D200 using a Tamron Lens.

Started Jul 28, 2013 | Discussions
Chris Ainley
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D200 using a Tamron Lens.
Jul 28, 2013

hi everyone, new member here ... after purchasing a D3100 and loving it, i was advised to try a semi pro camera so i bought a D200.

now i had a Tamron 70-300 which i used with the D3100 with excellent results but when i put the lens on my D200 the pictures are terrible, no depth or quality compared to the D3100 ... i was a bit disappointed with my my new purchase as it seemed too difficult to get a decent picture.

i was discussing this with a guy at work and he said that he would bring in his Nikon 55-300 for me to try .... well ..... what can i say ?

the results were amazing, crystal clear loads of definition and DOF blurring,....

right so the question is (you knew id get there eventually) why ?? how come the Tamron produces brilliant pictures with the D3100 and not with the D200.

any help would be much appreciated.

Chris

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Chuck Steenburgh
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 28, 2013

Please post samples...impossible to tell what you mean by subjective terms like "depth" and "brilliant."

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Pangloss
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As usual: please upload sample images
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 28, 2013

Hi,

It's quite impossible to say anything unless you upload some sample images, in this case sample shots taken with the Tamron on both the D3100 and the D200 (preferably the same scene, same in-camera settings, same light).

Edit: Chuck beat me to it, so: what he wrote, +1!

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Andrew
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Chris Ainley
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to Chuck Steenburgh, Jul 28, 2013

sorry about that, i should have been more specific:

this was taken with the Tamron lens, although not really bad it didnt seem crisp

the picture above was taken using a Nikon 55-300 with no alterations of settings at all ?

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Chris Ainley
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Re: As usual: please upload sample images
In reply to Pangloss, Jul 28, 2013

im fairly new to photography so my use of the correct terminology will no doubt be incorrect

the above pic was once again the Tamron lens, im not sure what the problem is but it looks to me as though its flat ?i know its a 2 dimensional image but it doesnt seem to have depth.?

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Chris Ainley
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Re: As usual: please upload sample images
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 28, 2013

this image was taken using my D3100 and the Tamron lens.

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Chuck Steenburgh
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Re: As usual: please upload sample images
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 29, 2013

One thing I've noted is that all three Tamron shots are wide open, or close to it; while the 55-300 image was well stopped down.  That will tend to "soften" the Tamron images while showcasing the Nikon at what is probably its sharpest aperture.
Beyond that, I really don't see a tremendous difference in the shots.

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RobG67
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 29, 2013

In the examples you shared, there are significant differences between the images... The Tamron was shot at 1/250, f4, 70mm, the Nikkor at 1/400, f/9, 300mm. That difference in aperture is a first clue - the Tamron is wide open, the Nikkor is stopped down, which puts the Tamron at a serious disadvantage; few lenses have great image quality wide open (they tend to be soft), and consumer zooms are notorious for it - the Tamron is nowhere near its sweet spot, the Nikkor is well into its sweet spot. There's one explanation for any image quality difference. Here's some more thoughts...

Firstly, there's a reason that Tamron lenses are cheaper than Nikon (as a rule). I'm not bagging Tamron, they make some fine products, but Nikkors are a step up in quality. AS A RULE. They are also matched to Nikon camera sensors, and that makes a difference; lens makers use different recipes for their glass, and that DOES have an effect on the image that results. Ditto coatings, AF performance, lens and camera firmware, etc. This ain't your Grandad's Box Brownie anymore.

Secondly, apart from all the variables involved in 'testing' 2 different lenses, from 2 different manufacturers, of 2 different base quality levels, used at 2 different focal lengths, in different circumstances with varying aperture settings, you have the basic differences between the bodies to add to the mix.

I'm going to assume that you've been shooting JPG files, given your statement that you're new to photography, that you don't mention NEFs and that you started with a D3100. The D3100 is a consumer camera. While it is a fine piece of kit, its default settings for JPGs are set to maximise the impact of a photograph ie sharpening is set to a highish level, saturation is bumped up and contrast is also turned up a little - this gives a straight from the camera photo that pops.

