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How to get sharp pics with the D800?

ExtremePic

FI
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ExtremePic Registered since 23rd Apr 2012
Mon 23-Apr-12 09:20 PM | edited Mon 23-Apr-12 09:23 PM by ExtremePic

Hi,

I just upgraded from D200 to D800 and got mine few days ago.
As far I haven´t been able to get a single sharp picture (may be beginner´s syndrom with new camera?).

My lenses are compatible but not outstanding and I will not be able to upgrade them for long, long time:
- Sigma 24-70 mm 2.8 EX DG HSM
- Sigma 70-200 mm 2.8 EX DG HSM Apo
- Sigma DG Apo HSM 150-500 mm 1:5-6.3 optical stabilizer
- Sigma DG Macro D 50 mm 1.2.8 (32-2.8)

I have tried different manual settings both in FX and DX mode and partly used a monopod. But no sharp image yet.
What could be the problem?
Any professional experienced with the D800 who can give some tips?

I feel I am riding a mustang and it will take its time, like it did with the D200 5 years ago...
I hope I get the D800 in grip before my first exhibition =)

Thank you, fellows for helping.

walk43

Pennsylvania, US
719 posts

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#1. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

walk43 Registered since 07th Feb 2012
Mon 23-Apr-12 08:11 PM | edited Mon 23-Apr-12 08:17 PM by walk43

Don't get frustrated....we all are going through a learning curve. I have attached a few shots that I was working on today. They are sized small to fit into this forum but you can also check my gallery via the link below.

I found that for me it is in the settings and my technique. If you are hand-holding you have to be steady...test your first shots with a tripod to prove to yourself that the camera is fine. Then when you start hand-held shots to check your hand-held technique set your AF to AF-C not AF-S....again as a test only. This will keep your in/out sway from taking your focus away from your subject. The D800 resolution is sensitive. Start with relative close up shots...I am assuming those are the ones you have a focus issue with. If it is landscape then go ahead and do the closer shots and move to landscape or 'cats'. Give those few things a try then come back and respond.
I had to try out all the settings until I was satisfied with my set-up.

Here are the 2 shots I was working on today.



Click on image to view larger version



Click on image to view larger version


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

Dan
(Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40)
"I don't read, I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol

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ExtremePic

FI
26 posts

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#2. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 1

ExtremePic Registered since 23rd Apr 2012
Mon 23-Apr-12 08:55 PM

Thank you, Dan.
I will try out more tomorrow. I just got one sharp in low light by changing the AF settings a bit.

Your shots look great! They encourage me. What wonderful pics are awaiting once I can ride the mustang.

mikemaz41

troy, US
116 posts

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#3. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 1

mikemaz41 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Feb 2010
Tue 24-Apr-12 03:36 PM

I too have a D200, but my lenses are all Nikon; AF-S 17-35mm f2.8D; AF-S 28-70mm f2.8D; 80-200mm f2.8D; and a IF-ED AF 300mm f4. I have been reading all the comments about focus, technique, and optimal f-stops using the new D800. With this post I am again concerned about sharpness and other image elements. Is this kind of image challenge prevalent when you move up above 16mp on all Nikon cameras. Reason for that question is maybe the D3s is a better move-up for me versus the D800?

Mike

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SRoss43

US
51 posts

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#4. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 1

SRoss43 Registered since 10th Apr 2012
Sun 29-Apr-12 04:38 AM

Nice photos. BTW, I also did bleeding hearts.
I use manual lenses for macros and was having a tough time. Found out from the website luminous... that the D800 has a flaw with non-CPU lenses. Apparently, the minimun shutter speed sets at 1/30 using the auto-ISO mode.

I am having far mode issues getting used to DOF with short lenses in macro. Not a D800 problem, just a learning curve.

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5701 posts

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#5. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Mon 23-Apr-12 09:14 PM

>Any professional experienced with the D800 who can give some
>tips?

How about an amatuer?

Besides the good advice already given, I would start by getting a baseline of "sharp" with each (or at least one one of) the lenses.

Put it on a sturdy tripod, outside or in very bright light, and use Live View zoomed ALL the way in with auto-focus off, shoot at a very fast shutter speed, and see what you get. Do it a couple times just to make sure. This should be focused as good as it gets, and with a very fast shutter speed have no motion blur (turn off VR if those lenses have it).

