Need tips for achieving sharper photos.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MrsLittle, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. MrsLittle

    MrsLittle TPF Noob!

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    I was taking photos this weekend and I was noticing that half my photos were not sharp enough especially when the subject is further away from me, like my camera is not recognizing them or something. I use a fast shutter speed and try to keep as steady as possible when I am not able to use a tripod. Could it be a problem with my camera? When I focus on the eyes it seems to be a few inches off where I intended to focus on. BTW, I rarely shoot wide open, so I doubt that is the issue.
    When I shoot a portrait of people, what AF should I be using? (i.e. AF-S, AF-C, AF-A) I have never took it off AF-C, could that be my problem? Sorry about all the question but I am getting so discouraged.


     
  2. jwbryson1

    jwbryson1 TPF Noob!

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    Put it on AF-S and take it off AF-C which continually changes the focus as the subject moves. This may help. What focal length are you shooting and what S/S?
     
  3. jwbryson1

    jwbryson1 TPF Noob!

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  4. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Your lens itself may be the problem. It may be back-focusing, or it may be a 'soft' kit lens.
     
  5. jwbryson1

    jwbryson1 TPF Noob!

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    I keep my D90 on AF-A which chooses between AF-S and AF-C depending on whether the subject is moving or not.
     
  6. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Please post some examples... with full shoot / Exif data. :)
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    At longer distances, like say 30,40,50,60,70 feet, the autofocusing system on most lenses is very "hair-trigger". A 2 or 3 degree rotation of the focusing ring can mean the difference between focus at 30 feet, and at 50 feet. Look at the focusing ring on your lens, and notice that there is a mark for Infinity, and then one that is perhaps for 30 meters...do you see how there is very little movement between Infinity, and 30 meters???
    THIS COULD be the issue you are encountering. The AF-S and AF-C tips above also make a lot of sense,and are avenues worth exploring.

    Another issue is that at longer distances, the camera's AF brackets cover a LARGER AREA than at close ranges, so, for example, the center AF bracket will cover the width of a pencil at 10 inches distance--BUT, at say 30 meters, the area covered is as wide as a door...so, if the subject is by chance a standing child, the AF system could EASILY "see" not the child, but the background behind...
     
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  8. j_mejia17

    j_mejia17 TPF Noob!

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    Can you elaborate on the back-focus issue. I notices very soft images out of my 18-55 Nikon kit lens even at super fast shutter speed and
     
  9. j_mejia17

    j_mejia17 TPF Noob!

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    Can you elaborate on the back-focusing issue. I'm having focusing issues with my 18-55 kit lens even when stopped down to f13 and @ 1/250 in a bright studio!!! I know it's not a sharp lens but you would think I'm running with the camera as I press the shutter. I'll see if I can post an example to see if it's the same issue the OP is having.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Nikon cameras don't stop the lens down to auto focus. They auto focus with the lens at it's maximum aperture, then stop the lens down to the selected aperture just before the shutter releases.

    So if you have your 18-55 mm lens set to 55 mmm the max aperture is f/5.6. For most Nikon cameras f/5.6 is the limit for the AF module. Any lens that has a max aperture smaller than f/5.6 may cause AF difficulties

    The camera does not see like you do. What looks bright to you is not all that bright as far as the camera is concerned. However, your camera likely has an AF assist light to help the AF module when light levels are low.
     
  11. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Back-focus is simply the camera is telling the lens where to set the focus, but the lens isn't 100% accurate. It may consistently focus slightly in front of the 'focus point', or slightly behind it. Some Nikons have the ability to address this issue in the camera's firmware, others don't, which means a trip to the repair shop.
     
  12. Redeyejedi

    Redeyejedi TPF Noob!

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    diopter adjustment off?
     

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