"This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" Mon 03-Jan-11 04:58 PM by richardd300
In the furore following the launch of the D7000, I wonder if anyone else really, truly and honestly feels as I do?
Yes I like my D7000, but "like" is a subjective word I guess because I am having trouble using the words "terrific" or "fantastic", let alone and perish the thought, “ground breaking”. The word "like" to me is just slightly better than OK. I don't think, or can't remember reading so many superlatives about previous Nikons. I'm sure I could if I trawled the historical (or should that be hysterical) posts there would be a list as long as well...as long as a list of posts of the miraculous qualities of the D7000. I had a buzz when I bought my D80, and more than an excited tingle with the D300 and D700 and I still get that every time single time I use the 700 even after 19 months. The D90 to me also almost fitted into that “tingle” category too, but not quite.
I have persevered, taken over 2000 images of BIF, general wildlife, family events, landscapes etc. I have been advised of settings, altered them, played with them and even listened to Thom Hogan's almost evangelical like outpourings on the subject of "hysterical" postings. Evidently Thom visits this forum too. Yep, I was hysterical when I changed my first faulty camera in hope the replacement would offer me everything most others seem to applaud. At least it focused ok this time.
Now the important bit. Today, I abandoned my D7K in favour of my D700 with a 24 - 120mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, not the usual 14-24 or 24-70 or 70-200 f/2.8 lenses. Apart from the image size which I reset to JPEG Large, I normally capture in RAW, I also returned all camera settings to factory default and reset all custom bank and setup settings. The day was dull and I went to a local city with a river, shops, and historical architecture. I took 87 images. I returned home and loaded the images into Lightroom 3, subjected the images to minimal sharpening and auto tone. I deleted only one image. After 45 minutes I enjoyed a slideshow and was happy again, really happy with my results.
If the day ever comes when I am happy like that with the D7K I’ll let you know. It is not my intention to be disparaging of any posts and have received all the help possible. I have also received many, many “off forum” mails which were very helpful. After a while I started to produce “OK” images and was encouraged to carry on. So, on that evidence I must be the only just “OK” D7000 user on the forum!
This is not a specific post about a specific problem, it’s about what D7K means to me, just “OK” and I don’t do just OK. Reading the posts it has to be me, I seem to be able to produce sharp, well colour balanced and quality images and most importantly images I am happy with, on a camera set to default values.
I look forward to the first spreadsheet of D7000 suggested settings.
#1. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 0
I don't think you need to apologize if you don't share in the d7000 love. Generally, I think the choice of one's camera is personal and subjective. Almost like choosing a spouse!
I think my feelings towards the d7000 are fairly easy to discern from my posts, I think Nikon hit a home run with this camera. It hit my market sweet spot anyway, an experienced enthusiast with a passion to learn and grow but no plans at all of turning pro. The D7000 provides me with most of the advantages of Nikon cameras much bigger and heavier (and expensive) while adding a few new tricks.
I can list a number of reasons why I love the d7000:
1. D700 like ISO noise control in a DX body with even more megapixels.
2. It remained small and light enough to carry around all day despite adding better build a number of additional features.
3. A matrix meter that is intuitive as it tries to balance a scene rather than put (often) unnecessary weight on the area under the focus point.
4. Full HD video with continuous AF.
5. A great AF system that in testing has been found to be at least on par with the CAM3500DX.
6. Outstanding low ISO dynamic range.
7. FPS rate that doesn't drop depending on on whether you choose to shoot RAW or not.
8. More accurate (from my use) Auto WB, and some of the most natural skin tones a Nikon camera has produced.
I read your post (perhaps wrongly) to say that you are frustrated by your inability to reproduce the results a number of users here are getting.
With sharpness are you comparing images at 100%? If so you might be misleading yourself into believing your shots are not as sharp as your 12 MP cameras. Peter (PAStime) here said is best in another thread :
"As an example, I notice some are viewing images at 100% and comparing what they see with 100% views of smaller pixel count sensors, such as that found in the D90. Many don't realize this is an apples and oranges comparison (because the magnification is different in between the two views). This is leading to nonsense conclusions such as the D7000 being softer or less forgiving to user error. One should zoom in to an amount necessary to meet the circle of confusion required for the end application (screen, print, other)!"
As for colour balance, the d7000 (maybe even more than the d90) is quite contrasty. I have been shooting in Neutral with -1 contrast (per Hogan's suggestion) and really liking the results. That being said, I was shooting in standard with +1 contrast and the results were still good.
Ultimately, maybe the d7000 is just not your camera, and there is nothing wrong with that. I would use the camera that produces the results that you are happy with.
#2. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 0
I had hoped that you were about to finally conquer your "beast" but it looks as though that's not going to happen; at least, not anytime soon. Perhaps with the many problems you first encountered your mind has become set and the D7k will always be a thorn. Imo, peace of mind is certainly more important than going through stress over whether the camera will ever meet your expectations. I, like many others, am totally satisfied with my D7k and as far as I can tell it performs better than just OK. I believe you have set your standards high as we all should. Reading the many positive posts regarding how great this camera is, and I would believe these people also set high standards, your posts have always been somewhat on the negative side. The terms "terrific, "fantastic", and "ground breaking" might not fit you and your experience but I don't think you should continue to rain on other people's parade. The camera has received very high grades from some notable professionals who make their living with reviews and it has also been well received by many new owners as evident on these forums. Other satisfied owners have not had a "spreadsheet of suggested settings" so I would wonder if that would really help you. They have been able to obtain acceptable results through whatever means available - maybe trial and error, gleaning information from other users, etc.. Indeed, perhaps it is time for you to return to your first love and again experience the feelings that you once had as you should not be stressed by "OK" results.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
#3. "The D7000 story." In response to Reply # 2 Mon 03-Jan-11 10:03 PM by ronaldbegg
Ocean Grove, AU
>I, like many others, am totally satisfied with my D7k and as >far as I can tell it performs better than just OK. I believe >you have set your standards high as we all should. Reading >the many positive posts regarding how great this camera is, >and I would believe these people also set high standards, your >posts have always been somewhat on the negative side. The >terms "terrific, "fantastic", and "ground >breaking" might not fit you and your experience but I >don't think you should continue to rain on other people's >parade. The camera has received very high grades from some >notable professionals who make their living with reviews and >it has also been well received by many new owners as evident >on these forums.
It's always disappointing when you have a camera, or are expecting one to be delivered soon, to hear of disgruntled owners. The poster sounds like a very experienced Nikon user, so we can be sure his opinions are validated by his experience.
The D700 from all accounts is a terrific camera, and so we all like to believe, is the D7000.
Let's hope for his sake he is able to say...........'this is a terrific camera'
#4. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 2
I think your synopsis is absolutely bang on. I really would like someone to tell me where I'm going so wrong. I am so frustrated.
I've put the D7K away now until the spring light arrives, in the hope that the better light and contrasts in the UK make a difference. Until then I will keep an eye on the forums and use the D700 which seems to shrug off any of my attempts to defy its capabilities. In a vain attempt to show I can take good images, I attach 2 from today taken with the D700. These were taken with the 24-120 f/4.5-5.6 lens. At this stage it would be pointless to attach D7000 images as I've taken none with the same lens.
However it may be a good idea to take both bodies out and replicate images and settings. I apologise to the moderator in advance that two of these are D700 images, I just need to demonstrate I am technically capable of taking sharp images.
