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Tips for using a Nikon 105mm


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#1 sideways

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 06:55 AM

Well I finally bit the bullet and bought the 105mm. While playing around with it on land yesterday I found it quite difficult to get the focus right. I've been shooting the 60mm for a couple years now, and have had pretty good success with it.

For those of you guru's/experts who made a similar transition, what would you recommend as far as tips and or technique?

** Do you utilize auto or manual focus? Or a combo of the 2?

**On the lens, you have a selector for full or .5 (I believe this is for reduced focal range?)

**I noticed when getting as close as the focal length would allow, it was extremely difficult to keep the subject in focus. Should I back up more?? Obviously for land it's tough without a tripod, but you don't have a tripod UW :)

Any tips will help!! Thanks in advance!!! I would love to practice in a pool, but don't really have one available.

Greg
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Nikon D90, Aquatica housing, Ys-110 strobes, Tokina 10-17mm, Nikon 60mm + 105mm, 8" dome port.

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#2 Deep6

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 07:55 AM

Well I finally bit the bullet and bought the 105mm. While playing around with it on land yesterday I found it quite difficult to get the focus right. I've been shooting the 60mm for a couple years now, and have had pretty good success with it.

For those of you guru's/experts who made a similar transition, what would you recommend as far as tips and or technique?

** Do you utilize auto or manual focus? Or a combo of the 2?

**On the lens, you have a selector for full or .5 (I believe this is for reduced focal range?)

**I noticed when getting as close as the focal length would allow, it was extremely difficult to keep the subject in focus. Should I back up more?? Obviously for land it's tough without a tripod, but you don't have a tripod UW :)

Any tips will help!! Thanks in advance!!! I would love to practice in a pool, but don't really have one available.

Greg

Well Gregg, I have the old Nikkor 105 and almost always use it in MF. I don't have a tripod either. To help stablize your shot, make a three point hold for the housing: elbows on rib cage and face mask slighly firm on view finder. Inhale and exhale slighty pausing and pull the trigger. Oh yeahm shoot between heart beats ;) OK, may be not. Also, I use a small, solid fiberglass rod I got from Reef PV to keep me off the bottom and steady me. Good shooting.
Bob

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#3 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 08:00 AM

I have a Nikon Nikkor Micro 105mm non VR and a Tokina 100mm non VR to replace the Nikon 105 as it has fungus problems.
Both lenses are tele lenses and need a steady hand or a tripod to avoid blurry pictures due to movement.
Underwater you can use a strong strobe, closed aperture and fast shutter to avoid the motion blur.
Focusing is another problem, the Tokina 100mm and the Nikon 105mm non VR are slow with focusing while the Nikon 105mm VR has the tendency to hunt for focus, what is anoying too. As almost everything is moving under water i personally find manual focus not very practical (especially in current/surge conditions) and use the autofocus and a closed aperture to gain as much DoF.
Depending on your camera you may can change the points of the autofocus to get it there where you want and that's what i use, but there are other theories and methods (like rocking near and far) to dominate the 105mm.

Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 21 August 2011 - 12:59 AM.

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#4 scubamarli

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 11:29 AM

Hi,
I use the non-VR 105mm lens on autofocus. If I use a Subsee x5 with it, I often use focus lock and then rock back and forth a bit for focusing. Leave the Full/Limit switch on full to minimize hunting. Use a good focus light. It is critical for this lens, and frankly any macro lens underwater. You will be amazed at the difference in your ability to find focus.

Cheers,
Marli
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#5 derway

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 08:46 PM

I can't remember what distance does the limit switch keeps you further away from?

Mostly I left it off, so you had full focus range.

I always had great luck using them in autofocus, back in the film days. Just need a good focus assist flashlight. Any cheap waterproof flashlight will work fine.
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#6 john70490

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 11:09 PM

I use the (non-VR) 105mm D lens at f22, 1/125 sec, full-range focus and haven't experienced any focusing problems but I almost only use it in tropicak visibilty, very rarely here in Sweden, where I use the 60mm D 99% of the time.

