Go Back   AnandTech Forums > Consumer Electronics > Digital and Video Cameras

Forums
· Hardware and Technology
· CPUs and Overclocking
· Motherboards
· Video Cards and Graphics
· Memory and Storage
· Power Supplies
· Cases & Cooling
· SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs
· Networking
· Peripherals
· General Hardware
· Highly Technical
· Computer Help
· Home Theater PCs
· Consumer Electronics
· Digital and Video Cameras
· Mobile Devices & Gadgets
· Audio/Video & Home Theater
· Software
· Software for Windows
· All Things Apple
· *nix Software
· Operating Systems
· Programming
· PC Gaming
· Console Gaming
· Distributed Computing
· Security
· Social
· Off Topic
· Politics and News
· Discussion Club
· Love and Relationships
· The Garage
· Health and Fitness
· Merchandise and Shopping
· For Sale/Trade
· Hot Deals
· Free Stuff
· Contests and Sweepstakes
· Black Friday 2013
· Forum Issues
· Technical Forum Issues
· Personal Forum Issues
· Suggestion Box
· Moderator Resources
· Moderator Discussions
   

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-16-2012, 03:00 PM   #26
jonny13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 431
Default

I have a 400 5.6L and it's definitely a sharp lens at 5.6. BUT, you really need to nail focus to get a clean shot. At 400mm and 5.6, if you don't focus on the eyes of a bird and hit the neck or back, you'll get a soft image. Also, just because you are on a tripod and don't need to worry about hand shake, that doesn't mean you don't need 1/1500-2000 second to stop the action from the subject.
__________________
14+ TB of storage on the Simpsons network

Bart (HTPC): Intel 2500k, GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3, 8GB RAM, 128 GB Crucial M4
Homer (Storage): Intel Core2Duo Q6600, 4GB RAM, 64 GB Crucial M300 SSD, 7-2TB RAID 5 array, 4U Rackmount Case


Heatware: jonny_walker
jonny13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2012, 04:10 PM   #27
gevorg
Diamond Member
 
gevorg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 4,543
Default

OP, go to SLRear and find if your lens was tested by them. Checkout their review and then figure out the optimal focal length and apeture for your usage.

For example, if you have the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L and use it at 300 mm, f/8 is sharper than f/5.6.





Both of these are pretty good but some lens combinations of aperture and focal lens can turn out pretty soft, so know your lens.
gevorg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2012, 04:29 PM   #28
slashbinslashbash
Golden Member
 
slashbinslashbash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,672
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gevorg View Post
OP, go to SLRear and find if your lens was tested by them. Checkout their review and then figure out the optimal focal length and apeture for your usage.
He has the 400 f/5.6L, it is pretty damn sharp from wide open to f/11 on a crop body, according to their review.

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showprodu...uct/167/cat/10
__________________
MacBook Pro|2.2GHz Quad-Core i7|Radeon 6750 1GB|16GB|750GB|Parallels|Win7HP
Mac Pro|2xXeon 5150|12GB|128GB 840 + 2x1.5TB|Radeon 5770|Dell 2407WFP+2007FP
ASUS P5B|E6550|2GB|1.5TB|Radeon 280X|Win7HP
Canon 5D|40D|17-40L|24-105L|70-200L|50/1.4|85/1.8|100/2.8 Macro|580EX|430EX|AlienBees

The Left is not merely gauche; it is downright sinister.
slashbinslashbash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #29
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

ok, so I have camera raw & a raw file open...under sharpening there are several options, including:

amount: 25
radius: 1.0
detail: 25
masking: 0

I can't find a single stinking tutorial on what any of those mean, everyone wants 50 dollars for online courses...can someone just tell me what I'm supposed to do with these, or what they stand for?
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 12:06 PM   #30
randomrogue
Diamond Member
 
randomrogue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5,414
Default

I would HIGHLY recommend the Scott Kelby book. Both the photoshop and the lightroom ones are good.
randomrogue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 12:09 PM   #31
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

Ugh. Just tried using photo raw for sharpening....what an awful program. It makes everything look like a grainy mess. I've had it. This is such a royal fucking pain in the ass. I pay all this money for a camera & lens, yet if I want to make the pictures even vaguely usable I need to spend 15-20 minutes on each one? All photo raw did was ruin the pictures and make them look even worse. Besides, I'm taking 200-500 shots trip, out of which I end up liking about 50, so I'm literally going to have to spend about 16 hours of post-processing per trip I take to get them usable? What the hell is the point? I'm out taking pictures 2-3 times per week, so that's between 32 and 48 hours of post processing per week? That's awful. Maybe if I had no job or family I could afford to take that much time, but I don't see how anyone could devote that much time to actually getting their pictures to the point of being usable. If anyone wants the 400mm I'll sell it for 900, and the T2i for 250. PM me if you want either.