#5. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 0
From my subjective perspective as a long time D300 user I believe the D7000 is the camera to get for the price when compared to the D300 at least but not the end all. I have now shot at least 7500 images with the D7000 almost all at Basque del Apache & most of them were BIFs. See my gallery for a few of the images though not all D7000. I also used my D300. Here are my conclusions:
1) The D7000 certainly matches the D300 in all aspects other than the VERY limited buffer size on the D7000 when shooting raw. Here the D7000 is very frustrating. Also with MD-10 on the D300 you are up around 8 frames per sec & for BIFs this is very important. So the higher frame rate & bigger buffer makes the D300 more attractive for rapidly moving subjects like birds.
2) The D7000 does seem to exceed the noise level performance of my D300 but not obviously until you hit ISO 800. At 1600 ISO the D7000 is definitely the camera to use. Recognize that for many (most?) BIFs significant cropping is still required even with very long lenses so you really do see noise impact.
3) The full frame (100% view) of the D7000 is a real plus.
4) The smaller size of the D7000 takes getting use to but I like the low weight. However, the sub-command wheel (on the back) is easy to accidentally rotate & when shooting in manual as I prefer did caused me to blow many images in the "heat" of the moment. It needs some sort of a lock.
5) The U1/U2 buttons etc on the body are very helpful. But for a serious photographer I could do without the scene modes.
Bottom line: So if I were to be considering purchasing a D300/D300s vs. the D7000, the D7000 wins. I couldn't justify the higher price of the D300/300s other than the frame rate issue.
#6. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 4
There's no doubt that you are very capable of taking sharp images and that you have better than average knowledge. Sometimes the harder we try, the harder we make things. I learn something each outing so I'm certainly not qualified to make any suggestions on technique or equipment. Just don't give up but do give yourself a respite so you can come back refreshed and hopefully beat your "demon". Until then, enjoy the D700 (as you always have) and continue to take shots like the ones you have shared. Good luck and certainly hoping the coming spring will shed new light and renewed enthusiasm.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
#8. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 4 Tue 04-Jan-11 02:17 AM by dm1dave
It is fine for you to post D700 images, no need to apologize.
I am sorry to hear that you are not fully satisfied with the D7000. Usually the purpose of a hobby is to help us get some enjoyment out of life. If one of your tools is making it difficult to enjoy your hobby then maybe it is time to stop using that particular tool. If the D700 gives you the satisfaction that you want from this hobby then maybe the D7000 should be demoted as a backup body or maybe even get rid of it.
Shoot your D700 and put the frustrations of the D7000 behind you.
Dave Summers Lowden, Iowa Nikonians Photo Contest Director
Nikonians membership - "My most important photographic investment, after the camera"
#9. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 7
> >But, I would trade my entire DX outfit for a D3s body in an >instant. >
Same here. I love my D7000, it wow's me, but I'm coming from a D70s, not exactly state of the art equipment. Even when I bought it in May '06 it was at the end of it's life as the D80 was just breaking cover.
If I had a D700, I cannot imagine I would even look at a D7000. Nothing against my camera, but I am under no delusions that it compares with that full frame marvel.
I'm with the others, the goal here is to produce great artwork, not to conform to the constraints of the tools. If you paint best without a D7000, then paint without a D7000! Not much more to it than that in my view.
Oh, and nice shots you posted. I really wanted a D700, but it was just too expensive for me. Every time I see pictures taken with that camera, I am flat out floored by the quality and refinement of the images. Impressive, to say the least.
#10. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 0
Richard, I feel your pain.
I sold my D300 in November for the purchase of a D7000 that arrived in mid-December. I've taken about 700 images with the D7000 and do not feel comfortable in taking 10 shots and expecting 5 of them to either be in focus or exposed correctly. After looking through the forums, I presume it is probably my inability to properly setup the camera. After 20 years with Nikon film cameras, I moved to digital and have had extensive use of my D200 and D300's and I feel they've delivered many more properly focused frames than my D7000. I have not sat on the side waiting for someone to publish this perfect-focus-exposure guide to solve my individual problems with this camera. But, I, like you, am frustrated with my camera's, or my, inability to focus when politely asked to do so with a relatively simple scene and in multiple exposure and focus modes. Is it me? Is it you? Who, or what is it?
I think I'm missing something here, but I wish I had my D300 to compare with this D7000.
#11. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 10 Tue 04-Jan-11 09:23 AM by richardd300
In a bid to satisfy those who quite rightly state that a picture speaks a thousand words. I took these two images taken at around 09:30 this morning, 1.5 hours after sunrise. Using both the D7000 and the D700 I tried to replicate the same settings and conditions in both shots. I actually took more images and the comparisons are almost identical to these.
D700, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR on. Focal length 400mm. 1/160 @ f/10 ISO 1000 Handheld D7000, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR on. Focal length 250mm (375mmDX) 1/160 @ f/8 ISO 1000 Handheld
Both cameras have had factory settings restored to default. Whether this the right or wrong thing to do I don't know, but I was trying to compare apples to apples.
Both images have been cropped at 25% and I took on the D700 at a focal length of 400mm and on the D7000 at about 266mm (400mm in 35mm terms).
Neither image has been treated to any Photoshop manipulation apart from cropping to 33%. Interestingly, is the fact that on the D700 shot telegraph lines can clearly be seen, however on the D7000 they are almost completely bleached out! Also and this is noticeable on most of my D7000 images the images are flat. In any event the difference between the two is so obvious. In short I want to achieve the D700 quality and sharpness with the D7000. I should reiterate that this is my second D7000 and believe me the image is better than I ever got on the first body! That takes some believing, doesn't it?
#12. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 11
I like your idea for an apples to apples test but I don't think the execution without a tripod at those shutter speeds with that lens yields any useful information at all. The D7k shot shows signs of motion blur not a focus problem IMO. It also seems that the D7000 shot is more over exposed than the D700 image as evidenced by the difference in aperture settings. This results in the loss of details in the sky/power lines.
It also seems that the default contrast levels are different between the two bodies. I would do a side by side adjustment to get the settings on the d7k to match your expectations as a test.
#13. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 11 Tue 04-Jan-11 12:18 PM by billD80
>D700, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR on. Focal length 400mm. 1/160 @ >f/10 ISO 1000 Handheld >D7000, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR on. Focal length 250mm (375mmDX) >1/160 @ f/8 ISO 1000 Handheld > >Both cameras have had factory settings restored to default. >Whether this the right or wrong thing to do I don't know, but >I was trying to compare apples to apples. >
I don't believe setting each camera to factory default equates to "apples to apples".
The second image has severe vertical motion blur (in my eyes). I might add that in many of your posted shots, you tend to use very low shutter speeds relative to the focal length. Perhaps the lesser resolution of the D700 is more forgiving of this approach. In any event, when I seriously test sharpness, I try to stay above 1/2000th and at least use a mono-pod...
But hey, that doesn't matter. You don't like the D7000. I can't see that liking it is anywhere near on your horizon. This isn't a crime. It's a camera you're not happy with.
#14. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 11
Can you really compare apples to apples when one camera cost is about $2,700 and the other $1,200? I doubt if the body design is the only reason for the big cost difference. With that being said, Nikon wants their followers to have the best because, if not, they would not be the industry standard. I don't know enough about a "pro" camera but from what I've read the OBTAINABLE results would be better than with a point/shoot or consumer camera. I used to bid on contracts and to be competitive it was necessary to compare apples/apples and to do that it was necessary to find out what the competition was pushing. Imo, only when all elements are as close as possible to being identical can you say "let's compare apples to apples". There have been some very sharp pictures - taken with the D7k - being shared on this forum and I would wonder if the results could have been better with the D700, etc.?