Your D200, on the other hand, presents a different prospect. Firstly, it's a prosumer camera, which means that its default settings are more neutral, to allow the user to manipulate the image to his taste. ('Prosumer' is a misnomer, IMO - my local paper is still shooting with D200s, 8 years after they were released, and I'd be happy to take on almost any assignment with either of mine...). Secondly, the history of your D200 is unknown - I'm guessing that you stuck the lens on the front of it and started banging away, without looking into the menu system. There are A LOT of settings in the D200 menus, and many of those relate to picture quality, and who knows what's been changed in there before you got your hands on it. In your case, I'd be resetting all those variables to AT LEAST the factory defaults, OR trying to emulate the settings on your D3100. (See the link below for help with finding the default settings.)

The final(?) difference is that the D200 is an old camera, first released in 2005, which makes it pretty well antediluvian in camera years. Sort of pre-ice age. It's still a fine camera, but there's differences in image quality that, although not easily apparent to the average Joe in year to year updates, DO show up if you skip 3 generations of sensor. It's quite possible that you're seeing the fallout from that.

Finally finally, don't despair. As I've intimated, the D200 is a beast. Learn to use it well, and it will help you create many great photos. I have 2 D700s, and I still haven't created a photo that I like as much as my favourites from the D200. To help you learn, because you now have a serious tool in your possession, I'd recommend that you pop over to Thom Hogan's website and order his D200 Guide; it'll help with all those image quality settings, teach you about the D200 focus modes (which are amazingly good, and frustratingly complex) and also give you a good grounding in general dSLR theory and practice. And a heap of other stuff. It's the best $37 you will spend on camera accessories, ever. Here's a link.

http://www.bythom.com/d200guide.htm

As well as ordering the guide, scroll to the bottom of the page and follow the link to his review of the D200, which might help you gain an insight into the camera from the perspective of a long term, professional Nikon user. Note that I'm not a friend of Thom's, nor do I work for him; I'm just a very satisfied customer/reader. Feel free to ask questions in the forum or IM me if you like, I'll do what I can.

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Chris Ainley
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to RobG67, Jul 29, 2013

wow thanks guys for some brilliant advice and plenty of food for thought, i was becoming a bit disheartened with the D200 until i used the Nikon lens and saw what it was capable of ,ive actually ordered a 55-300 nikon lens so when it arrives i will be out there again.

i reset the D200 to factory and it has aprox 8000 clicks on it

ive ordered a copy of the book Rob mentioned and cant wait to delve in and start to learn what its all about.

i understand what was said about the difference in pictures, i probably didnt pick the best pictures to upload so i'll put up another couple ...... maybe im too critical ? but to me the Nikon lens seems 'alive' ...... i really must learn some correct terminology

i only ever use jpeg's as basically my computer doesnt like huge images.... and when i go out i tend to take 300+ shots so i actually prefer not to have to go into each image and start altering them.

thanks again for help, i really do appreciate it and i hope im not asking too much of what has already been covered.

D200 - Tamron lens

D200 - Nikon Lens.

Thank you again

Chris

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Cytokine
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 29, 2013

Chris, Love the bike shot.

The D200 is a great camera as is the D300/S and hopefully the D400 when it arrives!! As stated above the Jpegs get very little processing in camera and will show up any imperfection in the lens. If you are not already shooting in RAW then you should try this when ready.

John

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yray
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 29, 2013

I would refer you to one of the fairly recent Thom's posts (I don't have a link, so you can dig for it), where he said that he pretty much stopped rating lenses. I'm trying to quote from memory, so may not be exactly what he said, but one of the reasons he gives is some odd interactions between some cameras and some lenses. There are filters sitting between the sensor and the lens which may contribute to it. There may also be alignment issues, and who knows what else. IIRC, D200 also doesn't have AF fine tune. But the bottom line, and this is amply confirmed by my personal experience, is that some lenses may work exceptionally well with one camera and be quite mediocre on some other camera. Or they may work well in only part of the zoom range (if they are zooms) or only for subjects at close, or conversely, far away distances. Some lenses, oddly, may seem improve when TC is used, -- go figure.

So, personally, I take a note of what camera/lens combination and in what type of environment gives me particularly good (or bad) results, and subsequently try to replicate -- or avoid -- it. These are precision tools built to certain tolerances, but sometimes camera and lens tolerances add up in way which may impact quality quite negatively, -- or be quite spectacular. So, no matter how DxO may rate a lens, unless you tried it with your specific camera you can't really be sure that it would live up to your expectations. That's the reality of it.

And, of course, what other posters said about differences in aperture is universally important in that small apertures tend to mask many problems.

Incidentally, my favorite lens for the D200 is a Tamron lens, 90mm f/2.8 macro.

