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  1. #1
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    hark's Avatar

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF
    For the past few months, I've mentioned how my refurbished 1.7x TC coupled with my 300mm f/4 PF was stellar until I removed the TC from my camera before being put back on. Then suddenly my images missed focus - mostly being soft and slightly out of focus. And there was some front focusing going on that never used to happen with this combo.

    With all my lenses, I always use the Sport VR option when it is available. After having elbow surgery many years ago, I've found it to be superior to the Normal VR (but that's only due to *my* physical limitations). On every lens, Sport VR has been sharper. When shooting with the lens only (no 1.7x TC), Sport VR is fine. But I've noticed now with the 1.7x TC and Sport VR, most of my images miss focus or simply are soft. And that's been consistent ever since I initially removed the TC then put it back on. However, I don't know if the problem has to do with the TC or the lens. Again, the lens alone with Sport VR is exceptionally sharp.

    So here are several images from today. NONE of these have been post processed. All were NEF's opened in Camera RAW. Lens Profile was selected, all only have the default sharpening (40 I think) but no noise reduction. All are Adobe Color for the profile. Then all were taken to PCC where they were resized for the forum. No cropping to any of them.

    I'm pretty sure these first two were taken with Sport VR. Both are soft or possibly heavily front focused.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0346-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0349-low-res.jpg

    So I switched to Normal VR. Okay - not bad as there is quite a bit of feather detail visible.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0354-low-res.jpg

    This 300mm f/4 PF was purchased as preowned. Since I always use Sport VR, I hadn't tested out the Normal VR. One of the problems with the lens (and it happens without any TC), is the image jumps to a new position within my viewfinder - but ONLY with Normal VR. Take a look at these 3 successive images and note how the subject isn't in the same place. But that is a lens issue and has nothing to do with the TC. It drives me nuts! But overall, the feather detail is still very nice. I stuck with Normal VR for the remainder of my images.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0360-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0361-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0362-low-res.jpg

    But I still wind up with one every once in a while being slightly soft even with Normal VR.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0373-low-res.jpg

    But for the most part I can get some great detail such as these two.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0381-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0384-low-res.jpg

    But then this one wound up being soft - and that was with a shutter speed of 1/2000". Possibly the camera hadn't achieved focus since the subject is dark. Keep in mind wide open with the 1.7x TC, my aperture is f/6.7. So possibly that might have caused this focus glitch. I'm looking for any suggestions to try to help isolate the focus problems vs. VR problem. I also want to test out this 1.7x TC with my 70-200mm f/4 VR lens to isolate any problems that might be related specifically to the TC or determine if some problems are related to the 300mm f/4 PF lens. Comments and suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks!

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0388-low-res.jpg


    › See More: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF
    Last edited by hark; 07-26-2020 at 02:05 AM.
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci





  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Whiskeyman's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    If the problem was consistent, I'd suggest that you check your AF Fine Tune settings. Since your results are not consistent, I'll wager that is not the problem. Can you mount the camera on a tripod and take multiple photos of a stationary subject with various VR modes and with the VR turned off? Do this with both AF on and using manual focus to see if the issue still remains. Let us know the results if you are able to do this.

    WM
    “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” - Jim Richardson

  3. #3
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskeyman View Post
    If the problem was consistent, I'd suggest that you check your AF Fine Tune settings. Since your results are not consistent, I'll wager that is not the problem. Can you mount the camera on a tripod and take multiple photos of a stationary subject with various VR modes and with the VR turned off? Do this with both AF on and using manual focus to see if the issue still remains. Let us know the results if you are able to do this.

    WM
    Sure, I can do that. Thanks for the suggestion, WM.
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  4. #4
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF
    Here are two that I decided to process.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0381-edit-low-res.jpg

    With the one below, I hit my ISO cap of 4000 because my shutter speed was so high. At times when the ducks were preening, their heads moved pretty fast. This one was in total shade, too. I wound up having to raise my exposure in post processing to compensate.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0387-edit-low-res.jpg
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Whiskeyman's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
    Here are two that I decided to process.



    With the one below, I hit my ISO cap of 4000 because my shutter speed was so high. At times when the ducks were preening, their heads moved pretty fast. This one was in total shade, too. I wound up having to raise my exposure in post processing to compensate.
    Those photos look like they are larger than real-life size. I wouldn't expect them to be tack aharp.