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
#15. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 12 Tue 04-Jan-11 01:57 PM by richardd300
Ok. thanks for that. I have done as you suggested and that, in a way, leaves me more confused. Both the D700 and the D7000 were tripod mounted. The focal length on the D700 was 400mm, the nearest I could get to that equivilent on the D7000 was 405mm. The pictures were taken with a remote release and Mup was after 4 seconds. Both cameras were set to 1/200 @ f8 ISO 400. VR of course was switched off.
As you can see the first 2 images are now far more similar both in sharpness and colour. The telegraph lines are in both images now. OK, so the results of the test tell me, as one would expect, that if tripod mounted and perfect conditions I get sharp images.
I then repeated the test with the camera handheld with VR on, but set to exactly the same camera settings. The results are extremely interesting I think. Image 3 is handheld with the D700 and I think the viewer will agree it is an acceptably sharp image. However, Image 4, the D7000 image is not acceptable. What I am led to believe from this is that the D700 will focus acceptably sharply at 1/200 sec hand held, but the D7000 will/may not.
My immediate thought is that the D7000 demands a far higher corresponding speed when hand held to capture a sharp image than the D700. That's a problem for me, because I am likely to always use the D7000 hand held (BIF) and the D700 on a tripod (landscapes).
The above hand held test was conducted numerous time with the same result. I tried it with the D7000 again to find at what speed will capture an exceptably sharp image. Now I am very intrigued, image 5 is the final image and it didn't matter what combination of speed and ISO I went to, a sharp image was impossible to achieve with VR ON! However, much to my surprise to get the acceptable sharpness, I achieved it at 1/640 @f/7.1 ISO 1000 with VR OFF!!! So that meets the rule that without VR one needs a speed equivilent to or more than the focal length in mm of which I had much more. Have I a problem with VR on the D7000? I repeated the same test on the D700 and with VR ON at 1/200 f/8 great and VR On at 1/640 @f/7 produced sharp images! Thank you RRogers who took his shot with a D7000 and 80-400 at 370mm f/5.6 from about 1 mile away. I wonder if it was tripod or handheld if handheld VR on or off as it was below the non VR limit?
As I think I may be getting somewhere now, your comments are invited. To the last poster, you will see from my considerable efforts I am trying to overcome the problem and get to like the camera.
#16. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 14
Monterey Bay, US
More like apples to oranges.
Richard, I must say that your default, hand held settings yielded better initial results for you than me. It took me awhile to get used to the D7000.
The default settings are a result of Nikon's effort to raise the High ISO performance thus resulting in a too bright image at ISO 1000. For some reason (possibly the assumption that most users would post process their images), the in-camera sharpening is much lower than other Nikons. I have learned to be very careful in how I hold and shoot the D7000. I now use a MonoPod when using the 80-400 with the D7000 and still hand hold with a D3. I think the higher resolution is either contributing to motion blur or showing it better.
#17. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 16
Thanks. That was useful and I must admit I do have very steady hands even when holding a heavy camera and lens. When capturing BIF I need flexibilty to follow the target and as such I find monopods and tripods difficult. I do agree with the sharpening issue and will reload my settings again. I did have it set to 7, the last shot in my post without VR of course at 0.
#18. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 14 Tue 04-Jan-11 02:17 PM by richardd300
<<Can you really compare apples to apples when one camera cost is about $2,700 and the other $1,200?>>
Yes, I think you can compare John. It's arguable that the D700 is little more than a D300 with a full size sensor. I suppose I used the apples with apples comparison as most of the reviews by comentators are saying that the D7000 is more than a D300s and so therefore perhaps more than a D700.
#20. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 17 Tue 04-Jan-11 02:35 PM by RRRoger
Monterey Bay, US
>Thanks. That was useful and I must admit I do have very steady hands even when holding a heavy camera and lens. When capturing BIF I need flexibilty to follow the target and as such I find monopods and tripods difficult. I do agree with the sharpening issue and will reload my settings again. I did have it set to 7, the last shot in my post without VR of course at 0. > >Richard
What is BIF? There are way too many abbreviations for me to handle them all.
I do NOT have steady hands, thus using a (anchor) D3 and long/heavy lens really helps me when hand holding.
However, I am very good at panning and using the AF-ON button to lock on a moving target without a MonoPod or a Full Wimberly on heavy TriPod with either camera.
Lastly, I am beginning to really like the MonoPod without a head, especially on hikes.
#22. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 21 Tue 04-Jan-11 02:59 PM by billD80
In your second set of posted images, the D7000 image (second one down, tripod/wireless release) is the "best" from a sharpness/resolution standpoint. The chimney and the yellow-green "mold" on the apex of the roof are noticeably clearer. So too is the "grill" thingy on top of the chimney.
This suggests the issue is shooting technique. I daresay that at the point of normal, hand-held shutter actuation you are jerking the camera in some way, and the D7000 is making this more noticeable.
I think you can take the MUP out of the equation, in part because I can't imagine shooting handheld that way, and I doub't if the mirror is the issue.
Could be wrong, but somehow this is how it's coming across. The D7000 shutter release IS very light (different than my D200, but certainly something one can get used to). Don't know how it compares to the D700.
#24. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 22 Tue 04-Jan-11 03:48 PM by richardd300
The D700 is the nearest thing to my memory of a film camera and reminds me of my Nikon D90x, a "clunk" rather than a "click". The D7000 has almost a hair trigger and I am getting used to that. You see I view the first image (D700) as the sharper and I see the grill sharper too, but perhaps my aging monitor is to blame.
I think a major problem I have is that I migrated from the D90, before I bought the D7000. I wish I still had it if only to compare like for like settings for test images. The hardest thing I've had to cope with and I know I sound like a stuck record, is that D80 to D300 to D700 and D90 were seamless. I get confused with the forum at times, because I keep getting told that ALL new Nikons have to be got used to. I never belonged to a forum until well after my D700 and each of the cameras were taken out of the box and used with few (image size & quality, focus release method) etc and off I went taking pictures and never a grumble no matter which lens I used. I can only assume that the earlier cameras I bought were just set well enough. Also I have photographic qualifications and my lecturer would not have tolerated poor quality and unsharp images.
What I do know is that the D700 is an extremely forgiving camera and perhaps that's why it's classed as a pro or semi pro camera, as for reportage it's doubtful the press would have hours to spend honing skills on a every new dSLR. Time is money after all.
#27. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 25 Tue 04-Jan-11 04:42 PM by richardd300
Normally I do only RAW, post process in Nikon NX2 export as TIFF and finish off in CS5. I use Lightroom for batch processing.
The 800Ib Gorilla can be disposed of as a D300s can be bought for less now than a D7000 in the UK. The D700 is a very forgiving camera and I found my D300 was to equally so. The major difference being an FX v a DX sensor.
Sorry, this was a reply to the post before yours Brian, but your post beat me to it.
