Anyone using D800 with zoom and extension tubes?

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dkperez
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Anyone using D800 with zoom and extension tubes?

Post by dkperez » 04.06.2014 04:42

This is NOT a Helicon Remote issue... Other than I can't use HR with this combination since the camera won't achieve focus lock.

Is anyone using a Nikon D800 with a zoom and set of fully coupled extension tubes successfully? SO FAR, using the Kenko DG extension tubes with my Nikon 70-200, Nikon 28-300, or Sigma 50-500 for close-up photography causes the autofocus to jitter wildly. It doesn't rack end-to-end, it just rapidly jumps back and forth across a very short focus range. I know of at least two other photographers using D800s who have the same problem.

The problem does NOT happen with the D2X, NOR with my D300, and apparently it doesn't happen with the D4. But, it does happen with the D800.

Nikon, of course, says it's not their problem (not a big surprise), and Kenko doesn't respond at all to emails.

So, is anyone using a D800, zoom lens (say, a 70-200), and SOME set of fully coupled extension tubes in AF-C autofocus mode, and getting focus to lock? I'm hoping there's some other set of fully-coupled tubes that works with the D800.

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Anyone using D800 with zoom and extension tubes?

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 04.06.2014 14:55

Are you saying that taking a shot with Remote triggers AF? This isn't supposed to happen when live view is on. Have you tried AF-S instead of AF-C?

dkperez
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Re: Anyone using D800 with zoom and extension tubes?

Post by dkperez » 05.06.2014 17:39

Hi Stas,

It's actually more bizarre than that......

Lets say I put the 70-200 with a 36mm Kenko extension tube on my D300. Set everything up, camera on tripod, flower in front of me, but not necessarily doing anything with HR yet.

I look through the viewfinder, press the button and focus on some point on my subject. Focus locks, the world is happy. I can zoom, frame, do whatever so I'm ready to take a series of images...

Hook up the tablet, fire up HR, hit the Auto Focus, select a point, move to the furthest point, set B, and shoot a series... Works perfectly......................

NOW, take OFF the D300 body and put on the D800 body. DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING ELSE. Same 70-200 VRII, SAME Kenko extension tube. Look through the viewfinder and press the button to focus, and it DOESN'T lock. It jitters back and forth through a very small distance ACROSS the focus point. If I recall correctly, it doesn't matter whether in AF-C or AF-S mode. I'll have to go out and test to see.

Doesn't matter which zoom, doesn't matter which extension tube. Which is why I'm trying to find out if anyone has used some OTHER set of fully coupled extension tubes and had them work...

The problem makes it more difficult to use HR but not impossible. I've got to go out this morning and shoot some flowers, so I'll try playing with things again, but so far, it's absolutely consistent that the D800 with any of my lenses and any of my extension tubes won't lock when auto-focusing.

dkperez
Posts: 48
Joined: 22.03.2014 02:30

Re: Anyone using D800 with zoom and extension tubes?

Post by dkperez » 05.06.2014 19:07

I've done some more testing...... It appears the D800 with a zoom and extension tube causes problems for the auto-focusing in HR, too.

Pressing auto-focus, then touching a focus point causes the focus to rack back and forth, but it never locks where I've tapped. Without the extension tube, it locks focus fine.
If I manually focus the lens, press A, then change focus manually in HR, I can press B and shoot the series as always.

I prefer to use a lens like the 70-200 with an extension tube because it lets me stay farther away from my subject than a 90 or 100 mm macro. It also seems to cause less change in subject size as focus is moved than I get with a macro lens, although that's just my perception. In any case, it would sure be nice to find some good workaround for this problem - hopefully a different extension tube set 'cause it's a major pain in the neck for close-up work.

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Anyone using D800 with zoom and extension tubes?

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 06.06.2014 12:51

So the problem is merely that AF doesn't work properly? It's not surprising. The AF algorithm was not designed for use with extension tubes.
AF in Remote only tells the camera to perform AF, so it's no wonder it also fails.

dkperez
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Re: Anyone using D800 with zoom and extension tubes?

Post by dkperez » 09.06.2014 23:51

Hm... Interesting. Does that mean the algorithm for the D2X, D300, and D4 WERE designed to work with extension tubes? They all work fine (I've used the D2X and D300, and been told the D4 works). Or just dumb luck that they work and unfortunate that the D800 doesn't?

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Anyone using D800 with zoom and extension tubes?

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 11.06.2014 16:02

Apparently, the there are some differences between the cameras. Different Sensor size, different number of AF sensors - it all means that the specific AF formula is different. So on some cameras the image falls within the operating margin even with extension tubes, and on other cameras it diesn't and tubes can disrupt AF functioning. So I'd call it dumb luck.

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