I am having trouble getting really sharp images from my D2X, compared to the ones with my D100's. I took some pictures the other day at my daughters first B-Day party with both my D2X and my d100. Both had 50mm1.8 lens and sb800 flashes. The pictures taken with D100 are a whole lot sharper. I turned up the sharpness on D2X to high+2 and their still not as sharp. These were all just snap shots, but there is a big difference. I was wondering if it was something I'm doing or am I going to have to batch sharpen all my D2x pictures? Thanks for any help! John P.
That's very difficult to answer without samples of your images. What you consider lack of sharpness could be a number of other things like camera shake, focus problems, using cheap lenses, etc.
Is any part of the image in focus (if not, it could be camera shake). Is the part of the image which is in focus the part you inteded to be? If not, it could be operator error or a camera problem. Are you looking at jpeg or raw files? Those are only some of the questions which may help you solve your issue.
Michel G. Sylvestre Nikonian from Montréal, Canada
It's also worth pointing out that the D2x has twice the resolution of the D100. Blow both up to "actual pixel" view and everthbing in the D2x image will be twice as big as in the D100 image. Any problems with camera shake, too little depth of field, focus errors, and so on will also be magnified by two. Back off the D2x image to only 50% view and things should appear the same size.
My images all just look soft. In focus, but just are not as crisp as my D100. I have took pictures on a tripod outside same lens, remote cord, and the D100 pictures look a whole lot sharper. Does the D100 sharpen alot more in camera? Thanks, John P.
If it makes you feel any better, I had the same experience. For a while, my D100, D70, and D2H images beat the heck out of my D2X images as regards sharpness. I went through all kinds of internal questions....Was it my technique? Was is the lens? was it the AF system? In the end, it was me and the fact that the D2X (in my opinion) DOES require more attention to camera settings and technique. It is certainly not (for me) a point and shoot camera like the others tended to be. I get VERY sharp images now from the camera. I would refer you to Digital Darrell's wonderful article on using the D2 AF system, which can be found on Nikonians. The next step would be to rework your technique to eliminate as much body movement (your own) as you can. Try to get your shutter speed to at least 3 times the focal length of whatever lens you are using. These things worked for me!
A few questions. 1. I came from a D70 to the D2X. Because of the resolution of the D2X being so high, the computer has to do alot of shrinking to show it on screen. I have to look at the image at 100% to judge sharpness. If I look at the image reduced at all it doesnt SEEM to be sharp, but at 100% it is super crisp. 2. JPEG's. NEFS are always sharper than NEF's. BUT what are you using to convert the NEF's? I find ACR looks soft with NEF's and does not use your camera settings as a start point...so it wont matter what your sharpness is set to, it wont show. Hope that helps, print a few out and look at the prints, that was EASY for me to see the differences at 8x10. Also shoot the same subject with your D100 and with the D2X and compare the images.
Unless I use mirror lockup on a tripod or a shutter speed 2X 1/shutter speed I commonly get small but visible camera shake at 100% viewing. Short lenses <50mm seem worse than longer lenses for some inexplicable (to me) reason. As a point and shoot camera the D2X doesnt deliver for me as consistently sharp (at 100%) results as the D100 I replaced. I use my tripod more than ever now using which I do get very very good results. If the D200 was a better compromise I would consider trading down.
Unless they are bad samples, the 50mm f/1.8 is going to be one of the sharper lenses around for Nikon, so the lens should not be the problem in this case.
The second point, and one that I have had a problem with since going to digital cameras, is adjusting to looking at images at 100% on the monitor. I always thought my pictures looked less sharp from my D2H than results I was getting with film. However, when you make prints and compare side by side, the differences were not there (comparing D2H to print film I used most of the time). Now, when I compare my D2X pics to those from the D2H, similar things are occuring for me. There is an apparent perception of higher sharpness with the D2H, but there is definitely more detail with the D2X. Yes the D2X is merciless on your technique, and requires your absolute best to get maximum sharpness at the pixel level. HOWEVER, try printing 4x6 or 5x7 prints of 'snapshots' taken with the D2X, and I would bet that they will look just fine.
I had the same problem when I bought my D2X, I was getting better results with my D100 than with the new camera.
Do you have the firmware update installed? This update corrects a lot of the problems people were having with the D2X autofocus. Also a lot of other people had their camera replaced by Nikon because there was a large batch of them that had problems with autofocus. Mine went to Nikon after 500+ predominantly out of focus shots, they adjusted it and it was slightly better, but still not good; they gave me a replacement which was really good, but something was still missing. Once I installed the firmware update the camera performs really well and all that talk about taking extreme care with your technique vanished for me; I use the D2X in the same manner that I use my D2H and get great results.
>It's certainly true that some D2X's have had AF problems, >but as I'm sure you realise, there are other possible causes >of unsharpness. It's not necessary to bring AF issues into >every thread...