#28. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 25 Tue 04-Jan-11 05:08 PM by bigfoot13
Well---I don't think it would matter if you could get 10 of them for the price of a D700 if you aren't getting the IQ you require! I have a slightly dif. perspective to bring to this. I was shooting with a D3, D700 combo. (I shoot performing arts, and sometimes have my cameras on my shoulder for 12 hours at a time. Add to this 2 herniated discs in my back, and a gimp left wrist from a serious fall 6 years ago.). The pro combo (with the 2.8 trinity) was proving to be too heavy for me to get through the day with. (also, and I know this is heresy, I never thought that the D700 gave me quite the dependable IQ that the D3 did!) The D700 is full frame, 12 mp, (you all know that) it is forgiving of a small amount of camera movement, esp. with vr. The D7K is 16 mp crop, (you also know that), it is much less forgiving of movement even with vr. Add to that the D700's low light capability, (I have to wonder how the D7K would have done in this respect, if they had limited it to 12mp?), and you just can't make a flattering comparison! However-that doesn't take anything away from the enormous improvement in dx sensors that the D7K represents! (Also, I belive it reproduces skin tones much more smoothly than the D700, which, I always found to over-emphasize any redness in the skin.) I now carry a D3 and my wife's D7K. I don't try and make one into the other as that would only lead to disappointment in an otherwise fine camera. Roger, I don't know what is going on that you are not getting better results-you are obviously a good photographer, (Maybe I got really lucky with my D7K), but I just did some quick shots of my wife before going out, then cropped one by about 65% and made a 16x20 print of the crop, and I am just blown away by the sharpness, detail, and skin tones! I really hope you can find the problem and not wind up disappointed. I guess what I'm trying to say, in a very long-winded fasion, is that it isn't going to be your D700 but it does have charms of its own. My only uncertainty now is whther to buy my own and give the wife her camera back, or wait a couple of months and see what other magic Nikon gives us, (is it too much to hope for a REALLY low light capable dx or a lightweight low light fx for those of us on the wrong side of 60 and no packhorse!). Good luck, and thank you for keeping up the dialogue, your findings will be important to all of us! Roddy
#29. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 28 Tue 04-Jan-11 05:39 PM by richardd300
It is so easy to get in a tangle when one has the problems I've had, but maybe and this is an extremely tentative maybe I may have learned something today that others may not be necessarily effected by. Bear with me please while I explain.
Question: Why did I buy the D7000? Answer: to upgrade my D90 as I thought that the more pixels, providing they were "good" pixels would give me a greater crop facility. I do BIF and often distant wildlife so it's going to give me the required extra reach that the D90 did.
After the tests I've done today I have noted two issues. Firstly that when tripod mounted, VR off, with Mup and remote release at 400mm the results showed little difference in sharpness betwen the D700 and the D7000. I repeated these tests at least 20 times and the results were the same. The "but" is that nearly all my BIF imaging is done hand held and it's when I came to hand held it got interesting. As you will have seen I matched the D700 results pretty well, but only when VR was OFF on the D7K! Whereas on the D700 VR worked switched on satisfactorily.
All of my problems on the first D7K I had, were "out of focus" no, not hand shake because it occured also on a tripod. So we can forget any 80-400mm problems there. It was a faulty body which the dealer accepted totally. Both bodies have been used with the Nikon 80-400mm fitted to the D7K, which is not noted as one of the best lenses and is a "D" lens, it's AF is glacial (I only use it in manual) the VR is MK1 VR. However I have taken some great images with it attached to both D700 and D90 and I class it as a very capable lens used accordingly. I have never used my 70-200mm on the D7K and I ran out of light today but tomorrow I'm going to repeat the tests with my 70-200 both on its own and with a x1.7 TCII.
Also and to demonstrate my delight with the camera in other ways is an image of my grand daughter. Taken with my D7K with a 24-120mm f4.5-5.6 walkabout lens and pop up flash. Get results like that with a long lens and that's all I want. After all I've got my D700 for this type of image.
I'll let you all know the result. I suppose it is too much to think that either my 80-400mm is not suited to a D7K or that the lens is faulty (a technical mismatch perhaps). I know that's probably clutching at straws. I doubt both at this stage, as poster RRRoger has successfully used one on a D7K. Also it works ok on my D700.
#31. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 29
It does appears to me that the 2nd d7000 shot your took (tripod, MUP) is the sharpest of all the photos you have posted including the d700 photos.
It is quite possible that the culprit here is the vibration reduction system.
VR has been known to induce blur in certain circumstances: on tripods, at higher shutter speeds and where the VR system does not 'settle' before the picture is taken. This has lead some commentators, like Thom Hogan to suggest leaving it off unless you know you need it: http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm
I am wondering how you AF with the 3 cameras: d700, d300 and d7000? If you are using AF-ON on the d700/d300 but using the shutter on the d7000 to focus this may explain things. Have you tried decoupling the AF from the shutter on the d7000 and assigning it to the AE-L/AF-L button instead (Custom Settings Menu - Item F5)? Then you use that button to focus and once focus is locked, then press slightly on the shutter button (holding for a 1/2 sec to allow the VR to settle) and then depress fully to take the picture.
#32. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 31
>Then you use that button to focus and once >focus is locked, then press slightly on the shutter button >(holding for a 1/2 sec to allow the VR to settle) and then >depress fully to take the picture.
That could be an important point
It seems from posts in this Forum that the D7000 has a somewhat lighter feel to its shutter-release button. It may be that more care is needed to keep the button half-depressed long enough for VR to activate and stabilise before pressing fully to take the picture.
#33. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 32
That's a very valid point. I always half press and do wait at least 2 seconds. It's strange because I always see the focused image as in sharp focus, albeit sometimes a very small area. Then on observing results on the LCD display it's not anywhere as sharp as it appeared in the viewfinder.
#34. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 31
Sorry if I mislead you, but I don't now have, but did have a D300. Normally I always use the 100mm = 1/100 sec exposure and if a speed is available above that I switch VR off. However, the speed was 600mm + on a x1.5 sensor, so I left it on. I was really surprised when the non VR image was sharper than the with VR image.
#35. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 34
Richard, As I've said before, I feel your pain. I went from a D5000 to the D7000 and have really struggled with focus and proper exposure. Sadly, at least half of the 4000 images shot with the D7k have been "test" shots just trying to get a grasp on this thing. Here's a few things I've done lately that seem to have helped.
1. Exposure: When using Matrix metering, I set ADL to low and use -.3 EV. ADL on low seems to be best most of the time, but if not, at least having it on lets me change the setting in CNX2 to normal or high or off (shooting RAW).
2. Focus: Something I tried a few days ago surprised me. Usually I frame a shot, press the shutter button to focus, wait for VR to settle, and then release the shutter. Instead, I just framed the shot and gently pushed the shutter release all the way. When the camera focuses it will release the shutter. You have to have "Focus Priority" set in the menu, not "Release Priority". This resulted in a much faster process that reduced my "hold time" for taking a shot and less time for my hands to start shaking.
As for your thoughts about VR possibly being a problem, I was out yesterday with my 300mm F4 (no VR) and got some very sharp images of birds (not BIF) all hand held at shutter speeds of 1/1000-1/1600. Ha! who needs VR when you have a sunny day?
Oh, BTW, I also think your MUP shot with the D7k looks sharper than the D700 MUP shot.
#36. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 35 Wed 05-Jan-11 08:30 AM by briantilley
I share your frustrations with the D7K. Moving from a D80 to this body has been painful. At first I thought it was glass, I had a 18-200, a sigma 10-20 and a 35 1.8. So I bought a 24-70 2.8, a 70-200 2.8 VRII and 85 1.4. Autofocus is still a huge problem, just last night I shot 50 pics at a family dinner. 25 or so excellent, the rest were ####. With my D80 I would average 95%. Anyways, I am working on it. Having only used DSLRs for 4 years I am sure I have lots to learn. I would like to post some examples but would appreciate a good program to resize as per the forum rules. Cheers
#37. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 36
Aspan <You have to have "Focus Priority" set in the menu, not "Release Priority"> I have mine set up for “Focus Priority” when in Single area AF, but “Release” in 3D tracking. In 3D tracking + ("Continuous High)I half press the shutter release to focus, then allow that focus point to follow the target.
