Nikon 200-500 5.6 VR, picture quality degradation after using with the TC 14E iii

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Etching House

Active member
Perhaps you are right. May be I am asking for too much out of my kit, which I have started to realise has its limitation. With an aperture of 5.6 light does play huge role in the outcome. There are also a lot of things in the department of camera configuration specifically in focus settings and metering. I made some changes in that today. I used group auto focus with high light weighted metering, instead of spot metering and spot focus ( i was loosing the focus often, hence made this change). Focus tracking also was changed from fast to normal.

I shot this black kite almost in the middle of the day and the sun is right above my head. That is probably the strongest light I can get. I am posting a cropped raw converted as it is to a JPG and with one with the shadows recovered and sharpened. The bird covered no more than 10% of my frame. What you see below is around 30% of the complete frame.

I also noticed a honey bee tailing this kite.. its legs are visible to an extent which makes me feel, this is as far as I can go with my kit.
Let me know if it so .. or there is still some more juice in my kit to squeeze.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz

View attachment 14885


View attachment 14887

View attachment 14886
I don't know all the stetting's your using, I did have a quick look at the info above, was the 1.4 convertor included ?

For trial run only so you get to see the results, set the camera to the basic factory settings, then copy any of Steve's D500 recommended settings for wild life if available. His focusing and exposure books are great, but for now just try the following.
In this trial case set the camera as follows...

Manual
SS No less than 3200-4000
Turn your VR off on the lens when at these high shutter speeds.
F 8 or F10, get off your F5.6 its a killer, your floating ISO will always balance your exposure.
Float the iso to Auto 6400.
Ev -07 at all times, or if its a really white bird -1 to -2 to keep the detail in the whites. recover the shadows in post.
Continuous HIGH shooting external setting..........
Match the Internal setting to C with focal points either 9 points or 27 points.
Don't use the TC for now..........
Don't use Auto tracking,
Don't use Group
Use matrix for safety or try single point dynamic focus area to see what works for you but if your uncertain stay with matrix for now. You can play with this area later for best results in different situations.

Take some shots and work from there.

Internally I would set the image quality at SD 14 bit shoot raw.
In SD image quality setting Raise the sharpening from say 2 to 6 shoot in Jpeg Fine and see what you get.
This scenario is a starting point and you should get excellent results, you can then build from there.
This experiment is all about you realizing what works well for you.
The comment from Larry Shuman is well founded and I often use the same settings, just don't shoot Vivid at very high iso at night, these setting don't always like each other.
My most common settings are simply most of what I said above and I can just shoot and shoot, the results are excellent.
The most important trio is F8 or above, SS 3200-4000, Float the iso, your in professional auto mode LOL.

There are many variations and other settings you can play with till your head spins but here is a fresh starting point to work from.
Hope it helps mate...

Oz Down Under
 

Etching House

Active member
Hi Pistnbroke,

This is what i notice with the 200-500 back on my D500...
The focusing speed has considerably reduced, that could be because of overcast weather although i was shooting it wide open and fully zoomed in at 500mm.
I noticed that closer objects were sharper than the one at at distance, closer I mean 10 to 30 meters and by distance I mean 50 to a 70 meters. I would guess.

I will go on one more shoot on little brighter day at the same place and post those pictures as well.

Like Etching House said,
I really dont want to end up chasing my own tail. I want to get done with it one way or the other.

So here are some of the picture cropped for 100% view shot in raw form. I have made no changes whatsoever except cropping them. Please let me know what you think.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
You need to float your ISO to 6400 see my other response, i shoot with many different cameras on et 200 500 and its an excellent lens. Get of auto tracking or 3 d tracking.

Oz down Under
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
I use my 200-500 on my D600. I set picture control to Vivid and sharpening to +9. In fact all my camera's are set up this way. The attached image was taken using D600/200-500.View attachment 14878

Hi Larry,

I Thanks for that advise.
I followed it .. after a long time i moved away from raw to JPG fine.
Honestly I have been thinking (or believing) that I can post process the pictures better than the camera, at least in sharpening and noise reduction section, it does not seem so. :)
With your settings, my camera started giving me almost my desired results instantly. I am happy about that.

Does that mean my camera and lens are good and the culprits are me and my post processing software (DXO Photolab 4)?
I dont know; what do you think ? :)

Have look at the cropped pictures of the JPGs from the camera, I did open the shadows a little bit and increased the micro-contrast a little. Thats all.
Let me know what you think.

_DSC1733_QA.jpg
_DSC1731_QA.jpg
_DSC1748_QA.jpg
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
I don't know all the stetting's your using, I did have a quick look at the info above, was the 1.4 convertor included ?

For trial run only so you get to see the results, set the camera to the basic factory settings, then copy any of Steve's D500 recommended settings for wild life if available. His focusing and exposure books are great, but for now just try the following.
In this trial case set the camera as follows...

