MLU and Exposure Delay w/VRI 70-200 on D2X Question

Started Nov 24, 2011 | Discussions
olindacat
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MLU and Exposure Delay w/VRI 70-200 on D2X Question
Nov 24, 2011

This is a 100% crop of a shot I took yesterday using the D2X on a heavy tripod, with mirror lock-up and exposure delay. I wasn't zooming. This is at 70mm. The flag is 250 yards away. I shot this at f/7.1 @ 1/600. I bumped up the ISO to 200 just 'in case'.

I have not sharpened this in PS. I just lightened it up when I opened it in ACR. I shot this in numerous ways, ISO 100, stopped down more, etc. Little diff.

Is this the best I can get from this camera and lens? Is there anything else I can do to get the image sharper?

I haven't found a way. I have been shooting with this camera and lens six years and still feel at 100% like I'm missing something. I just had Nikon service this lens to be sure it wasn't that. I rarely print anything like this 100% crop. 50% is my max. But maybe I'm just ignorant and missing something.

Please try not to rip me too badly guys. I am just trying to improve. It's been a long week. Thanks for any feedback.

P.S. I'm including a 72 dpi full shot that the crop was taken from. I lightened it up (again) before saving the jpeg. This full size shot is what I would normally use for print publication....

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
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Nikon D2X
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olindacat
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Re: MLU and Exposure Delay w/VRI 70-200 on D2X Question
In reply to olindacat, Nov 25, 2011

no takers? wow

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bob elkind
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Re: MLU and Exposure Delay w/VRI 70-200 on D2X Question
In reply to olindacat, Nov 26, 2011

OK, I'll bite...

olindacat wrote:

This is a 100% crop of a shot I took yesterday using the D2X on a heavy tripod, with mirror lock-up and exposure delay. I wasn't zooming. This is at 70mm. The flag is 250 yards away. I shot this at f/7.1 @ 1/600. I bumped up the ISO to 200 just 'in case'.
I have not sharpened this in PS

EXIF data is missing. Did you shoot RAW or JPEG?

If RAW, the image very much needs to be sharpened in PS -- and you already know this if you've been hanging around the DPReview Nikon forums as long as you have have been a user/member. It's a Nikon RAW FAQ subject.

If JPEG, sharpening is done in-camera, per your in-camera settings. Have you checked your settings?

If you are wondering about image sharpness, these are the first items to check.

I just lightened it up when I opened it in ACR. I shot this in numerous ways, ISO 100, stopped down more, etc. Little diff.

Is this the best I can get from this camera and lens? Is there anything else I can do to get the image sharper?

You need to provide more information if you want a useful response. Here's a starter list:

  • Provide a RAW file to see if your results can be duplicated.

  • Focus mode, focus target

  • How is sharpness when shooting in controlled test setup (tripod, indoors, focus target, etc.)?

  • Are results different when shooting with another lens?

  • Are results different when shooting with a borrowed camera?

  • Are results different when someone else performs PP?

  • Are results different when someone else shoots with your rig?

  • Does 'softness' follow the lens, the camera body, or the photographer?

Does this make sense?
--
Bob Elkind

Family, mostly sports. Seriously, folks, I'm not that good. If I can do it, you can do it!
photo galleries at http://eteam.zenfolio.com
my relationship with my camera is strictly photonic

 bob elkind's gear list:bob elkind's gear list
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bob elkind
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Another question...
In reply to bob elkind, Nov 26, 2011

One more question:

  • Is VR turned off? For sharpest images, VR needs to be turned off.

-- hide signature --

Bob Elkind

Family, mostly sports. Seriously, folks, I'm not that good. If I can do it, you can do it!
photo galleries at http://eteam.zenfolio.com
my relationship with my camera is strictly photonic

 bob elkind's gear list:bob elkind's gear list
Nikon D700 Canon EOS 500D Nikon D600 Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +5 more
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michaeljberman
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Re: Another question...
In reply to bob elkind, Nov 26, 2011

One more vote to turn off the VR on your tripod.

I have used the 70-200 VR1 for many years, first D200 then D700 and I love it, but you need to lean the tricks like when to use VR ( a lot less than most folks thank!).

