I don't get it...non-sharp photos

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by AutoEuphoria, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. AutoEuphoria

    AutoEuphoria TPF Noob!

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    I just got my D-SLR camera...a Canon Rebel XS. I had a Canon G6 for a long time before that, and wanted to upgrade so I could take some better pictures. Well, I don't understand this, but every picture I've taken so far has come out soft...or un-sharp. I'm just using the lens that came with the camera, but still...I would have thought it would have been better. I can't understand if it's the equipment or something I'm doing wrong.

    Here are some examples:

    This was without a tripod...just Av setting to medium (5.6 I think)

    [​IMG]

    This was with a tripod, 2 second timer, and manual focus (could be my fault on this one, although it looked focused in the viewfinder). Medium aperture again, in Av mode (image cropped to show fuzziness).

    [​IMG]

    This was with a tripod, 2 second timer, auto focus, and set on M with a 15 second exposure and a medium aperture.

    [​IMG]

    So, it seems like no matter what I do I get a fuzzy picture. I am going on vacation to AZ in a couple of weeks, and plan to visit the Grand Canyon. I REALLY want to get some good pictures, because I'm not sure when/if I'll get to go back there again any time soon. I really want to figure out why this is happening, and if I have to get a different lens I suppose I will have to. I've seen other people's pictures with the standard lens, though, and they are far better than these. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    Keep in mind that most P&S cameras do some processing in camera to add sharpness and saturation and other asthetic effects. dSLRs dont really do that which is why most of use photoshop. Unsharp Mask is your friend.
     
  3. nmerrick

    nmerrick TPF Noob!

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    Hi

    Sorry to hear of your problems. You didn't indicate whether the camera was new or used, but perhaps it might be one of the following:

    1. In-camera sharpening set to "off"

    2. The images look a little noisy - a high-ISO setting might cause some softness too.

    3. There could be a problem with the lens or the camera (I don't think you mentioned which lens you were using).

    4. All the images were taken with a slow shutter speed. Have you tried shooting at ISO 100 in bright light or with a flash and an aperture of about f/8?

    Other than that I can't think of any other reason, maybe someone else can offer an alternative explanation.

    Nigel
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It should still be shaper than this.



    Is there any way you can try a different lens? The problem could be in the lens...

    The first picture is at ISO 1600, so it's going to be a little soft - but I think it should still be sharper than what you're getting. Second and third are at ISO 400 & 100, they should both be sharp.

    Did you buy the camera and/or lens used?
     
  5. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK so I checked the EXIF and for the first one your shutter speed was at 1/15th which has probably caused the blur and the ISO was at 1600 which made the noise. With the second one as you said you used manual focus and it seemed right. Do you wear glasses/contacts? if yes adjust your diopter focus. With the third one...what tripod are you using? Since it was a 15 sec. exposure a breeze could've shake the tripod with the camera on top. But that's just my observation from experience of long exposures, crappy tripods and a breeze.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Me too, but I stopped looking after I saw the ISO... Didn't realize the shutter speed was so long.

    Try some pictures in bright sunlight, if they're not sharp - you might have a problem.
     
  7. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    The problem is that your using far far too slow of a shutter speed, plain and simple. People really oughtn't be photographed with such a slow speed no matter if you have a tripod or not. At the same time, manual focus might be getting you into trouble-- it's pretty easy to miss focus. Another possibility is that you're suffering from mirror vibrations-- even if you have it on a timer, having the mirror pop sends a vibration through the camera. Basically, shoot at higher shutter speeds and see if you're still having problems.
     
  8. AutoEuphoria

    AutoEuphoria TPF Noob!

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    OK, will do, and thanks for the great replies! I really appreciate it. It's hard to find bright sunlight here in MI in the middle of winter, but I'll definitely try it.

    And any suggestions on how to change the diopter on the eyepiece to be correct? I read in the manual that you should do it until the AF boxes look to be sharp and in focus, but that's what I did, and probably did it wrong.

    Thanks again, I will try everything mentioned. Also, I bought the camera and lens new and the lens was the one that came with it (18-55?)
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is the way I do it (maybe not the best way, but it works for me):

    Auto focus on something (with camera on tripod), then adjust the diopter until what you see in the viewfinder (at the selected focus point) is in sharp focus. Probably easiest to do on a high contrast subject.

    ...Pretty simple, but it's the only way I know to do it.
     
  10. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    I would say the first is camera shake. Trying to hand hold at 1/15 sec isn't going to cut it. Also the ISO is awfully high and will produce noise.
    The second just appears to be out of focus and the third (if I read the EXIF data correctly) was shot at 15 seconds. Wind or vibration could have cause the softness. Also you might do a 100% crop and look over the entire image. It may be that it is in focus somewhere on the image. Just my opinion. It a 75 cents will buy you a cup of coffee somewhere.
     
  11. AutoEuphoria

    AutoEuphoria TPF Noob!

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    Thanks :) It was -5F here today, so I guess "cold" is relative :)

    And again...thanks for all the great tips. I've tried a couple of them already just messing around and have already seen an improvement. Thanks again!
     

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