Last edited by waterjug; 11-17-2012 at 12:16 PM.
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 12:15 PM   #32
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomrogue View Post
I would HIGHLY recommend the Scott Kelby book. Both the photoshop and the lightroom ones are good.
he has a couple hundred books it looks like, which one did you mean?
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #33
kbp
Senior Member
 
kbp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Northern Lower Peninsula
Posts: 568
Default

This link will show you how to get you focus "dead on". I calibrate everything....camera lens, monitor, and printer.

http://photographylife.com/how-to-calibrate-lenses
__________________

kbp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #34
Charles Kozierok
Elite Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6,762
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterjug View Post
Ugh. Just tried using photo raw for sharpening....what an awful program. It makes everything look like a grainy mess. I've had it. This is such a royal fucking pain in the ass. I pay all this money for a camera & lens, yet if I want to make the pictures even vaguely usable I need to spend 15-20 minutes on each one? All photo raw did was ruin the pictures and make them look even worse. Besides, I'm taking 200-500 shots trip, out of which I end up liking about 50, so I'm literally going to have to spend about 16 hours of post-processing per trip I take to get them usable? What the hell is the point? I'm out taking pictures 2-3 times per week, so that's between 32 and 48 hours of post processing per week? That's awful. Maybe if I had no job or family I could afford to take that much time, but I don't see how anyone could devote that much time to actually getting their pictures to the point of being usable. If anyone wants the 400mm I'll sell it for 900, and the T2i for 250. PM me if you want either.
Don't give up yet.

It's frustrating in the beginning. I bought my first DSLR in 2003, the Canon 10D. I was so sure that my macro shots would be way, way better than what I had been getting from my (3 megapixel) Nikon 990.. and then I started shooting, and I was shocked that nothing looked that hot. I had to learn about technique, processing, lenses, focusing and much more.

There's a learning curve, but it's worth it.

Do you have Photoshop? If so, what version?
__________________
"Of those who say nothing, few are silent." -- Thomas Neill
Charles Kozierok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 08:21 PM   #35
finbarqs
Diamond Member
 
finbarqs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: West Covina, CA
Posts: 3,529
Default

still take that pic I was asking about. I nail the focus on a tripod, on a completely still, highly detailed, properly exposed shot. Then post the image here. I want to see if there still is some kind of motion issue going on...
finbarqs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 10:19 PM   #36
Smoove910
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Posts: 987
Default

<--- still thinks OP needs to use a higher F-stop (F8 sounds like the area to start)... If shutter speed is slow, raise the ISO to compensate. I suggested this a yesterday and haven't heard if this has been experimented with.
__________________
Mobo: Biostar TA880GU3+ uATX
Proc: AMD Phenom II 960T unlocked/6 cores @ 3.5ghz
Ram: (4) 4gb GSkill 1600mhz (16gb total)
HDDs: (2) 640GB WD AAKS, (1) 750GB Seagate Ext
Vid: Sapphire 6870 1gb DDR5 1000mhz core, 1100 mhz mem
Camera: Pentax K5, I'm not a Canikon fanboy.
Smoove910 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 10:26 PM   #37
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesKozierok View Post
Don't give up yet.

It's frustrating in the beginning. I bought my first DSLR in 2003, the Canon 10D. I was so sure that my macro shots would be way, way better than what I had been getting from my (3 megapixel) Nikon 990.. and then I started shooting, and I was shocked that nothing looked that hot. I had to learn about technique, processing, lenses, focusing and much more.

There's a learning curve, but it's worth it.

