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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Thu 30-Sep-10 09:48 AM
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"D50 Sharpness"


Stockport, GB
          

I have a D50 with Tamron AF 70mm-300mm. Nikon 55mm-200mm and
Nikon 18mm-55mm lenses. I use a tripod, mirror flipped up and
remote control to eliminate camera shake. I can get very good
exposure but 
Sharpness eludes me no matter what adjustments I make.

When I input a RAW image (shot with maximimum sharpness)into
Picture Project,Brightness on Auto hardly makes any adjustment
and frequently not even noticeable. When I select Sharpness
and put it on High there is a marked improvement on sharpness
which I would
like to get from the D50 without post manipulation. Am I
expecting too much from the D50? Any response would be
appreciated.

  

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Covey22 Moderator Expert in various fields including aviation photography Awarded for his contributions to the Resources and The Nikonian eZine Charter MemberThu 30-Sep-10 12:27 PM
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#1. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

In-camera sharpening is never as effective as post-process on the PC. Ultimately, you will have to plunge in and create a workflow that ingests your photos and applies sharpening, noise reduction, etc. This is the only way to get maximum image quality in the end.

"Toodle-loo from Covey22!"

-Armando
Nikonians Team
Nikonians News - Fresh Everyday!

The Covey Blog!

My Plan:

Get out of the car.
Get closer to the subject.
Pick the right mid-tone this time.

See My Nikonians Gallery

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Thu 30-Sep-10 01:52 PM
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#2. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 1


Stockport, GB
          

Thanx Covey22. Your observations confirmed my suspicions. As I
no longer drive the "getting out of the car plan just
doesn't cut the mustard" I have tried the other things 3
foot away from runners and the mid tone tweak. I do feel that
one is not going to get portrait sharpness with a full figure
pose. Thanx.

  

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Asgard Administrator He is your Chief Guardian Angel at the Helpdesk and knows a lot about a lot Nikonian since 07th Apr 2004Thu 30-Sep-10 06:06 PM
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#3. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 0


East Frisia, DE
          

It would be good if you could upload
the Images to your gallery.

Also I would Download from the Nikon USA Site
the new ViewNx2 Software.

Gerold - Nikonian in East Frisia
Eala Freya Fresena

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 01-Oct-10 01:01 PM
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#4. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

The other thing to observe is that you are shooting raw. That does not do any post processing to the file at all. In particular, there is no sharpening. (The exception to this is if you're doing your post processing with Capture NX2, but clearly you're not doing that.)

Since there is no sharpening, you are viewing the effects of both a relatively old bayer sensor design with a relatively strong anti-aliasing filter - in other words, pretty much worst case.

If you want to have good sharpness without post processing, you will need to shoot JPEG - where the in-camera settings will be applied. Of course, then you lose the benefits of shooting raw.

Raw really means raw: you have to process it.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Fri 01-Oct-10 04:31 PM
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#7. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 0


Livermore, CA, US
          

Hi Philip,

There are few things that contribute to sharpness, and also some issues that apply to all digital cameras that you should be aware of.

Things that can rob sharpness:

- Camera movement. It sounds like you have this handled well, using a tripod and remote. The D50 however does not have a mirror lock-up mode or mirror delay so I'm not sure what you're doing regarding the mirror. Generally mirror vibration is only a problem in a specific shutter speed range (1/15-1/60 or so) so if in testing you find this is a problem, you can avoid these speeds by changing ISO and/or aperture. You can help reduce vibrations further by "loading" your tripod, hanging weight from the center column, or even leaning on it during exposure. The quality of your tripod and head are critical as well. If these aren't high quality, then all bets are off.

- Focus. If you are missing focus this will certainly affect sharpness. You can experiment with this with a static subject by first autofocusing, shooting, then switch to manual and take subsequent pictures with micro movements of the focus ring. Hopefully the AF shot is the sharpest, otherwise you have a problem that could be camera, could be lens, could be electrical contacts between the two.

- Subject movement. Here you just needs shutter speed fast enough to freeze your subject, if it's moving. For humans this is probably in the 1/150-1/400 minimum, depending on how fast it's moving. For birds, closer to 1/800 or faster.

- Depth of field. If you don't have adequate DOF then some areas of your photo will be sharp and others will appear out of focus.

It would be helpful to see some actual photos so we can help diagnose, but that's the general scoop as I see it.

On the subject of digital capture, and this is true of all digital cameras (some more so than others), the sensor has a filter on the front that slightly blurs the image. This is to prevent "moiré" patterns from emerging when the frequency patterns in the subject are close to the spacing of pixels in the sensor. The classic problem is taking portraits and the fabric of the person's suit takes on all these bizarre patterns. It can occur in landscapes as well in the textures of rocks and grass. Google moiré to get a better idea of this, but for practical purposes what you need to know is that digital cameras that are known for being very sharp "out of camera" are also prone to moiré problems. The Anti-Aliasing filter helps prevent this, but at the expense of initial image sharpness.

The takeaway from all this is that with digital capture, softness in unprocessed images is natural and there for a very good reason, and sharpening your images in post processing is therefore a necessary part of the digital workflow. You can set up your camera to sharpen for you, however as you get serious you'll probably find you need more advanced techniques and you'll do the work in post processing.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sat 02-Oct-10 05:22 AM
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#8. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 3


Stockport, GB
          

Thanx Gerold, I will try the new software you suggested

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sat 02-Oct-10 05:23 AM
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#9. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 8


Stockport, GB
          

Thanx Brian, most helpful.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sat 02-Oct-10 05:36 AM
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#10. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 4


Stockport, GB
          

Thanx Larry, the mirror lock up was something I tried (page 116 of the manual), without really reading the full paragraph. Mirror Lock Up refers to raising the mirror for cleaning purposes and returning to normal immediately afterwards, of which I am sure you are well aware, but to me I wanted it to be something else having purchased a book that advised mirror lock up helped remove some camera shake removal.I guess the author has a top class camera with such a function.

