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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Sun 27-Feb-11 11:49 PM
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"Mushy pictures--PHOTOS ADDED"
Tue 01-Mar-11 12:16 AM by bigenuffumbrella

Bristol, US
          

I got my new D7000 last week and have been taking some test shots with it. Is anyone else seeing REALLY soft image quality? My primes look OK, but my Sigma 10-20 looks horrid, my Tamron 17-50 which is sharp as a razor on any other DX camera looks awful until I get to f5.6 or 8, even my beloved 18-200 vr which works like a champ is giving me mushy unsharp results.

Could this camera be outta whack or is the new sensor so pixel rich that my less that stellar lenses are showing just how crummy they really are?


JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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JosephK Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Sun 27-Feb-11 11:57 PM
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#1. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 27-Feb-11 11:59 PM by JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
          

It might not be the lenses so much as your technique. The increase in pixels will tend to show any flaws you might have. Been there, done that....

Feel free to post a few example pics with full EXIF data for a group diagnosis.

One thing to check is the sharpening settings between your old camera and your new one. Rumor has it that the factory defaults on the D7000 are set really low.

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D200, 17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, 50mm f/1.4 D
18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ED, D70S

  

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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberMon 28-Feb-11 02:43 AM
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#2. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 1
Mon 28-Feb-11 02:53 AM by RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
          

Took me about a month to adjust from the very forgiving D3.
Depending on what you are shooting, I would increase the in-camera sharpening.
You might also try a vivid picture setting.
If you are using Auto-ISO try increasing the minimum shooting speed to 640. I think the default is too low.
If your pictures are to bright try EV -0.3
I think Nikon pushed a lot of the settings to get higher ISO.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Mon 28-Feb-11 03:00 AM
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#6. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 2


Bristol, US
          

Thanks Roger. I'll give those a try tomorrow.

JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Mon 28-Feb-11 02:45 AM
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#4. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 1
Mon 28-Feb-11 02:47 AM by bigenuffumbrella

Bristol, US
          

Well I'll upload those pix tomorrow. Took your advice, Joe and you're right. The jpg settings for sharpness are VERY low. Cranking them up to 7 helped the 18-200, but the Sigma is still mushy soft outside of the middle of the frame, and the Tamron 17-50 is mushy soft at 2.8, slightly better at 4, and decent around 5.6. On my old D90, D300, D40, etc it was sharp as a tack even wide open.

My guess is it'll be easier to sharpen up RAW files manually on the computer.

Yeesh this thing is picky. Looks like I'll be moving up to all Nikon glass when I can afford it. Maybe I'll just sell all of this DX stuff, return this thing and go full frame....

Curse Nikon for this DX/FX business. Sigh...

JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Mon 28-Feb-11 02:45 AM
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#3. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 0


Alberta, CA
          

You also might consider AF-fine tune, especially for the fast lens (the Tammy).

Though it's hard to imagine how AF could be the problem on a 10-20 given its huge DOF!

If your primes are good that would argue the camera is not completely out of whack, so that is a good thing.

Yes samples with EXIF would help.

Unless you are coming from a 6 megapixel camera, the additional resolution should not be that big a factor.



Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
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My Nikonians Blog

  

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Mon 28-Feb-11 02:52 AM
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#5. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 3


Bristol, US
          

I played with that Steve. I've got the Tammy backed off to -5. It's still mushy. I don't think it's front or back focusing it just looks blurry. I'll show you tomorrow.

The Sigma I think is just showing it's flaws. The center of the frame is crisp as bacon, but the edges...yeesh. Like watercolor.

Thanks for the advice.

JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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wwt67 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2010Mon 28-Feb-11 03:38 AM
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#7. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 5


Warsaw, US
          

Do you have noise reduction on? Try turning it off. I found NR can really soften an image.
I have a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 and I have to shoot it at f10-13 to get even sharpness across the image. It's not my sharpest lens but definitly not like watercolors.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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B LaRue Registered since 04th Nov 2010Mon 28-Feb-11 04:02 AM
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#8. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

I shoot birds quite a bit and I was very disappointed with my first shoots with this camera, with my 80-400VR Nikkor lens. Yet I could get sharp pictures with my 24-70 indoors.

I well remember when I came from the 6mp D70 to the 10mp D200, there was a learning curve. Blurry pictures. I got better with my technique and all was fine. Not much problem going from the D200 to the D300. But here I have another 4mp jump and I think that is the problem. Any slight camera shake is magnified with more pixels.

The 80-400 isn't a fast lens, so I usually shoot it wide open and on a monopod from a sitting position.

A couple of days ago when I shot the Cedar Waxwings I posted in the Wildlife forum, I was standing and leaning against the side of the garage door opening. Much better braced. I got nice, sharp images. I have a feeling, at least for me, that if one's technique worked on a lesser mp camera, it must be improved when one steps up in gear.

Betty

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Mon 28-Feb-11 05:23 AM
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#9. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 7
Mon 28-Feb-11 05:25 AM by beemerman2k

Ellington, US
          

I love my Tamron 17-50 F/2.8 non-VC lens, but I did a photo shoot the other night and I was surprised with this picture.

See how soft the edges are?! Very unlike my beloved Tammy.

ISO 400, F/8, 1/100th sec, at 26mm with a Nikon SB600 mounded on camera:


By the way, I hated having to take this shot so wide, but my back is to the wall so I had no choice in the matter. Nonetheless, see how soft the picture is of the woman on the far right? So now I am going to make sure NR is off, but would that effect images recorded in raw?

Beemerman2k
2000 BMW R1100RT Motorcycle
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Nikon N70 w/ SB28

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My photo gallery.

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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wwt67 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2010Mon 28-Feb-11 04:27 PM
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#11. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 9


Warsaw, US
          

> So now I am going to make sure NR is off, but
>would that effect images recorded in raw?

Yes, if you use Capture NX2 or View NX2 to convert to jpeg. You can change the NR setting on a raw file in CNX2.

I don't see a lot of softness where you specify. Maybe a little but overall I wouldn't have noticed without you pointing it out.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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visionguru Registered since 03rd Nov 2008Mon 28-Feb-11 04:19 PM
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#10. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 0


Chicago, US
          

>Could this camera be outta whack or is the new sensor so pixel
>rich that my less that stellar lenses are showing just how
>crummy they really are?
>
>
>JB

I don't think the pixel count or your techniques have much to do with the issue. Most likely the camera body's AF is a little off. I would try to do some careful AF micro adjustment first.

My DX lenses all work the same (in terms of sharpness) on D7000 as other DX bodies. D7000 is a wonderful camera, my only complaint is: the ISO performance is still far behind D700.

Jay
- Chicago Nikonian

  

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B LaRue Registered since 04th Nov 2010Mon 28-Feb-11 05:48 PM
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#12. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

Another work around, while your figuring out the technical stuff, as in the case of your group of people, is to take the shot with more room around it, then crop to size. That should crop off the soft edges.

Betty

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Mon 28-Feb-11 11:54 PM
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#13. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 12
Tue 01-Mar-11 02:36 AM by bigenuffumbrella

Bristol, US
          

Pictures are now uploaded. To make this easier, I uploaded the full, unedited jpgs to my website and made them available for download. So anyone who may want to help may look the gift horse right in the mouth. The address is: http://tinyurl.com/4hkvmbb

All shots were taken tripod mounted, auto white balance (I know they look a little too tungsteny, they're test shots not portraits. I wanted to leave things as straight forward as possible), using 7 out of 9 jpg sharpening, SD setting, with saturation bumped up 1 level I think, high ISO is off. VR is off for the 18-200, VC is off for the Tammy.

These shots from the left corners were taken at f8 from the Tammy and the Sigma and are why I'm considering sending the D7000 back.

If you think these are soft you should see them wide open.

JB
http://shutterfalls.com





Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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jaychoth Registered since 21st Dec 2010Tue 01-Mar-11 12:20 AM
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#14. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 13


Enid, US
          

Glass plays a big role in image quality. If you have an older lens (4 yrs older or more) the D7000 will show the limitiations. I had similiar "problems" with mine until I did a dedicated test of lenses. All the older lenses I tried had the same results; lacked sharpness. The kit lens and the 55-300 that came with the camera are extremely sharp.

BTW...I stepped up from a 5 yr old D50 to the 7000 and was disappointed that I could no longer use my Sigma 170-500 on it and get a quality image.

This is my experience and your mileage may vary.

Jay
SwitchGrass Imaging Services

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 01-Mar-11 02:26 AM
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#15. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 13
Tue 01-Mar-11 02:59 AM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

The books on the left seem softer than on the right. Try downloading a focus test and see if fine tuning may help. I had to fine tune 3 of my lenses. As long as I get focused and can hold camera still I get sharp images with all my lenses.
Also I viewed your images.
These seem to be 1:1 cropped images at edge of field.
Your Churchill books seemed to be recessed and I wonder where your focus was. Some of this also could be a DOF issue.

JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberTue 01-Mar-11 03:26 AM
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#17. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 15


Monterey Bay, US
          

I had to learn to use a MonoPod and TriPod when I first got my D7000.
Now, if very careful I can shoot hand held.
You may have some motion blurrr, but I think it is time to upgrade your glass.
I mostly use an AF-S 10-24, 80-200, 28-300, and the new 35mm f/1.8 DX Nikkors with very good results.
I think these are all a step up from what you've got.

Try those shots with a 35mm f/1.8 DX and MonoPod or TriPod I think you will see an instant improvement.

Nikon will honor their new camera instant rebates on lens for one month after purchase.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 01-Mar-11 03:39 AM
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#18. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 17
Tue 01-Mar-11 03:41 AM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

I just shot a few test shots with my 18-200 vrii. I was slightly soft along right edge at full 1:1 crop. Left side was acceptable sharp. The softness is near edge and I do not find a justification for upgrade. In most real world shots this is acceptable for me.
I had to fine tune this lens about -3 a few months ago.
Here are some sample images
These are hand held at 1/60 sec f8 iso 100 with flash and with VR on.

Not perfect conditions but I think they show you should get slightly improved results and I would look into fine tuning lens.











JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)
Attachment #4, (jpg file)

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Tue 01-Mar-11 03:19 AM
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#16. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

>So anyone who may want to help may look the
>gift horse right in the mouth.

>These shots from the left corners were taken at f8 from the
>Tammy and the Sigma and are why I'm considering sending the
>D7000 back.
>

Well I took a look at the horses, and quite frankly what I feel you are seeing is the limitations of your lenses and not a fault or defect with the D7000.

The sample 100% crop of the upper left corner of the images you supplied appear to be showing typical edge softness. When I looked at the full size image scrolling to the center, they appeared quite sharp to me.

And looking at the samples of the 18-200 and 50mm lenses, I do not see as much of a significant corner softness that the Tamron and Sigma lenses seem to exhibit.

At least those are my thoughts.

Pete

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Tue 01-Mar-11 04:50 AM
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#19. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 16
Tue 01-Mar-11 04:59 AM by bigenuffumbrella

Bristol, US
          

I truly do appreciate the advice...from everyone. Sincerely I do. One of the reasons I love not only this forum, but also my Nikon's is because of how helpful and supportive the people who frequent this website and my chosen brand of camera are, and so before I go on I would just like to thank you all.

But really I'm not going to go through all of that. I know me. If I sat down and tried to dial these lenses into the Nth degree of their ultimate focal zen-ness it would be a job I would never get finished. I would obsess about it (worse than I am now...lol) and I would forever be finding this bit of softness and that bit of softness and hyper-analyzing every single shot. I'd be staying up way too late in the evening most nights of the week shooting, tweaking, cursing and biting my nails and basically just driving myself into a Monk-like hypochondriacal fit of neurosis trying to get...this...focus...juuuust right.

In the process I would forget about making images and become consumed with the thought that my equipment was forever inferior. It would get inside my head like a batter in a slump. In the process both myself and my pictures would suffer for it.

I bought this camera to make the process of creating pictures easier, not a harder. Not to make myself a better photographer mind you (no camera will do that for anyone), but to make the act of putting the image on the sensor easier. It's not inspiration, or talent, it's a tool and one that I've worked too hard for the $1200 I shelled out for it, plus the extra $250 for the grip to get results like this. I can appreciate Pete's advice that my lesser lenses are showing their warts, but I'm not going to try to tweak them. I'll take Roger's advice and replace them.

And if I'm going to replace this many DX lenses, I am going to give some serious thought into going full-frame. After all I'm mainly a landscape and portrait kinda guy anyway. I don't go wandering after gazelles, or rare tit-mouses (tit-mice?--whatever), or snow leopards, or alligators so the loss of the range won't bother me. I shot with a D700 over the holidays and absolutely LOVED it. The eyepiece is worth the price of admission almost by itself. And I will bet you a dollar to a doughnut that Nikon releases a replacement for either the D3s or D700 this summer or fall. Rumor has it that vacations for Nikon employees have been nixed for the last two weeks of August. If that's true I'd say it's for a good reason.

If not before then right before Labor Day there should be quite a few Nikonians unloading their D700's for the new latest and greatest.

Still not sure what I'm going to do yet but the thought does give me pause...many thanks again to all, and to all a Good Night.

JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberTue 01-Mar-11 05:24 AM
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#20. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 19


Monterey Bay, US
          

You will find the D700 much easier to shoot.
Personally I am glad I have the smaller, lighter, cheaper D7000.
The learning curve has made me a better photographer.
My D3 is so forgiving that I got very sloppy.
Now I get better pictures with both.

If you are serious about going FullFrame, don't invest in DX glass.
You are now looking at the 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200 F/2.8 VRII.
Or used 17-35, 28-70, and AF-S 80-200.
They will all give you better images than the lens I listed
except for possibly the 28-300, and it is FX.

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Tue 01-Mar-11 12:54 PM
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#23. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 20


Bristol, US
          

Well I have the older 70-200, Rog. It'll just have to do for now. I know it's probably soft in the corners, but I had no issues using it with the D700 over Christmas. I'll have to get to work on the other two members of the triumvirate.

In the meantime...are you saying the 28-300 is a fairly reliable all-in-one for FX until I can plunk down double for the 2.8 glass?

