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04-06-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
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Help! What am I doing wrong?

Both of these shots right out of the camera .pef brought up in Photoshop, no PP, screen capture only.
Used my Pentax SMC A 50mm 1.7 lens at f22 for max DOF.
Used a tripod, used 2 second mirror lockup.
Manual focus was very crisp on the yellow center of the flower.
As you can see by the zoomed up center, the detail is not there.

Am totally dissatisfied with my results. I keep thinking it is my technique but now I am getting suspicious that my K10D is not set up correct.

Can anyone give me some inputs about what I may be doing wrong. Consistently my photos of detailed objects are not crisp, clear and sharp out of the camera. This frustrates me a bunch.


Last edited by clarenceclose; 01-13-2008 at 07:58 PM.
04-06-2007, 07:40 PM   #2
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I think f22 is a bit much for most lenses. The optimal area of performance is usualy f8-f11.
04-06-2007, 07:41 PM   #3
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It's looking like you may have over exposed a touch when I look at the white on the petals. Tried turning down your shutter speed a little?
04-06-2007, 07:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
I think f22 is a bit much for most lenses. The optimal area of performance is usualy f8-f11.
I agree. I very, very rarely go to F/22 -- the image tends to get soft, muddy, and flat.

04-06-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
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Hi Clarence,
I see what you mean, not the best of images. which is unusual for you.
Have you tried shooting the same thing with a variety of settings, eg) full manual, AV, P, Auto.... etc etc & a couple of different lenses??

That may or may not show something up....
Cheers
Grant
04-06-2007, 08:12 PM   #6
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Hi Clarence.


QuoteOriginally posted by clarenceclose Quote
Both of these shots right out of the camera .pef brought up in Photoshop, no PP, screen capture only.
I'm not sure what ".pef brought up into Photoshop" means. But several possible issues arise here:

1) .pef is raw & needs sharpening. I assume you are using ACR here. How much sharpening is this set to? My default is very little & then only for on screen viewing - files saved or opened into PS have no sharpening applied.

2) Screen capture... PS has to interpolate the image to show it on screen at anything other than 1:1 actual pixels. My understanding is that this interpolation isn't very good except at 50%, 25%, etc. Save as JPG. Don't use a screen capture as that adds nothing except a high probability of image degredation.

Shooting raw is great. It sounds like you need to learn a good sharpening work flow. Here's what I cut my teeth on: http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/20357.html

QuoteOriginally posted by clarenceclose Quote
Used my Pentax SMC A 50mm 1.7 lens at f22 for max DOF.
Used a tripod, used 2 second mirror lockup.
Manual focus was very crisp on the yellow center of the flower.
As you can see by the zoomed up center, the detail is not there.
At least 2 more issues here:

1) f22 is likely diffraction limiting the sharpness of your image. Do you really need that much DOF? Max DOF does not equal max sharpness. Try f8 or so.

2) How long was the shutter open? (I didn't try to check your EXIF.) As this appears to be an outdoor shot, are you sure there was no motion from a breeze or such?


QuoteOriginally posted by clarenceclose Quote
Am totally dissatisfied with my results. I keep thinking it is my technique but now I am getting suspicious that my K10D is not set up correct.
I'm not convinced anything's wrong with your camera, but if you are and it needs a new home, cheap....

QuoteOriginally posted by clarenceclose Quote
Can anyone give me some inputs about what I may be doing wrong. Consistently my photos of detailed objects are not crisp, clear and sharp out of the camera. This frustrates me a bunch.
If you want "straight out of the camera" sharp, you'll have to use jpg output and set the sharpening parameters for the in-camera converson appropriately. I suggest seek to improve on your RAW workflow as it's much more flexible & tunable.

Cheers.

-Mark
04-06-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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Appreciate all the inputs.

