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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 23 Sep 2012 (Sunday) 18:03
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What am I doing wrong?

 
Sokol ­ Photography
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Sep 23, 2012 18:03 |  #1

No matter what, I cannot seem to get a good, sharp image. I thought that before the problem was partially the equipment that I was using, however I no longer believe that to be the issue...it HAS to be something I am just not getting. The images are passable...clients like them BUT I am not satisfied with the results that I am getting. Everything always seems to be soft focused.

This was shot outdoors with a silver reflector for fill, Canon 7D with the Canon Canon 28-135mm IS f/3.5-5.6 lens (kit lens with the Camera), ISO 100, F 5.0, Focal Length 47mm, Shutter Speed 1/400 sec. IS was on, and I am laying on the ground so the body (gripped) was stable. The only processing on this was in PS...resize to 8x12 and Color FX Pro foliage filter.

It seems like everything I shoot pretty much has this focus, regardless of camera body, lens, or lighting. So what is it that I am screwing up on?

Chris


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Gripped 5D mk II, Gripped 7D, 70-200mm f2.8L USM, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.2L, 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, Sigma 70-300mm APO 1:4-5.6, Tamron 19-35mm 1:3.5-4.5, Nifty Fifty, Yongnuo YN468 (1) & YN560 IV (3), YN560 TX, RF-602/C set, lots of toys, and a bunch of studio stuff.
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BobOh
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Sep 23, 2012 18:22 |  #2

Well, the main subject looks nice and sharp to me. Are you talking about the background and nearest foreground being out of focus? Seems normal to me, unless you are like my mother (may she rest in peace) who definitely had some strange ideas about photography, one of which I suspect would have been that the whole depth of the field should be sharp. And she was definitely more artistic overall than I am:lol::lol:


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Bob
Gear: 40D, 7D, EF 100-400L, EF 28-135, Speedlight 580EX and other stuff.
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/bobbolew/ (external link)

  
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Sokol ­ Photography
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Sep 23, 2012 20:02 |  #3

I appreciate it. Maybe it's either my computer monitor or my eyes then...but I know I see much sharper pics on here with the exact same setups.

Chris


Gripped 5D mk II, Gripped 7D, 70-200mm f2.8L USM, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.2L, 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, Sigma 70-300mm APO 1:4-5.6, Tamron 19-35mm 1:3.5-4.5, Nifty Fifty, Yongnuo YN468 (1) & YN560 IV (3), YN560 TX, RF-602/C set, lots of toys, and a bunch of studio stuff.
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ajaffe
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Sep 23, 2012 20:21 |  #4

Main subject is definitely not sharp. That pumpkin on the back left seems the sharpest object in frame. Are you using single point focus?


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SkipD
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Sep 23, 2012 20:28 |  #5

ajaffe wrote in post #15033348 (external link)
Main subject is definitely not sharp. That pumpkin on the back left seems the sharpest object in frame. Are you using single point focus?

I don't know how you can say that. I can see individual hairs on the child's head when I make my display's image 2-3 times larger.


Skip Douglas
A few cameras and over 50 years behind them .....
..... but still learning all the time.

  
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ajaffe
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Sep 23, 2012 21:36 |  #6

Soft is soft, the focal plane looks to be behind the subject slightly on the pumpkins in the back row. I'd need to see the full size image to verify though.

Also, it is pretty easy to count individual hairs when your subject doesn't have a full head of hair.


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watt100
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Sep 24, 2012 05:40 |  #7

Sokol Photography wrote in post #15033255 (external link)
I appreciate it. Maybe it's either my computer monitor or my eyes then...but I know I see much sharper pics on here with the exact same setups.

Chris

pic looks sharp to me but for portraits with the OP's gear I would have used the 50 1.2 or 50 1.8 or 85 or .... or even the 18-55IS




  
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MikeFairbanks
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Sep 24, 2012 13:59 |  #8

That's one happy-looking kid.


Thank you. bw!

  
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bpiper7
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Sep 24, 2012 14:30 |  #9

ajaffe wrote in post #15033348 (external link)
Main subject is definitely not sharp. That pumpkin on the back left seems the sharpest object in frame. Are you using single point focus?

+1. Not real OOf but soft. The pumpkins in the back seem sharper. I would wonder about focus points as well.


Bill

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Gear: 60D - 400D - 15-85 EF-S, 55-250 EF-S,18-55mm EF-S, EF, 50mm 1.8 and more stuff .

  
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stsva
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Sep 24, 2012 14:42 |  #10

OP - have you tried the infamous battery test to see if you might have a front- or back-focusing issue?


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snyderman
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Sep 24, 2012 15:46 |  #11

Couple of things to check on use of your 7D. Child's arms up means movement of subject. Using AI Servo is a necessity unless you are 100% certain the subject won't move.

What focus points were used? For a shot like this, I would have chosen centerpoint only, no helping points, no scattered field points ... just the one in the middle and probably with the black dot inside the centerpoint for finest focus precision.

If you were all over the issues above, microadjust lens as a next step.

dave


Canon 5D2 > 35L-85L-135L

  
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Snydremark
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Sep 24, 2012 16:07 |  #12

At this (admittedly small) size, the child looks plenty sharp, assuming no additional processing has been done to the image; most of the REALLY sharp images you see around here have had some level of additional sharpening done in post. It looks like some additional sharpening and maybe a slight contrast adjustment, in PP, would really pop this shot a bit.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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plawren53202
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Sep 24, 2012 16:29 |  #13

Snydremark wrote in post #15036916 (external link)
At this (admittedly small) size, the child looks plenty sharp, assuming no additional processing has been done to the image; most of the REALLY sharp images you see around here have had some level of additional sharpening done in post. It looks like some additional sharpening and maybe a slight contrast adjustment, in PP, would really pop this shot a bit.

This is where I was going to head...are you shooting in RAW and applying sharpening and other measures (described in quote above) to the RAW file? A while back I was at the same point as you...I was only shooting JPEGs, and I could not figure out why I couldn't get that last bit of sharpness. RAW opened that up for me.

Ditto above posts as well...single point focusing is really important on this.


My quite modest little gear list: 50D gripped | 135L | 50 1.4 | 50 1.8 | 85 1.8 | 28-105 3.5-4.5 | Speedlite 420EX | 2 Yongnuo 460ii | stands, 2 umbrellas, one softbox
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rbeene
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Sep 25, 2012 07:16 |  #14

If the shot was taken at 5 feet from the baby, the DOF is only 4 inches either side of the focus point. If the eyes were the focus, the hands are on the edge of limits of the DOF or maybe outside of it. I would suggest shooting with a little more DOF by going to f/11. This would give a DOF of 1.47 feet. Single point focus on the eyes would put all of the baby in focus.




  
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kfreels
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Sep 25, 2012 15:43 |  #15

Agree with the above. Stop down a bit to give yourself some additional room for error. Check your lens for front/back focusing, and shoot higher shutter speeds when possible to reduce subject movement.

Also just a sanity check - you don't have a "protective filter" on the lens, do you?


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
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What am I doing wrong?
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