Manual
SS No less than 3200-4000
Turn your VR off on the lens when at these high shutter speeds.
F 8 or F10, get off your F5.6 its a killer, your floating ISO will always balance your exposure.
Float the iso to Auto 6400.
Ev -07 at all times, or if its a really white bird -1 to -2 to keep the detail in the whites. recover the shadows in post.
Continuous HIGH shooting external setting..........
Match the Internal setting to C with focal points either 9 points or 27 points.
Don't use the TC for now..........
Don't use Auto tracking,
Don't use Group
Use matrix for safety or try single point dynamic focus area to see what works for you but if your uncertain stay with matrix for now. You can play with this area later for best results in different situations.

Take some shots and work from there.

Internally I would set the image quality at SD 14 bit shoot raw.
In SD image quality setting Raise the sharpening from say 2 to 6 shoot in Jpeg Fine and see what you get.
This scenario is a starting point and you should get excellent results, you can then build from there.
This experiment is all about you realizing what works well for you.
The comment from Larry Shuman is well founded and I often use the same settings, just don't shoot Vivid at very high iso at night, these setting don't always like each other.
My most common settings are simply most of what I said above and I can just shoot and shoot, the results are excellent.
The most important trio is F8 or above, SS 3200-4000, Float the iso, your in professional auto mode LOL.

There are many variations and other settings you can play with till your head spins but here is a fresh starting point to work from.
Hope it helps mate...

Oz Down Under

Hi Etching House,

I did the resetting part earlier on and also tried my 200-500 on my D750 where the results were reasonably acceptable.
I think my focus settings were not entirely suitable for the kind of pictures I was trying to take what is BiF.
When I changed that with Larry's Fine JPG settings, there is a huge improvement in quality compared to where I was last week.
With amazing and ever so helpful people on this forum, i have come a long way in learning the craft in such short time.
Thanks to all you guys... my pictures are looking much better.

I will continue to make changes in the settings because I ultimately want to go back to RAW format.
Perhaps I must spend more time on post processing and understand the fundamentals there better.

Have you heard about or are you using DXO Photolab4 ... may be i should open another discussion on that topic.
Since I have a lot to learn there... i am sure. :)

Let me know what you think about the fresh pictures I posted with the latest changes mentioned above.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
 

Andrew Lamberson

Active member
Supporting Member
I have the 200-500 and F8 is definitely the "sweet spot". I would suggest putting the camera on a tripod and shoot some shots with a shutter delay so there is NO shake. They should turn out sharp.

BIF are obviously a super tough shot. You have motion blur from the bird and motion blur if you are hand-holding.

I've read many times...." it is not the equipment...it's your technique" and I am keenly aware that is often my issue when I don't get the "tack sharp" images I obsess about! I always shoot my 200-500 on a Monopod (with the Monogimbal that Steve has a video on) or a tripod with a gimbal. I shoot manual at F8, 1/2000 minimum shutter speed (when I can get away with it), and Auto ISO and clean up the noise in Lightroom or DeNoise.

Have you tried Topaz DeNoise? If not, download the free trial and give it a try on some of your previous images. It has a sharpen setting the works well with the D
noise reduction. They also have a Sharpen program which I have, but seldom use.

I often use the 1.4 tc and have nothing but praise for it and the images.
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
Andrew,

You are largely right.
As I see most of the problems in my case were with me and not with my equipment.
My JPG fine results have turned out well..
I need to go back to RAW format, so that i can make the changes in the pictures to my taste.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
 

Andrew Lamberson

Active member
Supporting Member
Give some thought to getting a good monopod and the Wimberley Monogimbal. Make sure the monopod can be extended well above your head for those high in the sky action shots! Once you get the hang of using the system I think you will be very happy with the results. By the way, the monopod makes carrying your 200-500 a lot easier. You can put the monopod across your shoulder and "hook" the camera down your back or neck and carry the weight on your shoulder. I attached a pool noodle to the shaft of my monopod for extra comfort. Just cut a slit in the section of pool noodle and slip it on and off. I purposely use a bright color in the fall so the deer hunters don't shoot me!
 

Etching House

Active member
Hi Glad we all could help, and that you are seeing some improvement already, Steve's Back Country focus tips and techniques are fundamental and very good.
As Andrew in this forum points out F8 is the sweet spot for the 200-500, stay away form F5.6 its a No No, also you are hearing from Andrew as well that 1/2000 is defiantly dangerously low, again as I said keep it around 3200-4000 float the iso shoot in manual mode. This will allow you to shoot in any lighting conditions with fast shutter speeds.

I shoot all my BIF hand held and there sharp and colorful, why hand held well I am panning mostly. other than that i use a mon pod or Wemberly.

Steve has some cool button assigning tips on this in his book.

Ok now for some real stuff.
Nikon designed the 200-500 and D500 as the ultimate birding kit, and its very good, however so many people in our club of nearly 400 last time i looked, have dumped the D500 and gone to the D850 or D750, many people have gone to the 500 PF but ultimately many have come back to the heavier 200-500 for versatility, many have said that the 500 PF beautiful and so light and a little faster than the 200-500 but not a deal breaker, also the D850 can do DX mode brilliantly making the D500 really a duplication.

The D500 is a nice camera but really, the D850 is just so so good. the D750 is an amazing underrated camera as well and has super good ISO performance, you can float that
camera to 12800 like the Z6.

