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  1. Lefrash

    Lefrash

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    Hi everyone. Fraser from Glasgow here. 1st post and I've yet to get my hands on my new toy but I'm itching to get started!

    I picked up one of these bodies and lens for 130 quid which seems to be the going rate- bit of an impulse buy to be honest. I appreciate its decade old technology but what's the general consensus of this camera? Online reviews range from 5 stars to 'nearly put me off digital photography for life'. Have I made a huge mistake? Potentially I could just return it, or is it worthy of being my entry into photography?

    Hoping to learn alot from this place! Seems to be full of helpful and experienced folk!

    Fraser
     
  2. droj

    droj

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    Can't comment in detail, but the main thing with a camera body of that vintage might be to stick to good light. Concentrate on exposing for the highlights so that they don't get blown, and let the shadows look after themselves but don't try to pull them up.

    Generally, the learning curve isn't about the type or vintage of the machinery, but about being able to analyse what it can do, and take control.
     
  3. SteveSc

    SteveSc

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    I haven't used that lens but have had a D80 for last 6 years and I'm still pretty happy with it. It's low light capacity isn't up to newer bodies and it doesn't have live view but other than that I can't fault it, so much so that I can't justify spending more money on an upgrade.

    It has good controls on the body which makes using it much easier than the D40 that I had previously and probably the newer entry level Nikons.

    As to if you stick with it or change it I suppose it ultimately depends on your budget, for £130 I personally think you get a lot for your money with the D80.
     
  4. GTG

    GTG

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    Its fine but certainly worth getting a d90 if you can stretch that far.

    The d80 has a CCD image sensor and the d90 has a CMOS image sensor that is better newer technology.

    I would really recommend a d90, I own one and its particularly good. I could quite happily use a d90 as a main camera today.
     
  5. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

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    Err... yeah... lets redefine your ideas of 'old' a little here... for starters...... My favorite camera was made in 1973, it is almost as old as me; it takes film!!! And still makes pictures!!!!
    All metal, and clock-work; it takes screw on M42 lenses, which are usually fixed focal length 'primes'; it has three main controls; aperture (on the lens) Shutter speed; Shutter release.. and oh yeah, a film advance lever! Oh.. it does have an in-built light-meter, that gives a swing needle hi/lo exposure guide in the view-finder, but that's all; it's not coupled to the aperture or shutter-speed settings; you still have to make the yourself.. so what? STILL takes pictures! And if I was any bludy good at it, they could be as good if not better than anything I might shoot on widget.

    And I actually have a few film cameras even older, that likewise can still take pictures, and with a little care, dam good ones! 'Best' of them, probably a Ziess Ikonta 120 roll film camera, that is probably even older than my Dad, dating to the 1940's or so! That has the potential for stunning mage quality, compared to even the best offerings in Digital of Today. Dont let consumer hype and the drive to keep the money moving and people forever paying, blind you to what makes better pictures....

    "Better-Cameras" don't better pictures make; better photographers do.... which is to beg a very big debate on what might make a picture 'better'....I really don't want to go into.

    You have bought a slightly dated by digital standards DSLR camera; which I would hope, you secured for the sort of money that would probably only just get you a fairly mediocre over-the-counter compacthese days; but so what! It took great pictures a decade ago, it can still take great pictures now. It may lack 'some' capability and features of more modern offerings... whether that makes them any 'better' is rather subjective, but besides the poit; what you are looking for here is a little confidence bolster that you haven't wasted your money, and that such an 'old' model of camera will still do the job.... and YES IT WILL

    As has been mentioned, it has a sensor of an older type; which some believe is still superior in some ways, I nderstand, in similar manner to how many filmies still aplaud the virtues of silver-halide over electrickery ;-) t probably doesn't have the same degree of low light sensitivity of the latest offerings, but duh-whah!! How EVER did I manage without 25,600ASA film all those years, ad STILL seem to cope with 100 or 400ASA! for almost everything!

    If the caera is in decent working condition, and you have and ca still get batteres and memory cards for it; and it takes pictures, IT TAKES PICTURES! And working within the limitations of the camera, probably darn good ones, if YOU are up to the job... might not have all the easements of more modern offerings, or the ultimate capablity at the extremities.. but you know what? If you are starting out that's probably o bad thing; you will learn where the boundaries are and cameras start to struggle ad YOU have to work that bit harder and consider what you are trying to do more, rather than just expecting the camera to do all the work for you

    Some may grumble that the preview scree is a tad small.. to which 'd argue, what was the point of buyig a Sile-Lens-Reflex camera with optical view finder, if you are going to use it like a i-phone holding it at arms length watching the screen?! a 'slow' frame rate, could be critasised, but again, ts a stills camera; pick your moment stop machine gunning! Highest ISO is 3200, which is actually only a couple of stops off that of most current offerings, its not that limited, though it may not be as great for noise or contrast that sch high settings, but as said, makes you do a bit more work and learn to work around sooner. 10.2Mpix sensor resolution, is probably the most obviouse 'gripe', but again, get real! I have to re-sze pretty much anything I shoot down to under 1Mpx for almost all display purposes ayway; t is really little loss!

    As said, it was a pretty impressively specced camera a decade ago; more moder offerings may be more impressvely specced; BUT that does't mean they will take any more impressive pictures. For what it s, and what it likely cost, its likely a pretty good starting place to work from, if you expect to have to learn the craft and don't expect the camera to do-it-all for you.

    The Sigma 28-80.. is a little less known quantity. That focal length range is more usual 'standard angle zoom' for full-frame or 35mm film cameras; On a Crop-Sensor camera, then, it will be effected by the 'crop-factor' which gives an apparent magnification effect, making lenses give a tighter framing angle, like a longer telephoto on a bigger sensor camera. More common 'standard' angle zoom on an APS-C sensor camera is 18-55mm. A 28-80 then will have a fair bit more tele-phot at the long ed, but possibly lack a fair bit of wide down atthe wide end, where the 28mm setting is only 'just' wider than the 'normal' angle lens, which is about 32mm for APS-C. In recompense, though, if it is a full-frame/film camera lens it is likely producing a mage circle far larger tha the sensor size, so the 'crop-factr' will also be croppg off a lot of possble edge dstortion, and getting your images from the 'sweet-spot' in the center of the lens flattering mage quality. t probably lacks the latest gee-gaws of image stabilisation, which means you will likely have to be that bit more diligent learning your steady holding techniques, ad watching shutter speeds; but again.. small potatoes, all part of the learning, we never had such aids on old film cameras... we just got dumb-mass to try and keep stuff stiller!

    So.. you want a feel-good boost; yeah; its a older camera. It takes pictures; you aught be able to get great results with it, if you try, it should't have broken the bank to get t; and has plenty of scope for you to exploit all t ca do before ts lack of latest features and fnctions is any real handic-cap, whilst in promptg a bit of learning, those very short-comings and lack ofs, may actually be a great way to keep thigns simple, concetrate on the picture, not get lost in the technology ad the features menus, and do a lot of learning and take some fatastic photo's along the way, without breaking the bank to do so.