Mike
--
If you have low standards, you can take a look:
http://michaeljberman.zenfolio.com

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Flashlight
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Misalignment
In reply to olindacat, Nov 26, 2011

It seems to me your lens or camera has a serious alignment problem. If I look at the left and right side of the crop there's an enormous difference in sharpness, while based on distance and aperture all should be equally sharp. Even the trees on both sides of the electricity pole(?) are not equally sharp. This is the typical kind of thing a Nikon service center will not notice and if they do will have a very hard time correcting.

To test, shoot some pavement tiles with f/2.8 under a 45 degree angle from a high point like a window, where the tiles are laying in straight rows perpendicular to the camera. Then look whether the line of highest sharpness is straight from left to right. I suspect the line will run from bottom left to top right.

If true, the cause can be misaligned lens elements or a twisted camera mount or both. So check with other lenses/cameras to find the bad boy.

-- hide signature --

Philip

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olindacat
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Re: MLU and Exposure Delay w/VRI 70-200 on D2X Question
In reply to bob elkind, Nov 26, 2011

Thanks for your time Bob. The VR was ON. I never knew about this and will give it a try. I tried to upload the RAW NEF but only jpegs allowed, or am I doing something wrong? Attached is the basic jpeg straight from the camera. I do see EXIF data in PS. Will that suffice?

To address your feedback questions:

1. Did you shoot RAW or JPEG? I shot RAW uncompressed with basic jpeg. This one of 5 bracketed shots, (.3)

2. Have you checked your settings? Yes. I don't use in-camera sharpening as I always read it was a no no so I sharpen in PS. I intentionally left this alone so you could see an untouched (at least as far as sharpening is concerned file.
3. Provide a RAW file to see if your results can be duplicated. Not sure how.

4. Focus mode, focus target. I was in spot mode (is that the right term?) aiming at bunker left of flag but equidistant (couldn't get autofocus to pick-up flag)

5. How is sharpness when shooting in controlled test setup (tripod, indoors, focus target, etc.)? I honestly never tried this. Guess I should.

6. Are results different when shooting with another lens? Usually, I get very good results with all lenses.

7. Are results different when shooting with a borrowed camera? No. But I haven't used this copy of this lens with a borrowed camera (yet). Good idea.

8. Are results different when someone else performs PP? Dunno. Haven't ever had anyone do my PP. I also haven't done any PP to this except just lightening so I could see shadow detail

9. Are results different when someone else shoots with your rig? Haven't tried with this lens, usually not.

10. Does 'softness' follow the lens, the camera body, or the photographer? I have a soft belly ;-). The photographer, at times, is suspect. He (me) shoots sporadically, not full-time. The problem has always followed the lens and that's partly why I had it serviced.
11. Does this make sense? Very much so. Thank you, Bob, for your time and input.

bob elkind wrote:
OK, I'll bite...

olindacat wrote:

This is a 100% crop of a shot I took yesterday using the D2X on a heavy tripod, with mirror lock-up and exposure delay. I wasn't zooming. This is at 70mm. The flag is 250 yards away. I shot this at f/7.1 @ 1/600. I bumped up the ISO to 200 just 'in case'.
I have not sharpened this in PS

EXIF data is missing. Did you shoot RAW or JPEG?

If RAW, the image very much needs to be sharpened in PS -- and you already know this if you've been hanging around the DPReview Nikon forums as long as you have have been a user/member. It's a Nikon RAW FAQ subject.

If JPEG, sharpening is done in-camera, per your in-camera settings. Have you checked your settings?

If you are wondering about image sharpness, these are the first items to check.

I just lightened it up when I opened it in ACR. I shot this in numerous ways, ISO 100, stopped down more, etc. Little diff.

Is this the best I can get from this camera and lens? Is there anything else I can do to get the image sharper?

You need to provide more information if you want a useful response. Here's a starter list:

  • Provide a RAW file to see if your results can be duplicated.

  • Focus mode, focus target

  • How is sharpness when shooting in controlled test setup (tripod, indoors, focus target, etc.)?

  • Are results different when shooting with another lens?

  • Are results different when shooting with a borrowed camera?

  • Are results different when someone else performs PP?

  • Are results different when someone else shoots with your rig?

  • Does 'softness' follow the lens, the camera body, or the photographer?

Does this make sense?
--
Bob Elkind

Family, mostly sports. Seriously, folks, I'm not that good. If I can do it, you can do it!
photo galleries at http://eteam.zenfolio.com
my relationship with my camera is strictly photonic

-- hide signature --

Aloha and have a nice day!

