Is there something defective with my lense?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by ev1lmagic, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. ev1lmagic

    ev1lmagic TPF Noob!

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    Okay so this past weekend i purchased a nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lense. And as i was using it to take some homecoming photos for some highschoolers i noticed that even at various f-stops/ auto focus, even the supposed focused areas were kinda hazy and not as sharp as I had expected from this lense. I know most people will jump to the conclusion that it's most likely the user (me) and not the lense that is doing something wrong.

    However the background behind purchasing this lense new from samy's camera was that it was the second one I had received from them in the same day. promptly after arriving home from my first purchase, as i was mounting the lense i noticed a slight reflection (thanks to my O.C.D.) in the glass, inspected it and noticed that there was something EXTREMELY EXTREMELY small (either dust, debris, or a scratch) on the inside of the glass. brought it back to them and they finally noticed it as well. They agreed it was a defect for sure and exchanged it for me. My point is as well as the quality control by nikon may be, mishaps do occur and it has already happened to me once regarding the purchase of this lense and now i'm hesitant as to if this "hazyness" is also another defect.

    Here is a photo that i took with it that may serve as an example. I have used a 50mm f/1.8 on many occasions and I know how deadly the difference between focused and non-focused areas with low f-stops but imo if i can get great distinctions in focus with a 1.8 manually/automatically i do not understand why theres problems with f/2.8 unless there is yet another defect.

    Here's the link to the photos: OC Photography's Photos - '09 Temple City High School Homecoming | Facebook

    note: (1) I know the background/scenery is bad so please don't judge on that, the caption to the album will explain why if you're curious (2) sorry that i had to use a link to facebook, but i haven't had time to post onto other hosting sites nor do i have enough post counts to attach it here yet =\ (3) IT IS DEFINITELY NOT because facebook lowers the quality of the images, my proofs on my computer as identical to those in therms of "hazyness"
     
  2. ev1lmagic

    ev1lmagic TPF Noob!

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    Any opinions and feedback will be greatly appreciated and i'm very sorry if this is posted in the wrong section, i read through the description of the sections and this seemed most appropriate to me.


    Regards,
    ~Owen
     
  3. Stosh

    Stosh TPF Noob!

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    That pic may look a tiny bit soft, but it's very difficult to tell at that resolution. It's only 413x604. That's impossible to tell how sharp the native resolution picture was. It would also help if you posted all other related shot info. If you wouldn't have said it, I wouldn't have seen any kind of haziness. His spiked hair looks nice and sharp, but again, this pic is resized so small how can we know? One other note - f/2.8 is still a pretty fast lens. Yes, it's not 1.8, but there's not that much difference. We also don't know the focal length.

    One other note - with a pic like this you would never be able to tell if a lens had a speck in it, even side by side. That being said, I probably would have asked for an exchange too.
     
  4. ev1lmagic

    ev1lmagic TPF Noob!

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    mmkays thanks for the quick reply, i'll get them on flickr asap when i get onto my own computer later tonight and repost. Is there any specific photo you would like the focal length and all other info to? or all of them? all photos in that album were taken with that lense.


    Regards,
    ~Owen
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A small fleck or speck inside a lens will not cause any significant imaging flaws. I have a 27-year old Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AiS that I used to carry inside of a wheat combine,and a 50 f/2 Nikkor also carried inside of a combine--one of the dustiest places you can imagine. Both are filled with literally hundreds upon hundreds of dust flecks,and yet both shoot beautiful images. I also have a new, 2000's vintage 105/2.5 AiS that is almost pristine. I've compared its images with those of the 27 year-old,dust-filled lens,and no difference is visible.

    The sample photo looks like it might be operator error. Did you manage to put a thumbprint on the rear element when mounting it to your camera?
     
  6. ev1lmagic

    ev1lmagic TPF Noob!

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    nope both ends are completely clean. now with that said do you agree with me that is seems a bit too softer than supposed to be? Stosh pointed out that the hair is slightly in focus and now that i look at it i agree but his face was what the auto focus was on. there could have been some slight judgement error in that particular picture but if you flip through the album, there are some where it appears wear the entire picture is at the same softness extent with no particular sharp focused spot.
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    It looks soft, yeah, but for one, it's Facebook. Facebook's compression softens every bloody image up there. My absolute sharpest images (and I really mean tack sharp, holy crap, that's scary sharp) look soft on Facebook. Second, it's puny. Post the full size image and we can provide worthwhile feedback. At this resolution and quality of compression, anything said here is speculation.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, the photo looks a bit soft to me. Looking very closely at the guy's hair, it seems soft at the front of his hair--right at the forehead/hairline--that part of his hair looks slightly out of focus. His face also appears slightly out of focus as well. I opened the photo in Photoshop,and looked at the histogram, and verified what I thought--the photo has been given a very generous exposure. What does a generous exposure have to do with anything? My guess,and it;s just a guess, is that you're quite inexperienced with photography,and you shot this in a programmed automatic exposure mode, and the camera selected a wide aperture, and a slow shutter speed.

    The girl's hair looks sharp, but the guy's face is soft. Why? His face is too close. You are standing up,and shooting down--therefore your actual depth of field is being applied at an angle,relative to the boy's head. You will note that his HAND on his knee is in acceptable focus, but yet his face is soft...that is due to the camera-to-subject angle you shot the photo at. Had the lens been stopped down to a smaller aperture, there would have been sufficient depth of field to overcome the exact, but slightly improper, placement of the depth of field band.

