View Full Version : Lack of sharpness

18th of September 2007 (Tue), 17:02
I'm an amateur with little knowledge and I'm not concerned with the composition at this point, just the lack of clarity and color. I took several shots this afternoon with my new 40D and I am disappointed in the lack of sharpness in all of them. No color pop either.

This one in particular is less sharp than I thought it would be. Here you you can see my focus point:


And here the original jpg


Any thoughts on what settings I should lean towards for increased sharpness?

18th of September 2007 (Tue), 18:50
1/250 at F/8 with a 31mm FL should have given you decent sharpness.

You don't have the "EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM" listed in your sig, but EXIF shows you used this lens. Ah, hold on, your sig shows the 18-55 :-) change it. I don't know how sharp this lens is but F/8 at that speed should be close to the sweet spot. Maybe someone with this lens can comment...?

Regarding "pop", shooting mid-afternoon in southern USA does not help because the sun is still pretty high in the sky so you get contrast issues.

18th of September 2007 (Tue), 19:08
Thanks rammy for the sig catch. ;) I don't have a lot of photos with that lens yet, but from what I've seen so far I'm disappointed. But I'm acutely aware of my lack of skill, so I thought I'd start looking at specific photos and their settings and see what I could improve. Thank for your comments.

18th of September 2007 (Tue), 22:16
It looks like your image is very front focused. The stones before the asphalt appear to be in good sharpness especially when proper sharpening is applied to the original image.

There is also a slight bit of lateral movement of the tracktor which makes the person blurry and you can see it in the rotational movement of the tires.

So basically the lens was focused about 8 feet short of the tractor and the wide 31mm focal length and the somewhat small appeture of f8 helped the image have such DOF as it does.

18th of September 2007 (Tue), 22:22
The foreground looks sharp, if the tractor was moving even slowly 1/250s might leave the image a little soft if you don't pan.

18th of September 2007 (Tue), 22:43
Yeah i would also agree even at that high of a shutter you still might get a lil motion blur plus maybe even a little camera blur going the opposite direction. Your Sharpening doesnt look that bad it improved the image Its not a total loss imo :)

18th of September 2007 (Tue), 23:29
It looked front focused to me too, and I am seeing a lot of pictures where the actual focus is NOT where I put the AF point selected. As you can see in the first ZoomBrowser screen print, the focus was on the rear wheel (supposedly). I've been being extra careful and only using the shutter button to focus, and immediately taking the picture.

Here's another image where I think the focus is well in front of where ZB says it is and where I put it. Here's the ZB screen shot:


And the untouched image, and you tell me if it doesn't look like the black Mercedes is the focus instead of the maroon car behind the truck?


Thanks everyone for your input! :cool:

18th of September 2007 (Tue), 23:37
I'd say the maroon car is a product of a slightly slow shutter on a moving target again. Try at least 1/500 if you want to freeze something. The black Mercedes is sharp because your aperture is small enough and it isn't moving.

Sergio Carvalho
19th of September 2007 (Wed), 05:57
I'd say the maroon car is a product of a slightly slow shutter on a moving target again. Try at least 1/500 if you want to freeze something. The black Mercedes is sharp because your aperture is small enough and it isn't moving.

Right, the red car is moving... but the black Mercedes is sharper than the car parked further down the road (and closer to the red moving car)... it is a bit strange...

19th of September 2007 (Wed), 23:37
If you want to know if the lense is front focus or not, put it on a tripod and see. I think that lense doesn't focus very well with small moving stuff. My lense used to have the same problem and picture taken like those you have taken are very hard to tell if the lense actually focuses on anything.

20th of September 2007 (Thu), 00:10
I've seen this with two different lenses I own. Most of the time it's pretty easy to tell the actual focus point is on the AF selected, which is usually the middle AF point. But I have quite a few shots where it's really obvious the focus point is not near the AF point selected, but I only see this with the center AF point selected. What's bugging me is I never really saw this with my 20D, I'm only seeing it (occasionally) with the 40D.

For now, I'm chalking it up to needing to learn the new camera, hence the new focus points, in particular the new way the center point focuses. I've recently had major dental surgery and I am backed up with work issues so I haven't had the chance to get out of the house and take enough pictures to figure out why I'm having this issue. Just looking for feedback to help sort this out, because it was not an issue before. My 20D pictures may have been amateur shots, but they were focused where I expected them to be, or I could tell movement (mine or the subjects) caused the problem.

I think it's real obvious in the tractor photo the focus is not where ZB says it was. If I have many more issues like the ones I've posted I'll contact Canon. I wish I'd held onto the 20D as a spare for a while instead of selling it so quickly. That might've helped me troubleshoot this problem. Hindsight's a bugger! :lol: Thanks for the feedback!