I have the sme lens,it does take a bit of work to get the best from it,thats for sure...my ones`s sharpness sweet-spot is F11,not best for a moving subject..though you can push the ISO with the 7000 further than i can my 90. I too get lens envy when i see one of those lovely sharp 70-200 2.8s .. Oh,nice shot though,even with a soft lens .
Sorry for the slow reply! I think I am going to have to get in the habit of upping the ISO and stopping down a bit more often . I had a D90 before and I'm still in the habit of resisting upping the ISO much (so keeping the aperture wide open) which is probably not the best balance of settings.
Thank you . Now I look at it afresh I do feel a bit better about the end results - it required a fair bit of fiddling with in post-processing to get it that way though in part due to the lens!
The lens I've got, mainly because it's a relatively inexpensive zoom, is a bit soft (esp. if not stopped down much) and is a "slow" lens (f5.6 at end long end of the zoom range). I've seen the results people can get with expensive quality 300mm prime lenses (or even a 70-200mm f2.8 zoom, even with a teleconverter) and I get lens envy .
You're very welcome! Even if you had to do some post-processing to get the picture the way you wanted it, I still think you should be very pleased with what you have here
With your lens having the f5.6 at the maximum zoom range, the teleconverter you mentioned, wouldn't it be of a help to you? Or doesn't the teleconverter alter the f5.6 of the lens, but merely adds extra zoom range? I hadn't heard of a teleconverter until you mentioned it, so went and had a look-see... and don't have a clue what it does "multiplies the effective focal length by 1.4x" might as well be written in Chinese for all I understand it.
The joy of photography... just when you think you're starting to understand one aspect of its terminology, something comes up that boggles the brain.
The zoom range on my lens is fine - it's crummy f5.6 is softness that's the problem .
Teleconverters lengthen the zoom (so 1.4x would make it a 100mm-420mm) but cost one or more stops on the f number, so with a 1.4x I think it would go from f5.6 to f8 and the auto-focus probably wouldn't work very well as a result (if at all). They also tend to soften the image. Teleconverters are only worth considering if the extra length is really needed and the lens is already fast and sharp.
A 1.4x teleconverter on a 70-200mm f2.8 lens would turn it into effectively a 100mm-280mm f4 lens - a good teleconverter combined with a good 70-200mm f2.8 lens would be faster than my 70-300mm lens and likely sharper even with the compromise of introducing a teleconverter (plus without the teleconverter the 70-200mm f2.8 lens will get way way better results in the 70-200mm range than my lens does!).
I think I understand: using the teleconverter, getting extra zoom comes at a price of increasing the f-stops, so it is better to have a lens that has a higher zoom but also a lower f-stop. If it's something that I am having a devil's own job trying to get my head around, it is what the mm and f-stops mean on the lenses. The f-stop I am slowly understanding, but the mm's are still proving problematic... especially when the numbers aren't all that different.
Take the 70-200mm f2.8 and compare it to a 80-200mm f2.8... does the first number, 70 vs 80, really make that much of a difference? The lens look different, but on paper, looking at those figures, to me, they look to be rather similar lenses.
You may have read all this already, but I'll ramble a bit about my understanding of the f-stop/f-number first in case it's of any help - it's the ratio of lens's effective aperture size to the focal length and gives a rough indicator of the light intensity the lens will project onto the sensor. When a given lens model has an f-number associated with it that's indicating the maximum effective aperture size - i.e. when the lens is letting the maximum amount of light through. On a zoom lens depending on how it's made obviously as the focal length can change as you zoom this can impact the f-number (as it's a ratio of aperture size to focal length), which is why on cheaper zooms they're often e.g. f3.5-f5.6.
The aperture size affects the depth of field of the shot - wide aperture = shallow depth of field, small aperture = deep depth of field.
On a DSLR when using e.g. aperture priority to "stop down" from the lens's maximum aperture (e.g. select f/5.6 on an f1.8 lens) the aperture will close up to that size when the shot is taken - it won't close up until the shot is taken because the camera wants to let as much light through while you're lining up the shot so the viewfinder is nice and bright and so the autofocus has as much light to work with as possible. It does mean that through the viewfinder you see the depth of field of a wide aperture, which is why it's usually possible to assign a depth of field preview function to a camera button which you can push to close up the aperture to see the effect through the view finder.
With the focal lengths the easiest way to get a feel for them is to play with a zoom lens on a digital SLR, although bear in mind the camera's sensor size is relevant. A smaller sensor on the same focal length will capture a smaller field of view (smaller part of the scene) which will feel like it's zoomed in further than with a larger sensor. Full frame cameras (Nikon's FX) have a sensor that's the same size as a frame of 35mm film, whereas crop sensors (Nikon's DX) are smaller (the ratio is usually something like 1.5 or 1.6). If you look at a scene through a Nikon DX camera with a 90mm lens you'd see the same portion of the scene as you would through a 135mm lens on an FX camera.
