Packman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 87 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4650 times:
I recently treated myself to a new 80-400mm Nikkor which I have used with D80 and D300 bodies and have been disappointed with the large number of rejections I have had on a.net due to excessive grain. I shoot with an ISO setting of 200, aperture priority, F8 and usually on fine days with blue skies. Grain has not been a problem with my AF 80-200 Nikkor, shooting in the same conditions and with the same settings. If I was shooting in poor lighting conditions I could perhaps understand why I was getting a grain but this has got me baffled. Any comments that anyone might have would be appreciated - don't suggest changing to Canon equipment though.
As a result of the grain issue I have tried out Neatimage and this has raised a couple of additional points - firstly the filtered image seems to reduce the file size signifcantly and secondly when I equalise the filtered image in PS2 it looks worse than the original shot, although when viewed normally the grain is much reduced. Has anyone got any experience of how the filtered images fare in the screening process? Again any constructive comments would be most welcome.
B737200 From Malta, joined Feb 2005, 224 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4601 times:
I'm no lens expert but I don't think a lens can directly induce grain. The only thing I can think of is that the 80-400 maybe lets less light in to the sensor. From my limited experience grain will show up more profoundly in the darker areas (at least with the Nikon 2 series DSLR).
Now I know that the camera will expose for the light entering but I'm assuming there might be some variations through a range of exposures that it might find acceptable. Perhaps try setting the camera to overexpose a bit. In my experience my D200 would rather underexpose a bit than overexpose, may be your D80 and D300 are the same. This would help prevent grain/noise showing up in the darker areas of the image.
BTW I don't have the 80-400 so I'm just guessing here.
Ruudb From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 164 posts, RR: 6 Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4581 times:
Can you show examples of these grainy pictures? I think Neatimage isn't needed, it only makes the pictures look awkward in my eyes. Just use the right settings can solve the problem of too much grain, rather overexposure than under. And I believe it is better to use the ISO 100 setting as long as possible, you lose a lot of detail and introduce more grain with ISO 200.
SFO2SVO From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 396 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4550 times:
I am using 80-400 with D70s and D90.
I have seen some strange things happening in the sky. http://sokolniki.biz/DSC_0035.JPG Look close to top of the shot, WN 737 is not the strange part Packman, is this what you are referring to?
BTW, polarizer on 80-400 can make things really grainy. But that's expected.
Packman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 87 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4514 times:
Thank you all for comments and suggestions.
It looks as if the 80-200 will continue to be my main lens with the 80-400 in reserve for where I need the longer range, if I can put up with the combined weight!
Viv, I checked the sharpness setting which was on 2, which I guess is the default but have now changed it to zero, although I don't think that this will dramatically improve the situation. Every little helps though.
The grain is very evident in the raw files, I try to selectively sharpen but the a.net standards seem to be too high for this lens with the shots I am attempting at the 400mm end. I will persevere with the airliner shots to see if I can improve things as there are others who seem to use the lens satisfactorily but I guess that Clickhappy surmises correctly.
Lexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2433 posts, RR: 9 Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4471 times:
I shoot with the 80-400 on a D80 and love it. Great lens and I have shot in cloudy, rainy, and sunny conditions. The lens does fine, it's just the person pushing the button that makes the difference here.
Kereru From New Zealand, joined Jun 2003, 873 posts, RR: 48 Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4441 times:
Quoting Lexy (Reply 12): The lens does fine, it's just the person pushing the button that makes the difference here.
Tend to agree as many times when I thought the subject was soft it was more the atmosphere in between as I have many taken under suitable conditions that came out good and were accepted even with considerable cropping to make up for distance.
I have found it to be a compact compromise as I don't have access to prime lenses and easy to carry along with an 18-200 and 10-20 mm lenses to small regional airports around NZ.
I think it is up to the photographer to extract the best performance from his / her gear and if sometimes we fail then that is part of our learning curve to achieve the best results from what we have in our kit. As far as grain goes I try and concentrate on getting an accurate exposure to make life easier when processing. I still get grainy rejects and usually it is poor or bad exposure and me trying to get a shot on that I like.
That's a whole other thread there my friend. LOL!!! But any photographer will tell you that most Nikon lenses are fine. It's really all about the person behind the camera. It's easy to take pictures on a sunny day, but it's even more a challenge to shoot on cloudy days. And especially when there isn't anything of "significance" coming in.
Royal, you know this (about the weather) being from the Seattle area where the weather isn't always on your side. Up there, I am sure it can be a challenge of immense proportions somedays.
I have the 80-400 Nikkor VR and I have found it to be a very capable lens on both my D80 and D300 platforms. Now, some may disagree and that's perfectly fine. But I think it's a fine lens overall for aviation photography. This all based upon the places I shoot at most frequently and the weather conditions, etc.