<Ha! who needs VR when you have a sunny day?> We certainly need a sunny day, I’m wondering if it’s ever going to get light here today!
wwt67 < Focus: Something I tried a few days ago surprised me> As I mentioned above, I usually use “Focus Priority” but will try your method. Two different views, by two different users. These are all valuable suggestions.
Thanks everyone, I am noting all the suggestions for future reference, more tests today so will update.
I do realise that my tests are not exactly scientific, but I am heartened because so many really helpful and positive, well mostly positive, “real time” enthusiasts have taken time to comment. The process continues as I breathe new life into my D7K thanks to the support of others.
I am using my 70-200mm VRI today for some more tests. I will probably extend those tests by fitting a X1.7 TCII tele-converter.
#38. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 37 Wed 05-Jan-11 01:48 PM by richardd300
I have taken some more images this morning. I used the 70-200mm f/2.8 on both the D7000 and D700, then with a x1.7TCII fitted. Each lens and TC combination was hand held and images taken with VR both on and off. This time and in response to the comment regarding shaky hands, I took a burst of 3 images on each test and selected in each case image number 2. I felt my hand was steadiest then. Some images appear a bit softer than others of yesterday.
The weather was different to yesterday and it was brighter with little cloud and some sun. The results are nothing remarkable, but they do show that consistently the images comparing the D700 to the D7000 are certainly in colour tone very similar. Also, the difference with the 70-200 mm lens, both with and without the TC, do not particularly show any major differences. However as is to be expected perhaps the VR on or off does have an impact. This is greater on the D7000 as one would expect with a focal length of 510mm. Anyway the D7000 images are there, but as the D700 really don’t show any difference between the two, I have only included one with the TCII fitted and may be of interest. Once again the D700 wins it for me.
I have a feeling that my copy of the D7000 does not work particularly well with my 80-400mm lens tested yesterday when hand held with VR on. I have tested that today again and I saw the same problem as yesterday i.e. Bad images with VR on with the D7000 at 640mm, ok VR off, but fine again with the D700 both VR on and off. It’s when using the 80-400mm that I have had the problems that have led me to this. What am I going to do next?
Well, I am happy I can get good results with the D7000 on a tripod with the 80-400mm, but not hand particularly well hand held, certainly with VR on. For now I’m going to use the 70-200mm and at times with the x1.7TCII. I may consider trading the 80-400mm and my Mk 1 70-200mm for a MKII 70-200mm and use the TC to get the extra reach. Reports seem favourable.
I end today waiting for comments, but I have come to a conclusion. I think buying a D7000 is similar to buying a new set of golf clubs! I play golf (mostly badly) and it’s all about making sure the swing speed is just right and to suit the shot required. When the speed is right and the swing allows the club and ball to create a sweet spot, all goes well. This D7000 is the same. I do not believe, although for me my experience with the D80, D300 and D700 were totally different, that this camera can’t work straight out of the box. My other cameras did, for me anyway. I also believe that fitted with long lenses in particular, there is a steep learning curve. I do not believe that AF fine tuning is always the answer, but sometimes it may help. It did for my 80-400mm and I wonder once again “why” and not the 70-200mm which is not subjected to any AF fine tune. The tests I conducted here had no AF fine tune on any lenses as I went to default and rest also all AF tune settings to zero. I only know one thing absolutely and I did have a faulty D7000 and that problem is gone.
To go back to the beginning, am I more than just “OK” now and do I still just “like” the D7K? I think I am having better feelings now. As much as I dislike Thom Hogan’s style with his “non real English” writing, I agree he has a point. Yes, this camera does need attention to detail by the user and looking at his reviews I could only find, of the cameras I have had, where he states, talking about the D300 “Be prepared to completely forget how you used to set autofocus on previous Nikon DSLRs and prepare to take considerable time figuring out how to optimize your use of the new system”. Also I think I could benefit from using a monopod more.
Come on Darrell Young, if ever there was a time a book was needed and written in an understandable fashion, then I know you can meet that challenge, but please hurry up!
#40. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 38
Monterey Bay, US
Quoting Richard > >Well, I am happy I can get good results with the D7000 on a >tripod with the 80-400mm, but not hand particularly well hand >held, certainly with VR on. For now I’m going to use the >70-200mm and at times with the x1.7TCII. I may consider trading the 80-400mm and my Mk 1 70-200mm for a MKII 70-200mm >and use the TC to get the extra reach. Reports seem favorable. > Also I think I could benefit from using a monopod more. > Quote< > Your images look pretty good to me. Of course I do not have the benefit of the FullSize originals. I for one am not willing to trade an old 80-400 + 70-200 for the newest version of the 70-200. I will wait for the new AF-S 80-400 instead.
Get that MonoPod, perhaps one with more than 3 sections. Mine, even non-extended is too long sometimes. I use my monfrotto without a head.
Oooops, there goes my NAS! Now I need another gadget.
#42. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 40
Just ordered a Manfrotto 681B 3 section monopod! I can wait for a replacement 80-400mm, but it seems a long time coming. I bet it will cost a bit more than the 70-200 too going buy revent Nikon lens prices.
#43. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 39
Yes, it's certainly labour intensive trying to get the best out of it with longer lenses. However, I can't imagine I had two faulty cameras because in so many ways it takes excellent images. As a Welsh ex pat I am sure you will have a burst of 'Hiraeth' when you see the attached. Taken with the D7000 and 24-70 f/2.8 20 minutes ago, a short walk from my home. One of the finest views in North Wales, arguably the UK.
As you can see, I can have no arguement with the camera for this genre of photography. My problem is with long lenses and that's what I mostly use.
#44. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 0
I have been following this discussion but held off on posting my thoughts till now.
I find it curious how individual experiences and perceptions can vary significantly. I suppose if I used a higher end camera such as the D700 I may have walked away with similar feelings. But stepping up from a D80 there is without doubt better quality to my images with the D7000. Even my wife whom is less critical had the wow factor when I handed her a print of our dog for her desk at work taken with the D7000. Her comment when she saw the print was “is this taken with your new camera, WOW what a difference”. Where before with the D80 I struggled to get my dogs color correct, the D7000 nails it. Also I suspect the extended DNR is what is allowing me now to bring up the detail of her black face where with the D80 I always struggled to do that and was never satisfied with the results.
But I must admit moving from the Multi-CAM 1000 to the 4800DX has been a struggle. Especially when using the 39-point auto mode. I wonder if the trend to utilize face detection has somehow made the use of the 39-point auto more difficult.
So Richard, while I appreciate your efforts and empathize with your feelings, I am not sure how much the example images help to show your concerns. There are several things I have noticed that were not commented upon. I thought I would now throw out my thoughts to see if they have credence or am I misinterpreting things a bit (wouldn’t be the first time and most likely not the last ).
For instance you commented on the first comparison examples about the telegraph lines missing in the D7000 image. But you seem to not notice that the D7000 exposure is almost +1 stop EV. Combine the +1stop with Thom Hogan’s comment about the D7000 having a hotter PP then previous Nikon models and I would be surprised if they still were there, not that they were washed out. Also the lower single telegraph line on the D7000 image continues on the left side of the chimney where as it seems to disappear on the D700 image to me; which brings up my next thought.