    Go use, go enjoy taking pictures, worry about that; you buy a camera to look through, not at, ad to take pictures. End of the day that's what t is all about; not focus points and flip-screens, or frames per second and stuff! It'll do the b, same as it did te years ago, when 'better' hadn't been invented; same as my old M42 screw-prime film camera has done for the last 45 years, the most part of which, asking some-one how many pixels they had could have likely had them thinking you were away with the fairies! Its a camera, it takes pictures; go take pictures; and if you like the photo's you get job jobbed, mate!
     
  6. Lefrash

    Lefrash

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    Amazing answers! I think it certainly answered my query about whether it's too outdated to be worthwhile. I know from experience in the music gear world, if you buy old technology for cheap then it can really be so bad that it puts you off learning but it seems a general consensus here that the d80 should still give good results.

    It's good to know about the low light limitations so I'll avoid low light situations whilst learning.

    Although I'm understanding the technicalities of the body, the lens I'm still getting my head round so I may need to read teflon-mikes reply a few times before it digests, but superbly thorough!
     
  7. Lefrash

    Lefrash

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    Oh and..... errr ... yes... in the whole grand scheme of things its not old tech but in the DSLR world I suppose it is
     
  8. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

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    As an engineer, it's slightly amusing, and oft frustrating to consider the arguments of 'NEW' technology. Michael Crichton made a career writing pulp fiction pondering the anomalies of US Patent Law as applied to the medical industry, where their patent rules, permitted the licencing of 'discoveries'... hence the patenting of 'Genes' that were invented by 'nature' not man's imagination; which is popular example of the tip of the ice-berg, but there has been very little basic 'innovation' in technology since the stone age! I mean really, the fundamental ingredients of mechanical technology are the lever, the wheel and the screw! And the 'screw' is actually referred to in Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform tablets, as 'old' technology!

    Technology History is a fascinating topic; And it is incredible in our techno-driven society to stop and ponder. I was actually inspired by frustration in the 1970/80's as a yoof, mad about motorbikes, at a time, when the incumbent Brit bikes, who's designs were usually positively 'antiquated' most based on supposed 'master-pieces' like Edward Turner's 1938 Triumph Speed twin, that was still in serial production in the mid 80's as the last Meriden Bonneville, whilst the Japanese manufacturers were going 'Techno-Crazy' and instead of making pretty crude air-cooled engine's with push-rod valves with just one or two cyliders, were making bikes with water cooled, four-cylinder engines with double overhead cams, and acronyms all over the bodywork, extolling 'new' technology in the brakes or suspension or other bits of the engine... WHICH my Granddad, would 'pah!' at, when I mentioned, and drag me round a museum and show me a water cooled Scott from 1906, or a four cylinder Henderson from 1922, or an OHC Norton from 1928, or a catalever suspension HRD from 1936, or 'something', and tell me that there was little 'new' in the world, but people so loved re-inventing the wheel.... which there is ore than a little wisdom......

    The Camera, as we know it, for making photographs, has been around since the late 1700's early 1800's, the early techniques being often less 'practicable', but making a photographic image. That though is only 'part' of the story the 'Photographic' camera. The 'Camera' as the 'Camera Obscura', a device to project an image onto a screen, in real time, is referenced in ancient Arabic texts, and the use of glass lenses to achieve larger, better resolved images, both in the Camera Obscura, and even the telescope, is similarly documented in tests dating back to before the Normans!

    So you have a progression of technological evolution, in which you start with the camera obscura; the creation of an image; the 'pin-hole' camera, to which you then add the innovation of glass lenses, to which you then add the innovation of chemical capture medium, which a century later is built upon more, with Logie-Baird & Farnsorth, in the 20's both pioneering electro-optical scanning systems that were the foundation of analogue TV, that were then built upon further in the 1980's as 'Digital' systems were evolved.

    So, 'Consumer' Digital cameras have become the 'norm' this century; and the 'pace' of evolution has been remarkable; but it is curious to note that the most significant 'leaps' in even just that revision of capture medium; swapping chemical photo-sensitive emulsion for a photo-sensitive silicone chip, have been remarkably 'slight', The main thrust of the technology 'drive' has been to make systems that are only 'just' as good at making an image as 'film', then making those systems ever 'cheaper' for the mass market.

    Another little novelty of my youth was the popular advent of 'colour' photo. Amusing family anecdote from the early 90's was when my 5 or 6 year old cousin was looking at some old family photo's I was going through out of my Grandparents attic, and quipped to my Grandmother, that life must have been terribly 'dull' before people discovered 'colour'! 'Colour' photographic prints, were really a 'thing' of the 1970's, as cheaper commercial colour films made them more available, and cheap enough that folk could take them. But of course 'colour' photo had been pioneered almost as soon as the photograph was practicable! The 'Trichrome' process, using an 'addative' method of making three individual exposures through red, green & blue filters, to be 'stacked' in reproduction and projected through red/green/blue light sources, was being used in the 1880's to make practicable colour photo's. The less involved 'subtractve' system, using Cyan/Yellow/Magenta filters and a 'common' three or four layer 'stack' of photo-emulsion btween filters, was something that was advanced by the innovation of celluloid film, and accelerated, significantly for the movie industry, so that colour movies were being shot commercially by the 1930's, and it was that which made 'colour' stills photography more viable, and colour slide media popular by the 1960's, when mass-market scales made it more commercially viable, before that prompted commercial scale colour print flms, by the 1970's.

    Commercial 'Digital' photography has then been around, 'maybe' twenty years... in the entire history of photography.. what 200 years? Of what in the entire history of optical imaging, that's been known of and exploited for what, 2000 years?! It is an incredibly short period. BUT.... if you look at it this the context of that large scale history; in which 'popular' photography has really only been around for maybe a century, and the advent of celluloid film and the Kodak Box Brownie, Digital has a much more significant span of evolution; now scale that into popular 'colour' photography, which probably has only had maybe 50 years of development, of which almost HALF of over-laps the digital age....

    If you the look at that period, it is very intriguing, how Digital Photography has evolved, and to ponder just how 'fast' but ACTUALLY not how 'much'... it has evolved that time.

    As said, electronic 'image capture', was pioneered in the 1930's; there was half a century of incredibly rapid paced evolution in that area, prompted by TV, before the convergence of digital electronics in the 1980's, started to drive digital imaging techniques. The earliest 'commercial' if not consumer 'digital' cameras were available by the mid 90's, and a lot of the key-stones of the 'technology' were put in place in that era.

    At that time, I was a young fresh out of uni engineer, and enthusiast photographer; I actually enrolled to do my City & Guilds in photography at night school, around then, before starting to study information technology and artificial intelligence, more pertinent to my job atthe time, and co-incidentally was very 'early' into digital photography... but with conventional cameras, and 'digitization' of conventional media to the digital format.