The 'sweet spot' for this lense doesn't come through with the green button so will have to experiment. Will reshoot at f8 and f11 and variety of lenses. The only reason I was trying for max DOF was because the previous shots seemed to get nothing in focus, and what appeared somewhat focused was not where I had set my focal point. Took it to the store where I purchased and the in store test showed the focal point was exactly where it was supposed to be using short DOF.

1/10th second for the shot.

Shot raw, brought it into PS for processing and have a pretty good work flow for bringing up my shots BUT the finished product is still unsatisfactory, very unsatisfactory compared to other shots I have seen lots of places. On this forum the 'pussy willows in snow' and 'bee in purple aster' are excellent examples. Good DOF for the subjects and most excellent detail. This is what I want to accomplish.

I do a 3 pass sharpening work flow BUT this still does not address the actual shot. Looking through the view finder I can see much more detail before the shot than ever comes through to my finished product.

As an aside, what I see on this screen from my capture is very close to the problem I see within photoshop when I bring it up in ACR so I would say the screen capture utility I am using isn't the problem with the shots here.

Last edited by clarenceclose; 04-06-2007 at 08:36 PM.
04-06-2007, 08:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by clarenceclose Quote
Looking through the view finder I can see much more detail before the shot than ever comes through to my finished product.
My guess is that with this shot you are being affected by both motion blur and diffraction, best bet is to use f11 and make sure that SR is off, f11 will enable you to get a shutter speed high enough to freeze the motion of the flowers ect in a slight, breeze.

04-06-2007, 08:56 PM   #9
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Clarence,

The only other thing that comes to mind is adjusting the diopter. I was having trouble manual focusing until I read how to properly adjust the diopter. The way I did it was to point to a well lit wall and put the lens out of focus, then adjust the diopter until the lines on the focusing screen were sharp. Even if you've done this, it can get bumped out of position. It can't hurt to check it, just in case.

Good luck,

Steve
04-06-2007, 09:10 PM   #10
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To me it just looks out of focus.
04-06-2007, 09:59 PM   #11
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I agree with Ole, but I just can't see Clarence making that mistake.

Personally I'd just try a few different lenses. I had similar problems while trying to use 1 lens, and kept blaming myself. When I gave up on it and bought a replacement I was suddenly getting good pic's again
04-07-2007, 02:47 AM   #12
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As others have suggested, I think diffraction is the problem here.

Try f8 or maximum f11 to get maximum DOF and details. It would work out better I believe.

With Fa 31 Ltd, I cannot go above f11 or the image quality would suffer greatly...
04-07-2007, 02:54 AM   #13
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Viewfinder Cover etc etc etc

Did you cover the viewfinder when taking the image? I'm sure you did as stray light might have entered the viewfinder causing the problem. Were you shooting in to the sun? Was it humid? Was there condensation on the lens that you may not have been aware of? At f22 you probably got some serious diffraction. I'm thinking out loud, bear with me..You may have initially hit the shutter release too abruptly, use the self timer... So here is my diagnosis.

Serious diffraction at f22 with light entering the viewfinder with slight shutter shake and some flare coming off of the high contrast of the petals and subtle condensation should do it...

Ben
04-07-2007, 06:44 AM   #14
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OK more good inputs.

Yes I was outdoors and with the 2 second delay I had my eye away from the viewfinder to let the camera do its best so the opportunity for light to enter there is very possible.

Will reshoot f8 & f11 with same setup.

Will also take a look at the diopter setting.

Thanks all. Will get back with other results. I really appreciate the inputs.
04-07-2007, 06:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clarenceclose Quote
Appreciate all the inputs.



1/10th second for the shot.

.
Is it possible that the flowers moved ever so slightly? at that shutter, it wouldn't take much to make a very slight motion blur.
like other's said, try the 50mm F8-F11 to see if things change

other thing to try.... take the same shot with the flash. if it still looks blurry, then yes I would think there might be something wrong with the lens.
what about... do you have a filter at the end? could this be making your shots a bit blurry/ cloudy?

good luck!

randy

Last edited by slip; 04-07-2007 at 06:51 AM.
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