All I really need to get by is something that'll cover a mid-range to wide and be relatively sharp at 5.6. It'll be used mostly with a flash anyway, and in a low-light pinch I can use my 50mm. If the 28-300 can cover, I can use the 70-200 for portraits and make due until I can afford the 24-70 and the 14-24.


JB
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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberTue 01-Mar-11 02:38 PM
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#25. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 23
Tue 01-Mar-11 02:42 PM by RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
          

>Well I have the older 70-200, Rog. It'll just have to do for
>now. I know it's probably soft in the corners, but I had no
>issues using it with the D700 over Christmas. I'll have to get
>to work on the other two members of the triumvirate.
>
>In the meantime...are you saying the 28-300 is a fairly
>reliable all-in-one for FX until I can plunk down double for
>the 2.8 glass?
>
>All I really need to get by is something that'll cover a
>mid-range to wide and be relatively sharp at 5.6. It'll be
>used mostly with a flash anyway, and in a low-light pinch I
>can use my 50mm. If the 28-300 can cover, I can use the 70-200
>for portraits and make due until I can afford the 24-70 and
>the 14-24.
>
>
>JB
>http://shutterfalls.com

Have you tried your 70-200 with tripod on the D7000?
If satisfactory, it will work great on the D700.

I am saying the 28-300 is a reliable all-in-one for FX or DX.
I think it is much better than any version of 18-200, 18-250, or 70-300 lens.
But, not the more expensive F/2.8 trio.

I have not used the 28-300 on my D3 yet.
So far, I have not seen any fault with it on the D7000 anywhere in the range or for Video.
I usually shoot aperture, spot focus, and wide open f/3.5-5.6 without VR.

I used the Nikon instant rebates a month after getting my D7000 to purchase this and two other lens for several hundred dollars off each.


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dscar Registered since 20th Dec 2007Tue 01-Mar-11 07:24 PM
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#27. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 23


Round Rock, US
          

I too, just recently made a major simultaneous upgrade from a D50 to both a copy of a D90 and a D7000. The spending spree is over now so I'll eventually sell one or the other. I'll have to agree with many others on this thread though. I found that both my technique and glass have been exposed by the resolution. I'm still working it out, but fortunately was prepared for the "revelation" that my technique was not as honed as I had once thought. In fact, I dropped some $$ on a decent tri and monopod to get ready to really test lens/camera combos for acceptability.

As a result, I'm keeping the D7000 and selling either the d50 or d90(since one will be handy for letting my wife plink around), along with a slew of lenses that I've now determined just don't make the cut. Honestly, I've got to pay for the new stuff somehow.

In the end, who knows. You might need to send it on a trip to get checked out. Sometimes the most obvious suspect is at fault all along. Good luck.

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visionguru Registered since 03rd Nov 2008Tue 01-Mar-11 09:33 PM
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#29. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 23


Chicago, US
          

>Well I have the older 70-200, Rog. It'll just have to do for
>now. I know it's probably soft in the corners, but I had no
>issues using it with the D700 over Christmas.

If you really care about sharpness, you definitely should try to fine tune AF, it takes 5min for each lens. The focus accuracy can be slightly off with every body/lens. It's not a surprise that certain lens + body combo can give mushy pictures.

IMHO, the mushy pictures have little to do with DX or FX. I would either fine tune the D7000 or exchange for another one. Also, if you care about corner to corner sharpness, a super zoom is often the worst in that regard.


Jay - Chicago Nikonian

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Tue 01-Mar-11 10:29 PM
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#30. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 29


Paignton, GB
          

>I would either fine tune the D7000 or exchange for another one.

I've seen no evidence in the images posted of focus errors of the type that AF Fine Tune would fix, nor have I seen indications of a camera-related problem that would justify an exchange.

In any case, James has said that he doesn't like the idea of using AF Fine Tune, and I don't blame him. Using Fine Tune without a robust test set up and procedure can actually make things worse. It's not a "magic bullet"

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 01-Mar-11 10:44 PM
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#31. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 30


New HArtford, US
          


>In any case, James has said that he doesn't like the idea of
>using AF Fine Tune, and I don't blame him. Using Fine Tune
>without a robust test set up and procedure can actually make
>things worse. It's not a "magic bullet"

I agree it is no magic bullet, but you could always turn fine tune off if you do not get the results you like and you will not permanently make things worse. It has helped me.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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visionguru Registered since 03rd Nov 2008Wed 02-Mar-11 02:54 AM
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#40. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 30


Chicago, US
          

>In any case, James has said that he doesn't like the idea of
>using AF Fine Tune, and I don't blame him. Using Fine Tune
>without a robust test set up and procedure can actually make
>things worse. It's not a "magic bullet"

True, it's not a magic bullet, but higher pixel count of D7000 can expose AF error that were considered acceptable previously, especially when you peeping pixels at 100%. When someone complains about sharpness, AF accuracy is the easiest suspect.

The following are two D7000 test shots when I first got my D7000, one without AF adjustment, one with -6 AF adjustment.


At low resolution, there is hardly a noticeable difference in terms of sharpness, but when peeping at 100%, the difference is rather obvious. The focus point is the corner of her left eye. (click to view 100% crop)


There seems exactly the mushiness James has been complaining about.
The lens used was Tokina 16-50 f/2.8, shooting at ISO 100, 1/40", f/2.8. After AF adjustment -6, it's a lot better.


For a "pixel peeper" like myself, the AF fine adjustment is such an important feature. Sure, accurately adjust AF may take a lot of time and effort, but to get it close, just shooting the same scene while changing the AF adjustment value, then pick the sharpest value, not very hard at all.


Jay
- Chicago Nikonian

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Tue 01-Mar-11 12:33 PM
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#21. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 19


Ellington, US
          

I hear what you're saying.

In the defense of the D7000, I must say that I get far better results from this camera than I did my D70s. Now, one would think that this should be obvious given the wide disparity in their technologies, but I was very pleased with what my D70s was producing. Nonetheless, those results don't hold a candle compared to what I get now.

In fact, that's what makes any blemishes so obvious now; normally the results from the D7K are outstanding! This camera has raised the bar significantly for me.

Beemerman2k
2000 BMW R1100RT Motorcycle
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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Tue 01-Mar-11 01:33 PM
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#24. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 19


New HArtford, US
          

\

>
>But really I'm not going to go through all of that. I know me.
> If I sat down and tried to dial these lenses into the Nth
>degree of their ultimate focal zen-ness it would be a job I
>would never get finished. I would obsess about it (worse than
>I am now...lol) and I would forever be finding this bit of
>softness and that bit of softness and hyper-analyzing every
>single shot. I'd be staying up way too late in the evening
>most nights of the week shooting, tweaking, cursing and biting
>my nails and basically just driving myself into a Monk-like
>hypochondriacal fit of neurosis trying to
>get...this...focus...juuuust right.
>

LOL
I have done this and obsessed and obsessed over sharp images.

I put every lens on the camera and and tripod and shot 3 different focus tests.
At the end I did make some minor <5 adjustments on 2 of my lenses (35mm 1.8 prime and 18-200 vrii). This did help significantly. I bought an old used 35-70 2.8 which I almost returned due to softness. It required -18 of fine tuning and is now as sharp as any of my other lenses.
You can do a quick test in < 10 minutes do get an idea, but if you are like me this may take a few hours. I changed distances and focal lengths on my zooms and apertures.

I found the exercise worthwhile in understanding DOF and and backfocusing issues.

It seems that everyone who shoots with a D700 sensor is very satisfied. I think that minor softness demonstrated at 100% cropped magnification will become a problem when the new D800 is released at 26MP and everyone starts checking for sharpness at 1:1 crops.

I finally mastered my D5000 and was getting sharp images and wanted to make things even better. This at first led to disappointment, so beware of waiting for an upgrade it may not live up to your expectations and you may have to delve into the AF fine tuning on the new improved D700 which will readily show lens flaws or minor focusing inaccuracies.
>In the process I would forget about making images and become
>consumed with the thought that my equipment was forever
>inferior. It would get inside my head like a batter in a
>slump. In the process both myself and my pictures would
>suffer for it.

I feel like I'm back on track with the knowledge that any softness is my technique at this point and not camera or lens. It took a while but I'm here.
>
Good luck.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Tue 01-Mar-11 12:51 PM
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#22. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 13


Toronto, CA
          

Viewing at 100% is not giving you an accurate representation of your image quality imo. This has been canvassed fairly thoroughly on this site, but this view would equate to printing your image at 54" x 35" (approx.) and then viewing it within a foot or so (normal distance between you and your computer monitor). It is no wonder under these conditions that the corners of some lower end multipurpose zooms show their limitations. Both the Sigma and the Nikon have reported issues with corner softness even at F8, such is the compromise of an all-in-one lens. It may be that with less MP's this issue was not as evident but it likely was always there. The reality is that under normal viewing conditions and print sizes these issues are not usually visible. Case in point, when I view your images on your site in normal viewing sizes I don't see an issue other than white balance.

This is not strictly speaking a d7000 issue, it is an issue of how we assess image quality in the real world imo. Some time back, people decided that 100% crops were the end all and be all of image quality assessment and in the real world they rarely represent what we would actually be viewing.

Ultimately I think it is true that if you want the best out of the d7000 and you want to view your photos at 100% than better glass will produce better results. I regularly shoot my Sigma 50, Nikon 17-55 and 70-200 on my d7000 and I have never had an image softness issue. I don't pixel peep, but at times I use 100% view in post processing.

Jason

Jason

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Matt Payne Registered since 01st Mar 2011Tue 01-Mar-11 07:07 PM
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#26. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 22
Tue 01-Mar-11 07:16 PM by briantilley

US
          


I think this is a good point to make. Most of us are not going to be printing our stuff at 100% resolution, so fretting over what it looks like at 100% is foolish, IMO. I just switched to a D7k from my old Sony DSC-828 (8 MP) and the difference is insane. I regularly sell prints from my old Sony, just not at huge resolutions (although I personally have printed panos that I've made that are 12x96 and they look outstanding). I am excited to see what my new camera can do for me. The new camera has already forced me to become a sponge for technique and composition etc because this new camera has so many features my old one did not.

-----------------------------------------------------
Kind regards,
Matt Payne

My current gear: Nikon D7000, 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED Nikkor Lens

Webmaster http://www.100summits.com

  

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Tue 01-Mar-11 08:06 PM
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#28. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

>These shots from the left corners were taken at f8 from the
>Tammy and the Sigma and are why I'm considering sending the
>D7000 back.
>
>If you think these are soft you should see them wide open.
>
>JB

If these are the extreme corners at 100%, you're in extremely good shape. Your D7000 is simply revealing under extreme magnification what you will never see in real world prints.

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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browntdb Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2009Tue 01-Mar-11 11:29 PM
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#32. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 28


Corvallis, US
          

I have read this thread and others about needing better technique and lenses that worked on other cameras not working on the D7000, and I am really glad I kept using my D90 and bought some high quality glass.

I know there are many who would not trade their D7000 for anything and I am sure it is a great camera, but I have to agree with the statement that the camera is a tool. I really would have problems having to buy new glass and have to be even more careful in taking photos to make them as sharp as they can be just because the sensor pixels are so many. I am beginning to wonder if we have finally reached the practical limit of sensor MP size and are now introducing more distraction than what photography for many of is was about initially.

I love this site. You all have such thought provoking posts and this was one of them.

Terry

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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberWed 02-Mar-11 12:01 AM
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#33. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 32


Monterey Bay, US
          

Perhaps they are a different class of shooters and they use only the best glass and techniques.
Or maybe a FullFrame camera is more forgiving.
You don't hear these problems in the D3X forum.
The D3x sensor has 24 megapixels or half again as many as the D7000.

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Wed 02-Mar-11 12:15 AM
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#35. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 33


Bristol, US
          

True, but percentage-wise isn't the sensor area about twice as large? Wouldn't that make this whole "if the pixels get too dense you have to be that much more precise in your method" issue...about even? Follow my logic here...

12 mg sensor...DX body at 1.5 the size of a FX sensor.

FX sensor is roughly 2x the area of a DX sensor, even with 24 mg of pixels...the density of those big fat pixels is still the same ratio as on a 12 mg DX sensor. Right?

You said yourself that the D3 is very forgiving. Could one of the reasons be that on the D3, the 12mg versions, the pixels are spaced so far apart that the photog benefits from that much room to error?

Does that make sense or have I been obsessing about this so long I'm trying to rationalize my neurosis?

JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberWed 02-Mar-11 12:46 AM
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#36. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 35


Monterey Bay, US
          

>True, but percentage-wise isn't the sensor area about twice
>as large? Wouldn't that make this whole "if the pixels
>get too dense you have to be that much more precise in your
>method" issue...about even? Follow my logic here...
>
>12 mg sensor...DX body at 1.5 the size of a FX sensor.
>
>FX sensor is roughly 2x the area of a DX sensor, even with 24
>mg of pixels...the density of those big fat pixels is still
>the same ratio as on a 12 mg DX sensor. Right?
>
>You said yourself that the D3 is very forgiving. Could one of
>the reasons be that on the D3, the 12mg versions, the pixels
>are spaced so far apart that the photog benefits from that
>much room to error?
>
>Does that make sense or have I been obsessing about this so
>long I'm trying to rationalize my neurosis?
>
>JB
>http://shutterfalls.com


Your argument seems logical to me.
The D7000 does have higher pixel density.

And, yes you are obsessing.

Have you tried a remote or timed release with the camera on a TriPod?
If you can get satisfactory results that way, you can work on your hand held shooting with confidence.

All I had to do was "wait" for the image to come to focus in the viewfinder.
Now I can shoot quite rapidly.

Have you tried using the (+) magnifier in LiveView?
That can also help to get a really sharp image.

I would not give up yet, I think the D7000 is a much better camera than the D90.

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Wed 02-Mar-11 01:00 AM
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#37. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 33
Wed 02-Mar-11 01:01 AM by JPJ

Toronto, CA
          

>Perhaps they are a different class of shooters and they use
>only the best glass and techniques.
>Or maybe a FullFrame camera is more forgiving.
>You don't hear these problems in the D3X forum.
>The D3x sensor has 24 megapixels or half again as many as the
>D7000.