Do you have Photoshop? If so, what version?
I have CS5, the thing is my 2 megapixel canon A20, which is about 13 years old at this point, takes equally good pictures, just smaller in size. I've spent thousands of dollars and the pictures I take suck ass. I've been using SLRs now for 4 years almost with no improvement.
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 10:33 PM   #38
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoove910 View Post
<--- still thinks OP needs to use a higher F-stop (F8 sounds like the area to start)... If shutter speed is slow, raise the ISO to compensate. I suggested this a yesterday and haven't heard if this has been experimented with.
The thing is, everything I've read, literally everything, states that it's tack sharp at 5.6. I also can't drop it much further because at ISO 800 I start to get heavy noise in my images. And right now in broad daylight at say f/8 or 9 I need to be at 400 to even get close to 1/500th or so for shutter speed
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 10:58 PM   #39
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by finbarqs View Post
still take that pic I was asking about. I nail the focus on a tripod, on a completely still, highly detailed, properly exposed shot. Then post the image here. I want to see if there still is some kind of motion issue going on...
a small part of the issue I have is this: Say I'm adjusting the horizontal and vertical direction that my camera is pointing in on the tripod. So I tighten up the switches or whatever you call them, with the center focus point directly on a bird's eye....the lens sags about a half inch, which is huge when you're aiming at 400mm...sometimes it dips down and to the left or right. So I have to aim above & to the right or left of the subject, and hope when everything's tightened up that the lens sags the amount I need it to in order to get perfect aim. Usually I just use it to get pretty close to where I need it, and then sort of hold the lens down or up or in whatever direction I need to nudge it to get the center spot on my subject.
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 11:17 PM   #40
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbp View Post
This link will show you how to get you focus "dead on". I calibrate everything....camera lens, monitor, and printer.

http://photographylife.com/how-to-calibrate-lenses
can't calibrate the T2i
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 06:32 AM   #41
randomrogue
Diamond Member
 
randomrogue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5,414
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterjug View Post
he has a couple hundred books it looks like, which one did you mean?
The Photoshop CS6 book for Digital Photographers.

Personally I started there and then moved on to lightroom. Lightroom can do just about everything and for specific tasks like stitching I open up Photoshop. So check out his Lightroom book for Digital Photographers as well.
randomrogue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 06:55 AM   #42
Charles Kozierok
Elite Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6,762
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterjug View Post
I have CS5, the thing is my 2 megapixel canon A20, which is about 13 years old at this point, takes equally good pictures, just smaller in size. I've spent thousands of dollars and the pictures I take suck ass. I've been using SLRs now for 4 years almost with no improvement.
Yeah I doubt that Canon A20 would take shots anywhere near as good as what you posted here. Don't get too discouraged.

You don't need to spend money. You need to focus on improving your technique and processing.

1. I strongly recommend joining a dedicated photo forum where you can get specific advice on the types of photos you like to take. I've been a member of Fred Miranda's forums for almost a decade. Great people there, including tons of birders if that's your thing (which it seems to be).

2. If you think you are having issues with sharpness and focus, practice. Set up a "still life" and a tripod and try different things to see what you can do to improve. Experiment with various shutter speeds, focal lengths and f-stops.

3. If you suspect a focus issue, the best way to test is to use a ruler on an angle. Focus on a specific spot and then see how it comes out.

4. In terms of RAW -- are you using the Canon software? Because it stinks, I haven't touched it in years. Use Adobe Camera RAW, it is built into Photoshop.
__________________
"Of those who say nothing, few are silent." -- Thomas Neill
Charles Kozierok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 06:57 AM   #43
Charles Kozierok
Elite Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6,762
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterjug View Post
So I tighten up the switches or whatever you call them, with the center focus point directly on a bird's eye....the lens sags about a half inch, which is huge when you're aiming at 400mm...sometimes it dips down and to the left or right.
This is a sign that your support system isn't up to the job.

Are you using a collar on the 400mm?
__________________
"Of those who say nothing, few are silent." -- Thomas Neill
Charles Kozierok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 10:05 AM   #44
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesKozierok View Post
This is a sign that your support system isn't up to the job.

Are you using a collar on the 400mm?
yeah, the collar and then the collar mounted to the tripod

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesKozierok View Post
Yeah I doubt that Canon A20 would take shots anywhere near as good as what you posted here. Don't get too discouraged.

You don't need to spend money. You need to focus on improving your technique and processing.