As to software, i use little to none, I get it right in camera as much as possible, I open all my images in Camera Raw editor, i make certain its set in 16 bit, yes its opens Jpegs, and if I want to enhance anything slightly i only use NIK software, other than that I get it right in camera. The Jpegs are so good in the D850 and i have raised the sharpening in camera slightly from 2 - 6, to much strips colour and dynamic range as dose excessive iso, so balance it to your taste.

We tend to be tinkerers with gear, software, and settings etc, and to each their own is fine, however we get caught up in situations where were are just shifting the same garbage around in circles, so I say take the garbage put it in the bin out on the side walk for collection LOL , take a look in the mirror reformat your thinking, start fresh and with sound fundamental of getting TIME LIGHT AND SPEED correct each time and your are standing on solid rock not deep mud.

When you can get the same exposure and sharpness results on any camera and lens combination then you can say you have understood that the camera is simply a toll, learn how fundamentally first, till then you ignore all the tricks bells and whistles.

Using a combination of Time light and speed is all camera's can fundamentally do for you, get that combination right and your 99% there.
In this forum you have the answers to your problemb.............

In 98% of cases the cause of issues are found in the Mirror.

Only an opinion
OZ down under
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
Hi Glad we all could help, and that you are seeing some improvement already, Steve's Back Country focus tips and techniques are fundamental and very good.
As Andrew in this forum points out F8 is the sweet spot for the 200-500, stay away form F5.6 its a No No, also you are hearing from Andrew as well that 1/2000 is defiantly dangerously low, again as I said keep it around 3200-4000 float the iso shoot in manual mode. This will allow you to shoot in any lighting conditions with fast shutter speeds.

I shoot all my BIF hand held and there sharp and colorful, why hand held well I am panning mostly. other than that i use a mon pod or Wemberly.

Steve has some cool button assigning tips on this in his book.

Ok now for some real stuff.
Nikon designed the 200-500 and D500 as the ultimate birding kit, and its very good, however so many people in our club of nearly 400 last time i looked, have dumped the D500 and gone to the D850 or D750, many people have gone to the 500 PF but ultimately many have come back to the heavier 200-500 for versatility, many have said that the 500 PF beautiful and so light and a little faster than the 200-500 but not a deal breaker, also the D850 can do DX mode brilliantly making the D500 really a duplication.

The D500 is a nice camera but really, the D850 is just so so good. the D750 is an amazing underrated camera as well and has super good ISO performance, you can float that
camera to 12800 like the Z6.

As to software, i use little to none, I get it right in camera as much as possible, I open all my images in Camera Raw editor, i make certain its set in 16 bit, yes its opens Jpegs, and if I want to enhance anything slightly i only use NIK software, other than that I get it right in camera. The Jpegs are so good in the D850 and i have raised the sharpening in camera slightly from 2 - 6, to much strips colour and dynamic range as dose excessive iso, so balance it to your taste.

We tend to be tinkerers with gear, software, and settings etc, and to each their own is fine, however we get caught up in situations where were are just shifting the same garbage around in circles, so I say take the garbage put it in the bin out on the side walk for collection LOL , take a look in the mirror reformat your thinking, start fresh and with sound fundamental of getting TIME LIGHT AND SPEED correct each time and your are standing on solid rock not deep mud.

When you can get the same exposure and sharpness results on any camera and lens combination then you can say you have understood that the camera is simply a toll, learn how fundamentally first, till then you ignore all the tricks bells and whistles.

Using a combination of Time light and speed is all camera's can fundamentally do for you, get that combination right and your 99% there.
In this forum you have the answers to your problemb.............

In 98% of cases the cause of issues are found in the Mirror.

Only an opinion
OZ down under

Etching House,

Man! that is so much you said there and so right you said.
In my case definitely the problem was in the mirror, just that I needed help to see better, I am glad and thankful that I got it here.
Now I am itching to go out drive a few hundred miles and photograph birds, this has given me a new found vigor.

I still want to shift over to RAW because, i do like to play around in post.. there is a lot I have read and must apply that in practice before that knowledge decides to leave my brain for lack of application. :)

I will keep posting my experiences with regard to this topic here, hope you will come around with your comments when I do.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
Give some thought to getting a good monopod and the Wimberley Monogimbal. Make sure the monopod can be extended well above your head for those high in the sky action shots! Once you get the hang of using the system I think you will be very happy with the results. By the way, the monopod makes carrying your 200-500 a lot easier. You can put the monopod across your shoulder and "hook" the camera down your back or neck and carry the weight on your shoulder. I attached a pool noodle to the shaft of my monopod for extra comfort. Just cut a slit in the section of pool noodle and slip it on and off. I purposely use a bright color in the fall so the deer hunters don't shoot me!
I definitely will give it a shot, Andrew.
I have a heavy duty tripod with a gimbal and ball head, I feel they are additional load and often leave them in my truck when I get out in the field.
It is also true that I miss them when I reach my spot for the comfort long waiting for action in the frame.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
 

Etching House

Active member
Etching House,

Man! that is so much you said there and so right you said.
In my case definitely the problem was in the mirror, just that I needed help to see better, I am glad and thankful that I got it here.
Now I am itching to go out drive a few hundred miles and photograph birds, this has given me a new found vigor.

