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'There's something wrong with my b. photos today....'

simpo two

UK
2103 posts

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simpo two Registered since 17th Aug 2004
Fri 29-Dec-06 08:58 PM

(misquote from Admiral Beatty, Battle of Jutland, 1916)

Now it's my turn to ask for ideas - ulp.

I was at a friend's house yesterday and of course the camera was evident... however a lot of images taken with the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 are 'wrong' and I can't determine exactly what happened.

If you have a moment, have a look at the photos here: http://www.autograph.uk.com/test.htm They have been tweaked once for levels and saturation, resized and sharpened. Key paramenters for each image are given beneath.

My opinion is that apart from one image (1538), all the others look distinctly out of focus. In most of these it seems that the hair just above her fringe is sharp but her face is not - this is the back-focus you noted. In one or two shots this might be the girl moving forwards slightly after focus has locked, but not in all. I know that f2.8 is not the sharpest aperture in the box, but why is the hair sharp and not the eyes?

I then thought that due to the low shutter speeds, there might be a touch of camera movement which makes the hair *appear* sharp in certain directions. Most of the images seem to have a sharp area in them somewhere but not where I want it!

To my mind only one shot of that batch is acceptable commercially, and so I would like to solve the problem before my next job. The lens has already been back to Sigma for an aperture repair and 'D200 rechip'. If it was the camera body, I'd expect it to be consistently wrong - it's not. If it's caused by low shutter speed, would the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VR do the trick - or not? Or maybe simply move from Sigma to Nikkor non-VR in the hope that it interfaces better with the camera.

If it would guarantee better results in these circumstances I'd buy it, but I don't want to spend £1K only to find the problem is something else - hence the need for a considered and well-informed opinion!

I have a few ideas of what might be wrong but I'd be most interested to hear your thoughts.

John
www.blokewithacamera.co.uk

John
www.blokewithacamera.co.uk

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