Now shot the same in the same place but with auto-focus on (and live view off). Do this a couple times.

If the latter is not as good as the former, start adjusting fine tune.

If they are the same, and you are not happy how sharp, make sure your expectations are reasonable. Compare to the same shot with the D200 (perhaps post some). Sharpness is not really the same as resolving power of the additional resolution -- sharpness is more of a post processing feature for edge contrast. What you can resolve is more about the additional pixels. Try compare with minimal sharpening added, and look at fine detail, it might give a clue as to whether you are seeing a contrast issue. Or a CA issue. Maybe post some samples.

I'd guess either your expectations are exaggerated or you have a fine tune issue.

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

gorji

Jamesville, US
311 posts

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#6. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 5

gorji Registered since 07th Jan 2007
Mon 23-Apr-12 11:08 PM | edited Mon 23-Apr-12 11:08 PM by gorji

Great advice from folks above.
Make sure the lenses are clean. Use a lens pen or similar device. I know it sounds weird but sometimes it could be an item we neglect.

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mikesrc

OKLAHOMA CITY, US
299 posts

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#7. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 6

mikesrc Registered since 03rd May 2009
Tue 24-Apr-12 12:19 AM

Go to my Flowers 2012 gallery. Most all of those have been shot with the D800. It is a work in progress. I need a lot of work with this camera.

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DiamondPhotography

UK
233 posts

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#8. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 7

DiamondPhotography Registered since 29th Dec 2010
Tue 24-Apr-12 03:12 PM

Threads like this worry me a little, just wondering if others are struggling to get sharp images?

I do not claim to have the best technique and don't use tripods very much at all.

D800 currently on pre order...

North East Wedding Photographer

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5701 posts

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#9. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 8

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Tue 24-Apr-12 06:05 PM

>Threads like this worry me a little, just wondering if others
>are struggling to get sharp images?
>
>I do not claim to have the best technique and don't use
>tripods very much at all.
>
>D800 currently on pre order...

Bear in mind the situation. Everyone with a new camera is paying more attention. It's like going to the doctor and sitting in the waiting room looking at the pamphlets for diseases. You suddenly start wondering about that freckle.

Everyone worries the pixel density will demand better technique. Not so. It will ALLOW you to see the impact of poor technique (or poor lenses) IF you get down to the pixels, as you have a greater degree of magnification if you wish to zoom in.

Take the same image and view it at the same size with the same viewing distance and it will never look worse using the same level of technique.

And it will not suddenly emblazon your shots with "this had poor handheld technique".

At least it hasn't yet. When I get a camera that labels each shot with what is wrong... well, there are other hobbies.

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

yunjo

Portland, US
75 posts

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#10. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 8

yunjo Registered since 06th Jul 2008
Tue 24-Apr-12 06:29 PM | edited Tue 24-Apr-12 06:47 PM by yunjo

>Threads like this worry me a little, just wondering if others
>are struggling to get sharp images?
>
>I do not claim to have the best technique and don't use
>tripods very much at all.
>
>D800 currently on pre order...


No need to worry. The D800 does produce sharp images and in my case, it was user technique that caused unsharp images (although for me, VR is still up for debate as most of my handheld VR on images look more blurred than VR off images of the same thing). The two images in my gallery, the Steel bridge was handheld with the 14-24 2.8, while the night cityscape was on a tripod with the 24-70 2.8. Pictures of my cats will be spared from this forum for now...

DiamondPhotography

UK
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#11. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 10

DiamondPhotography Registered since 29th Dec 2010
Tue 24-Apr-12 06:40 PM

>>The two images in my gallery, the BW was
>handheld with the 14-24 2.8, while the night cityscape was on
>a tripod with the 24-70 2.8.


I use 24-70 2.8 a lot, could you get sharp images hand held?