I still want to shift over to RAW because, i do like to play around in post.. there is a lot I have read and must apply that in practice before that knowledge decides to leave my brain for lack of application. :)

I will keep posting my experiences with regard to this topic here, hope you will come around with your comments when I do.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
Hey your welcome, its not a matter of doing what I do, everyone is different, however very importantly its matter of trying a little bit at time and getting it right in camera as much as possible, most of all understanding why and how things work in your hands......if you try to much to soon or all at once it turns into an overwhelming situation and confusion at the expense of motivation. Results bring satisfaction and then inspiration, the talent is within all of us, you just need to unlock it.

Practice one step at a time, also read or buy Steve's book on better sharper images and the focusing system its excellent.

There are many excellent people in this forum with a lot of experience, I don't participate with social media or forums, the one exception is Back Country, Steve is down to earth hands on real world no BS and like we do it in Australia say it as it is.

I agree with Andrew he is spot on with Tripods Wemberlys mono pods are all brilliant.
I would just use the D750 on your 200-500 and practice some of the points in our discussion, don't worry about trying to use a 1.4 just now, just get the technique down pat then progress, once you have settled and getting a higher keeper rate then you will eventually find your own style.

As to Raw that's fine, docent matter, you have to please your self first second and third...............always.

Oz down under
 

Ralph Bruno

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Hey your welcome, its not a matter of doing what I do, everyone is different, however very importantly its matter of trying a little bit at time and getting it right in camera as much as possible, most of all understanding why and how things work in your hands......if you try to much to soon or all at once it turns into an overwhelming situation and confusion at the expense of motivation. Results bring satisfaction and then inspiration, the talent is within all of us, you just need to unlock it.

Practice one step at a time, also read or buy Steve's book on better sharper images and the focusing system its excellent.

There are many excellent people in this forum with a lot of experience, I don't participate with social media or forums, the one exception is Back Country, Steve is down to earth hands on real world no BS and like we do it in Australia say it as it is.

I agree with Andrew he is spot on with Tripods Wemberlys mono pods are all brilliant.
I would just use the D750 on your 200-500 and practice some of the points in our discussion, don't worry about trying to use a 1.4 just now, just get the technique down pat then progress, once you have settled and getting a higher keeper rate then you will eventually find your own style.

As to Raw that's fine, docent matter, you have to please your self first second and third...............always.

Oz down under
Well Said!
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
Hey your welcome, its not a matter of doing what I do, everyone is different, however very importantly its matter of trying a little bit at time and getting it right in camera as much as possible, most of all understanding why and how things work in your hands......if you try to much to soon or all at once it turns into an overwhelming situation and confusion at the expense of motivation. Results bring satisfaction and then inspiration, the talent is within all of us, you just need to unlock it.

Practice one step at a time, also read or buy Steve's book on better sharper images and the focusing system its excellent.

There are many excellent people in this forum with a lot of experience, I don't participate with social media or forums, the one exception is Back Country, Steve is down to earth hands on real world no BS and like we do it in Australia say it as it is.

I agree with Andrew he is spot on with Tripods Wemberlys mono pods are all brilliant.
I would just use the D750 on your 200-500 and practice some of the points in our discussion, don't worry about trying to use a 1.4 just now, just get the technique down pat then progress, once you have settled and getting a higher keeper rate then you will eventually find your own style.

As to Raw that's fine, docent matter, you have to please your self first second and third...............always.

Oz down under

Thanks Etching House, (I still dont know your name :) )

People like you make the world a better place although remotely.. :)
One step at a time, is what i will do from here on. Too many experiments too quickly messed me up I guess.
Thank God I bought Steve's book on focussing, i am yet read it completely and am at it now.

I must admit, I have an inherent feeling of baggage when it comes to tripods or monopods.
Even when i have done the required investments on them, using them on the field is something I am always resistant about.
I must keep telling myself moving forward, that they are as important as the camera itself and must be carried at all times.
I must start to work towards building a good relationship with those legged objects.. i guess. :)
Thanks Andrew for that suggestion.

Planning an outing shortly .. will keep you guys posted with the pictures and bug you more with questions... :)

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
 

Etching House

Active member
Thanks Etching House, (I still dont know your name :) )

People like you make the world a better place although remotely.. :)
One step at a time, is what i will do from here on. Too many experiments too quickly messed me up I guess.
Thank God I bought Steve's book on focussing, i am yet read it completely and am at it now.

I must admit, I have an inherent feeling of baggage when it comes to tripods or monopods.
Even when i have done the required investments on them, using them on the field is something I am always resistant about.
I must keep telling myself moving forward, that they are as important as the camera itself and must be carried at all times.
I must start to work towards building a good relationship with those legged objects.. i guess. :)
Thanks Andrew for that suggestion.

