Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

English German French

Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Recent Photos Contest Help Search News Workshops Shop Upgrade Membership Recommended
members
All members Wiki Contests Vouchers Apps Newsletter THE NIKONIAN™ Magazines Podcasts Fundraising
D7KRookie

Fairmount, US
98 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author
D7KRookie Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Sep 2011
Wed 04-Jan-12 03:20 AM

I took the two attached photos with the camera in Auto mode, Live View, Face priority, built in flash, VR Off, from a tripod with the ML-L3 remote. The two images appear to have used the same exposure settings, but are drastically different. In addition, neither is in focus. Very frustrating!! F4.2, 1/60, ISO800.

Any idea why these shots failed. I had all 12 of us together for the holidays and was super-disappointed that the shots are trash.

Ed

Click on image to view larger version



Click on image to view larger version


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

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

I spent most of my money on guns, cameras, women, and whiskey. The rest I just wasted!

DeanAZ

Phoenix, US
4156 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#1. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 0

DeanAZ Gold Member Expert nature photographer Nikonian since 28th Apr 2007
Wed 04-Jan-12 03:18 AM

I'm very sorry you had these problems with the family pictures. Looks like a great family. As to your problem I think the fact that you used auto has contributed to your issues with focus. When in the auto mode the camera is set to release priority as opposed to focus priority and it will take the shot without regard to whether or not the camera actually achieved a focus lock or not. My guess is that the ambient light was not sufficient to confirm focus and the camera will hunt or just run to near focus or infinity each time you press the release.

You would have this issue even if you were not in live view. For group shots I prefer to make sure the camera can achieve a focus lock and often I will switch to manual focus on the lens after I get the image dialed in as when people are moving between shots I don't want my focus point locking in on the background if they move off the focus area.

I can't explain the exposure differences without digging into the EXIF data and without knowing what the room light was like. I like to make some test shots while people are getting into position to look at the composition and the exposure and then I jump into the scene after I have things dialed in. Try and reproduce the situation with a smaller crowd to practice. I wouldn't trust that the auto mode will give you a good focus lock unless the light is bright enough in the scene (before the flash fires.)

I hope you get another chance soon.

Dean
Phoenix, Arizona USA

Time-Lapse: Vimeo-Dean Andersen

blw

Richmond, US
28561 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to send message via AOL IM

#2. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 0

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Wed 04-Jan-12 05:55 AM

I'd guess that the top one was shot with a flash that wasn't fully recharged?

f/4.2 didn't help your focus situation. I'd have gone for something like f/8, ISO 3200, with manual focus. (Or even f/11, ISO 6400.) That way the DOF alone is probably sufficient to cover for any minor focusing errors.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#3. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 04-Jan-12 02:36 PM

The data for both images is the same. f/4.1, 1/60, 800ISO, 35mm, and flash triggered and reflection returned. The flash is the dark image did fire, as can be see in the dog's eyes and something strange about the reflection from the man on the camera right, his left hand has bright reflections from his fingernails.

I ran a quick test to confirm that my rough calculation of the shot data being right for a well exposed image, by setting the same values in Manual mode and using the built-in flash at a similar distance and got a well exposed image. As suggested before, the dark one might have been immediately after another shot, after which the flash capacitor had not fully charged before you fired it again.
As another test I used Auto and tried to see what AF mode it was in. It was in focus priority and would not allow a shot until something in the frame was in focus. I am not that familiar with Auto mode so others might have more information on the camera's automatic choices.

Both images are out of focus as you say but a different amount. I used Photoshop to bring up the exposure on the dark image so the degree of out-of-focus could be seen.
Did the other images turn out about the same? Have you has problems with shots taken without the remote trigger? Have you noticed a focus problem with outdoor shots?
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

JPJ

Toronto, CA
1327 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#4. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 1

JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2009
Wed 04-Jan-12 06:14 PM

I agree with Dean. Nothing is in focus in these shots and this appears to be a case where focus simply did not lock on anything.

Your problem can be tracked ostensibly to the use of Auto Mode and the selected AF-F (Full-Time Servo Autofocus mode). AF-F is a relatively new autofocus mode that was primarily added for video recording - it is supposed to allow the camera to track subjects as they move during video recordings. It works so-so in reality, not actually tracking very well if the subject moves with any real speed. Here, it is very possible that your autofocus either failed to lock initially or was locked but was thrown off by movement. If you are going to shoot portraits in Live View (not my preference) you should use AF-S (Single-Servo Autofocus) mode. I believe this is option A8 in the custom settings menu.

Ultimately this type of shot is one I would do in aperture priority mode, using viewfinder focus with focus set to AF-S or AF-C/focus priority. I would probably use f/8-f/11 for a group this large - bounce my flash in I could, and set my ISO/shutter speed based on what I want the background exposure to be . Dean's tip is a great one, once you have the basic layout of people and you lock focus where you want it, turn the AF dial to manual and then your AF point won't change in subsequent photos. This works as long as the group doesn't substantially shift positions.

Jason

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

chuckji

South Lyon, US
51 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#5. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 3

chuckji Silver Member Nikonian since 25th Jan 2011
Thu 05-Jan-12 01:53 AM

I think the reflection is a beer can...

bclaff

Vancouver (WA USA not BC Canad, US
9691 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#6. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 0

bclaff Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Registered since 25th Oct 2004
Thu 05-Jan-12 04:39 AM

Ed,

Not stellar, but not trash!

