70-200VRII + TC-20 E III on D80...

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70-200VRII + TC-20 E III on D80...

Postby Stany Buyle » Sat 13 Feb 2010 09:34

After some emails from people who asked for my opinion about the 70-200VRII+TCIII-combo mounted on a DX camera I did some tests and made some test pictures with a D80 I borrowed from a friend of mine. Thanks Richard!

D80... Outdated? No, but it has quite a bit of limitations. Does Nikon have better DX options available? Sure: D90(12Mp) and of course D300 and D300s...

Having only a D80 for this humble user review available was perhaps a good thing. D90 and D300 users know their camera will do better with more opportunities as well as better IQ , less noise and more accurate, faster AF.

The weather conditions to do this test this morning were far from perfect, but also this is good for a test, because if you can get decent results in misty, cloudy weather, results and opportunities will increase very significant if you want to do similar pictures when the sun is there...
About the weather, this was the situation... The "grainy look" comes from the mist, it's no noise...

70-200VRII+TCIII mounted on a on D80, some pictures...

On static subjects you can get very nice results:

D80 with 70-200VRII + TCIII @ 400mm handhold, iso 500, 1/250 sec, F5.6, AWB, AFC, NEF... This image has been slightly sharpened in PP with Capture NX2...

D80 with 70-200VRII + TCIII @ 400mm handhold, iso 800, 1/400 sec, F5.6, AWB, AFC, NEF... This image has been slightly sharpened in PP with Capture NX2...

D80 with 70-200VRII + TCIII @ 400mm handhold, iso 500, 1/320 sec, F5.6, AWB, AFC, NEF... This image has been slightly sharpened in PP with Capture NX2...

Big surprise, D80's AF-C with 70-200VRII + TCIII can keep up quite well with birds in flight. When looking to the crops, these images lack critical sharpness but this is the result of having to choose between fast shutter, sharper but high iso and noise, or iso500 and decent about noise but soft... I an convinced though, that in sunny conditions D80 with 70-200VRII+TCIII can give you very nice results...
The pictures of the bird in flight itself, taken @ the max frame rate:




And finally a 100% crop of one of the above pictures, unsharpened, unprocessed:
The reason why this picture is unsharp is only because the shutter speed was too slow, but in this nasty weather conditions I could not do otherwise.
When I do this kind of pictures with my D700, I go to 1/1250 upto 1/4000 sec, and than it's sharp! In bright sun you can do that with D80 as well. The good thing in this experience was the D80 could hold up AF in this rather difficult AF-C situation because of the background

iso 500, 1/320sec, F5.6

Optically, about the 70-200 AF-S VRII + TC-20 E III on a dx sensor DSLR in relation to CA and purple fringing, a sample with 100% crop:


Nothing suspicious to see as a result of exceptional glass...

And to end this humble review a picture of my dog with 70-200AF-S VRII, without the TCIII:


and a 60%crop with some PP in Capture NX2:

My thoughts/conclusion after this experience:

While both 70-200AF-S VRII and the TC-20 E III are optically outstandig ("exceptional" is a better word), these optics are no privilege for FX sensor cameras alone, they can help you to capture very beautiful to gorgeous pictures on a DX sensor camera as well. But, if investing that much money for a lens and a TC, I would go for a camera with better AF and better sensor in relation to noise than D80 or D200... D300 or D300s and the 70-200 AF-S VRII + TC-20 E III is for sure an excellent tool...
After some first tests with the 70-200AF-S VRII + TC20E III combo on a D300 I borrowed from a friend I feel that the 70-200II-TCIII combo is giving more crisp results on an FX body than on a DX body. I am convinced that diffraction and "bigger pixels which are more forgiving for lens imperfections" are on the base of that difference.

Thanks for your attention and kindest regards,

kindest regards,

I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
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Stany Buyle
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