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yunjo

Portland, US
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#12. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 11

yunjo Registered since 06th Jul 2008
Tue 24-Apr-12 06:42 PM | edited Tue 24-Apr-12 06:47 PM by yunjo

>>>The two images in my gallery, the BW was
>>handheld with the 14-24 2.8, while the night cityscape was
>on
>>a tripod with the 24-70 2.8.
>
>
>I use 24-70 2.8 a lot, could you get sharp images hand held?
>

Yes, I was able to. Lots of sharp pictures of my cats. Actually, I initially started shooting the Steel bridge (oops my bad...didn't post the BW picture, my apologies) picture with my 24-70 but needed something wider. Those images were sharp with the 24-70 (since discarded images). Neither the 14-24 nor the 24-70 have VR, and didn't have problems shooting handheld.

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#13. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | 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
Tue 24-Apr-12 10:54 PM

Can you post some images that concern you? Make sure the data is intact. Without seeing the un-sharp images, and your settings, all would be pure speculation.
If you can't post one, post the settings used, particularly shutter speed and AF mode. Do you have AF on release or focus priority?
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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gorji

Jamesville, US
311 posts

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#15. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 14

gorji Registered since 07th Jan 2007
Tue 24-Apr-12 11:53 PM | edited Tue 24-Apr-12 11:56 PM by gorji

ExtremePic: I got my D800 today (local dealer) upgrading from a D300 and now retiring my D200 (which joins my D100). I also got somewhat out of focus pictures. Even though I have a fair amount of experience and have the good Nikkor lenses, I felt somewhat overwhelmed by the camera. Its an FX camera versus my DX experience. I did not give up and by days end I had close to 600 shots most of which were in VERY SHARP focus unless I had operator error. I learned the different focusing controls. There is ALOT to learn from this camera. Bear in mind that I had already read the camera manual before I got her and still felt the challenge.
I kept it simple and moved slowly thru the various hurdles; its part of the fun of learning photography which IMO never ends.

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Neilwww1

Sydney, AU
229 posts

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#16. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

Neilwww1 Registered since 12th Mar 2012
Wed 25-Apr-12 09:53 AM

Could be related to this issue/s??? http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/04/05/and-the-nikon-d800-autofocus-saga-continues-with-some-comments-on-specific-lens-performance/

ExtremePic

FI
26 posts

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#17. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 16

ExtremePic Registered since 23rd Apr 2012
Wed 25-Apr-12 07:02 PM

>Could be related to this issue/s???
>http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/04/05/and-the-nikon-d800-autofocus-saga-continues-with-some-comments-on-specific-lens-performance/
Hi Neil,
Thanks for this info. It seems to be this problem, since I get unsharp photos with all lenses.
I have tried different settings and such high speed that there cannot be blur but the pics were blurred.

The Sigma 24-70 mm at times does not focus and refuses to shoot (nothing happens when pressing the button). In Amazon half of the feedback givers had to return the lense due to similar issues already in D700 times:

http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-24-70mm-2-8-Standard-Nikon/product-reviews/B001NEK2QO/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

See comments of people who gave 1-3 stars.

My D800 is from the 6000xxx series and there are other people affected in Europe with the same serie.
So both the new camera and the new lens are ####.

DiamondPhotography

UK
233 posts

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#18. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 16

MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
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#19. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 18

MotoMannequin Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Registered since 11th Jan 2006
Wed 25-Apr-12 07:35 PM

>>Could be related to this issue/s???
>>http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/04/05/and-the-nikon-d800-autofocus-saga-continues-with-some-comments-on-specific-lens-performance/
>
>
>What do others think of this?

The camera has 2 independent AF modes, phase detect (traditional) AF and contrast detect (live view) AF.
If you suspect a problem with the phase-detect AF then put the camera on a tripod and use Live Vew AF. Live View will always give more consistent focus, because phase detect sacrifices accuracy for speed, but if traditional AF is consistently off and live view is consistently on, across a wide range of lenses, then there's probably something wrong with the phase detect AF, most likely the mirror stop is not set correctly.


Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

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ExtremePic

FI
26 posts

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#20. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 19

ExtremePic Registered since 23rd Apr 2012
Wed 25-Apr-12 08:10 PM

>>>Could be related to this issue/s???
>>>http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/04/05/and-the-nikon-d800-autofocus-saga-continues-with-some-comments-on-specific-lens-performance/
>>
>>
>>What do others think of this?
>
>The camera has 2 independent AF modes, phase detect
>(traditional) AF and contrast detect (live view) AF.
>If you suspect a problem with the phase-detect AF then put the
>camera on a tripod and use Live Vew AF. Live View will always
>give more consistent focus, because phase detect sacrifices
>accuracy for speed, but if traditional AF is consistently off
>and live view is consistently on, across a wide range of
>lenses, then there's probably something wrong with the phase
>detect AF, most likely the mirror stop is not set correctly.
>
>
>Larry - a Bay Area
>Nikonian

>My
>Nikonians gallery>

>>red";"=""]
www.tempered-light.com
>
>
Thanks.
Who and how can set the mirror stop/do necesary finetunings?

