View Full Version : Why is my picture not sharp?

06-19-2013, 10:49 PM

I am trying to understand why my pictures are not sharp at all compared to the 2 pictures bellow.
Is it because I didn't use a tripod?
Or the lens is having problem?

Mine: 70-200mm F4 non-IS
Tv(Shutter Speed) 1/1600
Av(Aperture Value) 4.0
ISO Speed 100
Lens EF70-200mm f/4L USM

Tv(Shutter Speed) 1/1000
Av(Aperture Value) 4.0
ISO Speed 100
Lens EF70-200mm f/4L USM

From someone else: 70-200mm F4 IS
IMG_1814 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/69301193@N00/2817768692)

Schrodinger 3 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/54173938@N00/2230294638)

06-19-2013, 11:01 PM
It looks pretty sharp to me.

where did you focus and what did you want in focus?

06-19-2013, 11:22 PM
I think you might be complaining about the depth of field more than sharpness. If you want more depth of field bring it to a higher f stop like f8, that way more will be in focus instead of a small band.

06-19-2013, 11:32 PM
I was trying to aim at the eye, but the AF (Red dot) was too big it was covering the ducks head.
Maybe it was the DoF the problem.
Thanks i'll watch that next time.

Do you guys shoot in M mode?
If it is a nice day I'll set it to say F8 , ISO 200 and 1/400+-and keep it like that for all the other shots?

06-20-2013, 12:00 AM
Like Realist said, the duck is super sharp (feathers, eye, bill), I think you either need the background a lot more out of focus (like the cat shot you posted), so lower the f/stop; or you want the BG in more focus (raise f/stop)

06-20-2013, 06:48 AM
If it is a nice day I'll set it to say F8 , ISO 200 and 1/400+-and keep it like that for all the other shots?

There is no magic exposure formula. That's why we need to practise and understand exposure which is dependant on the light quantity. That's the very first step, exposure. Stop all else until this is understood.

I personally would have shot this in shutter or aperture priority, not manual.

Cameras have no eyes and no brain. They can never know what you want sharp. I agree you should focus on the eye, but then u need to double check at the time of shooting to see if u nailed it. If u can't nail it w/autofocus, focus manually.
Hope that may help

06-20-2013, 07:06 AM
All are great suggestions. I would add that if I handhold my wildlife or flower shots (which i may do 5% of the time), I try and make sure I get double the amount of shutter speed as my focal length is. ie... If I am shooting with a 500mm lens, I try and make sure my shutter speed is 1/1000 of a second or greater. If I am on a tripod I can usually get a way with 1/500 of a second IF there is no wind or the animal is at a stand still. Flowers are a difficult subject because they move with the wind and even the slightest movement at 1/1000 of a sec can appear not so sharp. Choosing your focal point is another vital detail. If you allow your camera to focus on what it thinks it wants to capture, you may continue to be disappointed.

07-04-2013, 08:53 PM
I use two camera a Pentax K10D and a Nikon D7000 and I treat them very different. The Pentax I will often set to manual but rare with Nikon. The ISO with the Nikon is so high in auto mode I can just let it do it's own thing. Combined with a multi-point focus and only one dedicated Tamron lens 18 - 270 mm I is just a case of point and shoot.

The Pentax has a Max of 1600 ISO and really 800 is about the max I can use. Many of my lenses are manual with no auto focus or aperture. However the anti-shake is extremely good I have got away with 1/8 second hand held. I have reversing rings, bellows, and close-up filters for Pentax so macro and close-up are for Pentax. In the main tripod work but depth of field is always a challenge. Using a very small aperture does improve depth of field but if you have a single speck of dust on the CCD it stands out like a sore thumb. Stacking does seem to reduce the dust problem but time is a problem and clearly would not work with the duck.

I also find my eye is not perfect and although I see it as in focus through view finder when viewed on the PC it is not. The Nikon has the option to use rear panel to view image and I find that is a real boost to getting focus right. The view finder does not need matching to my eye when using live view.

With moving items direction is so important. I tried panning and selected a truck and was really surprised to find part in focus and other part blurred. I was rotating but wagon was going in a straight line so different points where travelling at a different speed relative to me.

Lens length will also have a bearing.

Tripods are good but some times they hinder rather than help. On a narrow boat found engine vibrations resulted in hand held being better than tripod.

With a critical shot I will often bracket focus and often take both small aperture and multi-focus and decide latter if stacking or small aperture works best.

Before getting the Nikon I would have laid down exactly how to do the shot but after Nikon I realised how much the camera dictates best method the shake reduction is so different between the two cameras it really does change how one uses them. Including the cameras failing to operate the shutter because the shake was too high.

You need to select a subject and test results using different methods then select what works best with your camera and you. Although I can hand hold at 1/8 others may find 1/250 is still too slow because they can't hold the camera still enough. Or at least not in sync with what camera can compensate for.