If you google D3x and technique you will find numerous threads on the internet where people are discussing the unforgiving nature of the D3x. I expect you don't see much of it anymore as the D3x has been around for a while and people have adjusted to the extra MP factor. My friends who shoot Canon have been dealing with this issue for years now. It is not that the extra MP's are creating problems imo, it is simply causing it to be more 'visible' because people continue to view their images at 100% and expect them to look as sharp as their 12 MP images despite the fact that the 12 MP image is in actuality half the size. Half the size of any image and it will look sharper.

The D7000 has 25% more MP's than the d90/d300(s). Expecting the images to look the same at 100% when you are in fact looking at two completely different sizes of image is expecting the impossible.


Jason

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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberWed 02-Mar-11 01:08 AM
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#38. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 37
Wed 02-Mar-11 08:27 AM by briantilley

Monterey Bay, US
          

Makes sense to me.

All you have to do is magnify any image enough and you will see the flaws.

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 02-Mar-11 02:00 AM
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#39. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 38


New HArtford, US
          

As a quick follow up.
I did some more controlled testing with my 18-200 vrii, 55-200, 35-70 2.8 and 35mm 1.8 prime.
I only tested the lenses at 35 and 70mm for the zooms that could reach.
The 18-200 is slightly soft near the edges as demonstrated in my hand held example above. The 18-200 is very sharp in the central zone of image. The rest are very sharp but soften slightly when I open them up to 1.8 or 2.8. I will still continue to use my 18-200 and get great images though.

I won't bore anyone with posting but do think this is a limitation of the lens and not the camera. IMHO fine tuning may help a little but will not give uber sharp 1:1 cropped images near the edges.

BTW I do try to hold my breath and really control motion with this camera. I haven't yet been able to time my heart beat but am working on it. I think I might have an arrythimia and may need to see a cardiologist or maybe a psychiatrist.

JohnE Nikon
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https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Wed 02-Mar-11 12:04 AM
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#34. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 32


Bristol, US
          

Terry, I agree completely. At this point I am very angry with myself for selling my D90 before purchasing this D7000. It may very well be that the camera is just fine, and the problem with what I'm seeing is either my fault, or my phobia. I am fully willing to accept that maybe just maybe I am being overly critical.

Ergonomically the camera is darned near perfect. The buttons, their placement and functions are just superb. You can really tell that they spent a lot of time noodling out hand placement. I can adjust every aspect of the camera I need to with my eyes shut.

But as far as image quality goes, call me crazy...I prefer my D90. Why? Well other than the sharpness/lens/camera/phobia issue I seem to be having--I just can't see me freezing into some kinda uber-ninja-like-Marine-sniper-shoot-between-my-heartbeats stance every time I want to take a picture.

I am beginning to believe that a 12mg sensor is plenty big enough for me whether it's DX or FX.


JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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SheriB Silver Member Awarded for sharing her exceptional images and details of rural farm life. Nikonian since 11th Sep 2010Wed 02-Mar-11 10:58 AM
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#41. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 34


US
          

and so this brings the question, will, at some point the camera industry have "no where to go" as far as making sensors..if for instance everyone or most people get to the point they prefer the 12mg sensor for the reasons discussed here, will companies stop upping the sensor size? Will we all be buying only used cameras because we want a smaller sensor?? Many people think bigger is better, but obviously for some of us..all it does is lower our confidence ( I am guilty of the 'It's not sharp at 100%' lament too)

Sheri Becker

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Wed 02-Mar-11 02:50 PM
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#42. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 41
Wed 02-Mar-11 02:52 PM by bigenuffumbrella

Bristol, US
          

At this point I am starting to feel like a cross between a hypochondriac, a navel-gazer and a schlep.

And just so every one knows--yes, I am aware of the fact that I'm pixel peeping, and yes I am beginning to annoy myself as well. No, I don't normally obsess like this. Normally, I buy a new camera, I slap on each lens, I mount it on my tripod, I take a shot open, the next 3 stops or f/11, whichever comes last, I take a peek, I like what I see, I move on. I'm not neurotic (normally), I just like to make sure that what I paid for works the way I want.

This process has worked pretty well with mostly the same set of core lenses (with a few exceptions) for the past few cameras. N80, F100--using normal lenses of course, D70, D40, D200, D300, D90, briefly with my FF lenses on a D700, D3100, and now the D7000.

Just before I called Ritz Camera this morning to return this thing I unboxed it again and did one last shoot out between it and my D3100 using my 70-200 VR. I got better results, in the center of the frame hand held with the D3100 than I did with the D7000 mounted on my tripod. The Sig and the Tammy are one thing, the 70-200 is a whole bagful of another. If this (particular) D7000 can't deliver better than I can do with a camera at half the price hand held using the jewel of my camera bag, then there is a problem. Yes, I remembered to turn off the VR while the camera was mounted. No, I didn't use the VR with shutter speeds above 1/500.

Maybe it's the camera's fault, maybe it's my fault, maybe it's the lenses fault. At this point I don't really care. For whatever reason (mechanical, technical or psychological) I'm not getting the results I want and so the camera goes back.

If I'm going to have to ditch my 3rd party and lesser quality Nikon glass to work with the current & future crop of DX bodies then I'm just going to go ahead and make the break now and go FF. I've wanted to do it for the past two years, this is just another reason why in the "should I or shouldn't I?" column. I'll keep a lens or two for the D3100. It's such and awesome little camera, more than adequate for travel and family stuff. But the things I get paid for: portraits, events, yadda yadda...after my experience with the D700 over Christmas I can see now that I should have bought that particular camera when I had the chance and made the switch then.

Thanks to one and all for all your advice and helpful suggestions.


JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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nicbet Registered since 02nd Feb 2011Wed 02-Mar-11 04:10 PM
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#43. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 42
Wed 02-Mar-11 11:29 PM by nicbet

CA
          

JB,

what you are experiencing is normal - many photographers who upgraded from 12MP Nikon bodies to 18MP D7k (and also many in the Canon land one/two years ago) had to go through the same adjustment period.

Your frustration of mushy pictures most likely stems from two different sources, and tuning one will not even out the other. However, both sources of mushy pictures root in the new sensor technology.

Let me explain. The DX sensor, compared to an FX sensor is smaller in physical size. To put the *same* amount of megapixels (say 12MP like in D3 vs D300s) on the sensor, designers can go two different routes: a) make each individual sensel (pixel) smaller, and b) make the gap between two adjacent sensels smaller - both resulting in more sensels per area.

In order to cram the 18MP on the D7k sensor, Nikon/Sony most likely went with a combination of the above (making gaps smaller, making individual sensels smaller) by the use of micro-lenses on top of the sensels to bundle light. Regardless, the specifications state that the D7k has one of the smallest pixel-pitches seen in DSLR today. This has a three-fold effect on your photography:

First, there is your camera lens. Without doubt, the high resolution and small pixel pitch will pronounce any shortcomings of your current lenses - shortcomings that do not ever show up on your 12MP bodies. The DX sensor sees only a highly magnified part of the center of the lens. As an analogy think about looking at your computer monitor close up with a magnification glass: the before very sharp edges dissolve into mushy different coloured dots. Some of the existing Nikon lenses are not up to the task, and I doubt that many of the third-party lenses are. Yes, there is the high resolution D3x body and many lenses work perfectly fine, but again, since that is an FX camera, both pixel size and pixel pitch are still higher than what you see in the D7k!

Second, there is your camera technique. With the D7k, it is very hard to follow the old 'rule of thumb' of shutter speed = 1/focal length. I have recently had an email conversation with a senior member of this forum who had gone through the same adjustment period and picked his brains and one thing that had the biggest impact on my image quality was *high shutter speed*. In fact, if you do the test - there even is a perceptible blur due to mirror slap alone, if you set the camera on tripod and use a remote release, then take a picture with and without exposure delay mode on, and compare. If you must handhold the camera, a shutter speed of at least 1 / (2*equivalent focal length) is advisable. The faster, the better - if you go over 1/500th make sure you turn off the VR mechanism. Also, the D7k sensor seems to be overly sensitive to the shake of the VR, I've heard numerous reports so far that lenses with VR off produced sharper images on the D7k. In summary, putting the camera on a sturdy tripod or monopod, using a high shutter speed and leaving VR at home has made a significant impact in my images!

Third, there is sharpening. Images from the D7k require a fair amount of input sharpening due to the rather aggressive AA filter that sits on top of the sensor. In ACR, I found that about 60 sharpening, 0.8 radius, 40 detail and 20 masking produces a fairly usable starting point. Once you have your image in your desired output size (e.g., a 8x10 or a 720px web image) you need to apply output sharpening. USM to luminance work quite well in defining edges and bringing out the detail.

In comparison to all the bodies I have used so far (Canon XTi, Xsi, 40D, 50D, 60D, 5D, 5DII / Nikon D70, D90, D3, D700, D7000) the D7000 is the most unforgiving camera. The main reason I enjoy my D700 so much is that you can fire handhold and not worry - the pictures will come out fine. The D7k on the other hand requires quite a strict shooting regime or you will end up with results that are far below what the camera is able to achieve. And to be honest: the D7k is indeed able to produce higher detailed pictures than any other Nikon (apart from the D3x) - you just have to work for it!

Cheers,

Nic


P.S.: Here is one from when I finally figure out how to handle long lenses on a D7k. Click on the image to see the actual size image:

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 02-Mar-11 04:24 PM
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#44. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 43
Wed 02-Mar-11 04:38 PM by briantilley

Paignton, GB
          

>A lot of the existing Nikon lenses are not up to the task,
>and I doubt that many of the third-party lenses are.

I'm afraid I don't buy that part of your argument. We've already seen many great images posted in this forum, taken using quite a variety of lenses - both Nikkors and 3rd Party.

edited to add...

And while there certainly seems to be something in the suggestion that the D7000 asks more from the photographer because of its greater pixel density, remember that in terms of linear resolution, the D7000 is actually only 15% greater than the D300/D90 - 4928 pixels in the longer dimension as against 4288.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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nicbet Registered since 02nd Feb 2011Wed 02-Mar-11 07:15 PM
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#48. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 44


CA
          

>I'm afraid I don't buy that part of your argument. We've
>already seen many great images posted in this forum, taken
>using quite a variety of lenses - both Nikkors and 3rd Party.

No doubt about that. For example the 70-200 VRII is absolutely up to the task, delivering tack sharp results even at 100% magnification on the D7000. But when I take my 16-85 (which until now I considered one of the best mid price-range zooms Nikon has ever produced) and compare results to my higher-end 24-120, the differences in image quality become rather obvious (again only matters when viewing at anything larger than 50% crop).

Whether this matters for your personal use cases (i.e., do you crop a lot? do you print very large) or not, is a personal decision. I absolutely agree that if you main purpose is to produce 720 pixel wide web images you can go ahead and put whichever lens fits your fancy in front of the D7000. But if you really want to make use of the resolving powers of this new sensor, glass that is up to the task is a must - and unfortunately not all existing lenses are there, yet (based on my personal experience of course).

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 02-Mar-11 07:41 PM
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#50. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 48


Paignton, GB
          

There's a difference between saying that not all lenses are up to it and saying (as you did at first) that "a lot of the existing Nikon lenses are not up to the task". The original phrasing may have people worrying that it's difficult to find a lens that can do justice to the D7000, and I don't believe that's true

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Wed 02-Mar-11 09:03 PM
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#51. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 50


New HArtford, US
          

Brian,
I agree with you.

I did conclude the my favorite lens, the 18-200 is unfortunately is a little soft only at far edge more on the right side, but this was at 1:1 crop and I may have never noticed this if I did not perform tests. This did perform slightly better than JB's. I have only printed up to 11x17 inches maximally. This may not have been large enough to notice anything. I am sure that each lens is produced to certain specifications and JB's lens is likely within specs. My prints and other posts with this lens show very sharp images.

My 55-200 kit lens, 35mm 1.8, 35-70 2.8 (bought used in bargain condition) was very near tack sharp throughout at f8.
I would suggest others perform this simple test it was easy for me as my gear is in study with all the books on the shelves.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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nicbet Registered since 02nd Feb 2011Wed 02-Mar-11 11:28 PM
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#52. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 50
Wed 02-Mar-11 11:30 PM by nicbet

CA
          

>There's a difference between saying that not all lenses are
>up to it and saying (as you did at first) that "a lot of
>the existing Nikon lenses are not up to the task". The
>original phrasing may have people worrying that it's difficult
>to find a lens that can do justice to the D7000, and I don't
>believe that's true


You are absolutely right, my apologies for this broad over-generalization. What I meant but (did not write) was "a lot of consumer grade" lenses. Thanks for pointing this out, initial post edited!

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 03-Mar-11 08:06 AM
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#54. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 52


Paignton, GB
          

Many thanks

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Wed 02-Mar-11 05:02 PM
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#45. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 43
Wed 02-Mar-11 05:04 PM by bigenuffumbrella

Bristol, US
          

Nic,

To me that makes a tremendous of amount sense. I'll gladly admit my camera holding technique could probably use a bit more attention, but up until this point it has never been an issue. Without going into to great detail I have issues with my back and I can only hold so still for so long, again though this has never been a hindrance. Tripod mounted MUP it shouldn't matter any way.

Until the VR technology and/or the lenses catch up to the camera I just don't see the need to risk losing shots because I wasn't quite ninja-like enough. It sounds as though I'm equivocating, and maybe I am, but it's just easier to change the camera than it is the way I use it.

Great job with the picture of the nuthatch, btw. Very well done.


JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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bigenuffumbrella Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2007Wed 02-Mar-11 05:45 PM
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#46. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 45
Wed 02-Mar-11 05:47 PM by bigenuffumbrella

Bristol, US
          

Soooo...

If anyone knows someone with a D700 for sale, low mileage, an MB-D10, and/or the 24-120 VR f/4, or 28-300 VR I would consider it a personal favor if you would shoot me an email.

jamesjosephbray@gmail.com

Thanks!

