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My new 200-600mm lens

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rovhazman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rovhazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: My new 200-600mm lens
    Posted: 02 December 2019 at 20:09
It is quite a while that I am looking for additional reach beyond 400mm, so when the new FE 200-600mm lens came out, I knew I am going to get it (even though I tried to convince myself that I don't need it...).
Last week I finally managed to buy one, but so far I am not happy with the results (I miss the absolute sharpness I usually get from my other tele lenses). I am not sure whether it is my technique which is lacking (600mm is different from 400mm), my camera which is "old" (I use a7rii - I believe it is fine and it works well with adapted 70-400mm lens. I just noticed that all the great samples on the web are from newer models) or that I got a bad/defective copy...

I planned to start this thread as a discussion in the lenses forum, but I decided to let the photos talk, so it is in the open views... I share the best photos I managed to get out from this lens, but there are so many bad ones..

1

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 600.0 mm | f/8 | 1/1250 sec | ISO 640

2 BAAAAHHHHHH!

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 600.0 mm | f/8 | 1/500 sec | ISO 640

3

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 600.0 mm | f/8 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 640

4 I found a nice fish

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 600.0 mm | f/6.3 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 400

5 And I am not going to share it!

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 600.0 mm | f/6.3 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 400

6

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 600.0 mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600 sec | ISO 200

7

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 600.0 mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600 sec | ISO 200

8

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 600.0 mm | f/6.3 | 1/800 sec | ISO 200

9

Sony ILCE-7RM2 + Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS | 559.0 mm | f/6.3 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 200
 



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nandbytes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 20:31
I love #5

bird in #8 and #9 is very pretty. what is it? (also seems a little under exposed to me)

RE: your lens woes;
You cannot really test in the field like this to deduce if it's a good or bad copy. You need to put it on a tripod shoot some brick walls or some shrubs or news paper etc under controlled environment to work that out.

It takes a while getting used to the 200-600mm. It's bigger and heavier. It's longer. Took me a few goes to start getting better results. Still my birds in flight aren't the best because its harder to follow them properly with this lens compared to 100-400mm.
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rovhazman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rovhazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 07:26
Thank you Anand for your comments, both for your comments regarding the photos and for your encouraging words...

The bird in #8 and #9 is Little Green Bee-eater. It is common around here in Israel.

Regarding the lens, I think I figured the problem - it is the IS! Last night I looked again at the bad photos and noticed that there are weird smears that do not look like what I am used to for bad focus or typical hands shaking. This morning I tried to turn off the lens IS and all of a sudden I get the level of details I am used to and expected from this lens. I will post photos later, when I am back home.

I noticed that I don't have the latest FW for my camera - I have version 4.00 and I noticed that there is version 4.01, so I'll try to see if updating the firmware helps. Otherwise, I believe there is something wrong with the lens?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 07:38
Shay,
There's nothing wrong with those bee-eater images from where I'm sitting.
I don't know anything about the latest e-mount gear other than in the most general terms, but might there be any problem when an image stabilised lens is attached to a camera with image stabilisation built into the sensor?
Apart from that, I certainly have experienced a learning curve when first using several of my a-mount lenses, especially the long focus ones. The expected IQ was achieved through practice, experience, and sometimes micro-focus adjustment.
Looking forward to seeing more from you and your latest bazooka.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 08:22
Some of these makes me wonder if what you are seeing is just plain overcast skies without any kind of direct light? Usually end up looking muddy even if it's bright enough to get a decent shutter speed at reasonable ISO.
Really need some direct hard light to make the most out of feathers for detail.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 09:05
Originally posted by nandbytes nandbytes wrote:

You cannot really test in the field like this to deduce if it's a good or bad copy. You need to put it on a tripod shoot some brick walls or some shrubs or news paper etc under controlled environment to work that out.
I tend to disagree, I think. Yes, a controlled environment is nice to test your lenses, but most people will be using this lens at long distances like 20 meters and over. Testing it at these distances is really difficult, so, a lot of tests are done at shorter distances while the lens is used at longer distances. Also, how do you test the AF performance this way? Or the OIS? Using a lens is a fine way to conclude if it is within spec.

Anyway, I feel you expected to much from the lens. Like others said it seems the light was not that good. Do some more testing how it behaves. Looking at #8 I see a lens that has potential but lighting that is difficult.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dopol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 09:32
I tend to agree that it's the light.
I think the bee-eaters look remarkably good, given the light background they were shot against.
And Anand's idea to try it with a tripod definitely will give better results for stationary birds.
I don't own a 200600, but I do have a 100400GM+1.4X. this bee-eater was shot in lower light, causing higher ISO, but still is sharp and colorful. I'm sure it would be washed out on a white background.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote krabster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 12:32
Hi Rovhazman,
I'm a sony A mount user, so I can't tell you anything about thouse expensive camera's and lenses. I would be really happy with the results you have shown. But I see what you mean what you misses in your shots. They look flat and not very crisp and colourful and they lack the contrast. For example the Bee eaters are very coloufull birds and those colours should explode from your screen. And now they don't.
Light is poor in some shots (example 8 and 9) or light comes from a difficult angle, here from above (example 3 and 7).
Then your remarks about IS and onboard IS. I know you have to turn off one of them, you can't use both. So if you have a very good onboard IS in your camera shut down the IS in the lens. Or vice versa if you have more trust in the IS of the lens used.
I see you have the oppurtunity to find and take shots from some nice birds. Pay attention to your position to the bird and the direction were the light is coming from. Keep the sun at your back! Avoid the harsh lights of the day, use the moments in the morning or the evening.
Don't stop and be patient and send us some more shots in the future. I hope you will have a lot of fun and succes with your combo.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 12:48
Originally posted by krabster krabster wrote:


