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Calling tecchies for advice here.

 

I have been using my Nikkor 80-400mm for years. Lately, I noticed those parallel lines shown on the 100% crop below.

This was shot at f/5.6 but I get same results at f/8. It's not on every picture but seems fairly common. 

 

I'm permanently on the road, doing quite a lot of corrugated tracks. The lens travels in a photo bag stored on the cushioning bed mattress. It still has to cop quite a lot of vibrations. 

My question is do I have a problem with the lens or have I been blind all those years??

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qjkamnsn2j62s1f/A12960.jpg?dl=0

 

 

Edited by gvallee
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2 minutes ago, gvallee said:

Calling tecchies for advice here.

 

I have been using my Nikkor 80-400mm for years. Lately, I noticed those parallel lines shown on the 100% crop below.

This was shot at f/5.6 but I get same results at f/8. It's not on every picture but seems fairly common. 

 

I'm permanently on the road, doing quite a lot of corrugated tracks. The lens travels in a photo bag stored on the cushioning bed mattress. It still has to cop quite a lot of vibrations. 

My question is do I have a problem with the lens or have I been blind all those years??

 

 

p.jpeg?size=1600x1200&size_mode=3

 

I'm not a techie, but thought I'd let you know that the link to your image doesn't work on this side of the Pacific.

Edited by John Mitchell
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7 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I'm not a techie, but thought I'd let you know that the link to your image doesn't work on this side of the Pacific.

 

Arghhh! Is it better now? I tried something else.

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Wow, very strange! never seen anything like it. A weird de-centering?

Are you sure it's the lens and not the camera?

Does the lens rattle or make noise if shaken/turned over?

 

Let us know when you figure it out.

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Odd indeed. You didn't happen to clean the rear element with steel wool?

 

Hopefully one of the resident experts can figure it out. Bonne chance.

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1 hour ago, dlmphotog said:

Wow, very strange! never seen anything like it. A weird de-centering?

Are you sure it's the lens and not the camera?

Does the lens rattle or make noise if shaken/turned over?

 

Let us know when you figure it out.

 

Thanks for your input. 

 

OK I have fitted said lens onto my D4 and shot a few test images. I can see the parallel lines as well. So it would point to the lens being at fault.

There is no noise whatsoever coming from it if I gently shake it.

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12 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Is that with VR on, does that make a difference.

 

 

 

It was with VR on. I just tested on VR off, the stubborn lines are still there.

It makes me realise, thank God for VR, that lens is so heavy coupled with the D4!! I only use it handheld for bird photography if birds are very mobile. Or very occasionally for zoomed in landscapes.

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4 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

It was with VR on. I just tested on VR off, the stubborn lines are still there.

Thanks for checking, I'm stumped then. Is that jpeg an extreme crop.

 

(sorry, question-mark stopped working on this keyboard!)

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4 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Thanks for checking, I'm stumped then. Is that jpeg an extreme crop.

 

(sorry, question-mark stopped working on this keyboard!)

 

As I said in the OP, it's a 100% crop.

 

I just put another lens on the camera that took the original picture (D500). With VR or without VR, I cannot see any lines.

So it seems that the bad ass is the lens itself.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

As I said in the OP, it's a 100% crop.

 

I just put another lens on the camera that took the original picture (D500). With VR or without VR, I cannot see any lines.

So it seems that the bad ass is the lens itself.

 

 

It only seems to affect the out of focus areas. Could it be bad lens bokeh due to an aperture blade not working correctly/damaged? Set the camera to a long exposure (1 second or longer), fire the shutter and look into the front of the lens to see whether all the blades are stopping down correctly. Repeat at a range of apertures.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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10 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

It only seems to affect the out of focus areas. Could it be bad lens bokeh due to an aperture blade not working correctly/damaged? Set the camera to a long exposure (1 second or longer), fire the shutter and look into the front of the lens to see whether all the blades are stopping down correctly. Repeat at a range of apertures.

 

Mark

 

Thanks Mark for your input. I did try but unfortunately, it's a long lens and I cannot see the blades, even with a torchlight. 

I have got in touch with a Nikon repairer in Brisbane and I'm hoping to hear his opinion.

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I had a similar problem, although not so exaggerated, when I bought my 300mm f4. The dealer included a cheap filter for free. While I was waiting for a new B+W UV filter, I used that cheap filter in my first sessions. It produced that kind of lines in some out of focus parts of the image.
I'm sure it is not your problem, and that you have a good filter… but maybe you have just change it, or it has got a little bit loose or decentered?
Hope it is nothing serious. Good luck and keep us informed. 

