Nikon 300mm f4.5 EDIF help

scarbrd

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
144
Location
Houston, TX
I bought a nice condition Nikon 300 F4.5 EDIF lens to use for wildlife photography.

The lens has a great reputation and EDIF lenses are designed to be shot at the widest aperture.

Last week I took it to Yellowstone. While the results were OK, they weren't stellar as I was expecting.

There seems to be a red/cyan color shift that I am having difficulties adjusting out. And the overall sharpness doesn't seem to be as good as it should (may be due to the color shift)

If I stop down to f8 it gets better, but still not great. And I want to be able to shoot wide open to get the fastest shutter speed.

I am using an OM-D EM-1 and a tripod or mono pod. Minimum shutter speed was 1/2000. I use Aperture and Photoshop CC for editing.

I also could not get the focus peaking to work with this lens. It works with native lenses but not this telephoto. I did use the focus zoom feature to get critical focus.

Here area few that I have edited. I did my best to correct. Like I said, they're OK but I think they should be better. It might be difficult to see the issues on the jpgs, but the higher resolution images shows them, particularly the color shift.

Any suggestions on shooting and editing with this lens is appreciated. Also, any suggestion for a 300+mm lens that is relatively fast and doesn't have these issues is also appreciated.

thanks,

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Phocal

Mu-43 Legend
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Jan 3, 2014
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5,184
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Houston
I have a Canon FD 400mm f/4.5 that I have used on my Fuji XE1 and now my EM5 and find it very easy to use and the best part is I only paid $150 for it. Can not really help with your Nikon 300m problems as I do not have them with the Canon. The Canon can suffer from bad CA in really bright light but most of the times I can fix it in PS. It is also not super sharp at f/4.5 but the third stop is where I mostly shoot at and it is super sharp. Not sure what the setting is as the dial goes from 4.5 to 8 but there are two stops in between there and I can not find any documentation as to what those are. I could set up an experiment and figure it out but that would take time and is really not that important to know.

I have not heard of any of the old lenses (except the super expensive pro ones i.e. in the f/2.8 range) being sharp wide open. The f/4.5 were not top quality lenses so I would not expect them to be sharp wide open. One exception to this is the Canon FD 300mm f/4.0 L is suppose to be sharp wide open but it is pretty expensive still (around $400). Don't mistake it with the non L lens, which is cheaper (around $150) but not sharp at all wide open.

Overall I am super happy with my 400mm and would recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive manual focus telephoto lens. Here is a link to my wildlife gallery. Only one image taken with a different lens (used an old Lester A. Dine 105mm Macro) and most of the photos taken with my EM-5, some are taken with my previous camera (Fuji X-E1). They are also a mixture of handheld and tripod mounted (starting to prefer using the tripod). http://ronnie-cole.artistwebsites.com/art/all/wildlife/all
 

scarbrd

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
144
Location
Houston, TX
Thanks for the reply. Great images.

The Nikon EDIF is the moral equivalent to the "L" series form Canon. EDIF lenses are designed to be shot wide open like the 2.8 lenses.

There is a Nikon 300 F4.5 that is not EDIF and it shows.

I'll look into the 400mm. That's a great focal length for wild life with the Micro 4/3.

Do you have any editing tips on how to get rid of the color shift? I've played around with it, but don't seen to have a handle on how to really get it under control.

Thanks!

David
 

Phocal

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,184
Location
Houston
Ah ok, I am not familiar with Nikon designations, up until 18 months ago I had only ever used Canon.

The 400mm is great on the Micro 4/3 but there a lot of times I wish I had a 300mm or even 200mm. Have had a number of times that I was to close and could not get the cool reflection shots that I wanted. Would never have thought I would wish for less lens. I am now looking at getting the FD 300mm f/4.0 L for the times I want a little less reach.

Normally to get rid of the purple fringe (with my 400mm it can sometimes be a different color) I use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer in PS. Then I select "magentas" and use the eye dropper to select the color. After that it is just playing around with saturation and sometimes the lightness to get rid of it. More extreme cases I will normally just throw the photo away unless it is something special, then it is a lot of work with the healing brush and rubber stamp tool (I will normally not do this unless the photo is so good the hours of work is worth it). I have gotten good at fixing the fringe because all but one of my lenses (the kit lens) are manual focus and 30+ years old.

Ronnie
 

MAubrey

Photographer
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
1,469
Location
Bellingham, WA
Real Name
Mike Aubrey
What you're seeing isn't surprising. It happens with a lot of legacy lenses on μ43. The problem is that the density of the sensor (16MP = 64MP FF) puts strain on the resolving abilities of the glass. CA issues are particularly noticeable since they're essentially doubled in size on the smaller sensor (that is, for the same viewing size whether on screen or in print, the μ43 image needs to be enlarged twice as much as 35mm format). I have a 200mm f/2 AI-S that looks awesome on my Sony A7, but needs to be stopped down to f/2.8 to be useable on my E-M5.

Canon FD telephoto lenses with their fluorite elements do a better job dealing with CA than Nikon's ED glass...which is why the 300mm f/4L is so successful. Also, the longer the focal length, the harder it is to control CA. It's for this very reason that modern lenses use far more ED glass than the older telephotos designed for film.
 

OzRay

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
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South Gippsland, Australia
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Ray, not Oz
The 300mm f4 IF-ED that I have seems to produce great results, but I have read that the 300mm f4.5 can be prone to CA, it's just something that you have to get used to with legacy lenses.
 

RnR

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
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Brisbane, Australia
Real Name
Hasse
I have this lens and I tend only to use it at f8 - thats without using a focal reducer. While the lens is good for its reach and compact build, it should not be used wide open.

From Bjørn Rørslett;
A light-weight alternative to the other 300 mm designs, this lens renders sharp and contrasty images when stopped down to f/8-f/11. Its performance wide open isn't equally impressive, though.
http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_tele.html
 

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