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +3 more
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olindacat
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Re: Another question...
In reply to michaeljberman, Nov 26, 2011

Very helpful Mike thanks! I love this lens for sports. I shoot a lot of golf and given my D2X is giving it more reach, I am able to catch a lot of inside the ropes stuff. It is tack sharp when I'm shooting action, filling the frame with the subject (golfers usually), but when I try to use this for landscapes, it's all over for me. I'll try to shut off the VR. Any other tricks much-appreciated.

michaeljberman wrote:

One more vote to turn off the VR on your tripod.

I have used the 70-200 VR1 for many years, first D200 then D700 and I love it, but you need to lean the tricks like when to use VR ( a lot less than most folks thank!).

Mike
--
If you have low standards, you can take a look:
http://michaeljberman.zenfolio.com

-- hide signature --

Aloha and have a nice day!

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +3 more
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olindacat
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Re: Misalignment
In reply to Flashlight, Nov 26, 2011

Aloha Philip:

I will do as you say as soon as I can find something with bricks, etc. I'm on Maui and don't have any cobblestones or such here, but will look for a brick building and try your suggestion.

I hope it isn't the lens, and it is me. I can fix me I think

Many thanks for the help and suggestion. How, by the way, do I get the alignment issue straightened out? I have 6 mos of warranty for the work they recently did on the lens, so I will nag them to fix!

Best, John

Flashlight wrote:

It seems to me your lens or camera has a serious alignment problem. If I look at the left and right side of the crop there's an enormous difference in sharpness, while based on distance and aperture all should be equally sharp. Even the trees on both sides of the electricity pole(?) are not equally sharp. This is the typical kind of thing a Nikon service center will not notice and if they do will have a very hard time correcting.

To test, shoot some pavement tiles with f/2.8 under a 45 degree angle from a high point like a window, where the tiles are laying in straight rows perpendicular to the camera. Then look whether the line of highest sharpness is straight from left to right. I suspect the line will run from bottom left to top right.

If true, the cause can be misaligned lens elements or a twisted camera mount or both. So check with other lenses/cameras to find the bad boy.

-- hide signature --

Philip

-- hide signature --

Aloha and have a nice day!

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +3 more
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olindacat
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Re: Misalignment
In reply to olindacat, Nov 26, 2011

I think it's only fair that I say that @50%, and when sharpened in PS, most images (even this) are pretty sharp. I wonder if it is the resolving power and the VR on that are my issues? (Aside from me?)
--
Aloha and have a nice day!

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +3 more
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bob elkind
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Followup
In reply to olindacat, Nov 27, 2011

olindacat wrote:

Thanks for your time Bob. The VR was ON. I never knew about this and will give it a try. I tried to upload the RAW NEF but only jpegs allowed, or am I doing something wrong? Attached is the basic jpeg straight from the camera. I do see EXIF data in PS. Will that suffice?

To address your feedback questions:

1. Did you shoot RAW or JPEG?

I shot RAW uncompressed with basic jpeg. This one of 5 bracketed shots, (.3)

2. Have you checked your settings?

Yes. I don't use in-camera sharpening as I always read it was a no no so I sharpen in PS.

Unless you are PPing in Capture NX, in-camera settings affect only the JPEG files out of the camera. RAW (NEF) files are not affected in PP by in-camera settings. Every NEF file has an embedded JPEG image. This embedded JPEG is affected by in-camera picture settings, but the primary (RAW) image data in the file is not.

3. Provide a RAW file to see if your results can be duplicated.

Not sure how.

There are several online services for this. Try the 'lite' plan available at yousendit.com ( http://www.yousendit.com/compare-plans-trike2 ), there is no charge for this basic service.

4. Focus mode, focus target.

I was in spot mode (is that the right term?) aiming at bunker left of flag but equidistant (couldn't get autofocus to pick-up flag)

Perhaps you should re-read the focus mode section of the user manual, or pick up a copy of Thom Hogan's e-book for the D2x (see http://www.bythom.com/d2xguide.htm ).

5. How is sharpness when shooting in controlled test setup (tripod, indoors, focus target, etc.)?

I honestly never tried this. Guess I should.

This helps separate hardware/gear issues from operator and situational issues. It helps answer the question: Is your gear capable of capturing sharp images, or does it need service/repair.

6. Are results different when shooting with another lens?

Usually, I get very good results with all lenses.

