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  1. #11
    Senior Member
    lokatz's Avatar

    Re: Focus question

    There is no EXIF data on the last two images, but the first one was shot at 1/250s at a focal length of 95. That should be fast enough to produce a sharp shot. Camera shake cannot be excluded, but if most similar shots come out soft, IMHO it is unlikely to be the primary issue.

    See this link for an idea how to detect front or back focus. Alternatively, you can conduct this simple test: take a series of shots of something, say, 10 in a row. Next, set AF fine-tune (in the set-up menu of your camera) to +10 and shoot the same series again, now compensated a bit for front focus. Compare the two and see whether the second series is sharper on average. If it is worse, then try the same thing with a -10 setting to compensate for some back focus. Amazon sells this simple tool if you'd like to measure and adjust more precisely.


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    Lothar Katz

    Nikon D700, D500, D7100, 200-500 f/5.6, 300 f/4 PF, 55-200 f/4-5.6, 50mm f/1.8 - Tamron 60 f/2 Macro - Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 - Tokina 12-28 f/4 - Yongnou YN568 - Panasonic TZ101 (a.k.a. ZN100) - Photoshop CS6 - Lightroom 6 - DXO PhotoLab - Aurora HDR 2018

     
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                          • #12
                            Senior Member
                            jrs146's Avatar

                            Re: Focus question

                            Quote Originally Posted by Horoscope Fish View Post
                            Well if you want to process raw files, yes; that's correct.

                            .....

                            If you haven't adjusted the Sharpness setting, it's sitting on the abnormally low setting of around 2 or 3. I suggest using 7. Some people max it out to 9 but I don't think that's required, nor do I think it's optimal. Still, try it if you want, you can always go back and change the setting to whatever you want at any time. I would try adjusting this setting first since it's completely un-doable and may get you where you want to be with your shots -- easy-peasy, lemon squeezy -- and I'm all about the easy fix.

                            If this doesn't bring things up to snuff, I think you're next step would be putting the camera and lens on a tripod and doing some test shots using similar settings. The question then becomes, "Do *those* shots look soft?" If not I think you have to assume it's your technique that's causing the softeness. If they are still soft, then I think you're looking at needing to test the lens for front/back focus.

                            Your D7100 supports Auto-focus Fine Tuning, so that's good; but testing for and correcting front/back focus is kind of a PITA in my opinion, so I'm hoping you can avoid that. Still, the Nikon 18-200mm is capable of delivering much sharper shots than what you're posting here, so I'm thinking something, somewhere, is off. It could be you, it could be the lens, it could be a camera setting, it could be a combination of factors.
                            My gut says it's the camera. Perhaps the auto-focus fine tuning will help. I'm looking back over pictures I've taken with my 18-200 and my 35mm and most of them look soft. So that leads me to believe it's the camera. Also, I used to own a D5100 until I broke it lol. Since getting the 7100 I've noticed that the pictures seem to be more soft compared to the 5100 with the SAME lenses. I've always chalked it up to being that the 7100 is a more complicated camera and I'm not doing something right. I'm starting to wonder that although that may be part of it, perhaps there is more to it.

                            Quote Originally Posted by lokatz View Post
                            There is no EXIF data on the last two images, but the first one was shot at 1/250s at a focal length of 95. That should be fast enough to produce a sharp shot. Camera shake cannot be excluded, but if most similar shots come out soft, IMHO it is unlikely to be the primary issue.

                            See this link for an idea how to detect front or back focus. Alternatively, you can conduct this simple test: take a series of shots of something, say, 10 in a row. Next, set AF fine-tune (in the set-up menu of your camera) to +10 and shoot the same series again, now compensated a bit for front focus. Compare the two and see whether the second series is sharper on average. If it is worse, then try the same thing with a -10 setting to compensate for some back focus. Amazon sells this simple tool if you'd like to measure and adjust more precisely.
                            Thanks for the advice. I'll give this a try and see where I land. This seems like some serious homework!

                          • #13
                            Senior Member
                            Horoscope Fish's Avatar

                            Re: Focus question

                            Quote Originally Posted by jrs146 View Post
                            My gut says it's the camera. Perhaps the auto-focus fine tuning will help. I'm looking back over pictures I've taken with my 18-200 and my 35mm and most of them look soft. So that leads me to believe it's the camera. Also, I used to own a D5100 until I broke it lol. Since getting the 7100 I've noticed that the pictures seem to be more soft compared to the 5100 with the SAME lenses. I've always chalked it up to being that the 7100 is a more complicated camera and I'm not doing something right. I'm starting to wonder that although that may be part of it, perhaps there is more to it.
                            Bear in mind the D7100 has a pixel density ~50% greater than the D5100; it demands good, consistent technique.

