Pics from today with 55-200VR. CC appreciated!

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
Haven't had much of a chance to use my 55-200VR that I bought a couple months ago. So my friend and i took a trip to a huge garden in the area where many people go to have their wedding photos taken. I figured it must be pretty nice there. Here are some my pics. Let me know what you think and what I can do to improve. Still trying to get a hang of this photography thing... Thanks!













And this last one is my favourite! I'm calling it 'Best Friends Forever' :D
 

Aperture

macrumors 68000
Mar 19, 2006
1,879
0
PA
Awesome shots. My favorite is the waterfall, by far. Would you mind sharing the EXIF on it? If I had to pick a second favorite it would be the bee landing on a flower. Another great image. Probably my least favorite would be #2. It took me a minute to find the in focus subject of the photo. I think something like that should be instant. Don't get me wrong, it is still a good picture. :)
 

JDN

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2006
520
0
Lund Sweden {London England}
Great shots, i really like #1 and #5 and the ones of the old people on benches are funny.

How did you complete #1? Was it a simple case of 2 layers and erasing the top butterfly? It is very sharp around the butterfly edges.

I wish the weather in England would perk up a bit so i could get out and take some photos!! D40x plus torrential rain do not mix well!!
 

Badradio

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2004
405
0
Manchester
Another vote for the waterfall; love the desaturated tones (even though it's the natural colour). The rest are great too, but that one stands out.
How are you finding the vignetting on that lense? I find it pretty bad at 200mm, but Lightroom takes care of it (I have a preset I use on anything shot at 200).
 

Piarco

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,529
0
Londinium
All great shots! I like the single subject in colour shots, but I fear I like it a little too much, and its something that will only work a couple of times before the viewer gets bored of it.
The final shot is great - nicely caught. If it was a little more centralised it'd be perfect!
I've yet to use my 18-200VR on waterfalls, but can't wait - I take it you took that shot without the need for a tripod? Gotta love VR :D And I agree with Badradio about the tones - they really do add to the shot.

They've all got me chomping at the bit to get out and about this weekend with my new investments (3 new lenses, Kata torso pack, manfrotto tripod and trigger ball head... the list goes on!!)
 

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
Awesome shots. My favorite is the waterfall, by far. Would you mind sharing the EXIF on it? If I had to pick a second favorite it would be the bee landing on a flower. Another great image. Probably my least favorite would be #2. It took me a minute to find the in focus subject of the photo. I think something like that should be instant. Don't get me wrong, it is still a good picture. :)
Thanks and not a problem! Here's the EXIF data for the waterfall shot (you can also find the exif data on my zenfolio page).
Focal length: 55 mm
Focal length (35mm): 82 mm
Max lens aperture: f/4
Exposure: 0.4s at f/22
Flash: Not fired
Exposure bias: 0 EV
Exposure mode: Auto
Exposure prog.: Shutter priority
ISO speed: ISO 200
Metering mode: Pattern

As for #2, the focus bugged me too. I was at the bookstore skimming through one of Bryan Peterson's books and he was talking about using Gaussian blur on a duplicate layer and then multiplying that and the original layer together to create a dream-like effect in PS. I decided to try that out and really wasn't too sure if I liked it. So I wanted to post it and throw it out there to get some opinions and see what you guys thought. hehe.. guess the response is not so great thus far :) Thanks for the feedback!!!!

And here's the non-blurred version:

 

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
Great shots, i really like #1 and #5 and the ones of the old people on benches are funny.

How did you complete #1? Was it a simple case of 2 layers and erasing the top butterfly? It is very sharp around the butterfly edges.

I wish the weather in England would perk up a bit so i could get out and take some photos!! D40x plus torrential rain do not mix well!!
Thanks for the positive feedback, JDN! The background on #1 was mostly green and yellow, so I turned down the saturation for the green and yellow channels in PS. After that, there were still a few small areas in the background which i had to select to desaturate completely. It's really quite easy, though only really works if the subject is very different from the background in terms of colour.
 

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
Another vote for the waterfall; love the desaturated tones (even though it's the natural colour). The rest are great too, but that one stands out.
How are you finding the vignetting on that lense? I find it pretty bad at 200mm, but Lightroom takes care of it (I have a preset I use on anything shot at 200).
I honestly haven't noticed vignetting to be a problem, although I'm still pretty new to this photography thing, so maybe it's there but I just don't really notice it yet. Of the photos I posted above, the waterfall, white/orange flower, butterfly, and field of flowers are all uncropped photos taken at 200mm with no correction for vignetting. Could you maybe post a couple examples of your 200mm shots before correcting for vignetting?
 

