Cheap reach

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 413
Cheap reach

Hi. In the market for some cheap reach. Had the 70-200 2.8 VR1 and offed it along with my 14-24 thinking I might migrate away from the system, but find myself shooting again (D810) and with DX 18-135 that I got on a D100 for $20 from some dude off CL.

Most of the stuff I am shooting is B-roll of flora and golf stuff, e.g., ball washers, buildings, etc., and people playing. I used to shoot 400mm 2.8 during events, but it was my friend's glass I'm no more there now.

Shooting golfers and really need more along the lines of 400mm FX. 300 is okay, and I know the 70-300 is out there, not sure it is a good lens, but can't be any worse than the 18-135 dx I got for free.

As you can see, wide open I'm not getting that isolation, and ideally I'd see reflections off his eyes, etc. Looking for a thinner film plane feel. Don't need speed but AF is important as my eyes not so good anymore.

I have a 60 2.8 that is good for plants, etc., but am moving around the course fast and don't always have the luxury of snuggling up.

I thought about an old 80-200 2.8 af-s. The D810 I have is a wonky POS and its connections sometimes don't work. I had a decent copy of the 80-200 I almost bought, but it wasn't paying nice with the body. I'd sell that, but the CF pins are bent, and don't feel like screwing anybody.

Budget is under 500. I wonder (out loud) if the 80-200 in DX mode is the way to go. Can prob find one on the Bay for around the 400 mark. Has anyone bought from Japan? I wonder f they are scammers out there. Not the people, of course, just those selling in foreign countries, so heavily, as it seems thy do there...

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 15,625
Re: Cheap reach
4

At that budget, I can see a used one-ring 80-200F2.8. (Nice lens, I've had one over 20 years). The 70-300AF-P FX version is supposed to very very good, but be aware that there are 5 versions of this lens. Be sure you are looking at the correct version. Used may be in your price range. Here's a review:

http://www.dslrbodies.com/lenses/nikon-lens-reviews/nikkor-zoom-lens-reviews/nikon-70-300mm-f45-56-af-p.html

For subject isolation, that may not work so well.   A 300F4D would though, if you can find one for your budget.  I see them advertised on Ebay for about $600.   This lens has justifiably earned high praise over the years, and adding a 1.4TC to it was for a VERY long time the only affordable way to get good IQ at 400mm.   TC does slow that autofocus though, and it's not fast to start with.

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Michigan Sandman
Michigan Sandman Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: Cheap reach

Most of the sellers in Japan try to be truthful. They usually go into great detail on the condition  of a lens they are selling. They usually list any defects the lens might have. If you see a lens that interests you, ask questions if you don't see what you are looking for in the description. I have bought many lenses from Japan and have been happy with them. Sometimes Japanese dealers have easier access to lenses that are hard to find in the states.

For that longer lens on a budget, you might be able to find a Nikkor 300mm f/4 Afs if you get lucky, if not the version that came out before that lens was the AF ED 300 f/4. It is a little slower than the Afs version but I have seen them go for less than what you have in the budget. I have had one since about 2006, and it still does a nice job. Happy hunting.

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Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 4,640
Re: Cheap reach
2

olindacat wrote:

Budget is under 500. I wonder (out loud) if the 80-200 in DX mode is the way to go. Can prob find one on the Bay for around the 400 mark. Has anyone bought from Japan? I wonder f they are scammers out there. Not the people, of course, just those selling in foreign countries, so heavily, as it seems thy do there...

I'd probably choose a 70-300mm AF-P FX over the 80-200mm in DX mode, especially since it looks like you are primarily shooting handheld. That lens is $550, but can probably be found used for less with your budget.

Here are some other options.

