set at the time) as I move the VR switch to the ON position, I hear a soft clicking sound, but that's caused by the lens trying to focus, not stabilizing.
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 180Member
    The 70-300mm vr was such a bargain, a great lens.

    However, mines been really misbehaving lately in the AF. For example, if I have an eagle circling over my head and close enough to fill up the frame or further away the af will lock but most of the pix are out or focus a bit and "dirty", where as it used to be sharp and clean. And yes I've af tuned it and cleaned it and on and on.

    Or another example is I can point it at a friggin mountain and it'll be out of focus....
    But if a little sparrow or hummingbird zips by at 3,000 mph it'll nail it perfectly. it's maddening!! Time for a 200-500 anyway I guess
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Definitely and if you were happy with the 70-300VR you will love the 200-500.
    Always learning.
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 180Member

    Definitely and if you were happy with the 70-300VR you will love the 200-500.

    I know I will :) or maybe the tamron... I dunno.

    But like today I had a golden eagle hovering in the about 50 mph winds staring at me maybe 15 yards away... 0 out 5 five shots (in group mode on d750) where in focus, actually they were so badly out of focus you couldn't tell what it was lol

    Definitely got my money out of it though
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    The lenses I use and need to have best AF performance with are Nikon, lenses that I manually focus for nightscapes and landscapes aren't. I have an IRIX 15mm and the brilliant Sigma 24-35mm. If I were getting a long lens it would be a Nikon for best AF.
    Always learning.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,751Member

    The lenses I use and need to have best AF performance with are Nikon, lenses that I manually focus for nightscapes and landscapes aren't. I have an IRIX 15mm and the brilliant Sigma 24-35mm. If I were getting a long lens it would be a Nikon for best AF.

    +1 spraynpray on Nikon for the best AF.
    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 |
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,881Member
    AF on the FX AF-P lens is outstanding.
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 180Member
    Photobug said:

    The lenses I use and need to have best AF performance with are Nikon, lenses that I manually focus for nightscapes and landscapes aren't. I have an IRIX 15mm and the brilliant Sigma 24-35mm. If I were getting a long lens it would be a Nikon for best AF.

    +1 spraynpray on Nikon for the best AF.
    While not as fast my most accurate af is on a tokina 100mm 2.8 macro
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Accuracy is usually a matter of fine-tuning?
    Always learning.
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 180Member
    mhedges said:

    Anyone else notice a light "click" sound from the FX AF-P lens when the VR turns on? Mine just came today and I noticed it immediately. None of my other VR lenses do that.

    I have an old 24-120mm (you know the one that made Nikon's 10 worst lenses ever list lol) and when you turn it on and every few tries with af the whole thing has a total seizure for a few seconds. But that lens saves my butt all the time, the af is fast, I even shoot astro with it over my Samyang 14mm and when shooting astro I just point it up and hit af and instantly it grabs focus... funny lens.
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 180Member

    Accuracy is usually a matter of fine-tuning?

    I fine-tune them often, a couple of them and my D700 got badly damaged when I made the horrible mistake of buying a 3 legged POS thing tripod which immediately dumped them onto concrete.. 3lt is a complete joke run by a habitual lying POS.. lol

    The 70-300mm just won't fine-tune and shows when shooting that's in focus but it's not. Like I said earlier, eagles 20ft away or mountains especially are crazy out of focus and it's almost impossible to get a mountain out of focus. Well some eagle shots are in focus but even worse is the image quality is terrible now too. But it will lock on and nail, pigeons and small birds, just nothing big. It sucks too as I'm in wyoming by yellowstone right now and missing so much but also in a so far 2 yr dragged out workmans comp fiasco and spent all my savings living and paying all their bills while they the insurance company hides... uggg

    That tokina 100mm is a hellava lens tho! After I got it I sold all my 85mm's as the tokina was even better at portraits.
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 180Member

    Accuracy is usually a matter of fine-tuning?

    It just couldn't be fine-tuning, if it was it'd be a little off but it wouldn't blur a mountain, maybe I'll post a couple of pix
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 180Member
    edited October 2018

    Accuracy is usually a matter of fine-tuning?

    Ok...

    Here are some from the 70-300mm and tokina 100mm mostly from yesterday... wasn't going for style just focus testing. Really need to see them at 100%, don't know if you can on there but you can download. I included some tokina 100mm shots for reference because its very sharp and the two eastern screech owls were shot on either of the lenses.

    The fox was to try and see if it was front or back focusing

    http://img.gg/pexIE9a


    and these were how it was when I got it with a couple of tokina shots too and most shots were in fl with a d700

    http://img.gg/VS9BovU
    Post edited by daveznspace on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    edited October 2018
    I wonder if it would be more consistent with VR switched off? Seems like it could be a VR problem. Do you have your body set to only release on focus? AFS or AFC?
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 180Member

    I wonder if it would be more consistent with VR switched off? Seems like it could be a VR problem. Do you have your body set to only release on focus? AFS or AFC?

    I usually switch vr off when over 1/1000 but sometimes try it on to see as well. That eagle the vr was off. it's set to on release, on focus isn't too reliable.

    af-c, back button focus, group, d9 or s af. like i said though, it nails small, fast birds.

    The other day for the first time I tried in af-c auto and it did much better. I also try and keep it on a contrasty edge, especially the mountains but it doesn't matter. Inside the viewfinder, it shows it's in focus.

    I should just mf, i used to do that on flying bees.


  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 1,090Member
    I have every single .Nikon 70-300 lens made or close. Not one is close to the 16-80 or the 200-500. It is a good lens. I like the new AF-P DX VR as much as any. The non DX is necessary if you want FX. I think though the 70-300 is far better on DX. Still as a telephoto zoom, nothing like the bigger 200-500 F5.6.
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