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10537 posts

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#21. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 20

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Thu 26-Apr-12 09:48 AM

<Who and how can set the mirror stop/do necesary fine tunings?>

Nikon Repair would make any required adjustments. BUT - don't blame the gear without exhausting other sources of soft images.

One thing to remember with the D800 is that a 100% crop showing 1000 pixels or so is much smaller and more magnified than a 100% crop on earlier cameras. On the D800, 1000 pixels is just 1/7 of the image while on the D200/D300 is is 1/4 the image - near the equivalent of a 200% view.

Sharp images require excellent technique. Good technique takes practice - both with focus and with stability. Start on a tripod with Live View, move to a tripod with Mirror Up and learn what the gear can do. Keep your shutter speeds at 1/1000 sec or more and f/8. Then start working on shallower apertures with fast shutter speeds. Don't expect to get quality test images in marginal situations such as low light, slow shutter speeds, etc.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

ExtremePic

FI
26 posts

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#22. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 21

ExtremePic Registered since 23rd Apr 2012
Thu 26-Apr-12 07:08 PM

Thanks, Eric.

I tried with monopod, different apertures, ISO and speed.
Even with ISO 800 and 1600 of speed, I get rather blurred pics.

A main concern is that the few pics I got somehow sharp (like the red wooden wall) are unsharp on the left half of the picture.

https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=21900

What settings do you need to have in order to get sharp the left side of the photo if the sharpness is not consistent even if the left side is at the same distance than the center and right size?

When I loot at the pics in 1:1 screen zooming, the image quality is not equal to 36 MP but clearly poorer than with the 10 MP of the D200.
The left half of the photo has clearly much worst quality than the rest.

I went to the shop and told the seller about the issues and showed a print of the blog where similar issues are reported about series 1000x,3000x, 6000x (mine and Europe first delivery) and 8000x (Asia).
He will call tomorrow to the retail and to local Nikon´s technical support.
He assumes a problem with the body.

I will keep you updated.

I am very dissapointed because I will have to cancel the planned exhibitions and material shooting trip =(

JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7068 posts

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#23. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 22

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Fri 27-Apr-12 03:00 AM

Can you get us a link to a bigger version of the red barn with the EXIF data still there?

If the right side is sharp and the left side is not, the camera is in need of repair. Does this happen in all your lenses or just one?

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

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

yunjo

Portland, US
75 posts

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#24. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 22

yunjo Registered since 06th Jul 2008
Fri 27-Apr-12 04:17 AM | edited Fri 27-Apr-12 11:06 AM by yunjo

>I tried with monopod, different apertures, ISO and speed.
>Even with ISO 800 and 1600 of speed, I get rather blurred
>pics.
>
>
>
A monopod is nowhere near as stable as a tripod and can transmit vibrations since you still have to hold the camera. If you don't have a tripod, try setting your camera on a desk, then take a picture using 3 seconds mirror up, to see if you're still having sharpness issues.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#25. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 22

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Fri 27-Apr-12 09:59 AM

Your left side focusing is not at all like the posted link from Malaysia . He had good sharpness across the frame and is not complaining about anything except when using a far left side focal point, the whole scene misses optimum AF focus accuracy. Selecting other focal points, the images are sharp across the whole scene. In any manner of focusing, other than far left side AF focusing point, on wider then 40mm, AF VF and AF Live View delivers sharp images. Focusing manually, anything in the scene on the same focal plane is also sharp.
You seem to be suggesting a different problem than what anyone else has reported, that the left side of the frame, objects on the same focal plane are out of focus when the center is in focus.
Have you tested the same scenes with tripod mounted Live View?
Have you identified the problem is more evident with some lenses? Which ones? Are there some lenses that are consistently sharp?
Are handheld shorts worse in this problem?
How did you rule out lens decentering as a cause?
Does the aperture have the expected influence on the side to side sharpness?
I am assuming you already tried all these steps as first basic diagnostic steps to determine where and if the problem resides. What were the results?
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#26. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 25

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 Member
Fri 27-Apr-12 11:27 AM

I've heard that many Sigma lens do not focus properly with the D800.
Be sure to download latest firmware from Sigma.

