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Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?  
User currently offlineBriceJohnson From Canada, joined Mar 2012, 93 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3995 times:

Hello All,

I was out shooting (mostly departing aircraft) the other day, and am pretty disappointed with the results I achieved. I was exposing at 1/800-1/2500 shutter speeds, and set the f stop to f8, under relatively clouding conditions. ISO was at 200.

I was shooting with a Nikon 70-300mm lens, and found that anything zoomed past 210mm was not perfectly clear. Also, sections of the aircraft I was shooting did not come out clear either (ie: clear nose with tail out of focus, or slightly blurred tail, etc).

What am I doing wrong?

What is the ideal f-stop for shooting aircraft with a 70-300mm lense under ideal conditions?

Please help!

Thanks all,

Calvin

[Edited 2013-08-19 12:00:59]

[Edited 2013-08-19 12:01:39]


Calvin | image120
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3977 times:

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
and found that anything zoomed past 210mm was not perfectly clear

It's difficult to comment without seeing examples, but it's not uncommon for some lenses to be softer at their longer focal lengths. You don't say which lens it is specifically, but you get what you pay for with lenses. More expensive lenses are often sharper across their more of their zoom range, but none are perfect. There's always a compromise with zoom lenses with often the longer focal lengths displaying degrees of softness. Another factor is heat haze and atmospheric conditions. How crisp was the air? Summer months and telephoto lenses don't often go hand in hand when you're shooting aircraft close to the ground. Atmospheric conditions come in to play.

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
What am I doing wrong?

You may not be doing anything wrong, you just found a limitation of the equipment you're using or the conditions / location you were shooting under.

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
What is the ideal f-stop for shooting aircraft with a 70-300mm lense under ideal conditions?

There isn't really an ideal aperture to use. Some lenses are at their sharpest at around f/8-10, but you need to consider the light and conditions you're shooting under.

An example of what you're describing would be useful.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineAlexC From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3913 times:

That really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you were shooting at a minimum of 1/2500 at f8 on a cloudy day I would have thought that you'd be getting seriously under-exposed results never mind any other problems.

User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9398 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (8 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3883 times:
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Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
Also, sections of the aircraft I was shooting did not come out clear either (ie: clear nose with tail out of focus, or slightly blurred tail, etc).

That sounds exactly like my experiences with lens softness when using cheaper lenses (I don't know if yours is cheap or not, but anyway). The edges/corners of the frame would get soft as I zoomed, and then the whole frame would get unusably soft.

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 1):
There isn't really an ideal aperture to use. Some lenses are at their sharpest at around f/8-10, but you need to consider the light and conditions you're shooting under.

   With my lenses, I'm relatively unconcerned with aperture, provided I have enough DOF. My 70-200 and 300 will happily shoot sharply at F4. But you need to experiment with your lenses.

Also have to agree with Alex - 1/2500 at ISO200 and F8 would result in severe underexposure on a cloudy day, at least for me!



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2519 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (8 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3880 times:
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Make sure you are using the servo autofocus otherwise you might get soft images due to wrong focus.

User currently offlineBriceJohnson From Canada, joined Mar 2012, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 months 1 day ago) and read 3826 times:

Thanks for the responses! I am using a Nikon VR 70-300mm lens: http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-70-300mm...93&sr=8-1&keywords=70-300+nikon+vr

Calvin



Calvin | image120
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 months 20 hours ago) and read 3805 times:

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
Please help!

I still think posting an example will help people advise you.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineivandalavia From Russia, joined May 2007, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 months 8 hours ago) and read 3748 times:

70-300?
I've got the same lens and i wish to say for you next thing-It was worst choice for Planespotting
Other reasons in that discuss is dustshit



NO GUST....NO GLORY
User currently onlineyerbol From Kazakhstan, joined Feb 2010, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3686 times:

Calvin,
Nikon 70-30mm VR is a very good lens. I had one and still own one. It is sharp even at 300mm but you have to close the aperture down to f8 or f9. Some people close aperture down to f11.
For example, Martin, Igor and AJ use this lens and the results are good. Please see links below.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Malay...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russi...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2

Try to go out on sunny morning or afternoon and photo in aperture mode with F8, ISO 100-200 and show us examples.
The results should be OK if your lens optically-mechanically fine and you have steady hands  

Good luck!



With best regards from Almaty
User currently offlineWingsFan From India, joined Oct 2009, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3618 times:

Quoting ivandalavia (Reply 7):
70-300?
I've got the same lens and i wish to say for you next thing-It was worst choice for Planespotting

There are two 70-300 lenses from Nikon. The cheaper one ( non-VR) is supposed to be terrible.

The other more expensive alternative is the VR lens with ED glass . This is a very good lens. You will find a lot of photographs here taken using that lens.


User currently offlinedcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3590 times:

Quoting ivandalavia (Reply 7):
70-300?
I've got the same lens and i wish to say for you next thing-It was worst choice for Planespotting
Other reasons in that discuss is dustshit

Whats wrong with this lens? I've been using it since 2007 and love it. I have two of them and can't complain.


User currently offlineBriceJohnson From Canada, joined Mar 2012, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3568 times:

Quoting yerbol (Reply 8):
Calvin,
Nikon 70-30mm VR is a very good lens. I had one and still own one. It is sharp even at 300mm but you have to close the aperture down to f8 or f9. Some people close aperture down to f11.
For example, Martin, Igor and AJ use this lens and the results are good. Please see links below.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Malay...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russi...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2

Try to go out on sunny morning or afternoon and photo in aperture mode with F8, ISO 100-200 and show us examples.
The results should be OK if your lens optically-mechanically fine and you have steady hands  

Good luck!
Quoting WingsFan (Reply 9):
There are two 70-300 lenses from Nikon. The cheaper one ( non-VR) is supposed to be terrible.

The other more expensive alternative is the VR lens with ED glass . This is a very good lens. You will find a lot of photographs here taken using that lens.
Quoting dcaviation (Reply 10):
Whats wrong with this lens? I've been using it since 2007 and love it. I have two of them and can't complain.

Thanks so much for the responses! Very much appreciated.  

Calvin



Calvin | image120
User currently offlineivandalavia From Russia, joined May 2007, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3538 times:

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 10):
Quoting dcaviation (Reply 10):
Whats wrong with this lens? I've been using it since 2007 and love it. I have two of them and can't complain.

Have you ever had other lenses such as NIKKOR 80-200? Have you ever been absolutely honest with yourself?

70-300 top of lenses for poor people and all



NO GUST....NO GLORY
User currently offlinedcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

Quoting ivandalavia (Reply 12):
70-300 top of lenses for poor people and all

My pictures are good enough to be published each month in an aviation magazine. This lens is great in low light.
I don't care about 200mm lenses. And I will never buy one. I'm not a Russian mogul to afford one...


User currently offlineAlexC From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3412 times:

The 80-200/2.8 AFS is accepted to be one of the sharpest lenses that Nikon ever made.

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