Edited by shearwater
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10 hours ago, shearwater said:

I had a similar problem, although not so exaggerated, when I bought my 300mm f4. The dealer included a cheap filter for free. While I was waiting for a new B&W UV filter, I used that cheap filter in my first sessions. It produced that kind of lines in some out of focus parts of the image.
I'm sure it is not your problem, and that you have a good filter… but maybe you have just change it, or it has got a little bit loose or decentered?
Hope it is nothing serious. Good luck and keep us informed. 

 

Thank you for your input Jaime. You might be on to something. I just did a very quick test without the filter and it would appear that I can't see any lines at f/5.6 and some minor ones at f/8. Did I change the filter recently? I might have, I don't remember. I just shifting camp today so I will do a more serious test when I can. I'll be without internet for a week from Thursday.

 

 

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2 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

Thank you for your input Jaime. You might be on to something. I just did a very quick test without the filter and it would appear that I can't see any lines at f/5.6 and some minor ones at f/8. Did I change the filter recently? I might have, I don't remember. I just shifting camp today so I will do a more serious test when I can. I'll be without internet for a week from Thursday.

 

 

 

Hmm your example image was at 5.6 and 400mm, so wide open.

It could not be the shape of the aperture, but it could be something else. Aperture blades don't weigh a thing. Stuff that rattles loose is either heavy or not fixed.

 

If you have the VR on, can you hear the unit working if you put your ear to where it sits in the lens, which is somewhere in the middle. 

If you have the lens off the camera and you hold the lens horizontally; then flip it over, can you hear something shifting inside?

Could there be something else flying around inside? Take a small flashlight and look through the lens from either side.

Open and close the aperture, see if there's a blade missing that could be sticking out somewhere. Or if something else is moving around there or is sticking in from the side.

(Nikkors still have a mechanical coupling for the aperture I believe. just in case, here you can see someone operating it around 0.45.)

 

My best guess is a dislodged VR unit though.

 

BTW is yours the Nikkor 80-400mm VRII or the original mk1?  The serial number suggests it's quite an early mk1.

The general consensus seems to be the original is not worth repairing, with the newer one being not very expensive plus a lot better.

Operating on one yourself is not for the faint of heart.

 

wim

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I once had a Minolta AF lens develop sticky aperture blades caused by leaking lubricant. My camera repair person performed minor surgery on it, and the lens worked perfectly afterwards. I didn't see these kinds of streaks in images, though.

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

 

Hmm your example image was at 5.6 and 400mm, so wide open.

It could not be the shape of the aperture, but it could be something else. Aperture blades don't weigh a thing. Stuff that rattles loose is either heavy or not fixed.

 

If you have the VR on, can you hear the unit working if you put your ear to where it sits in the lens, which is somewhere in the middle. 

If you have the lens off the camera and you hold the lens horizontally; then flip it over, can you hear something shifting inside?

Could there be something else flying around inside? Take a small flashlight and look through the lens from either side.

Open and close the aperture, see if there's a blade missing that could be sticking out somewhere. Or if something else is moving around there or is sticking in from the side.

(Nikkors still have a mechanical coupling for the aperture I believe. just in case, here you can see someone operating it around 0.45.)

 

My best guess is a dislodged VR unit though.

 

BTW is yours the Nikkor 80-400mm VRII or the original mk1?  The serial number suggests it's quite an early mk1.

The general consensus seems to be the original is not worth repairing, with the newer one being not very expensive plus a lot better.

Operating on one yourself is not for the faint of heart.

 

wim

 

BINGO WIM!! The diagnostic from the Nikon repairer is VR which would require a fix.

 

I bought that lens in London over 10 years ago, so it must be the early model. The fact is I hate this lens. It is infuriatingly slow to focus and I use it almost exclusively for bird photography. The big plus is its zoom range of course. Would you have any suggestion what other lens could I replace it with? I don't follow news of new hardware unless I have to. 

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23 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Is that with VR on, does that make a difference.

 

 

 

Your hunch was right, Nikon said it is a VR issue. 

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2 hours ago, gvallee said:

Your hunch was right, Nikon said it is a VR issue.

Thanks for the update. That's a weird one then, as Mark pointed out, it only seems to affect out of focus areas. Hope it's not too expensive!

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4 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

I bought that lens in London over 10 years ago, so it must be the early model. The fact is I hate this lens. It is infuriatingly slow to focus and I use it almost exclusively for bird photography. The big plus is its zoom range of course. Would you have any suggestion what other lens could I replace it with? I don't follow news of new hardware unless I have to. 