Planning an outing shortly .. will keep you guys posted with the pictures and bug you more with questions... :)

Cheers,
Imtiyaz

Hi Imtiyaz, thankyou for your kind words. Have a good trip, keep safe.

PS, for your eyes only, please destroy this message after you have read it, LOL, the name is Rolf.



Oz down Under............. Australia............
 

Etching House

Active member
Hi Larry,

I Thanks for that advise.
I followed it .. after a long time i moved away from raw to JPG fine.
Honestly I have been thinking (or believing) that I can post process the pictures better than the camera, at least in sharpening and noise reduction section, it does not seem so. :)
With your settings, my camera started giving me almost my desired results instantly. I am happy about that.

Does that mean my camera and lens are good and the culprits are me and my post processing software (DXO Photolab 4)?
I dont know; what do you think ? :)

Have look at the cropped pictures of the JPGs from the camera, I did open the shadows a little bit and increased the micro-contrast a little. Thats all.
Let me know what you think.

View attachment 14892View attachment 14893View attachment 14894
Hi

Last Image.
These are very nice images, you should be proud of them.
Just a point, If you notice in the last image the white highlights appear a little distracting as they seem to be very white, now this could be fine on other monitors just not mine so don't worry, but if not then that's were it pays to consider using -07 or -1 EV then raise shadows a little, or deal with it in post. Maybe you made them to bright in processing ?
The composition is lovely, its descriptive, it shows only a little natural environment, however in nature photography open competitions its so important to get that depth of filed just right, not to much not to little just enough that a little DOF will add to the story a little more view able environment, again this is all personal, many people just want to see the BIF with a nice blurred back ground, either way well done.

I don't know your settings but the focus point is on the head and eye as that's where my eye went automatically.
In the last image there seems to be a focal area which is nice, however there is a lot of detail that hasn't been captured or its been lost during processing, if not maybe use F8 F10, especially if this is the 200-500, float the iso to 6400 also use a ss of 3200-or 4000 in manual mode. Hey its only a suggestion. The D750 will handle higher iso best.
With the whites i am leaning to processing as the issue as other images don't have the issue.
The first image is nice a little more detail and sharpness could be had with a faster SS and F8.

Flipping the images may be stronger or may not, worth trying up to you.

Clone out the flair in teh first image and the white rock in the last, also the orange rock in the second all these a minor distractions.
Now i am not telling you what to do, you asked me what i thought, out of what i have said its only my immediate impressions that could be right or wrong, that's for you to decide, as you should always please yourself 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
I Like the shots, just some technical improvements that will come to hand would make these images stronger, remember a a good carpenter never blames his tools.
In nature photography BIF are a simple start, but having them do something adds more to the story and makes them much more interesting for the viewer.

Focus on understanding your camera fundamentals to start and Steve is the expert here.
Once you can drive your camera focus on composition and story telling.
last and the one you want to do least of is processing, as little as possible which means you have got it right in camera more than you think.
Hope this has enough for you to reflect on over time.
Keep well stay safe....

Sorry for the typos, gramma issues, i am on the run LOL


Oz down Under
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
Hi

Last Image.
These are very nice images, you should be proud of them.
Just a point, If you notice in the last image the white highlights appear a little distracting as they seem to be very white, now this could be fine on other monitors just not mine so don't worry, but if not then that's were it pays to consider using -07 or -1 EV then raise shadows a little, or deal with it in post. Maybe you made them to bright in processing ?
The composition is lovely, its descriptive, it shows only a little natural environment, however in nature photography open competitions its so important to get that depth of filed just right, not to much not to little just enough that a little DOF will add to the story a little more view able environment, again this is all personal, many people just want to see the BIF with a nice blurred back ground, either way well done.

I don't know your settings but the focus point is on the head and eye as that's where my eye went automatically.
In the last image there seems to be a focal area which is nice, however there is a lot of detail that hasn't been captured or its been lost during processing, if not maybe use F8 F10, especially if this is the 200-500, float the iso to 6400 also use a ss of 3200-or 4000 in manual mode. Hey its only a suggestion. The D750 will handle higher iso best.
With the whites i am leaning to processing as the issue as other images don't have the issue.
The first image is nice a little more detail and sharpness could be had with a faster SS and F8.

Flipping the images may be stronger or may not, worth trying up to you.

Clone out the flair in teh first image and the white rock in the last, also the orange rock in the second all these a minor distractions.
Now i am not telling you what to do, you asked me what i thought, out of what i have said its only my immediate impressions that could be right or wrong, that's for you to decide, as you should always please yourself 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
I Like the shots, just some technical improvements that will come to hand would make these images stronger, remember a a good carpenter never blames his tools.
In nature photography BIF are a simple start, but having them do something adds more to the story and makes them much more interesting for the viewer.

Focus on understanding your camera fundamentals to start and Steve is the expert here.
Once you can drive your camera focus on composition and story telling.
last and the one you want to do least of is processing, as little as possible which means you have got it right in camera more than you think.
Hope this has enough for you to reflect on over time.
Keep well stay safe....

Sorry for the typos, gramma issues, i am on the run LOL


Oz down Under
Thanks Rolf.

