200-500mm focus issue

trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member
I noticed yesterday that when I focused on a white squirrel, even though it was large in the frame, it wasn't focused properly. Today, after getting the same issue & putting it down to crap English weather, it still did it when the sun came out! Independent of subject distance, metering area & drive speed (always on AF-C), Even on static objects the focus was bouncing back & forth. BUT, when I reduced the focal from 500mm to 400 & somethingmm, it locked on fine. at home I put on my 70-200mm - no problem.
It has also recorded the focal length of every photo as 290mm!!
I've checked all the screws are tight & cleaned the contacts on both lens & camera with isoprapnol on a cotton bud, but no change.
So it focuses fine at focal lengths up to 400mm, and thene beyond that somewhere approaching 500mm, it loses it.
Any ideas?
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Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,450Moderator
    Nikon UK service centre at Kingston will sort it.
    Always learning.
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member
    I should also add that at 500mm I caan move the front tube relative to the rear one - which I'm sure shouldn't happen. And no, it hasn't been dropped.
    @spraynpray They can, but past experience says:
    1) They're painfully slow
    2) There's no chance of it being looked at this side of New Year
    3) And they won't give me a replacement whilst it's being repaired
    I'll check on my insurance to see what they cover
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,450Moderator
    edited December 2020

    1/ I must have always been lucky
    2/ Ask, but you're probably right because of Covid 19 (don't use Royal Mail right now)
    3/ True
    4/ Good idea.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 224Member
    Definitely something an authorized service center needs to look at. As you say none of this should happen, but I don't see any way to fix it unless you're a repair tech.
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member
    So it can't be repaired until the New Year (2 different places say the same). And it will take up to 15 working days to examine it, product a quote & repair it. I can use it as a 200-400mm at the moment, but it's a faff checking that it hasn't moved/slipped.
    So I've hired a 500mm f5.6PF for the holidays B)
    The offer was hire it for a week & get 3 weeks extra hire free!
    So it arrived this afternoon & I return it on January 14th.
    We have some interesting birds around my local patch at the moment, so it'll gte plenty of use
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 224Member
    I have the 500 PF and love it. In fact it is the primary reason I switched to Nikon from Canon. I never used the 200-500 but my brother had it and said it wasn't sharp enough. He recently replaced it with the 500 PF. You may find that once you use the 500 PF you will want to get it to replace your 200-500.
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member
    Well, obviously! But I need to spend money on other stuff first, like a kitchen. And my wife will never approve of me spending £2300 on a lens :#
    But she likes the look & feel of the 500 - and she's not a photographer.
    So I may be able to soften the blow when it comes - unless the mirrorless lenses are better. But that's a whole new rabbit hole
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 429Member
    trolley said:

    Well, obviously! But I need to spend money on other stuff first, like a kitchen. And my wife will never approve of me spending £2300 on a lens :#
    But she likes the look & feel of the 500 - and she's not a photographer.
    So I may be able to soften the blow when it comes - unless the mirrorless lenses are better. But that's a whole new rabbit hole

    You found it for a massive discount and it just materialised in your camera bag.
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member
    Yeah, I wish @photobunny.
    I had an idea that I would buy a used one in a year or two's time - no chance. They're rarer than rocking horse s**t used.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 429Member
    The 500 PF must only be limited in some places. In Scotland I they have been same day and next day delivery for almost all of 2019-today. I found it way harder to get my 70-200mm S.
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member
    Oh yeah, they're available new, no problem
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 168Member

    I have the 500 PF and love it. In fact it is the primary reason I switched to Nikon from Canon. I never used the 200-500 but my brother had it and said it wasn't sharp enough. He recently replaced it with the 500 PF. You may find that once you use the 500 PF you will want to get it to replace your 200-500.

    Until that bear you've been trying to get a good shot of pops up 10 ft away and you only walk away with the upper right ⅓ of his bung but you can count the hairs from 50 paces lol

  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member
    To be fair, if I saw a bear wandering round in the UK , any photo would be worth a fortune
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,450Moderator
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,256Member
    There are no bears in the UK?
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member
    Not officially, no. At least, not in the wild.
  • GPDenGPDen Posts: 1,125Member
    Appreciate this thread started off about focus issues with the 200-500 but now appears to be that lens vs the 500 PF, so my take on that - the latter is a prime the former a tele zoom so not quite apples & pears to me. It's only one focal length being considered and I'm sure the prime wins hands down on that front. I've not used any 500 prime but do have the 200-500 and it suits my photography brilliantly. Yep sharpest when stopped down a bit from f5.6 and best in good light, but the range is the difference so I agree with daveznspace above re the bear shot! If I only had a 500 PF on the golf course I'd miss tons of shots in and around the greens when you just couldn't get far enough away quickly enough to get all the payer in frame (not moving around on the golf course at the wrong time with a camera is a bit of a black art I've found). I suppose it's that old addage 'horses for courses' - so both lenses have their place/uses. Just my non technical thoughts folks!
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,320Member
    edited January 18
    No bears in UK ? Some of the women have the same characteristics.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Bite your head off.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member

    No bears in UK ? Some of the women have the same characteristics.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Bite your head off.

    And the same facial hair
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,450Moderator
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 168Member
    trolley said:

    To be fair, if I saw a bear wandering round in the UK , any photo would be worth a fortune


    lol...
    well feel to stop by and I'll introduce you to a few and take one with you ;)
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 168Member
    GPDen said:

    Appreciate this thread started off about focus issues with the 200-500 but now appears to be that lens vs the 500 PF, so my take on that - the latter is a prime the former a tele zoom so not quite apples & pears to me. It's only one focal length being considered and I'm sure the prime wins hands down on that front. I've not used any 500 prime but do have the 200-500 and it suits my photography brilliantly.

    Even location can change your needs. Like in the Tetons you can get away with a 500mm prime since most all of your shooting will be done from the side of the road (bear jams) where they try to keep you 100 yards or as far as they can within that from them. So in that case the 500mm prime makes sense.

    It's like everything... Don't watch YouTube hype (unless it's Steve ), just use your brain and figure out the common scenario's in what you shoot. The 200-500mm for what it is... is fantastic. Used mine today for eagles and harriers and later tonight for owls. Now, if I can use that lens on owls... at night... it kinda eliviates and questions on how well that lens performs. Not to mention when I do owls in winter at night and probably snowing and usually around 0º to -30ºf and it doesn't skip a beat.

    But before you buy one check around. When I got mine it was $200 off for nikons rebates, included a decent Manfroto element tripod which was $150-200 (can't remember) and free shipping from b&H, so it was like paying a bit less than $1000.

    All that being said, I'd love to have a 500mm prime on a second body. We have crazy light here so it's not like when I'm in Florida with glorious light, so for that instant switch when needed.

  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 168Member
    trolley said:

    No bears in UK ? Some of the women have the same characteristics.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Bite your head off.

    And the same facial hair

    Thankfully that facial hair probably saves you from finding out about the bum hair!!
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 168Member

    Me too, I pickup crazy amounts of info, then thanks to my adhd immidiatly forget it but a year or two later it comes back crystal clear, go figure
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 181Member

    trolley said:

    No bears in UK ? Some of the women have the same characteristics.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Bite your head off.

    And the same facial hair

    Thankfully that facial hair probably saves you from finding out about the bum hair!!
    I've never been that close to a bear!
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