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#7 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:00 AM

The Limit switch limit the lens to do only macro or only non macro.
This helps for faster focusing as the lens don't have to retract / extend fully if the object is
out of focus.
Be careful as setting the limiter the wrong way will lead to some nasty words under water...

As said, due the very low DoF of all macro lenses the focus area is very small and only a small movement
of the camera will lead to a out of focus situation and the "long" focal length make this lens not very easy to
use under water.

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#8 sideways

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 05:47 AM

Thanks all ;) So, I'll leave it on full on the selector, this way I won't have to curse thru my reg and throw an UW tantrum :) I really need to find a pool to practice in, that would help immensely. As far as focus lights, I understand a cheap flashlight will work, but I'm leaning towards the Sola 600. I like the red light feature, and have heard from others here that it's effective.
Similan Islands....
http://www.flickr.co...804385191/show/

Nikon D90, Aquatica housing, Ys-110 strobes, Tokina 10-17mm, Nikon 60mm + 105mm, 8" dome port.

Canon HF S30, L&M Housing, 2x Sola 1200 lights.

#9 scubamarli

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 05:04 PM

You will be happy using the lens with the Sola light.

Cheers,
Marli
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#10 TomR1

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 08:05 PM

I have zero problem with this lens. It focuses quite well. Occasionally it get confused and i need to focus on something far away before returning to a macro subject. I only use a focus light with a +10 subsee. I hav enever needed it otherwise.

I shoot in autofocus, single spot focus, C adn focus priority for the shutter. My camera is a D-300

#11 sideways

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 03:44 AM

I have zero problem with this lens. It focuses quite well. Occasionally it get confused and i need to focus on something far away before returning to a macro subject. I only use a focus light with a +10 subsee. I hav enever needed it otherwise.

I shoot in autofocus, single spot focus, C adn focus priority for the shutter. My camera is a D-300


Excuse my noobness Tom, but what is "C adn focus priority for the shutter"??
Similan Islands....
http://www.flickr.co...804385191/show/

Nikon D90, Aquatica housing, Ys-110 strobes, Tokina 10-17mm, Nikon 60mm + 105mm, 8" dome port.

Canon HF S30, L&M Housing, 2x Sola 1200 lights.

#12 tdpriest

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:47 AM

Excuse my noobness Tom, but what is "C adn focus priority for the shutter"??


In Nikon-speak, "C" is continuous autofocus: on my D300s it's set with a small 3-way switch at the lower left of the lens-mounting plate.

D300s.jpeg


"Focus priority" is a menu setting under the Custom Setting Menu, section a1. The combined effect is allow the camera to fire as soon as you depress the shutter, but to force the camera to optimise focus, rather than ignore it completely, as it does in "release" priority.

Nikon_D300_CS.jpg


What this achieves with the 105mm is the ability to track the subject through the viewfinder, be able to take the image at the "peak of the action", but use AF so that you can concentrate on composition and the animal rather than on the focus.

The other main technique is to preset manual focus "M" on the 3-way switch, and move the camera to get a sharp image, so that there is no delay from the camera. Although there is a control on my Nauticam housing, there wasn't one on my previous Nexus housing, and the focus mode had to be preset before the dive.

Nauticam_D300s.jpeg


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#13 sideways

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 08:07 AM

In Nikon-speak, "C" is continuous autofocus: on my D300s it's set with a small 3-way switch at the lower left of the lens-mounting plate.



I'll look when I get home, but I'm pretty sure on my D90 it's just a 2 way switch, A-M.



"Focus priority" is a menu setting under the Custom Setting Menu, section a1. The combined effect is allow the camera to fire as soon as you depress the shutter, but to force the camera to optimise focus, rather than ignore it completely, as it does in "release" priority.

What this achieves with the 105mm is the ability to track the subject through the viewfinder, be able to take the image at the "peak of the action", but use AF so that you can concentrate on composition and the animal rather than on the focus.