Love it.
I just took some shots with 1/3200 they are much sharper compared to the earlier ones including the ones above which were 1/2000

Those corrections you mentioned will be done.

Thanks again,
Cheers,
Imtiyaz
 

Woodpecker

Active member
Supporting Member
Well, generally spoken, it is not a surprise to loose some IQ when using TC's. Nasim Mansurov at Photographylife has done some testing around this topic that can be found in this article under section 7.3 "Image degradation with tele converters". Of course this is by no means complete or to be considered as a scientific research, but the results proved to be a good basis to look at ones results when using TC's. He used a very sharp lens that is know to couple well with all three TC's and the IQ drop grows with the magnification of the TC. The effect will obviously vary depending on the lens butr the trend should be the same for all. Since having read this article I have stopped using TC's other than TC-14Ex on my lenses.

The other aspect to consider is the camera that is used and its resolution. The higher the resolution, the more likely it is that IQ differences caused by TC's becomes visible. If I use my 500 f4 G on my D4S it doesn't make a difference whether I shoot it solo or with the TC-14E II, apart from loosing 1 stop of ight and a slighly slower AF. If I do this with a D7200 or a D850, i.e. cameras with much smaller pixels and no low pass filter you may get to the point where the achievable resolution of the lens/TC combo gets smaller than the resolution of your camera and I will start to see IQ differences that may matter.

On the other hand, the less sharp a lens is "naked" the more likely it is to get visible IQ degradation by using TC's even on lower resolution bodies.
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
Well, generally spoken, it is not a surprise to loose some IQ when using TC's. Nasim Mansurov at Photographylife has done some testing around this topic that can be found in this article under section 7.3 "Image degradation with tele converters". Of course this is by no means complete or to be considered as a scientific research, but the results proved to be a good basis to look at ones results when using TC's. He used a very sharp lens that is know to couple well with all three TC's and the IQ drop grows with the magnification of the TC. The effect will obviously vary depending on the lens butr the trend should be the same for all. Since having read this article I have stopped using TC's other than TC-14Ex on my lenses.

The other aspect to consider is the camera that is used and its resolution. The higher the resolution, the more likely it is that IQ differences caused by TC's becomes visible. If I use my 500 f4 G on my D4S it doesn't make a difference whether I shoot it solo or with the TC-14E II, apart from loosing 1 stop of ight and a slighly slower AF. If I do this with a D7200 or a D850, i.e. cameras with much smaller pixels and no low pass filter you may get to the point where the achievable resolution of the lens/TC combo gets smaller than the resolution of your camera and I will start to see IQ differences that may matter.

On the other hand, the less sharp a lens is "naked" the more likely it is to get visible IQ degradation by using TC's even on lower resolution bodies.

Hi Woodpecker,

Interesting perspective and I must agree with most of what you are saying. I have read through Nasim's site.

Take my situation ,

I can use my D500 with 200-500 F5.6 and effectively get 750mm of focal length at effective aperture F8 (aperture also is impacted due to the crop senor, some argue with me on this point, but I will stay with what I believe)

OR

I can use my D750 with 200-500 F5.6 plus 14E iii TC and get 700mm of focal length at an actual aperture of F8.

I am going to shoot with 6 frames per second (so that both cameras are equal in that segment)

What will give me better image quality and and what combination will you go with and why? perhaps also say when... :)
It will be fun to know what others think about it.

It will also help me decide what combination i should consider and based on the occasion (like big cats, big birds, small birds, low light, good light, zoo and such) .

Please enlighten me and other readers with your thoughts.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
 

Woodpecker

Active member
Supporting Member
Hi Woodpecker,

Interesting perspective and I must agree with most of what you are saying. I have read through Nasim's site.

Take my situation ,

I can use my D500 with 200-500 F5.6 and effectively get 750mm of focal length at effective aperture F8 (aperture also is impacted due to the crop senor, some argue with me on this point, but I will stay with what I believe)

OR

I can use my D750 with 200-500 F5.6 plus 14E iii TC and get 700mm of focal length at an actual aperture of F8.

I am going to shoot with 6 frames per second (so that both cameras are equal in that segment)

What will give me better image quality and and what combination will you go with and why? perhaps also say when... :)
It will be fun to know what others think about it.

It will also help me decide what combination i should consider and based on the occasion (like big cats, big birds, small birds, low light, good light, zoo and such) .

Please enlighten me and other readers with your thoughts.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
Although I don't have a D500 I think it is a more a general consideration between DX and FX. So here's what I think.

If we first look a the aperture/DOF thing it is important to consider that there is a difference between the technical and the effective/optical F-stop.
After you have looked at Photographylife articles already I can recommend another good one written by Spencer Cox there and it's about differences between FX and DX and what has to be considered to shoot "equivalent" photos with both formats.

So we all know that the aperture you shoot affects DOF. From the physical perspective the DOF is getting extended proportional to the crop factor if shooting DX.
E.g. if you shoot an image with f4 (technical F-stop) using a DX and a FX body the DOF you see will look like f4 in the image shot with FX. The DX image would show a DOF impression that would compare to what you would get if you shot with FX at around aperture f6.