    I tell you this with about 35 years' worth of experience--this is user error and a lack of understanding of the fundamentals. I didn't want to really go into it exhaustively the first time, but blaming your equipment,and thinking that a small speck or two inside of a professional,incredible lens was the culprit is just enough to make me want to let you know that, even without EXIF information, your photo has several clues an experienced shooter can see: camera angle, overexposure, DOF band improperly placed for ONE subject but adequate for another subject, worries that the camera gear is faulty, etc. I was only half-joking when I asked if you'd managed to put a thumbprint onto the rear element when mounting the lens, because you're clearly unsure of how to make a photograph in this type of situation. You "took" a snapshot, but didn't actually "make" a photograph in the old-fashioned sense of the craft of people photography.

    EDIT: I went to your gallery and looked at the samples: they all exhibit shallow depth of field to one degree or another. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the lens,and there is no "hazyness" as you call it; you do have some shots that have shallow depth of field, but I think the worries over a tiny,tiny fleck inside, which you finally managed to get the people at Samy's to acknowledge in order to do a refund/exchange on the first 24-70 f/.8 Nikkor lens is a telling point. The fact that you only noticed this small imperfection as you put it, because of your OCD, is another good clue that the 'problem' you are experiencing likes not in the camera equipment itself, but in your use of it.

    Try f/6.3 next time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  9. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Go back and check your exif data and see what aperture your using or the camera selected. Even if you were shooting higher than f/2.8. Aperature range is a sliding scale based on distance. The further you are away from the subject the larger the sharp focus range will be (any F stop!!). And of course the closer you are the smaller the sharp focus range will be, agian at any F stop. Lenses in days gone by actually had scales on them. Apparently that scared away normal consumers so they dont have them any more.

    If your truely concerned about the focusing of the lens. Do a search for lens focusing test. Several of them will have a link to a test target you can print and take test shots of.

    To me it seems like your using too shallow a DOF to get enough light. If your in auto mode the camera will not necessiarly pick the right aperture if its tyring to keep shutter speed up due to low light. Just a hunch on my part.
     
  10. ev1lmagic

    ev1lmagic TPF Noob!

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    to start, yes i'm inexperienced i don't deny that.

    but on another note, i think your 35 years have not gained you any bit of reading comprehension -_-. the OP says that there was a spec in the glass, i'm NOT saying the scratch or debris on the glass is what is causing this. i'm saying that if quality control can allow this to happen, what is to say that there isn't another defect with the one they swapped out for me? If there wasnt a defect in the first lense then i wouldn't even have doubts about this lense and blame it on myself COMPLETELY, but that was not the case. nonetheless the scratch was still an imperfection, so you're telling me you'd pay $1900 dollars for an imperfection? i for one have higher standards...

    and no it was not shot in program. it was manual.
     
  11. ev1lmagic

    ev1lmagic TPF Noob!

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    thanks ben i'll check out the focusing test. :)

    the pictures were shot in manual mode with autofocus on a D90 body. the reason for the autofocus is because my eyes have their good days and bad, this wasn't something that i wanted to risk having unfocused photos from.

    (more so directed at other members and not you but since i'm typing here might as well put it out there): these were freshmen barely 10th grade guys with even more immature girls in revealing dresses (some). Yes i know the angle isn't the best, but any lower and she would complain that it'll see up her skirt. i tell her to sit a different way, even showed her how to sit, she was just either too shy, too jittery, or just too uncoordinated still to manage the pose. The picture where they're on the hardwood floor, you have no idea HOW far apart they were before i photoshopped it. and they're each other's dates too! you'd think the shyness wouldn't be there so much in that sense.

    i must admit one fault of mine is that i shot these at iso500, i was in a darker part of the house earlier and had forgot to lower it afterwards.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    As you wrote, you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and you took a lens back to Samy's,and eventually, they agreed it was a defect,and they returned the lens for you.

    "(thanks to my O.C.D.) in the glass, inspected it and noticed that there was something EXTREMELY EXTREMELY small (either dust, debris, or a scratch) on the inside of the glass. brought it back to them and they finally noticed it as well. They agreed it was a defect for sure and exchanged it for me. My point is as well as the quality control by nikon may be, mishaps do occur and it has already happened to me once regarding the purchase of this lense and now i'm hesitant as to if this "hazyness" is also another defect."

    What happened is,in order to get you to go away, they gave you another lens. As you wrote, "they finally noticed it as well." Yeah, I have handled returned equipment before--and they finally noticed what you saw, but which you are not sure about--was it dust? or a scratch? or was it debris?. If you're such an experienced shooter, surely you could determine if it was dust,debris,or a scratch,right??? Thankfully, your OCD helped you spot this alleged defect. And maybe the out of focus shot you got is also a defect? Oh boy,here we go again--maybe your "lense" has a defect!

    Looking at your OOF photograph, I can spot the newbie mistake you made; looking at multiple other photos shot with the SAME lens at the SAME event, I can see that your equipment works fine, but the operator is inexperienced. I used to sell camera gear; customers who buy pro gear but don't know how to use it,and who are concerned with minute bits of dust are every sales guy's nightmare customer.

    You are obviously, a novice shooter,and quick to blame your equipment instead of your own inexperience. The lens worked quite splendidly in OTHER photos shot minutes apart. If you're so experienced, WTF are you doing on a forum trying to help diagnose a simple case of bad focusing? Sorry, but the something "hazy" here is your understanding of camera handling and lenswork. Your picture has some OOF areas. You messed up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009

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