Crappy photo, thoughts why?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bobt, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. bobt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
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    Michigan
    #1
    I took this photo the other day and am very unhappy with the quality. There appears to be a bit of color shift around the letters on the barn and just not very sharp. This is one of many photos taken of the same subject that all have the same problem.

    This was shot with a D300, Nikon 28-200mm at 200mm, ISO 200, F8, 1/125 sec exposure, raw and jpeg. Similar situation with raw and jpeg.

    Is this a problem with the lens or user? Any thoughts appreciated.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #2
    1/125th at 200mm is less than 1/fl and the 28-200 does not have VR, generally unless you can shoot off a tripod in the same conditions and see the same results, it's extremely difficult to blame lack of sharpness on the equipment.

    With the D300's pixel pitch, I'd suggest going past 1/250th to 1/500th or if you insist on hand-holding at 200mm and want good results, or better-yet, get a sturdy tripod and shutter release.

    The contrast between the white lettering and the rest of the barn is quite high, I'd also suggest shooting earlier or later in the day when the light isn't as harsh.
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #3
    Color shift? This can't be fixed with a tripod. The rest can be fixed with a tripod.

    What are your color settings in the D300?
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place, but the only non-weathering color shift I see is the last line, and that's easily attributable to the sunlight/shade. The harsh contrast is worse IMO.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #5
    He said the letters had a slight color shift or the barn did. I dunno I am lost.
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #6
    Yeah, I'm not seeing it around the letters- the only non-weathering shift I really see is the bottom row of letters, which shifts to blue on the right because of the shadow. I thought maybe you saw something different...
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #8
    The lettering in the barn has some slight crabs....:eek:

    (chromatic abborations :p) But hardly noticeable.

    I'm going to chalk this one up to camera shake due to the 1/125th shutter speed on a 200mm lens.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #9
    It's difficult to tell at such a small size, but while my mind really wants to see CA, I really don't think it's there- I think it's an artifact of the high-contrast maxed highlights transitioning to the darker wood and the JPEG engine used to get it on the Web, though I suppose a larger crop would show for sure which it was.
     
  10. Tim018 macrumors regular

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    May 31, 2009
    #10
    1/125 is way too slow

    for 1/125 shutter speed your lucky you even got the shot you did. as a general rule of thumb for hand holding shots, your shutter speed should be the same (opposite) as the millimeter zoom on the lens...if that didnt make sense think of it this way, at 200mm you should have a minimum shutter speed of 1/200, and that is bare minimum, 1/320 should be much better. based off your settings you could most definately lower your f/ stop to f/5 or even lower as long as you have the camera focused correctly, and if that doesnt cut it you can always bump your iso speed to 400, i have a nikon d50 and it still does beautifuly at 400 and even 800 if necessary in day light. its better to have a slight bit of grain at 400 than to have a blurry image, you can edit grain, you cant edit a fuzzy smudged image. anyways, just my two cents. good luck with your new camera

    Tim
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #11
    Composition could stand some work....why not position yourself and the camera so that the words on the barn really show up completely?
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    First off by the time the photo is resized and is on my screen I don't see much wrong

    The color blending may just be blur do to camera shake. If hand holding at 200mm you need be at about 1/250 on the shutter. That would reduce the blur by 1/2. you may also be overexposing. I can't see a histogram. But you can look at one. Are any of the letters clipped?. The lens is not Nikon's best. It is not bad for what it is but they had to compromize to get that huge 28-200 range

    Would be interesting to re-shoot with a 80-200 f/2.8 lens and a tripod.
     
  13. bobt thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

    I overlooked how slow I was shooting being hand held at 1/125 at 200mm. I've been shooting a lot more lately with wide and ultra wide lenses or with my 50mm.

    Did know if part of what I was seeing was a bit of chromatic aberration which was the main reason I posted for comments.

    Yup, composition isn't great. Quick shot from the road side, would have had to be next to a person's home to get a better angle and did have the time to ask permission that evening.

    Also, it is not a new camera or lens. Just trying to figure out with this one if it was the operator or a problem with the lens or something goofy shooting digital. I've been happy with the lens (for what it is) on my F100. Some day hope to get a 70-200 2.8. Especially with VR considering I'm not as steady as I use to be.
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #14
    Tripods are cheaper ;)
     
  15. bobt thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    So true! Just usually rather not be carrying one (although a 70-200 is not the lightest thing in the world either). :D
     
  16. JAT macrumors 603

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    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #16
    You may want to note for your speed calculations that the camera's crop says that that 200mm lens setting is really a 300mm shot.

    CA comes from the lens. You can try shots with less contrast, but you really need a better lens to completely avoid it. Zoom lenses are not great at avoiding CA compared to primes, and superzooms would be the worst. And the worst area is the extremes of the zoom. Generally speaking. So that is pretty much a worst case scenario above.

    The difference between my old kit lens zooms and my primes is astonishing. I keep thinking about picking up a superzoom just as a snapshot lens for family events, but I still haven't due to issues like this.

    Of course, the price difference between a good 200mm prime and a 28-200 zoom is also astonishing.
     
  17. Cap'n Hector macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    #17
    I'd love to be able to see this image larger to evaluate it better; when I'm checking my images for sharpness I start by looking at the image full-size.

    That said, there are a few places this might be improved, I think.

    With a lens like that I would shoot on a tripod as well. Using a cable release never hurts, if you have one. Even when shooting at 1/300-1/500 I've seen improvements in sharpness from using a remote release.

    I like how you've tried to frame it, but I'm not sure how much it helps the subject here; the trees feel a bit distracting to me.

    I cropped it down to take out the trees (leaving the leaves from the left) and to the bottom of the corn (taking out the grass) and it looks better to my eye.

    If you're seeing CA on the lettering, I think what I'd try for that is underexposing by half a stop or so…you can always adjust it back up later, but it's hard to bring in detail you never had.

    Also, if you have the image in RAW you might be able to play with the Highlights slider to pull a bit more detail in.
     

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