Your in depth response was most helpful which may take me some time to digest.

Refreshingly, of all the replies I have received, not one mentioned getting a better camera, which I am pleased about.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sun 03-Oct-10 02:55 PM
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#11. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 3


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Gerold

Following your suggestion to try ViewNx2 I have selected a few images in My Gallery. Looking at the images on site I can see defects that were not so obvious before posting. Your comments would be most appreciated especially when clicked on to view larger picture.

I do like the program even though not all options are supported for the D50. I have already dealt with the more obvious defects (saturation, tone etc)and altered my basic settings. It is raining heavy so I cannot test the changes yet.

Kindest regards

Philip

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sun 03-Oct-10 02:59 PM
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#12. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 4


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Following the suggestion to use ViewNx2 I have submitted a few images in My Gallery.

Your opinion would be most appreciated, especially when clicking on to view a larger image. I have spotted defects on site that were not apparent and some corrective changes have been made.

Kindest regards

Philip

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sun 03-Oct-10 03:02 PM
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#13. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 7


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Larry

Following advice to use ViewNx2 I have posted a few images in My Gallery. Your comments would be most appreciated.

Kindest regards

Philip

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 04-Oct-10 05:21 PM
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#14. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

I looked at the gallery files, or some of them. First, I don't see how you could possibly be shooting the equestrian events with the mirror flipped up, or for that matter with a remote. I shoot equestrian and I don't even use a tripod - it's a monopod for me, and I'm using some much heavier glass. I'm more than a little suspicious that those were just hand-held, because I have a pretty fair amount of trouble with "perfect" framing even with a lot of experience. I can't imagine even attempting to shoot sports with the mirror locked up. I can't really even imagine using LiveView - I did that for a few frames yesterday with some slow-moving animals (sheep in pens) and even that was pretty hard.

All of the equestrian shots seem to me to be shot at marginal shutter speeds, usually 1/250th-1/320th, with longer focal lengths. I saw 145mm and 240mm for sure. I can't see your technique, but given the rule of thumb being that shutter speed should be at least 1 / (focal_length + 50%) you're not really there, even if you have good technique. I can see pretty clear signs of camera motion, usually softness in the static parts of the frame - the jumps and their frames, for example, should not be moving at all. I'm guessing that your 55-200 is NOT a VR lens? I know that the Tamron is not unless you just got it in the last month or so. "Strutting its stuff" is shot at 300mm but with a shutter speed of 1/500, which is only just barely sufficient according to the rule of thumb. If your technique for holding it is not excellent, even this speed will be marginal.

Next, you're shooting things in fairly quick motion from relatively close distances. This isn't like an airplane at 2000 yards distance - at 150mm you are no more than 100 feet from these horses and likely closer. Shutter speeds necessary to do this are relatively high. I find that I prefer 1/1000th if I can arrange it, and if necessary that means turning up the ISO. You're not so far from there already, so it should require too much more than base, even on those cloudy days. I have much faster lenses so it's easy for me to get to 1/2000th, and at those speeds it's much easier to deal with both camera and subject motion.

The ones of the runners were shot mostly at around 1/250th, and in all of the ones I looked at (not all), there are clear indications of subject motion. In some cases that's in the extremities - hands, feet - that are moving faster than other parts, and some of it is due to panning or other camera motion.

Finally, the 55-200 is a sharp lens, but some of the older Tamron 70-300's are not especially impressive. Every one of the shots I looked at was shot wide open or very close to that (f/6). Virtually no lens is sharpest wide open (there are a few very expensive exceptions to this rule), and improving the delivered sharpness may require stopping down to f/8 or even f/11 on the Tamron, and even the 55-200 will benefit from f/8 instead of f/5.6. Yes, this is somewhat contradicting the above specification for faster shutter speeds!

There's also something a little weird about the processing in some of these. I can't put my finger on it, but the edges look unusual to me, and I don't think that's helping the impression of sharpness.

Finally, for some of the shots (the hawk and the turkey) are shot at very close to minimum focus distance. I don't know the characteristics of your lens, but I do know that I have a couple of other lenses that simply don't perform as well at minimum focus as they do at a distance. That could well be true in your case as well.

I do agree that all of the shots that I looked at were unsharp, many of them to the point of making the image unusable. A look at these suggests pretty strongly that there are technique and capture errors, possibly combined with lens faults, that are making these images much, much less sharp than what's possible.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Wed 06-Oct-10 07:52 AM
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#15. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 14


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for your most valuable comments.

The flip up mirror issue (now I realise only for cleaning purposes)only arose after the published photographs were taken. Your observations were absolutely spot on regarding the other photographs. The tripod was not used on any of these images. My original text merely indicated that I had tried all things generally known to me to get sharpnessand i was seeking help. Unaware and not expecting an in-depth response I was amazed at your thoughtful comments which are greatly appreciated, very professional.

The images were jpg and subject to Picture Project, Photoshop and PaintshopPro in an effort to get sharpness, a bit of overkill on my part I am afraid. Very much a dog's dinner resulted and these should never have seen the light of day.I have no excuses and I apologise for my time wasting.

Wise after the event I have removed these images to make a fresh start. I would like to use your suggestions and take some photographs with minimal post process using ViewNx2 and the Picture Correction add on. Would you mind if I notify you when they are posted for your comments?

My camera is only a D50 and in mediocre light it struggles to give me good exposure with high shutter speed. No excuses. Clearly I need to study your suggestions and put them into practice.