                            I discovered this for myself when I moved to the D7100 from a D5100.
                            ~ Paul
                            ....
                            ....
                            Primary Weaponolgy :: D750 (OLPF Removed), MB-D10; Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD,
                            Nikon 85mm f/1.8G; Yongnuo 568EX, Nikon SB-700; Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
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                          • #14
                            Senior Member
                            jrs146's Avatar

                            Re: Focus question

                            So I put the D7100 on a tripod and shot some pics of a flower. I used AF-S with one sensor focus right in the middle of the flower. I still seem to get pics that are not entirely sharp. My sharpness setting is set on 7. I tried to play around with the AF fine tuning but wasn't really having much luck with that too. I'll post some pics when I can transfer them to my computer. I'll also try my other lens and see if I have any better results. Unfortunately it seems that most of my pics just aren't that great for whatever reason it is.


                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                          • #15
                            Senior Member
                            Horoscope Fish's Avatar

                            Re: Focus question

                            Quote Originally Posted by jrs146 View Post
                            So I put the D7100 on a tripod and shot some pics of a flower. I used AF-S with one sensor focus right in the middle of the flower. I still seem to get pics that are not entirely sharp. My sharpness setting is set on 7. I tried to play around with the AF fine tuning but wasn't really having much luck with that too. I'll post some pics when I can transfer them to my computer. I'll also try my other lens and see if I have any better results. Unfortunately it seems that most of my pics just aren't that great for whatever reason it is.
                            Interesting... Well I'll be curious to see your shots. Hopefully we can pin down a solution.
                            ~ Paul
                            ....
                            ....
                            Primary Weaponolgy :: D750 (OLPF Removed), MB-D10; Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD,
                            Nikon 85mm f/1.8G; Yongnuo 568EX, Nikon SB-700; Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
                            ....
                            ....
                            ● ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ๑۩۩๑ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ●

                          • #16
                            Senior Member
                            jrs146's Avatar

                            Re: Focus question

                            Focus question
                            I downloaded these directly to my phone so it may not have the data but they were all shot with a tripod.





                            To compare. These were taken with my 35mm 1.8










                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                          • #17
                            Senior Member
                            Horoscope Fish's Avatar

                            Re: Focus question

                            Quote Originally Posted by jrs146 View Post
                            I downloaded these directly to my phone so it may not have the data but they were all shot with a tripod.

                            To compare. These were taken with my 35mm 1.8
                            I can't really do any serious comparison of sharpness when looking at such small files but I will tell you all of these shots look soft to me when viewed at 100%. I'm curious, though, if Tapatalk compress images prior to uploading? I don't use it so I don't know but your uploads seem small even for JPG's that are 1,000 pixels on the long edge and I'm wondering if that's possibly part of the problem. I would expect to see compression artifacting before softness but who knows these days. My point here being; if you want to properly judge sharpness I really think you need to be looking at full-resolution images on your computer, straight out of the camera.

                            EXIF data is also crucial since it tells us things like aperture and shutter speed used in relation to focal length, which is really important to know.
                            ~ Paul
                            ....
                            ....
                            Primary Weaponolgy :: D750 (OLPF Removed), MB-D10; Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD,
                            Nikon 85mm f/1.8G; Yongnuo 568EX, Nikon SB-700; Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
                            ....
                            ....
                            ● ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ๑۩۩๑ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ●

                          • #18
                            Senior Member
                            jrs146's Avatar

                            Re: Focus question

                            I agree. I'll repost when I have a chance to download the full images. Thanks for the help!


                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                          • #19
                            Senior Member
                            hark's Avatar

                            Re: Focus question

                            I'm following along reading the comments and suggestions and am pretty surprised with the overall softness. The D7100 lacks a low pass filter which makes it a little sharper to start with. Did you buy the body new, pre-owned, or refurbished?

                            By the way, what an adorable kid!
                            Cindy
                            Flickr
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                            My 2017 Thread
                            Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
                            -- Leonardo da Vinci

                            Nikon 14mm f/2.8; Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye; Nikon 85mm f/1.8G; Nikon 105 f/2.8G micro VR; Nikon 180mm f/2.8; Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S
                            Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G; Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8; Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII; Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR


                          • #20
                            Senior Member
                            jrs146's Avatar

                            Focus question

                            Focus question
                            Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
                            I'm following along reading the comments and suggestions and am pretty surprised with the overall softness. The D7100 lacks a low pass filter which makes it a little sharper to start with. Did you buy the body new, pre-owned, or refurbished?

                            By the way, what an adorable kid!
                            I bought it refurbished from Adorama. I'm way out of the warranty period so that's not an option to return. I've just kind of always assumed that I wasn't using the camera properly which still may be the case. But looking back I've always been surprised how soft the photos looked compared to my 5100 or even my previous 3100.

                            Here's my other kiddo. This was also the D7100 with 35mm 1.8. I did have a SB700 fire for this shot.




                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk





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