The D800 is much less forgiving of user error than the D200,
actually it just shows those errors much better.

Try using a TriPod, F/8, and speed over 800s.
Go to Picture Control and try bumping the sharpness level up a notch or two.

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mrpenguin

Windsor, CA
306 posts

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#27. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 26

mrpenguin Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Feb 2012
Fri 27-Apr-12 01:37 PM

>I've heard that many Sigma lens do not focus properly with
>the D800.
>Be sure to download latest firmware from Sigma.
>
>The D800 is much less forgiving of user error than the D200,
>actually it just shows those errors much better.
>
>Try using a TriPod, F/8, and speed over 800s.
>Go to Picture Control and try bumping the sharpness level up a
>notch or two.


What do you mean download Firmware from sigma ??? you can install sigma firmware on your D800 ??

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DrGoon

US
36 posts

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#28. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 27

DrGoon Registered since 11th Mar 2009
Fri 27-Apr-12 02:09 PM

I think that for F mount lenses, you need to send the lens back to Sigma for a firmware update. I don't believe that any of them are user upgradable in the same way that their 4/3rds lenses are.

I'd follow the steps that Stan has outlined first before seeing the camera off to Nikon or the lens off to Sigma.

Don't visit my Nikonians gallery yet. It's empty.

Schafphoto

Ventura, US
4 posts

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#29. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 28

Schafphoto Registered since 27th Apr 2012
Fri 27-Apr-12 02:24 PM

I got my D800E as an upgrade from a D300 and the CA has been the biggest surprise. Were all of you meticulously using the Lens Correction profiles for the last three years. I wasn't. But now with D800E 36 MP files without a lens specific profile in Lightroom 4 the CA at 100% is BAD. That's what is to be expected when there's this many pixels in such a small space. I posted samples of my D800E trials to my blog and Flickr schafphoto photostream. Still trying to figure out the new workflow. But if you aren't using the lens profiles in your RAW converter then you might try that, it could improve your perceived sharpness.

Stephen Schafer Architectural/HABS/HAER/HALS Photography
www.habsphoto.com. Ventura, California

ExtremePic

FI
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#30. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 29

ExtremePic Registered since 23rd Apr 2012
Fri 27-Apr-12 04:49 PM

Thank you all for the very valuable advices.

When I contacted Nikon support, they told that Nikon does not accept complaints when shooting with other lenses than Nikkor.
So I went today and changed the Sigma for the Nikkor 24-70 mm.
I read in Amazon comments that for some people with D700 no firmware update or objective change of their Sigma lens helped.
I want no risk with my main objective and got a Nikkor. And I want to have Nikon support and warrancy just in case there is a defect in the camera.

But my Sigma zooms and the macro will wait for years for an update. My wallet has been swallowed by a black hole in the pixel space =)

Tomorrow testing and learning continue with the Nikkor...

ExtremePic

FI
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#31. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 30

ExtremePic Registered since 23rd Apr 2012
Sun 29-Apr-12 08:18 PM

On Saturday morning the seller helped me test the camera and find a workaround for the focus issue.

There was certainly an issue, specially with the left side focus area and we SET THE FOCUS POINT TO THE LEFT.
Now I USE THE FOCUS POINT TO LOCK THE AREA I want to focus on and I am able to get sharp pics with this workaround.

I will just wait for Nikon to find out the reason for the issues and come up with a solution before doing anything further.

The Sigma zoom seems to work well with D800 and surprisingly the Sigma macro lens that did not work with the D200 is working better with the D800. No urgent need to update them - and no money =).

emphoto

Spartanburg, US
25 posts

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#32. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

emphoto Registered since 12th Jul 2009
Mon 30-Apr-12 01:03 AM

I have had the D800 for over a month...and got the D800e a couple weeks ago. I have had zero problems getting sharp images. These cameras require glass that is equally resolute. Unfortunately, I am afraid that is not the case with your glass. Borrow a 70x200 VR F/2.8 II, use a tripod and shoot. I doubt you will find a camera with better detail and sharpness. I am blown away.