  • At $649 new, the Sigma 100-400mm is a budget buster for you, but long term I think it's a better fit to your needs.
  • At ~$500 used, the older 80-400mm VR is an option. I've never used one, but even by Nikon's own measurements the VR is less effective than on newer lenses, and its AF speed is quite slow.
  • Also at < $500 used, you could buy a Sigma 150-500mm lens. My copy took a 3-foot fall the other day, so I'm withdrawing my offer to sell it until I can have it checked out. I've used that lens successfully for motorsports, tall ships, the solar eclipse and some wildlife. It's not up to the standards of, say, the Nikon 200-500mm, but that's pretty much the definition of "cheap reach."

One caveat on the 150-500mm -- It may require a firmware upgrade to work with the latest firmware on the D810.

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cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 3,970
Re: Cheap reach
1

This is shot with the latest 70-300FX  using a D800 notice the slower shutter speed used to blur motion but still giving relatively sharp shots considering this.

This is shot with a D300

The Tour de Yorkshire with the D500

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OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Cheap reach

Very very helpful. I’ve always avoided the TCs thinking why spend so much for a prime only to compromise it? But, I admit total ignorance since I never used one and know bird and wildlife shooters use them with far better results than I am looking to achieve so who the hay am I?

thanks

OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Cheap reach

I used to use a 300 2.8 and if I could get close it was fine. I knew if the f/4 but not of its iterations. Thanks. I may go that route with a TC. I know people use them with success.

the sluggish af is worrisome only in that I’m often hurried. And have worsening eyesight:-)

Bernard Delley Senior Member • Posts: 1,246
AF-P 70-300 f/4.5-5.6E (FX) classic choice for cheap reach

As the two previous posters mentioned,  this is a versatile and really pretty good! long lens. It is also a very good choice for travel, when you wish to have an option on reach. Only when you have a clear need  for a differently specd lens, it seems worth considering other lenses.

cosmicnode wrote:

This is shot with the latest 70-300FX using a D800 notice the slower shutter speed used to blur motion but still giving relatively sharp shots considering this.

This is shot with a D300

The Tour de Yorkshire with the D500

OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Cheap reach

cosmicnode wrote:

This is shot with the latest 70-300FX using a D800 notice the slower shutter speed used to blur motion but still giving relatively sharp shots considering this.

This is shot with a D300

The Tour de Yorkshire with the D500

So I went to a nearby camera shot and grabbed an AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G for $230 used. I have shot a 104-page book with it and my 24-70, and am glad to have it, but will say the bokeh on the 70-300 isn't up to the same standard as my 24-70 f/2.8 G, and I had thought the length might've given me even a softer look, but I guess the glass just isn't up to the task, given its price.

Technique-wise, I found myself struggling to freeze a golf ball to the point where I could see the dimples, logo, etc. on a moving ball. I have seen some shots at 1/10000th, but have never shot anything at that speed.

Now, I was shooting wide open and with pretty high shutter speeds, but not 1/10000th. Are people bumping up the ISO in broad daylight to shoot that fast?

This one is without a ball, but soft. No real bokeh here. I wish I could see the exif while I'm writing but can't, so am unable to easily determine my settings.

I'm shooting some theatre stuff as well. Here I really want eyes, the actors' eyes. My work is not sharp, and I'm screwing with PS camera shake removal settings, which know is naughty, eh? Like this:

Using monopod, maybe 20-30' away. ISO way up there. Trying that filter is PS which I know is a  cheap trick. Beginning to wonder if the one tune is off. I tried stopping down, bumping pn ISO, etc. Actually screwed p and moved quality from RAW to TIFF and blow my card off quick. Nightmare. Happened twice.

I'm seriously considering a used 200-400. I see that thread about the 200-500 vs 200-400. I gotta figure the 200-400 f/4 is better bokeh, sharper wide open. I see a lot on that 80-400 as well. I don't want to blow more coin on cheap glass if it is going to wind up being a waste.

cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 3,970
Re: Cheap reach
1

olindacat wrote:

cosmicnode wrote:

This is shot with the latest 70-300FX using a D800 notice the slower shutter speed used to blur motion but still giving relatively sharp shots considering this.

