What's my problem??

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Dmitri, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,872
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    End of the line
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I go out shooting frequently, always trying to learn more... however, one problem that constantly pops up and I have tried all I can think of to fix is blurry images.

    It gets very frustrating when I take 300+ photos in a day, and while some do come out nice, most come out like the image below. You can see how blurry it is...

    [​IMG]

    Because of conditions like this (shade) I can't get over 1/250 without needing to increase ISO to 1600 which makes a ton of noise, and the photo is blurry anyway.

    I don't think its an equiptment problem (tho I acknowledge that the XTi isn't state of the art) because, as I said, some photos come out nice and sharp. ( http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k72/mudpie_01/Bird1.jpg )


    EXIF:
    Camera Make: Canon
    Camera Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
    Image Date: 2008:08:12 14:58:00
    Flash Used: No
    Focal Length: 235.0mm
    CCD Width: 4.58mm
    Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250)
    Aperture: f/5.6
    ISO equiv: 800
    White Balance: Auto
    Metering Mode: Matrix
    Exposure: Manual
    Exposure Mode: Manual
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,399
    Likes Received:
    10,665
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My first thought was that your softness comes from camera shake (Assuming you're handholding). You're EXIF data reveals a focal length of 235mm and a shutter speed of 1/250. The rule of thumb is to use at least 1/fl as your shutte speed, so in this case, technically you're just slightly better, however, it may be the way you're holding the camera, BUT, looking at the image closely, it seems like some leaves in the upper, right-hand corner are sharp, (Unfortunately I'm restricted to my crappy work monitor and can't say 100% for sure) in which case I would say that your camera's was focusing on the leaves, and with a shallow DoF and telephoto lens, there's only going to be a little bit in focus.

    I'd do some experimenting and see where your camera is actually focusing; sorry I don't know beans Canon, so I can't offer you any suggestions there, but plenty here can.
     
  3. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,312
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Japan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    It looks like you're focused about 1 or 2 meters behind the deer. Other than that I dunno.

    It does look like focus tho. Not only is 1/250 fast enough to freeze strolling deer motion blur looks different and camera shake would blur the whole frame evenly.

    Focus point? <shrug>
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The grass right behind the deer looks sharper to me. I think you're focused just behind the deer. I've only used Canon DSLRs, but I used to use Canon, Nikon, and Pentax 35mm AF SLRS. Canon has the most unreliable AF of the three, IMO.

    Another issue is camera shake. I know the anecdote for safe hand held is 1/focal length, but if you want really sharp photos with a long lens go for 1/(3xfocal length). You might also consider a monopod. They are pretty cheap and may give you a couple of stops.

    I don't use an XTi, but I think you should be able to get quite usable ISO 1600 out of it. I find as long as the exposure is good (any underexposure is going to hurt) all it takes is a little color noise reduction and good sharpening technique to get quality that compares to ISO 400 pro 35mm print film.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I use and XTi and I think ISO 800 is really the max you want to go before you really start losing quality - and even then 400 should be your average upper working boundary I feel.
    As for the shot what focusing method did you use - manual, centre point, camera selection?
    It looks like it has got sharp results in the background leaves
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That sucks. A good reason to go with the #D series then. ISO 1600 is very usable with proper exposure and processing from my 20Ds, and those are several models "obsolete".
     
  7. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Hollywood, FLA USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Try setting the auto focus to a single focusing point & use focus looking, as for the shutter speed I would try around 500
     
  8. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,872
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    End of the line
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks all for the words.

    I doubt it's camera shake because, as mentioned, I have it set to 1/250 or higher on a 70-250mm lens with image stabilizer.

    I do use single point focus (unless I'm playing with flying birds). In the past I used AI focus but that day with the deer I was trying AI servo mode (constant focus).

    *sigh* I will be borrowing a monopod and trying that, tho I was trying to avoid it. I just hope the problem isn't the focuser being off-kilter... :(

    and yes, at ISO1600 the noise gets crazy in RAW shots :(
     
  9. Easy_Target

    Easy_Target TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Focus is on the shrubbery just behind the deer.

    If you're zoomed at 235mm, it's definitely the shakes. I had my 100-300mm AI-S on my D50, even at f5.6 @ 1/500 while my elbows were propped on the rocks gave me an image shake.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you draw lines on the photo you are just on the ear of one deer - could be that either their movment or minor camera shake meant that the AF point hovered over the background for a moment - focused and then you shifted to the deer - but the AI servo did not catchup with the movement.
    Had this happen to me a few times as well - I think it might be the case that AI servo in the XTi is not as fast as in the bigger cameras - though many a time its fast enough
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,327
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    The Upper West Side of Mississippi (you have no i
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You should check with Helen but I think that the 1/focal length should actually be 1 over your effective focal length. If say you had and effective focal length of 300mm due to the crop factor then you should have a minimum of 1/300 seconds shutter speed.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Definately a focus issue more than anything else in this pic, however, in landscape shots, you can try and hedge your bets by increasing DOF. Unfortunately, that also means slower shutter speeds or higher ISO.

    You can possibly work around it by using a tripod or leaning on something like a tree or rock. Using a tight body position like firing a rifle helps a lot.

    If one cannot get the shot due to equipment, there is little one can do. If the camera cannot get a fast enough shutter speed where motion blur becomes less of an issue, then raise the ISO to raise shutter speed. If the ISO is too noisy past a certain level, use noise reduction software such as Noise Ninja, NoiseWare Professional or something similar. Having a faster lens will increase shutter speed in lower light situations permitting you to get the shot, with a much shallower depth of field.

    In this case, I think it is more technique than anythng else. When at higher zoomed in levels, it is difficult to get things shake free unless really well braced and/or supported. For me, at 200mm zoom lengths, even my heart beat at rest is enough to add visual levels of blur if I stand even with excellent holding technique and trying to shoot at shutter speeds under 1/125th. Others may have a poorer technique that causes this to be more frequent than is desired?

    Getting the best shot possible is a combination of many things, one of them is being aware of what the camera is focusing on. In this case, I think it was just that and little more... the rest seems close enough.
     

Share This Page