Click on image to view larger version


Click on image to view larger version


Feel free to contact me by email or PM (Private Message) if you can't get similar results yourself.


Bill

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

Visit me at Photons To Photos

DeanAZ

Phoenix, US
4156 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#7. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 5

DeanAZ Gold Member Expert nature photographer Nikonian since 28th Apr 2007
Thu 05-Jan-12 11:02 AM | edited Thu 05-Jan-12 11:04 AM by DeanAZ

Good call on the reflection. The flash output is the primary reason for the differences in the exposure of the two shots as both were at the same shutter, aperture and ISO (1/60, F.4.2, ISO 800.) The camera detected the strong return light from the can in the first image and reduced the flash output accordingly to prevent blown highlights (but left the image underexposed, otherwise.) I have had this happen on many times when taking snapshots where a mirror or other reflecting surfaces will cause the TTL metering to reduce the flash output by a couple of stops.

Dean
Phoenix, Arizona USA

Time-Lapse: Vimeo-Dean Andersen

D7KRookie

Fairmount, US
98 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#8. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 3

D7KRookie Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Sep 2011
Fri 06-Jan-12 02:34 AM | edited Fri 06-Jan-12 02:36 AM by D7KRookie

All,
I had set up the camera and positioned my wife prior to everyone arriving so I would get it right. The AF seemed to hunt a little when doing the set up test. (Should have realized I needed to modify selections at that time) The darker image was actually the first image shot. The focus box was red for both shots and completely enclosed the head of the ten year old girl up front with the blue shirt and blue PJ bottoms. The lighting for the shot was a combination of halogen flood from above the fireplace, incandescent fixture on fan in center of room and two incandescent lamps right and left between the camera and subjects, along with the Xmas tree lights.

After reading the other comments and the manual, I think the AF-F mode was struggling with the lighting and still hunting due to different people moving slightly when the remote on 2s delay tripped the shutter.

I have had mixed results with some images sharp and others slightly out of focus both inside and outdoors which I think I have to attribute to poor settings choices or my handling errors. Looking forward to my copy of Mastering The D7000 and becoming more proficient at getting settings correct quickly in different situations. Assembly of this dozen was not accomplished without complaints and I did not want make it worse by farting around with the camera. Hence, I got poor results.

Exposure is usually always correct, but focus is definitely not a sure thing.

Thanks for the comments and observations.

Ed

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

I spent most of my money on guns, cameras, women, and whiskey. The rest I just wasted!

elec164

US
2575 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#9. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 8

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Fri 06-Jan-12 11:44 AM | edited Fri 06-Jan-12 11:50 AM by elec164

>The AF seemed to
>hunt a little when doing the set up test. (Should have
>realized I needed to modify selections at that time). The focus box
>was red for both shots and completely enclosed the head of the
>ten year old girl up front with the blue shirt and blue PJ
>bottoms.

Well this may also explain why nothing is apparently sharp.

When looking through the viewfinder the active focus points are represented by a red square and focus achievement represented by a green circle in the lower left corner.

But when using live view, a red square means the camera cannot achieve focus.

Page 52 of the manual states, “The focus point will blink green while the camera focuses. If the camera is able to focus, the focus point will be displayed in green; if the camera is unable to focus, the focus point will blink red (note that pictures can be taken even when the focus point blinks red…).

So it appears there was insufficient light for the live view focus system to function properly.

Hope this helps.

Pete

Edited to add:

Another point not mentioned (although it may not be relevant for this issue) is that being you were using a tripod with no one behind the camera, did you block the viewfinder off. Even though using live view, I believe that light entering the eyepiece can affect exposure.

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

browntdb

Corvallis, US
236 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#10. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 9

browntdb Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2009
Mon 09-Jan-12 04:49 AM

I may be showing my advanced old age here, but for important family photos, there is nothing wrong with manually focusing a lens and setting a small enough aperture to capture the depth of field one wants. When I got my first Nikon camera in 1967, it was a Nikkormat FTN. I used a 50mm 1.4 Nikkor which I still have. It had marks on the lens that showed the approximate focus zone or depth of field for the different apertures. That was such a great help in composing photographs.

I remember when the first autofocus lenses and cameras were sold. I wondered why anyone would want to auto focus when manual focus allowed pin point focussing. Now, as a D7000 owner, I find I let the camera do the focusing, too, but I tend to use single point focusing so I know exactly where the lens will focus, then shoot aperture priority to be able to control depth of field. Also, as my eyesight is not as good as it used to be in my camera eye, (vitriecomy, retinal detachment, and two bouts of CSR), I really appreciate having autofocus, especially in lower light.

There is noting wrong, however, with going back to the old tried and true methods when important photos are being taken and pixel peeking tells a person that focus is a problem.

The D7000 is one complex camera especially regarding exposure and focus. I am still learning, but love it's capabilities.

Terry

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

mjhach

Simcoe, CA
611 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#11. "RE: What went wrong?" | In response to Reply # 10

mjhach Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Dec 2010
Mon 09-Jan-12 11:29 AM

Exactly, when taking a mostly static subject, use the manual focus to tweak to the green dot and sufficient DOF f stop set.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G