This is shot with a D300

The Tour de Yorkshire with the D500

So I went to a nearby camera shot and grabbed an AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G for $230 used. I have shot a 104-page book with it and my 24-70, and am glad to have it, but will say the bokeh on the 70-300 isn't up to the same standard as my 24-70 f/2.8 G, and I had thought the length might've given me even a softer look, but I guess the glass just isn't up to the task, given its price.

Technique-wise, I found myself struggling to freeze a golf ball to the point where I could see the dimples, logo, etc. on a moving ball. I have seen some shots at 1/10000th, but have never shot anything at that speed.

Now, I was shooting wide open and with pretty high shutter speeds, but not 1/10000th. Are people bumping up the ISO in broad daylight to shoot that fast?

This one is without a ball, but soft. No real bokeh here. I wish I could see the exif while I'm writing but can't, so am unable to easily determine my settings.

I'm shooting some theatre stuff as well. Here I really want eyes, the actors' eyes. My work is not sharp, and I'm screwing with PS camera shake removal settings, which know is naughty, eh? Like this:

Using monopod, maybe 20-30' away. ISO way up there. Trying that filter is PS which I know is a cheap trick. Beginning to wonder if the one tune is off. I tried stopping down, bumping pn ISO, etc. Actually screwed p and moved quality from RAW to TIFF and blow my card off quick. Nightmare. Happened twice.

I'm seriously considering a used 200-400. I see that thread about the 200-500 vs 200-400. I gotta figure the 200-400 f/4 is better bokeh, sharper wide open. I see a lot on that 80-400 as well. I don't want to blow more coin on cheap glass if it is going to wind up being a waste.

The AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G Is the old FX lens not the latest lens check it out here.

https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-70-300mm-vr-af-p

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Bernard Delley Senior Member • Posts: 1,246
Re: Cheap reach
3

olindacat wrote:

So I went to a nearby camera shot and grabbed an AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G for $230 used. I have shot a 104-page book with it and my 24-70, and am glad to have it, but will say the bokeh on the 70-300 isn't up to the same standard as my 24-70 f/2.8 G, and I had thought the length might've given me even a softer look, but I guess the glass just isn't up to the task, given its price.

Technique-wise, I found myself struggling to freeze a golf ball to the point where I could see the dimples, logo, etc. on a moving ball. I have seen some shots at 1/10000th, but have never shot anything at that speed.

Now, I was shooting wide open and with pretty high shutter speeds, but not 1/10000th. Are people bumping up the ISO in broad daylight to shoot that fast?

maybe you have unrealistic expectations !  Your shot below is at ISO 63  1/1000 s , with ISO 500 you would have had 1/8000s at the same aperture, the shortest your D810  can give you. For 1/10'000 s and shorter you need flash techniques, difficult in this bright daylight!

This one is without a ball, but soft. No real bokeh here. I wish I could see the exif while I'm writing but can't, so am unable to easily determine my settings.

I'm shooting some theatre stuff as well. Here I really want eyes, the actors' eyes. My work is not sharp, and I'm screwing with PS camera shake removal settings, which know is naughty, eh? Like this:

I am under the impression that both of your examples here a a bit front focused. You could correct that with AF fine tune. The shot below  has a longish exposure of 1/250s for FL 300mm , shorter would help sharpness. Your AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G is noticeably surpassed in sharpness at 300mm by the AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E which I suggested.

.Using monopod, maybe 20-30' away. ISO way up there. Trying that filter is PS which I know is a cheap trick. Beginning to wonder if the one tune is off. I tried stopping down, bumping pn ISO, etc. Actually screwed p and moved quality from RAW to TIFF and blow my card off quick. Nightmare. Happened twice.

I'm seriously considering a used 200-400. I see that thread about the 200-500 vs 200-400. I gotta figure the 200-400 f/4 is better bokeh, sharper wide open. I see a lot on that 80-400 as well. I don't want to blow more coin on cheap glass if it is going to wind up being a waste.

