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Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?
  
 
newjerseysurf
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


hey all, been getting back into photography so certianly still a newbie.

my main subject are surfers in action/surf photography and it seems i can NEVER get a crisp shot with this camera/lens combo.

here is a great for instance, a shot i took today:


now for some details...

Camera Detail:
Nikon D3200
Nikkor AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
Hood
Polarizer Filter

Camera Settings:
AF-C (Continuous-servo AF)
Single Point AF

Shot Details:
~10:30-11am
ISO 200
155MM
f/4.8
1/1600 sec.

any help/advice/insight MUCH appreciated.

thanks!



Sep 16, 2017 at 08:03 PM
mbphoto_2.8
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


I'd say it's the light, not the lens nor camera.

Backlit with the surfer in the shadow cast by the wave..try another time of day maybe?!



Sep 16, 2017 at 08:48 PM
newjerseysurf
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


mbphoto_2.8 wrote:
I'd say it's the light, not the lens nor camera.

Backlit with the surfer in the shadow cast by the wave..try another time of day maybe?!


i'd agree, but then i can't explain this one. again, not super sharp and it's more front lit:




Sep 16, 2017 at 09:09 PM
mbphoto_2.8
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


This one is simply out of focus, if you ask me.
Do you use single point AF and focus on the surfer or do you let the camera chose the AF point?



Sep 16, 2017 at 09:43 PM
newjerseysurf
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


back with an updated shot from this morning.

took the polarizer filter off.

shut off VR.

moved to back button focus.




Sep 17, 2017 at 01:40 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


My opinion, and only mine, is that I quite using the 70-300mm VR after buying a D7100. It seemed to just fall apart at that point, not sure why as it was very good on earlier cameras I'd had. I have a lot of examples of birds and other nature shots that should have been dead on sharp that were not.

If on a budget, get a newer 300mm f/4 AF-S used for around $600. It's not that expensive these days and you will be shocked at the difference.



Sep 17, 2017 at 01:45 PM
bs kite
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


You give metadata on the first shot only. I assume you knew this and metadata is the same (or close) for each shot.

I also suspect it is the lens itself.

You should have some sharpness showing somewhere in one of these images.. I just do not see any sharpness anywhere. Really sorry. I know the feeling.

You might try one last thing: manually focusing for a few shots just to eliminate a problem with AF as being the reason.

Also, don't Tamron and Sigma have lenses equivalent to this 70-300 VR?

I don't think you will beat that above-mentioned 300 AFS (for price/sharpness) if you don't mind the lack of VR. It's super sharp.


Edited on Sep 17, 2017 at 02:52 PM · View previous versions



Sep 17, 2017 at 02:50 PM
bs kite
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


Afterthought: What about that polarizing filter you are using? Have you eliminated it as being the cause? Probably not but worth a try.


Sep 17, 2017 at 02:52 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


I'd ditch the camera too, or put a 50mm f/1.8G on it and use it for general walk around. But that's me. I don't think VR should matter, we got by with this lens for years... I have the pictures to prove it. As a matter of fact, I still use that lens. I had both the new and the old and kept the old.


Sep 17, 2017 at 03:02 PM
newjerseysurf
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


bs kite wrote:
You give metadata on the first shot only. I assume you knew this and metadata is the same (or close) for each shot.

I also suspect it is the lens itself.

You should have some sharpness showing somewhere in one of these images.. I just do not see any sharpness anywhere. Really sorry. I know the feeling.

You might try one last thing: manually focusing for a few shots just to eliminate a problem with AF as being the reason.

Also, don't Tamron and Sigma have lenses equivalent to this 70-300 VR?

I don't think you will beat that above-mentioned
...Show more

sorry, metadata on the latest surfing photo is as such:

ISO 3200
300MM
F/9
1/1600




Sep 17, 2017 at 05:21 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



newjerseysurf
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


oh and the polarizer filter was off on that latest shot.


Sep 17, 2017 at 05:22 PM
nick53097
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


For some reason I was never able to get a very sharp picture from D3200.
Maybe the camera was a lemon.
D3400,D5300 were just fine (and of course good glass helps a lot)
D5300 with Nikon 70-200 f/4 produced super sharp pictures)



Sep 17, 2017 at 05:55 PM
RandyR
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


not much left but shutter lag on the camera. it is very slow and not adequate for motion

have you tried static shots ?



Sep 17, 2017 at 06:40 PM
mbphoto_2.8
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


Overlooked the camera..

Try shooting a static subject to exclude the lens as the culprit.

Then, get rid of the D3200 and buy a used D300s or a D7000 for about 300 USD.
The D300s doesn't have tons of resolution and isn't that great at higher iso, but the AF is superior to the D7000.



Sep 17, 2017 at 06:48 PM
lorac
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


There's no way the Nikon 70-300VR can't do way better than this. On the second shot it almost appears to be back focusing, which you can't adjust with that camera body. Though I don't see that on the other shots. Easy enough to test the lens with that body to see if that combo is capable of getting any sharp shots. If you don't have a tripod, set the combo on a stable surface, table or something, outside with bright light preferably. Use timer delay, AF-S to lock focus, and see what you get. Try with subjects at closer and longer distances. If those shots are sharp, then it's likely human related. If those shots are OOF too, and you can get sharp images with another lens on that camera body, then the lens needs to be adjusted. I wouldn't buy anything new, camera or lens, until you isolate the problem.


Sep 17, 2017 at 10:08 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


Shot with the 70-300 and D300. The lens is no 24-70 but it is still beter than yours is showing.. Sadly, your camera all;ows no AF adjust. Right now it could be the camera, or it could be the lens. Depth of field is really smal;l because the birds are only about 10-12 feet away.




  NIKON D300    270mm    f/8.0    1/500s    450 ISO    0.0 EV  




Sep 17, 2017 at 10:31 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


If one or the other is still within the return window, return it. Otherwise, send the camera to Nikon for focus calibration. If that does not help, send the lens for calibration.


Sep 17, 2017 at 10:42 PM
newjerseysurf
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


so no one thinks my third shot is any better than the other two?

granted there's significant noise due to very high ISO, but otherwise i thought it looked a bit crisper..



Sep 18, 2017 at 12:12 AM
newjerseysurf
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


one last shot from today. no edits (obviously, check the horizon). just straight from RAW --> JPEG.




Sep 18, 2017 at 12:15 AM
mbphoto_2.8
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Is it the camera (D3200) the lens (Nikkor 70-300) or me?


The spray seems to be in focus somewhat..

I'd take the advice and test the camera/lens on a static subject from a static tripod now.

If you can take sharp images, it's the camera/you that is to blame. These entry level cameras might not be the best choice for AF-C tracking of surfers.

If the images aren't sharp then either, neither back nor front focused, then the lens has an issue.

But these pictures you're posting here look like something from a travel super zoom compact.



Sep 18, 2017 at 07:34 AM
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