So, simply spoken with DX you gain reach, but you "pay for it" with increased DOF impression. However, this usually not a big deal unless someone is really picky aboput object isolation.

This in mind we need to put something right in your assumption especially because of the diffference between technical and effective F-stop.

If you shoot a f5.6 lens on a DX body you still have a f5.6 lens from the technical perspective (NOT f8 !) and this means that in your D500 ALL of its 153 AF sensors will remain working.
If you shoot the same lens with a TC o an FX body like your D750, you have technically an f8 lens (f5.6 +1 stop for the TC = f8) and this means that with the D750 ONLY 11 of its 51 AF sensors will be active.

If you ask for IQ I always prefer shooting FX, because it is a given by physics that the SNR (signal to noise ratio) of a sensor is primarily determined by the pixel area size and the SNR tells you something about how tolerant your camera is for shooting in low light, i.e. producing usable IQ when shooting high ISO.

I currently have a D750 and a D7200 in use, they have the same resolution but one is FX and the other one DX. The pixels on the DX are less than half the area of the FX camera ( 1/ 1,5² = 1/2,25 = 44%) and thus I gain something between 1,5 to 2 usable stops of light with the FX sensor in dim conditions if I compare the IQ in terms of noise, color rendition and contrast. This of course varies with the darkness of the scene but the trend is always the same.

That said, in your case I would prefer the D500, but not because of IQ, but because of the keeper rate !
You have the additional reach (crop factor 1,5 --> 750mm) and technically the "naked" 200-500 is an f5.6 lens, so that you have all AF sensors in operation.
Using a TC always makes your AF a bit slower and loosing the majority of your AF sensors when getting to a f8 lens technically will make it even worse.
If you need everything at once there is no other way than bigger glass.

What I typically do is basically using my D7200 as a kind of clever TC wth integrated camera ;). If the light is good enough and I need a lot of reach I use the DX with the longest lens combo I can get as long as I stay at f5.6 or faster in order not to loose the AF sensors. E.g. D7200 + 500 f4 +TC14 gives an equivalent of 1050mm f5.6 --> ALL AF sensors in operation.

In all other cases I use the FX cameras (D4S and D750) because of the headroom in terms of Hi ISO tolerance against DX, and this is not only benefitial for very low light. It also helps if you want to shoot fast objects requiring high shutter speeds in - relatively - normal lighting conditions. There is some good software around htese days, but the best is to eliminate - or at least minimize - noise by actually avoiding to create it in the first place.

Another aspect of IQ is of course sharpness and one of the natural enemies of sharpness is motion blur. @Steve showed in one of his articles and in one of his books n an impressive way how the resolution or - to be exact - the pixel size of a camera affects its sensitivity for motion blur and depending on what you do and what equipment you have available it can happen that you are able to get tack sharp images with a lower res body quite easily while you might have to struggle doing the same with one of the hi res monsters. And one way to compensate this is ... shutter speed. And again we are back in the triangle formed of pixel area size, ISO and shuttter speed.

I am not a pro writer, so may be I caused more confusion than clarity ... but hopefully not :D .

Here's a link to a thread where similar things were discussed and I did a bit of calculation around it.
 

Imtiaz

Member
Thread starter
Although I don't have a D500 I think it is a more a general consideration between DX and FX. So here's what I think.

If we first look a the aperture/DOF thing it is important to consider that there is a difference between the technical and the effective/optical F-stop.
After you have looked at Photographylife articles already I can recommend another good one written by Spencer Cox there and it's about differences between FX and DX and what has to be considered to shoot "equivalent" photos with both formats.

So we all know that the aperture you shoot affects DOF. From the physical perspective the DOF is getting extended proportional to the crop factor if shooting DX.
E.g. if you shoot an image with f4 (technical F-stop) using a DX and a FX body the DOF you see will look like f4 in the image shot with FX. The DX image would show a DOF impression that would compare to what you would get if you shot with FX at around aperture f6.

So, simply spoken with DX you gain reach, but you "pay for it" with increased DOF impression. However, this usually not a big deal unless someone is really picky aboput object isolation.

This in mind we need to put something right in your assumption especially because of the diffference between technical and effective F-stop.

If you shoot a f5.6 lens on a DX body you still have a f5.6 lens from the technical perspective (NOT f8 !) and this means that in your D500 ALL of its 153 AF sensors will remain working.
If you shoot the same lens with a TC o an FX body like your D750, you have technically an f8 lens (f5.6 +1 stop for the TC = f8) and this means that with the D750 ONLY 11 of its 51 AF sensors will be active.

If you ask for IQ I always prefer shooting FX, because it is a given by physics that the SNR (signal to noise ratio) of a sensor is primarily determined by the pixel area size and the SNR tells you something about how tolerant your camera is for shooting in low light, i.e. producing usable IQ when shooting high ISO.

I currently have a D750 and a D7200 in use, they have the same resolution but one is FX and the other one DX. The pixels on the DX are less than half the area of the FX camera ( 1/ 1,5² = 1/2,25 = 44%) and thus I gain something between 1,5 to 2 usable stops of light with the FX sensor in dim conditions if I compare the IQ in terms of noise, color rendition and contrast. This of course varies with the darkness of the scene but the trend is always the same.