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
All great shots! I like the single subject in colour shots, but I fear I like it a little too much, and its something that will only work a couple of times before the viewer gets bored of it.
The final shot is great - nicely caught. If it was a little more centralised it'd be perfect!
I've yet to use my 18-200VR on waterfalls, but can't wait - I take it you took that shot without the need for a tripod? Gotta love VR :D And I agree with Badradio about the tones - they really do add to the shot.

They've all got me chomping at the bit to get out and about this weekend with my new investments (3 new lenses, Kata torso pack, manfrotto tripod and trigger ball head... the list goes on!!)
Thanks Piarco! That's a great list of new gear to try out. I'm seriously jealous right now! :p

And I also share similar sentiments about the b&w coloured subject shots. I really love the way they turned out, but I did/do have concerns about it being too "gimmicky" and getting old fast. I would really love to move away from PPing my photos so much since I'm trying to learn and develop my photographic skills, as opposed to relying on PS all the time. I find this hard to do right now since PS does such amazing things and can so easily turn an OK photo into a nice one... maybe once I gain more experience, the novelty of PS will eventually wear off and I can concentrate on using it to enhance my photos rather than turning them into something different altogether. :D

The waterfall shot was taken without a tripod. I was standing on a bridge at the time and used the side railing to brace the camera. I don't think I'm steady enough to handhold a 1/4sec shot, even with VR. Gotta lay off the caffeine! :eek:

Regarding the old man and the bear photo, could you elaborate on what you meant by "centralized"? Do you mean cropping out the empty space on the right to center the bench in the frame?

(EDIT) Here's a recropped version of that photo. Whaddya think?

 

zim

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2002
1,332
0
And to think.. I just came here to post questions about the 55-200VR lens!

The samples have me convinced that the 55-200VR is a great lens, optics wise.

How do you find it in manual mode?
I have read a few articles that stated that manual was not fun due to the small ring.

I have also seen review that say AF was slow... how slow is my next question.

Finally do you think that the 55-200 is too much of an overlap for my already owned 18-70? I can't find any local shops that have the lens so no way for me to try it out. I am interested in the lens for it's size and weight, it sounds like a good walk around telephoto lens.. oh and the price! can't beat the price :)

Thanks again for posting your work, enjoyed it!
 

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
And to think.. I just came here to post questions about the 55-200VR lens!

The samples have me convinced that the 55-200VR is a great lens, optics wise.

How do you find it in manual mode?
I have read a few articles that stated that manual was not fun due to the small ring.

I have also seen review that say AF was slow... how slow is my next question.

Finally do you think that the 55-200 is too much of an overlap for my already owned 18-70? I can't find any local shops that have the lens so no way for me to try it out. I am interested in the lens for it's size and weight, it sounds like a good walk around telephoto lens.. oh and the price! can't beat the price :)

Thanks again for posting your work, enjoyed it!
I personally never use MF, so I can't really comment too much on that. The AF is noticeably slower than my 18-55mm... It was a little annoying at first, but I got used to it. And honestly for my uses, it's not really a big deal.

I think the 55-200VR would compliment your 18-70 very well. Overlap? There is only 15mm focal length overlap with your current lens, and it will offer you enough zoom to open up a host of new photographic possibilities. If you can afford it, I would also look closely at the 70-300VR. From your post, you said you want the 55-200 for its portability and this is precisely one of the big things for me as well. At the same time, I can't help but feel I need more reach sometimes, and that's when thoughts of whether I should've gotten the 70-300VR start to creep up on me. Ultimately, the 55-200VR is a great lens and an amazing value. You won't regret getting it, that's for sure.
 

Badradio

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2004
405
0
Manchester
Could you maybe post a couple examples of your 200mm shots before correcting for vignetting?
I was just putting together a before/after in Lightroom - trying to find the worst example - and, you know, I think I was being too critical. There is a very slight darkening at the corners at 200mm, but it's most noticeable in the thumbnails, where the range of colours is compressed, rather than the larger display. Don't even go looking for it - I'm being too picky.

Finally do you think that the 55-200 is too much of an overlap for my already owned 18-70?
They're the two lenses I have, and I haven't found the need to look for anything more (unless the 12-24DX drops in price a long way...). I see that small overlap as more times when I don't need to change lenses. I find the 18-70 great for most of what I take, and only take the 55-200VR out when I know I'll need the extra range.
 

zim

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2002
1,332
0
I personally never use MF, so I can't really comment too much on that. The AF is noticeably slower than my 18-55mm... It was a little annoying at first, but I got used to it. And honestly for my uses, it's not really a big deal.

