UK Newbie to this group, and to the D800E (it arrives in 4 days) but not to pro photography. Great to be here - hello everybody!
I shoot a lot of golf course landscapes. I've added the D800E to my current kit which is D3S plus the Holy Trinity (14-24, 24-70, 70-200 all 2.8).
Currently I focus maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the way into the frame, almost always at f/8, which seems to get the sharpest detail all the way back in the photo (to distant trees, flags etc).
Question: given that my technique will be good with the D800E otherwise, where / how would the Group recommend I focus a landscape photo with the D800E for max crispness right into the distance? NB: I am racing the sunlight on most shoots, so have no time for hyperfocal distance calculations on each shot .. .I need quick useable tips please ,,,
And also advice on the best autofocus settings for (mainly) hand-held landscape photographs. I use a tripod when I can, but I'm often way up a ladder, handheld, to get a semi-aerial view of a golf hole!
Would hugely appreciate any advice the Group can give. Best wishes: Andy
As Richard says, if you have a system that works for you, stick with it.
What you are currently doing is a poor approximation for hyperfocal distances. Reference charts can be printed for quick references. There are also plenty of smart-phone apps. For greater DOF I would probably move a little closer to f/11. I find that my DOF preview button to work quite nicely.
---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
Sat 19-Apr-14 03:43 PM | edited Sat 19-Apr-14 04:15 PM by jrp
To get sharp images the recommendations are: Use a tripod, use Mirror Lock Up, and/or use shutter delay or timer. When none of these are feasible, remember good handholding technique and shoot a High Speed (CH) burst; one will always be sharper than the rest.
The resolution of the D800E seems to reveal out of focus areas more clearly than other cameras - especially at a 100% view. Traditional DOF tables may not work as well since near focus areas appear softer.
My approach is similar to your - to focus on an element 1/3 of the way into the frame. I'm looking for a clear focus target.
While f/8 may be optimal for avoiding diffraction, I don't think it's enough DOF for most landscapes. I tend to shoot at f/11 to f/16 with the 16-35 and 24-70 lenses for landscapes. I know this picks up a little diffraction, but it's a good tradeoff since I need more DOF.
Also be sure to adjust your sharpening routine for the D800E. You can sharpen a little more on a D800 image because the radius is so small compared to the total image. In the context of 7000+ pixels of width, 4-5 pixels of radius is quite small.
With the D800 you will get the sharpest pictures at f8 as this camera exhibits diffraction at smaller apertures, part of the price for the higher resolution.
Hyperfocal is a theoretical construct that assumes everything in the scene has equal value from the foreground to the background. This is seldom the case and the wider the lens the less detail is going to be evident in the background and whether or not it is "in focus".
The comment about focusing on what is of prime interest in the fore to middle ground is a better approach. When you view a print which aspects do you notice details and where are they less important?
Usually one gets a stronger image overall by having something of interest in the foreground and for it to be effective it needs to be in sharp focus and not simply within the allowable DOF for the lens at the chosen aperture.
If this becomes a serious pursuit you might consider getting a PC-E lens, either the 24mm or 45mm ones. Even with fading light it is not terribly difficult to get the lens setup and then take a shot or even do a shot and two shifted shots to get a very quick panoramic with minimal stitching.
To all posters ... I am the OP and this has been a tremendous help.
I have already noticed, in LR5, that my D800E images respond better to careful Sharpening than my D3S images, although the D3S is no slouch of course.
Anyway, 72 hours since receiving my D800E, I have yet to give it a full test but that comes this Monday when I shoot a famous golf course in Yorkshire, England (Moor Allerton GC).
I have read every word of the advice above, and am steadily absorbing everything. I will be trying f/8 up to f/16, examining the results, experimenting with the different focusing advice, and I think the time spent will make me a better photographer - which is what Nikonians is all about!
Kudos to the Nikonians community, and I look forward to taking part in more discussions. Best wishes: Andy
Wed 07-May-14 09:50 AM | edited Wed 07-May-14 09:51 AM by jamesvoortman
The D800/E has much higher resolution than the D3s. In order to get adequate results from DoF calculators you therefore need to use a much smaller CoC factor than you would use for a 35mm film format or the 12Mp FX sensor of the D3s.
If you downsampled your D800 images to 12Mp they would probably look much like your D3s images...nice DoF but lacking the detail you seek.
From my experience with D800 you need to be using smaller apertures than f8 if you want rich foreground and background detail in your landscapes. I regularly use F11 to f16 for landscapes with mine. People will scream about "diffraction effects" at small apertures but in reality these are very minor compared to having half your pic visibly out of focus because the aperture was too large.
Shooting with smaller apertures will lower your shutter speeds and that might be a problem for handholding at dawn or dusk. Apart from a tripod, you can also consider a monopod, or when using a portable stepladder, perhaps a beanbag with appropriate mirror/shutter delay and a timer or remote release.
Anybody here ever hear of Phoshop's Auto Blend feature? Instead of worrying about depth of field tables, lenses, etc., etc., use s prime lens, make a series of shots over a range of focus points, and blend the result.
I played around a bit with that a while back. Its called "focus stacking", and it is seriously cool stuff. Pretty easy to do, actually, thanks to Photoshop's features. While I don't shoot landscapes, that technique seems like a great option for those who do and who want uniformly sharp focus from front to back.
>The D800/E has much higher resolution than the D3s. In order >to get adequate results from DoF calculators you therefore >need to use a much smaller CoC factor than you would use for a >35mm film format or the 12Mp FX sensor of the D3s.
That's not necessarily true - it depends on the size the image is to be printed or viewed. When a shot is printed/viewed at the same physical dimensions (and was taken on the same sensor format), the same CoC should be used whatever pixel count the camera has.