    I do see some good detail in some of the lower photo's feathers. I also believe that there is also motion blur in the upper photo that is causing issues. Are these non-cropped photos?

    WM
    Last edited by Whiskeyman; 07-26-2020 at 03:10 PM.
    “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” - Jim Richardson

  6. #6
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskeyman View Post
    Those photos look like they are larger than real-life size. I wouldn't expect them to be tack aharp.

    I do see some good detail in some of the lower photo's feathers. I also believe that there is also motion blue in the upper photo that is causing issues. Are these non-cropped photos?

    WM
    The first image is a 4x5 crop - mostly taken off the left and only a tiny bit off the bottom. So overall, only a small crop to the bird at the bottom. The second image isn't cropped at all. I was very close to them which is why they filled my frame so much.
    Thanks/Like Whiskeyman Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    How goes the search for answers? After doing some research on VR, AF and TCs its as clear a mud for me. With a TC it is referensed as available focus points at F8 usually cross type, so what happens at F9?

    Example d500 focus point chart.

    https://nps.nikonimaging.com/technic...#cross-sensors

    Some sources indicate VR is not require above a SS of 1/500 and some seem to think VR could actually move the image off the focus point. So are there any source of information in your experience that are reliable?
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     

  8. #8
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    Quote Originally Posted by Needa View Post
    How goes the search for answers? After doing some research on VR, AF and TCs its as clear a mud for me. With a TC it is referensed as available focus points at F8 usually cross type, so what happens at F9?

    Example d500 focus point chart.

    https://nps.nikonimaging.com/technic...#cross-sensors

    Some sources indicate VR is not require above a SS of 1/500 and some seem to think VR could actually move the image off the focus point. So are there any source of information in your experience that are reliable?
    Thanks for this info. I haven't had time over the past couple of days (and probably won't today) to continue to search for answers. But one thing I've noticed is when I use the Sport VR, the image doesn't get locked (or stilled) when I do a half-press. There is still movement visible that I am not holding the camera/lens steady. So I want to put the TC on my 70-200mm f/4 and see if it does the same thing. If it doesn't happen with that lens, then most likely the issue is with the 300mm's Sport VR option and not the TC.
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  9. #9
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF
    All I can say is I really missed this opportunity. Knowing wildlife is hard to find during our heatwave, I went in search of geese armed with a different 1.7x Nikon TC. Geese happen to be the only wildlife I see when it is so darned hot.

    So I saw a bird flying overhead with a white head. Initially I thought it was a seagull. Bad judgement call on my part for sure. Bird changed direction. Darned. It was a Bald Eagle. Sheesh. Grabbed my camera from the seat beside me which was set with 1/1000" shutter speed and Sport VR, then started shooting. Then suddenly I realized my shutter speed was too slow. What follows is a sequence of jpegs since I shoot NEF and jpeg Large - only resized the jpegs for the forum. No need to edit the NEF's because I missed everything. Being honest here.... What a PITA to work thru the possible options of what's wrong.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0411-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0412-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0413-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0414-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0415-low-res.jpg

    Changed my shutter speed as soon as I realized it was too slow - set to 1/2000" to reflect a flying bird. Still missed it so not sure if it is the TC (although it's a different 1.7x TC) or the lens. Realistically still missed the shots as it flew further and further away.

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0419-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0420-low-res.jpg

    Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF-_dsc0424-low-res.jpg
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  10. #10
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Refurb 1.7x TC & 300mm PF

    So I've used the 300mm PF and the refurbished 1.7x TC with lackluster results. The Normal VR appears to be better than the Sport VR. I also used the lens with a new 1.7x TC with basically the same results. Sometimes the AF is off - front focusing - no matter which TC I use. But Sport VR mostly misses despite the fact that it used to be perfect.

    Today I mounted the refurbished 1.7x TC on my D750 and 70-200mm f/4 VR lens. I also used it with Sport VR. Everything looks to be in focus with no blur. So I'm assuming it is the lens that is causing my problem. I purchased the lens as preowned.

    Just for fun I might mount this TC on my D500 with my 300mm f/4 non-VR (AF-S) lens and see if it plays nice. Am assuming it will based on what I've found out so far.

    What I do know is the VR of this 300mm f/4 PF has issues. When using it with Normal VR, it's always moved the image up or down in my viewfinder after the image is taken. And that shouldn't happen. But the AF is off with the TC (front focusing). The lens by itself is stellar which is what I don't understand even when using Sport VR.
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2020 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci







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