Kindest regards

Philip

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 06-Oct-10 12:45 PM
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#16. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 15


Richmond, US
          

Don't be so hard on yourself - all of us started in the same place, knowing nothing about photography. Just work on improving, and things will get better. As for not letting those see the light of day - how were you going to figure this out any other way?

You are limited by your tools, although I'd say that the limit on the D50 is higher than you perceive. I have a very similar D100, and while it is clearly nowhere near the equal of, say, the D3, it's definitely capable of quite a bit. Finally remember that a noisy image can be at least partially addressed in post processing. A blurry one can't! So turn up that ISO and get some sharp images. Once captured - especially in raw - you can work on them later, returning to them if necessary. I've gotten some quite nice results out of 6- and 7-year old files that I only now have the software and/or skills to address.

As far as the dog's dinner... some dogs seem to have rather nice dinners!

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Fri 08-Oct-10 04:23 AM
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#17. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 15


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

As I value your opinion very highly I have taken the liberty of posting 5 images on My Gallery for your perusal.

I am sorry to impose on your good nature but I do need help as you will see.

This is very much back to basics but I have to start somewhere so I have selected 5 images with my shortest lens and without any post processing. I felt I would not move further forward until I got the basics right.

Sorry to say, the images are a reflection of this area of the UK. As you may know 2010 years ago while America had the bison roving free England was conquered by the Romans, returned to the Anglo-Saxons, conquered by the Normans,developed by the Industrial Revolution and became a Kingdom in the process, none of which gave us a Yosemite landscape.

Kindest regards

Philip

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 09-Oct-10 01:39 AM
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#18. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 17


Richmond, US
          

Those are much better, as I'm sure you knew. You're still shooting pretty much exclusively wide open - so it can still be sharper. You've dramatically reduced the camera motion problem, although even at 1/1000th shots like these will be sharper on a tripod than hand-held.

The steps shot is probably about as sharp as you can get without some post processing.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sat 09-Oct-10 05:34 AM
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#19. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 18


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for your very valuable comments.

Later today I have the opportunity to shoot a 5000k run in my local park. I shall try the 55-200mm lens with pre-focus. With your permission I would like to post them for your suggestions providing they are worth it.

Kindest regrads

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 09-Oct-10 12:23 PM
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#20. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 19


Richmond, US
          

Not a problem, although I'll observe that I will be traveling a lot this week and perhaps not checking in as often as usual.

For the 5k run, I'd work on:

- use a fast enough shutter speed - at least 1/500th. Check your results in the field and be sure that this is enough. I would think so (I shoot baseball at 1/400th, but it also depends on situation) but as I recall some of your 1/250th shots had clear subject motion artifacts.

- use AF-C and acquire the subject well before you actually take the shot.

- turn up the ISO if necessary to maintain shutter speed.

- practice panning (moving the camera, and part of yourself as necessary) to keep the subject in the AF target.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sun 10-Oct-10 12:41 PM
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#21. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 20


Stockport, GB
          

Hi Brian

Here are 4 shots out of 140, if you would cast your eyes over them for me. The day was very bleak and nowhere as bright as the images show. Heavy post processing I am afraid and when enlarged the noise is atrocious. However, the name of the game was sharpness.

I have taken your suggestions on board and tried them out but only on an empty and drab landscape.

I shall try the 5k run again and I am looking to do a shoot at our local main line railway station. Nothing to compare with your Big-Boy but plenty of DMU's and Euro stock. Enjoy your travels.

Kindest regards

Philip

PS I have upgraded to Silver membership following your helpful suggestions...tell your boss he is not paying you enough!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 11-Oct-10 02:43 AM
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#22. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 21


Richmond, US
          

Your latest four are far sharper - they are in focus and there is little or no hint of camera or subject motion. If you hadn't had a lot of noise, I think you'd find that these are pretty sharp.

I think part of your problem with noise and the very "bright" images is that you've got the meter set in spot mode. Combined with the fact that you're aiming at... black shirts (!) you're getting the black metered to be medium grey. This is the big reason why you've got such bright images, and since you're in effect slowing everything down by two stops, I'd say that this is the main reason that you've got a lot of noise, too. The noise in turn is making it really hard to do sharpening - the sharpening code is probably trying to sharpen the noise!

What ISO were these shot at?

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Mon 11-Oct-10 12:46 PM
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#23. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 22


Stockport, GB
          

Hi Brian

Thank you for your time and your trouble.

The ISO was 1600 as it was a very dull day and there was a lot of shadow and shade about.

As ever you were spot on about the metering and the focus mode...together, the way I was combining them without much thought, they were a recipe for disaster.A question of a little knowledge being dangerous. I had a mini photo session later and I tried the other metering and focus mode options and these were encouraging me to lessen the light which was a far cry from my usual range of adjustments which usually had me fighting for light. As these shots were only taken in my back garden late in the day they are of not much use.

I have taken everything you have told me on board and I have applied the suggestions. My next serious session should see some more improvement.

Many thanks and the kindesdt of regards.

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Wed 20-Oct-10 11:36 AM
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#24. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 22


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Here are 5 images from a shoot I did this morning. The first sunny day in 10 days!

I feel happier with these shots but would you please let me have your opinion on the sharpness. I have used a little tweaking, mostly with DS lighting and Shadow protection.

Your thoghts on shadow and highlight would be greatly appreciated.

Perhaps you would tell me what you would have done differently. Your last reply on metering and focusing were a great help in this shoot.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 20-Oct-10 03:30 PM
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#25. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 24


Richmond, US
          

You're in Stockport! I have some railroad friends in Stockport, and I've taken the time to do similar kinds of shoots.

These are vastly better in sharpness - I think this is what is representative of what the hardware can do. There are sharper lenses, but as you can see it takes technique to exploit them, and even so most of those sharper lenses are only somewhat sharper at these apertures. There's still a little more that can be gotten out of your current gear, but this is probably 90% or more of what's attainable.