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SRoss43

US
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#33. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 32

SRoss43 Registered since 10th Apr 2012
Tue 01-May-12 08:32 PM

Ok, I have had the D800 for a week. A bit of a learning curve but worth it. My standby macro lenses are too close and therefore have been difficult to use because of the shallow depth of field. What I have found was that I can get sharp macro shots from close-focusing wide angle lenses. My Sigma 10-20 DX works very well for macro. The tokina 11-16 - meh.

The autofocus for faces, pets, etc. seem to be dead on. No problems.
Again, a learning curve.



ExtremePic

FI
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#34. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 33

ExtremePic Registered since 23rd Apr 2012
Tue 01-May-12 08:52 PM

Today I got some pretty good and sharp pics of a building.
One day at a time.

My favorite topics, landscape, does not yet run so well as I want. I need to catch more depth of field. But again, more practice and more technique.

Gator Bob

SANTA FE, US
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#35. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

Gator Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2006
Wed 02-May-12 04:03 PM

FWIW, FYI: Ken Rocksell Tuesday said:

If you're not getting sharp snaps in the AF-C (continuous AF) setting, it's because ... you need to reset Custom Setting A1 to any setting other than the default of RELEASE. (MENU > CUSTOM (pencil) > a Autofocus > a1 AF-C priority selection > FOCUS or RELEASE + FOCUS.) As shipped, the RELEASE setting means the D800 shoots anytime you press the shutter, regardless of if it's in focus or not. Resetting this ensures the D800 only fires when it's actually in focus.


Gator Bob in Gainesville FL
D700 & SB800 * D800 on order
Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8
Tamron 90mm Macro

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#36. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 35

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Wed 02-May-12 04:33 PM

The logic for AF-C having a default setting of Release is that it is usually better to get a slightly out of focus image of a moving subject than no image at all. AF-S with a default of Focus assumes you are taking a single frame and will take whatever time is required to get a sharp image. I always use AF-C with it set on release. Images are generally sharp. I've had too many missed frames caused by Focus priority.
Now the situation is different if you are trying to sort through focus or sharpness problems. In that case you might set AF-C to Focus priority. I still think that is a bit backwards - because most situaitons that need Focus priority will be handled through AF-S. If you are testing and want to make sure you are in focus, use AF-S with the default setting of Focus priority. There are reasons for using AF-C with Focus priority, but they are for uncommon situations.
Another area of caution for AF-C is the focus and recompose technique. AF-C uses Focus tracking, and the camera may confuse Focus and Recompose with a moving subject that needs to be tracked. Don't use Focus and Recompose if you are having sharpness issues - it just adds another variable.

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William Rounds

Rambouillet, FR
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#37. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 36

William Rounds Gold Member Nikonian since 25th Mar 2011
Thu 03-May-12 07:06 AM

For the Custom Setting A1, wouldn't Release+Focus be a better setting than either just Release or just Focus? Release, if you only shoot one shot might result in out of focus if anything is moving, and Focus might result in a totally missed shot, whereas shooting in continuous mode with Release+Focus allows focus to catch up on the second or third shot if the first is not good?

I'm just asking, not having tried all the possibilities in any controlled conditions.

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walk43

Pennsylvania, US
719 posts

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#38. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 31

walk43 Registered since 07th Feb 2012
Thu 03-May-12 01:18 PM

Great news...and a shooting tip for me to try out since I have never used the focus lock....ever. I didn't realize you were the same person with the DOF issue....did that get resolved also from these fixes?

Dan
(Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40)
"I don't read, I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol

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D3Xwannabe

Williamsburg, US
267 posts

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#39. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 15

D3Xwannabe Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jul 2009
Fri 04-May-12 01:07 AM

Man, you hit the nail right on the head. I've shot every digital camera Nikon makes and this one WAS a little bit of a challenge in the beginning, but like you, I read the manual, fiddled a little with the settings and now I'm getting GREAT shots!

Good advice gorji!!!