Actually, the bokeh in both of your images here is quite good, no outlining issues, Just not extremely large blur circles.   If bokeh is high on your list fine, but that does not go well with cheap. It comes best with expensive prime lenses like the 58mm f/1.4 the 105mm f/1.4 200mm f/2 and 300mm f/2.8 . Not cheap ! You mentioned having the 300 f/2.8 .  I have seen a pro using the 300mm f/2.8 indoors, with the lens supported by his knees. Shooting while sitting on the floor.

Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 4,640
Re: Cheap reach
1

olindacat wrote:

So I went to a nearby camera shot and grabbed an AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G for $230 used. I have shot a 104-page book with it and my 24-70, and am glad to have it, but will say the bokeh on the 70-300 isn't up to the same standard as my 24-70 f/2.8 G, and I had thought the length might've given me even a softer look, but I guess the glass just isn't up to the task, given its price.

I’m not sure what you are looking for — more background “blur” or better rendition of that blur.  Correctly or not, people use the term ‘bokeh’ to mean either.  The former requires a wider aperture — the latter depends on things such as spherical aberration corrections.

The original 70-300mm G was unexceptional in both regards.

Technique-wise, I found myself struggling to freeze a golf ball to the point where I could see the dimples, logo, etc. on a moving ball. I have seen some shots at 1/10000th, but have never shot anything at that speed.

dpreview will show a shutter speed of 1/10,000 when the EXIF information has been stripped.  That’s far more common than use of that shutter speed — I don’t own a camera capable of that speed.

I do wonder about the value of seeing dimples on a “moving” golf ball, but it’s your gear, your money, and your time.  Good luck on the quest!

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OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Cheap reach

Bernard Delley wrote:

olindacat wrote:

So I went to a nearby camera shot and grabbed an AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G for $230 used. I have shot a 104-page book with it and my 24-70, and am glad to have it, but will say the bokeh on the 70-300 isn't up to the same standard as my 24-70 f/2.8 G, and I had thought the length might've given me even a softer look, but I guess the glass just isn't up to the task, given its price.

Technique-wise, I found myself struggling to freeze a golf ball to the point where I could see the dimples, logo, etc. on a moving ball. I have seen some shots at 1/10000th, but have never shot anything at that speed.

Now, I was shooting wide open and with pretty high shutter speeds, but not 1/10000th. Are people bumping up the ISO in broad daylight to shoot that fast?

maybe you have unrealistic expectations ! Your shot below is at ISO 63 1/1000 s , with ISO 500 you would have had 1/8000s at the same aperture, the shortest your D810 can give you. For 1/10'000 s and shorter you need flash techniques, difficult in this bright daylight!

This one is without a ball, but soft. No real bokeh here. I wish I could see the exif while I'm writing but can't, so am unable to easily determine my settings.

I'm shooting some theatre stuff as well. Here I really want eyes, the actors' eyes. My work is not sharp, and I'm screwing with PS camera shake removal settings, which know is naughty, eh? Like this:

I am under the impression that both of your examples here a a bit front focused. You could correct that with AF fine tune. The shot below has a longish exposure of 1/250s for FL 300mm , shorter would help sharpness. Your AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G is noticeably surpassed in sharpness at 300mm by the AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E which I suggested.

.

Using monopod, maybe 20-30' away. ISO way up there. Trying that filter is PS which I know is a cheap trick. Beginning to wonder if the one tune is off. I tried stopping down, bumping pn ISO, etc. Actually screwed p and moved quality from RAW to TIFF and blow my card off quick. Nightmare. Happened twice.

I'm seriously considering a used 200-400. I see that thread about the 200-500 vs 200-400. I gotta figure the 200-400 f/4 is better bokeh, sharper wide open. I see a lot on that 80-400 as well. I don't want to blow more coin on cheap glass if it is going to wind up being a waste.

Actually, the bokeh in both of your images here is quite good, no outlining issues, Just not extremely large blur circles. If bokeh is high on your list fine, but that does not go well with cheap. It comes best with expensive prime lenses like the 58mm f/1.4 the 105mm f/1.4 200mm f/2 and 300mm f/2.8 . Not cheap ! You mentioned having the 300 f/2.8 . I have seen a pro using the 300mm f/2.8 indoors, with the lens supported by his knees. Shooting while sitting on the floor.