    Having studied my C&G in photography, mostly to learn dark-room techniques, and set up my own home dark-room to develop and print conventional photo; the 'Digital-Darkroom' in the 90's was 'amazing'.. where digital cameras, frankly, were NOT!

    Resolution and versatility of early digital cameras was pretty poor; and the hardware limitations of the time, meant that probably the best way to digitize an image was to scan a print. File sizes were, for the day, enormous! I had a pretty high-end PC at the time, it had, ISTR an 850Mb hard drive! FFS, I have more digital storage space now on my effing key-ring! And scan speeds were pretty slow! As in maybe a few hours or more per print!

    BUT, suck up all those limitations, and leave stuff to 'run' over-night and hope that the computer didn't crash in the middle; and what was possible in the Digital-Dark-Room, proto-photo-editors WAS pretty impressive; I could, on-screen do an awful lot of the sort of dark-room manipulations I had tried to do conventionally at the click of a button... and a few minutes watching an egg timer.. rather than having to mix up chemicals, and waste expensive photo-paper to see if it worked, and throw it away when it didn't.

    BUT, this is the interesting ting to note; I was using a Digi-Dark-Room, that dates to around 1995, called 'MicroGraFX'. It was actually quite a sophisticated bit of imaging software of the era, and the company was eventually absorbed into Adobe, who have offered a lot of the features, in a far less intuitive 'interface' as far as I can tell! BUT; that very VERY old photo-editing software, supported the even THEN standard image formats of JPG, TIFF, BMP and a fair few others... I still actually use that very very old software, on a stand alone 32bit PC, as it still lets me do some stuff that is more of a faff in photo-shop now.. only real issue with it, is that it does have a local memory cap and tends to crash, with a buffer over-run, if you ask it to look at an image file over 100Mb... otherwise, it is STILL as useful as many current photo-editors, and in some ways more....

    The 'hint' though, is that within maybe five years of digital imaging being made 'practicable', those standards of image format, the key-stones that remain no matter what 'innovation' has taken place in the last couple of decades are still 'legacy' that is with us still today...... and are significant impediment to many alternative or maybe 'better' technologes that wuld demand a new 'standard' and for every-one to buy into it.

    (Interesting to note that oft vaunted 'RAW' formats are not standard but priorietry to a manfacturr or even a specific model of camera. Adope, attempted to offer a 'standard' RAW format for all to use, around ten years or more ago, and it was almost still-born, throgh lack of adoption)

    However, In Y2K, I actually took redundancy from my then job to walk into another, within the month! And with a little cash in the bank from that, looked very seriously at the then, infant Digital SLR Cameras. At that point in time, they were a novelty; people didn't generally have computers in the home to extract and manage and display the pictures they took with them, let alone printers that could make a decent 'print' from them; and what was available, was significantly NOT that great, and certainly not all that 'cheap'. A high end Digital-SLR of that era might have had around a 5Mpix sensor resolution, if you were prepared to pay the £1000's for a camera that cost as much as a pro-grade SLR. Cheaper 'compact' offerings might have just made the 1.3Mpix order, but even those were the sort of price of high end compact cameras or not even entry level, but mid-range film SLR's... and had optics that often made a petrol station disposable or Christmas cracker 'toy' look like a precision instrument! So I bought a dedicated film scanner, and a bulk reel of slide film!

    I still use that almost 20 year old film scanner; and you may take some heart in that I take approx 10Mpix images off it from a 35mm film negative. For a decade after I bought that device, Direct-To-Digital cameras, were still playing catch-up to convectional film, in being able to achieve the same sort of image quality, 'directly', and, able to take 48bit color-depth ages off that scanner, still somewhat debatable whether even the current generation of digital cameras have actually matched the potential of digitised 'film'.

    Certainly if you start looking at medium format cameras and the IQ that can be achieved with big negs, it is debatable, and looking at cameras of that 'standard' certainly mutable whether they can do it cost effectively..... Mentioned my 1940's Ziess Ikonta 120 roll film camera.. great camera, & a very expensive it of tackle when my Gt Uncle bought it when my Dad was but a twinkle; now? Maybe worth £25-£50?!!! Roll of Fuji for it? £7 or £8, and maybe £10 to get it processed. Stuff 'pixel peeping'! With a 6x9cm transparency in your hand, you don't need to 'peep' very much, let alone crack out a lupe or magnifying glass to see the detail in it! Ruddy 'negative' is post-card sized! If ultimate Image quality s what you are after, then you do NOT have to sped big money to get far more than even pretty 'expensive' digital cameras can deliver...

    But who cares? For most of the pre-digital era I shot 35mm, which is inherently compromised for IQ by the small format of the negatives; but, is pretty cost effective way to achieve an 'Acceptable Quality Level', where few ever wanted to make large scale prints, much bigger than perhaps 10x8".. which is still only about the size of a typical PC monitor, give or take! And THAT is where 'digital' has trended to; achieving that mass market 'Acceptable Quality Level' and achieving it more cheaply for the mass market....

    Your ten year old DSLR, is of that vintage that they had managed to make digital cameras, that could just about compete with film, 'head to head' for acceptable image quality, and 'win' on cost and convenience, at least as far as the cost per shot; those relatively early consumer digital cameras were STILL bludy expensive!!!

    And it's still a connundrum I ponder, having bought into Digital SLR five years ago, whe the last in a line of digital compacts succumbed as most t an early demise! Yup, they REALLY dont buld them like they used to! My 1972 Konika C35 35mm film compact is still going strong after forty odd years! But the Digital Dilemah! "Oh yeah, but its costless!" tell THAT to my bank-manager! Lol!

    Demise in the last of a succession of digi-compacts, prompted me to look for a replacement; and the dilemma posed by the market in which consumer-compacts have been 'squashed' between ever better camera-phones and ever cheaper 'enthusiast' DSLR's. Slim pickings in that arena, caused me to opt for an entry level DSLR, a Nikon D3200, which was at that point securely i the under £500 price break. MOST have ever spent on an effing camera in almost forty years! And THAT was just the tip of the ice-berg! By the time I had expanded the 'kit' to include the sort of range of lens coverage I had for film, the bank-manager was on his knees weeping! "Probably with joy at the thought of all the interest he'd earn, but still!)

    Absolute irony, in the notion that 'Digital is Cheap'! It is per shot, but BOY do yo have to spend a lot before you can take that shot! What's in the gadget bag ow, I reckon has cost me more in the last five years than I spent in the thirty off before on cameras, films, processing and probably a lot of the ruddy trips to go use it! Which does make me wonder whether t was such a great move... I could have ought a HECK of a lot of film for all that money!!!!
     
  9. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

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    And here....

    [​IMG]

    That was taken a decade ago, with my second dig-compact; a thing of much humilty, it boasts a 5Mpix sensor as its headline feature, and is rather embarrassed that it doesn't even have a proper lens, let alone a zoom one! But stuff that... look at the picture....