JB
http://shutterfalls.com

  

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chris_platt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Apr 2009Wed 02-Mar-11 05:52 PM
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#47. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 45
Wed 02-Mar-11 06:13 PM by chris_platt

Newburg, US
          

I don't see how you are loosing shots. If you're posting your images online or printing them with the same dimensions you did previously, I doubt if you will see any of the flaws you are talking about. However, you are likely to have images with greater color depth, greater dynamic range, and better high ISO noise performance - you also have a more flexible and versatile camera than before. I didn't purchase my D7000 for the greater pixel density. The pixel density on the D200 was perfectly adequate for my needs - in the vast majority of uses even the pixel density on my D70 was more than enough. I purchased my D7000 for all the other features while wishing it had lower pixel density - because I knew I was going to have to purchase a new computer to push all those pixels around at an acceptable pace (I'm typing this on my new iMAC which I love despite my lament about the cost).

The camera isn't making your lenses weak, you are demanding more from your lenses. You have a tool that can take advantage of higher quality lenses if you want to invest in them, but until that point, you should still be able to shoot under a wider range of conditions and produce marginally better images, with even tighter center crops (wherever center resolution is still close to or actually out-resolving the sensor) than you did before - within the same dimensions.

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nicbet Registered since 02nd Feb 2011Wed 02-Mar-11 07:29 PM
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#49. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 45


CA
          

>It sounds as though I'm
>equivocating, and maybe I am, but it's just easier to change
>the camera than it is the way I use it.

I felt the same initially, and to some extend still feel that way. "Re-learning" how to shoot with the D7000, in order to get an acceptably high 'keeper' rate has given me months of headache so far... I guess to some it comes naturally and to others it doesn't (count me to the latter group).

Looking back now, I am naturally glad that I invested all the time and effort to figure out how to get the camera to do what I want, but at the same time I am wondering whether a user should really need to adjust to the camera and not the other way round. The switch from 5DII to D700 was *way* easier in that respect ... pick up camera, turn on, shoot, have (mostly) great pictures, without the need to go particularly out-of-my-way, or change my style of image acquisition.

And truth to be told, I personally am still not convinced, whether I am willing to give up the extra reach for wildlife and the tremendously great dynamic range just because of the D7k's peculiarities. Having been on the edge of selling the camera twice, backing up to try "one more last time" and discovering that it does actually have the potential to result in amazing captures if handled right, is quite descriptive of my love-hate relationship with the body

I know that many others LOVE the D7000, some others are in the same boat as I am, and a handful dislike the body right away. That's allright - everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion! My goal is not to swim against the stream and get happy D7k owners angry, but rather to let you know that there are others like you or me who might be happier with a different (maybe more forgiving camera model).

  

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Thu 03-Mar-11 04:55 AM
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#53. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 49
Thu 03-Mar-11 04:57 AM by KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
          

The D700 is an easy peasy camera from an ISO, lens forgiveability, and just darn nice images no question, a true classic camera. If you are shooting events and don't need the DX reach capability yes I would agree the D700 is a great camera. Even some of the wildlife shooters get spoiled and stick with their D700s.

D7000 is a more difficult but likewise rewarding camera for telephoto work. Here's a D7000 Gyrfalcon from the weekend:



Mods is it possible to look into the image link problem. They never work for me any more.



Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Thu 03-Mar-11 01:16 PM
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#55. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 53


New HArtford, US
          

Steve,
Quite impressive.
I like your testing method better than mine of books in the study.
The subject matter is somewhat more interesting.
Thanks for sharing.

JohnE Nikon
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"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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intrepidnz Registered since 18th Nov 2004Sat 05-Mar-11 05:14 PM
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#61. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 13


NZ
          

You know what? It looks like camera shake to me!

The thing I found with the D7000 is that it takes pictures pretty quick! So if you are using VR on your lenses, you have to be careful that the VR settles before you fully press the shutter.

A test would be to take piucture without VR and then with VR and see if there is a difference. If you can see blur with the VR on, then you aren't giving the VR time to settle, and that will result in pictures that are blurred.

Just a thought...

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larrycurrlymoe Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Feb 2009Sat 12-Mar-11 08:43 PM
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#62. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 61


Calgary, CA
          

To the original poster: I feel your pain! I have been struggling mightily with "soft" photo's for months, and believeing averything written on the blogs to "fine tune this", make "this" adjustment, improve your techniques!
After a very frustrating day last Sunday I took my unit into a local shop to request their opinion regarding several things, and asked them to "tune" my 70-300. In the end analysis they decide to return it to Nikon to have the camera re-calibrated.
My suggestion is to take it to the pro's. They, like all our friends here at Nikonians want everyone to have a great experience taking photo's, go in the morning mid week when there is no one else in the store and you should receive plenty of attention to get your issue resolved.
($0.02)

larrycurrlymoe: not just a funny moniker, I can't dance either!

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Sun 13-Mar-11 09:51 AM
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#63. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 62


Yorkshire, GB
          

>To the original poster: I feel your pain! I have been struggling mightily with "soft" photo's for months,
Why struggle for months?
It takes less than 10 minutes to find out if a camera or lens is OK
It is wise to check when you first get a new camera or lens.
Take test shots of everyday subjects in outdoor sunlight at 400 ISO at f8 with a lens focal length around 50mm.
Resting the camera on a wall or your camera bag (on a table) can help reduce camera shake.
If you get mainly sharp pictures at 33% on a monitor your camera and lens are good.
If your camera and lens are good tested this way you need to practice hand holding, avoiding AF targets likely to fool the AF, maybe invest in a good tripod and use high ISO's in low light to get reasonable shutter speeds to limit camera shake.
If you want you can test further with devices that measure central and edge resolution. I do this with all my new equipment, taking 1 shot wide open and 1 shot at f8. I have never had a failure. I then go out and use my equipment in a way likely to get sharp shots.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Thu 17-Mar-11 02:00 PM
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#64. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 63
Thu 17-Mar-11 02:03 PM by rtg

US
          

I have read this thread like many others. I find it somewhat funny that it took this long for this issue to be spot lighted. I fall into the camp that believe the D7000 definitely has a auto focus issue. That is not to say that a sharp image can not be had with this camera, clearly it can but it is not a given. When variables such as light, shutter speed, holding technique, and distance to subject are set aside there is not the same auto focus functionality as with other Nikon models. I took the following shots to prove to myself if a problem does exist. I am of the opinion that there is an issue that can be rationalized away if wanted. However, in the end the auto focus function in the D7000 is substandard.

I took an image with the D7000 with 18-200mm lens(a lens that is claimed to have it's limitations shown with the D7000) at 35mm. I then put the same lens on a D3100 without changing any setting on the lens. Both cameras had the same settings, factory default as appropriate, aperture, shutter speed, etc. I then manually focused the 18-200mm lens on the D7000. Both cameras were mounted on a tripod. The point here is that the image on the D3100 does not exhibit the softness of the auto focused D7000. However, similar sharpness can be achieved when manually focused. This eliminates the point that the D7000 shows the limitations of the lens. Unfortunately the attached images do not truly highlight the softness but it is there when looking at the images in View or Capture NX2. The Nikon viewer. I could not attach the NEF files of course. They are available as well as the EXIF data if anyone wants them. Drop me a note. Lastly, since most of the softness is seen away from the focus point I have images of the upper right hand corner of each image at 100%.

D7000 18-200mm at 35mm


D3100 18-200mm at 35mm


D7000 18-200mm at 35mm - Manually Focused


100% D7000 18-200mm at 35mm Screen Shot


100% D3100 18-200mm at 35mm Screen Shot


D7000 18-200mm at 35mm - Manually Focused




My conclusion is the D7000 can focus but not automatically. It requires manual or post processing where other Nikon cameras do not.

With all of the images I have taken about 90% have some kind softness issue. This is where the subject is inside infinity focus range. The further the subject way from the camera less of a focus issue exists.

Knowing what I know now I would not have purchased the D7000. There are a lot of nice features but if the focus is not on par with the D60, that I came from, or D3100 then the nice features become pointless in my opinion. I believe a firmware update is in order to make this right or there will likely be a clean, low mileage D7000 available for those that believe there is not an issue...

Nikon, this is a real disappointment...

Rob

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 17-Mar-11 03:22 PM
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#65. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 64


Paignton, GB
          

>However, in the end the auto focus function in the D7000 is
>substandard.

I'm not sure how a general focus problem can be inferred from tests on one sample. The AF system in the D7000 is certainly different from those in earlier cameras and the D3100. You may need to tailor your AF settings to your subjects - assuming that the "default" settings will work the same as in other Nikons is counter-productive.

If you still see a focus problem after experimenting with settings and shooting a good AF target, perhaps your D7000 has a fault...?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Thu 17-Mar-11 04:28 PM
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#66. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 65
Thu 17-Mar-11 04:49 PM by rtg

US
          

The general focus problem is inferred by the very nature of this thread and other threads where there is an assertion that a "softness" in images exists. My observation is just one more data point that does suggest there is an issue.

I still maintain this is a valid test given that the subject in the images was sufficient for both cameras to report a valid auto focus was achieved prior to shutter release and the results are distinctly different. Stating that the default settings in each camera is counter-productive makes no sense. Each camera took the image, which given the setup is not difficult to achieve good results, with an out of the box setup. This is a baseline setup with the intent to reduce variables. If the auto focus system in both cameras were on par the results would have been similar. The fact that similar results were achieved, manually, is another data point that indicates auto focus system in the D7000 is inferior to the D3100. I should also point out that the D7000 reported that the subject was "not" in focus when taking the manually focused image. If one was to use the focus indicator to determine focus in the manual mode the image would not be sharp. This to me is another indication of an issue.

Being an electrical engineer and having worked with many closed loop servo based control systems, in my opinion auto focus system in the D7000 is flawed. Since access to the details of the design are not available to the consumer only data obtained by the user base can be used to draw a conclusion. Frankly Nikon has addressed to some degree the issue by allowing the user to fine tune the auto focus system. I can not say for all of the amateur class Nikon cameras but the D60, that I am familiar with, as well as D3100 do not have a fine tune option and oddly enough have a solid auto focus for this class of camera.

Regarding my particular unit having a fault, well, that is certainly possible but I would not recommend taking my standard cup of coffee bet that there would be anything but a "No Trouble Found" result.

The bottom line are there are enough other users that see and have presented data that suggests there is an issue with the auto focus.

Incidentally, I want this to work. However, I want it to work without a list of work-a-rounds or a reduced level of expectation regarding performance. Having an auto focus that works consistently and accurately is not an unreasonable expectation.

Rob

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Thu 17-Mar-11 05:10 PM
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#68. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 66


Toronto, CA
          

If the few posts around claiming AF problems proves that the d7000 has an AF issue than what about the thousands of photos being posted around the internet by people using the d7000 with AF that are sharp as a tack? Do we have a case of internet posting paradox? I may add that several people that first made this claim have actually "fixed" the problem by changing/improving their technique.

The far more likely explanation for individuals that have a real AF issue is that their camera is not properly calibrated within Nikon's acceptable spec.

BTW I am not sure what to make of your test. Pixel peeping at such a tiny portion of a photo doesn't tell me much. I note what could be a slight variation in quality (and I should say neither AF photo looked like focus was nailed on that tiny portion, but I also don't know where your AF point was) may easily be explained by the slight variation caused by Nikon's AF specification which does vary from camera to camera and lens to lens. That would also explain why the manual focus photos are closer. If every camera and lens were calibrated to a single fixed value than slight differences might be telling, but they are not.

Viewed at a normal size the difference is indiscernible. Unless you planned to print this photo at 55"x35" and stand 1-2 feet in front of it and stare at that tiny portion of the photo, you would never notice it. This type of pixel peeping is not productive imo.

My suggestion is that you have Nikon re-calibrate your d7000 and see if that improves the Af in your opinion, or get rid of the d7000. If you are waiting for the discovery that the d7000 AF system is inherently defective I am afraid that is not going to happen. Too many people are out shooting with AF and producing great results. Pros, people who depend on their camera to pay their bills are using the d7000 to make their living. They tend to be pretty picky about things like cameras with inherently bad focus. It is not the camera per se, but it might be your camera. If you bring the photos you just posted into Nikon however, I would expect them to tell you based on those alone, that the camera is focusing within specification, although they may be prepared to adjust it nevertheless to keep a customer happy.

These threads are nostalgic to an a former d90 user like me. They cropped up for at least the first year after the d90's release. Pretty much the exact same complaint, soft images, can't get razor sharp focus. Now the d90 is considered the golden standard by which consumer DSLR's are measured.

Jason

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igordb Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Dec 2010Thu 17-Mar-11 05:10 PM
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#69. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 66


CA
          

I'm not sure you can draw general conclusion about D7000. But I have to admit that Nikon had issues with autofocus on first batch of cameras arrived before Christmas at Henry's. My first camera required severe AF fine tuning. When I exchanged the camera, AF looks normal. I can not compare to other body, since I sold my old D80. But current AF is in my tolerance limits. At least I compared with other D7000 body that my friend has, and they behave exactly the same with the same lenses (I mean the same copies).

Regards,
Igor

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 17-Mar-11 05:12 PM
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#70. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 66


Paignton, GB
          

>The general focus problem is inferred by the very nature of
>this thread and other threads where there is an assertion that
>a "softness" in images exists. My observation is
>just one more data point that does suggest there is an issue.

Several of the complaints about "softness" in other threads that you refer to were demonstrated to be something else.

We would expect to see literally hundreds of complaints if every D7000 had a design fault in its AF system. So far, we have seen a handful.

>I still maintain this is a valid test given that the subject
>in the images was sufficient for both cameras to report a
>valid auto focus was achieved prior to shutter release and the
>results are distinctly different.

I don't believe that I questioned your test setup.

>Stating that the default settings in each camera is counter
>productive makes no sense.

Each AF system works slightly differently. Each time I have changed cameras (recently, the sequence has been F100 - D70 - D200 - D2X - D300/D700), it has been necessary to learn how the AF system reacts with different types of subject. The same settings that worked last time may not work as well with a new camera type, and the default settings may be different as well.

>The fact that similar results were achieved, manually, is another
>data point that indicates auto focus system in the D7000 is
>inferior to the D3100.

