d800 with 80-400 sharpness questions

Started Dec 9, 2013 | Discussions
owenleve
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d800 with 80-400 sharpness questions
Dec 9, 2013

Hello. I have been using my new 80-400 on my d700 and d3s with excellent results. When I use it with my d800 the results are mixed. Some images look tack sharp. Others-mainly zoomed to 300-400 range not as much.

Question. Part of my assumption is that I am picking up atmosphere. "Heat waves" off the snow, moisture in the air, etc.. I also am guessing that the resolution of the 800 is so great that it magnifies the lesser quality of this lens compared to a 70-200 VRII.

Input? Comments?

The mountain shot is at 310, gondola and portrait at 340mm.

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Nader Erfani
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Re: d800 with 80-400 sharpness questions
In reply to owenleve, Dec 9, 2013

Which 80-400 are you using ?

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owenleve
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Re: d800 with 80-400 sharpness questions
In reply to Nader Erfani, Dec 9, 2013

the new version

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Rick Knepper
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Handheld or tripod?
In reply to owenleve, Dec 9, 2013

owenleve wrote:

Hello. I have been using my new 80-400 on my d700 and d3s with excellent results. When I use it with my d800 the results are mixed. Some images look tack sharp. Others-mainly zoomed to 300-400 range not as much.

Question. Part of my assumption is that I am picking up atmosphere. "Heat waves" off the snow, moisture in the air, etc.. I also am guessing that the resolution of the 800 is so great that it magnifies the lesser quality of this lens compared to a 70-200 VRII.

Input? Comments?

The mountain shot is at 310, gondola and portrait at 340mm.

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www.courtlevephoto.com
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Rick Knepper, photographer, non-professional, shooting for pleasure, check my profile for gear list and philosophy. Just say NO! to MAIL-IN REBATES.

 Rick Knepper's gear list:Rick Knepper's gear list
Nikon D3X Nikon D800E Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 6D Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L +17 more
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owenleve
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Re: Handheld or tripod?
In reply to Rick Knepper, Dec 9, 2013

all handheld. i get the same results with or without a tripod. These were shot between 1250 and 1600. Should not encounter camera shake. I have also tried with/without VR.

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EYeye
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Re: d800 with 80-400 sharpness questions
In reply to owenleve, Dec 10, 2013

I had this issue with 70-200mm 2.8 G ED VRII in shooting Whooping Cranes near Rockport, Texas. I couldn't figure out why my shots with a 70-300mm 4.5 5.6 VR were so much sharper handheld (On a morning beach walk I stumbled on these amazing birds in someone's large yard and shot handheld, then went back to camp to get a better lens and a tripod) than were the 70-200mm from a tripod.

Shot happily with the better lens and the tripod. BUT - the results were startling to me - UNTIL I realized that even though it was November, it was still Texas and I was seeing "heat waves" from the sun heated vegetation. My D600 "resolves" these so much more than does my D80. Cropping (birds, though large, were still 200 yards away) exacerbated the problem.

I realized that the time delay in getting the better equipment was enough for the morning sun to rise and begin heating the vegetation and land: thus heat shimmering in the lower atmosphere. Sure enough, in looking again, the birds in flight were clearer than birds on the ground with the same lens, as shooting parallel to earth meant more heat shimmering to shoot through.

I also shot the 700-200mm with a TC 2.0 III and had the same results, with even more evident atmospheric heat shimmer, which I had a first attributed to the teleconverter not being as "sharp" as without on that lens (which is true, but not usually so evident as with this shoot). ALL these shots were taken at fast shutter speeds and about f8, so sharpness was not lacking for the usual reasons.

There is also something called "transpiration" where the plants evaporate water vapor into the air. This is not a small matter. Hereabouts it is part of the process of modern septic systems (including mine).

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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR Nikon D80 +6 more
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yray
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Slight focus errors maybe?
In reply to owenleve, Dec 10, 2013

n/t

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: d800 with 80-400 sharpness questions
In reply to owenleve, Dec 10, 2013

The gondola is out of focus.  Shoot some license plates or a test chart at various distances and f stops to try to eliminate as many variables as possible.  The lens likes a nice high shutter speed for more consistent results. It is capable of outstanding results.

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