    Probably doesn't stand an awful lot of tchnical crtique, it IS essentially a snap-shot; ad what MAKES that photo is the subject; MY KIDS, on holiday, on a beach, grinning, having fun, showng me the sand-castle they had just built!

    There's a LITTLE techical adding to that shot; Its actually a low light twilight setting, and I have balenced the rather dim ambient light against fill in flash to light up my kids ad thier sand castle, whilst capturing a reasonably 'nice' evening scene behind with the prom lights ad some sun-set sky... BUT t's the SUBJECT that makes that picture worth looking at.. MY KIDS.. probably only interesting to me and my family, BUT, that's all it HAS to be interesting to...

    The slightly more arty effect of the low light setting doesn't really make the photo hugely more appealing to any one; certily doesn't make it a competition winner, let alone wall art! Did make it more challenging to obtain, though, and possibly a tad more working wthin the limitations of an INCREDIBLY unsophsticated camera, with a sensitivity of just ISO100 or 400! A Fixed lens, and no user selectable shutter-speed or aperture or off-camera flash or anything..... BUT, a little know how and a bit of thought ad basc technque went a long way to exploitig that amot of lmited 'technology' to get a 'good' photo.. of which not an aful lot was actually i podding ad pressing buttons on the camera, but in getting down low, to get a pleasing angle to get both the kids and the sand-castle and the back-ground in frame...

    Worth mentioning that that, REALLY lmited little camera, was 'retired' from general walk-abut use due to ts propensity for flattening rechargeable AA batteries in only a few frames... it has 'survived' the last decade, though, used around the house, and work-shop, and has probably been used to take more 'technical' photos to illustrate work-shop projects, restoring old motorbikes and Land-Rovers over the last dozen ears, than any other camera I have. And web-publshed to illustrate forum queries or 'my projects' ad 'how-to's on my hobby site; have probably had the widest audience and are some of the most looked at photo's I have EVER taken...

    Which is to add more weight to the suggestion that SUBJECT is far more iportant to a 'good' photo than 'standard'. If the subject is relevant, pertinent and worth looking at to some-one; they have some 'interest' in it; then it doesn't matter how 'wonderful' the photo may be either technically or aesthetically, they WILL look at it, and gain something from it... and THAT is the whole poit of a photo... to be LOOKED AT.

    You probably have little interest in my children; so I dont expect you to have much interest beyond the limited aesthetic appeal that picture has; but it's offered here for you to consider the technical merit, of how little the technical matters, if the subject is interesting, and how much that interest may be enhanced with a very little technical know-how, RATHER than enhanced electrickery in the camera, which as suggested, in that case is of incredibly basic and limited standard, of 'old' digital cameras.

    Its a peculiarly modern trend in such a technologically aware age, to put SO much store in the technology, ad loose sight of what we actally want that technology to do for us!

    The marketing men want that technology to make them money! They aren't going to tell you that anything they are tryig to sll is any less than amazing or worth every penny of the prce they are asking for it; and they ARE goig to try convincing you that whatever that gadget has is absolutely vital to your needs and your life, however did we live without it before...

    Well, quite easily actually! I have been taking photos for a good few decades, and even now, having invested so much in digital technology, I look at it all and wonder just exactly how much it s all REALLY worth to me!

    NONE of it puts interesting subjects in front of the lens; none of it poses or arranges those subjects in the most pleasing manner for me; and eve though I may have an on-camera or even remote flash-guns, it wont even light them to best effect for me..

    ME as photographer, the man in charge of the camera, STILL has to make the picture happen, and SO much of it is way outside the camera and the gadget bag, and only know-how and experience (I probably still dont have!) will make anything of that.. NOT buttons ad menus and electrickery!

    And take another look at that snap-shot of my kids.... I like it.. they are my kids! I dont expect you to much like them! Heck I dont a lot of the time! Especially when they are asking me STILL for money or a lift or whatever their mum wont give them!! And I am not offering it here with ANY pretension that what I was doing is 'Art' or anything but what it is.. a pleasing family snap-shot.

    Which is another very big area of the medium that so many become obsessed about., along with 'The Technology'... somehow getting all enthusiastic about picture making, the 'reasons' for taking photographs of things you find interesting, suddenly become forgotten in the attempt to make them 'beautiful', and achieve an aesthetic excellence, which is often far beyond the ability of a lot of people, and probably has little relevance to any-one!

    Here's another one for you from my archive:-
    [​IMG]

    Err... yeah.. ITS A BOWL OF FRUIT! WHY on earth do I want to look at that! Especially when its all in wonky colours! Hardly an interesting photo, though there maybe a green-grocer some-where fascinated by what veriety the grapes may be... but? REALLY? Whats the point?

    Point of that photo, actually was as part of a series in an experiment in 'Tri-Chrome' recreating that antique technique to make a colour photo, and is actually a montage of three individual exposures through red, Green and blue filters, shot on B&W film... THAT might make it a little more interesting.. technically, B-U-T.. astheatic merits are still rather questionable! It was essentially an experiment to see whether I could make a colour image from three B&W ones, and stack the exposures accurately eough and get the colours to come out anything 'like' real.. to which the answer is probably not really... more practice required, and begs a couple of suggestins, that even if I suceeded, why not just take a colour photo to start with! And that the techniqe, to show itself needs some sort of 'imperfections' probably from movement between exposures, but carefully considered motion, that doesn't detract from the main 'subject'.. which was where the experiment went... and ctually currently remains to be ponderd!

    BUT... that is where you go.. that snap-shot of my kids, is a charming little memory; enhanced a little from some small bit of photo-know-how both to get a more pleasing composition, and get the most from a REALLY limited little camera....

    That bowl of fruit is pretty boring, to ANY-ONE, a demonstration of photo-dexterity, in whch the interest is almost ntirely in the back story, and of interest to only a very few photo-nerds, and no more than an excersise in usng a technique that 'may' have aesthetic merit, in the right circumstance; but as an excersise in aesthetcs, STILL not particularly 'interesting' and almost certaily of little relevence or interest to many people.

    BUT that is the sort of direct that photography can take an awful lot of people, as they step into the realm of enthusiast photo, and they start chasing ideals of aesthetic and artistic merit, and technical dexterity for its own sake, and oft forgetting 'interest' 'meaning' and 'relevence', to a viewer.... which is all so often a very limited audience, of yourself, possbly family and freinds, and even then often pretty limited...

    And brngs me back the whle point of a photo is to be LOOKED AT... if o one looks at it, may as well have never been taken, and no matter how aesthtically pleasing t may be, no matter how uch technical dexterity may be shown, no matter how much technology was packed into the camera that took it... ALL of it is completely and utterly wasted!