Actually, I did not ignore your recommendation, I needed to get a book to bed and that copy of the 70-300 was all I could get my hands on. My golf season here is moving quickly, and I need to be shooting so did not see that lens in my neighborhood store, and a trip into the city is a lost day, so I made do. My reason for citing what O have, is so my next purchase (which I will take more time in executing) is as optimal as possible.

The 300mm ing end reach isn't enough. I need that extra 100mm, but low light capability, and yes, I do like the uber bokeh you get with the larger more expensive apertures.

I never owned a 300 f/2.8. My partner on Maui did, and I shot with it often. I know the difference. I always lusted after the 200-400 f/4, but not having access to rentals on Maui never tried one. Now, in the NYC area, I could rent, but it's gonna be north of $100 I suspect, and that's a downpayment!

Isn't that 58 1.4 outlandish? That's a bucket list lens, right? I have the nifty 50 1.4 never use it. Seems soft on the edges, but has good bokeh. My old 50 1.2 was better. Like the thin film place, but I'm drifting here from my OP purpose: cheap reach.

I guess we get what we pay for. But at under $2K is the 200-400 better than the 80-400? I'm leaning in those directions and am curious if this is the right thinking... using the latter indoors in low light.

Thanks for the suggestion about the front focus. I have been very hurried, and did try a few +/- just melts when I first bought the lens, bt have not had a target and tripod test, to run all 20 +/-s yet. I'm sure it ought to help.

Insofar as dimples are concerned: I can't have much bokeh, the guys eyes' nd dimples. Just not possible with a thin plane. If I stop it down I lose the bokeh but get the dimples. It becomes relevant when the guy his hitting toward you and the ball is coming at you. His eyes and the ball, groves on club face very much the subject/s. Thanks.

OP olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Cheap reach

Michael Benveniste wrote:

olindacat wrote:

So I went to a nearby camera shot and grabbed an AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G for $230 used. I have shot a 104-page book with it and my 24-70, and am glad to have it, but will say the bokeh on the 70-300 isn't up to the same standard as my 24-70 f/2.8 G, and I had thought the length might've given me even a softer look, but I guess the glass just isn't up to the task, given its price.

I’m not sure what you are looking for — more background “blur” or better rendition of that blur. Correctly or not, people use the term ‘bokeh’ to mean either. The former requires a wider aperture — the latter depends on things such as spherical aberration corrections.

The original 70-300mm G was unexceptional in both regards.

Technique-wise, I found myself struggling to freeze a golf ball to the point where I could see the dimples, logo, etc. on a moving ball. I have seen some shots at 1/10000th, but have never shot anything at that speed.

dpreview will show a shutter speed of 1/10,000 when the EXIF information has been stripped. That’s far more common than use of that shutter speed — I don’t own a camera capable of that speed.

I do wonder about the value of seeing dimples on a “moving” golf ball, but it’s your gear, your money, and your time. Good luck on the quest!

Thanks. I am not as good as I wish, and reply a lot on luck, and do pray and pray. That said, I shoot with intent, like most here. The unexceptional lens I now have is okay. I can probably tune it to eradicate the foot focus, but probably am limited with it.

There is no tangible value in a dimple. It is more about intimacy. I am trying to tell a story sometimes, with my images, aren't we all? In golf, the target, the ball, the clubface, the eyes, the blades of gras, the clouds, shadows... all have a role in stories.

I have literally stood in pro shots making a model try on different pairs of shoes knowing what I wanted out on some hole a mile away. IIt doesn't always work out, but knowing I can get a tack sharp golf ball is just one nice thing to have in my arsenal. I suspect I lack the technique, in terms of shutter speed, as I have always shot very little action, and know of others who do it regularly, and are able to get that. Unfortunately, they are not people I know well enough to cold call and ask. Hence my questions here.