>I just took a class with David Muench and I asked the same >question. He said to focus 1/3 of the way up the frame from >the nearest foreground object, not the bottom of the frame.
** Thanka! This is the most concise, easy-to-understand reply possible. It's basically what I do, but I will modify slightly to include Muench's advice here. IE: 1/3 of the way up the frame from the nearest foreground object, rather than simply 1/3 up the entire frame. Great tip! AH
I've almost always found moire to be a resizing artifact, not a camera issue or in the RAW file at 100%. Resizing can be with conversion for web posting, but also for display on a screen or even for printing. The trick is to either use a different resizing algorithm or to resize in stages.
Yes, there's definitely moire on the shirt in the JPEG but I'm not sure how LR5 interprets the camera's Picture Control settings. It would be interesting to view the NEF file in Capture NX2 - i.e. if moire is still there in NX2, what happens if Picture Control is turned off.
Photoshop has 5 different algorithms for resizing. Capture NX2 has different options for Picture Control, sharpening, and moire reduction. Typically the JPEG or even a screen view is an output size and reflects resizing using one of the methods in the software or your video driver. Turning off the Picture Control typically eliminates some sharpening - which could reduce or eliminate moire since you could control the sharpening later if needed.
If it is true moire, you'll see it in the image at most sizes and all file types - especially true at 100%. It's typically easy to remove moire with software for still images, but for video it's very difficult.
If you have a RAW image, you can use the Moire Correction tool in Capture or a similar tool in LR. You can also use noise reduction to eliminate moire. If it only shows up in the JPEG, it's related to resizing - either in output to a specific size or with your video driver.
I've had real moire in only 1-2 images out of 50,000. I've had plenty of JPEG's, thumbnails, etc. that show moire but the moire is in the rendering not the actual image. The D800 specific issue is it has such high resolving power that detail is captured and needs to be downsized.
OK good ... thanks for the valuable analysis folks. I'll answer this question when I install Capture NX2 on my PC here, and check the original RAW file. It's not something which sets me against the D800E, as 99% of my golf photos won't have the problem anyway.
At the moment the weather's nice and I am flat out taking pictures which make golf courses look nice ... if anyone's interested, a sample of my 2012-13 photos are on www.magichourgolf.com.
>Some nice course shots there Andy - are they for a golfing >magazine?
Thanks that's kind of you They're mainly taken for golf courses who commission the shoot. I then send them to the golf mags and websites on behalf of the courses, or they use them in their ads, brochures, websites etc.
Began as a sideline, and is slowly becoming a decent business.
Seeing moire on a monitor can come from resizing the image for the screen (essentially resizing via the video card), or sharpening applied upon import to Lightroom. I'd rule those out first by zomming to different magnifications to examine the image. You can import with a neutral setting rather than the default setting to reduce capture sharpening. I think LR has a moire reduction tool that works pretty well.
You could easily create moire when exporting from LR, so if it is not on the raw file and on the resulting resized image, that's the source. These are the most common sources of moire and pretty easy to address or check.
I agree that Capture NX2 or even View NX2 could be used to examine the image and see if there is moire in the RAW file.
Even in Capture, there is some sharpening in every picture control. You can remove all capture sharpening by adjusting the Neutral picture control setting. I'd probably use the Moire reduction tool in Capture if I still had moire with a Neutral picture control.
Lowered screen resolution to 1152x864 so no resizing was done to this image, only cropped start menu bar out and saved at quality to be small enough to post:
And how it looks in LR4.4, again reduced screen resolution so no resizing was performed:
It seems LR4.4 does introduce a little more moire' patterns compared to CaptureNX2.
I have had many files like this that needed local corrections made and are fine afterwards for the intended use of the images. But moire' does show up with a D800E, it's just not a huge huge deal, just something to keep an eye out for.
Sat 17-May-14 01:24 AM | edited Sat 17-May-14 01:42 AM by spiritualized67
I'm with others, who focus 1/3 of the way into the frame.
But if the scene and light are real keepers, I'll focus bracket - which means taking a few other shots with the focus in other places. Of course, where you place your point of focus helps to tell your viewer where to look, so find a focus interest point that matters.
Bracketing in general is recommended, whether DOF bracketing (although in general landscapes, a constant aperture like F/11 might make sense) or exposure bracketing. The rules of composition will always apply, but the extra images from any bracketing will only give you more optimal visual choices to select from (settling on one that is perfectly exposed and focused where you want, with the ideal DOF).
I am the OP on this thread, and once again huge thanks to all who have responded.
Since my initial post I have now done four golf course photoshoots with the D800E. It is an incredible camera, but I have not had to change my focusing technique to get the most out of it.
After reading all of the advice, and of course experimenting myself, for my golf course landscape photography I simply do exactly the same as I do with my D3S. Namely:
i) Shoot in f/8, with shutter speed at least twice focal length (generally not a prob, my 24-70 f/2.8 is the workhorse lens, and most of the time I am shooting at well beyond 1/200 shutter speed);
ii) Use Exposure Delay Mode (1 sec or 2 sec);
iii) Focus 1/3 roughly of the way into the scene;
iv) And, of course, I take a deep breath and hold it, while clicking the shutter.
With that technique, I can get staggeringly crisp images from front to back. When I come across a willing group of golfers, I simply switch off Exposure Delay Mode and fire away. I will post an example of this, to show how incredible the D800E is as a 'snapshot' camera too.
A brilliant piece of kit.
Only one (personal) downside though.
My D800E broke down within two weeks of getting it. It now doesn't recognise any of my lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200 all f/2.8), showing the dreaded 'f0' error message, and no amount of fiddling will correct it. It's going back to the retailer, and they're loaning me another D800E body until my camera is fixed....