I suspect that you don't need a tripod at these shutter speeds and lenses to get very close to this sharpness. Your lenses have VR, and if you're using it (and allowing the VR to settle before releasing the shutter), you'll get probably 98% of this sharpness most of the time. If you're planning to make a big - really big - print, go for the tripod, but if you can maintain the parameters in the safe area, hand-held will certainly do very well. If the light goes down, though, a tripod will be a major improvement.

As far as exposure goes, I think you're a bit hot (overexposed) on some of them. For example, 0927.jpg is almost certainly a bit blown out. (I'm on a marginally calibrated monitor so I can't tell for sure, although I doubt it's too far off.) In that one it looks like you've opted to preserve shadows at the expense of highlights. That's a valid choice but I don't think it's an exclusive choice on this image and probably on this one I'd have opted differently as there are a lot of highlight areas that are very distracting. I shoot raw and thus have more latitude to process, but I'd go into Lightroom and try to recover those highlights. You may or may not be able to do that with a jpg.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Wed 20-Oct-10 04:50 PM
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#26. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 25


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for your valued opinion, very much appreciated.

At the % quoted I think that this is a vast improvement just taking on board your sage advice. 100%, I think, would only be possible where there was no movement involved allowing a free choice of apertures and shutter speeds with either no skies or no dark shadows.

I have reduced the contrast to it's lowest setting (-2) and on my shoot this morning I put in an ND2 filter to remove the blown highlights and then I changed this to ND4. The problem was the darks were too dark by this process and required a lot of tweaking in post processing. Ideally, I would like to narrow the range, less at each end of the tonal spectrum. The bits and pieces at the side of the track and the highlights on the trains were a problem as was the headlight on every train. I think it would have been best if I was in a large field where I could avoid the sky and shoot a stationary train with more choices of speed.


Does your expensive camera allow you to adjust any of these parameters?

By the way the drivers windows were actually very dark being of the smoked glass variety. Dark windows, headlights, shiny reflections on the carriage bodies, light catching rails and lineside clutter with sky and dark railside shadows was never going to be easy!

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 21-Oct-10 12:25 AM
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#27. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 26


Richmond, US
          

> 100%, I think, would only be possible where there was no movement involved allowing a free choice of apertures and shutter speeds with either no skies or no dark shadows.

Or you can bump up the ISO. And perhaps there is room for improvement in your hand-holding technique (this is usually true of most beginners).

With the skies, you can often use a graduated ND filter.

> ND2 filter

I'd suggest just using the exposure compensation feature - you'll get the same exposure, but you won't compromise the AF system's light.

> narrow the range

That's what a graduated ND is for. Not a perfect solution, but a very workable one for many situations.

> Does your expensive camera allow you to adjust any of these parameters?

A D3 has more exposure latitude to begin with, and more importantly the lower inherent noise of its sensor allows significantly more latitude to edit the shadows without creating noise problems. But basically I am using the same techniques I'm describing to you: graduated NDs, HDR software, exposure compensation, sometimes spot metering and sometimes combined with the Zone System.

Later models (not just my D3) allow easy access to noise-free higher ISOs: I can shoot at ISO 1600 and get almost as clean an image as you've got here at ISO 200, and even 6400 is pretty clean.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Thu 21-Oct-10 01:49 AM
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#28. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 27


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for your in depth response.

I do understand your comments and in my very next shoot I will boost the ISO and try using the EV more.

As for the camera holding technique the handshake is as bad as you can imagine. With my advancing years (71) I have more than my share of unsteady hands, that is why the tripod or solid support on a wall or post is a godsend. Without support or leaning on something for support, my free shot from when I focus and shoot to preview could be half a frame adrift.

I do appreciate your help and I would like to think it is evident
in the results so far.

You have improved my work considerably in a relatively short time which has brought me into the frame for producing the best the D50 can do. I suppose the professional would know the limits of his camera and work within those limits.

I could not juustify the expenditure on the magnificent D3 or close equivalent but I think I can swing the D700 past my wife.

As you have been a top flight photographer for sometime can you remember when the D50 was state of the art? This was before my time as a photographer (and I use the term loosely). Were the photographs then an improvement on what had gone before?

Once again, thank you.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 21-Oct-10 03:19 AM
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#29. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 28


Richmond, US
          

> You have improved my work considerably in a relatively short time

That's one reason I do this!

> As you have been a top flight photographer for sometime can you remember when the D50 was state of the art?

Yes I do: I started on an Exakta VXIIb, and have used Nikons such as the F2A and FM2n. But perhaps more relevant is that I actually still use a D100, which has the same sensor as the D50.

> Were the photographs then an improvement on what had gone before?

No, not really. The biggest difference is the greatly improved anti-aliasing filters used on newer cameras - that includes the D7000 and D90, D300 and probably D3100. This blurs the image less, meaning less requirement for sharpening. But for the most part, when used well, it's surprisingly hard to tell the newer from the older cameras. A D50/40/100/3000 etc is actually at least as capable as any Nikon/Canon/Minolta/etc up through about 1995 or so, and often much more so. That means that any of the great images from the 60s, 70s or 80s could have been shot on your D50 - and at least as well.

What's really different is in the boundaries of where a good shot can be accomplished. For your trains in Stockport, I'd say that there's only a difference in how big I could print the result: with a D50 or D100, it probably requires being quite careful to make a quality 24x36" print, whereas a 12mp body can make that same print fairly easily. Ditto for the shots of the runners in the park. But having the luxury of twisting the ISO up to 1600 or higher with impunity means that I can shoot sports under the lights, or match an outdoor exposure through the windows - but with a flash indoors. And I can keep a moving subject in focus even though I might be in a jeep that's bouncing around on a dirt road. With a D50 or D100 I wouldn't even take the camera out in some of those situations - even with high-capability lenses.