    There is SO much to consider in the entirity of photography and the making of a picture; of which the camera itself is but a very small fraction, that how wonderful the merits of any partcular camera may be, they are only a tiny fraction of even THAT, they do NOT make a photo for you, they can only 'help' and there only a very little bit, YOU the photogapher do a better job, occassionally; IF you can make everythig work for you to get a worth while picture SOME-ONE is going to look at and find some interest in.

    So, put it all in context; a te year old diital camera may be pretty old in the history of digital photography; BUT, that technology is STILL only a tiny fraction of the camera, a tiny fraction of the business of taking photo's, and a 10Mpix DSLR is still far more capable than a dozen year old 5Mpix lensless compact, and STILL the issue is whether you have the know-how to exploit even THAT amount of technology, and take worth while INTERSTNG photo's with the thing.

    Flikr is FULL of photo's taken with the latest, all singng all dancing tehnology laden photos, by ethusiastic snappers, ecploiting them to cram in amazing amounts of technical merit, and aesthetc 'effect'...

    And you know what? I look at most of them, and ask "WHY, just WHY!" because they are so often utterly irrelevent, utterly meanigless, utterly BORING, that they hold absolutely NOTHING to make me want to look at them. Maybe absolutely fantastic show-pieces of the photographer's ability and dexterity and or the amount of expensive hardware they have in the gadget bag.. BUT, so what.. As the viewer WHAT is the photographer giving ME from the experience?

    Turn that around, as the photographer, what are YOU giving your audience? WHAT is it in there that makes your photo worth taking worth looking at? And how much technology do you need in the camera to get it?

    Stop measuring the value of a camera by what the marketing men would like you to buy; measure it by the value, the REAL value, the usefulness and relevance and interest of the photo's you can take with it; where doesn't matter if its a key-ring 110 cartridge camera from a Christmas cracker in the 80's or a gazillion quids worth of pro-grade studio medium format gear, or anything in between from a smart phone to a Leica... its the PICTURE that ultimately has to stand on ITS merit, not those of the camera that was used to make it.
     
  10. Lefrash

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    Thanks for that dude, excellent read.


    I finally got the camera and have been playing about with it alot. I've done alot of reading, and I've demolished the manual so I have got my head round all the buttons and setting etc.

    However..... All my photos seem to be very 'soft', not sure how else to describe it. Even in full auto. I've looked through alot of other beginners uploads on this very forum, and they seem to be getting alot sharper images. I'm guessing this will simply be down to my camera being old although I would have thought even ten years ago people were getting sharp images with this same equipment.

    This one for example. f6.0 1/500s iso100 - shot at 2.30pm today and it was overcast. I've ran it though Rawtherapee software (another bit of talkphotgraphy advice taken) and added a template filter called 'punchy'. Does anyone know what I mean?
     
  11. Lefrash

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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  12. GTG

    GTG

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    Cant see any photo. Take a JPEG and use software that can alter sharpness and clarity to see if that can make anything sharp
     
  13. Lefrash

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    I made uploading that photo much harder than was necessary! :D
     
  14. GTG

    GTG

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    I tried to improve it in lightroom with more clarity, sharpening, color, dehaze etc.
    Has made it better in my opinion but I think the lens is maybe just soft in the aperture or focal length maybe.

    Original
    [​IMG]

    Edited

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Lefrash

    Lefrash

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    That's very cool what you've done there. I'll almost certainly need to get my head round post production as well. Although I think you might be right about the lens being soft. Suppose I'll only find out by pressing that shutter button a few more thousand times!
     
  16. GTG

    GTG

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    Zoom lenses can be bad at their extreme settings.
    So like if it is an 18 - 50mm for example and goes from aperture f2.8 to f22.
    If you use it at 18mm and f2.8 you might get very soft poor results.
    But if you move more into the middle settings if you know what I mean ( like 35mm f8 ) then results can be much better
     
  17. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

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    No.. No you dont.

    Photo of rose, as shot, is almost a Macro situation, ie 'close up'. With a 28-80 lens, your closest focus distance is likely quite long, as in perhaps three feet. f6 isn't a particularly 'wide' aperture, but it will be giving a fairly shallow Depth-of-Field at close range; what I 'see' in that photo is not softness, but a rather nice gradual focus fade away from the focus point out of the DoF zone.

    You need to understand Depth of Field, and better understand 'focus' and not leave it to the cameras AF system....

    Small irk of irony, when folk get into DSLR photo, the 'Go-Manual' mantra rears its ugly head, and every one.. yourself included, start getting all obsessed with the exposure settings... "f6.0 1/500s iso100".. because that is where they see a setting marked 'Manual' on the camera...and they see that, 'cos all the pro's go manual, don't they... and start obsessing over the hi/lo indicator exposure needle in the viewfinder, and pick aperture, shutter and ISO settings to make it center... good grief! How much faff to set the exact exposure the camera would have picked entirely automatically... and probably pick an utterly unsuitable aperture or shutter to effup the picture, instead of the exposure!

    Manual Focus? Eh? Does NOT compute in today's modern menu minded, button obsessed psyce! Automatc exposure settings are only one 'thing' you can set manually on a camera; other, and actually far less accurate or reliable, than 'auto-exposure' systems is the 'Auto-Focus system! YET, hardly any-one turns that 'off', ad instead of being a slave to the swing eedle for exposure, are a slave to the 'red-dot' for focusing!!! Bizarre.

    However... Depth of Field... how far infront and behind the point you focus the lens on, in the scene, is rendered in acceptably sharp focus.

    On old manual focus lenses, we used to get quite useful DoF scales that put brackets around the focus distace t tell us, for any aperture setting the 'range' of acceptable focus we'd get.. some eve had 'stop down' or DoF preview buttns, to actually close the aperture iris so we could 'see' through the view fider the effect of different aperture settings on DoF... these days the aperture iris is electroncally controlled, and normally doesn't stop down to the taking aperture you set untl you fre the shutter, and you are lucky to get a proper focus distance scale, let alone DoF brackets on it.. but still!

    Depth of Field, is a % of the focus distance; set by the aperture, A-N-D it's some-what proportional to the lens legth. So, the closer your subject, the less DoF you get; the wider your aperture (lower the f-No) the less DoF you get... if you use a longer lens, or zoom setting, you will tend to have to back away from the subject to get the same subject to frame scale, hence that will change the focus distance and the amount of DoF you get. but tryng to keep it simple.

    On your rose; the subject isn't flat; the petals of the rose are almost vertical, and the camera could be trying to get a red-dot ANY where in the petal area, from the very tip closest to you in the middle, to the flat edge of the petal at the bottom almost poking out almost horezontal.

    How tall is the rose flower? 2 inches? 5cm? And you were shooting at a range of what, less than 100cm? At f6, your DoF was likely only 10cm or so, front to back... one third infront of the focus point, two thirds behind.

    If the camera red-dotted on the nearest bit of petal i the middle, then, 3cm of Dof infront was wasted, rendering 'nothing' in focus, and you oly had 6-7cm of the rose behid the front in the accetable focus range. If the Focus red-dotted on the petal poking out at the bottom; you would have had 3cm of focusinfront of that in the DoF zone, and earest tips in the middle are going 'soft', whilst 6-7cm of focus behind isn't resolving anythg, as there is othing there, until, what, aother two three inches, the leaves on the stem are showing.