Given the number of people who had AF problems, many which seemed to have been resolved with the firmware upgrade, it seems rather important to bring the issue up, particularly for the new user of a D2X who may not have yet upgraded the firmware.
It may not be the answer to their problem, but it is most certainly an avenue that cannot be ignored!
> It may not be the answer to their problem, but it is most >certainly an avenue that cannot be ignored!
No-one's trying to hide the fact that some D2X's had AF problems, but when the original poster states (in reply #3) that his shots are in focus, just not sharp, this may not be the right thread to resurrect the issue. We don't want to re-start old arguments.
Now - back to trying to help John with his lack of sharpness...
OK, here's a final reply to your questions, but then can we get back to advising John, please?
What we are trying to avoid is re-starting the ill-feeling that marred this forum some months ago. If that takes a friendly reminder (which is how my first post in the thread was intended) at times, I think it's worth it.
No-one is "banned" from talking about problems with their equipment. All we ever tried to do was avoid the insistence that someone's problem must be the camera or must be technique.
We do still want to make sure that threads stay relevant. When John initially described a problem that he felt was was not AF-related, mentioning AF problems was off-topic. Since then , John has revised his view, so the floor is open...
Thanks for everyones help. I have updated the firmware. I think some of my problem is the depth of field. I think it's a whole lot less forgiving than my D100. It seems that it is back focusing. I took some pictures of my son out in the back yard with my 70-200 2.8. I set it to 2.8 so that I could really see where the the depth of field really started and stopped. It seemed like it always focused on his back shoulder. My be it's my focusing that's the problem, and the D100s just a whole lot more forgiving than the D2x. What is the problem with the auto focus every one is talking about? Is it very noticible if I really have a problem? Thanks again, John P.
Since you've asked about AF issues, I guess it's OK for us to talk about it now..
When the D2X was newly-released, a number of users found that the AF system was not performing as well as they expected. Some of these users found that their hand-holding or tripod technique was lacking, some needed to alter their perceptions of how the D2X works, and some did indeed have a faulty AF system. Since then, Nikon has released a firmware update that (amongst other things) "improves" the AF performance. This update seems to have fixed most of the third group's problems. Which firmware level does your camera have?
Just so that you know, there was quite a bit of ill-feeling in this forum, with views becoming polarised into "it must be your technique" and "it must be the camera". We really don't want to go there again
Anyway, for a great description of the D2X's CAM2000 AF system, check out this article by Nikonian Darrell Young. I'm sure you'll find it useful.
I will share my most recent experience with lack of sharpness, backfocus, and yes AF problems. I believe they are ALL related, at least it was in my case. I've used the D2X for nearly a year now and have had numerous issues with 'soft' images that I figured out was slight backfocus. It was only when I used my new D200 that I knew for a fact that my D2X wasn't functioning perfectly. So I took it to Nikon and got the AF fixed and now everything works great. So I do recommend you taking your camera in to have them take a look at it. I now use my D2X like I do every other SLR and no major care has to be taken to get sharp images. Good luck! I have a very recent post about my AF issue being resolved so refer to that thread for more details.
Thanks Jamie! I think I will try to send it to get it serviced. It's been really bothering me for a while. When you sent it in what did you exactly tell them? I know you said you had a error showing up, how did you descibe your auto focus problem? Thanks for your help. John P. By the way your pictures on your web site look Great!!! What a great job!!
When you take it in you can describe to them what you think is wrong, they will ask you if you have samples to give them, but will not push the issue. I would be nice if you can take some, during my initial discussions with a Nikon technician via e-mail he was able to categorically tell me there was a problem by me providing him with some sample images.
With mine the initial attempt at adjusting the AF mechanism was an improvement, but I do believe they threw something else off because color reproduction was horrible after it came back. Eventually a replacement resolved the issue 95% and the firmware update nailed it.
You may or may not have a defective camera, but it is too expensive a tool to let it go.
Hi John, Thank you for the kind words regarding my photos...and yes, it is a great job All I told them was that I was having AF issues and for them to please check to make sure it was functioning as it's suppose to. They did not even ask for samples but I was also dropping off my camera in person so I don't know if that makes a difference. And they ended up fixing the AF issue completely (as far as I can tell). It was nagging me for a long while but it wasn't severe enough to tell me categorically that the camera was 'off' so I didn't take it in. It was only after the Err msgs and the D200 comparison that prompted me to take it in immediately. I would trust your instincts if you feel something isn't right and have them look at it. The peace of mind you'll get after if it is fixed is nearly priceless. Good luck!
All this concerns me....I have been using a D70 and D2H for 18 months now with very little issue. I am planning to purchase a new D2X in the next few days and I have an aerial shoot to do the weekend of 2/11. All the talk about "movement" affecting sharpness and focus issues dosen't send me up with a high degee of confidence. Any immediate actions I can take before flying to insure my unit will perform as intended?