70-200VRII+TCIII test-part 5: AF-C for birds in flight...

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70-200VRII+TCIII test-part 5: AF-C for birds in flight...

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 18 Jan 2010 11:05

Capturing birds-in-flight is one of my favourite occupations in photography.
My D700 with 80-400VR was serving well for this purpose but when the bird was flying too fast or moving erratic in the air, my beloved 80-400 Vr was often unable to keep the subject in focus.
As I planned the 70-200 VRII-TC-20 E-combo to become my alternative for the possible upcoming successor of the 80-400VR, my expectations were quite high...

Underneath picture, taken with my D700 and the 80-400 VR is my standard of what I consider as a "keeper". It's not exceptional but I find it's more than decent. The underneath picture though was taken in optimal conditions: Bright sunlight, warm weather with enough wind that the bird was floating slowly on the air. 80-400VR has on such moments no problems to focus perfect. The 80-400VR' focus limiter helps for that.

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About my birds-in-flight-picture-ambitions with the 70-200VRII+TC-20 E III-combo I have not been able yet to test in such optimal conditions but the first tests in horrible weather condition are very promising... Before somebody would have the intention to critisize the quality of my first tryouts with my magic combo, I posted here underneath a picture of the weather-situation the pictures were taken in:

Cold (2°C), wet, cloudy and misty.. Thus far from perfect...
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I was testing the D700+magic combo autofocusing qualities in practice with approx 100 pictures of birds in flight this morning. The "decent"-rate was about 80%. The AF accuracy is simply outstanding even if there is a disturbing background behind the flying bird as you see in the next picture...

Picture taken @ 400mm handhold, iso 1100, 1/500sec, F5.6
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and a 100% crop:
This crop has been slightly local-sharpened in Capture NX2
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And one more sample with exif

Picture taken @ 400mm handhold, iso 720, 1/500sec, F5.6
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and a 100% crop:
Also this crop has been slightly local-sharpened in Capture NX2
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I'm really exited about the results of this "magic combo"... :D :D :D

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kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
http://www.nikonuser.info
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More birds in flight with 70-200VRII+TCIII

Postby Stany Buyle » Sat 27 Mar 2010 21:43

All 4 underneath shots are 50% crop of the original. Lighting condition was winter-sunny/clouded.

handhold with VR on @ 400mm, iso500, F7.1, 1/1600 sec, crop50%, localy sharpened in NX2.
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handhold with VR on @ 400mm, iso500, F7.1, 1/1600 sec, crop50%
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handhold with VR on @ 400mm, iso360, F6.3, 1/1600 sec, crop50%
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handhold with VR on @ 400mm, iso500, F6.3, 1/1600 sec, crop50%
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and another one in the original proportion
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and a 50% crop of the above picture
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I am amazed that this 70-200 F2.8-TCIII combo beats my beloved 80-400VR about sharpness, especially wide open(F5.6), and not unimportan: the 70-200 VRII + TCIII combo also beats my 80-400VR about AF speed, by a mile...

But let's stay realistic: despite this amazing sharpness for a zoom with 2x TC, it's still quite far from the sharpness a 400mm nikon prime or the 200-400F4 can deliver...

To return to the main page of this review, click here.

:arrow: Important notice: If you have questions or remarks on this topic, please post them in this topic to keep answering easier and better organised.
kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
http://www.nikonuser.info
User avatar
Stany Buyle
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Posts: 2652
Joined: Sun 30 Nov 2008 15:05


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