70-200 VR & TC-17E First Shoot, Impressions

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by sabbath999, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok, I was in Kansas City and I just walked around the zoo once to get some impressions of the 70-200 VR and TC-17E combo.

    I shot all the pictures with the tele-converter & lens combo. No great art work here, just a simple walk around the park with me, the camera, the lens & TC, and a SB-600.

    I just downloaded the pictures and took a look.

    The combo seemed to do fairly well under most circumstances, with the notable exception that it appears to be a BIT soft at the very long end. This isn't really surprising, because the 70-200 also appears to be SLIGHTLY soft at that end as well without the TC when wide open. It does better stopped down a bit, but the point of buying a 2.8 isn't to stop it down.

    Honestly, that is pretty disappointing in a $1650 lens... it's not that it is blurry or anything, it is just not tack sharp throughout the entire range... and this lens is supposed to live in the 200mm range. I suppose I can find work-arounds for it but frankly I don't honestly think I should HAVE to find workarounds on a lens in this price range.

    All zooms contain compromises, that's a given... and when I say it is not quite tack sharp at 200 I do mean not QUITE... as in not as sharp at 200 as it is at 190... but still pretty sharp.

    Also, it may not be the equipment's fault at all, it may be poor shooting technique on my part... the reason I say this is that some images seem quite sharp when shot at 340mm, and some don't... which tells me that I may be at fault. On the picture of the dogs below, the dogs seem soft to me, but the grass in front of them doesn't, especially the stuff sticking up visible in front of the dogs.

    Another consideration (in fact, I half suspect it might be the case since these lenses are all calibrated at Nikon before they are shipped) is the UV filter I have on it. It's not a cheapie green box Hoya or anything, but it isn't a B&W or Nikon Clear Glass either. I will do some further testing with it off.

    It may also be a case of unrealistic expectations on my part... zooms are not prime lenses... they just aren't.

    Anyway, here are a few samples from today. All images are completely unprocessed except for a bit of cropping:

    [​IMG]
    Shot through a black wire cage

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    340mm (200 x1.7 f/11 1/400) and just a bit soft

    [​IMG]
    340mm (f/10 1/100) doesn't look as soft to me

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    340mm (f/4.8-wide open 1/125th) shot through obnoxious 2 inch square steel wire caging

    [​IMG]

    You can see a wider sample of the pictures at:

    Test Pictures (clicky)
     
  2. solrac8126

    solrac8126 TPF Noob!

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    well they do look good, i don;t have that eye "yet" to see wich lense is better, but they look realy nice. I do find myself in the same situation some times where there are pics that look preety great and some don't with the same lense on the same shots , so i hope i can correct that on the future... :mrgreen:
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi Sabboth999, if you are using the 200 and the 1.7TC then that's 340 and then the 1.5 crop that comes to 510mm. So 1/400 would be a bit slow for this except for the VR.

    How did things look with out the VR turned on? (the TC doesn't affect the VR does it? Just asking as I haven't a clue) I ask wondering if the VR is working right.

    Also, how did it do with out the TC, I've got a Tokina 80-200 f2.8 that does pretty good but putting a x2 TC on it is not worth the effort.





    BTW, I'm still jealous ;)
     
  4. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    Firstly if this is your new addition, congratz, its a great lens i love mine to bits - find it pretty sharp.
    As you said, there will be a drop in image quality with a 1.7x tele on it (apparently hardly noticeable with a 1.4). I too find a slight drop on IQ with the tele and try not to use it unless I have to.
    I also dont use a filter as I do believe that could also play a part in IQ degredation.
    Here is a shot I took with a 70-200 with a 1.7x tele attached.
    [​IMG]
     

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