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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Sharper Focus

    Sharper Focus
    I am pretty new to photography. I have a Nikon D7200. I got a Tamron 150-600mm G2 for Christmas. I am having trouble getting focused on birds. If they are close there doesn't seem to be to much of a problem but far away they are pretty grainy. The samples below were taken within a 15 minutes of each other, one is clear and one is not. It is about 5 to 5:15 pm. The geese are about 60 yards away and the eagles are on the opposite side of the lake about a quarter of a mile. Also realize guessing distance is not something I am very good at, so approximately.
    The geese picture ISO = 4525, F6.3, 1/2500, Eagle picture number 1 ISO = 2263, F6.3, 1/2000, Eagle picture number 2 ISO= 898, F6.3, 1/800. I use Manual mode with ISO set to auto, I have set the auto focus to my backbutton. Sharper Focus-geese-take-off.jpgSharper Focus-eagles-2.jpgSharper Focus-eagles-4.jpg


    › See More: Sharper Focus
    D7200, 18-55mm VR & 70-300mm DX kit lens.
    Tamron 150-600mm G2, Tokina 100mm 2.8 macro
    Old non AF; 105mm f/2.5, 43-86mm f/3.5, 28mm f/2.8





  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Sharper Focus

    Are you using single point focus? On the second eagle picture note the trees and telephone pole in the background they are sharper. Looks like the camera didn't focus on the eagles.

    More light would lower you ISO and make it easier for your camera to focus. Lower iSO looks sharper.
    Long distance and low light use a tripod.

    Just my 2 cents. I'm sure others who shoot long lenses will have better input.
    Thanks/Like Robin W Thanks/liked this post
     

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    mikew's Avatar

    Re: Sharper Focus

    Sharper Focus
    Dont want to throw a spanner in the works but the distances you are talking about need shortening, good bird images are taken most of the time over short distances There is a lot of crap in the atmosphere and the more air between you and your subject means more condensed air pollutants to soften your image.

    For me to take an image at 60 yards it would need to be a very rare subject, can you spend any time somewhere that the birds are used to people,then you can get closer and refine your technique.
    So i would say
    Get closer
    Shoot in decent light
    Keep the ISO under 1600-2000, lower when you can.

    Both images can be brought up a bit in PP, I just lifted the shadows
    .

    Sharper Focus-eagles-2.jpg

    Sharper Focus-geese-take-off.jpg
    Last edited by mikew; 01-21-2018 at 05:59 PM.
    Thanks/Like Robin W Thanks/liked this post
     
    Mike

    Olympus EM1MK11, Panasonic 100-400

    Olympus EM10 MK11,14-42,40-150

    Nikon 1 V2,FT-1,10-30mm 30-110mm Viltrox extension tubes










  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Re: Sharper Focus

    You could do some focus tests on trees or signs, but it will probably be good. Use single point as was suggested. I agree with the bad air. Here in NY the air is heavy. Unless its like 10F degrees there is so much gunk and humidity in the air, long shots are tough. More light/lower iso helps.
    I have the Sigma 150-600 on my d7100. I can make many shots similar to yours. On a good day, my subject will be closer and in direct sunlight and I'll get much better shots under those conditions. My camera is set manually for 1/1250 and f7.1 or f8 with auto iso. I can get pretty consistent non-shaky shots 1/1250 handheld and I like to be slightly stopped down from wide open. For backyard bird feeder shots, I'll use flash, 1/320, f8 and iso 100-400. Really nice shots with the flash.
    Are you familiar with the exposure triangle? Keeping that shutter speed as low as you can steadily hold will help with the camera choosing a lower iso. Did you cap auto iso for those shots? I ask because they look dark. Some people cap auto iso, I don't. It is what it is and I'll take an excessively high iso shot if that's all I can get since my shutter and aperture are at my minimum. Higher iso will give you more grain and less detail.
    Thanks/Like Robin W Thanks/liked this post
     
    I must have a really good camera.

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Re: Sharper Focus

    I did use single point focus and I forgot my tripod. Thanks for the tips.
    D7200, 18-55mm VR & 70-300mm DX kit lens.
    Tamron 150-600mm G2, Tokina 100mm 2.8 macro
    Old non AF; 105mm f/2.5, 43-86mm f/3.5, 28mm f/2.8



  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Re: Sharper Focus

    Wow those look a lot better. I am still not up on all the photography terms, what does PP mean? There are not a lot of places around me where I can get much closer. Thank you for the tips.
    D7200, 18-55mm VR & 70-300mm DX kit lens.
    Tamron 150-600mm G2, Tokina 100mm 2.8 macro
    Old non AF; 105mm f/2.5, 43-86mm f/3.5, 28mm f/2.8



  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Re: Sharper Focus

    PP=post processing
    You can do some pp with jpg files, but many of us shoot in raw format which definitely requires post processing, but gives us way more ability to bring up the shadows and bring down the highlights as well as other improvements if needed.
    Thanks/Like Robin W Thanks/liked this post
     
    I must have a really good camera.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Moab Man's Avatar

    Re: Sharper Focus

    Low light, soft light, cropping, things that are not contrasty will all lead to soft images.
    Thanks/Like Robin W Thanks/liked this post
     
    D5100, D7100, D600, D750, Df
    Lenses: Nikon DX 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 55-300mm, Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD & 200-500mm
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    Wide Angle: Tokina AT-X116 Pro DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8, Rokinon f/2.8 14mm (chipped)
    Macro: Nikon 40mm, Tamron 90mm
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    ​Editing: CS6, CC, Nik Tools, Portrait Pro 12, Topaz
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    https://www.flickr.com/photos/122672034@N04/

  9. #9
    Happy to be Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: Sharper Focus

    It seems to me like your images were under-exposed (not enough light hitting the sensor). When shooting dark subjects against light background, one has to push the exposure in order to get proper details in the shadows. You can get some detail back in post processing, but you usually loose sharpness. Getting your images properly exposed will give you sharper images.
    Thanks/Like Don Kuykendall, hark, Robin W Thanks/liked this post
     
    Light is responsible for 100% of Life.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
    aroy's Avatar

    Re: Sharper Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel View Post
    It seems to me like your images were under-exposed (not enough light hitting the sensor). When shooting dark subjects against light background, one has to push the exposure in order to get proper details in the shadows. You can get some detail back in post processing, but you usually loose sharpness. Getting your images properly exposed will give you sharper images.
    I agree.

    For shots where the subject is relatively dark and the background bright ( the other way round), use "Spot Metering". With Single point focus, you will get both metering and focus right. I use these settings with central focusing point and rarely get the metering off. Taking shots in RAW eases life a lot as there is quite a large latitude for recovering shadows.
    Thanks/Like Robin W Thanks/liked this post
     
    D300, D3300
    105F2.8 AIS, 70-300 G, 50F1.8 AF, 16-85G ED VR, 18-55DX VRII, AFS DX 35mm F1.8
    2 x SB-800





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