I think the 55-200VR would compliment your 18-70 very well. Overlap? There is only 15mm focal length overlap with your current lens, and it will offer you enough zoom to open up a host of new photographic possibilities. If you can afford it, I would also look closely at the 70-300VR. From your post, you said you want the 55-200 for its portability and this is precisely one of the big things for me as well. At the same time, I can't help but feel I need more reach sometimes, and that's when thoughts of whether I should've gotten the 70-300VR start to creep up on me. Ultimately, the 55-200VR is a great lens and an amazing value. You won't regret getting it, that's for sure.
Thank for answering my questions.

I love my 18-70 but often find that I wish I had just a bit more reach. My comment about the overlap in lenses reveals my lack of knowledge/experience when it comes to other lenses—I currently only own two, the 18-70 and a 60mm Micro. The 70-300VR is a bit out of my price range right now (baby on the way :)) and since I do a lot of walking and exploring, I would prefer to travel as light as possible. I feel that having the 55-200 will work well for me, cover the one area I can't get right now, distance.

Thanks again for your reply!

I was just putting together a before/after in Lightroom - trying to find the worst example - and, you know, I think I was being too critical. There is a very slight darkening at the corners at 200mm, but it's most noticeable in the thumbnails, where the range of colours is compressed, rather than the larger display. Don't even go looking for it - I'm being too picky.


They're the two lenses I have, and I haven't found the need to look for anything more (unless the 12-24DX drops in price a long way...). I see that small overlap as more times when I don't need to change lenses. I find the 18-70 great for most of what I take, and only take the 55-200VR out when I know I'll need the extra range.
This was also good to hear.. I see the 55-200VR being that extra power that I feel that I am currently lacking. Thanks!
 

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
Thank for answering my questions.
Thanks again for your reply!
Stop thanking me now and go buy that lens! Your needs sound very similar to what I was looking for when I was in the market for a lens to accompany my 18-55mm. You're gonna love it! It's small, light, and the extra reach is really going to open up a lot of photographic opportunities. Fun stuff and won't cost an arm and a leg. Just do it and be sure to post some of your pics when you get it! ;)
 

Piarco

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,529
0
Londinium
Thanks Piarco! That's a great list of new gear to try out. I'm seriously jealous right now! :p

And I also share similar sentiments about the b&w coloured subject shots. I really love the way they turned out, but I did/do have concerns about it being too "gimmicky" and getting old fast. I would really love to move away from PPing my photos so much since I'm trying to learn and develop my photographic skills, as opposed to relying on PS all the time. I find this hard to do right now since PS does such amazing things and can so easily turn an OK photo into a nice one... maybe once I gain more experience, the novelty of PS will eventually wear off and I can concentrate on using it to enhance my photos rather than turning them into something different altogether. :D

The waterfall shot was taken without a tripod. I was standing on a bridge at the time and used the side railing to brace the camera. I don't think I'm steady enough to handhold a 1/4sec shot, even with VR. Gotta lay off the caffeine! :eek:

Regarding the old man and the bear photo, could you elaborate on what you meant by "centralized"? Do you mean cropping out the empty space on the right to center the bench in the frame?

(EDIT) Here's a recropped version of that photo. Whaddya think?
Definitely prefer the re-crop. From centralised I meant as if you'd taken it standing mid-point of the bench. It's a minor quibble, but it would have got rid of the tree on the left. But its a great opportunity shot all of the same!

After using the stock lens to shoot waterfalls and streams to get the same effects, I have to say bracing against anything is a top idea - unfortunately when I took my shots it was well clear of any brace-worth material. A monopod may well make it into my photography kit.

As yet I have zero photoshopping skills (apart from the single coloured subject in a B&W composition - that I know how to do thanks to a friend!) and after I've got my current kit together I'll be enrolling in some PS classes...
 

zim

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2002
1,332
0
Stop thanking me now and go buy that lens! Your needs sound very similar to what I was looking for when I was in the market for a lens to accompany my 18-55mm. You're gonna love it! It's small, light, and the extra reach is really going to open up a lot of photographic opportunities. Fun stuff and won't cost an arm and a leg. Just do it and be sure to post some of your pics when you get it! ;)
Ordered it today from BHPhoto :) Should be here in 3-5 days, with my luck it tends to be the full 5 days.. will be sure to post some samples asap. Thanks again for the help!
 

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
Ordered it today from BHPhoto :) Should be here in 3-5 days, with my luck it tends to be the full 5 days.. will be sure to post some samples asap. Thanks again for the help!
Good stuff! You're gonna love it! Looking forward to seeing your pics and reading about your impressions of this lens.

Sigh... I'm jealous though. Wish I had the money for a new lens... I tell ya it's a disease. Lens lust.. and I got it bad! Wanna buy me a Tamron 17-50 f2.8? :D