That said, in your case I would prefer the D500, but not because of IQ, but because of the keeper rate !
You have the additional reach (crop factor 1,5 --> 750mm) and technically the "naked" 200-500 is an f5.6 lens, so that you have all AF sensors in operation.
Using a TC always makes your AF a bit slower and loosing the majority of your AF sensors when getting to a f8 lens technically will make it even worse.
If you need everything at once there is no other way than bigger glass.

What I typically do is basically using my D7200 as a kind of clever TC wth integrated camera ;). If the light is good enough and I need a lot of reach I use the DX with the longest lens combo I can get as long as I stay at f5.6 or faster in order not to loose the AF sensors. E.g. D7200 + 500 f4 +TC14 gives an equivalent of 1050mm f5.6 --> ALL AF sensors in operation.

In all other cases I use the FX cameras (D4S and D750) because of the headroom in terms of Hi ISO tolerance against DX, and this is not only benefitial for very low light. It also helps if you want to shoot fast objects requiring high shutter speeds in - relatively - normal lighting conditions. There is some good software around htese days, but the best is to eliminate - or at least minimize - noise by actually avoiding to create it in the first place.

Another aspect of IQ is of course sharpness and one of the natural enemies of sharpness is motion blur. @Steve showed in one of his articles and in one of his books n an impressive way how the resolution or - to be exact - the pixel size of a camera affects its sensitivity for motion blur and depending on what you do and what equipment you have available it can happen that you are able to get tack sharp images with a lower res body quite easily while you might have to struggle doing the same with one of the hi res monsters. And one way to compensate this is ... shutter speed. And again we are back in the triangle formed of pixel area size, ISO and shuttter speed.

I am not a pro writer, so may be I caused more confusion than clarity ... but hopefully not :D .

Here's a link to a thread where similar things were discussed and I did a bit of calculation around it.

Brilliant!! Woodpecker.

What you said consolidates my understanding, but i could not articulate it as good as you did.

So here is what I will do from here on,

When I plan to go shooting
D500 + 200-500 combo should be used when light is good and I need as much reach as I can get with all my focus point available (hence TC is out, probably i am going to sell it) :)
Like birding after golden hour, small birds distant large animals

D750 + 200-500 combo should be used when light is not great and I can manage with limited reach (real 500mm at the most)
Like late blue hour and during golden hour, zoo, large birds (like pelicans etc)

Hope you will agree with me.

Cheers,
Imtiyaz
 

EricBowles

Well-known member
Like Steve mentioned, all that you said makes logical sense. I must agree with you on that.
I also feel lack of reasonable micro-contrast in a picture can be because of minute loss of focus, which could be attributed to the issue of front focus or back focus.
On a DSLR I did not consider the 200-500 acceptable with a teleconverter. It could be okay with impeccable technique, but in general I was better off just cropping. On my Z6 and Z7II, it's usable.

The big issue with the 200-500 is it's a light lens that extends when you zoom. As a result, it tends to have vibration from the shutter, mirror, and anything else. Add to that it is a consumer lens, and optical quality can't be expected to match a 400 f/2.8 or 600 f/4 that were designed with teleconverters in mind.
 

Woodpecker

Active member
Supporting Member
On a DSLR I did not consider the 200-500 acceptable with a teleconverter. It could be okay with impeccable technique, but in general I was better off just cropping. On my Z6 and Z7II, it's usable.

The big issue with the 200-500 is it's a light lens that extends when you zoom. As a result, it tends to have vibration from the shutter, mirror, and anything else. Add to that it is a consumer lens, and optical quality can't be expected to match a 400 f/2.8 or 600 f/4 that were designed with teleconverters in mind.
Agree.

This was part of my argeuments for getting the 500 PF instead. But even this one isn't really usable with a TC, keeping in mind that this lens is used for being agile and mobile. I might not be the most stable person on earth but for me the combination of loosing AF speed and at the same time loosing most of the AF sensors is the final argument against using a TC on a f5.6 lens, no matter which one. Handholding the 500PF with a TC means that you combine a narrower field of view with the limitation of having only a bit of AF left in the centre. As a consequence it is hard to keep AF on the target, especially under conditions where it is difficult to achieve and maintain a very stable position, your object is moving too much and you have to point through small gaps between optical obstacles.

If I need the reach there is no alternative to taking the 500 f4 plus TC and just living with the weight to be handled - and especially held still ;). And if it still isn't enough it now doesn't make a difference to me whether I crop in camera by shooting in the 1.2 or DX mode or take the 45 MP monster RAWs home and crop them in post.
 

Abinoone

New member
Your question is an interesting one to me because I'm having the same issue. I've been thinking maybe it was me rather than the lens/tc combination. I also tried AFFT but didn't have much luck. It is very disappointing since the tc was $500, and was advertised as compatible with the 200-500. Please let us know what you end up doing - I may follow your lead. Good luck!
 
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