> I think I can swing the D700

Before you spend that much money, consider one of the DX bodies - which are considerably less money, and the D7000 and D300s are quite close to the D700 in capability. Check out my gallery; see if you can identify which ones came from which cameras and lenses. For the most part, it's really pretty hard.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Thu 21-Oct-10 11:19 AM
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#30. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 29
Thu 21-Oct-10 11:24 AM by philipbaker

Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you the time you have taken on my behalf.

Your reply was very highlighting and well worth slow perusal. Very interesting. I shall go through every one of your photographs before I do another shoot.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 21-Oct-10 01:39 PM
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#31. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 30
Thu 21-Oct-10 01:44 PM by blw

Richmond, US
          

As far as how different cameras work, have a look here in my Nikonians gallery. I've posted two files, full size, processed identically(*). They're both shot from the same tripod position, with the same lens, and the same subject, just a minute or two apart. The lens is the 200/f4 AFD Micro-Nikkor, one of Nikon's best, meaning that it's far and away capable of extracting the most out of either of these two sensors. Indeed it probably out-resolves even the 24mp D3x.

One of those files was shot on the 4mp D2h, the other on a 12mp D2x. Eve looking at the full-size renderings at 100% zoom on a big 27" display, I think it's pretty hard to pick out the differences. It's not impossible, and I'm sure I could find some that highlight the differences rather than being indifferent, although this is the only direct comparison I have on file.

------
(*) Close inspection of the EXIF data will show that there is a slight difference in exposure, 1/15th vs 1/20th sec. This is due to the fact that I had a KatzEye focusing screen in one but not the other, with slightly different results. I added compensating exposure difference in processing, since this is not really about the difference as most would see it. (Ie most users would have a KE in either both cameras or more likely neither.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Fri 22-Oct-10 08:30 AM
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#32. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 31
Fri 22-Oct-10 09:04 AM by philipbaker

Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for valuable insight, greatly appreciated.

I think it would be better if I applied all your principles to the D50 until I know what I am doing before moving upward.

So far I have restricted myself to scenes with movement but I think it is time I tried macro and non movement shots to cover a wider spectrum which I would like to submit in due course for your comments. This would allow me slower shutter speeds and more time to reflect between shots.

After the Train shoot I tried half a dozen hand held shots of buses but from my vantage point the highlights were blown out where the sun caught bright surfaces.

I am going to try shooting the 5k run tomorrow, weather permitting,
but restrict my usage to the 18-55mm lens. Distance from the action is not a problem as I can stand 3 feet away from the athletes. Next week I will try the Train shots again using the 18-55 lens as the end of platforms are not populated but fenced off and the warning line is 3 feet away from the platform edge.

I notice that when I use Auto ISO the D50 shows ISO between the 4 availabe to the user and goes up to 6400 which is in red.

Incidentally, I prefer to view my images on a PC screen 15" x 11" 1024 x 768 although I can go up to 1280 x 1024 and I seldom print out, do you have any thoughts for the optimum shooting size for this screen area and resolutions.

Many thanks and the kindest regards.

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 22-Oct-10 01:35 PM
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#33. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 32


Richmond, US
          

> I think it would be better if I applied all your principles to the D50 until I know what I am doing before moving upward.

You are wise to recognize this - more people should! It's also worth observing that the more advanced cameras are a mixed blessing, just as a truly great audio system is. With an indifferent stereo, one often does not hear the subtle emotional and spatial clues that really make a recording come alive. However, the best gear - which does do that - also typically has the property of being ruthlessly revealing of a mediocre to bad recording! Same with the more powerful cameras. Sure, you have (for example) a better AF system with which to get 98% in focus at a Formula One race instead of 85%. But 12mp (to say nothing of 24mp or the 60mp from a Hasselblad) will reveal the shortcomings in lenses and especially technique just as well as it reveals additional fine detail. I had a significant adjustment to improve my technique when I moved from the D2h to the D2x, and I'm still going through that with the transition from 400 to 800mm focal length.

> After the Train shoot I tried half a dozen hand held shots of buses but from my vantage point the highlights were blown out where the sun caught bright surfaces.

Not every shot can be accomplished with technical perfection, and in fact some should not be. Just be aware of what's going on and work consciously, and you'll be fine.

> ... 18-55mm lens. Distance from the action is not a problem as I can stand 3 feet away from the athletes.

A perfectly reasonable plan. However, note that the closer you are to moving subjects, the greater their apparent motion is (consider how the view of the ground changes from an airplane a 30,000 feet - perceptively this is much less motion than driving on thr motorway at a tenth the speed). By moving closer you are exchanging a magnification problem (200 or 300mm) for a technique challenge (panning at higher angular velocity). You will also notice that by shooting from in close you will be working with an extremely different perspective. The resulting shots will be very different if they are executed with equal skill. This is particularly true at say, 20mm compared to your previous 150mm. Both are entirely valid choices and I encourage you to try them both to compare the results.

> I notice that when I use Auto ISO the D50 shows ISO between the 4 availabe to the user and goes up to 6400 which is in red.

I'll advise you to read the manual carefully on this particular feature. The implementations have changed over the years in the various cameras and I don't know precisely how the D50's auto ISO works. But in general you have three parts to set: a base ISO (which I'd set to 200), a maximum shutter speed (ie the slowest one you want to use, and id the shutter speed goes longer than this you want the camera to turn up the ISO until it is achievable) and a maximum ISO, beyond which you don't want to go even if the light isn't sufficient. The maximum shutter speed should be set depending on your shooting context - if you're shooting football probably 1/250th is as low as you dare, but for family gatherings 1/60th is usually reasonable. And I turn this off if I'm working in a slow-paced environment and handle the ISO myself. (Actually I personally do that nearly all the time, leaving auto ISO for special circumstances where the light is changing both rapidly and widely.)

