Why do almost ALL my pictures come out soft??

Discussion in 'Digital and Video Cameras' started by waterjug, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Charles Kozierok

    Charles Kozierok Elite Member

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    Always shoot RAW. Always. Shoot RAW+JPG if you like, but the RAW is essential. It is your digital negative.
     
  2. JohnnyRebel

    JohnnyRebel Senior member

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    It's easy to slam the $30 Dolica, but as with everything it depends on what you are doing. Here's a video review of the Dolica, and you can see as the guy has his DSLR on it how easily it vibrates. Every time he touches it, or removes his hand from it the camera (look at the top of the flash) shakes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSZ74qqneyY

    That being said, this is a very usable tripod.

    1. Don't extend the bottom-most section of the legs (skinniest)
    2. Hang a weight on the hook. I have a sandbag I use, but be imaginative.
    3. Shoot Mup (mirror up) as advised earlier when you can and with a remote.
    4. Make sure VR is turned OFF.

    FWIW, the heaviest setup I use on this tripod is the D7000 and 105 DC f/2 lens.

    If you want the lowdown on Tripods, Thom Hogan tells it like it is: http://bythom.com/support.htm Just be ready to lay down a cool $1000...

    JR
     
    #77 JohnnyRebel, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  3. Smoove910

    Smoove910 Golden Member

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    Fine and dandy, but the argument you pose is moot.

    Here's the tripod OP has:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...Q?tag=at055-20

    Here's the tripod you linked to on Youtube (take your pick):
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...dolica+proline

    Granted, they are both in the ballpark as far as price goes, but there's a huge difference between the build quality of the two. The OP's does not have a ball-head, whereas the one in the Youtube video does.

    I'm not knocking Dolica since I use one myself, but I also don't have a huge-ass lens hanging off the front of my camera for the tripod to try to fight.
     
  4. JohnnyRebel

    JohnnyRebel Senior member

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    Mooted.
     
  5. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson Senior member

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    Sorry havnt read all the thread, just the first few and the 400/5.6L should be working better than that, looks like either a focus or shutter speed issue (which is related to long lens technique).

    Using a 400mm lens on a crop body requires a high shutter speed not only to kill camera movement (depending on how well you hold it) but also subject movement, little birds often move fast...

    I hardly ever shoot this lens on a tripod, I've good shots down to 1/60th but that will murder hit rate. Keep it at 1/400th or better 1/800th. Rack the ISO if needed.

    Hold the lens with good technique, elbows in and supporting the camera and lens braced on your body/chest. Shoot when breathing out slowly.

    Make sure it is hitting focus , any slight misfocus will show as softness. Try this with live view.

    Mine is slightly adjusted and Iuse focal , though your body cant MA you may have to send it and the lens for calibration to canon.

    Dont worry about using an L lens on a lower end body, its all good it should produce excellent results.

    Heres a random from my 400 and 5d2 ( similar look to my 7d shots with it), almost certainly not my sharpest with the lens but a good example I have handy.
    [​IMG]

    and crop ACR defaults:
    [​IMG]
     
    #80 RobDickinson, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  6. finbarqs

    finbarqs Diamond Member

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    his looks focused. Your's look like they are motion OOF.
     
  7. xchangx

    xchangx Golden Member

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    Agreed, but for someone that is still pretty new at this, expecting them to know how to process a raw file is pretty far out there.
     
  8. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    RAW + JPG is the way to go, even for newbies, because newbies sometimes turn into not-so-newbies, at which point they will really like how they can go back to their old photos and play with them.
     
  9. twistedlogic

    twistedlogic Senior member

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    So far I've learned the OP needs to:

    Test the lens
    RTFM
    Buy photoshop
    Shoot RAW
    Invest in $1000 tripod
    Use Mirror Lock-up
    Stop down to F8
    Invest in some Scott Kelby books

    OP, have you tried shooting without a tripod? Just lay the camera on a stable desk or shoot in enough light where SS are fast enough to handhold, with a subject that will not move.

    Getting a sharp image shouldn't be this hard. Non of your images look like its a focus issue, as nothing before or after the subject is in perfect focus.

    Shooting RAW will make them look even worse, until you sharpen them. I wouldn't recommend RAW until you sort out your sharpness issue. Even then I wouldn't switch unless you found a reason too (for me, #1 is White Balance).
     
  10. finbarqs

    finbarqs Diamond Member

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    Exactly... His technique needs to be better, but even if he shot raw, the motion oof will still be there...
     
  11. JohnnyRebel

    JohnnyRebel Senior member

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    I actually made the opposite point... I was simply mooted by exampling the wrong cheap tripod.

    But I digress, your point is spot on.
     
  12. Charles Kozierok

    Charles Kozierok Elite Member

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    Exactly. And RAW processing technology also improves.

    Last month I went back and reprocessed a bunch of shots I took in 2003 using a Canon 10D. They are much, much better now.
     
  13. waterjug

    waterjug Senior member

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    what's VR??
     
  14. waterjug

    waterjug Senior member

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    I hadn't actually thought of that; I'll try laying it on a table later and taking some more shots
     
  15. waterjug

    waterjug Senior member

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    Thanks for the tips; lovely thrush.

    About using live-view; my pictures always look fine ON the camera, it's when I pull them off and look at them full-size they come out soft. I honestly can't focus at all using live-view; the screen is too small for me to tell if something is in focus or not, and that large focus box on the screen gets in the way for me.
     
  16. twistedlogic

    twistedlogic Senior member

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    Just so we are on the same page, Live-view refers to using the rear LCD as a viewfinder instead of looking through the Optical Viewfinder.

    With Live View you can change the focus type to use contrast detect, which is more accurate but slower than the Optical Viewfinders Phase Detect. You can also hit the Zoom button to zoom in 5X and 10X on the LCD for critical focus.
     
  17. Saylick

    Saylick Senior member

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    Vibration Reduction. Nikon's marketing term for their image stabilization.
    Canon's version is IS (Image Stabilization).
    They both accomplish the same thing.
     
  18. waterjug

    waterjug Senior member

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    oh shit.....I never tried zooming in. SHIT. how do I change the focus type from live view?
     
  19. ElFenix

    ElFenix Elite Member<br> Super Moderator<br>Off Topic
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    why is something inherently not live called 'live view'?
     
  20. SecurityTheatre

    SecurityTheatre Senior member

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    What?

    Because it shows a live image on the LCD.... Live, as in.... "what is happening right now".

    How do you interpret that?
     
  21. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson Senior member

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    What I meant with live view is use it as an objective test on a static subject, use a tripod, use live view 10* and manual focus, 10 second timer, see how sharp the picture is.

    Then repeat with normal autofocus and compare.

    If you can use live view to shoot birds your a better tog than I.
     
  22. ElFenix

    ElFenix Elite Member<br> Super Moderator<br>Off Topic
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    well, it's not happening right now is my point. using the LCD must induce a delay compared to using the optical viewfinder in an SLR, simply by the nature of the device. therefore, not 'live'.
     
  23. gevorg

    gevorg Diamond Member

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    and how big is that "delay"? :rolleyes:
     
  24. GoSharks

    GoSharks Diamond Member

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    "live" has been used for decades in this exact manner. It's a staple of TV broadcasts and has a current connation of watching something through a transmission medium as it is happening. (as opposed to being tape-delayed)
     
  25. SecurityTheatre

    SecurityTheatre Senior member

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    Is that because of the 100-odd nanoseconds it takes for the light to get to the camera?

    or the 100-odd microseconds it takes for the camera to re-display the light on the screen?

    Nitpicking......