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10-24-2010, 07:26 AM   #1
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still can't get perfectly sharp shots

So I think anyone can get sharp shots when its bright and sunny and still motion. However, I'm really struggling to get the sharpness indoors or in motion.

I typically just go with shutter priority if its a moving object and jack it up until its sharp, but as you could guess I'll probably miss the shot I really wanted.

In lower light (not low light), EVERYTHING has a blur to it! Even if i use a higher ISO, its still not sharp.

I do find that my manual lenses give me a little sharper image, especially my 50mm f2. I'm guessing its just a better lens than the kit 18-55 lens.

Could it be that I'm just not steady enough? Any help appreciated. BTW, I'm shooting with the K-x.

thanks!

10-24-2010, 07:43 AM   #2
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Sounds like you need a flash.
10-24-2010, 08:12 AM   #3
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pictures, with exif, or there's no problem.
10-24-2010, 08:41 AM   #4
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Typically one can solve some of these problems with a tripod. But it would be very helpful if you were to post some of these problem images for us to provide further help.

10-24-2010, 09:14 AM   #5
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jbrocious, asking your question without posting examples, and pertinent exposure information is like calling an auto repair shop on the phone and saying "My car won't run, what's wrong with it?"

Post a few examples that exhibit the problem you have described. If the EXIF is not intact, state, for each one, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, SR on/off, and AF point setting. The chances are extremely good that you will get the information you need from more than one person here.
10-24-2010, 10:08 AM   #6
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A tripod is a great way to get sharp results out of your lens. I am guessing it may not work so well if you are working with moving subjects.

What has helped me is to practice good camera holding and can boil down to squeezing the trigger in a way that increases sharpness (fluid motion).

This was taken hand held with a Manual Focus 135 2.8. I had a good stance and firm position to hold the camera.

10-24-2010, 11:13 AM   #7
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thanks all.... i figured you would ask for the exif, but I'm not sure how to find it/post it.

Also, my shots on tripod are great... I'm only having trouble on the hand held shots.

For example, wedding photographers are able to get great shots in a church being hand held and no flash. Using the built in flash just looks artificial to me. I see all these wonderful images on forum and I only seem to get good ones when its clear blue skies outside!!
10-24-2010, 12:00 PM   #8
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I think I've figured out the exif... i believe its embedded in all album photos now.

You'll see the first picture is only sharp behind our dog gizmo, perhaps my fault on focus? but I was focusing on him, not the background.

In the other pics, ignoring the depth of field blur, it still just doesn't seem perfectly sharp. The last pic of the ducks is obvious, too slow of shutter?

any help appreciated.



10-24-2010, 01:30 PM   #9
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Without exif info, I will only guess you are shooting at slower shutter speeds and not as steady a hand as you would like.

Jason
10-24-2010, 02:17 PM   #10
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I see that the exif is still not there... how do I get it?

I view the properties of the picture in windows, but can't copy it.

sorry, still new at this!!
10-24-2010, 06:04 PM   #11
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If you still have the original pics from the camera, instead of resizing then saving as a new file, first, copy the images to a new folder, then crop one and save over that copied file. That should preserve the exif data.

You could also try viewing the exif info from a pic and take a screen shot of it and use your image software to save a pic of that.


Last edited by chalion; 10-24-2010 at 06:11 PM.
10-25-2010, 03:59 AM   #12
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Hi jbrocious,

I don't think the exif is going to help diagnose your problem. The first shot is obviously misfocused. the dog toys and the pillow in back of the dog are at least close to in focus, but the dog is way off. This should have been very obvious in the viewfinder when you took the shot.

In the second pic, there might be some motion blur, but the focus is definitely closer to the rear feet than the face of the dog.

In the third pic, again there might be some motion blur, but I'm going to guess that you were closer than the minimum focusing distance of the lens, everything is out of focus, and Depth of Field makes the rear of the dog more out of focus than the head. Shooting at closer than MFD should not be possible if you're shooting in AF-S, or single shot AF mode. If you're using AF-C (continuous AF mode), then this might make this possible.

The ducks are reasonably focused, and would probably be pretty sharp if they weren't overexposed. the apparent blur is more from sensor bleed than motion or misfocus. You can see this in the reflection of the head of the lead duck, which is reasonably exposed and sharp. White birds on the water in bright direct sunlight usually need some negative Exposure Compensation.

It's usually a good idea to use AF-S, half press the shutter, pause and allow the AF to lock (which is indicated by the light green hexagon at the bottom of the viewfinder), the fully depress the shutter button after visually confirming that your subject is in focus. It takes a few hundredths of a second, but it should also make your shutter button actuation more gentle and help with possible camera shake issues. The pause also almost ensures that you're giving the SR system time to spool up and stabilize the image.

I'm making some assumptions here, but I think a bit more deliberation in your shooting might make a big difference in your results.

Scott
10-25-2010, 04:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
The first shot is obviously misfocused
I concur, I will also point out that the DOF you will see through the viewfinder is not what you will get in the final image - at least with lenses faster than f/2.8. For me, it is pretty easy to nail the focus at f/4 or at f/5.6 without special focusing aids but for f/1.2 lenses you either have to have the eyes of a hawk or be using live view or a customized focusing screen.

fortunately, I have very good eyesight.
10-25-2010, 05:12 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
For me, it is pretty easy to nail the focus at f/4 or at f/5.6 without special focusing aids but for f/1.2 lenses you either have to have the eyes of a hawk or be using live view or a customized focusing screen.

fortunately, I have very good eyesight.
I had a Voigtlander 58mm f1.4. I traded it for just that reason. Incredibly sharp lens, when I happened to stumble on proper focus. Not the lens's fault.
10-25-2010, 06:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I concur, I will also point out that the DOF you will see through the viewfinder is not what you will get in the final image - at least with lenses faster than f/2.8. For me, it is pretty easy to nail the focus at f/4 or at f/5.6 without special focusing aids but for f/1.2 lenses you either have to have the eyes of a hawk or be using live view or a customized focusing screen.

fortunately, I have very good eyesight.
+1 on Digitalis point about the DOF. I suspect that you might have used the maximum apeture on the kit lens at a range of maybe 3ft.
Just guessing at 35mm and f4 would give you depth of field of only about 4inches.
In the third photo it looks like you centred & focused on Gizmo's face and then recomposed the shot and changed this distance slightly with a result that with the very shallow DOF his face is now not focused exactly.

Coincidentally, I also have a ShihTzu named Gizmo with very similar colouring.
In poor light without an AF lamp it is quite difficult to focus on his face & eyes which are dark.
Luckily he stays still (sleeps) a lot which helps with longer shutter.

Here is 2 shots of Gizmo dozing off just now. The centre focus is on his lower eyelid
43mm @ f1.9 1/15s (about the slowest i can handhold)
43mm @ f8 1sec (on mini tripod, cable release)

at f1.9 the DOF is only about 4cm so if I recomposed the shot to get more of his body in the frame it would be nearly impossible to keep the original focus.
Having time to set up the shot I'd use a selectable AF point instead or manual focus.



Gizmo f1.9



Gizmo f8
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