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AFS 70200mm f28 VR

acorn

Member
i would like to find out if the above lens can be used for macro function as well? i seem to have read somewhere that it's predecessor (80-200 2.8) can be used for macro, but i'm not too sure how it compares. if i'm on a budget, and would like to have telephoto and macro function as well, would you advise that i get the 70-200 VR, or the 105 2.8 macro?
 

f8lee

Active Member
> Acorn, the 70-200 Nikkor does not do Macro (nor did the 80-200 > f2.8, as I recall) - but you can use a close-up lens (essentially > a clear filter with a diopter power). As it happens, Nikon doesn't > make such a filter in 77mm size, but the Canon 500D is quite good. > I take it along when I need to keep gear to a minimum. BobF
 
H

hendrik_louw

I do have the 70 - 200 and it is indeed an excellent lens. I also have a 90mm Tamron macro. Since the 70-200 cannot do macro, they definitely do not compare. Depending on your passion for macro, I would rather suggest the 70-200 with some extention tubes (Kenco has got a very cheap set - since it doesn't have any optics, it doesn't impact on the image quality). Or as suggested, some close-up filters. But first make the decision on your passion for macro. If macro is your only world, then go with the 105mm. What ever you decide: you should enjoy both!
 

latino_123

New Member
greetings,
i own the 80-200mm and it is not macro. macro usually refers to photographing something at 1:1. the 80-200mm has a switch onit (full&limit). when on limit the lens can focus at a minimum distance of around 3m from the subject. when on full the lens can focus at a minimum distance of under 1.8m. i am not sure if the 70-200 has this switch (i have ordered this lens and am anxiously awaiting its arrival)
i own the 105mm macro and it is a macro lens that will allow you to produce 1:1 results. the lens can focus at a minimum distance of around 30cm (just under 30cm)i decided on the 105mm over the 60mm macro because i could also use the 105 for potraiture.
these are all phenomenal lenses.
think about what you really want in regards to macro. what ever you decide to do in the end they are both great lenses and will serve you well.
keep in touch to tell us what you decide to do.
i hope that i could help in some way.
MANY KIND REGARDS FROM AUSTRALIA
DAVID
 

acorn

Member
wow! thanks for all the great advice and tips...so the 70-200 and the 105 don't really overlap in terms of capabilities and usage?

but just wondering...what lens do people use when they want to get really close close-ups of insects such as ants, dragonflies, etc?
 

acorn

Member
erm...thanks Hendrick, but i'm quite new to this macro shooting thing...could you please explain how i'd use those items please?

Thanks again!
 
H

hendrik_louw

With pleasure (as far as I can in any event..). A converter is an additional lens that you put between your camera and your normal lens (say your new 70-200 ;-)) which will then convert your lens into a 140-200mm lens, if it was a 2X converter. Your minimum focus will still be the same, thus giving you an enlarged subject. The setback is that you will loose some light in the process (about 2 stops, thus giving you a 140-400mm f5.6). An extension tube also gets put between your camera and your lens, but do not have any optics (no glass). In this instance, it helps you to focus closer and thus getting an enlarged subject in that manner. You also do not loose the same amount of light.

There are a few very nice books on macro photography specifically. I do suggest you get yourself one. It will also explain all the technical aspects behind it.

Hope this helps! H
 

acorn

Member
oops, sorry...another question for whoever can answer it...what filter should i use for the 70-200 if i take mostly portraits with it?
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
Some use soft-focus filters for "women of a certain age", but this is a matter of taste, and a bit antiquated. There are softening filters made by pretty much all the manufacturers, but those attempting to reproduce the effects of late 19th century portraits tend to favour the Zeiss Softar design. It is currently sold by B&W filters in two strengths. It maintains a high degree of overall sharpness while adding a pearly blur to highlights. Most other filters simply kill sharpness.

Realize that once shot with one of these filters, sharpness can NOT be restored. It is embedded in your image FOREVER. The effect is usually better added in the interpretation stage, either in the digital darkroom or the traditional fume-room.

If you are shooting black & white film, a green #11 can somewhat enhance a swarthy male complexion, but it is devastating to a feminine complexion. Again, it would generally be better to shoot colour negative and use the filter when printing on pan paper than embedding the effect in a B&W negative. In the digital darkroom, Photoshop's channel mixer can produce the same effect with a high degree of sensitivity and control.

Realize that inappropriate use of a filter is a formula for disaster, and specially so with portraits. If you are a highly experienced shooter doing fashion or publicity photography or album covers, you might find some use for filters. However, if you were, you would not be asking this question. Best advice - do no use filters for portraits unless there is some very unusual circumstance for a bizarre shot that absolutely can not be done after the fact when interpreting in Photoshop or the fume-room.

Filters are special purpose devices designed to solve definable photographic problems. Once you have defined the problem, then the choice of device becomes obvious. They are not everyday solutions in search of problems however. One should ONLY use filters when one absolutely has no other recourse.

At best, you are putting two more glass surfaces in your optical path. If they are of a quality equal to or better than your lens, you are probably not reducing the quality of your image significantly. If it is a piece of windowglass thrust upon you by an aggressive camera salesdude to "protect" your lens, toss it. Oldest scam in the business.

larry!
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acorn

Member
i see...thanks Larry...what about circular polarizers and 81A's or 81B's and stuff like that? what are these? and are they necessary to have in front of your lens, either as a form of protection, or to enhance your pictures? where can i find a list of such filters and their uses?
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
Polarizers can be useful for darkening skies in colour shots, but only if you are shooting at roughly 90° to the angle of the sun. At some angles, they can also remove small specular reflections from paint and the like, intensifying the colour. If one shoots a store window at 35° to the glass, they can remove all reflections making it look like the glass is not there.