Not really - what it indicates is that the AF system in your D7000, with its current settings, has not worked as well with that subject as that in your D3100. What I'm suggesting is that generalising based on one test is invalid, not that the test is invalid.

>Frankly Nikon has addressed to some degree the issue by allowing
>the user to fine tune the auto focus system.

The AF Fine Tune feature is designed to adjust for focusing differences between lenses, not for camera problems.

>The bottom line are there are enough other users that see and
>have presented data that suggests there is an issue with the
>auto focus.

Not the way I see it - and my perspective is based on several years of seeing unproved complaints about pretty much every new Nikon. The number of D7000 focus complaints is still very small compared with past issues like the "BGLOD" fault on the D70 and the "False Low Battery Syndrome" on the D300. But if there does prove to be a general problem, Nikon will no doubt address it appropriately - as they did with the issues mentioned above

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Thu 17-Mar-11 05:00 PM
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#67. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 64
Thu 17-Mar-11 05:02 PM by elec164

US
          

I’ve been following all these “soft image/focus issue” threads. I cannot say I share the same experience with my D7000. And any soft images issues I have seem to be traceable to poor technique not camera function in my opinion and experience.

At this point I’d like to add my thoughts to make sure I am getting some of the advice of others straight.

As to your D3100 and D7000 comparisons, well the 100% view of the D7000 would provide slightly more enlargement on screen than the D3100 would which in itself would add softness I would think. Also I really do not see a significant difference between the D7000 screen shot examples of auto and manual focus.

When manually focusing I believe you could wind up with two different results. If you started at infinity and brought the focus in then you may have stopped at a point that favors the far side of the subject in relative sharpness. If you start from the lens nearest focus distance and move out then you may stop at a point that favors the foreground in relative sharpness.

Also I believe Brain and Len have both pointed out that there is an acceptable tolerance in calibration of the body’s auto-focus and a lens. While researching this a bit, I came across this article at lensrental.com titled ”This lens is soft” and other myths that was rather interesting. It pretty much explains why mounting the same lens on different bodies and expecting the same result can be quite difficult and near impossible to do.

But these discussions are interesting and have been a great learning experience for myself.

Pete

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Thu 17-Mar-11 06:00 PM
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#71. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 67


US
          

I could buy-in to the fact that each lens "probably" requires fine tuning. However, the statement that Nikon makes is, "AF tuning is not recommended in most situations and may interfere with normal focus; use only when required." This statement asserts that the auto focus is fine just the way it is. Also, it does not define what "required" means.

One can fine tune the lens. According to Nikon is not required nor recommended. They can't have it both ways. Either the AF works on par with other amateur class Nikon cameras or it needs help via the fine tune....

One point that I don't recall seeing is that two people are not necessarily going to see an image the same way. To some sharpness of an image may not be seen or important when they look at it unless there is a gross mis-focus. The monitor used by some may not show it. This would explain why some folks don't see an issue. There are variables.

The average user that was happy with the Nikon brand and chose to stay with the brand when deciding to upgrade should not be underwhelmed by the supposed higher performance model. It ain't just me folks others are claiming the same focus issue. If it were just me you would not be reading this post.

Don't forget Nikon did not seem to think the spots issue during recording was enough to keep from shipping the camera before the issue was addressed with a firmware revision. The driver here was the complaints that came and then they addressed the issue......

Rob



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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 17-Mar-11 06:15 PM
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#72. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 71


Paignton, GB
          

>Don't forget Nikon did not seem to think the spots issue
>during recording was enough to keep from shipping the camera
>before the issue was addressed with a firmware revision. The
>driver here was the complaints that came and then they
>addressed the issue......

We don't know whether user complaints or post-launch testing identified the video bright spots issue, but either way the fact that Nikon reacted (quite rapidly) to that situation and have still not reacted to focusing complaints suggests that they are not convinced a design fault exists with the D7000 AF system.

I would not hold your breath for a firmware or other "fix" for focusing - my advice is to either have your camera checked over, sell it on, or keep it and spend some time learning to get the best out of it.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Thu 17-Mar-11 07:17 PM
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#73. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 71


Toronto, CA
          

>I could buy-in to the fact that each lens
>"probably" requires fine tuning. However, the
>statement that Nikon makes is, "AF tuning is not
>recommended in most situations and may interfere with normal
>focus; use only when required." This statement asserts
>that the auto focus is fine just the way it is. Also, it does
>not define what "required" means.
>
>One can fine tune the lens. According to Nikon is not
>required nor recommended. They can't have it both ways.
>Either the AF works on par with other amateur class Nikon
>cameras or it needs help via the fine tune....
>
>One point that I don't recall seeing is that two people are
>not necessarily going to see an image the same way. To some
>sharpness of an image may not be seen or important when they
>look at it unless there is a gross mis-focus. The monitor
>used by some may not show it. This would explain why some
>folks don't see an issue. There are variables.
>
>The average user that was happy with the Nikon brand and chose
>to stay with the brand when deciding to upgrade should not be
>underwhelmed by the supposed higher performance model. It
>ain't just me folks others are claiming the same focus issue.
>If it were just me you would not be reading this post.
>
>Don't forget Nikon did not seem to think the spots issue
>during recording was enough to keep from shipping the camera
>before the issue was addressed with a firmware revision. The
>driver here was the complaints that came and then they
>addressed the issue......
>
>Rob
>

I don't think that most lenses need fine tuning. If calibrated within Nikon's tolerance the lens will function more than adequately for the purpose it was designed. I doubt when any camera manufacturer develops a product they sit around and wonder how a 1/50th fraction of the photo that may or may not be in the actual focus area might looked when zoomed in to a size that is unrealistic and stared at from an unrealistic distance.

I am not sure I get the point about it not being 'just you'. Any time any camera manufacturer puts out a camera there are a slew of complaints. These complaints fall into 4 categories generally:

1. Fault with all cameras of that make (eg. all d7000s)
2. Fault with a subset of cameras of that make (eg. some faulty d7000s);
3. Misuse or misunderstanding of cameras of that make (eg. the d7000 works fine but the user is not using it correctly);
4. No problem, the user is seeing things.

Every AF thread I have seen of the thread can be categorized as #2, #3 and a few #4s with an overwhelming # being in category #3.

The fact there are other people complaining about the d7000 AF system does not lend any credence to categorizing the complaints in category #1. The # of complaints is insignificant compared to the # of d7000s sold. It also doesn't explain why so many users are not having this issue - do they have the faulty camera?


Jason

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Thu 17-Mar-11 08:42 PM
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#74. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 73
Thu 17-Mar-11 08:44 PM by rtg

US
          

As I stated in my first post the issue can be rationalized away if that makes someone feel better. I understand this response. Someone spends a lot money they have expectations to be met. If they are not some will explore why, others make excuses, and others will accept and/or work around it. My expectations have been set by two other models of Nikon cameras. I expect performance to be at least the same at a minimum but it should be better given the model.

No one has asked the obvious question....What does Nikon have to say about all of this?

This leads me to believe there is a bias and not objectivity regarding the potential of an issue.

Anyway, the test included many more images then the 6 presented here. The final camera(S) setup, focus point on the image, and focus type were defined by a Nikon representative.

The review from Nikon initially was there was no difference in the images looking at 100% view at the focus point. Nikon set the view at 100%, not me. So the pixel peeking statement does not apply.

Side bar: BTW, why would anyone accept poor performance just because you normally don't look at 100%. I am sure Porsche owners would be very satisfied know their 185MPH car can only do 135MPH but that's OK because they normally drive 75MPH and rarely go to the track.....

Once this detail was pointed out I indicated that off the focus point the image was not as sharp on the D7000 but was on the D3100.

So of course they want to see the camera. I am inclined to send it in since as it stands now. Virtually every image requires a lot of post processing to get a reasonable image. Yes with sharpness set to 7-9, yes with AF set AF-S, yes with the fastest possible shutter speed, yes with ISO adjusted to allow for a fast shutter speed, yes with an aperture that provides the appropriate DOF, and yes holding the camera with a stance that minimizes camera movement, and lastly yes, using the Nikon software to post process the NEF image. NONE of which is required for the lowly D60 or D3100.

My expectations are low that the focus performance will be improved when the camera is returned to me.

So why all of these posts. So if anyone feels they have a similar issue then raise the issue to Nikon. Let Nikon decide if this is a wide spread or singular issue. Many folks that not satisfied sit on the side lines. If my experience and data can help someone then great. If not, there are plenty of other posts to read.

So if your D7000 works as you expect then terrific. By all means enjoy and ignore this thread.

Rob








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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 17-Mar-11 09:00 PM
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#75. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 74


Paignton, GB
          

>Virtually every image requires a lot of post processing to get
>a reasonable image. Yes with sharpness set to 7-9, yes with AF
>set AF-S, yes with the fastest possible shutter speed, yes with
>ISO adjusted to allow for a fast shutter speed, yes with an
>aperture that provides the appropriate DOF, and yes holding the
>camera with a stance that minimizes camera movement, and lastly
>yes, using the Nikon software to post process the NEF image.
>NONE of which is required for the lowly D60 or D3100.

Apart from needing to use Nikon software (which I'm not convinced affects actual sharpness anyway), I'm afraid everything you list is normal photographic procedure. The lower-end Nikons like the D60 tend to be set up to cater to those with less knowledge and skill, so it's easier to get decent results without having to worry about too many camera settings. The D7000 is emphatically not that kind of camera; it needs to be understood and set up appropriately before it will begin to give the excellent results that most examples at least seem to be capable of.

>So if anyone feels they have a similar issue then raise
>the issue to Nikon.

That's excellent advice. Complaining on a website (even Nikonians) that a camera model is inherently faulty rarely leads to satisfaction - for the owner or for anyone else.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Thu 17-Mar-11 09:51 PM
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#77. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 74
Thu 17-Mar-11 11:13 PM by JPJ

Toronto, CA
          

>As I stated in my first post the issue can be rationalized away if that makes someone feel >better. I understand this response. Someone spends a lot money they have expectations >to be met. If they are not some will explore why, others make excuses, and others will >accept and/or work around it.

Why would I need to make myself feel better about the d7000? If it sucked I would just return it and buy a new camera, no big deal. For me it had to be pretty good to replace the d90 which is awesome.

>No one has asked the obvious question....What does Nikon have
>to say about all of this?
>This leads me to believe there is a bias and not objectivity
>regarding the potential of an issue.

No one here works for Nikon, how would any one here know what they have to say about it. I have not asked them because my d7000 focuses just fine. I suspect that applies to most of the users here.

>Side bar: BTW, why would anyone accept poor performance just
>because you normally don't look at 100%. I am sure Porsche
>owners would be very satisfied know their 185MPH car can only
>do 135MPH but that's OK because they normally drive 75MPH and
>rarely go to the track.....

I think the more apt analogy here is that you have a Porsche that can do 185 mph and when you decide to drive it at that speed (or view an image at 100%) you expect to get the same gas mileage (sharpness) as if you drove it at 55 mph (a size that is relevant to a real world use such as a posting on a web board or a print of rational size viewed at a normal distance).


>Once this detail was pointed out I indicated that off the
>focus point the image was not as sharp on the D7000 but was on
>the D3100.

Which is easily explained by the tolerance built into the calibration of these cameras. Perhaps yours is not even within the tolerance, either way this is a much more reasonable explanation than ALL d7000's have faulty AF especially when there is a plethora of empirical evidence that disputes this.

>So of course they want to see the camera. I am inclined to
>send it in since as it stands now.

This makes a significant amount of sense, and I suspect will resolve this issue.

>So why all of these posts. So if anyone feels they have a
>similar issue then raise the issue to Nikon. Let Nikon decide
>if this is a wide spread or singular issue. Many folks that
>not satisfied sit on the side lines. If my experience and
>data can help someone then great. If not, there are plenty of
>other posts to read.

Because not everyone needs to send their camera away, some people are just using it wrong. I am not suggesting you are one of those people, maybe your camera is faulty. If you look through this forum you will find several threads where people began with your complaint and ended with the problem being resolved with improved technique.

Those of us who have no issues with their d7000 also need to speak up when people post that the camera is inherently defective so the people I just described don't lose their camera for 4-6 weeks just to learn their was nothing wrong with it in the first place. There is no doubt that some d7000s may not be calibrated possibly, it happens with every camera that is released, the overall incidence is, history tells us, quite low.

I am still not sure why you would jump to the conclusion that the d7000 in inherently defective before even letting Nikon look at your particular camera to see if your camera is the actual problem and not the d7000 in general.

Check out this guys flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandon_birder/5522751553/in/photostream/

I have been interested in doing some birding this year and found this stream while searching for advice. This guy is getting these results with a 300/2.8 and a 2x TC on a d7000 using the supposed inherently defective AF system.

Jason

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 12:23 AM
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#80. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 77
Fri 18-Mar-11 12:36 AM by rtg

US
          

I am some what hesitant to even reply but here goes. First, JPJ this thread is not directed at you so you don't need to do anything. It is not directed at anyone. It is to provide data and express an opinion. If this does not apply to you then good for you. There are clearly others that it may apply to. Second if you read carefully my posts I never said all D7000s were "inherently defective." I expressed that, in my opinion, the auto focus system is flawed. This means it could be better and in my opinion it should be. I also stated that the D7000 can take sharp images and that has been demonstrated. I have even taken sharp images with the D7000. My example presented one as well. The point is that to get these sharp images there appears to be an inordinate amount of work to get there. Of the sharp examples shown in this thread, and some are truly "top notch", there is no indication of what post processing in terms of time and additional software is required to get these images. I may not be the greatest example but if I take 100 shots and decide that I will put effort into 20 of them we are talking hours of post processing work. This effort should be the exception and not the norm. The point that the D7000 is a much different camera then a D60 or D3100 is certainly valid. However, it is still an amateur class camera and should perform baseline, "point shoot" as well as the lower class cameras. It does not. The additional features allow for greater versatility in photography but should not be required to get a typical image. I have not had the chance to use the D700 but know several folks that use them regularly and the camera can pretty much point and shoot without requiring the inordinate post processing to get tremendously sharp images. Yes these cost more so you would expect this type of result. Shouldn't this also be the result when going from a D60 to the D7000?

