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Posts tagged ‘Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR II’

Learn the soft spot of your lens, learn how to use your lens! The case of Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR on D800

what is soft spot artborghi

Do you know what the “soft spot” of a lens is?

If you google it you find odd sentences related to soft spot like: “OMG, my lens has a soft spot! I paid so much for it!” or “ I have multiple soft spots! What can I do?“. Forum guests usually reply “Give your lens back, it is defective!

Is it really so? What I learned a “soft spot” is and what you find in DxO properly described is the following: “It is common to refer to the “soft spot” of a lens, which paradoxically refers in fact to that range of settings where it produces the sharpest images”

Ah! So, now you also know how good the soft spot of your lens is: nothing related to giving your “defective” lens back. Learn how to use the sharpest settings of your lens. Look at the pictures I shot to the full moon tonight (click it to magnify it in a new window). You clearly see that the soft spot of my Nikon 70-200 VR-II (max. extension) on my D800 is around f/5-6.3 – at f/22 we might have also moon shift as time is a slow 1/8

Keep the goodness of the soft spot in mind when you shoot distant objects with details: birds, moon, foliages… it will make *the* difference!

Nikon D800 dream-team: a few suggestions for choosing new lenses for your new camera

artborghi chosen gears

It is quite difficult choosing which gear to buy for a new camera. You are used to your old gears and, especially when switching brands, a whole new world has to be explored. First questions you have to answer are:

1) What do I need this new lens for?
2) What do I like to shoot with my camera?
3) How much do I wanna spend?

I previously used a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and a very nice Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. The long tele was nothing special and I have seen it often equally compared to the Nikon 70-300mm. The 17-55mm was a precious toy but with the D800 I wanted to give a try to easy prime lenses. The D800, like many others, requires some field work to be fully appreciated and I wanted to focus on it more than on immediately learning a new lens.

So, what I did was:

1) Scavenging lens data online on Nikon photography blogs, something like Ken Rockwell and Nasim Mansurov and other forums, newsgroups and so on.
2) Avoiding pure technical test websites: boring and not really informative as I like to shoot something more than Siemens stars
3) Looking for ebay and new prices

The knowledge I hopefully gained pushed me to own, order or just dream the following lenses:

[Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G]
Easy, light, small, very fast, no cons if stopped at 2, still ok if you go down to 1.4. I am very happy with it and the kind of dim light pictures I can shoot now I could dream with other lenses for this price.

[Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR II]
Ordered and hopefully soon on my D800. I did not want another average 70-300 like the Canon I had, I could not spend so much money for the wonderful Nikon prime long lenses, I was not convinced by the quality of Sigma 50-500mm or equivalents. I really do not believe wonderful reviews on barrels like the Nikon 28-300mm being as sharp and fast: I stay far, far away from this all-round lenses … it is like when new “family-movies” are announced: you now it will be no good.

[Nikon AF-S 17-35mm F/2.8 IF-ED]
Still dreaming on it. One day I will get this excellent wide angle, I really want to go down to 17mm for landscapes, this time on a Fx camera! If you have one home and you do not use it donate it to me!

[Nikon AF 200mm F/4.0D IF ED MACRO]
Another wild dream. THE macro, as I could see and read around, with a long focus distance to have 1:1 whatever fearful subject you shoot.

[Nikon 135mm f/2 DC]
Many call it the portrait king … maybe one day when I will win the lottery I will finally buy also this one

So, I hope the several hours I spent online might be useful to you too in choosing the lenses you need, if your needs and wishes are similar to mine. Enjoy shooting!

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