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What aperture was this then Mike?
sorry Mike....missed it off didn't I......2.8
Which focusing mode were you using. The fur on the nape of the neck looks in focus, whilst the eyes are out of focus.
Also, as a general rule f/5.6 would give you a better chance of getting the eye and nose etc. in focus.
Seems to me the nose and eyes are a bit soft and low contrast, probably through being not quite in focus. The left ear and the hairs on the top and back of the head are sharp, then it starts to fade again. The right ear looks a bit odd to me, almost as though oversharpened, it might be due to the change in colour around the edge.
The bokeh is very nice, very smooth background, which is partly what you pay for in a good lens.
So I think probably it is dof problem, compounded by the point of sharp focus being not in quite the right place.
I wonder also if it would benefit from brightening up a touch in software.
So 2.8 would be a touch optimistic and its probably not necessary to cut it so fine, 5.6 probably would have been OK, and 4 focused just behind the snout (muzzle ?) might have done it.
Looking at this Mike carefully shows that the eyes , nose and mouth area are out of focus while the top of the head is sharper.
The use of f2.8 has restricted your D.OF. At this wide aperture the focus point is very critical as there is little d.o.f . and even a small distance can make a difference to the sharpness of the eyes nose etc.
Trying f4 or f5.6 would give more latitude in focusing while keeping the background still out of focus. However at 4 or 5.6 your shutter speed would be slower so you could nudge up the iso to compensate.
Also I notice you have ev set to -O.7 you would probably get away with -0.3 , this would help with shutter speed.
I know it is a VR lens but a monopod would have really helped here with stability, yet allowing you to retain flexibility of following the action.
Your lens can be used confidentally at f2.8, it is designed that way and is why you paid a shed load of dosh for that confidence, however technique is all and once mastered you will be amazed at what it can give you,
Wish Santa had brought me one!!
I am sure you know this - if you have a VR lens you should not use a tripod (as suggested above) unless you turn off the VR - it does make a huge difference I can vouch for that having read it via Nikon newsletters and then trying it for myself.
Love the shot but have to agree with the point about dof and exposure and focus but you have all the advice you need above so I will stop myself here.
Mike , the critical thing to look at is how you have set the autofocus area on you camera.
Did you have it set to random wide a/f , or general focus area selection or (imho) the best choice , spot autofocus ?
Setting to spot metering and spot a/f will always give the best results , half click and recompose might have helped !
Eviscera....not sure I understand, the camera is generally set to 3D colour matrix..recommended in the manual.
I usually shoot on AF-A.
I always try to half click and recompose my shots but doesn't always work for me.
In order to get the best from your shot, I first applied "clarify" found in my adjust programme in Coral paint shop at strength 4, then I used the burn tool to darken the nose area in CS2, and a little of the "dodge" lightening tool, with more time and effort we could get better results, but the advice on exposure being the smallest we can get away with the sharper is the best advice possible when shooting anything going to, or likely to move fast! - Paul
Quote: Also, as a general rule f/5.6 would give you a better chance of getting the eye and nose etc. in focus
cheers miptog...is it possible, in simple terms, to say why ? or not ?
..is it more complex than that ?
it has potential to be a lovely capture, unfortunately the focus appears to be in the wrong place, the nape of the neck is lovely and sharp where as the eyes are a tad out of focus. other than that the colouring and lighting is really good. this could be an amazing photo, 100% for effort. look forward to seeing some more of your work x x
Forget the manual. Find the spot a/f option on your cam , and either pre-focus on a place the subject will move into or keep a high shutter speed if able.
The plane of focus is all wrong on this image , you got seduced by the f2.8 and in any event the background tones (greens and reds) dont sit well with the subject tones (greys)
I did you a link on plane of focus , do you want one for the colour wheel ?
Pluckyfill is quite right that a VR lens on a tripod should have the VR switched off. However with a monopod in use there is also a seperate setting on the lens which allows VR to work only on the vertical plane so allowing for effective panning.
Quote: I did you a link on plane of focus , do you want one for the colour wheel ?
...thanks Eviscera but I suspect it would be wasted on me.
Mike , your works really good , just p.m once you've finished trying the app sets and planes mate.
I was never blowing trumpets , I'm in many ways artistically pissed off as you. Hard to find solace eh !
There is a very simple basic problem here and it has nothing to do with depth of field or VR. Part of the image is sharp, so the VR worked. You focused on the wrong spot.
The best way to set up your focusing system for most shots - not all - is center spot AF. Just use the central AF point, lock focus and recompose before shooting.
If I were shooting set piece photography - zoos etc. rather than unpredictable images, then I would use a monopod at least and switch off Vr, IS or whatever it gets called. Vr is for spontaneous imaging.
Focus on the eyes.
Thanks everyone for you help...still trying to digest it all :
...but getting there.
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