Lens help?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dartellan, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Dartellan

    Dartellan TPF Noob!

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    Hello!

    I am currently shooting with the Canon 50D, and I'm using the lens that came with it. (18-55 and opens up to 3.5)

    Anyway, when my images are zoomed in to 100%, there is never any area of the image in perfect focus, even if I close my aperture down to 15 or so.

    My questions is, is it because it's a not-so-good lens, or is it a limitation of the camera?

    I have been saving up money to buy a better lens, but I'm really not sure what kind to get. I still have under $1000 to spend, but over $500.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

    Edited to add: I'm not as concerned with having a lens that opens up wider, I'm mostly concerned with image clarity. I have tried many things, including tripod, really fast shutter speed, freezing with flash, etc.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  2. reznap

    reznap No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well. It's probably a limitation of the kit lens. You have a substantial amount of money to spend, there are tons of good lenses in the $500-700 range. What focal length are you looking at? Do you want to stay with a wide angle zoom? Do you want to go wider or get closer?

    A great replacement for the kit lens is a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. The one with VC (vibration compensation, their version of canon's IS) is a little bit more money - but maybe you'd be better off with a different focal length?
     
  3. peterhanowell

    peterhanowell TPF Noob!

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    Another lens would be great, but wait - obviously a properly functioning kit lens and 50D is capable of creating a sharp image. So there is something going wrong if you have paid attention to the things you have mentioned. I would track down the problem BEFORE buying new equipment.

    Firmware?
    Lens issue?

    Can you borrow another body? Another lens?

    Peter
    --
    Tallahassee photography, Tallahassee wedding photographers - Hanowell Photography
     
  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Can you post up an example?

    While the kit lens is an entry level lens, the optics in there should still allow for a sharp image when shooting under decent light conditions. If nothing in your photo is in focus, then there might be another issue.

    A lens upgrade is always fun, might as well tackle the actual problem.
     
  5. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you EVER obtained a sharp image ??? Even one ?? If so, then I'd say that it's most probably operator error in some way ..

    r
     
  6. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    Really need to see an example to help you out but.... as far as a lens goes I would get the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens. It functions as a great portrait/short telephoto lens and is an outstanding macro lens. Or the 50mm f1.4 another great lens and both lens's should be under $1000
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Few digital images will be sharply focused when you zoom in to have a look.

    Among others, digital images sensors have an anti-aliasing (AA) filter in front of them. Anti-aliasing filter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The strength of the AA filter varies somewhat from camera model to camera model.

    The bottom line is, virtually all digital images need some amount of post process sharpening applied.

    Like most lenses, kit lenses are sharpest at the middle apertures because the much thinner edges of the lens elements are not being used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lens_(optics)
     
  8. Dartellan

    Dartellan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of the responses!
    I am going to paste a pic that I think pretty well describes the problem I'm having. There is a (sized-down) original so you can get an idea of what the picture is size-wise, and then a crop of the image at original resolution.

    Basically when I show people my work, they mention that it look like it has a soft-focus effect, and while some of my work does, lots of it doesn't.

    You almost can't tell in smaller images, but if you get close to enlargements it's a problem.

    Thanks for any comments!

    [​IMG].[​IMG]
     
  9. Lazy Photographer

    Lazy Photographer TPF Noob!

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    That's what I got with my T2i and it's very sharp. I've never shot L glass so I can't compare, but it's a great lens. You can check out my blog if you're interested in seeing some shots with this set up.
     
  10. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    try some post processing with a little sharpening ( try highpass sharpening ). Also, if you are going to zoom that closely to inspect sharpness, you are essentially cropping the pic which ALWAYS degrades quality to some degree, so you are never going to be THRILLED with that crop ( unless maybe you are shooting full-framed ). Try framing your shots better in camera to avoid having to crop very much. I would recommend a different lens though. If you are shooting with a 50D, there is no sense in you shooting with that kit lens. Thats like buying a corvette and putting little 14" $50 rims and wheels on it. If you want a zoom and want somewhat of a budget, get either the Tokina 16-50 or the Tamron 17-50. If you don't care about zoom, get a Canon 50mm F/1.4 USM.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Sharpened only, with USM (UnSharp Mask - 100, 0.5, 0)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ericonoahu

    ericonoahu TPF Noob!

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    Does this mean that when I crop my photos on the computer the quality is degraded beyond the expected decrease in size or resolution? Does removing the pixels at the outside of a photo - say 10 - 20% of the picture effect the remaining picture?

    I understand the part that if I were able to print a clear 16x20 after cropping it the picture wouldn't look as good at 16x20 and would need brought down to 8x10 for a nice print. What I mean to ask is would the 8x10 print be effected somehow?

    I'm guessing not but wanted to be sure. I always try to frame my shots the way I'll want them when I take the picture but no matter how hard I try...
     

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