    Oh-Kay... working at close range; taking macro or almost macro type photo's; you are ealing wth critical focus dstances; A-N-D, if there s ay reason to 'Go-Maual' ths is a damn good one.. and NOT go 'manual exposure' but go 'Manual Focus'.

    Switch the AF off, and focus manually, and if you dont have a DoF scale or brackets or 'preview' do it by Chimping, and fous on the front and then the back, and look at what you get at your preffered aperture, then pick something to put the DoF range around what you want to come ot i acceptable focus..

    Ie rather than leavng it up to the red dot to try and work out whats a 'plane' it can get a bead on i teh scene, more, what plane it thnks you most likely want t to focus on in the scene; DIY! Look through the lens, and focus where YOU want to...

    And on that rose, perhaps 5cm deep, and maybe 10cm of DoF would probably be best placed about 3-4cm into the head of the rose, so that the front petal tips ad the back petal blades are all just i that DoF zone of acceptable focus, and none of it is wasted.

    Likely that there is absolutely NOTHING wrog with your lens.. easy to suggest a lens is a bit soft.. but far more common its the operator! Who, a slave to the rd-dots, will start moaning about focus softness and focus calibration, and gettig ever more absored in the gadgetry of the camera, blaming IT, for not dong what they probably cant! LOOK THROUGH THE LENS! FOCUS the lens on what YOU want to focus on, ot what red-dot guesses you might!

    Oh-Kay.... Post-Process and digital 'sharpening... AHRGRAUMPHUGGERMYSTER!

    No.. j-u-s-t NOoooooooo! Sorry GTG but this s just NOT a solution to this problem!

    Mentioned earlier I have bee a post-process jocket, starting a conventonal dark-room for a very long time... it is pretty amazing what you may do in digital post-process these days, BUT, more remarkeable what you cant.... and ever have been.... and correcting effed up focus IS an absolute top of the list PRIMARY you must get it 'clean camera' No-No!

    There is a trend boardering on obscession these days about 'sharpness'.. which can get a little cofuddling, as its hard to actually say what that actually IS.. and a lot of folk dont recognise that its a combination of factors, of which 'sharp focus' is actually but one element.

    Small asside; small sensor cameras can delver an awful lot of 'aparent' sharpess. Reason is that small sensors ameras usually beg shorter focal length lenses, to give the same subject framing, and they tend to have very near close focus distaces; and the DoF zone as % of focus distance tends to be a far larger 'zone'.

    Eg: I have a 4.5mm 'fish-eye' lens for my DSLR; the closest focus distance is something like 25cm, and infity focus is reached within 1.2m on the scale.. it's actually an auto-focus lens, but gawd knows why it needs it! Infinity focus is almost always withi the DoF zone, at pretty much all apertures, only really 'close' sujects are ever going to go a bit fuzzy, at the widest aperture, and by that I mea aythig less than a hads with from the front of the lens! At about f5 I think I ca put the front element actually touchg a subject and still have it in acceptable focus!

    I also have a little action cam; that too has a 4.5mm focal length lens; has a TNY little sensor behind it, with an enormouse crop factor that gives that incredibly short focal length lens the equivilent field of view of a mild wide lens, maybe about 25mm or so o a Crop-Sensor camera, BUT it is still a 4.5mm lens, and gives the same icredible amount of DoF as the fish-eye... sensor is just croppng a very much more 'normal' angle of view from the middle of it!

    For a action cam, which is primerily designed to shoot video, this s fatastic; the astoundng DoF the lens gives, effectively makes it 'focus free', everything from a few cm ifrot of the camera to finity, is pretty much always going to be in the DoF zone of acceptable focus so o need to have a fancy focus mechanism to adjust it.

    AND everything is always rendered in incredibly 'sharp' focus.. thatks to the enormouse DoF of a very very short lens, and the crop factor.

    Pretty similar principle is used by a lot of small-sensor cameras, from that little action cam, through phone-cams up to micro-sensor compact and bridge cameras, ie the common non-enthusiast 'consumer' cameras..And people are now accustomed to enormously 'sharp' focus photo's, with a awful lot of front to back Depth of Focus.... and so perceive that as a 'good' quality.

    When they step up to larger sensor cameras, that beg longer lenses to get the same agle of view; the DoF starts to shink, and the DoF 'fade' fro the point of critical focus, through the DoF zone of 'acceptable-focus' into the distinctly 'out of focus' field, starts to become more obvious.

    A-N-D, small curiosity, that to actually get more shallow DoF effects, folk oft start chasing fast, huge aperture primes to get it, and you get a quite bzare effect, where with a still relatively short focal length lens on a crop sensor DSLR, you need to use a very wide aperture to get a 'thin' DoF zone, and the rate of DoF fade out of that DoF zone can almost render the in-focus 'subject' so starkly against the distinctly 'out of focus' back-groud, that the sbjects often look as is they have been photo-shop 'merged' ito a scene, and were never actually a part of it; there is no visual conection between them, the DoF fade beig so sharp.

    However... This more critical consideration of 'focus' and 'sharpness' is a perfectly 'natural' change brought about the step from micro-sensor cameras to crop-sensor DSLR's

    And again probably absolutely NOTHING 'wrong' with your lens or your camera, and probably not a lot wrong with how you are using it.... EXCEPT that you don't understand DoF, and now using a larger sensor camera, where that IS something you have to consider and learn to exploit or work within, that the apparent sharpness and huge DoF provided by small sensor cameras, made pretty redundant; you NOW have to think about it...

    NOT try and correct the ruddy thing in Photo-Shop!

    First of all, you only need correct something thats a mistake! Uderstanding DoF ad crtcal focus, it may NOT be! Folk used to go to qute extreme measures to deliberatey achieve 'soft focus' for romantic fashion shots and stuff, usng 'soft focus' filters, or smearing UV filters with vasceline, or using 'centre spot' diffusers to 'diddle' the aparet focus fade ad sharpness around the subject... because 'soft focus' isn't ALWAYS 'bad'! Depends whether its an effect you wish to achieve or avoid!

    And that starts NOT with trying to fudge it after the event in a photo-editor, BUT getting what you want, up front, at point of capture, 'Clean in Camera'.

    Precedent of the Film-Only era, was that many photographers shot exclusively on slide. Few reasons for that; but significantly slide film, making a picture o the negative that was the artifact that would be viewed by the audience COULDN'T really be diddled or adjusted post process in any way.

    Professionals, were often required to submit photos to picture desks on slide, because they would be assessed on prie merit of what was on the film. Yup, in commercial reprographics, if the picture was going to be used for a magazine spread, or bill-board or brochure, there would likely be post-process work done to it; BUT, closer the original image to what the editor wated, less work was needed to touch it up, correct it, and make it usable... IF it was even possible.