> I seldom print out

If your images are bound for electronic display, the higher resolution cameras won't buy you anything! Even on my 27" display I can only show 2560 x 1440 - that is 3.6 megapixels. Anything more and you'll be throwing resolution out to get the image to fit on the screen. At 1280 x 1024 you have only 1.2mp. Very, very few users are equipped to display more than about 1900 x 1200 or 2.2mp. Of course, your D50 is 6mp, so you already have vastly more pixels than you need for electronic display.

Printing is a different story. A printer is usually 240 dots per inch, while your screen is 75 dpi. At 240 dpi, your 6mp file makes an 8x12" print before you have to resort to software techniques. I make 16x20" prints pretty routinely, and 24x36" is not unheard of. To do these one has to interpolate in software, and of course that's another magnification problem: a 36" print at 240 dpi means you need roughly 6000 x 8000, four times what a 12mp sensor produces. Believe it or not, that's fairly straightforward to produce as long as the capture and processing were of high quality.

> optimum shooting size for this screen area and resolutions.

Per above, anything will work fine for that purpose! However, my advice is to simply capture all of the pixels. You usually don't know in advance when you're going to get a winner, and it's far easier to toss them later than to try to synthesize something you didn't capture in the first plsce. Besides, these days CF cards and hard disks are not expensive. Tsking an 8GB card into the field costs just a few quid and a 2TB disk isn't that much more. To put the hard disk in perspective, I have 115,000 images on file and that's consuming about 800GB. Two 1TB hard disks run about $220 these days, so it really isn't expensive. Why two? Because you need more than one copy in the event of failure, accident or theft. (I keep four copies - two on my main system, one on another server, and one off-site 120 miles away.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Fri 22-Oct-10 04:03 PM
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#34. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 33


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for in-depth response, again these comments will need study and putting into practice.

Storage is not a problem as most of my work is destined for the trashcan anyway.

I brewed fresh coffee and worked through your gallery, there is some pretty heady stuff there.

To compensate for our drab countryside I am trying saturation. One thing we are not short of is a proliferation of shadows.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Tue 26-Oct-10 10:49 AM
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#35. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 33
Tue 26-Oct-10 11:01 AM by philipbaker

Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

How are you?

The weather and light was so poor that I gave up on the 5k run.

However, yesterday was my first free day with perfect light. I had to travel to Manchester to stock up on my stores from the Chinese Emporium so I took my camera along for the ride sans seat and sans tripod ( I forgot to take my filters). I only went with my 18-55mm lens and for the first time ever I saw the fisheye effect (Hmmm).

Here are 9 images from Manchester, UK between 10.00 and 11.30am (GMT).

These are the best of 142. The reflections and shadows were all over the place causing problems on the histogram so most shots needed shadow boost and sharpening which I have tried not to overdo.

Would you please cast your eye over these images and let me have your criticism and what corrective measures you would have taken.

I feel my progress has been maintained, unless you tell me otherwise.

9 out of 142! Bearing in mind these are not for posterity only the trashcan and none were deleted on site, which I could have done and not counted them, would you please tell me what you personally would have expected within an hour and a half in a big city.

As a side issue: I know Mozart would not wear a powdered wig nor avoid modern technology in his music today, what do you feel Anselm Adams and his ilk would make of what we take for granted? (I looked up some older stuff when you said the D50 was as capable as quite a few cameras before it's release). Would they embrace Paintshop Pro?

Do you feel that Auto choices made by the camera have continually improved since the year 2,000?

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 27-Oct-10 03:42 PM
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#36. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 35


Richmond, US
          

For sharpness, these are right there. In fact, they're a bit oversharpened (I can see halos on some of them), but that's easy to not cause that. Technically I think these are in fine shape, and you can move on to other things. You could still use stopping down a little bit, but that's not a huge matter and perhaps your lighting does not permit that.

> 9 out of 142!

That's the way photography is, I think.

> would you please tell me what you personally would have expected within an hour and a half in a big city.

A couple of months ago I spent three hours in the afternoon wandering around the Bristol harbour district. I shot 120 frames, of which I flagged seven as worth continuing effort. There are another dozen or so that are worthwhile as some interesting record of having been there. Offhand I'd say that was a slightly better take than average, but not substantially so. That weekend I spent another day in Bristol, mostly at the cathedral and on the ss Great Britain, resulting in 226 frames. I have 9 flagged from that set, and there are another 30 or 40 of curious things from the ship that are not worth hanging on a wall but are interesting to me.

> what do you feel Anselm Adams and his ilk would make of what we take for granted?

This is often speculated upon, but given the detailed and extensive nature of his darkroom work, I would expect that he'd be a pretty heavy user of digital post processing. In fact, much of what we do today is patterned after what he did in the chemical darkroom. If you've ever seen a Photoshop layer mask and one of AA's burn and dodge diagrams, I think you'd find them remarkably similar.

> Do you feel that Auto choices made by the camera have continually improved since the year 2,000?

For the most part, but that overstates matters. For example, the Nikon matrix metering has improved pretty continuously since its introduction in the 1983 Nikon FA. But once it got to a pretty good level in the 1990s, it's been only very small incremental improvement since then. A D3s only gets a couple more right out of 100 than the Nikon F5 (1995) did, for example. And the improvement hasn't been monotonic, either: for example, the D80 matrix meter tends to operate differently in some situations than nearly any other modern matrix implementation, and most who can tell the difference don't care for them.