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n057
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 29, 2013

Chris Ainley wrote:

wow thanks guys for some brilliant advice and plenty of food for thought, i was becoming a bit disheartened with the D200 until i used the Nikon lens and saw what it was capable of ,ive actually ordered a 55-300 nikon lens so when it arrives i will be out there again.

i reset the D200 to factory and it has aprox 8000 clicks on it

ive ordered a copy of the book Rob mentioned and cant wait to delve in and start to learn what its all about.

i understand what was said about the difference in pictures, i probably didnt pick the best pictures to upload so i'll put up another couple ...... maybe im too critical ? but to me the Nikon lens seems 'alive' ...... i really must learn some correct terminology

i only ever use jpeg's as basically my computer doesnt like huge images.... and when i go out i tend to take 300+ shots so i actually prefer not to have to go into each image and start altering them.

thanks again for help, i really do appreciate it and i hope im not asking too much of what has already been covered.

Thank you again

Chris

Hi Chris,

For strict comparison purposes, it would be more obvious if you shot the same scene with each lens. But there is already a consistent pattern in your images: with the Tamron, the aperture is set to close to maximum, while with the Nikon, the lens is stopped down. All the Tamron pictures are taken at ISO 100, and if the light is not very bright, the camera will pick a wider aperture, at which the lens might not be at its best.

Did you select those shutter speeds and apertures, or are you just shooting in automatic mode?

Next time you test, I suggest you use both lenses in succession, set ISO to be the same. Ideally, shoot in manual mode. Again, this is for testing purposes, so you will be comparing oranges with oranges

Good luck!

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

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Stacey_K
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Two problems, it's not the lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 29, 2013

What I see are two problems with the pine needle image.

First the WB is off. Even the shadows have a green cast. I do feel WB on the D200 is touchy to get right straight out of the camera. It looks like the WB was set on flash, probably needed a overcast/shadow setting or at least see what auto does.

Second, D200 files out of the camera are going to look softer than from a D3100. They will need some sharpening, especially highly detailed shots like those pine needles.

I hope you don't mind, I downloaded the original, simply did auto color + some mild sharpening and it looks fine to me.

I also would avoid using vivid color setting, I'm not sure if this may have caused the color balance problem. I know Ken Rockwell says to use it, I don't agree. You can always add saturation to the image later, it's harder to remove some and not lose details.

Hope this help, I don't feel there in anything wrong with that lens. It's simply camera settings and some PP to the color balance.

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Stacey

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Stacey_K
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to n057, Jul 29, 2013

n057 wrote:

Hi Chris,

For strict comparison purposes, it would be more obvious if you shot the same scene with each lens.

I agree, these are apples and oranges shots. The tamron shot are in the shade, the bike is in the sun etc. I have a D200 and the same tamron lens and haven't seen this issue

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Stacey

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Stacey_K
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 29, 2013

Same issue, you have the white balance set on auto for the nikon shot, you have it set to flash for the tamron shot shooting in the shade. Fix the WB + a touch of sharpening and it looks fine. BTW the nikon shot is done in the bright sun, that always is going to have more "brilliance" than one shot in the shade.

You seriously need to shoot same shot, both cameras and leave the WB etc settings the same or this is pointless.

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Stacey

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Chris Ainley
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Re: Two problems, it's not the lens.
In reply to Stacey_K, Jul 29, 2013

i dont mind at all Stacey, and the editing you did looks great

as i said im fairly new to photography and maybe i was spoilt by the shots straight from the camera on my D3100.

ive been out tonight with my new Nikon lens for a quick play and took a few pictures and im very satisfied with the results so im gonna have a read through the book and hopefully have some nice pics to show you at a later date.

thank you all again and its great to know there is a wealth of genuine experience on this site .... unfortunately i cant really help anyone with my knowledge but if ever you wanna know how to crash a 1000cc sports bike ....im your man

Chris

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RobG67
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Re: D200 using a Tamron Lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 30, 2013

8000? That's almost new, you got a good deal there.

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RobG67
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Re: Two problems, it's not the lens.
In reply to Chris Ainley, Jul 30, 2013

Chris Ainley wrote:

if ever you wanna know how to crash a 1000cc sports bike ....im your man

I've got that under control , thanks. I don't imagine it's all that different from having a big moment in a WRX... except that there's a lot more rubber holding you onto the planet in a car...

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