 

I don't have anything longer than a 70-200 so can't offer any suggestions on longer Nikon fit lenses from direct experience. However, If you are planning on replacing your D4 at any time soon, an alternative would be a D850 with 70-200 2.8. I posted something similar in the other money thread a few minutes ago. Basically the sensor on the D850 is so huge that it allows for a lot of cropping and the 70-200 2.8 is an unbelievably sharp lens so a crop to half size would give effectively similar same reach as a D4 with 80-400mm. The 70-200 2.8 is a top of the range pro quality lens with super fast focus, excellent VR and amazing focus tracking on the D850. The image quality even at 1/4 crop is superb. Just a thought. 

Edited by MDM
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1 minute ago, MDM said:

 

I don't have anything longer than a 70-200 so can't offer any suggestions on longer Nikon fit lenses from direct experience. However, If you are planning on replacing your D4 at any time soon, an alternative would be a D850 with 70-200 2.8. I posted something similar in the other money thread a few minutes ago. Basically the sensor on the D850 is so huge that it allows for a lot of cropping and the 70-200 2.8 is an unbelievably sharp lens so a crop to half size would give effectively similar same reach as a D4 with 80-400mm. The 70-200 2.8 is a top of the range pro quality lens with super fast focus, excellent VR and amazing focus tracking on the D850. Just a thought. 

 

Thanks for chipping in. Unless it breaks down, no I don't intend to update my D4, hey I'm a pensioner!! If I had to, then yes D850 would be my choice. I'm sold on it.

But just to clarify, I use the 80-400 with a D500, so crop sensor, and a 500mm with my D4. That's for bird photography.

 

As I stand with my broken 80-400, I have nothing between 16-35mm and 500mm. Quite a gap methinks. And the worst possible timing. I'm leaving on Thursday for a very remote area where permits are required, I'm unlikely to visit again. There are turtles coming out of the sea for hatching, as sure as hell I can't use a wide angle lens for that. 

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What a drag , Gen!

 

But it's great to have both Wim and MDM in this forum. 

 

I would agree that a D850 with its huge files and a lighter, faster, somewhat shorter tele would be a great answer. I've owned a 400mm and a 500mm with telex tenders. They are a whole different difficult world to deal with. 

 

On the image you posted, I would go to the trouble of retouching it in Photoshop because it's a special moment. I would not spend one Australian $ on getting that lens fixed. 

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Thank you Edo. Yes this forum has wonderful friendly knowledgeable people. 

 

I am now a retiree, so I no longer have a big budget for photographic equipment. Certainly the returns these days would not warrant spending a lot. Realistically, I do need a lens beyond 35mm, even for my own pleasure. I've put my thinking cap on.

 

I agree with you about this photo, I did spend an awful lot of time editing it. Again thanks to another helpful contributor. I remembered on another thread Mark Chapman recommending the blur tool to hide defects. That's what I did. This forum is a wonderful community.

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46 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

What a drag , Gen!

 

But it's great to have both Wim and MDM in this forum. 

 

I would agree that a D850 with its huge files and a lighter, faster, somewhat shorter tele would be a great answer. I've owned a 400mm and a 500mm with telex tenders. They are a whole different difficult world to deal with. 

 

On the image you posted, I would go to the trouble of retouching it in Photoshop because it's a special moment. I would not spend one Australian $ on getting that lens fixed. 

 

Thanks for the compliment Edo but I would put Wim in a different league to me - that higher echelon with David K as well of those who have vast technical knowledge. I recall David suggesting something similar on the forum here in fact when the D800E came out in 2012 - how sports photographers could use much smaller prime lenses to get similar results to using these massive lenses that they carry. When I used to go to football matches before the pandemic (a distant memory), I would see these guys (always guys) lugging these massive weights around and I would wonder if they could get away with something lighter. It can't be good for the body in the longer term. Gen must have some muscle strength to carry that lot around. 😀

Edited by MDM
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1 hour ago, gvallee said:

 

Thanks for chipping in. Unless it breaks down, no I don't intend to update my D4, hey I'm a pensioner!! If I had to, then yes D850 would be my choice. I'm sold on it.

But just to clarify, I use the 80-400 with a D500, so crop sensor, and a 500mm with my D4. That's for bird photography.

 

As I stand with my broken 80-400, I have nothing between 16-35mm and 500mm. Quite a gap methinks. And the worst possible timing. I'm leaving on Thursday for a very remote area where permits are required, I'm unlikely to visit again. There are turtles coming out of the sea for hatching, as sure as hell I can't use a wide angle lens for that. 

 

OK. You must be strong to carry that lot. I hope you manage to get some good turtle shots.

 

When you do get back to civilisation, the 70-200 f2.8 on the D500 (effectively 105-300) might be a good alternative to the 80-400 which is not in the same league optically as the 70-200. It s a newish lens that was designed to work with the D5, D500, D850 cameras, all of which have super AF systems.  

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