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Live View Shots always blurry

MongolJustin

AU
8 posts

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MongolJustin Registered since 26th Oct 2012
Wed 14-Nov-12 12:32 PM

Folks.

I am happy with the performance of my D800 using the viewfinder, but i am struggling to get any usable shots with Live view.

Basically, when i go to live view mode, regardless of the focus mode or the camera mode (P,S,M,A) the lens starts chattering to try to keep focus and never really achieves it. And when i do get a shot off, the result is always a blurry mess.

I have read the manual, and Mastering the D800 and both sources talk about how Live mode allows even more accurate focus, but i get the opposite ...

I have oticed also when a shot is taken, that the actuation is very slow, while viewfinder mode is very fast for taking the shot.
Even when i select Manual and bump up the shutter to 4000 and take a shot, the actuation is slow in Live view mode.

what could i be doing incorrect ? or is it possible my camera is faulty.

I shot a wedding at Byron Bay recently using viewfinder mode and really got some excellent shots ... but this live mode (which i would like to use) is just hopeless.

Thanks for your answers in advance.

Justin.

aay

CA
172 posts

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#1. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 0

aay Registered since 11th Jul 2010
Wed 14-Nov-12 07:44 PM

Justin,

I am no pro by any stretch of imagination. So I'm not really sure as to what's going on with your camera's Live View focusing. All I know is what I read up on the subject while dealing with my D800's focusing issue in Phase detect. All the articles I read mentioned that Live View focusing should be precise and if it is not, then there is something wrong with the camera.

Another thing to check out - are your lenses good and sharp? Do you need to do micro-adjustment for them? Maybe there is something in this area?

As for speed of actuations in Live View mode. I did notice that with my camera Live View shots are much, much slower. Not sure as to why.

Good luck with figuring out the problem. Hopefully there is nothing wrong with the camera.

Alex
http://www.yermakov.net

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#2. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 1

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Wed 14-Nov-12 08:09 PM

>Another thing to check out - are your lenses good and sharp?
>Do you need to do micro-adjustment for them?

AF Fine Tune does not apply to the Live View AF system, so it's not going to help in this case.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

aay

CA
172 posts

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#3. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 2

aay Registered since 11th Jul 2010
Wed 14-Nov-12 08:15 PM

Right, makes sense...

Alex
http://www.yermakov.net

GaryPk

Bailey, US
543 posts

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#4. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 3

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Wed 14-Nov-12 08:50 PM | edited Thu 15-Nov-12 01:15 AM by GaryPk

I shoot Landscapes Live View in AF-S mode. I see you said "regardless of Focus Mode". If it is searching for focus in AF-S mode then I would clean the camera and lens contacts, try it again and if it still doesn't work..send it in for repair.

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MongolJustin

AU
8 posts

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#5. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 4

MongolJustin Registered since 26th Oct 2012
Thu 15-Nov-12 10:20 AM

Thanks for your replies.

Yes, live view with AF-S does not seem to find or hold focus .. i tried it again tonight

** contacts are clean ... camera is only a few weeks old and primary test lens is a Sigma 50MM prime F/1.4

It is weird, because in viewfinder mode, the body/lens combo does take nice shots.
I have tunes my 3 lenses using "Focal" and that did make quite a difference to sharpness.

My concerns about returning camera for correction is

* I am in Australia (Melbourne) and i have no idea if the local NIKON service centres have much experience (or the correct equipment) to service the D800. I don't want them to fix it and make it worse.

* The camera originally came from HK (bought online) and came with a European warantee... so not sure how claiming a warantee fix will go.

gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4132 posts

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#6. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 5

gpoole Platinum 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. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Thu 15-Nov-12 01:33 PM

" camera is only a few weeks old and primary test lens is a Sigma 50MM prime F/1.4"

Try your tests with a Nikon lens. If you don't have a fast Nikkor, then borrow one or try with a demo lens at a local shop. Some 3rd party lenses have problems with newer camera models. If the problem is with the lens, Sigma should be able and willing to update the lens firmware.


"i have no idea if the local NIKON service centres have much experience (or the correct equipment) to service the D800."

Right now in the US, Nikon USA will not allow authorized repair centers to service a D800/D800e.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10636 posts

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#7. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 0

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 15-Nov-12 02:44 PM

I think it is a safe bet that your camera is not faulty. Your issue is with learning the technique for Live View focus. Live View contrast detect focus is slightly more accurate and more consistent than the phase detect focus normally used. The difference is relatively small with the newest cameras.

There are two techniques for using Live View focus. One is to magnify the image and manually focus. This is the technique used for macro where there are options on exactly where you want to focus.

The other approach is to use Live View mode, position the AF sensor where it is needed, and then activate focus using either the back button or the shutter. You probably will need to use a tripod to make sure the focus is on the right subject. There is a lot of precision in the camera, so if you miss focus you will certainly see it.

One variation on the use of Live View is to simply use the LCD screen instead of the viewfinder. This can provide some unique angles for photos without contortions. Again - you would use the desired AF mode and let the camera focus. This technique works for Dynamic AF with a group of sensors.

Contrast detect focus is accurate - it just is not as fast as phase detect AF. So for moving subjects it may not work as well as phase detect.


Eric Bowles
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MichaelWise

CA
22 posts

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#8. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 0

MichaelWise Registered since 20th Jun 2012
Thu 15-Nov-12 11:39 PM

Are you using a tripod? If not, in live view mode you're holding the camera at arms length and are very much more susceptible to camera shake than when shooting in "viewfinder" mode where you can brace the camera against yourself.

MongolJustin

AU
8 posts

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#9. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 8

MongolJustin Registered since 26th Oct 2012
Sun 18-Nov-12 08:16 AM

Thanks for the replies.

I have now tested Live View with my two other Sigma lenses 24-70 and 70-200.. live view behaves a little better with the 24-70, so it appears that it may be a lens issue.

I am most surprised that the 50mm prime f1/4 is the worst offender, because its only a couple of months old and is quite sharp for taking shots via the viewfinder.

I read a post i found on another site via Google that said that 3rd party lenses may have an issue with the D800 due to Nikon updating the communication protocols. (i have no idea if this is true or not)

Nikon Rumours, also posted an article last week that suggests the D800/D600 will also soon get another firmware update, they mentioned some live view fixes.

A check of the Sigma site does not show any details about firmware updates for lenses .. pleased to hear from anyone who has been successful in getting their lenses updated.

Either way ... its looks (even at its best) like Live view is really only usable for static shots using a tripod, handheld or fast motion are not likely to result in good photographs.


RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#10. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 9

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
Thu 22-Nov-12 03:44 AM

I had a similar focus issue the other day.
I looked down and noticed the camera was in movie mode.
Speeded right up and locked on when I switched to photograph.

Another thing that can cause it is having a VR lens in VR mode on a TriPod.

Third thing is a known issue with some Sigma lens on a D800.

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mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#11. "RE: Live View Shots always blurry" | In response to Reply # 9

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Thu 22-Nov-12 04:25 AM

Sigma doesn't post firmware updates on their web site. (At least not up until recently. Since their new lenses will have a connection to allow user updates, that will change).

What you need to do is contact their tech support, describe the problem and see if they recommend sending it in for updating. If so, they normally do it for free and pay to ship it back to you, but you pay to ship it to them.

Even though everything is "new", cleaning the contacts on the lens would be a fast, cheap way to eliminate that possible source as the cause of the problem.

I have a copy the same lens that is a few years old. It works fine on my D800e, but I don't think I've tried it in LV . Maybe tomorrow. I don not use LV except on a tripod. I don't think I can hand hold a camera steady that way.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
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G