On the other hand, in a different domain, AF capability has improved very dramatically in some areas. Not much (if any) in outright single-shot accuracy, which has been good for all of the time I've been using it. But there's a really huge difference in the ability of any CAM3500 model to track a subject that's bouncing around the frame. Consider being driven in a jeep off-road, with the driver paralleling a jaguar chasing a gazelle. You'll be bouncing around, and of course the animals aren't moving smoothly either. A D3 can keep that in focus, while even something as recent as a D2x probably cannot. With a D100 I wouldn't even make an attempt, but with a D3 I'd set full auto and fire many frames - and I'd get some keepers.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Wed 27-Oct-10 04:37 PM
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#37. "RE: D50 Sharpness"
In response to Reply # 36


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for your most welcome comments.

The sound progress that I have made from the first time you offered me very sage advice indeed, to date, is all due to your guidance and the results have exceeded my wildest hopes. This has only been some 6 weeks from when I became a Silver Member.

I greatly appreciate your most valuble help which has born fruit in my latest postings.

I am more confident now when I go on a shoot thanks to you. I shall read your notes repeatedly as they give me genuine pleasure as well as rock solid guidance.

Once again, Brian, many thanks.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Fri 03-Dec-10 03:00 AM
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#38. "RE:Critique"
In response to Reply # 36


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

How are you keeping? Well I hope.

I have just put two photographs on my gallery, before and after shots.

If you would be so kind to share your thoughts with me I would be most grateful.

Following a fall of snow I had a session in my back garden strictly for the family album....no prizes will be won.

I set up the camera, as below, and paying close attention to Histogram and Highlights I felt I had got the optimum. Although the darks were too dark and the highlights too bright they did not show anything that could not be adjusted in ViewNX2. Any adjustments to shutter speed, aperture and EV distorted the Histogram and Highlights so I left these alone.

When I post processed the images, 70 out of 74 at family album quality,I added D-lighting between +30 to +50 and added around +17 for the Shadow Protection I noticed that artefacts were creeping in
at +1 with Sharpness or any further increase to Brightness so these were left at zero. In this instance 70 out of 74 was OK and the main thing was for the first time I had a consistency throughout the shoot. The late afternoon light(3.45 pm GMT)was reasonable and without change but as the shoot wore on the sun was giving off a slight yellow cast towards the end of the 45 minute shoot.

The settings on my D50:-
Development: Sharp
ISO: auto 1600 in red
WB: Cloudy...other choices enhanced the blue hue
Sharpness: High
Tone: Auto
Colour Hue: Mode 3a 0
Saturation: Normal
Metering: Matrix
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Shutter Priority
Aperture f4.8
EV: 0
Focal Length: 85mm
Lens: 55-200mm
AF: Area mode
Closest Subject

ViewNX2 for the whole 70 images:-
D-Lighting: +30 to +50
Shadow Protection +17

Your thoughts and an insight to what you would have done would be greatly appreciated.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sun 05-Dec-10 03:24 AM
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#39. "RE:Critique"
In response to Reply # 38


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

DAY TWO

I have submitted two more images, strictly family album quality, for your perusal and comments.

These were taken on the following day to the first two images, same venue but at mid-day with a clearer, brighter sky.

These latter two images were not tweaked, simply converted from raw to jpg.

I maintained the camera settings from the previous day and they turned out much brighter and I feel a vast improvement was made.

I believe that the light being more overhead, reflected upward from the snow on the ground, was partly responsible and the other contributing factors,looking at the three untweaked shots, were the percentages of light to dark altered within each image allowing the camera more scope in it's autofocus system. Do you have any opinions on this?

If you had taken the same shots with your basic camera and again with your top of the range camera would you expect the same degree of variation in quality between the three images in each case?

Kindest regards

Philip

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 05-Dec-10 11:32 PM
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#40. "RE:Critique"
In response to Reply # 39


Richmond, US
          

These last four are technically far better - they're all very crisp, pin-sharp. The shutter speed is fast enough to capture the motion (for example the flying snow). Focus is spot on. The light is pleasantly chosen. There's nothing really to complain about technically here - congratulations! Compare with where you were two months ago and it's quite amazing the difference.

You are benefiting from relatively favorable conditions - these are all taken in relatively bright light, making it feasible to use 1/250th shutter speeds without having to resort to higher ISO or a faster lens. But having taken advantage of the light, it's all there.

> If you had taken the same shots with your basic camera and again with your top of the range camera would you expect the same degree of variation in quality between the three images in each case?

I think they both would have turned out almost exactly the same result. I could zoom in a bit more on the details on one than the other, but until I made a relatively big print from either of them I doubt anyone would notice the differences. Big in this context means at least 11x14 and probably a bit bigger as these are right on the money for sharpness. I wouldn't expect a big difference between them until the conditions got somewhat adverse. For example if these had been taken at twilight, there'd be a big difference between the D100 and D3 in terms of AF accuracy in low light. Or if the kids were running around dodging snow balls, again the more advanced camera would be significantly more likely to keep the intended target in focus, even if I didn't keep the action framed consistently. (If I keep the framing constant, they'll both get about the same shot.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Mon 06-Dec-10 07:06 AM
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#41. "RE:Critique"
In response to Reply # 40


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for your time and observations.

It would please me to be your disciple!

The distance I have travelled from my very first image posting to the very latest has all been due to your guidance so freely and expertly given.

My early shots in the local park had a greater percentage of shadow in the background so that I could get the runners emerging into the light from overhanging trees against a dark backdrop, this was my attempt at lifting my photography a notch higher. Having noted your comments on the latest images I think I shall have to settle for a less dramatic action shot with the runners further forward in the open, this will probably be in the spring.

I shall go and study your gallery to see how a real pro composes pictures.

Many thanks and the kindest regards.