Your crop sections seem to be less then precise. I appreciate your trying to keep the equivalent FOV between the two formats, but that presents its own series of issues. I grabbed the images to put in an editor to do a better side by side comparison, but the different crop sizes sometimes required a different zoom level to provide a similar size for a better side by side comparison. Being that they are similar amounts of crop it also places the D7000 images at more of a disadvantage I would think. I assume with the size of your examples that you needed to down-sample the images (even if only the D7000 to match the D700 at 100% view). Down sampling would damage any sharpening applied and would need re-sharpening I would assume. So in essence to provide the same magnification on screen (for screens can only display actual pixels) you need to throw away more resolution of the D7000 then you would the D700, which again I would think it would put the D7000 capture at a distinct disadvantage. After all if only using the images for the web you would only need a 2MP camera. So to me the real proof in the pudding in this instance would be making prints where the extra pixel resolution would allow the D7000 to really shine.
I hope my ramblings were coherent enough to understand, and would appreciate any corrections if I am somehow understanding all this incorrectly.
#47. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 44
Interesting Pete, thank you.
The first point is the comparitive crops. Yes, that was difficult, basically set a image size crop of 36.02 x 23.99 cm. I made the resolution 72 dpi. All that was fine but I had to judge the crop position for each image. Thinking about it now this would have been better achieved on Lightroom 3 as I could have cropped one and replicated that accross all the images via batch processing.
Your views of the D80 don't really mirror mine. In fact at a recent party I used my old D80 which I sold to a mate two years ago. I was still amazed at how good it was. Also, I went from a D80 to the new breed of Nikons via the D300. Thom Hogan, as I've mentioned says about the D300: “Be prepared to completely forget how you used to set autofocus on previous Nikon DSLRs and prepare to take considerable time figuring out how to optimize your use of the new system”. I took it out of the box, a few defaults were altered, nothing that would affect the image quality and it is a purchase I never regretted.
The thing is I think, "many men, many different journies". Many have had the immediate "out of the box" experience as I have in the past, others have varying experiences.
#48. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 41
This looks really good to me, the part that was focused on is sharp, the exposure is good and the colours look good and contrasty.
Sounds like ultimately almost all of your frustration (post defective camera) can be distilled down to a potential issue between your d7000 and your 80-400 with VR on.
It would be interesting to try your 80-400 on another d7000 or your d7000 with another 80-400 to see if this problem can be narrowed to one of them. I still think decoupling the AF from the shutter (if you have not tried this) could help. I seem to recall a d90 post in the past with this issue and this solution worked for that particular user.
Anyway, way to stick with it and being open to experimenting with the advice you received. It looks like things are starting to fall into place.
#49. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 24
> The D7000 has almost a hair trigger >and I am getting used to that. You see I view the first image >(D700) as the sharper and I see the grill sharper too, but >perhaps my aging monitor is to blame. > > I get confused with the forum at times, because I >keep getting told that ALL new Nikons have to be got used to. >I never belonged to a forum until well after my D700 and each >of the cameras were taken out of the box and used with few >(image size & quality, focus release method) etc and off I >went taking pictures and never a grumble no matter which lens >I used. I can only assume that the earlier cameras I bought >were just set well enough. Also I have photographic >qualifications and my lecturer would not have tolerated poor >quality and unsharp images.
I feel your pain! I have extremely high standards for sharpness, noise level, exposure because, if I didn't, I would not be able to sell my photographs to stock companies. It has taken me several weeks to get used to the D7000. At first I couldn't achieve focus because of the hair trigger. I now use Exposure Delay mode nearly all the time when hand-holding. This goes against most other members' experiences. The unacceptable noise levels even at ISO400 were due to consistent under-exposure. On the forums I read often about over-exposure, never about under. Nevertheless I have set the Fine-tune Exposure mode in the b menu to +4/6 and now I have very few noise problems and well-exposed shots. I agree that the colors can come out rather flat and contrast is lower than I want, but I am used to batch post-processing so I've created a preset which fixes that in a couple of seconds.
My other camera is a Panasonic G1 (micro 4/3rds). The images have always been very sharp indeed with vivid colors, plenty of contrast - actually too much, because the camera easily blows out highlights. There is noise even at ISO400, which is why I bought the D7000.
I now almost always use U1 and U2 on the D7000 and in each custom menu my settings a long way from the default. But, hey, it works for me and now when people ask me how I like the D7000, I tell them I'm thrilled. However, I'd definitely say that the D700 is a better camera. I am president of a local photography club and I am always blown away by the quality of low-light D700 no-flash pictures.
I'm really enjoying this thread, hearing so many different points of view. It just goes to show that no two photographers are alike, even if their cameras are supposed to be!
#50. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 49
Yep, as I said many people have had different journies I am pleased that you have sorted out the issues. I suppose my love of the D700 is perhaps the most tactile camera I've ever used. Returning to full frame took me back to film days.
I have now only one real issue and unfortunately it's the reason I bought the D7K and that's birds in flight and wildlife. That means long lenses and that is my worry. That said, there are others who use it satisfactorily and I must learn to do the same. It's difficult when having used a 4 previous cameras for wildlife very successfully to know where I'm going wrong!
I think the U1 and U2 settings were made for me. U1 for birds in flight and moving wildlife with the 3D tracking and U2 for still wildlife using single point.
I'll keep at it, there's no way a piece of electronics is going to beat me
#52. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 47
There is a reason, a very good one why I have not replaced my 04 car with a newer one. Not because the newer one is not better, has more power, is faster, with better integrated electronics, better design overall, no coolant pipes issues, cardan shaft issues, its lighter, more nimble.
#53. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 52 Thu 06-Jan-11 05:46 PM by beemerman2k
>There is a reason, a very good one why I have not replaced my >04 car with a newer one. Not because the newer one is not >better, has more power, is faster, with better integrated >electronics, better design overall, no coolant pipes issues, >cardan shaft issues, its lighter, more nimble. > >The 04 fits my ass and feels like home
I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this post! Bravo!
The point is to get from point a to point b as efficiently and comfortably as possible, and your '04 does that just fine.
The point of photography is to capture great pictures. Find the camera that flat works, and then get busy. It's just a tool, that's all, the real value is what the tool captures! If one tool doesn't do it, but another does, stick with the camera that "fits your ass and feels like home"! It's that simple.
Now, having said that, I do not believe Richard is fixated on his tools. I was wondering about that, but he told us why he bought the D7000 -- a 16mp DX that would extend the reach of his telephoto glass. Makes sense to me. Now he's trying to figure out whether the camera is flawed or its his technique. A good question for sure. Regardless of the answer, however, I would hope Richard would quickly ditch what doesn't work, stick with what does, and then continue to "wow" us with his work.
#54. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 53 Thu 06-Jan-11 07:22 PM by richardd300
It's certainly raised some different viewpoints. At the moment and the reason why I haven't updated as to my progress today is the British weather. Sounds like a hollow argument I know, but when trying different things consistency is the key.
My new, more rigid monopod arrived today and I must admit for static wild life I think this will do the job. It will vertually eliminate any need for VR. I have done some web reading today and think that my technique will improve with BIF as I hone the settings and my style to the best advantage.
I'm getting there and I think soon I will be taking good quality images. I have a deadline, as I am visiting the major reserve to see Red Kites feeding in a month. So I'm pulling everything out.
#55. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 54 Fri 07-Jan-11 01:03 PM by richardd300
I have had much success! Today, in very poor weather conditions with snow, I used my new monopod to support the camera. I wanted to replicate low light conditions using the monopod at various aperture, shutter and ISO combinations. VR was also turned off.
The lens was the 70-200mm f2.8 mkI and the shooting details are as follows.