    For all the fantastic features of a modern photo-editor, they still cant do an awful lot that couldn't be done in the dark room or reprographics studio fifty or more years ago; and they still cant correct basic primary mistakes LIKE pointing the camera at the wrong thing! Focusing on the wrong thing, or getting the exposure settings cockedup so that the subject is streaked across the frame, or half the scene is out of focus.

    Old addage of the game is that you cant put in what was never there.. so shoot wide, make sure you get it all i, you can always crop it down later; get it focus at point of capture; you ight de-focus, a scene or portions of a scene or de-emphasise them with dodging ad burning post process, BUT you cant put n what was never there, OLY take away... So GET IT CEAN IN CAMERA... that should be your primary objective.

    And just like the photo-desks of old; simple reason, IT SAVES WORK!
    Get what you wat, clean i camera, hen you press the shutter, NO post-processing is required!

    Another lamentable trend of modern photography IS the habitual compulsion to diddle i post process often simply because we can, and do it so easily, and having pt SO many easements into cameras to make it so easy to make a photo, to take away so much need to 'faff', and made it so unengaging to do.. it seems that camera-knob obsession, and post processing are a placebo to let folk 'feel' they are doing seething important and really getting 'involved' with this photo making lark!

    BUT, poit is is is NOT necessary; before computers and the digital dark room, post-processing was something very very few even ore enthusiastic photographers engaged in, and most pro's actually strategically avoided! Time in the dark room, was tie they could be taking photo's and making money! Made no sense to spend any more time there than they absolutely had to.

    As said, I am a dark-room 'jock'; was very early ito Digital Photo-Manipulation I do put far more time in there than I probably need or aught to diddling photo's in post; an awful lot of which are old flm photo's scanned to digital, I am often restoring... however.

    Taking a 'set' on digital, its a absolute effoff ball-ache, mind numbing waste of time, to come back with perhaps 300 very similar shots, to sit there workig through them all, individully, messing wth sliders tweekng exposure or contrast or whatever, JUST because I have shot them all in Nikon's 'RAW' NEF format, so HAVE to open them in ViewNX to review them, and make a jpg 'display' copy that a prit, share or publish.. so WHILE I'M HERE... oh, I wonder if it would look tter wth a tad more saturation... Hmmm.. should I clone out that crisp packet... and so it goes on!

    Its just NOT necessary! AND one of the reasons, as a rule I shoot JPG, not RAW! There is very very lttle added 'adjustment' you may make to a RAW file over a JPG, ad there is't a enorouse amount you can do to a JPG to turn a pigs ear into a silk purse!

    Get it "Clean In Camera", at point of capture, and its pretty much redundant, you nailed it; you dont NEED to try correct or salvage the image. So WHY mess with it?
     
  18. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

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    IF on the other hand, you want to start trying thigs that cant be achieved 'in camera', experimenting with creative photo-manipulations, that's another story.. but THEN, getting it clean in camera is often even MORE important, and you frequently have to shoot expressly TO post process.

    Little example above of the Tr-Chrome bowl of fruit experiment; that 'colour' image wasn't going to be made 'in camera', Yup, I could have shot a straight colour JPG, but whole tent was to re-produce that atique process and crate the same sort of 'effect' and 'imperfections'; those are mostly shown by colour shifts and fringing effects caused by movement in the scene between the individual exposures.

    Now, the bowl of fruit shot, has no dynamic element nothing was going to move, I hoped! between exposures, so nothing aught have revealed the 'effect'; But that as a experiment, shot expressly for post-process, so that I cold see whether n post-process I cold accurately align the three co-incident images AND get the colourisation, 'acceptably', before I tried it on something a little more tricky... that I hoped would have a little more movement it.

    That is one example of shooting expressly to post process; but, many many more, and if you wat the clasic or even cliche, its the photo-merge, of taking a person from one photo and montaging them ito the scene of another.

    Very very east to do in a photo editor... incredibly, ICREDIBLY hard to do 'well' so that the resultant picture looks 'natural', when shooting the elements expressly to be montaged, becomes a key part of the job, to match lighting directions and perspective and... yup Depth of focus!

    Which is all going a bit 'deep' into the topics... BUT the poit is that post-process photo-editig should NOT be your first course of action, but your last.

    Primary objective should be to get t as good as you can at poit of capture, aim for "Clean in Camera" the you shouldn't need to routinely 'diddle' in post.

    Limits of post should be to make the odd correction where it DOES genuinely enhance the photo; and the only one I really endose is some 'cropping', where it is legitimate to 'shoot wide' TO crop, to give yourself some margin for error and some options to crop to alternate proportions for different frame sizes or the like.

    Some justification for the occasional 'salvage'; as mentioned a lot of y post-process is restoring old film-photo's. I cant go back and re-shoot pictures taken twenty years ago, of folk now dead or grown up, or what-ot, and many of those photo's may be quite rare memories, worth restoring or even salvaging if they weren't that great to start with. But, now? Often a heck of a lot easier, to go back to source and re-shoot ad get it "Clean in Camera" than try and recover something that you completely cockedup; ad if the photo was a study like your rose? Why spend all night trying to sharpen it up it a photo-editor; pick the camera up go back ito the garden, try again!

    The you are down to creative post-process effects, again, and as sad, clean-in-camera is still key; so many creative post-process effects demanding mages shot strategcally to be prost-processed, and more, wth even more discipline and attension to get them clean in camera to make them work in post process.

    Back to post-process 'sharpening' the actual digital re-rendition is a little carouse, and whilst it can enhance perceived 'sharpness' t s NOT a correction for poor Focus or control of Depth of Field.

    At a base level, Digital sharpenig is actually a deliberate degredation, in whch the actual losses are hopefully less tha the percieved enhancement... what the computer is doig is looking for edges and lines, dstinct 'discontinuites' in the image, and possibly some fringe effects around them; then it is locally increasing the contrast accross the discontiuity, so that the change is more discernable, or 'sharper'.. its not ACTUALLY in better or sharper focus, just sharper contrast... AND relies on there actually beng a reasonably dstinct discontinuity for it to recognise to begin with... which begs some decent level of Acceptable Focus.. or it cant even do that!

    And, the 'risk' as said is that it's ot necessarily an 'enhancement' ts a deliberate distortion; mentioned the almost artificial looks like a subject has bee photo-shopped ito a scene effect that is a common phenomenon of small sensor dgital, and the very rapid rate hat wide apertures focus fade fro the critical focus point, that can lead to a almost clinical detachment of in focus subject to out of focus scene; 'sharpening' is likely to actually cause or exacerbate; because it s NOT correcting original focus error.. just apparent sharpness, whch ISN'T just focus sharpness, but contrast and edge defanition, or even edge effects like motion blurr! Which as said, may NOT necessarily be negative effects, but actually help make the picture.