Cheers,

CARL
D3Xwannabe

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#40. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 3

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Fri 04-May-12 04:31 AM

I have shot almost 3000 frames this week with my new D800 in slot canyons (low light) and in open landscapes here in Arizona. I have shot about 90% HDR with from 5 to 7 frames per HDR set. Almost all have been from a Gitzo tripod.

Every image is sharp as a tack.

You may have a focus issue or AF Fine Tuning issue with non-Nikon lens. I have shot almost all images with top quality Nikon glass. I did shoot some wide angle with my Tokina 11-16mm DX lens just to see how sharp the DX images are in DX crop mode. I have not yet compared them side-by-side with my D300 images with the same lens, but they look good at first glance.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#41. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 26

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Fri 04-May-12 04:44 AM

I have been shooting two D300 bodies for three years. I just received my D800 last week. I have now shot over 300 frames with it.

I am finding that it responds equal to or better than my D300 under all conditions. I am having difficulty with the concept that it is less forgiving than previous generation Nikon cameras. Yes, it has more controls that must be understood and set properly. The beauty of the machine is that it has these controls.

I highly recommend that D800 users take a destination trek with Nikonains Academy to learn how to get the most out of their D800.

Winston Hall is leading our trek to the slot canyon in Arizona. We are finishing tomorrow. He has given me really great tips on settings and adjustment for the D800 to get optimum performance. I have learned more from Winston this week than I would learn in six months reading D800 manuals and books.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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nrothschild

US
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#42. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 37

nrothschild Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Registered since 25th Jul 2004
Fri 04-May-12 09:31 AM

I've always shot all my cameras (D2h/D200//D300/D700) in AF-C focus priority mode whenever possible.

In the case where I absolutely need the camera to fire then I use Focus + Release. I never use simple release mode.

Even in situations where my frame rate is so critical that I've gone back and checked the EXIF times to test this, I have not personally seen any significant reduction in frame rate. In other words, maybe I get 7 or 7.,5 instead of 8 but I don't consider that "significant" in the context where I cared (and I really do care for a certain sport I shoot every fall).

This is all to say that I've used Focus+Release for 7 years now and never seen a good reason to use simple Release mode. My theory is that Focus+Release might wait a few 10's of milliseconds to get focus fully caught up but it won't wait much longer.

I shoot Focus Priority in most cases because I've gotten to the point where for most things I shoot I either want it in perfect focus or I don't want to bother filling my card with junk. This is a religious and philosophical thing; there is no right answer to the question of the "right mode" except to find our own least evil. I do lose a lot of shots because of it but I also think the shots I get are overall better quality. If my priorities change for a certain situation, I change mode. I'm not totally dogmatic about this


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Neil


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mabuge

BE
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#43. "RE: How to get sharp pics with the D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

mabuge Registered since 18th Mar 2012
Fri 18-May-12 07:21 PM

mansurovs.com/dslr-autofocus-modes-explained

I found all chapters - especially chapter 4 Autofocus Scenarios and Examples - very useful, next to the recommendations given by others in this thread to increase the speed or to use a tripod, and to use focus priority whenever possible or until one learns how the photographer-camera-lens combination behaves in different circumstances.

For handheld you can rather easily find out what the best speed is for the combination photographer-camera-lens (with or without VR), by making use of the Auto ISO settings. I found the different minimum shutter speeds based on focal length pretty useful to learn about the camera+lens, in particular about the one handling it . There's a scale with 5 speed tuning levels, each next level about doubles the speed of the previous level in relation to the focal length used. For example if you're using a focal length of 80 mm you get approximately following minimum speeds:

1/4 of 80 => 1/20 s
1/2 of 80 => 1/40 s
1/1 of 80 => 1/80 s
2/1 of 80 => 1/160 s
4/1 of 80 => 1/320 s

I made series of 5 pictures of the same scene with my 24-120/4 VR set at a focal length of 24, 40, 80, 120, so in total 20 pictures, all at f/8, followed by a pixel peeping session. The major problem is mimicking the way you take the first picture in each of the series, including breathing, position of the body, arms, feet. I had to redo two of the series. Of course light and wind conditions should be the same. I set maximum sensitivity to 3200 ISO, accordingly I had 5 ISO stops available, just in case (the light conditions weren't that good when I tried this). It was an interesting experiment, and I will do it again. For the time being I set speeds at the higher side (2/1).

Best, Marc

G