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Why is this image so soft?

bkinthebay

bkinthebay, BE
409 posts

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bkinthebay Registered since 27th Feb 2010
Wed 31-Jul-13 05:51 PM

Hi all,

a friend asked why this image (no crop) appears so soft and I cannot really figure out why.

Click on image to view larger version


Of course it is not posted here without compression but the full size picture does not look better.

It has been shot with a D800 + 70-200 VRII at 200mm. Aperture is f8, speed is 1/4000 s and iso is 1250.

My friend says that the body could not achieve proper autofocus. However, given the fact that the feet of the dogs are nearly at the distance where the sand is the 'sharpest', I tend to believe the autofocus did its job well. It's also puzzling why the left side of the picture shows some fairly sharp sand but nothing sharp at the center or right side of picture (I was expecting to see a 'band' of fairly sharp sand extending from the left to the right side of the picture in the plane of focus).

His disappointment comes from the fact that the vast majority of his pictures look like that while he was shooting *next* to another friend using identical settings on a D4 + Nikon 200f2 VRII that obtains much better results:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictures4events/sets/72157634864162394/

Of course, the other person has much more expensive equipment but we were expecting a D800 + 70-200 VRII to perform much more closely in this situation.

Any clues?

Cheers,
Bernard.


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