Image 1 - Pigeon. 1/640 @ f3.2 ISO 1000. No cropping and only levels adjusted.
Image 2 - Starling. 1/400 @ f2.8 ISO 400. Cropped and levels. Un-sharp mask to amount 81 Radius 0.9.
I now need to replicate the results with birds in flight, camera handheld and with the 80-400mm lens. A tall order!
#61. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 60
I've learned not to depend on my experiences with past Nikons as reason enough to think all will be easy or the same with the next model. I also have learned much about the negative effects of VR technology, and the importance of a good sturdy monopod. Most of all, that the pool of knowledge here has taught me that not all cameras are as forgiving as others I own or owned, but many answers lurk in these forums.
A good experience in the end. Thanks for the support.
#63. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 0
East Liverpool, Ohio, US
Richard.... I felt your pain, still feel some of it, don't know if I myself will ever be able to say "I love this camera, it's by far Nikon's best work".That being said, I am also convinced that my first one was bad. The second one, not so much. Being a sports shooter, this one ( after 4 games and several settings changes ) does what I bought it for. It allows me to take shots at indoor sporting events without the use of flash. I have used it with my 50mm f1.8, the 85 f 1.8, and the recently acquired 35-70mm f2.8. I am still experimenting, but I can say that for it's intended purpose for me, it is working. I have yet to put a long tele on it, but I kept my D90 for outdoor sports, so we shall see when the good weather comes back to Ohio.
A couple things I have noted... using VR at any speed with any lens, the camera feels like it " Jumps " when the shutter is released, resulting in out of focus shots. It does not matter if you focus, wait or push straight on thru. I NEVER experienced that with the D90.
Using focus priority in AF-C mode with 6FPS burst mode gives me lots of keepers.
The colors and skin tones seem to be a lot better than the D90 and in most gyms the Auto WB is very good. All the shots below taken at ISO 4000, 50mm f1.8 at f2.5, shutter speed for the first 1/640, the others 1/800, Manual Mode and Auto WB.
#64. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 63 Fri 07-Jan-11 05:52 PM by richardd300
Great images and all frozen well, especially as all but the first involved both feet leaving the ground.
Yes, it was my VR issue that prompted me to experiment further. That is lazyness on my part, because I think we all often forget to switch it off at times when the shutter speed exceeds the focal length of the lens or certainly over 1/500th. Do you mean "jumps" as in the camera lifts or that the image area in the viewfinder appears to lift? I ask this as there are times with my 80-400 where I find what I thought looked like an optical illusion, but convinced myself that I was slightly jerking the camera minisculy up. I'm sure it's just me though.
As I've said before my shorter lenses on my replacement D7K have never given me problems in either sharpness or focus and of course my 14-24 and 24-70 lenses don't have VR. Of course I generally don't use those for moving objects. I'm left now with this nagging doubt that my 80-400mm is not liked by the D7K with VR on, but that could just be a red herring and probably very unlikely.
#66. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 64
East Liverpool, Ohio, US
Richard.... when on a tripod or not and releasing the shutter in ANY way... even after setting focus and using the timer... the image appears to " jump " in the viewfinder. It is not your nor my imagination. It always results in an out of focus image. I never ever had an out of focus image with the VR on with the D90, even when I sometimes forgot and left it on with high speed shutter speeds for sports. I only have the 70-300VR, so I know it's not the lens as I have used it a ton on the D90 with no issues. I went thru a lot of the tests you did on the first camera before returning it. The second one does the same thing. That is my only issue at this point, but as I said, I have yet to put the longer teles on it. I really only used VR to shoot across the soccer field at the crowds. Some of the parents get a kick out of some of the shots and as I said I will continue to use the D90 for most outdoor sports.
I do believe the D7k to be a good camera with some great features, but as you, I, and lots of others have found, you can not just take it out of the box and shoot. It is somewhat more.... sophisticated?? I guess. I think if they had left it at 12MP a lot of the issues would never have come to light. But I also believe that once the settings and shooting styles have been mastered it will produce some fine images. I am hoping that is the case at least. Good luck!!
#67. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 64 Fri 07-Jan-11 06:29 PM by dm1dave
I did not think about this until reading these recent posts but one thing to consider is that the 80-400 is Nikons first VR lens and still uses that original VR mechanism.
I have a few VR lenses and the implementation of VR on the 80-400 is kind of clunky and not quit as effective compared to the others.
I remember quit a few instances of seeing the image sharp in the viewfinder and then going out of focus upon release of the shutter (as noted by Keith above) resulting in a poor image. This behavior may be contributing to some of the issues you have been seeing with when using this lens.
Dave Summers Lowden, Iowa Nikonians Photo Contest Director
Nikonians membership - "My most important photographic investment, after the camera"
#68. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 67 Fri 07-Jan-11 06:50 PM by richardd300
<<I never ever had an out of focus image with the VR on with the D90>>
I did have an out of focus image once, I think! Yep, it was very rare. Last year I stood on a bobbing boat in the Arctic, North Norway photographing birds with a 70-300 on a D700. I had a wet lens, but all images were in focus. I used it on my D90 very successfully to.
The 70-300 is of course VRII whereas the 80-400 is VRI. That said the 70-200mm is VRI also and that's much better. I read somewhere a while ago that the VRI lens did have an update once, don't know when or if that's true but mine is an earlier lens I think. Serial numbers don't help tell the age because Nikon randomly number their lenses so the opposition don't know how many they've sold.
#69. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 66
I just shot this picture using the 70-300 VR hand held. The settings were f/5.6, 1/500 @ 200mm, ISO 200, vivid, 6 sharpening, and -1 contrast. He took a step right @ shutter release. Not certain if this result is good or not?
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
#71. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 70
Thanks for the kind words. Sometimes we look at our own shots with a little bias so it's good to have another viewpoint. Being critiqued is an avenue to improvement. Old eyes and monitor not calibrated can sometimes play tricks on me. If this is a good result, I've not had any problems with using the 70-300 VR so long as I pay attention to the focus area. The DOF wasn't very big and, as mentioned, he took one step @ release. I had focused on his eye but the focal point showed it to be toward the middle.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
#73. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 72
What an informative thread! My thanks to all contributors of fact, opinion, advice and suggestions. Richard, your difficulties have brought proponents out in full force to assist in troubleshooting your challenges. I also share the frustrations of Richard, and many others, who have noted poor initial results with this much touted body. My migration to the D7000 came via the D80 two years ago, and a D90 last May. I am an amateur who likes wildlife shots and, as a result, shoots "on the edge of darkness". I have limited glass (70-300mm 4.5-5.6) that I push to the limit. I have captured satisfactorily (to me)shots at as slow as 1/12 of a second. VR was on all the time on my initial bodies.
I will also state that I never dabbled heavily in “fine tuning” my previous bodies, and I fully believe that is now a privilege of the past. The D7000 is “soooo” configurable that I am looking forward to the first courses available to improve the quality of my shots. This idea alone, the requirement of a course to use a non professional level unit, is something I believe is not properly represented in the reviews of this body.
I am getting the impression from the contents of this thread, that the new sensor may not work as readily with VR and VRII. So I would like to take a quick poll to determine if my understanding of the comments/suggestions to date is correct:
1. that, when shooting on a tripod or monopod, you turn VR off regardless of shutter speed 2. that, when shooting at a shutter speed faster than length of lens, you turn VR off
I'd appreciate receiving your feedback on both points.
larrycurrlymoe: not just a funny moniker, I can't dance either!