Then your remarks about IS and onboard IS. I know you have to turn off one of them, you can't use both. So if you have a very good onboard IS in your camera shut down the IS in the lens. Or vice versa if you have more trust in the IS of the lens used.
On the A7(R) ii, iii and iv you can leave both stabilisation methods on when using Sony native E-mount OIS lenses to achieve 5 axis stabilisation (according to the Sony information). I have seen no ill effects of that on my A7ii when using the IBIS and OIS together in the 24-70 and 70-300 lenses. I have not tested it with the new 200-600 (I don't have that lens) but hopefully someone else who has can chime in.

Btw, nice series of bird pictures, maybe a bit more PP can bring out a little "pop"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 13:06
You can only have OSS and SSI (IBIS) enabled or disabled together on all E-mount bodies. There is just a SteadyShot on or off setting. There is no using one without the other except when the feature doesn't exist in the body or lens.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rovhazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 13:06
Thank you all for your comments!

It does take time to learn the beast and this is why I didn't contact the seller yet and complained about defective lens. First I want to make sure I know what I am doing. However, the difference between the sharpness without IS and with IS is very apparent. I will do more tests. It is the first lens I have with OIS, so I don't have experience, but as far as I know, I can leave both OIS and IBIS on (as Pieter said above).

Regarding the comments about overcast skies, I agree that overcast skies can lead to lack of sharpness and I also have similar experience. However, I live in a place with an average of 360 sunny days per year... While it was partially cloudy during one of the sessions (the one with the bee-eaters), it was bright light for the rest of the photos.
But going with this line of thought, while I almost always have direct sun here, very often the air is very dusty and the view is not clear. I know from my experience that often it produces detail-less images and the effect is stronger with tele lenses. So it might be a reason.

Generally, I posted above only the "keepers" and not the hundreds of bad photos I have because bad photos don't mean much - even the best lens can produce bad photos. The problem is that after few years of birds photography I managed to get a good keepers rate using my a-mount lenses (either on a-mount bodies or on e-mount bodies with adapter), and with my new lens it is way off. Also the look of the bad photos is different from what I am used to from out-of-focus/slow shutter/bad light issues. These issues are also here (everyone mentioned #8 and #9 as examples of poor light), but there is something more.

Later this evening I will upload some photos from this morning when I turned the OIS off.

For next test: find stationary birds and try with and without OIS. Keep the exposure right (no problem, there is bright sun today and it is not expected to change in the next days). Update the FW before.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 13:15
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

I tend to disagree, I think. Yes, a controlled environment is nice to test your lenses, but most people will be using this lens at long distances like 20 meters and over. Testing it at these distances is really difficult, so, a lot of tests are done at shorter distances while the lens is used at longer distances. Also, how do you test the AF performance this way? Or the OIS? Using a lens is a fine way to conclude if it is within spec.

Anyway, I feel you expected to much from the lens. Like others said it seems the light was not that good. Do some more testing how it behaves. Looking at #8 I see a lens that has potential but lighting that is difficult.


purely taking about sharpness the method I suggested if the best way rather than in field.

As for distance its not hard to find distant buildings, trees etc. there is one right outside my window I use
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 16:47
Well, that was the "I think" bit. That is a good option to check longer focus distances.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 19:30
Originally posted by rovhazman rovhazman wrote:

Last week I finally managed to buy one, but so far I am not happy with the results (I miss the absolute sharpness I usually get from my other tele lenses). I am not sure whether it is my technique which is lacking (600mm is different from 400mm), my camera which is "old" (I use a7rii - I believe it is fine and it works well with adapted 70-400mm lens. I just noticed that all the great samples on the web are from newer models) or that I got a bad/defective copy...
I don't yet own FE 200-600, but I have experience with α7R II and I think its AF system is nod behind the newer cameras. Last summer I shot couple events with combo of α7R II + FE 4.5-5.6/70-300 G OSS and α7R III + FE 4/24-105 G OSS and when I reviewed the resulting photos I had surprisingly many out of focus pictures with the older camera, whereas the newer AF had worked far better. Of course, in this unscientific test I did not try swapping the lenses around to confirm that it was the cameras that rather than lenses that caused the difference in number of keepers.

I think these pictures you posted are quite decent, perhaps the birds in flight are my favourites since the ground and that metal cable look somewhat ugly.
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