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sharpness: my perpetural struggle

bobpilot

Washington, US
3861 posts

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"RE: sharpness: my perpetural struggle"

bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007
Thu 31-Jan-13 02:47 AM

>>> What makes this lens so difficult?
>
>Forget the optics and look at the geometry. It is a well
>designed... tuning fork .

I see, thank you. I believe there is nothing wrong with the optics on my lens; I had not ruled that out until this discussion brought out the other factors. Your tuning fork analogy is the perfect way to explain the concept.

>
>Among the highest end 400/500/600 lenses, your 600 is usually
>considered the toughest of the bunch, simply because it is
>physically longer and heavier. If you want an efficient
>tuning fork you generally increase the length of the arms.


Now that I have at least a vague understanding of the concept, I hope that I can learn to adapt.

With the exception of very deep macro where all the
>issues I mentioned (except now usually a one sided tuning
>fork) apply at a microscopic level.

I did some macro photography, with a controlled setup in my dining area so I see what you mean. I rather enjoy macro.

>
>Since you do not plan to make an intensive hobby out of this
>lens, as many or most of us do, it just means you have to
>approach your learning curve smarter, and we are trying to
>help you do that.

I take pictures to have fun, but I also want to take good pictures. And I appreciate your insight and help.

>
>If you do not want to make this lens an obsession, then you
>absolutely, positively need to get that Series 5.

You hit this on the head; I want to enjoy the experience and not be worried about the equipment.


>
>Edit: I have talked to a number of 600/4 shooters that
>use Series 3's. I rarely see a Series 5 in the field. When I
>ask them about VR/IS they all tell me they could not shoot
>their lens without it. Most are Canon users simply because
>most of them are old timers that bought their Canon IS lenses
>back before Nikon had a VR model.

Why is the series five not used in the field?

>
>For that reason alone I would suggest you seriously try VR and
>determine if it helps or hurts. You will get varying opinions
>on that so you need to find out for yourself.

So far, I've used TRIPOD mode. To your point here is how a wildlife photographer described the VR modes on the 600:

"VR Performance: GREAT! I find that the VR function significantly extends the range of usefulness of this lens - whether on or off a tripod. When shooting using a tripod (moderately large Gitzo with Wimberley head) I ALWAYS use "tripod mode" except when panning birds. I have run numerous tests and have found that I virtually always get sharper results with VR on (tripod mode) than when the VR is off. When shooting off a monopod or hand-holding the lens (yes, you CAN hand-hold this lens, but not for long!) I use "normal" VR mode and have captured sharp images down to 1/100s. Note that one moose-like Nikon sponsored photographer states that the "tripod mode" of the VR should only be used when you're "absolutely locked down" - my experience is that this is NOT correct. Use Tripod mode whenever on a firm tripod (unless you're panning). Using "Normal" VR on a firm tripod CAN degrade image quality. Sorry moose - in my experience the manual IS right (and the info on your website misleading)."

So, yes, opinions vary.

I am now living in southern Utah, no duck ponds here. Zion is an hour away though.

This is a hot, active topic! sharpness: my perpetural struggle [View all] , bobpilot Silver Member , Tue 29-Jan-13 06:19 PM
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     Reply message I don't think it's your tripod Bob....
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          Reply message Shoot a ruler at 45 degrees Bob...
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     Reply message There's no need for this...
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     Reply message Post them here Bob...
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               Reply message Sorry, shoot wide open Bob...
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          Reply message f/4 2000 ISO; 1/800
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               Reply message Focus looks pretty good to me Bob...
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Reply message Bob, did you re-shoot that bolt?
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