My experience has been that differences in focal length are more noticeable at the wider end and less so the longer you get. So 10mm to 20mm would feel very different, 70mm to 80mm less so, and 190mm to 200mm not much different. In fact if you look at the zoom control ring on a e.g. the Nikon 18-200mm lens you'll see that the distance between the 18mm and 24mm markings at the wide end is the same as between the 135mm and 200mm markings at the longer end.
So I'd say for me if the choice was between a 70-200mm and 80-200mm lens then the sharpness, distortion, build quality, size and ergonomics would be the factors and not the 70 vs 80mm. However if you had a 12-24mm lens vs a 14-24mm then the difference between 12 and 14 would be a more significant factor to weigh up!
Ok, I do like to ramble, feel free to tell me to stop
Can I just say... f&*^%* me! That's an awful lot of text.... thankyou for taking the time to write it all out!
I have noticed on the cheaper - I use this term loosely, as many of these lenses are still over $1000 - that they have two f-stop numbers, and I know that the first number is when the lens is-- in zero position, shall we say? No zoom, so that's its base number... then as it zooms, the second f-stop number comes into play. But there are zoom lenses that have a fixed f-stop-- I think that's how my brother explained it-- he purchased a Sigma 130-200 with... oh bugger, I forget what it was now! But it has a constant f-stop.
But those lenses are starting to get into the territory of 'do I have a rich relative who I can kill for some cash?'
This is something I will have to experiment with, the wide and small aperture to effect the depth of field. Find something stationary and just fiddle with dials, and see what is different. So far I have only fiddled with f-stop and ISO, to get the best possible looking images under a fluorescent light, and have the photos turn out.
The full-frame Nikons being the digital equivalent of the 35mm was one of the few things that sunk in when my brother has tried to explain things to me (he isn't good at explaining... he is a bit like me: 'I know how it works, but sweet mother of God, don't ask me to explain it!' He makes a real mess of explaining and it just confuses me more)
I think I understand- crudely put, the smaller numbers, when they are 12-24's and 14-24's, have a more significant difference than on the larger lenses? And on the larger lenses, the 80-200 and 70-300's, the f-stop is what requires greater consideration than the mm's?
I don't mind the rambling, I'm just grateful you're taking the time in answering these questions for me! While ever you're willing to ramble, I'm reading every word! I may not understand most of it without going away and playing to get the 'oooh!' epiphany, but I'm reading!!
The mm is still important on a long zoom, it's just e.g. 10mm difference in focal length doesn't make much difference at the longer end.
The f number is important on all lenses - generally you ideally want as low as possible (although f1.4 starts to give you depths of field that are so shallow as to rarely be useful!), although the longer the focal length the bigger/more expensive/heavier the lens will end up being to get a lower f number. Fixed maximum aperture zoom lenses, like your brother's, are also more complex, bigger and expensive than zooms where the maximum aperture varies. They do start to get into the territory of needing a rich relative to snuff it with the longer zooms or even the Nikon branded shorter zooms! Most lenses are a little soft wide open (even primes can be), so usually you'll not use it at maximum aperture unless the light or desired depth of field requires it.
It all depends on what you want to photograph, but if I were to start afresh with lens purchasing and if I had FX instead of DX I'd probably get this set: 1) 50mm prime (f1.8 or f1.4, depending on budget, probably Nikon) 2) 24-70mm f2.8 (but not Nikon branded - the Nikon branded is probably the best, but is way more expensive than say Sigma). 3) 70mm-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR (I have the Nikon one of this and it's ok - it's what I used for the cheetah photo). If I had extra money to spare I'd probably swap out the 70mm-300mm f4.5-5.6 for a 70-200mm f2.8 and maybe a 1.4x teleconverter, as per my earlier comments, although only if I could be bothered lugging the 70-200mm lens around as it's a bit heavier!
There's overlap between 1) and 2) of course - most of the time I use a 24mm-70mm lens for near stuff as the zoom is easier to frame shots with than the prime (on DX I have a 35mm f1.8) but the primes are usually optically superior to zooms, and sometimes the wider aperture is useful. Prime lenses in the 35 or 50mm focal length range are great for the money - with my first DSLR I got the relatively cheap nikon 50mm f1.8 af-d and got some great results with it.
Then extras to consider later for me would be a macro lens for shooting small stuff (if they're a longer macro lens, e.g. 90mm or 135mm they can double up as a nice portrait lens where you don't want to be in the subject's face so much) and a wide angle zoom (e.g. 12-24mm).
Ken Rockwell can be an acquired taste (from what I can gather some people strongly disagree with his views), but he does have useful info and his own opinions on Nikon lenses: [link]