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Fri 17-Dec-10 03:53 AM
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#42. "RE:Critique"
In response to Reply # 40


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

How are you? Well I hope.

I am afraid it is back to the beginning with flash photography.

I have posted 2 images with some dreary Santa and using flash.

The conditions were poor to say the least but no excuses.

I feel certain that the faults you see are the same as the faults I see. Would you please cast your eye over these abysmal images (the whole shoot was of the same low quality. The previous topics you corrected need not be repeated.

My main concern is how to get my usage of flash up to scratch with
guidance on eliminating the colour cast. My flash unit is a budget level unit.

Flash sync mode was front curtain with an EV of -1.5 which was necessary to eliminate overblown highlights and WB set to flash.
Santa and the decor were in warm colours but came out too warm.

These shots were captured in RAW and only converted for posting to my gallery. I noticed that even without post processing artefacts are present.

Despite your earlier clarification I notice the camera has drifted to
AF area mode closest subject. As far as I am aware this came up
when I tested the conditions with an Auto setting as a start point
and this remained when I switched to Shutter priority (I should be shot for not checking).

The topics previously covered by you, in depth, need not be repeated but any pointers concerning flash correction that you indicate will be most welcome.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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nightcat Registered since 05th Mar 2006Fri 17-Dec-10 03:27 PM
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#43. "RE:Critique"
In response to Reply # 42


LaCrosse,WI, US
          

Hi Phillip,

I'm not Brian, but I'll give you my advice anyway. I suggest you look at these two websites to learn about flash:

http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/2008/01/nikon-flash-two-separate-metering.html

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

I don't think your pics are a color disaster, but they're your pics, so I'll try to tell you how to get them the way you want. There are 4 reasons the pics came out warm.

1. Your ambient light was probably incandescent.
2. Your ambient light was probably too much a part of your exposure.
3. The yellow walls turned the reflected light yellow.
4. Your WB was set to flash.

When shooting raw, I always use Auto WB. It usually works well, and if it doesn't, it's easy to fix in PP. So in your software, try setting the WB to incandescent. You might have to adjust the sliders some to get the look you want. There are other ways of adjusting the WB as well. Such as setting a grey point. Also, you may or may not want to adjust the saturation, depending on your taste.

1 and 2 could have been fixed before the shot by using a faster SS or by gelling the flash(putting a yellow piece of plastic in front of the flash.) But since you shot raw, you should have no trouble "fixing" these pics.

Now I'll let Brian give you a better answer

Kraig

"The wisest follow their own directions" -Euripides
"I thought there would be more elephants" -C. Columbus

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Fri 17-Dec-10 05:03 PM
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#44. "RE:Critique"
In response to Reply # 43


Stockport, GB
          

Hi Kraig

Many thanks for your insight and sage advice.

I will study your comments and take them on board.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sat 18-Dec-10 11:50 AM
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#45. "RE: Critique"
In response to Reply # 25


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

I have posted 2 images taken with flash...disastrous.

Would you please look at my post #38.

I don't think my previous message reached you.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 25-Dec-10 01:56 AM
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#46. "RE: Critique"
In response to Reply # 45


Richmond, US
          

I agree with the above comments. You have set manual white balance to flash. Ordinarily that's a safe practice, but in this case I suspect some contamination from light coming off the walls. They're a bit orange, and it's also possible that there is some contribution from incandescent lamps - it's hard to tell the difference from here as the results will be similar.

Either of these is a little difficult to address in the field, as you're essentially working with mixed colors of light: direct flash is more or less daylight, and either incandescent or flash off those orange walls will be much redder.

I am suspicious that you also bounced the flash, probably almost directly up, since most of the flash shadow is very subtle. It's not gone, though - Santa's cap projects a hard-edged shadow. Or perhaps that shadow is coming from some other light source. Either way, with bounce flash you are almost certainly getting some spillage from the walls, perhaps quite a bit.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sat 25-Dec-10 05:19 AM
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#47. "RE: Critique"
In response to Reply # 46


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

Thank you for your observations.

As ever you are spot on with your diagnosis. I did point the flash
upwards as I find by pointing the flash directly forward it washes out faces.

I have just found that I can reduce the power within the D50 which I shall try.

I am waiting for fine weather to try out the 70-300mm Tamron lens
then I shall ask your opinion whether to upgrade or to invest in the Nikon equivalent lens.

Many thanks Brian and wishing you all the best for Xmas.

Kindest regards

Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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philipbaker Registered since 17th Sep 2010Sun 20-Mar-11 06:29 AM
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#48. "RE:Critique"
In response to Reply # 41


Stockport, GB
          

Hello Brian

I have taken 6 shots that I would like your critique on.

The sharpness seems to be missing although I believe I have used your observations previously given for other photographs. The composition is not an issue. I have used minimal cropping in some cases.

I have used this old link as I do not know how to contact you direct,although this contact would be kept to a very minimum.

The Snow White and Cinderella shot was taken in my garden on the previous day to the run. The angle in regards to the sun was about the same and only 100 yards away between the two days. The run was at 9am and the Disney shot of my grand-daughters was at 12.30pm. The sun was brighter for the one previous shot while the next day was lower strength with some light cloud.

I changed the shot angle of the runners to test the speed of motion,
Shutter priority was set at 1/1000, ISO on auto,various focal lengths again to test the motion capture. Matrix and Dynamic area were selected throughout.

From the focus point of view I feel I am missing the obvious and I would greatly appreciate a corrective prod from you to get me back on track. A lot of the previous issues you resolved for me have raised my game and given me much satisfaction but I am still knocking the bar off the high jump. Photographs that I have taken on previous shoots using your guidelines have greatly satisfied me and I have not submitted.

Thanks in anticipation, kindest regards, Philip

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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