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Archive 2013 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000
  
 
bkantar
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


I have had a Nikon D7000 for a couple years now and have been using a Nikon 70-300 5.6 for years as well. I recently purchased a used Nikon 200-400 f4. I have never used a lens this large and am having a hard time figuring out what AF mode to use.

I am primarily shooting birds and when I zoom in to 350-400mm using a single point with AF-C, the lens canít seem to focus. The AF goes in and out repeatedly and rapidly. It also does then when I get it to focus on a bird, and then it flies to different branch (or wherever) and I try to track it with the lens.

Does anyone know what Iím referring to? Any suggestions and/or ideas?

Much appreciated,

Brian



Jun 03, 2013 at 06:29 PM
BenV
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


What mode are you shooting in? How many points?


Jun 03, 2013 at 07:08 PM
ja_joyce
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


And you weren't having these problems with the 70-300? Or at < 350mm? Whatever worked for you with your old lens should work better with the 200-400, unless there is a problem with the lens.



Jun 03, 2013 at 07:59 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Try 9 pt, 400 is a lot more than 300 on your D7K...effective 600mm vs. 450mm. Keeping a single point
on a BIF at that FL (unless it's a Condor) is not all that easy. Then there's the size and weight difference
ya just don't flick around the 200-400 like the lil 70-300. Also check the limiter position, just sayin'



Jun 03, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Wall-E
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Sounds like it's time to start manual focusing.


Jun 03, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Wall-E


Coolest FM nickname!



Jun 03, 2013 at 08:32 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Typically if someone is having trouble with a "real world" problem (photography or otherwise), I ask them to try and replicate it without all the variables. Have you tried focusing on something of similar size/distance that doesn't move? See if you can get the situation replicated in a more controlled environment, that way when you start changing things, you can actually tell when it gets fixed.

You don't need to get all crazy with test charts or indoor setups or whatever, just make sure the lens is in a fixed position (i.e. not handheld) and pointed at something that's not going to fly away while you fiddle with autofocus settings



Jun 03, 2013 at 08:43 PM
bkantar
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Wow, these responses are great, thank you all! I have been mainly trying in AF-S with a single point. I have never had this experience with my 70-300 and it ďseemsĒ that at, say, 300mm on the 200-400 itís better, but Iím not certain of that yet. Tranchmonkey, Iíll try 9-point, as I see your point (no pun intended). I am working towards working on more manual focusing, but need to do some studying of technique, which will undoubtedly take some time. Finally, I will certainly try to get this narrowed down and see if I can replicate it.

Iíll post my results and thank you all again. Let me know if you have other ideas, Iím eager to learn.

Brian



Jun 04, 2013 at 05:08 PM
picboy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


don't use single point--the trench is right. even go up the next setting (i forget, is it 20 pt?). anyway, i mostly shoot thing that move fast and the single is a challenge unless I am really on that day. 9 points should help. the 200-400 is a great lens and lots of top sports guys use it. i don't know about the body you are using as i usually work with D4's. but you should be able to kill it compared to your prior lens!


Jun 05, 2013 at 04:22 AM
HibikiRush
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Use AF-C not AF-S


Jun 05, 2013 at 06:36 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



bkantar
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


I'll will try 9-point AF, for sure and be sure to use AF-C as a rule. I have been shooing around f/4 - f/4.5 but see a lot of photos posted on this site are around f/6.5. Would shooting at a higher F-stop help the camera's focusing ability, as I'm learning?


Jun 05, 2013 at 01:08 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


The camera always focuses with the lens wide open, because that's when the most light is coming in, and light is what the camera uses to focus. It doesn't stop down until it takes the shot.

What a smaller aperture gives you is a larger DOF when you take the shot. That does a couple things: it can hide focusing errors, since the focus doesn't have to be quite as precise, but mostly you use it because you actually want more of the scene in focus.

In this case, you shouldn't try and "fudge" in order to fix the problem - creating a larger depth of field is only going to hide the problem, not fix it. The lens and camera are capable of focusing correctly, so figure out why and then you can decide whether you want a larger DOF in the scene.



Jun 05, 2013 at 01:20 PM
bkantar
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Good answer BV, thanks.


Jun 05, 2013 at 01:51 PM
lxdesign
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


I shot the 200-400 VRI for years with my D7000 and never had any huge problems ... but typically I was shooting with a single focus point, sometimes I used multiple points ... and depending on the subject I either used AF-S or AF-C if I neded to track focus. Now with the D7100 - that lens sings! And my images are much sharper.


Jun 05, 2013 at 02:04 PM
bkantar
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


lxdesign - did you experience the AF on the lens shuttering (for lack of better words) focus in and out and in and out... when using a single focus point, zoomed into 350 or 400, and having that single point on a small object (bird)?


Jun 05, 2013 at 03:25 PM
picboy
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


forgot to mention: if that is a 200-400 version 1, check the carrying case very carefully. I recall there was an issue with the sewing of the bottom and it could fail.


Jun 05, 2013 at 11:07 PM
bkantar
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Thanks all, if it ever stops raining here, I'll check this out.


Jun 06, 2013 at 09:05 PM
bkantar
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


OK, I have tried just about everything suggested and that I could think of and am still having the issue. I'm sending the lens to Nikon to see what they can do. I'll update when I get it back.


Jun 14, 2013 at 12:31 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Yeah, somethin's screwy fo' sure. I enjoyed ~ 98% in focus captures (rodeo/BIF) with my version 1 on the D7K...
handheld and with no AF fine tune.



© riversbendphotography

  NIKON D7000    400mm    f/4.5    1/1250s    100 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Jun 14, 2013 at 01:22 PM
bkantar
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · New (used) Nikon 200-400mm VR (version 1) and my D7000


Awesome shot, trenchmonkey and thanks for the reassurance!


Jun 14, 2013 at 03:18 PM
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