If used with polarizing filters on lights, they can be somewhat useful copying glossy materials, or removing some of the sparkle from the paint in paintings. In any case, they require a good bit of skill and knowledge to use successfully. Like other filters, they can cause disasterous results
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
Sorry, hit the wrong key and the message went out.

As I was saying, they can cause really nasty results if not used properly. When I was beginning in photography, my boss asked me to photograph a coat of arms that had a lot of shiny gold-paint. She told me to polarize the light and use a polariod filter. It worked far too well, and the gold came out looking like brown excrement! Reshoot. I did once test the effect of polarized lights and a polaroid filter on a face. The result was super-saturated colour - extremely unnatural and unattractive. Might be of some use in a science fiction movie, of people after the blast with radiation burned faces.

Removing all the reflections from glass or water may allow you to see clearly what is behind the surface, but it also can look very unnatural.

If you are shooting chromes under well controlled conditions, filters like those mentioned can allow one to shoot a Type B chrome film balanced for 3200K lights under 3400K lights and the like. If shooting under unknown light conditions, these along with a colour meter can give highly accurate slides. There are other filters like the 85B that allow one to shot tungsten-type film in daylight with a reasonable degree of accuracy. They are called "colour conversion" filters and are made for specific types of slide film, while the others are called "colour compensating" filters since they adjust for small variations in colour temperatures.

As I indicated above, they are of use only when shooting slides. They might be of use depending upon your workflow, with colour negative film, but only if you are doing your own printing. They would cause a royal screw-up with prints sent to a one-hour lab.

I really have not met anyone who used them with negatives, but expect that there may be some. They would be primarily of use when shooting under artificial light, they extract a penalty by cutting light transmission by at least 1.0EV. That is the last thing you need when shooting under low light conditions. They would require less filtration in the enlarger, but it would be a meaningless gain.

They are of absolutely no value whatever in digital photography, since digital cameras have all the filters built in, plus automatic and manual white balance capability for the most part. Opening a Nikon RAW camera file in Photoshop CS2 gives you precise colour balancing capability way beyond anything a photographer with a full set of filters and a very expensive colourmeter ever dreamed of. I not only can colour balance the overall cast of the image, but fine tune shadow, mid-tones and highlights in Lab Colour mode. Using RAW as my format in mixed lighting situations, I can specifically colour balance individual areas of the image to compensate for the light that is lighting that particular local.

Back when filters were generally necessary, Kodak published an excellent book on it. At one time, they were the absolutely best source of both filters and information about them. If you live near a used book store, you might happen across a photography textbook from the middle of the 20th century, that would also have information about them. There is less and less, since colour negatives greatly reduced the need for them and digital removed the need for all except the polarizer.

I did google for information and found a site with a lot of what you are probably looking for.
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As per protection, if you are photographing sand-blasting or something equally abrasive, a coated flat piece of high-quality optical glass is really the only choice. Camera stores buy UV filters of much lesser quality for extremely low prices and then try to intimidate naive buyers into buying one for each of their expensive lenses. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. Of course the profit percentage is immense, allowing the salesguy to seemingly cut prices beyond the competition, making it up on the filter. It simply does not make sense to pay $500 for a lens then dull it down to the quality of a $0.50 filter.

Yes you could get hit by a flying object that would strike hard enough to break the filter but not the lens. I suppose it would give a feeling of some relief as the medical technicians are trying to remove camera parts from your skull on the way to the emergency room. Your skull will crush before your lens does.

Contemporary lenses are extra-ordinarily robust. When multi-coating first came into being, decades back, the Nikon tech-rep did a demonstration for us. Back then people smoked in public, including the tech-rep. When he finished the cigarette, he butted it out on the front element of an extremely expensive lens! He then reached in his back pocket and hauled out an old piece of cloth, spit on the lens and cleaned the burn residue off.

I did carry optical flats, but almost never used them. I worked as a photojournalist and industrial photographer for a couple of decades - daily work - and never lost a lens except at the point of a snub-nosed .38 revolver. Insurance paid for the lens - and the camera. A filter would not have made any difference at that point, but a flack jacket in my colour would have been nice.

larry!
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acorn

Member
wow, that's pretty comprehensive...thanks again larry! always helpful, as usual...
 

acorn

Member
well guys...thanks for all the notes...i'll probably have to ask a lot more questions after i get the 70-200 VR tonight!! buying a 3.5 month old one off someone on a photography forum!...$400 off the retail price...
 
Hi there,

Larry, many many thanks for your expertise as usual. (I followed your advice on this latest thread but I don't thank you as oftenas I should)
I suppose I am merely a 'lurker'?, previously on Contax and now here, but hopefully will become competent enough to contribute in the future. Grateful for your time and effort. I, too, had also come to the conclusion that it's a waste of glass to put a cheap filter in front of a good lens, but as someone who often shoots kids on the beach, it wasn't originally a no-brainer. Sand is horrible but I'll now take the risk.

Take care,

Ali
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
Worked as a photojournalist in Daytona Beach, Florida for 13 years, so am familiar with sand! Blowing sand is far more a threat to the mechanicals of the lens and camera than it is to the optics. Sand particles on the glass can be easily brushed or blown off.

The best protection is what the pros use - a lenscap. Leave in on in transit and take it off when shooting - obviously.

Lenses are easily cleaned with lens cleaning fluid from many sources, with soft cloth, lens-chamois or tissues. While the surface is very tough, there is no need to use force when cleaning. If there are abrasive particles on the surface, grinding them into it would not be wise. Simply a matter of common sense.

Do not hesitate to clean the lens when needed. Fingerprints, dust and any other grunge does truly nasty things to your images. Just as dirty glasses make reading a hassle, the same goes for camera lenses. Give them the same care.

larry!
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