So... when and where do you have sharpness (softness) issues?

7. Are results different when shooting with a borrowed camera?

No. But I haven't used this copy of this lens with a borrowed camera (yet). Good idea.

This helps isolate "the problem" to the lens. Or vindicate/affirm the lens.

8. Are results different when someone else performs PP?

Dunno. Haven't ever had anyone do my PP. I also haven't done any PP to this except just lightening so I could see shadow detail

This helps isolate "the problem" to your PP. Or vindicate your PP.

9. Are results different when someone else shoots with your rig?

Haven't tried with this lens, usually not.

This helps isolate "the problem" to the photographer's shooting skills and technique. Or vindicate them.

10. Does 'softness' follow the lens, the camera body, or the photographer?

I have a soft belly ;-).

Sounds like you are ready for a body upgrade

The photographer, at times, is suspect. He (me) shoots sporadically, not full-time. The problem has always followed the lens and that's partly why I had it serviced.

You seem to be inferring the lack of sharpness is associated with your lens. Perhaps disabling VR -- when it is not helpful -- is all that you need to change.

As a rule of thumb, when shooting from a tripod or when shutter speed is 1/500s or faster, VR -- at best -- provides no benefit and --at worst -- can degrade the image.

-- hide signature --

Bob Elkind

Family, mostly sports. Seriously, folks, I'm not that good. If I can do it, you can do it!
photo galleries at http://eteam.zenfolio.com
my relationship with my camera is strictly photonic

 bob elkind's gear list:bob elkind's gear list
Nikon D700 Canon EOS 500D Nikon D600 Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +5 more
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Pygmi
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Re: MLU and Exposure Delay w/VRI 70-200 on D2X Question
In reply to olindacat, Nov 27, 2011

olindacat wrote:

Thanks for your time Bob. The VR was ON. I never knew about this and will give it a try.

Yes, you should definitely do so.

It is AMAZING that soooo many people have no idea about these few things that NEED to know about their gear. Even if these issues are clearly told in that tiny "User 'Manual" that Nikon provides with the lens. It is so short that reading it would take less time than writing the first question to this site. Just a suggestion. These booklets really are worth to read in these modern days, with lenses equipped with VR + other stuff.

Just a suggestion.

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Cytokine
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Its a difficult shot!
In reply to olindacat, Nov 27, 2011

But I would use a gentle 9 iron and let the ball roll down to the pin! Keeping to the right.

Enjoyed the photo, lovely course, and what a view!

John

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Ernie Misner
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Re: Its a difficult shot!
In reply to Cytokine, Nov 28, 2011

If you are using the Mirror Lockup and cable release, no need to also use the Exposure Delay feature. Did anyone else catch this?

Thanks,

Ernie

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olindacat
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Re: MLU and Exposure Delay w/VRI 70-200 on D2X Question
In reply to Pygmi, Nov 28, 2011

You are totally right, Pygmi. I am wrong for not reading all the documents that come with my gear. Thank you. I will keep your advice in mind moving forward. I am not lazy. Quite the opposite. No excuse. Just an explanation.

Pygmi wrote:

olindacat wrote:

Thanks for your time Bob. The VR was ON. I never knew about this and will give it a try.

Yes, you should definitely do so.

It is AMAZING that soooo many people have no idea about these few things that NEED to know about their gear. Even if these issues are clearly told in that tiny "User 'Manual" that Nikon provides with the lens. It is so short that reading it would take less time than writing the first question to this site. Just a suggestion. These booklets really are worth to read in these modern days, with lenses equipped with VR + other stuff.

Just a suggestion.

-- hide signature --

Aloha and have a nice day!

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +3 more
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olindacat
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Re: Its a difficult shot!
In reply to Cytokine, Nov 28, 2011

Would you cut it or just bank it off the hill with a light draw?

Cytokine wrote:

But I would use a gentle 9 iron and let the ball roll down to the pin! Keeping to the right.

Enjoyed the photo, lovely course, and what a view!

John

-- hide signature --

Aloha and have a nice day!

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +3 more
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olindacat
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Re: Followup
In reply to bob elkind, Nov 28, 2011

Thank you, Bob. You've been awesome. I hope I can return the favor one day. John

bob elkind wrote:

olindacat wrote:

Thanks for your time Bob. The VR was ON. I never knew about this and will give it a try. I tried to upload the RAW NEF but only jpegs allowed, or am I doing something wrong? Attached is the basic jpeg straight from the camera. I do see EXIF data in PS. Will that suffice?

