improved background sharpness?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by poodlebean, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. poodlebean

    poodlebean TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I've been at photoraphy for quite a while now and can't overcome a long term problem...often when shooting wide scenic photos the far distance is grainy, lacks definition and sharpness, might be hazy...basically lacks definition and looks crap. I always try to shoot to maximise my depth of field, I only shoot Velvia 50 slide film and nikon lenses so I'm not taking any cheapskate steps. I have never utilised filters and wonder if i) should I use a UV filter?
    ii) could it be the lens? the lens in question has always been inferior in sharpness compared to my others. The one mainly producing the crap results if a Nikon 28-80mm zoom made in Taiwan-it was the first of the lighter weight plastic series not actually made in Japan itself. It's still a Nikon.

    How do the pro's like :hail:Duncan, Dobre and so forth get those pin sharp backgrounds where the photo just seems to go on forever and forever???

    P.S - I'd love some advice also on the use of UV filters and/or polarising filters. I have Nikkor 20mm wide angle, 105mm micro and the 28-80mm. Camera is an F90X. I use a tripod for every shot!

    Thanks ; checkout my talent if you wish at www.photographaustralia.com <-- Comments appreciated!!
     
  2. Korosive

    Korosive TPF Noob!

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    Try setting the aperture to its smallest setting, (highest number), and then set the camera on a tripod. This will give max dof.
     
  3. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    if you go down to very small aperture (large number), the depth of field will certainly increase, but from a certain point onwards diffraction starts effecting overall sharpness and the image might even lose sharpness.

    i also recommend the velvia 100 F wich is very similar to the velvia 50 in terms of grain, contrast and colour, but gives you a bit more freedom with the higher ISO number.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    An old photography teacher of mine said that he once tried to go a year without using a polarizing filter outdoors...after that time he realized that nothing he could do, would make up for the benefits of using a polarizing filter.
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not farmiliar with the 2 photographers you named but my guess is if they get extremely sharp outdoor shots they either use medium format or 4x5 with small apertures and long exposures with extremely sharp lenses.
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If your lens has a DOF scale on it, set it so that, for the aperture you are using, the DOF includes the infinity mark plus a tad over. A haze filter may help, depending on the particular scene.
     

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