    Which brigs us ack to top, and its about exploitig effects to get what you wat, and working from the premise that the objectve should be to get it clean in camera, putting in the time and care and attension and diligence to get what you wat whe you press the shutter.. ad NOT hope to 'make' a photo after the event in post-process photo-editor...

    Focus, Depth of Focus, learn about both and learn how to exploit DoF effects, whether for deep DoF or Shallow; and how to do it 'manually' to work around the far greater short comings of Auto-Focus, than Auto-Exposure has associated with it; learn how the DoF shrinks wth focus distance, as well as changes with aperture, and learn how to get the DoF zone placed where you want it in a scene, rather than focusing on an arbitery spot in a scene and leaving it to be placed arbitrarily 1/3 front, 2/3 behind that; shift the critical focus point forward or back in the scene to get the DoF zone covering what you want.

    And remember, here and now, if anything is lettng your photo's down, its most likely your know-how and technique, NOT the camera or the lens, or lack of post-processing.

    And the rose? ACTUALLY quite a charming shot. You have stuck it slap n the ddle of the frame, and you have kept the camera in the usual 'landscape' mode to make an oblong across the horizontal.. which are TWO immediate newby tendencies, I would take ssue with long before commenting on the crticality of focus or apparent focus softness!

    You can turn a camera through 90 degrees to shoot the 'portrait' orietation, the oblong on the vertical.

    And there is abslutely NO law that says you have to put the subject slap bang in the middle of the frame... actually theres a 'rule' called the rule-of-thirds worth reading up on, which says that the most pleasant composito is foud putting the subject 1/3 in or 1/3 down from the egde of frame, slightly 'off' centre, and most DSLR's usually have a 'rule of thirds' grid line over-lay the preview screen menu to help as a guide i dog this!

    "North-South-East-West, Check the corers THEN the rest!"

    DONT just grab the camera, holding it flat ad only look at the middle of the view-finder.

    Good photo's start with good composition. Whats OUTSIDE the camera, ot whats in it!

    Look at EVERYTHING in the frame. Do you want it all? does it add 'context' around the subject to explain the photo?

    Turn the camera 'portrait' ponder the subject again, do you get ore or better context around it? Can you get 'more' subject ito the frame, or ore context and less clutter fro framing t that way than trying to zoom ad get closer up?

    Step back, step up, get high, get low; consider the angle of view, and ot ust the subject but the alternative context; IS there a 'better' shot to be fond JUST from a slight change of view-point...

    Back to the framing, North-South-East-West check the corners, then the rest... look at everything you have in the frame.. That's your picture... IS that the picture you want? Is that the best you can do with teh subject you have?

    Composition, Composition, Composition.... Its s THE key ingredient to better photo's LONG before you need worry about soft focus, focus effects, going manual, camera settings, or post-process possibilities...

    It is the absolute START of taking better pictures.. and fro slap i the middle, land-scape letter box shot, THAT is here ad ow your best place to start....

    Further reading!(If I haven't worn out your eye-sight already!)

    1/ Composition; The rule of thirds,elements of a picture, subject, context and 'clutter'.
    2/ Camera holding. steady holding, landscape & portrait orientations; how to use the frame to best effect.
    3/ Depth of Focus.. how the focus zone changes with focus distance aperture and lens length; how to explot Depth of focus either for most front to back 'focus' or for shallow focus effects and rendering back-ground out of focus.

    You do NOT at this stage need to start fretting about post processing or post-process correction; AIM for clean in camera; so you dont have anything to 'correct' in post!

    You don't need worry about 'sharpness'.. just recognize, that its not all about focus, OR that lack of sharpness is necessarily 'bad'

    But keep up the good work, your rose, is a promising start.
     
  19. GTG

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    @Teflon-Mike You talk a load of non-sense, it is easy to tell from your massive oddball rants that you are a bit of a nut job
     
  20. Teflon-Mike

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    I'll have you know, my psychiatrist, insisted I was completely sane... just before she had a nervous breakdown! lol
    Still, post-process sharpening isn't a solution to nailing focus in camera, which is likely the 'problem' here trying for close-ups; not a soft lens, and remains, last on the list of areas of potential improvement, where composition remains ther best start point, is free and likely do more for everything and anything they tackle.
     
  21. Lefrash

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    Thanks for both of your inputs guys. I've had another photo session this evening (or I should say last night ) and the sharpness was MUCH better. I took ALOT more photos and I was ensuring my subjects were no less than 2/3 feet away. I still got a alot of blurry or soft fucus shots but on the whole things definitely improved. I suppose the skill is in being able to choose what kind of shot I'm going for rather than just be lucky what comes out!
     
  22. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

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    At 1/100th you shouldn't be at too much risk of motion blur from camera shake or subject movement; at last not on something fairly fixed to the floor like a flower... so tends to suggest focus/DoF criticality BUT, there is possible scope still for camera shake.
    How are you holding the camera? Are you using the peep-hole optical view-finder or the LCD back-panel preview screen?
    A tripod is one of the most useful accessories for an awful lot of jobs I find, and eve a diddy pocket one, propped on a wall or car roof, or picnic table, firing the shutter on self timer, has helped me get some great shots in tricker situations even with very humble compact; Could be worth looking at. BUT here and now, if focus is still a bit hit ad miss; read up on holding techniques.
    Using the optical peep-hole rather than the rear-screen s a good way to bring the camera closer to your body so closer to your own center of gravity for stability, rather than having it wobble about at arms length; there's then some quite useful advice for posture; using elbows tucked 'in' to add some support and bracing; cradling the lens with the left had to increase support; THEN probably most worth while, to modulate your breathing, and take a breath before pressing the shutter, so as to be as calm and steady to keep camera still, and how to 'squeeze' the shutter, gently, half holding then clicking through to release, ad being 'gentle' to avoid 'snatching' or twisting as you release the shutter...
    Backing up a bit more, giving your subject a bit more space in the frame, will also help a lot; remember DoF is a % of the focus distance; back up, increasing focus distance, you also increase DoF. don't try ad get so tight around the flower, better it be a little small in the frame, than blurry.. you ca always crop after.
    If focus is still a bit hit and miss; there's chance it is the AF system, being unhelpful, most though because what you are likely doing is half-holding the shutter release, which 'locks' focus, and then shifting focus distance ever-so slightly as you full depress the shutter button... here its the holding and squeezing basic technique that will do most to alleviate the inconsistency, and as suggested switching to 'manual' focus, pickig the focus distance you want, can be helpful to avoid indavertant focus shift via the AF, if you 'unlock' focus through inadvertently releasing the half button depression, before completing the 'push'..
    Daft idiocyncrasy, that catches many out that one;half holding to focus lock, then releasig it 'just' before they make the full press to release the shutter; often twisting or tilting the camera as thy do, loosing the focus they had 'locked' when they so carefully composed the shot. As said, basic holding technique should take you a long way, and is corner-stone to getting it right and clean in camera, before anything else.
     

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