1. I strongly recommend joining a dedicated photo forum where you can get specific advice on the types of photos you like to take. I've been a member of Fred Miranda's forums for almost a decade. Great people there, including tons of birders if that's your thing (which it seems to be).

2. If you think you are having issues with sharpness and focus, practice. Set up a "still life" and a tripod and try different things to see what you can do to improve. Experiment with various shutter speeds, focal lengths and f-stops.

3. If you suspect a focus issue, the best way to test is to use a ruler on an angle. Focus on a specific spot and then see how it comes out.

4. In terms of RAW -- are you using the Canon software? Because it stinks, I haven't touched it in years. Use Adobe Camera RAW, it is built into Photoshop.
I'll join up at that forum; I also have to take some test shots today, going to try that battery test that was suggested, I'll also try the ruler. I was using Adobe, but maybe the shot I was using was just trash.
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #45
Charles Kozierok
Elite Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6,762
Default

If you want, send me the RAW by email (send me a PM) and I'll see what I can do with it. Then at least you'll know what is possible via software.
__________________
"Of those who say nothing, few are silent." -- Thomas Neill
Charles Kozierok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 12:53 PM   #46
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedlogic View Post
Try the battery test. Set up a set of 5 AA batteries, having them offset from one another by a couple millimeters, this would assure that it's not a back/front focusing issue.

Also try shooting with Live View mode, as this will give you direct feedback of what your lens is seeing VS what's in the optical viewfinder.
Alright, took my test shots, at 200, 400, and 800, with f/5.6-f/11. Going to go through them today. One thing I noticed, even when aiming at still life, my tripod still jiggles & quakes. Here's how it went:

I lined up the batteries, each off set by a few mm. Using center point focusing try lining up on a specific spot on one of the batteries. I have to aim above where I want since the lens always sags down, so I aimed above where I wanted several times until I got it just right so that when it sags down it's pointing to the spot I want. Then I use back-button focusing, but even doing that, it makes the center point move, and the camera vibrates. I wait for that to stop, then I hit the shutter button; I have it on a 2 second delay. Hitting the shutter button causes the camera to shake & vibrate some more. It's still slightly vibrating when the shot is taken. Again, I'm not sure if this matters that much; even with different lenses that aren't as long, weigh less, and are not as sensitive to vibration I still have the same issue.
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #47
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

I think I may crop them, upload them to imgur in a slide show for people to look at. Frankly none of them really look that sharp. They're OK, but not really tack sharp. I see no different in 200, 400, 800 iso, and no difference between f/5.6-f/11 on any of the ISOs,and no different with shutter speed. If you looked at them you'd think I was showing you 25 identical pictures.

I also took some test shots with the 50mm 1.8; WOW what an abysmally shitty lens. I know it was cheap but people talk about it being the 'nifty fifty'....I call it a flaming piece of dog shit. Images at 1.8 were completely fuzzy and unusable. Not like slightly...I mean they were completely unusable. They got clearer and clearer until I hit about 2.8-3.2; honestly 50mm @ 3.2 isn't that impressive. That's barely above kit-lens for quality.
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 01:33 PM   #48
Smoove910
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Posts: 987
Default

almost sounds to me like your tripod is the flaming piece of dogshit in this equation. Doesn't your camera offer a mirror lock-up option? If so, that could help things some. I notice when I used mirror lock-up with my Pentax K7, I get a substantial improvement in my moon shots at 300mm. YMMV though.
__________________
Mobo: Biostar TA880GU3+ uATX
Proc: AMD Phenom II 960T unlocked/6 cores @ 3.5ghz
Ram: (4) 4gb GSkill 1600mhz (16gb total)
HDDs: (2) 640GB WD AAKS, (1) 750GB Seagate Ext
Vid: Sapphire 6870 1gb DDR5 1000mhz core, 1100 mhz mem
Camera: Pentax K5, I'm not a Canikon fanboy.
Smoove910 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 02:17 PM   #49
waterjug
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 781
Default

I honestly had never heard of mirror lock-up. If my camera is always vibrating though how is that going to help any?
waterjug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #50
kbp
Senior Member
 
kbp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Northern Lower Peninsula
Posts: 568
Default

What kind of tripod are we dealing with here?
And...do look in the menu for a mirror lock up funtion. If you indeed have that option you may even be able to asingn it to a funtion button for fast access.
__________________

kbp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.