Rob

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Fri 18-Mar-11 03:33 AM
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#84. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 80


Toronto, CA
          

I am puzzled by your reference to this thread not being directed at me? Are not all Nikonian threads public and open to anyone to express an opinion? Surely we don't have to agree with someone to post in a thread.

I don't see the difference between saying that the d7000 AF is inherently defective and that it is flawed on all d7000s, to me that appears to be stating the same thing. In any event, you are saying the AF system has an inherent problem that needs to be fixed. I, along with many other users, respectfully disagree. I have not seen any evidence of this. You have not supplied evidence of this claim. Of interest, not one expert that has reviewed the camera has come to this conclusion. My real issue with your post is the conclusion that the d7000 camera has a faulty AF system, not that you are having issues with yours. You are extrapolating results you are getting on one camera to all d7000s. That is no more fair than me suggesting that because I don't have any AF issues that you are doing something wrong.

As for the issue of post processing and sharpness I invite you to read the following:
http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/infobank/capturing_the_image/pixels_and_image_size.do

I quote:
"Digital cameras do not take sharp images. This is nothing to do with the focusing."

Nikon, for a number of years now, has produced cameras that allow the user to set as much, or as little in camera sharpening as you wish. Go ahead and google d700 and soft images, you will find numerous threads from people complaining that the awesome d700 takes soft images (a ridiculous claim, the d700 deserves all the praise it gets from regular users of it) followed by recommendations that people apply in camera sharpening or PP the images. Over time those complaints fade as people become used to the camera. The d7000 is no different.

In fact the only difference is the megapixels, which makes comparing 100% crops with lower MP cameras extremely misleading, you are increasing the viewing size and expecting things, including sharpness to look the same, this is impossible. If you accept the d7000 as a amateur camera (which some don't), 100% viewing is even less relevant, how many amateurs print 55"x35" photos and view them from 1-2 feet away? None. That is what you are looking at when you view at 100%.

Finally, I thought I would share another link, one because I love this guys work and second because it deals with the issue of the d7000 AF in challenging situations:

http://ishootshows.com/2011/01/11/review-nikon-d7000-nikons-best-dx-camera/

Good light, bad light, high contrast, low contrast - Nikon's AF systems are unparalleled imo. It gets fooled occasionally but hits the mark more often than not in difficult situations, at least in my experience.

Jason

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 18-Mar-11 08:50 AM
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#85. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 80


Paignton, GB
          

>Yes these cost more so you would expect this type of result.
>Shouldn't this also be the result when going from a D60 to
>the D7000?

In my experience, the reverse is true - although it's about the intended market rather than the price. My D700 and D300 need more input from the photographer than my wife's D3100.

The higher-end cameras (from any brand, not only Nikon) are aimed at a particular type of user - those with the experience to know how to configure a camera's settings and controls to give them the results they want. The result is a much more flexible and powerful camera, but the corollary is that more effort is required on the part of the photographer.

So-called "consumer" cameras like the D60 and D3100 have a different target customer, and are designed to be simple to pick up and use with little knowledge or effort - while still offering enough options to grow with the user as his/her confidence grows.

Assuming that "more expensive camera" automatically equals "better results" is a seriously flawed premise, and has led to much disappointment over the years.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 09:37 AM
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#86. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 85


US
          

I understand why some of y'all believe I may not know what I am doing and just another rookie that has no clue blaming the equipment. Fair enough. You open yourself to this when posting on a forum.

This is an example of what I consider reasonable but not great close in image I took with the D7000.



The point here is that yes I have invested the time to get to know what it takes to get a somewhat sharp image.

My back still hurts from the heavy lifting required to get this image. I still see some softness on the right boot.


Another example is this image. No work done other than NEF to JPEG conversion and cropping.



It's OK but not what I would consider a sharp image. The DOF seems very limited for f/9. It was taken in CA so maybe a tremor was happening when I took this shot.

Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe I don't know what a good image is. Maybe I need to move my hand a 1/4" to the left to hold the camera correctly. Maybe I don't have clue and don't even know it. Or maybe it's something else.

I hope that someone got something positive out of this series of posts. That was the intent of my original post.

Rob

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mcpianoca Registered since 05th Jan 2011Fri 18-Mar-11 10:01 AM
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#87. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 86
Fri 18-Mar-11 10:24 AM by briantilley

Sherbrooke, CA
          


Hi Rob,

I agree that your second picture is not as sharp as the first. And I'm beginning to wonder if VR could be playing tricks with this small sensor packed with photosites.

I've tried to shoot with and without VR at speeds between 1/125 and 1/30 and found I had better results without VR when I don't shake the shot. If your shootinig technique is VERY good, what I'm thinking is that you could get the same results as if you were using a tripod at certain speeds.

Try testing with and without VR to see if it does change anything with that lens. For me it did.

Marcel

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 10:16 AM
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#88. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 87


US
          

Marcel,

Thank you for this constructive post. The first image was on a tripod with VR off. The second had VR on. I have tried with VR on and VR off. I could not determine if this played a significant roll in image sharpness. I will have to spend some more time on this variable. When using VR I keep it in the Normal mode. Certainly you can see when the VR engages and it does take about a second for it to lock. On a "fixed" subject as the flower I take time to capture the image. If my memory serves correctly I spent 15-20 seconds thru the view finder with VR on to capture this image. This is because I knew rushing it will certainly yield worse image. Hence the issue.

Thanks again,

Rob

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 18-Mar-11 10:37 AM
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#89. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 86


Paignton, GB
          

>I understand why some of y'all believe I may not know what I
>am doing and just another rookie that has no clue blaming the
>equipment.

I can't see where anyone has said that in this thread, but I apologise if that is the impression you have received.

The point I've been trying to make is that, in asserting...

+ a more expensive camera should require less, not more, effort to get good results;

+ sharpness problems with a relatively small number of cameras implies that the D7000 has a fault in the design of its AF system that Nikon need to address;

...you are making invalid assumptions that could mislead others who may be struggling to get the best out of their D7000.



Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 11:22 AM
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#91. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 89


US
          

>>I understand why some of y'all believe I may not know
>what I
>>am doing and just another rookie that has no clue blaming
>the
>>equipment.
>
>I can't see where anyone has said that in this thread, but I
>apologise if that is the impression you have received.
>

No apology required but I appreciate the consideration.


>The point I've been trying to make is that, in asserting...
>
>+ a more expensive camera should require less, not more,
>effort to get good results;
>

The expense is not the issue. That is just the common denominator everyone can relate to. No one I have seen, certainly not me, is asserting that LESS effort should be required by a higher performance camera. However, for this class of camera AUTO mode should be equal or better than an earlier model. AUTO mode should set the playing field level between the various models. This is what lets those working to learn the camera and techniques a baseline from which to start and return to to when learning but wanting to get to image with some certainty it will be 85%+(relative number) without a lot of less then understood work. Focus is key to this. If one chooses to embark on the additional or superset of features and functions then let the learning curve begin.
Otherwise, remove the AUTO mode from the selection of operating modes. The expectation issue is then solved. Nikon is less likely to do this because then D7000 is without a doubt a camera too sophisticated for the new user. I am sure they do not want to lose that market segment for this model.


>+ sharpness problems with a relatively small number of cameras
>implies that the D7000 has a fault in the design of its AF
>system that Nikon need to address;
>

It can not be said with 100.0% accuracy that there is or is not an issue with the AF system. If my unit comes back with anything other than no trouble found then that would certainly suggest there is an issue. BTW, calibration at time of manufacture is part of the AF system. If calibration is poorly performed then it effects the AF system. The AF system includes all of the engineering documentation as well as assembly, calibration, and test. So one more data point will be if they provide any type of update to the unit. We will see.

>...you are making invalid assumptions that could mislead
>others who may be struggling to get the best out of their
>D7000.
>

That remains to be seen. The fact alone that some folks are struggle may be another indication of a less then robust AF system. This data can not be discounted.


Rob

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 18-Mar-11 04:08 PM
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#100. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 91


Paignton, GB
          

>This data can not be discounted.

Your data is not being discounted; your conclusions from that data are being challenged.

My own conclusion, based on past experience of Nikon camera launches and careful study and evaluation of everything posted in this Forum, is that the D7000 does not have a general AF or sharpness problem. But as you say, time will tell who is correct

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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jmiguez Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 10:53 AM
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#90. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 86
Fri 18-Mar-11 10:56 AM by jmiguez

Lafayette, US
          

I am a fairly new amateur user. My last camera was a D40 and I mostly use Auto or Program modes when shooting jpgs. I was most impressed with just how fast the D7000 focused compared to the D40.

I use the 18-200 VR lens a lot. Sometimes the D40-18-200 combo just couldn't focus. I at one time thought something was wrong with the lens. Not so with the D7000. Almost instant focus.

That is not to say I haven't had poor shots. I am a picture taker trying to become a photographer and it hasn't been without its learning curve. I have had lots of shots suck, as I push myself and the camera to do things I never did before. However, in most, if not all, of the flubs, I can go back and see where I did something wrong.

Rob, I agree with Brian, I think it was, who suggested you send your camera in to have it checked. I have not had the focusing issues you have had. As evidence of what the camera can do, I offer the picture below.

It was shot at a convention under less than perfect conditions. The individual in the picture walked up to me and I quickly brought the camera up, framed, and shot the picture. I was using Aperture mode with an SB-600 flash. The lens was my 18-200 VR at 28mm. The picture was taken at f/5.6, 1/160 and 800 ISO.

This is right out of LightRoom3 with no processing except to crop the picture to 3108 x 2314. I think it shows no evidence of softness. Instead, it shows what the camera can do in real world situations when you need to shoot quickly and have only one chance to get it right.

(Howard will be happy to know that I have been practicing his camera holding techniques. )

Edit: The picture looked a LOT better in LR than this posted jpg. It showed the fine texture of his shirt weave and hairs of the beard very well.

John

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 11:48 AM
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#92. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 90
Fri 18-Mar-11 03:56 PM by briantilley

US
          

Howard,

Thanks for the post.

That certainly is a nice image. I am not picking your your selection to post but it does not demonstrate the focus issue. The focus point is around your face. That is sharp. No question about that. Away from the focus point is the background. There is a narrow DOF. Given that away from the focus point it is out of focus due to DOF limitations there is not a good contrast of AF focus and DOF limitations. Also the image was cropped which likely eliminated AF focus issue completely.

An earlier post of a really nice bird, the author recommended shooting wide and cropping. This is to address, as a work around, the poor focus on the fringes.

Thanks again,

Rob

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mcpianoca Registered since 05th Jan 2011Fri 18-Mar-11 12:15 PM
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#93. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 92


Sherbrooke, CA
          

When the flash enters the equation, I've noticed a lot less blurry shots (I prefer calling them blurry since I suspect that movement is more the culprit than out of focus). Which would appear to confirm that movement blur is often mistaken for oiut of focus with this particular camera. For me, comparing with D90 and D700, the size of the sensor and the 16mp create a certain level of fear when it comes to absolute sharpness.

Marcel

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Fri 18-Mar-11 12:25 PM
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#94. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 93


Toronto, CA
          

>When the flash enters the equation, I've noticed a lot less
>blurry shots (I prefer calling them blurry since I suspect
>that movement is more the culprit than out of focus). Which
>would appear to confirm that movement blur is often mistaken
>for oiut of focus with this particular camera. For me,
>comparing with D90 and D700, the size of the sensor and the
>16mp create a certain level of fear when it comes to absolute
>sharpness.
>
>Marcel

Marcel,

I think this is true when viewing at 100%, things such as motion blur are more evident on the 16 MP sensor, in part because you are looking at a larger image than 100% of a 12 MP image, and in part because the smaller pixels may be more sensitive to motion.

This then comes back to technique. Proper technique is critical when using a camera with a higher MP count.

Jason

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jmiguez Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 12:34 PM
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#95. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 92


Lafayette, US
          

Rob, the point of posting the picture was to show the ability of the auto focus to work in producing sharp images. The cropping was only to let you see the focus point, the face, better.

I didn't expect the picture to be in sharp focus for the entire image. By selecting f/5.6, I knew that my 18-200 lens worked well in that range but it wouldn't give great depth of focus.

It did what I wanted. A good clear image of the subject and enough background clearness to show the setting without drawing the eye away from the main subject.

Besides, I am quite proud of myself. I used the proper, selection of f-stop, right amount of fill flash, (this was luck)and I managed to frame and shoot a darn good photo.

Not bad for an old picture taker.

John

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Fri 18-Mar-11 02:26 PM
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#96. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 86


US
          

>I understand why some of y'all believe I may not know what I
>am doing and just another rookie that has no clue blaming the
>equipment. Fair enough. You open yourself to this when
>posting on a forum.
>
> I still see some softness on the right boot.
>
>
>It's OK but not what I would consider a sharp image. The DOF
>seems very limited for f/9.

You’re kidding us with these two examples, right? I mean seriously, unless I am missing something here (I’m just an armature hack prone to errors myself so please correct if I am astray) your premise is that the auto focus is flawed correct?
But these two examples are close-up macro type shots which are better done with manual focus not auto focus. And as I believe Len pointed out the flower shot is a prime example of the type of subject that can fool the AF system.

After all any lens can only focus on a single plane in an image field. Everything else is apparent focus (within the allowable CoC for given enlargement and viewing distance). As I pointed out in an earlier post, if you start at infinity and move in or closest focus distance and work out you can very well stop at two different distances and believe the subject is in focus. This is because either point falls into the allowable DOF at the particular subject distance and aperture. These are dreamt up numbers just to show the point, but lets say the subject is at 20 feet. If you start at infinity you may stop at 20 feet 4 inches and believe you achieved focus. If you start at nearest focus distance you may stop at 19 feet and 8 inches and believe you have achieved focus. One focus point would favor the far side in the DOF and the other would favor the fore side of the subject, but in both instance the target area would appear in focus. Am I wrong in this assumption?

