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ZOOMER
Topic Author
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2000 11:01 pm

New Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400 Autofocus Issues

Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:30 pm

I have recently purchased the newer AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm lens for my Nikon D610. Having read how sharp this lens is supposed to be, I am very unhappy with it so far. The autofocus seems to be all over the place and is more often out rather than in focus! The problem is trying to determine if it's a technical issue with either the lens or the camera, or quite simply me! I have tried various settings but with no significant improvement with results. The only time I can get the focussing sharp is in M mode on the lens. Does anyone using the same camera/lens combination, sucessfully, have any tips for me please?
 
legoguy
Posts: 2981
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:59 pm

RE: New Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400 Autofocus Issues

Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:42 pm

I have the Nikon D800 and the AF-S 80-400mm so in a similar boat equipment wise to you.

I'm still getting used to the lens myself. The VR is fantastic for photographing stationary objects, I can shoot at 400mm at shutter speeds of 1/13 and get great sharp images. However when shooting moving aircraft, such as landing and taking off, the VR sometimes causes issues and blurs the nose or tail, or more often than not, blurs the entire aircraft. I guess I have to work on my technique for panning! Focusing continuously before pressing the shutter button is supposed to help the VR settle, however for me it just jumps around a bit.

Try photographing without the VR and see if this is shows any improvement.

Also try photographing the same objects in liveview mode, if it's a lens issue, images focused during live view would be out of focus also.

For aircraft I use AF-C, 9 point focus, and focus tracking set to off. Still investigating the focus settings my self.
Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
 
AlexC
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:13 am

RE: New Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400 Autofocus Issues

Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:07 pm

I'm no expert, but I think that I've read somewhere that VR would not work whilst panning?
 
legoguy
Posts: 2981
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:59 pm

RE: New Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400 Autofocus Issues

Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:49 am

Quoting AlexC (Reply 2):
I'm no expert, but I think that I've read somewhere that VR would not work whilst panning?

There are two VR modes on the newer 80-400mm, Normal mode and Active mode.

According to Nikon's website, Normal mode should be used when photographing from a stable location and can detect panning movement. The Active mode should be used when photographing from an unstable position such as a moving vehicle.

So for aviation photography, if VR is to be used, 99% of the time Normal VR is to be used.
Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
 
viv
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:17 pm

RE: New Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400 Autofocus Issues

Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:58 pm

I have the earlier version of this lens. While the autofocus is not the fastest, it works well, with or without VR.

Most of my shots here are with the lens.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
ZOOMER
Topic Author
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2000 11:01 pm

RE: New Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400 Autofocus Issues

Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:45 am

Thank you for your replies. In the meantime I've had a bit of time to do some in depth studying and I have (I hope) optimised my settings. The only problem is that the weather at present isn't playing ball for me to go out there and do some testing.

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