In terms of bokeh, I want subject isolation. The blur gives the eyes, expression, ball, whatever more contrast.

Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,795
Re: Cheap reach

Michael Benveniste wrote:

olindacat wrote:

Budget is under 500. I wonder (out loud) if the 80-200 in DX mode is the way to go. Can prob find one on the Bay for around the 400 mark. Has anyone bought from Japan? I wonder f they are scammers out there. Not the people, of course, just those selling in foreign countries, so heavily, as it seems thy do there...

I'd probably choose a 70-300mm AF-P FX over the 80-200mm in DX mode, especially since it looks like you are primarily shooting handheld. That lens is $550, but can probably be found used for less with your budget.

Even the cheap AF-S DX works great, except it vignettes a bit on an FX body. As with the FX version it might need a firmware update of your camera.

Two samples (test shots from tonight), with no crop in FX mode:

Sharp, very light, and very cheap (some managed to buy them new in the US for less than $200). Cropping to DX does away with all the vignetting easily. Very fast AF, always spot on!

Here are some other options.

  • At $649 new, the Sigma 100-400mm is a budget buster for you, but long term I think it's a better fit to your needs.

That's my favorite lens, simply superb. Well balanced, compact, and rugged, and weighs just a little over 1 kilogram.

  • At ~$500 used, the older 80-400mm VR is an option. I've never used one, but even by Nikon's own measurements the VR is less effective than on newer lenses, and its AF speed is quite slow.

I had the never G version of this lens, and it was a wonder in the wide end, but like AF-S 70-300 you have, it occasionally got into focusing hysterics and was like your lens not razor sharp in the long end.

  • Also at < $500 used, you could buy a Sigma 150-500mm lens. My copy took a 3-foot fall the other day, so I'm withdrawing my offer to sell it until I can have it checked out. I've used that lens successfully for motorsports, tall ships, the solar eclipse and some wildlife. It's not up to the standards of, say, the Nikon 200-500mm, but that's pretty much the definition of "cheap reach."

I used to own one of those, too, and it was OK up to 400mm (Talking about my copy, note, your mileage might vary). An eon away from the 100-400 C I use now, in every way. Its focusing hysterics was even worse than the 80-400. Used with manual focusing it was not that bad, but who does that today?!

Technology has moved forward a lot in the last 10 years.

One caveat on the 150-500mm -- It may require a firmware upgrade to work with the latest firmware on the D810.

That is true for the AF-P, too!

See this list  from Nikon!

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Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,795
Re: Cheap reach

olindacat wrote:

cosmicnode wrote:

This is shot with the latest 70-300FX using a D800 notice the slower shutter speed used to blur motion but still giving relatively sharp shots considering this.

This is shot with a D300

The Tour de Yorkshire with the D500

So I went to a nearby camera shot and grabbed an AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G for $230 used. I have shot a 104-page book with it and my 24-70, and am glad to have it, but will say the bokeh on the 70-300 isn't up to the same standard as my 24-70 f/2.8 G, and I had thought the length might've given me even a softer look, but I guess the glass just isn't up to the task, given its price.

Technique-wise, I found myself struggling to freeze a golf ball to the point where I could see the dimples, logo, etc. on a moving ball. I have seen some shots at 1/10000th, but have never shot anything at that speed.

Now, I was shooting wide open and with pretty high shutter speeds, but not 1/10000th. Are people bumping up the ISO in broad daylight to shoot that fast?

This one is without a ball, but soft. No real bokeh here. I wish I could see the exif while I'm writing but can't, so am unable to easily determine my settings.

I'm shooting some theatre stuff as well. Here I really want eyes, the actors' eyes. My work is not sharp, and I'm screwing with PS camera shake removal settings, which know is naughty, eh? Like this:

Using monopod, maybe 20-30' away. ISO way up there. Trying that filter is PS which I know is a cheap trick. Beginning to wonder if the one tune is off. I tried stopping down, bumping pn ISO, etc. Actually screwed p and moved quality from RAW to TIFF and blow my card off quick. Nightmare. Happened twice.

