D500 + 80-400 AF-S experiences BIF, airshows, motorraces?

Does anyone have experience in using the D500 with the "new" 80-400?
- How fast does it focus?
- How accurate is the focus on a. acquisition and b. keeping focus?
- Is there a difference in keeping the subject in focus at 10 fps vs. -say- 7 fps?

I find my combo delivering decidedly soft results, quite different than when using the 16-80 on the D500. It MIGHT be down to calibration issues that can be solved with AF Fine-tune but I don't have the means, knowledge and experience to do that myself.

In my experience, the 80-400 can struggle somewhat acquiring focus on my D800, especially when the subject is flying towards me. The subject being jets at airhows BTW.

The softness isn't the result of camera movement, I used 1/2000 to rule that out. VR was off, BTW

Cheers,
Erik.

Comments

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    edited June 2016
    Well you have the D500 why not try the auto af calibration function... and the 16-80 is very very sharp (in the center) so there is that...
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • One_Oh_FourOne_Oh_Four Posts: 70Member
    Yeah, maybe I should do that.... although it makes me a bit nervous... But OTOH, what could really go wrong? (Famous last words.... ;) )
  • retreadretread Posts: 554Member
    I am hoping to shoot an air show this fall with the D500 and a 70-200 f/2.8 VR II both with and without a TC-20EIII. It will be my first air show so lots to learn.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @One_Oh_Four what can go wrong? Nothing. If you don't like it, set it back to zero, or turn it off (the default) It's not like you are cutting the hope diamond. It's just a setting like ISO... sheesh, take a pill :wink:
    If you shoot mostly at 400 set it there, find a high contrast static subject approx. same distance away and do it. Note the value it records, and do it three times, average those and go with that.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,009Member
    You will not get good focus with any lens over say 100mm unless you have done a fine focus adjust ....its just something you have to do for birds and aircraft.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I'll second what @Pistnbroke says. For any reasonably long FL, you have to fine tune to get best results. You will find it focuses faster when the fine-tune is set correctly too.
  • One_Oh_FourOne_Oh_Four Posts: 70Member
    Pill taken, Hommmmm Omnee Padmeee Hommmmmmm... ;) It's just that I haven't done it before. Tomorrow I have the day off so I'll give it a try. Thanks, guys!
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    IMHO 1/2000 for air shows is way too fast. You need to get that down to 1/100. This allows a natural look of the props spinning. Set the ISO down and use the VR with good panning, use the features you paided for. You will get lots of bad shots but many great ones also.

    framer
  • One_Oh_FourOne_Oh_Four Posts: 70Member
    edited June 2016
    Hi framer, thanks for your comment! I use that 1/2000 only for jets.

    For a propjob with a combustion engine or a helicopter I often use 1/250 or 1/500 if I can get away with it. I don't need complete propblur, just enough to show that the prop / rotor is obviously turning. On a turboprop the setting might even be 1/500 - 1/800 in my experience.

    https://flickr.com/photos/124627112@N05/14403027139/

    https://flickr.com/photos/124627112@N05/14560780065/

    I know, I know, the tailrotor blade and the vertical tail..... Even the FF wasn't wide enough.... In any case: these pics were taken with the 80-400 on my D800.
    Post edited by One_Oh_Four on
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 958Member
    edited June 2016
    I have shot the D500 with 16-80 at off road motorcycle races. Stills invariably were awesome. Unfortunately that was the only lens I used on that camera as the longer glass was on my other NikonDSLRs. Nikon D3s great results, NikonD4s, same, D7200 with 70-300 really very good. I did not use the 200-500 Nikkor as the 500 end was not needed there. Unfortunately I do not own the New 80-400 as I feel it is too expensive for what it is. I would take that over the 70-200 f2.8 I used to own though I am certain!
    Post edited by DaveyJ on
  • One_Oh_FourOne_Oh_Four Posts: 70Member
    Thanks Davey! I have dabbled with the Auto AF Fine-Tune but wasn't quite satisfied. I put that to inexperience on my part. Next week I'll bring the camera and lens to a specialist here in the Netherlands to have the sensor cleaned and to see if AF can be fine-tuned with the 80-400.

    BTW, for indoor sports my choice would be squarely on the 70-200/2.8, though! As for motocross, it would depend on how far I'm standing from the action I'd want to photograph!

    Cheers,
    Erik.
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    Here's a link to my Motocross album on Flickr. Many of the photos are with the 80-400mm which I think is a great lens for the sport. These were taken with the D4 as I haven't shot any MX with the D5 or D500 yet.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsjJG3hfg
  • lostit2003lostit2003 Posts: 1Member
    One_oh_four I'm having the same issues with my d500 and 80-400 combo. I had the d500 calibrated to that lens when I got it in May. Close subjects are in great focus but if there's any distance they are way too soft. Did getting your's calibrated by a pro help? Did you find any other solutions? thanks
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    @One_Oh_Four So how did the AF fine tuning go?
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    Bump...
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

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