I'll take a real hard look at this, sounds like I might be on shutter release priority at present.


The other main technique is to preset manual focus "M" on the 3-way switch, and move the camera to get a sharp image, so that there is no delay from the camera. Although there is a control on my Nauticam housing, there wasn't one on my previous Nexus housing, and the focus mode had to be preset before the dive.


Here again, I need to check my selector switch and see if it's a 3 way. What your describing should be able to be accomplished by just utilizing focus lock yes?

Thanks for the tips!!!!

Greg

Edited by sideways, 30 August 2011 - 08:07 AM.

Similan Islands....
http://www.flickr.co...804385191/show/

Nikon D90, Aquatica housing, Ys-110 strobes, Tokina 10-17mm, Nikon 60mm + 105mm, 8" dome port.

Canon HF S30, L&M Housing, 2x Sola 1200 lights.

#14 Deep6

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 10:15 AM

I'll look when I get home, but I'm pretty sure on my D90 it's just a 2 way switch, A-M.





I'll take a real hard look at this, sounds like I might be on shutter release priority at present.




Here again, I need to check my selector switch and see if it's a 3 way. What your describing should be able to be accomplished by just utilizing focus lock yes?

Thanks for the tips!!!!

Greg


Greg,

Set you AF/M switch to AF and then depress the AF (mode) button on the top of the camera. With the button depressed, dial in the mode.
Bob

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#15 sideways

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 06:05 AM

Thanks Bob, so when dialing the mode, I want AF-S? Also, I have an issue with my Cam in general. When I got it, I'd hit the shutter and it was an instantaneous "Click..Click" I had to send it back to Nikon when the actual shutter button fell off. They replaced the whole triggering assembly. Now, when I depress the shutter I get a "Click.........click" with quite the delay. Everything seems correct as far as shutterspeed and exposure. Is this some kind of setting that was changed by them when they replaced it? Just kind of seems weird.
Similan Islands....
http://www.flickr.co...804385191/show/

Nikon D90, Aquatica housing, Ys-110 strobes, Tokina 10-17mm, Nikon 60mm + 105mm, 8" dome port.

Canon HF S30, L&M Housing, 2x Sola 1200 lights.

#16 ATJ

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 05:34 PM

Thanks Bob, so when dialing the mode, I want AF-S?

You want AF-C (for continuous). With AF-C, when you half depress the shutter button the lens will continue to focus while you or the subject moves, until you fully depress the button. With AF-S, it will only focus a single time when you half depress the shutter button. You'd have to release and half press again for it to focus again.

#17 Deep6

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 05:51 PM

You want AF-C (for continuous). With AF-C, when you half depress the shutter button the lens will continue to focus while you or the subject moves, until you fully depress the button. With AF-S, it will only focus a single time when you half depress the shutter button. You'd have to release and half press again for it to focus again.

Thanks Andrew. You said it better I could.
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#18 sideways

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 08:24 PM

Thanks Andrew. You said it better I could.
Bob


Awesome.... thanks for the patience guys!
Similan Islands....
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#19 Scubysnaps

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 10:55 PM

I have the old D lens Greg, I've had some great shots from a distance, but at the same time lots of frustrating times waiting for it to focus, I have yet to try it with my SOLA 600 and also got a focus ring to over ride any hunting while in auto, hoping this works!
Cheers
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#20 sideways

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 04:02 AM

I have the old D lens Greg, I've had some great shots from a distance, but at the same time lots of frustrating times waiting for it to focus, I have yet to try it with my SOLA 600 and also got a focus ring to over ride any hunting while in auto, hoping this works!


Doing lots of land practice, but we'll give it it's test run in Cozumel in a couple months :D I'll be getting the SOLA 600 also :)
Similan Islands....
http://www.flickr.co...804385191/show/

Nikon D90, Aquatica housing, Ys-110 strobes, Tokina 10-17mm, Nikon 60mm + 105mm, 8" dome port.

Canon HF S30, L&M Housing, 2x Sola 1200 lights.