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Soft image (Corfu)

By Nikon442  
An example of inadvertent soft focusing which has blighted my last three weeks of taking photo's.
The image is focused correctly yet no part of this picture is pin sharp.

Tags: General Greece Corfu

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Nikon442 1 21 1
30 Aug 2017 9:31PM
No post processing, straight from Camera.
banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4009 Canada
30 Aug 2017 9:32PM
Some questions first.

1. what point did you focus one?

2. Did you select a single focus point, or use the default multiple focus points?

3. The time is showing 9:30 AM, - is this correct? If not, what was the local time at the location?

4. Is this apparent lack of sharpness associated with other lenses apart from this one?

5. Why was the flash used?


I will check back, as will others



Regards


Willie
dudler Plus
15 869 1490 England
30 Aug 2017 9:39PM
Welcome to Ephotozine, Gary - and to the Critique Gallery in particular.

I see that you have posted a couple of other images marked as soft, though I have seen far worse here in the past.

More info would be good.

I'll add questions.

1 Is the lens image stabilised? If not, the shutter speed is quite low for the long end of a standard zoom on a crop sensor.
2 Have you dropped either lens or camera lately?
3 is the lens clean? A gungy lens will be softer.
4 Has the lens performed better in the past, in similar conditions?

You will need to eliminate possible causes one by one - have you done any systematic thinking about this already? If so, can we share it, please?
Nikon442 1 21 1
30 Aug 2017 9:48PM

Quote:Some questions first.

1. what point did you focus one? > The sign

2. Did you select a single focus point, or use the default multiple focus points? > single

3. The time is showing 9:30 AM, - is this correct? If not, what was the local time at the location? > 11-30 local time (Corfu)

4. Is this apparent lack of sharpness associated with other lenses apart from this one? > yes

5. Why was the flash used? > Lighten signs


I will check back, as will others



Regards


Willie

Nikon442 1 21 1
30 Aug 2017 9:51PM

Quote:Welcome to Ephotozine, Gary - and to the Critique Gallery in particular.

I see that you have posted a couple of other images marked as soft, though I have seen far worse here in the past.

More info would be good.

I'll add questions.

1 Is the lens image stabilised? If not, the shutter speed is quite low for the long end of a standard zoom on a crop sensor. > Rested on bridge
2 Have you dropped either lens or camera lately? > no
3 is the lens clean? A gungy lens will be softer. > spotless.
4 Has the lens performed better in the past, in similar conditions? > Very much so

You will need to eliminate possible causes one by one - have you done any systematic thinking about this already? If so, can we share it, please?

Of course
dudler Plus
15 869 1490 England
31 Aug 2017 5:52AM
Thank you for the extra information.

OK. Moving onwards, having eliminated the most obvious causes...

I am assuming that the problem persists, and that the lens/camera combination continues to underperform two weeks later. Looking back at yrou portfolio, the earlier post, not in the Critique Gallery, but taken more recently, seems softer (though as I can't download it to check as you didn't enable modifications on it, I can't be sure that i am not comparing apples with oranges). That suggests, possibly, that the problem is getting worse...

The camera is a 9-year-old design. If the lens is of a similar age, either may simply be suffering from old age: even good-quality equipment doesn't last for ever. The revered Canon EOS 5D dropped its mirror without warning: I've had lenses simply drop apart without warning. Given that the sharpness problem exists with other lenses, I wonder if some part of the camera mechanism has failed or got out of alignment.

The next step, therefore, may be to consult a repairer - though I realise that this needs a conversation over the camera, rather than handing it over the counter in a camera shop who send it away, and add 50% to the cost. Such places do exist, but there are fewer and fewer of them. Do you have one near you?

And I have to say that what I see here is pretty respectable for the long end of a standard zoom, near maximum aperture, on a 12mp body... Can you post, as your own modification, a shot demonstrating the quality that you have had in the past, please?

I suppose there's one other quesiton to ask - have you changed your workflow, you way of processing? Upgraded software that has different default settings for sharpening or noise suppression? New monitor? Even, a new pair of glasses?

The problem clearly isn't simple, so it may be a long road to solving it, and one that it is not possible to do without seeing and using the equipment, which, of course, the Critique Team can't do. It's also worth saying that we are neither professional photogrpahers nor repair specialists, merely experienced amateur photographers! This is quite an unusual problem in the Critique Gallery, where most issues are about hte use of equipment, composition, nad processing. I think Willie and I are both intrigued, though, and I know how frustrating a problem of this sort is.
banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4009 Canada
31 Aug 2017 12:54PM
Have you tried manually focusing? If so, is it any better, worse, the same? This would rule out the auto-focus mechanism. If I look closely at this, the area behind the sign appears to be sharper than the lettering on the sign, an issue called back focusing. Time of day is not ideal, - but not the issue of course as you have other images like this. Good to know as dudler suggested, what your workflow is, - do you shoot JPEG only, is it the largest JPRG, what do you use to post process, etc. I assume that straight out of the camera its soft...


Does the mod look better to you?

Thanks for responding quickly.


W
banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4009 Canada
31 Aug 2017 1:13PM
One more question. If you focus manually, and accurately, doe the image look very sharp in your viewfinder?
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2058 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2017 3:36PM
I'm a bit late here, I'll just follow up on one question and answer:

Quote:1 Is the lens image stabilised? If not, the shutter speed is quite low for the long end of a standard zoom on a crop sensor. > Rested on bridge

This may sound an odd question, but what was the bridge made of? I have sometimes had problems on metal bridges (road, foot) because of vibrations. I would only really rely on a stone bridge for stability.
Moira
paulbroad Plus
11 127 1282 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2017 5:05PM
Lots of stuff above, but the answer is simply to return to basics. It looks like shake to me, but you say it happens with other lenses - is that ALL your lenses?

You shake, any bridge shakes, even stone ones if a 20 tonne truck goes over it. All structures are designed to move or any vibration will shear them.

You simply need the camera on a tripod with remote release or delayed action release - 10 sec. 2 sec is not long enough.. Fit a lens and use a newspaper glued to a board as a subject. Focus MANUALLY on the text and see if you can read it on the screen. Make sure your exposure is correct - auto will be likely to under expose.

Try at various focal lens, then change lenses and try again. WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU DID FOR EACH SHOT.

Examine the images on the computer at 100%.

SHARP?

They should be. If all are soft, you have camera trouble. If they are OK, it is you shaking.

If it is camera trouble with an old camera, it will probably be cheaper to buy a new one.

Paul

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