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Posted 2/14/2013 by Madeline in General Photography
 

Madeline
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Posted: 2/14/2013 12:18:02 PM
I used to love my photos and at some point in the last few years I don't. They just aren't tack sharp anymore. I was beginning to wonder if it's my eyes, but I use auto focus and let the camera do the work, and still, I don't like the results. Any ideas?


Madeline
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coolbeans
PeaFixture

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Posted: 2/14/2013 12:54:38 PM
Madeline it sounds like you are using auto focus. Not sure which camera you have but most have different settings that dictate how the focus is going to be achieved in camera. It might be selecting the closest object or perhaps the area of most contrast. See if there is an option to select a specific point and focus on that. Test first in good light and non moving subject. Then if good focus is achieved you know your lens and camera are operating ok. Sometimes the lens may need recalibrated. So I think first step would be to determine if all is operating ok.


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:06:03 PM
Need more info - what camera are you using? What lens? Are you on full auto, or shooting manual?


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MizIndependent
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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:06:20 PM
I have a similar issue except I use manual focus religiously. My issue is; my subject seems in sharp focus through my view finder and/or screen but when I'm processing it, I'll find I was off by just >-this-< much making my subject slightly out of focus. It's frustrating. I think I may need reading glasses, lol.




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Madeline
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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:17:41 PM
I have been shooting in aperture priority with auto focus. I tried manual focus and was missing the mark so I thought auto would be best especially for children and other moving objects. lol. I'd used it for years quite successfully! But now, not so much.

Thanks for the suggestion Jackie! I should have thought to do some tests and comparisons. Duh! It has been happening so much lately. I'll think I have a great photo, go home and pull it up on the PC, and be soooo disappointed in the sharpness.

Going to shoot some still life right now!

MizIndependent, I was really beginning to think that was my problem too! I AM getting older and have to take my glasses (for nearsightedness) off to read.


Madeline
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heartcat
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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:42:51 PM
When using manual focus, do you ladies adjust the diopter each time you use the camera?

I did not even realize that it could be adjusted when I first started using my camera, so I do not assume that others know, so no offense if you know about it and do adjust it.

If you do not, it it the button above the viewfinder. You look through and see if the little squares look sharp (on a Canon this is how it works at any rate, I assume other brands would be similar if not identical). You adjust it until the squares are in focus for your vision.

If the diopter is not adjusted for your individual vision, even though you see something as in focus through the viewfinder, results will be off. Even if you have done this at some point, it's good to doublecheck every time you use manual focusing, because the dial can get bumped.

If a lens used to produce sharp photos and no longer does, perhaps it needs an adjustment.


***********
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pudgy_groundhog
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Posted: 2/15/2013 2:38:38 PM
I use auto focus 99% of the time. Sometimes I find operator error for my photos - either the focus point it selected was off (to remedy in certain situations I will manually select the focus point or at least be aware of which one the camera is choosing ) or the shutter speed was a little too slow. But there are times I can't find any good reason for lack of sharpness. I only have two lenses - the nicer one stopped working on vacation last year and I got it fixed by Canon, but it just doesn't seem to operate the same anymore and the other one is the kit lens, so it's not like it is a great lens anyway. I don't really have any answers for you -- but I would love to hear what others have to say since I'm experiencing the same thing!

On a related tangent, I'm curious how much difference upgrading gear makes. It's not really in the budget right now for me to upgrade to nicer gear, so I have to make it work. But I wonder at what point I make the jump.



cindylou62
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Posted: 2/16/2013 7:43:40 PM
Is your shutter speed too low so maybe your "hand holding" steadiness is not what it used to be??

Depending on your lens and camera, you may just be asking to much of it.
As it would come down to the camera using a lower shutter speed to get proper exposure.

Hand shake from slow shutterspeed can totally ruin your photos.

I guess are they sharper, say, out in the bright daylight??

Or could your lens have gotten damaged?

memories5
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Posted: 2/18/2013 8:00:11 AM
Very intersting comments smart peas


Jennifer~
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Madeline
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 2/18/2013 11:56:16 AM
Thanks for all the amazing advice Peas! I'm waiting for a bright day to take some outdoor shots and compare pics using auto focus, manual focus, my two lens, etc.

I'm determined to get to the bottom of this! And love my photos once again.


Madeline
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voltagain
OklaPhoma

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Posted: 2/18/2013 12:27:03 PM
On a related tangent, I'm curious how much difference upgrading gear makes. It's not really in the budget right now for me to upgrade to nicer gear, so I have to make it work. But I wonder at what point I make the jump.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The biggest mistake people make in upgrading is not understanding which part of the camera does what. So they up grade a body when wanting sharper images. To get sharper images the money needs to go to a better line of lenses. A mediocre lens on a higher body model isn't going to net sharper images.

Be specific on what you want to achieve with the upgrade. Then research if that specific point is a body controled point or a lens controlled point and upgrade accordingly.


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aj*smile
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Posted: 2/20/2013 6:35:37 PM
Just agreeing with Volt. If you're in the upgrading mood and have cash to spend, put your money into better lenses before purchasing a new body.

Another thing to consider is that it's possible for my copy of a lens to be ahhh-mazing while your copy of the very same lens seems off. All those tiny little parts ... If you are generally a tack sharp shooter and have glitchiness (new word) with a new lens, send it back and get another copy of the same. The brand may very well have just had a few bad apples in a row on the production line.

Finally ... can you adjust your camera settings to calibrate with individual lenses? I'm not sure which brands/models offer this capability. It helped a great deal with the last new lens I purchased.


Andrea

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