#74. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 73
>1. that, when shooting on a tripod or monopod, you turn VR off >regardless of shutter speed >2. that, when shooting at a shutter speed faster than length >of lens, you turn VR off
Let me say up-front that I don't use a D7000, so I'm not speaking from experience with that camera. But I can't see how VR itself can be less effective on one camera than another - as long as the camera and lens are working correctly.
It's true that a camera with more pixels per square mm might be more sensitive to blur due to camera shake than a less "dense" camera - if you're viewing both sets of images at 100% - so you might need a faster shutter speed on the D7000. But... that would apply whether VR is in use or not.
My own principles for using VR (which I would not expect to need alteration with a D7000) are as follows:
1. With the camera on a locked-down tripod, VR is OFF unless the lens has "tripod mode" VR (only the longer, fast "pro" Nikkors have that feature).
2. With the camera on a monopod, or loose on a tripod, VR is ON.
3. Shooting hand-held, VR is ON unless I can guarantee a shutter speed around 1/1000th or faster. Even at faster speeds, I sometimes leave VR on because the stabilisation can help with framing and focusing.
#75. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 74 Sun 09-Jan-11 10:21 PM by richardd300
Interesting and I would totally concur with your VR principles when talking about my current D700 and earlier D80/300 and D90. On the D7K I also agree that VR is off with tripod use and perhaps for some hand held operations. However, I have found that for handheld use on my D7K that when my 70-200 f2.8 is fitted a shutter speed as low as 1/200th is achievable to capture an image with VR off.
Please see the two images attached and taken today. The first image of the seagull was taken at 1/160 @ f13 ISO 400, hand held with VR off. OK so it was gliding, but nevertheless it's pretty acceptable. Post processing sharpening is minimal (about 80 and 0.9 radius)
The second was on a monopod and panning taken at 1/200 @ f13 ISO 400. Although the wings are blurred, the head where I focused is sharp. These, I think anyone would agree are pretty good at such slow shutter speeds and never obtainable on my D700.
My take on this is probably flawed, but I am getting now some remarkable results after a less than confident journey. I wonder if this ability is some quirk of the expeed2 processor. Prehaps I have steady hands.
#76. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 68
Two posts back I responded to Brian's "VR" comments. Further to that post and because I am determined to bottom out the problems I have had once and for all, I have researched a little further. I still feel that the only problem I have now is the 80-400mm mounted to the D7K when compared to results from the 70-200mm. Before I go further I am aware that the two lenses differ vastly in one being AF-D and the other AF-S.
I have researched other forums and there are a few posts about focusing problems specifically with the 80-400 mounted on a D7K, but nothing concrete regarding a possible reason. Mostly, these refer to when the lens is used with the live view function. However, I actually referred to Thom Hogan's reviews for both lenses. He says regarding the 80-400mm:
• "If you put the lens on a tripod, turn VR OFF. And even though Nikon suggests that you leave it ON when the lens is mounted on a monopod, if your monopod is reasonably steady, the VR should probably be OFF. (Of course, if you have a shaky tripod, maybe you should have VR ON, at least until you get a better tripod". I am interested there regarding his comment regarding the monopod use.
Whereas for the 70-200mm he says:
• "However, set the switch to ON when using a tripod without securing the tripod head, or when using a monopod."
Of course the two articles were written 2 years apart and his knowledge had probably developed, but although he says "VR should probably be off" would to me indicated where I had my problem. Earlier in this thread I posted an image where indeed the IQ was sharper with it off, albeit handheld. I have also managed to replicate that instance numerous times since.
I won't labour the point too far, but I wonder is it anyone's opinion that perhaps the cutting edge technological advances within the camera, may be leaving the early technology in certain older lens behind. In other words a mismatch may occur?
#77. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 76
It's probably worth highlighting something that I haven't seen mentioned yet, in case it is affecting what's going on...
The 80-400mm was Nikon's first lens with VR, and has a different implementation of the system compared with all the subsequent VR Nikkors. It offers "Mode I", which like the current system stabilises the image whilst the shutter release is half-pressed, and "Mode II", in which stabilisation starts only when the shutter release is fully pressed to take the picture.
Regarding Thom's review, bear in mind that it was last updated over 8 years ago, when the 80-400mm was the only VR Nikkor in existence. Like everyone else at that time, his experience with VR was pretty limited. His recommendation as written in the 70-200mm review is likely to be a better one for all of today's VR lenses, but perhaps the 80-400mm needs different handling...? I can't be sure as I've never used it myself.
Getting a sharper image with VR off hand-held is not really a guide to whether to use VR on a tripod
#78. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 77
I agree. It's never been my lens of choice, but does give very good results on my D700. That said, since I've had the 70-200mm and linked with the X1.7TCII the combination is superior on both cameras. The biggest problem with the 80-400mm in my view is that it's not great above 300mm, very soft. This is noticeably exaggerated on the D7K. The slow focusing isn't a problem as I consider it works better in manual.
Oh well, I'll just have to save some more to achieve the 300mm f/2.8 and X1.7 TCIII!
#79. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 0
I coudn't read all the answers and discussion here in this post. But from my experience with the D7000 (I have alot of sun time here in Cairo, Egypt) compared to my older D200 is :
1 - In the critical situations like shooting with long lenses with relatively slow shutters, it will be more difficult on the D7000, and this is clear on your tests. This camera will certainly show any motion in the photos.
2 - Its default WB is alittle cooler than the default WB of the D200, or maybe the D200 default WB is more warmer, and since I am used for years to the warmer WB of the D200, I felt something was wrong. I also noticed the D7000 produced better blue colors, so I guess the problem is actually in me getting used to the little warm colors, anyway, this is very easy to adjust on camera or post-processing.
3 - The D7000 is clearly sharper (always shoot with either 14-24mm or 10-24mm), and I am very happy with the high ISO performance although I don't need it so often in my work.
4 - The dynamic range is really great, this actually helped me and I felt it in my Interior photography work.
5 - The faster AF and new metering system are good but actually not very relevant to my work, maybe if I shoot more documentary but most of my work now is Architecture and Interior.
However, I might get a new full-frame body (Maybe D800) to be my main body with the 14-24mm, and will put the 70-200mm on the D7000
#80. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 79
St Petersburg, RU
Your observations #1, 3, and 4 mirror comments by some users moving from 12mpx to the D3x. The higher resolution might be easier to adapt to by newcomers who are not confronted with old habits not being appropriate for higher res cameras. The newcomer has no old habits to overcome and is not always assuming new traits are bad because they are not the same as the traits of older generation cameras which they never learned. The D7000, D3x and even the 7d Canon share that user experience, that takes some people out of their comfort zone. Of course, others find that growth comes from outside their habits and comfort zone.
#82. "RE: This is not a specific post about a specific problem, Just my "OK" journey" In response to Reply # 13
> I might add that in many of your posted shots, you tend to >use very low shutter speeds relative to the focal length. >Perhaps the lesser resolution of the D700 is more forgiving of >this approach. In any event, when I seriously test sharpness, >I try to stay above 1/2000th and at least use a mono-pod...
I was thinking the same thing as I was looking over the shots. The D7000 has less pixels add in the fact the D700 is FX and you have considerably larger pixels. Perhaps it is more forgiving because of this.
Also, I was browsing Thom Hogan's site early today and decided to read his article on VR. I am not sure why I did because my lenses are all VR free, but i digress. His excellent article brought up the point that in shots 1/500 or faster (he also commented that many people believe this should start at 1/250) VR should be turned off as it causes more problems than it fixes. You may want to check out the article if you have a chance.