With the action figure you complain about the right boot being soft (I assume it is the left side of the action figure but the right side of the image you are referring to). Yet there are areas of the action figure that are sharp as a tack. That is a DOF issue not an AF issue, unless you are saying you had the focus point on the right boot, as you say, and then that would indicate a back focus issue.

Same goes with your flower image. There are areas of the flower that are tack sharp. If you look on the right side you can make out a tiny spider and its web that is near the focus plane that is pretty sharp. And that is a tough image for any AF system given the amount of detail in the image. Perhaps the AF system chose a different area than you would have liked, but that is why manual focus is important in close-up/macro photography. The DOF is so narrow you need to carefully pick your focus point and stop down like crazy to insure enough DOF to get the whole subject in relative focus. In macro photography people will accept a certain amount of un-sharpness if the intended subject is well defined and sharp.

My intent is not to be cruel or overly critical, but clearly I don’t see how these two images show a flawed AF system. Can someone help me out here? Is what I related in this post totally in error and off the wall?

Pete

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 03:16 PM
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#97. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 96
Fri 18-Mar-11 03:57 PM by briantilley

US
          

There was no Macro mode lens used on either of those shots. I guess I did not do a good job of explaining the purpose of those images. For that I apologize.

There images were to demonstrate that reasonably sharp images can be achieved by me and my D7000. Albeit not outstanding. The action figured required A LOT of post processing to achieve this level of sharpness. Not the kind of thing one wakes up looking forward to......

Rob

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Fri 18-Mar-11 03:48 PM
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#98. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 97


US
          

>There was no Macro mode lens used on either of those shots.

Although you honed in on the term macro, I stated it as close up/macro shots. Point was that those types of shots have very narrow DOF.

And I remember quite well the thread that the action figure image came from, and the heavy lifting and work was, IMHO, due to a lack of knowledge and proper technique and not a camera defect or fault. From the setup image in that thread the focus distance of the action figure appeared to be about 1.5 feet or so. At f/10, 1.5 feet @ 35mm you have a DOF of roughly 2 inches. DOF does not dramatically change but is a gradual progression. That two inch DOF places the slightly blurry boot at the edge of the DOF and is not enough to get that boot within acceptable sharpness, thus it appears softer. If you wanted it sharper then you needed to extend the DOF a bit to get that boot away from the edge of the DOF making it appear sharper.

Quite frankly at this point I am totally baffled in what you are trying to show and prove. I see none of what you are describing as a faulty AF system in your images. But as you said it could just be me.

At this point I think you should send your camera into Nikon and see what happens. Keep us posted on the outcome, for I at least would be interested in what Nikon has to say (and I suspect there may be others as well).

Pete

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 04:02 PM
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#99. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 98
Fri 18-Mar-11 04:10 PM by rtg

US
          

Well there you go, must be me. Just chalk it up to another guy that doesn't know what he's doing or saying.....

Rob

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wwt67 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 10:04 PM
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#101. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 99


Warsaw, US
          

Rob,
I agree 100% with what Pete just wrote about DOF. I think this could be at least some of what you are seeing and calling it a AF problem.

Looking at the first three photos of the figure next to the lamp (I think it's a lamp). Both of the D7000 images look sharper to me than the D3100 image. Assuming your focus was on the figure in the image. You show that the tag on the lamp was not in focus with the D7000 and was on the D3100. Well look at the on/off switch on the lamp. The symbols on the switch are sharper in the D7000 images than in the D3100 image. What does that mean? Who cares. To be honest, when I first looked at the photos, I only looked at the figure in the photo because I saw that as the main subject. I didn't care about what was in the corners.
Looking at the action figure where you mention the boot being out of focus. That's a DOF issue, but so minor I wouldn't have noticed it. Yes I am a pixel peeper. Maybe your a level above me in that regard.
About the flower, I agree it's not the sharpest example. Maybe not the greatest use for the 18-200 lens? I don't know.
I must agree with the others, and I'm not trying to knock you down, I don't see evidence of AF issues with your D7000.

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Fri 18-Mar-11 10:56 PM
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#102. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 101


US
          

Thanks for the reasonable and well articulated post. It is much appreciated. I respect the fact you don't see an issue. Nothing wrong with that.

Best Regards,

Rob

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Sat 19-Mar-11 02:42 AM
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#103. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 99


US
          

>Well there you go, must be me. Just chalk it up to another
>guy that doesn't know what he's doing or saying.....
>

I regret that you felt the need to respond in such a manner. As I said, I was not trying to be cruel nor critical, just trying to be helpful and to constructively add to the discussion. I also, as an early D7000 adopter, have a vested interest in seeing these types of discussion through. The D7000 has proven to be somewhat of a challenge for even the more experienced shooters.

Earlier I mentioned the concept of near and far focus, which I remember reading quite some time ago but never tested it. I was hoping someone would confirm that concept, but in lieu of that I decided to do some testing akin to your action figure image. And I believe it confirms the concept of a possible dual focus stop point depending on where you started from.

I used my Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 at 55mm and wide open (I wanted a minimal DOF). The camera was tri-pod mounted, IR remote using MUP, single point AF-S in focus priority and Neutral Picture Control with a +7 sharpening. The focus distance measured to the sensor plane mark on the camera was about 32 inches, giving a DOF of about ¾ inches with a 49% front and 51% rear distribution. Coming from closest focus distance of the lens the AF system stopped reliably placing the decimal point of the 2.5 of the distance scale on the index mark of the lens barrel. Coming from infinity the AF system reliable stopped just left of the decimal point towards the infinity end (perhaps 2.6??). So clearly the AF system is dependent on the DOF and will stops when it achieves reasonable contrast and not an exact focal point.

Other than the screen capture showing the focus point in ViewNX2, and cropping for 100% view, the images are JPEG’s straight from the camera. The composite images show the difference in where AF locked. The left side of the composite shows focus lock coming from the closet distance and the right side shows coming from infinity.

This image shows the focus point. When viewing the two images in PS at full screen size it represents on my monitor about the size of an 8x12 print viewed at about 18 inches which is about what most DOF calculators are designed to work at. Admittedly, when toggling between the two images and looking at the focal point area, there is no discernable difference between them. When I look at the out of focus areas (or areas of relative focus) then there is a slight difference in the foreground and background elements in which you can clearly tell which was which.



This 100% crop shows the area of the photo where the focus point was aimed. If you judge the area covered by the focus point there is little difference between the two. But if you judge the DOF areas, the image created coming from closest lens focus distance seems to show better facial detail then the one coming from infinity (at least to me it does).



This 100% crop shows the background area of the DOF. The focus plane is approximately half way up the sleeve of the statuette. If you judge the face of that statuette it appears (again at least to me) that the one coming from infinity shows slightly more detail.




This 100% crop shows the foreground area of the DOF. The focus plane is behind the statuette, but it appears that the image created coming from closest focus shows slightly more detail than the one coming from infinity.



So what this indicates to me is that one needs to heed the warnings of the more experienced members. When judging the ability of an AF system and measuring front or back focus, one needs to be meticulous in their setup and procedure. And there seems to be a lot to consider when doing so.

Hope you find this helpful and constructive (I sure did). And comments about my testing and results would be most welcomed.

Pete











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chris_platt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Apr 2009Sat 19-Mar-11 03:04 AM
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#104. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 103


Newburg, US
          

Pete,

Just when I thought I was bored with this thread and determined to ignore it, you go and post something as interesting and informative as this! Thanks. I know a little more than I did a moment ago. Great post.

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wwt67 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2010Sat 19-Mar-11 03:33 AM
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#105. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 104


Warsaw, US
          

Wow! Very interesting Pete. I can clearly see what your trying to show.
Thanks for throwing that monkey wrench into the discussion. LOL!

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Sat 19-Mar-11 04:28 AM
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#106. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 103


Toronto, CA
          

Pete,

Thanks for taking the time to take and post these photos. You were absolutely correct in your assumption. I actually began to post a response to your previous post and stopped as I felt this part of the thread had become somewhat pointless.

Essentially the CCD contrast sensors measure relative focus by assessing changes in contrast at its respective point in the image, focus is locked where maximal contrast is found as it is assumed to correspond to maximal sharpness.

Jason

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jmiguez Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2010Sat 19-Mar-11 11:53 AM
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#107. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 103


Lafayette, US
          

Pete, I may be lost here. I am not sure I understand the concept you are trying to demonstrate? Is this what you are saying?

You manually focused in front of the figures one time, then focused on the figure to get the camera to focus on the front of the focus plane. Took a picture.

You then, focused behind the figures to get the focus point behind them. Afterward, you refocused on Gollum's face bringing the focus forward to find the rear of the focus plane.

In doing this, you hypothesize that the focus point (plane) is actually slightly three dimensional. Thus, the camera can sometimes focus a mm or two forward or behind the point at which you are actually aiming?

Second question:

If the above is true, what does this mean to D7000 photographers? Are we doomed to having pictures a teeny weeny (photography technical term )bit out of focus? Should we all trade in our D7000 for D300s?

I AM being facetious with that last comment.

How can we compensate?

John

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jim43 Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Dec 2008Sat 19-Mar-11 02:44 PM
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#108. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 103


Fort Mill, US
          

Pete,

I thank you for the time and effort for your very informing post. I'm new to this blog and joined this topic after coming to the conclusion that the D7000 does not produce images as sharp as my D300 and D90. Some of the responses as to how to get sharp images boarders on the need to use a computer to calculate the correct camera settings.

I also must point out that the D7000 can only auto bracket one under and one over exposure for a total of three images. This is not sufficient for those of us who do HDR photography. The D7000 also does not work with the tethered capture option in LightRoom.

The question I have is can these problems be fixed via firmware? Also, how long will it take before we see a firmware upgrade?

Nikon has produced a lemon in the D7000. We should make sure other Nikonians are aware of these problems and to stay away from this camera.

If Nikon will not address these problems then I will strongly consider a Canon for my next camera.



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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sat 19-Mar-11 02:59 PM
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#109. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 108


Paignton, GB
          

>The question I have is can these problems be fixed via
>firmware? Also, how long will it take before we see a firmware
>upgrade?

As has already been pointed out, a firmware update for the AF logic is unlikely.

>If Nikon will not address these problems then I will strongly
>consider a Canon for my next camera.

Good luck with that. Out of interest, a Google search for "Nikon D7000 AF problems" returned about 1 million results. A search for "Canon 60D AF problems" returned 1.5 million results - and "Canon 1D af problems" returned 2 million...

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Sat 19-Mar-11 03:18 PM
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#110. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 108
Sat 19-Mar-11 03:44 PM by JPJ

Toronto, CA
          

>Pete,
>
>I thank you for the time and effort for your very informing
>post. I'm new to this blog and joined this topic after coming
>to the conclusion that the D7000 does not produce images as
>sharp as my D300 and D90. Some of the responses as to how to
>get sharp images boarders on the need to use a computer to
>calculate the correct camera settings.

Where do you get that from? If it's Pete's post you are, I think, respectfully, missing the point. Pete's post points out that AF systems do not pin point an exact spot in which focus in exact, it is subject to a tolerance. This applies to all DSLRs. I guarantee if you repeated this test with a d90 or d300 you would get the same result. Incidentally, both of the results recorded by Pete were sharp images, they simply had slight variations in terms of DOF. If you are having problems with sharpness I suspect it is an issue adjusting your technique to a higher MP camera. Without seeing an example of the issue it is impossible to say. Several people here have had success following the advice of users here who don't have problems getting sharp images on the d7000.

>I also must point out that the D7000 can only auto bracket one
>under and one over exposure for a total of three images. This
>is not sufficient for those of us who do HDR photography.

Many people have no desire to shoot HDR. Some people don't even like HDR images. Someone posted a work around for this using the U1 and U2 settings. It works. I suppose Nikon chose not to try and cater to everyone with the d7000. Being able to bracket 3 shots at -2 / 0 / +2 works for many scenes, but not all. Incidentally, have you considered layer blending in Photoshop as opposed to HDR. Interesting article on that by Thom Hogan: http://bythom.com/ Two shots required, better results.

>The D7000 also does not work with the tethered capture option in
>LightRoom.

How is that the d7000's fault? Go over to the Adobe web site forums, people are roasting Adobe for lagging behind on this. This is an Adobe issue, join the roasting maybe Adobe will get on it. You can tether shoot it in Aperture.

>The question I have is can these problems be fixed via
>firmware? Also, how long will it take before we see a firmware
>upgrade?

The d90 didn't have a firmware upgrade for 2 years, and when it came out it was to correct a very minor issue. The d7000 had a firmware fix already to try and ameliorate an issue endemic to recording HQ video at higher ISOs on an analog sensor (bright spots). I would be very surprised if we see another firmware upgrade on the d7000 for a long time. There is nothing currently that requires a firmware fix.

>Nikon has produced a lemon in the D7000. We should make sure
>other Nikonians are aware of these problems and to stay away
>from this camera.

Your entitled to your opinion, I would get rid of the camera and get something you like (I would suggest maybe sticking with a 12 MP camera). I will keep working on ensuring that people are aware that these complaints are not consistent with what I experience with the d7000. Ultimately, Nikon can't keep the d7000 on the shelf, the number of complaints in relation to the volume sold is normal for a new camera model. I encourage people who are nervous about these complaints to google any camera model and 'soft images'. You will find tons of complaints when the camera is released for about the first year. After that they tend to peter off.

>If Nikon will not address these problems then I will strongly
>consider a Canon for my next camera.

They make some great cameras but your going to have the same problem I suspect in terms of sharpness complaints. The issue is the higher MP's which require that you pay attention to technique. Further, more MP's means more details means you will have to sharpen post processing differently. Cameras don't take sharp photos, they record details. If you think the d7000's is tricky, go try one of Canon's 21 MP cameras. I have friends that shoot Canon, it took them some time to adjust.

Jason

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Mon 21-Mar-11 11:45 PM
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#113. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 108
Tue 22-Mar-11 08:16 AM by briantilley

New HArtford, US
          


>
>Nikon has produced a lemon in the D7000. We should make sure
>other Nikonians are aware of these problems and to stay away
>from this camera.
>
>If Nikon will not address these problems then I will strongly
>consider a Canon for my next camera.