I'm seriously considering a used 200-400. I see that thread about the 200-500 vs 200-400. I gotta figure the 200-400 f/4 is better bokeh, sharper wide open. I see a lot on that 80-400 as well. I don't want to blow more coin on cheap glass if it is going to wind up being a waste.

Still, my vote is for the Sigma 100-400 C, the best lens for the money I ever bought. The 80-400G cost nearly four times as much (bought both new), but didn't work for me at all, even after servicing/tuning at Nikon.

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Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,795
Re: Cheap reach

olindacat wrote:

Bernard Delley wrote:

olindacat wrote:

So I went to a nearby camera shot and grabbed an AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR G for $230 used. I have shot a 104-page book with it and my 24-70, and am glad to have it, but will say the bokeh on the 70-300 isn't up to the same standard as my 24-70 f/2.8 G, and I had thought the length might've given me even a softer look, but I guess the glass just isn't up to the task, given its price.

Technique-wise, I found myself struggling to freeze a golf ball to the point where I could see the dimples, logo, etc. on a moving ball. I have seen some shots at 1/10000th, but have never shot anything at that speed.

Now, I was shooting wide open and with pretty high shutter speeds, but not 1/10000th. Are people bumping up the ISO in broad daylight to shoot that fast?

maybe you have unrealistic expectations ! Your shot below is at ISO 63 1/1000 s , with ISO 500 you would have had 1/8000s at the same aperture, the shortest your D810 can give you. For 1/10'000 s and shorter you need flash techniques, difficult in this bright daylight!

This one is without a ball, but soft. No real bokeh here. I wish I could see the exif while I'm writing but can't, so am unable to easily determine my settings.

I'm shooting some theatre stuff as well. Here I really want eyes, the actors' eyes. My work is not sharp, and I'm screwing with PS camera shake removal settings, which know is naughty, eh? Like this:

I am under the impression that both of your examples here a a bit front focused. You could correct that with AF fine tune. The shot below has a longish exposure of 1/250s for FL 300mm , shorter would help sharpness. Your AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G is noticeably surpassed in sharpness at 300mm by the AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E which I suggested.

.

Using monopod, maybe 20-30' away. ISO way up there. Trying that filter is PS which I know is a cheap trick. Beginning to wonder if the one tune is off. I tried stopping down, bumping pn ISO, etc. Actually screwed p and moved quality from RAW to TIFF and blow my card off quick. Nightmare. Happened twice.

I'm seriously considering a used 200-400. I see that thread about the 200-500 vs 200-400. I gotta figure the 200-400 f/4 is better bokeh, sharper wide open. I see a lot on that 80-400 as well. I don't want to blow more coin on cheap glass if it is going to wind up being a waste.

Actually, the bokeh in both of your images here is quite good, no outlining issues, Just not extremely large blur circles. If bokeh is high on your list fine, but that does not go well with cheap. It comes best with expensive prime lenses like the 58mm f/1.4 the 105mm f/1.4 200mm f/2 and 300mm f/2.8 . Not cheap ! You mentioned having the 300 f/2.8 . I have seen a pro using the 300mm f/2.8 indoors, with the lens supported by his knees. Shooting while sitting on the floor.

Actually, I did not ignore your recommendation, I needed to get a book to bed and that copy of the 70-300 was all I could get my hands on. My golf season here is moving quickly, and I need to be shooting so did not see that lens in my neighborhood store, and a trip into the city is a lost day, so I made do. My reason for citing what O have, is so my next purchase (which I will take more time in executing) is as optimal as possible.

The 300mm ing end reach isn't enough. I need that extra 100mm, but low light capability, and yes, I do like the uber bokeh you get with the larger more expensive apertures.

I never owned a 300 f/2.8. My partner on Maui did, and I shot with it often. I know the difference. I always lusted after the 200-400 f/4, but not having access to rentals on Maui never tried one. Now, in the NYC area, I could rent, but it's gonna be north of $100 I suspect, and that's a downpayment!