To address your feedback questions:

1. Did you shoot RAW or JPEG?

I shot RAW uncompressed with basic jpeg. This one of 5 bracketed shots, (.3)

2. Have you checked your settings?

Yes. I don't use in-camera sharpening as I always read it was a no no so I sharpen in PS.

Unless you are PPing in Capture NX, in-camera settings affect only the JPEG files out of the camera. RAW (NEF) files are not affected in PP by in-camera settings. Every NEF file has an embedded JPEG image. This embedded JPEG is affected by in-camera picture settings, but the primary (RAW) image data in the file is not.

3. Provide a RAW file to see if your results can be duplicated.

Not sure how.

There are several online services for this. Try the 'lite' plan available at yousendit.com ( http://www.yousendit.com/compare-plans-trike2 ), there is no charge for this basic service.

4. Focus mode, focus target.

I was in spot mode (is that the right term?) aiming at bunker left of flag but equidistant (couldn't get autofocus to pick-up flag)

Perhaps you should re-read the focus mode section of the user manual, or pick up a copy of Thom Hogan's e-book for the D2x (see http://www.bythom.com/d2xguide.htm ).

5. How is sharpness when shooting in controlled test setup (tripod, indoors, focus target, etc.)?

I honestly never tried this. Guess I should.

This helps separate hardware/gear issues from operator and situational issues. It helps answer the question: Is your gear capable of capturing sharp images, or does it need service/repair.

6. Are results different when shooting with another lens?

Usually, I get very good results with all lenses.

So... when and where do you have sharpness (softness) issues?

7. Are results different when shooting with a borrowed camera?

No. But I haven't used this copy of this lens with a borrowed camera (yet). Good idea.

This helps isolate "the problem" to the lens. Or vindicate/affirm the lens.

8. Are results different when someone else performs PP?

Dunno. Haven't ever had anyone do my PP. I also haven't done any PP to this except just lightening so I could see shadow detail

This helps isolate "the problem" to your PP. Or vindicate your PP.

9. Are results different when someone else shoots with your rig?

Haven't tried with this lens, usually not.

This helps isolate "the problem" to the photographer's shooting skills and technique. Or vindicate them.

10. Does 'softness' follow the lens, the camera body, or the photographer?

I have a soft belly ;-).

Sounds like you are ready for a body upgrade

The photographer, at times, is suspect. He (me) shoots sporadically, not full-time. The problem has always followed the lens and that's partly why I had it serviced.

You seem to be inferring the lack of sharpness is associated with your lens. Perhaps disabling VR -- when it is not helpful -- is all that you need to change.

As a rule of thumb, when shooting from a tripod or when shutter speed is 1/500s or faster, VR -- at best -- provides no benefit and --at worst -- can degrade the image.

-- hide signature --

Bob Elkind

Family, mostly sports. Seriously, folks, I'm not that good. If I can do it, you can do it!
photo galleries at http://eteam.zenfolio.com
my relationship with my camera is strictly photonic

-- hide signature --

Aloha and have a nice day!

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +3 more
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olindacat
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Re: Its a difficult shot!
In reply to Ernie Misner, Nov 28, 2011

I am unable to get my hands on a cable release this week, so that's why I'm using exposure delay. Thanks for noticing.

Ernie Misner wrote:

If you are using the Mirror Lockup and cable release, no need to also use the Exposure Delay feature. Did anyone else catch this?

Thanks,

Ernie

-- hide signature --

Aloha and have a nice day!

 olindacat's gear list:olindacat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +3 more
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James Bligh
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Re: Its a difficult shot!
In reply to Cytokine, Nov 28, 2011

Cytokine wrote:

But I would use a gentle 9 iron and let the ball roll down to the pin! Keeping to the right.

Enjoyed the photo, lovely course, and what a view!

John

Even if it is a downhill 250 yards with 9 iron? What a monster you are! Does cytokine affect your game in any way? Golf is not a fair game anymore.

-- hide signature --

Decision, decision, we are the slaves of decisions we made inadvertently.

May God forgive us our imperfections!

Dust to dust, what on earth are we entitled to claim?

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Cytokine
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Re: Its a difficult shot!
In reply to olindacat, Nov 28, 2011

I' go straight for the pin, the green looks quite large.

John

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