Jim,
I have posted much on this site regarding my experience with the D7000.

I think some of my posts were misconstrued as bashing the D7000.
To clear things up, I was not. I am very happy with this camera.

I have tried to optimize my technique to get sharp images which I mostly get.

I have taken advice on how to hold my camera, what to focus on, apply sharpening, wait for VR to kick in etc. This advice has greatly helped me.
I disagree with your statement that the D7000 is a Lemon. I get images as sharp as with my other camera the D5000. I also however get a slightly bigger image which is better for cropping, higher iso sensitivity, 14 bit color and overall improved image quality.
Were there some D7000's that had QC issues with focus? Maybe.

I personally think one of my lenses had back focusing issues which I fixed with focus fine tuning. Others disagree that there was ever a problem with this lens. Either way this camera is no Lemon.
Most people are out happily shooting and not seeking advice or complaining, so you wont see them represented in these discussions.
I just shot about 1000 images on a trip last week and had >90% sharp images. I'm happy with that number. Was the other <10% the camera's fault? Unlikely.

I have friends with Canons who have considered switching to Nikon due to focus problems. I have listened to podcasts where the photographers were complaining about focus issues with their Canons.
As my friends technique improved so did his images. This has been my experience with Nikon as well.

I don't fault Nikon for only giving me 3 brackets. I would like more and know they could have given me more. They also could have given me 10 frames /sec etc. The D400 I'm sure will have these goodies and will eventually be available to anyone who really wants them.

JohnE Nikon
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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Tue 22-Mar-11 03:22 PM
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#114. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 108


St Petersburg, RU
          

Do you have a local camera club or repair shop? You might benefit from taking the camera to them and have them watch your technique, and take shots themselves and do a proper diagnosis. If you bought it from a local store that has experienced photographer sales people, take it back and ask for them to try it themselves.
Each of your posts describe the failure of the image is the fault of he camera design yet have not done appropriate diagnosis to find out if there is a problem, and if so, what is the problem.
Give the camera to an experienced high res camera user: D3x, 7d, a850 etc. FF is more forgiving because of lower pixel density but they probably went through similar frustration with going from very forgiving 10 or 12 mpx to 16-24mpx. See if they can get acceptable images from it.
Most stick with it and figure out what they are doing wrong and are happy with the results now.
This is not a software problem, that is the only sure thing we can tell from a distance. So an update is not going to be released for the AF. A design problem is baked in and would impact every user so we KNOW it is not a design problem. And logic will tell the same thing.
One of the problems with switching res, is that 12 and lower mpx camera are usually incredibly forgiving of sloppy technique so users who do not adjust their technique to the level of camera are often frustrated at first until they identify their habits that cause the problems.

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Wed 30-Mar-11 01:22 AM
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#115. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 114


US
          

I just received my D7000 back. Now the performance is the same as a D3100. It was repaired. Is it great to know I spent over 3 months with a defective camera and support from the experts here was I wasn't doing it right. Even got excellent results hand-held. In a 10 point stance of course.....

Look folks as I mentioned before, AF is not just the hardware and software design, it is the QC, the test, and the calibration. If any one of those is off then the AF system as a whole is flawed. Mine clearly was. I suspect others are as well.

The camera as a whole should work well without jumping through hoops and a plethora excuses as to what the user did wrong as to why a picture did not come out at least reasonable.

Now I will spend the next 3 months (hopefully less) seeing what this camera to truly do. I hope in the end I can say well it only takes one trip back to service to make it right. Just add that to the cost of the camera. Such a deal. Is it too much to ask that it be right when you get it?

To those wondering why they are having difficulty with their camera, certainly you should learn the basics of taking a picture but, if you still seem to have trouble and it does not seem to make sense don't hang on to everything you read from people on the web. Send it in to Nikon let them check it out. Nikon is where you will find the correct experts.

On a side note, Nikon service did a really nice job of cleaning it. It was in good shape when I sent it in but it truly looks like it came out of the box new. Not a speck of dust.

Rob

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 30-Mar-11 08:54 AM
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#116. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 115


Paignton, GB
          

I'm very glad to hear that your camera has been adjusted and is now working as designed

Perhaps you would now like to retract your previous assertions that there is something basically wrong with the D7000's AF system?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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rtg Registered since 27th Dec 2010Wed 30-Mar-11 11:12 AM
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#117. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 116


US
          

One of the problems with trying to convey a point on forums is that not everyone reads a post completely and gets the same message.

As I stated twice before, "AF is not just the hardware and software design, it is the QC, the test, and the calibration. If any one of those is off then the AF system as a whole is flawed." There is no way to determine how many units may be effected by poor QC. Any reasonable person would have to agree I that probably don't have the only one. Statically speaking, in the absence of a statically relative sample, a single sample represents a one sigma(not the lens manufacturer) distribution.

I will coincide that Nikon may not be able to fix flawed AF systems with a firmware fix. Whether all systems are defective or not that can not be answered with certainty since even my unit could produce a sharp image when manually focused. A sharp image does not automatically conclude the AF system is functioning correctly. Nikon will have to rely on the consumer not noticing a problem and not sending the camera in for repair. The good news for them is that with such a fan base here there will be less defective units returned. I for one will not accept mediocrity in the performance of this camera.

Perhaps I am expecting too much for the readers to understand this concept.

Also as I stated in the last post,"Now I will spend the next 3 months (hopefully less) seeing what this camera to truly do. I hope in the end I can say well it only takes one trip back to service to make it right." I also stated that I want this camera to work but unlike many here to me it is not a given.

So clearly I can not comment at this time how well it works. Need to spend more time to analyze the AF performance. There is a chance I'll agree that all is well. I will be objective based on the data I am able to collect. I can say it appears better then when I sent it out.

At this time I am not happy with the poor QC of this rushed to get released product. Additionally as once pointed out earlier a software update came quickly after the release. Another indication of substandard QC. Perhaps later manufactured units have better QC. Perhaps not. Frankly, I don't like being part of Nikon's QC team.

Rob

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 30-Mar-11 11:32 AM
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#118. "RE: Mushy pictures"
In response to Reply # 117


Paignton, GB
          

>There is no way to determine how many units may be
>affected by poor QC.

Exactly.

It is unrealistic to expect that no examples of a consumer product will exhibit a fault. It's just frustrating when it happens to you.

Since we have comfortably exceeded our normal limit of 100 posts (above which a thread becomes too slow to load and difficult to follow), this one will now be closed.

Please let us know how you get on once you have completed your tests on your adjusted camera.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Fri 04-Mar-11 05:15 PM
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"RE: On "books in a study" in reply 13"


Yorkshire, GB
          

https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4585

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

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B LaRue Registered since 04th Nov 2010Fri 04-Mar-11 11:40 PM
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#57. "RE: On "books in a study" in reply 13"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I took this image last week with my 80-400VR Nikkor, which is old as dirt. I've had this lens since I had my D70. As I said in my earlier post, I was very disappointed with my bird images with the D7000. I never considered it could be the lens, and I'm glad I didn't.

I'd been sitting in a chair with the camera on a monopod. This image below was taken with me leaning against the side of the open garage door and the camera was much steadier. It was shot at 1/250, ISO 325. Wide open at 5.6 at the 400 end.
It is completely unsharpened, which shows I can get sharp images with old glass, but it IS Nikon glass.

Betty


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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Sat 05-Mar-11 01:16 PM
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#58. "RE: On "books in a study" in reply 13"
In response to Reply # 57


Alberta, CA
          

Very nice Betty. Gorgeous colour and light!
>
>I'd been sitting in a chair with the camera on a monopod.
>This image below was taken with me leaning against the side of
>the open garage door and the camera was much steadier. It was
>shot at 1/250, ISO 325. Wide open at 5.6 at the 400 end.
>It is completely unsharpened, which shows I can get sharp
>images with old glass, but it IS Nikon glass.
>
>Betty
>
>
>


Best regards, SteveK

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Sat 05-Mar-11 04:30 PM
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#59. "RE: On "books in a study" in reply 13"
In response to Reply # 57


Toronto, CA
          

Really nice shot, looks upset that you caught them with their mouth open!

Jason

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B LaRue Registered since 04th Nov 2010Sat 05-Mar-11 04:50 PM
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#60. "RE: On "books in a study" in reply 13"
In response to Reply # 59


US
          

Thanks, Steve and Jason. Yes, I caught the robin with mouth open, but at least it didn't chew with its mouth open

As far as the light went, it was a cold and overcast day. I used fill flash at -1 from the distance I was shooting from, just enough to bring out the colors without looking flashed. As it is, I had to bump up the ISO, otherwise they were underexposed.
Believe me, I tried ISO 100 first! Sometimes an overcast day is the ticket, because you don't have to deal with hot spots. Ideally, I want a bright overcast day, not the case when I took this.

Betty

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Thu 17-Mar-11 11:59 PM
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#79. "RE: On "books in a study" in reply 13"
In response to Reply # 60


St Petersburg, RU
          

Nice shot


I have been somewhat skeptical of many of the complaints primarily because the absence of reasonable and expected diagnostic attempts or understanding of basic systems that is displayed by many of the users. The jump to the conclusion that a different level of precision camera should simply produce better results than the old less exacting system, which was designed to be forgiving and limited in user influence.

Higher performance systems, to give more access to user influence, like the high performance sports car, luckily does not get tested using the same habits developed with very forgiving systems such as a D3100 or D60 which were intended as a step up from a point and shoot but still able to isolate the user from the flexibility to muck things up. The D7000 is a F40 Ferrari compared to the D60. The difference is that the F40 owner never tests its limits so assumes that it can perform wonders using the the same driving techniques at developed over year driving Ford Escorts.
The truth is that the F40 will give the user enough flexibility to bite the driver in seconds if not handled with superior technique. Few owners ever try to use its capabilities or there would be a lot fewer customers still alive. High performance really does not deliver any better results than low performance when using the same technique. That applies to cars, cameras, skiis, tennis rackets etc.
Low performance systems lull people into sloppy habits as being good enough.
A key in getting the most out of such flexible high performance systems is to be able to include the user in the total servo feedback system, that adjusts for observed response from the system. That is the missing element in most of these reported D7000 cases. Poor assumptions are key elements to many of the complaints. The number of people whose first guess is to introduce major uncontrolled variables into the situation, such as assuming soft images require adjusting lens compensation. It is not for general playing around, there is no free lunch, what are they willing to give up to get something to fit their expectations on one focal length...focusing tracking on the other end of the FL of the zoom?
The excuse given that "I have had xx years and dozens of models of experience so I know what it should do when I do 'x' " lulls users into accepting inappropriate techniques as normal for a different model at a different performance level.
I do not let people who want to drive my car, do so, thinking they have developed sloppy technique after years of driving a sedan. A high performance car, in my case a Maserati Bora 5 liter 4 cam 8 throat Weber downdrafts, hemi alloy V8, is not easier to drive well than a VW. To get the most or even acceptable performance, precision technique is needed. The analogy of the Porsche proves just the opposite of the what the poster intended.
The D7000 is marketed wrong, and that is Nikon's fault, they suggest it is a general purpose camera that works as a replacement for modest beginner through advanced user cameras. It is not as can be seen by the types of complaints that get illogical correction attempts.

The camera has created a lot of discussion, a few people are convinced it is defective by design if it requires better technique, while others accept the problems as opportunities to learn and developed new habits. We see some of these latter group post along the way in their learning that they are becoming better photographers, and the quality of their images show a steady improvement. The old camera would not have given that opportunity since its design was an attempt to remove user influence on the outcome.
The camera is not for everyone. For those willing to assume a little of the responsibility, it can be a great tool and teacher, for the others it might be better to suggest they sell it and get something that does what they expect based on their experience level and habits.
When the D90 came out it had a lot of the same complaints until people figured it was not a D70 or D40 and I had no reluctance to recommending it to a lot of people of different skill and interest levels. The d7000 is different. It is not for everyone, neither is the D3x while he D3s is much more forgiving.

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter MemberFri 18-Mar-11 02:44 AM
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#83. "RE: D7000"
In response to Reply # 79


Monterey Bay, US
          

Well said Stan

This is definitely a new Nikon system.

I've owned and shot nearly every Nikon DSLR made and this was one of the hardest for me to learn.
I had to do lots of study and dialing in.
I had to use a MonoPod and TriPod.
After a 1 month learning curve, I started getting good results.
I never doubted the quality or potential of the D7000.
I can now hand hold for MotoCross and Equestrian EVENTS.
My keeper rate has improved steadily.
Some of my D7000 shots have even exceeded my D3 and 5D2 in quality.

Now I think it is really fantastic and cannot wait for the technology to get used in the new D300 and D3 replacements.

However, I expect to go through these Forum discussions again
as many will buy the latest/greatest camera
and prove that is too much for them to handle properly.

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B LaRue Registered since 04th Nov 2010Sat 19-Mar-11 05:41 PM
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#111. "RE: D7000"
In response to Reply # 83


US
          

The first time I picked up my D7000 to try out, I shot this picture of my husband, who had hurriedly got in costume for this and proceeded to act silly.
I sat on the couch and shot across the room. Hand held, with my 105 Nikkor VR. VR turned off. I shot in auto, just to see what the camera would do. The only time I shot in auto. ISO 1600. I sure can't complain.

Betty


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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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jonathanryoung Registered since 19th Dec 2006Sun 20-Mar-11 08:33 AM
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#112. "RE: Mushy pictures--PHOTOS ADDED"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 20-Mar-11 08:34 AM by jonathanryoung

GB
          

This is a great thread with lots of useful advice. I thought I would throw in my experience. I am an amateur photographer - have had a D70 for about 7 years (or when ever they came out), and recently (end of Jan) got a D7000. My lenses include the 18-70 Nikon kit lens which is excellent, a Tamron 90mm macro and a Tamrom 28-300 tele (no VR).
Attached are some macro shots, which I think are pretty sharp (well, the bits that are in focus ) - look at the Wings and the antennae. Also the water drop on the fur.


Clearly at 100% on a computer screen, the limitations of hand held macro at this proximity are revealed. But a pretty good picture I think.
I am still learning the D7000.....

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