Isn't that 58 1.4 outlandish? That's a bucket list lens, right? I have the nifty 50 1.4 never use it. Seems soft on the edges, but has good bokeh. My old 50 1.2 was better. Like the thin film place, but I'm drifting here from my OP purpose: cheap reach.

I guess we get what we pay for. But at under $2K is the 200-400 better than the 80-400? I'm leaning in those directions and am curious if this is the right thinking... using the latter indoors in low light.

Thanks for the suggestion about the front focus. I have been very hurried, and did try a few +/- just melts when I first bought the lens, bt have not had a target and tripod test, to run all 20 +/-s yet. I'm sure it ought to help.

Insofar as dimples are concerned: I can't have much bokeh, the guys eyes' nd dimples. Just not possible with a thin plane. If I stop it down I lose the bokeh but get the dimples. It becomes relevant when the guy his hitting toward you and the ball is coming at you. His eyes and the ball, groves on club face very much the subject/s. Thanks.

The real bokeh master/mistress is the Sigma 135/1.8 Art. Sadly neither Nikon nor Sigma TCs work, but Kenkos does! But stopped down a bit and it is just perfect for anything!

The Sigma 100-400 C has nice bokeh, but not in the class of the 135 Art.

My Voigtlander 58/1.4 has nice Bokeh and is affordable for everyone, but it is a classic manual lens :-)!

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tordseriksson (at) gmail.....
Owner of 1 Canon, 1 Olympus, 1 Pentax, 1 Ricoh, 1 Sony, and a lot of Nikon, cameras.

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Bernard Delley Senior Member • Posts: 1,246
zoom <===> bokeh , and AF tune
1

olindacat wrote:

I guess we get what we pay for. But at under $2K is the 200-400 better than the 80-400? I'm leaning in those directions and am curious if this is the right thinking... using the latter indoors in low light.

the 200-400 f/4 is an expensive lens,way above $2K, quite heavy ! If I were in for this FL/price range, I would likely prefer the more expensive 180-400 f/4 with built in TC14.

I have the 200-500 f/5.6, like many, I find it sharp enough to used fully open without regrets, I like it a lot. Good reach ! At surprisingly low price. A bit heavy. Usually, I need to fill in the lower zoom range with another lens, I take either 70-200mm f/2.8 or now the AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E FX. the 70-300mm comes along much further away from the car, for longer hikes.

I also have the AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6. I comes along when 300mm may not be enough, and I want to cover short to long tele with one lens and much less weight than the 200-500 + xx combo. I have no regrets using it fully open, sharp enough. More pricey than the 200-500, the cost for its versatility and still 400mm reach, DX!

Big blur circles depend on aperture, focal length and separation of the subject from the background.  Depending on background separation for the subject a fast shorter lens can give larger blur circles than a longer lens. And the mentioned primes are reputed for great bokeh. It still can be bad in difficult situations. I have the 105 f/1.4  135 /f2 DC 300 f/2.8, the latter has been to africa, but now its zoom lenses for such a trip.

Thanks for the suggestion about the front focus. I have been very hurried, and did try a few +/- just melts when I first bought the lens, bt have not had a target and tripod test, to run all 20 +/-s yet. I'm sure it ought to help.

Its enough to go in steps of 5 tune units. I routinely test focus coming from both sides, starting from back focus  and from front focus on a realistic test object.  If the findings are consistent enough (!?) you can estimate between the two best steps at increment 5 where the optimum might be.

cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 3,970
Re: Cheap reach

3 photo's, 3 lenses, 200-400, 70-300 and 200-500. the 200-400 is now sold. too big and heavy. with only the advantage of the faster aperture.

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Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 4,640
Re: zoom <===> bokeh , and AF tune

Bernard Delley wrote:

the 200-400 f/4 is an expensive lens,way above $2K, quite heavy !

I was surprised to find that the VR-1 version often sells used for under $2,000.

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